Get to the Top of Google Search Rankings: A Short and Sweet Guide.
Hitting top rank on Google Search can help you raise your brand awareness and recognition. A full SEO audit and restructure on your digital properties takes time, but it’s worth it. In the meantime, there are many ways to get started on improving your Google rankings.
Background Info: The Second Page
According to a Moz study, only 3.99% of users are willing to venture to the second page of search engine results to find their information. Instead, they are more likely to try a more refined search to find what they need. The importance of a high ranking has become so prevalent that it has become a farce among internet users.
Understand the Google Algorithm
The reality is, the Google algorithm is somewhat mysterious. Google releases information about the factors on occasion, nobody outside the company knows exactly how much weight is assigned to each factor. They change these weights and factors multiple times a day. It is important to keep track of the updates that Google makes.
Suggestion 1: Keep Pages Mobile-Friendly.
Google recently announced that mobile search rankings would start to affect rankings throughout all Google platforms. If you can afford to, catering to this update means optimizing your website for mobile platforms. It’s an investment to be made immediately, as mobile compatibility is becoming one of the biggest ranking factors.
Suggestion 2: Searcher Task Accomplishment
Google has become sophisticated enough where it can now use a combination of user metrics to holistically determine if the user accomplished their search task. For example, if you search for, “banana bread recipes,” Google will be able to determine how quickly and effectively you found good banana bread recipes.
As such, your website should be structured so that it helps users accomplish tasks in the most efficient ways. To do so, interview the stakeholders in your website to find out exactly what they’re looking for. You can also track why unsatisfied users leave the site. Google wants their search engine to be the best, so they prioritize those pages that are best at satisfying search queries.
WordStream provides a breakdown of every major Google update since 2003. Familiarize yourself with the factors and keep them in mind next time you add or change parts of your site.
Make Sure Your On-Page SEO is Up to Scratch
Your technical SEO goes a long way in Google’s eyes to help identify how contextually relevant your website is to a user’s search query, but it often gets overlooked. Keep in mind the following:
Step 1: Do Your Research.
Before you actually make any technical SEO changes, it is important to understand who and what you’re appealing to. Specifically, this means understanding what your users are searching for and creating an SEO strategy that appeals to those queries.
Step 2: Make the Right Changes.
A lot of these changes revolve around taking the highest searches from Step 1 and integrating them into your website. Strategically worded and pretty URLs are a great place to start!
Google likes URLs like recipes.com/dessert/banana-bread, NOT URLs like recipes.com/8/6/16/cat=SEO/p=1324yusdgf3.
Backlinko provides a great infographic that talks about 15 other key on-page SEO factors to hit.
Many people don’t realize that SEO is the lifeblood of the site. Search engines like Google ultimately decide if your website gets shown on their search results, so if you align your web strategy with their mission (to provide the best possible experience for their users) then you’ll be in good shape!
While it’s possible to start implementing these tactics on your own, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. If you have any questions, reach out to your account manager and we’ll help you get started!