For many of you out there who are looking to improve your search engine ranking, trying to understand how Google ranks your website can be an extremely daunting task. The misconception made by many is that Google is some kind of mysterious entity, and improving your rank is something that takes a trained professional. While in most cases, achieving the most SEO with your website may require a professional, there are many steps that you can take to improve your rank on your own.
The most important thing for those of you who are trying to improve SEO is that Google’s focus above all is to provide the best and most relevant search results possible for their users. While getting your website to rank higher on Google may seem like complete serendipity at times, there is algorithmic-based science behind every search to produce the most specific content possible.
The first and possibly the easiest step someone can take in improving their SEO would be improving the social sharing of your blog posts. While social shares don’t count as links to your site (which Google factors into its ranking), there is a correlation between social signal strength and search engine ranking (Source: Search Engine Journal).
One step to increase sharing would be to have clear and visible social share buttons at either the top or bottom of your blog post. Putting these buttons there not only makes sharing a painless process for the user, but it also allows them to see how many people have shared the blog across the varies social media sites (which may encourage someone, in turn, to share it themselves).
The next action one can take to improve their website search ranking is to decrease their bounce rate. A site’s bounce rate is the percentage of sessions in which the person left the first page they arrived at without interacting with any part of that page. This type of behavior can be very detrimental to your sites SEO. However, there are some very simple steps you can take to become aware of this rate and ultimately improve upon it.
In a similar vein to bounce rate, the longer a user stays on your website the higher the ranking you will receive from Google. The idea behind this is that presumably, the longer someone spends on the website the more valuable and pertinent content you have on that site (or that they were grabbing a snack while they were on your site).
Nevertheless, having users stay on your site longer is something that is very attainable, and can be done in a few simple steps.
One tip that has stayed consistent throughout Google’s many SEO re-toolings is having links on your page. However, just having the links on your page is not enough. A while back, Google found that some websites were cheating and just putting random links that were not relevant to their site in hidden places. This type of behavior will now get you a slap on the wrist from Google and your site will be the one taking the hit. What they are looking for is links that are rich in content and extremely pertinent to what you are trying to convey to the user. You can link out to credible sources, and you can also use internal linking to increase your rank.
This las way to improve your website’s search ranking is as old as time when it comes to SEO, and that is content. Having insightful and relevant content will always help your cause in getting your website to rank higher in search results. This all goes back to the primary focus of what Google is trying to provide their users, and that is the highest quality search results.
If you are selling a bike on your website, and all you have is a picture of the bike and the model number, that is not good content. However, if you have a picture of that bike followed by a detailed description, differentiating factors of the bike, and user’s experiences of this model then that is good content. This is the type of content that will keep your viewers on your pages for extended periods of time and have them coming back to you as a trusted resource.
SEO is an entire industry now, with professionals and gurus. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t small steps that you can take. In fact, the small steps above will make a big impact. Even more empowering is that the things that lead to higher SEO almost always correlate to you having a better quality site.