As we all know, Google uses over 200+ factors to rank websites in the search results. As they frequently change their algorithm, which is about 500 to 600 times per year, earning the top rankings is certainly not an easy feat. Below are some quick rules to achieve the First Page spot.
1. Start with a list of terms that you think your potential customers would use to find your website.
Picture how they would ask for your products and services in the search queries. Your key terms should be relatable to questions such as “how to…”, “where can I…”, and “what is the best…”. Consider adding adjectives like “free” or “affordable” and geo-modifiers such as “Houston, TX” or “Philippines”. Come up with 10 to 20 key phrases that define your brand. As a point of reference, take a quick peek at your competitors’ websites for their own set of words.
2. Use a keyword tool to narrow them down.
Based on your initial list, conduct a research to determine how popular your chosen terms are, how easy it is to attain the first spot in terms of competition, and how relevant they are to your site. Popular options include Google Keyword Planner, WordTracker, and SEMRush. Maximize these tools to get more ideas and suggestions. Remember the general rule of thumb: pick the ones that have the highest monthly traffic volumes with low to medium competition.
3. Balance keyword-targeting on the pages.
It is a pre-requisite for digital marketing agencies to apply the keywords on the critical parts of the website. However, high-quality content still rules so do not over-optimize. Instead, aim to provide uniquely valuable information to the users which are both comprehensive and useful. For instance, meta description should encourage click-through from the SERP and social platforms. Learn to vary your key phrases.
4. Ensure that your site is accessible by web crawlers.
Setup the Robots.txt file correctly and double-check that the host server does not restrict search crawler IPs. Address duplicate URL, broken link and redirection issues. Avoid using dynamic parameters too. Have the server return proper HTTP status codes. Upload XML sitemaps for the bots.
5. Provide exceptional user experience (UX).
Design-wise, make sure that it is easy to navigate around the website and is aesthetically polished. Have the primary content visible within the 4-second time frame. See to it that it is multi-device ready.
6. Apply appropriate markups.
Display your profile/brand image by using the rel=author and rel=publishers tags. Include schema.org microdata markups and Google’s rich snippets options. Employ hreflang as necessary.
7. Make social sharing easy to the users.
Install buttons that are obvious and easy to spot on. Make your URLS as short and as descriptive as possible so that copying and pasting is painless.
8. Compare your backlink profile to your competitors’ and aim towards outranking them.
9. Work on building no more than 5 links per day.
The ultimate goal is to make them look as if they were built naturally. Forget about buying a bulk of backlinks within 1 day or 1 month. Strategize so that link building is done in a gradual manner. If you really want to lean towards paid options, buy on a weekly basis.
10. Diversify anchor texts.
Make your anchors as unique yet as relevant as possible. Use synonyms and apply multiple different variations on them. Consider rearranging the phrases too. Set 25% of your anchors to include your URL, e.g. beta.myoptimind.com. Then, strive for another 25% for the brand name, e.g. Optimind Technology Solutions.
11. Diversify the PageRank of your backlinks.
See to it that more than 35% of your incoming links come from webpages that have PR0, 30% for PR1, 15% for PR2, 10% for PR3, and only 10% for PR4 and up. As you need to gradually build them, you could begin with low PRs on the first month, then in one-two month’s time, you could then focus on high authority sites.
12. Point 80% of your links to your homepage and 20% to the inner pages.
This is another way to create a natural backlink profile. This is especially important for large sites with many webpages. Also, ensure that they are placed manually and not automatically. Search engines could detect if you employed scripts when you did the link building.
13. Find sites that come from your own country, have low number of outbound links and are frequently indexed by Google.
The recent update on Google Penguin 2.0 proved that in order to rank well, 65% of your backlinks should come from same hosted country. For example, if your business is in the USA, majority of your backlinks should be from websites hosted in the USA. Head over to Who.is to view domain history. For the number of outgoing links, install SEOQuake plugin for Firefox. To check the date when Google last accessed the site you’re hoping to link to, visit SearchEngineGenie’s Google Bot Last Accessed Date Checker Tool or WebToolHub’s Googlebot Last Access Date Checker
14. Capitalize on Top Social Networks.
Social signals correlate very well with better rankings therefore work on getting more “+1s”, “Shares”, “Comments”, “Likes”, and “Tweets”.
15. Do not forget to analyze your results.