Firstly, forget the complexity of Google’s algorithm – above all else, what they really care about is relevance and value. They are a private company and have a reputation to protect – Serving poor results won’t do them any favours. If your site is not relevant to what is being searched for and it provides nothing valuable to the user, you won’t rank! Once you understand this, these are the 4 things you must get right to get on that first page:
- URL STRUCTURE
The way your URLs are structured is very important. The keywords you are trying to rank for should somewhere in the URL string. If you don’t have the keyword in your domain name, then it’s advisable to get them in the inner pages. Your site should have a clear structure that is easy for search engine bots to crawl and even easier for potential clients landing on your site. The video outlines best practices we use for our client sites and gives examples of potential structures you can use if you are stuck with your domain name.
This includes the organisation and structure of the information on the individual pages of your website. This includes the title of the page, the page description, page headings, images and textual content. See our On-page optimization section for a more detailed explanation of how to get this part right.
Controlling to the best of your ability the activity that goes on away from your site but is talking about and linking back to your site and it’s social media properties. If you have articles that link back to your site, make sure they are of good quality and provide value to the reader. Try to acquire links from credible websites by providing them with quality material. The more links and activity you have from high quality, trusted sites, the more credit you will receive from search engines and the higher you will rank.
This is a very important factor in the algorithm of Google especially. They track how many visitors your website receives and where these visits come from – Are they direct hits or do they come from search engines and social media etc. They also monitor closely how long these visitors actively spend on the site reading content, watching videos and generally interacting with your pages. They want searchers to be happy with their results, so therefore reward sites that keep people engaged for longer by ranking them higher.