There are a series of steps that can be done to optimize a website. These steps are what determines if a website ends up on page one or page ten of a search within any given search engine. This is referred to as the ranking.
Primarily there are three core elements that determine the ranking within a given result on a search engine page. Google, of course, is king when it comes to search engines and has largely dominated the search engine space for years. It has held the top spot primarily because of the amount of effort it puts into the algorithms it has developed to make sure the result of any given search brings the most accurate & timely results to the top of the first page of results every time. So far, arguably, no one does this better than Google.
So how do you get to the number one spot on a Google search page in your particular niche? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) sounds complicated when you start talking about algorithms & such. However, broken down into steps it gets a little easier to understand; therefore less intimidating.
The three core elements are thus:
- On site optimization
- Ongoing quality content
- Off site Authority building
Let’s take a look at these three separately.
On site optimization is all about the relevance of content. The layout of the pages and the structure of each page as it relates to the content.
Google & other search engines must determine the relevance of your site by crawling each page & finding pertinent information that it uses to rank your site.
There are many many criteria for doing this and this article won’t be long enough to go into all of it but here are a few of the things that directly affect the outcome of site ranking.
Meta tags (each page)
The speed at which a site loads
Linking within the site itself
Over all site performance
Title tags (each page)
There are many more but these are a few of the more basic ones.
Ongoing Quality Content
So let’s say you’ve done your due diligence and you’ve dotted all your I’s and crossed all your T’s. You’re relevant. Your content is significant and you’ve chiseled out a spot just for you in the field/space where your business resides on the web. Everything is done and your ranking should be good, right?
Not so fast~
It is your ongoing content that will solidify your place at the top of the search engine list of pages upon pages that are related to your key search terms. Not just any content will do. The content must relate directly to your search terms but be in a form that is relevant and coherent in terms of reading content & visuals (pics.). The content must be good, informative, formatted properly and free of errors.
Offsite Authority Building
Authoritative content is key here. You want outside sources to link to your content. Google & other search engines partially rank on how outside sources see your content. If your content is authoritative, informative, interesting and relevant; others will link to your content and the search engines see this as an authoritative site and the ranking is therefore higher organically.
In the old days you could physically link to other sites to improve your ranking but today that is more likely to send you further to the bottom of the ranking than anything. This is still used; but sparingly.
Linking your content between social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & other social media sites is a good way to improve ranking. Exceptional content is always bound to create links to other sites organically that way.
Much of ranking today just simply has to do with being real, professional and willing to go the extra mile in making sure your website is current with thought provoking content that is relevant to your industry.
If you do that others will help make your website ranking higher organically and that, of course, is what it is all about.