A website is not just a static brochure but a tool to help your business grow. Search engines are critical to the success of websites because the majority of visitors to many websites are referred by search engines. Google accepts no money to appear in their organic search results or rank your website higher.
How do you make your website appear first in Google Search results?
The leading search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!, use crawlers to find pages for their algorithmic search results. The crawlers find the relevant web pages with regard to the search query entered and shows them. There is no secret, there are only good practices making your website relevant. Google determines the relevance of a website with over 200 factors. Here are some of the best practices for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Page Rank OR backlinks
Page Rank is the measure of the importance of website pages based on the incoming links from other pages referred as backlinks. In simple terms, each link to a page on your site from another site adds to your site’s PageRank. All backlinks are not equal: Google works hard to improve the user experience by identifying spam links and other practices that negatively impact search results. The best types of backlinks are those that are given based on the quality of their content. Search engines also employ URL normalization in order to assign importance to web pages and to reduce indexing of duplicate pages. Cross linking between pages of the same website to provide more links to important pages may improve a page’s rank.
What are Keywords?
Keywords are search queries, words or phrases web searchers enter into search engines. They also make up contents of websites and do not forget that your website must have these words. Search engines based on keywords and metadata to provide a more useful vocabulary for the Internet or on-site searching. Many SEO experts consider the optimum keyword density to be 1 to 3 percent; more could be considered search spam or Keyword stuffing.
Keyword stuffing is an SEO technique, considered web spam or spamdexing, in which a web page is loaded with keywords in the meta tags or in the content of a web page in an attempt to gain an unfair rank advantage in search engines.
How to find the best keywords for your website.
Keyword research is a practice where SEO professionals use to find and research alternative search terms that people enter into search engines while looking for a similar subject. Once you have a niche keyword, you expand on it. Keyword suggestion tools usually aid the process, like the Google AdWords Keyword Planner, which offers a thesaurus and alternative keyword suggestions or by looking into Google Suggest.
It is good practice to search for related keywords that have low competition and still a high number of searches. This makes it easier to achieve a higher rank in search engines which usually results in higher web traffic. Keywords that have no monthly searches generate no traffic and therefore are useless for SEO.
Use the Search Analytics report to see which queries lead to your pages, and what the click-through rate is for links to your site.
Basic tip for building a keyword list.
Think like a customer when you create your list
Select specific keywords to target specific customers hence group your customers or create themes.
Select general keywords to reach more people
Use negative keywords
Use the keyword planner
What is Bounce Rate?
Bounce Rate pertains to the measure of the percentage of when a visitor bounced or left your web page from the time entered or viewed. Keeping visitors on your page can also help make you stay on top of results from search engines.
How to keep visitors on your website.
Use informative titles and snippets. Good, clear titles and accurate meta tag descriptions help visitors understand the purpose of your page and generate useful snippets in Google search results.
Secured website: Modern users expect a secure online experience. Secure your website’s connection with HTTPS and visitors will be okay interacting with your website especially when visitors feed your website with data. An instance is a visitor might not take an unsecured eCommerce website very reliable.
High-quality affiliate websites affect your search ranking.
High-quality affiliate website thus websites with contents copied from another website, negatively impact performance and in some cases remove you from Google’s search result. Provide high-quality content on your site. Google tries to find the best answer for users request. If you write the best material, you are in the game.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool that helps you manage how your business information appears across Google, including Search and Maps. Consider adding your business and its website to google.com/business. High-quality Google my business profile with great reviews enables your business to show first in Google search.
What is a sitemap? A sitemap is basically an XML file listing all the URLs for a website.
Google offers Google Search Console, for which an XML Sitemap feed can be created and submitted for free to ensure that all pages are found, especially pages that are not discoverable by automatically following links. Adding a sitemap does not affect search rankings. However, if there is some page on your site that is not indexed, then sitemap provides you with a way to let search engines know about that page, so it can be indexed properly.
To check if your pages are already indexed, search for your site in Google Search with a query like this: site:example.com
Substitute your own site for “example.com”. If your site doesn’t show up, you can verify ownership of your website via google search console.
Sometimes, webmaster violates some SEO guidelines with the idea optimizing a website. Google and some search engines may take manual action against such websites. When these happen especially with Google, you will have to remedy the problem and submit your website for reconsideration. Some bad techniques which webmasters or SEO experts need to avoid include;
- Automatically generated content.
- Loading pages with irrelevant keywords.
- Participating in link schemes.
- Creating pages with little or no original content.
- Cloaking websites.
- Sneaky redirects.
- Hidden text or links.
- Keyword stuffing.
- Doorway pages.
- Scraped content.
- Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value.
- Creating pages with malicious behaviour, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware.
- Abusing rich snippets’ markup.
- Sending automated queries to Google.