I am not going to lecture you.
You already know that getting your website to rank on the first page of Google is crucial to your business growth.
If you can get your website to the first page of Google for important words that matter to your business, your website will be open up to ton of high converting traffic that can grow your business.
More targeted traffic = more sales/leads
But there is something that may be bothering you or something you are at least not sure of.
What makes a website appear on the first page and even the first position in Google’s Search Engine Result Page (SERP) and most importantly what can you do to get your own website rank in that same position
Why Websites Rank in Google
SEO scientist has done tons of researches to find out why some website ranks in Google. In fact according to this report, over 200 ranking factors were identified that would potentially make a website rank in Google.
While these factors are important and real when it actually comes to ranking in the first few position i.e ranking at either position 1 or 2, then only three factors have the ability to move the needle.
- Age of website
1. Age of Website
Which site will you trust? A website that has existed for over 5years or a brand new website that was just registered?
This is why the age of the website comes into play. The longer a business has been online, the greater the probability that it is a legitimate business.
Anyone who wants to quickly catch in and game the system may not have the patience to keep the website running for a long period of time.
Secondly, when a website has stay online for more than 3 years, there is the probability that it will naturally gather backlinks on its own accord as more pages of such a website will be indexed.
The weight domain age of website carry is still highly debatable with the SEO industry but the longer a website has stayed online, the greater the opportunity to be reckoned with. This why domain age matters in SEO.
If you are like everyone, you might have heard the mantra content is king. What you may not know is the importance of content when it comes to ranking.
Content that improve ranking can be seen in two ways.
- Content on the page that wants to be ranked
Google unfortunately, do not rank website but web pages. This then mean that for your web page to be eligible to rank in Google, it must meet some minimum level of sanity check.
This sanity check is important because it helps Google understand what your website is all about. This sanity check falls under the on-page SEO factor.
On-page SEO or simply what people call website optimisation is when you improve your website in such a way that it makes it easy for Google’s machine to understand what the website is all about.
This means you must have your tags properly configured. The most important tags are
- Title tag
- Meta description-
- Image title
- Image alt
On the website that is been optimised for Google.
This does not mean that you should stuff this tag with your target keyword. Rather, as a machine, and machines can be stupid, Google expects your web page important words to be found in those places on the web page.
- Content on the website
Apart from the content on the web page itself which determines what keyword that web page is targeting, there is also considerations for other associated content on the website. This is because freshness is one of the factors that Google considers.
Google wants to keep its users happy and help them find the information they want. One way a website can do that is to keep updating its contents with relevant information that pertains to its business or what its audience wants to read.
This sends a signal to Google that that website is still relevant and Google will continue to crawl it. This is one of the reasons almost every website today has a blog attached to it.
If you ever wonder what is the difference between a website on position 1 and that at position 2, then you need not think about it for too long.
Links or what people generally refer to as backlinks is the single most important reason why a website will rank above other websites.
Backlinks are generally links that are pointing from one website to another. There are two types of links when it comes to backlinks. There is internal links and external links.
Internal links are links that points from one page in a website to another page with in the same website so let us say for example that I link from one of my blog post to this new post and then such a link is considered an internal link.
External links are actually the kind of links that can shift the needle when it comes to ranking. External links are the links that point from one page on a website to another page on a totally different website.
The quantity and quality of external link a website is very important. In fact, most SEO’s tend to agree that when all else fails, links has the potential to move a website and make it rank above any other website in the same niche.
The quantity of a backlink– The quantity of a backlink refers to the total amount of links that are pointing to the website from external sources.
If you plug a website into any of the backlinks tools eg opensiteexplorer, you will see something that looks like the figure below
The column that has referring domains shows the total number of backlinks that is pointing to that website
The quality of backlinks– Quality of a backlink is determined by the relevance and placement of the link pointing to the website.
The quality of a backlink is important because backlinks are not only for improving ranking, they are also a source of referral traffic. Let us assume that you are an online store and you sell female clothing.
Naturally you should get your backlinks from websites in the same niche and related niches like fashion bloggers, tech bloggers etc.
Now if the majority of your backlinks are coming from porn site, not only is the backlink highly irrelevant but it will also send you traffic (audience) who may not really be your intended audience.
The next time you Google a particular word and you see some website showing up, the factors listed here are the 3 most important reasons they are ranking in Google. Sometimes, it may be due to a combination of any or the whole three depending on how competitive the industry is but no website will ever rank without any of the following factors been considered.