Building a website is similar to constructing a building. Starting from the ground up, a sturdy foundation is necessary to ensure stability and longevity. If the foundation is weak, chances are, it’ll collapse. In terms of a website, establishing a strong foundation or site structure, comes in many ways, but internal linking throughout a site continues to prove it’s importance. Let’s walk through the logic and reason behind kick-ass internal linking, as well as a few key reasons why all site’s should get their hands dirty with links.
With the frequent changes on Google’s algorithm and modifications in SEO best practices, it is important for website owners to periodically assess their site if there is a need to make adjustments. You need to make sure that your website is properly optimized for search – otherwise, you could be missing out on potential traffic. One of the ways website owners can assess if their website is optimized for search is through SEO audit.
What is SEO Audit?
SEO audit gives you an overview of your website’s current status. It provides an insight on the negative and positive points of your website so you can work on the former and maintain the latter.
By conducting an audit, you will be able to analyze your website properly in order to strengthen it. The audit will help you determine the flaws that keep your website from achieving success.
What are the benefits of SEO Audit?
With an SEO audit, you can get the following benefits:
1. Determine the weakness of your current SEO campaign
An SEO audit report will show you the strategies that are not performing well. It will help you uncover issues such as duplicate content, irrelevant meta descriptions or keywords, lack of social media sharing buttons, or non-targeted keywords.
From the audit report, you may also discover that your website has slow speed and has poisonous inbound links. By uncovering these issues, you will be able to implement a successful SEO strategy.
2. Determine the strengths of your competitors.
Aside from your weaknesses, doing an SEO audit will help you discover the techniques that your competitors are putting to good use. For example, they might be getting links from qualified and relevant websites. By discovering the strengths of your competitors, you will be able to improve your own website’s SEO performance.
3. Enhance your SEO strategies
Once you have an idea on the weaknesses of your strategies, you can work on making the proper adjustments to boost your SEO campaign. Some of the things you can do to improve your SEO includes using targeted keywords, removing duplicate content, increasing site speed, and adding social media buttons.
4. Boost your search engine rankings
When you have identified the areas that needs to be worked on, the audit report will open up more opportunities to make your website attractive to search engines.
What to expect from an SEO Audit
Impressed with the benefits of SEO audit? If you are considering to conduct as SEO audit for your website, you should be aware of the 8 components of a standard SEO audit report:
- Backlink Competitive Analysis. This component provides an overview of the quality of your backlinks in comparison with your competitors.
- Poisonous Link Analysis. This helps to check if there are bad links coming to your website.
- Content Keyword Analysis. This is an evaluation of how Google interprets your website based on its contents.
- Site Speed Analysis. The speed of your website is analyzed as well as recommendations on how to improve it.
- Duplicate Content Analysis. This component checks if there are several versions of your webpage indexed by Google.
- Content Audit Analysis. This is an evaluation of SEO components such as meta descriptions, meta keywords, title tags, SEO-friendly URLs, and other website attributes.
- Social Sharing Button Analysis. This is an assessment if your website has social media sharing icons on your blogs and other website pages.
Strategies To Create From An SEO Audit
As a website owner, you should undertake the following SEO techniques at least once a year:
1. Check on-page SEO
You can easily change your website’s SEO plan by making on-site changes. It will take time for you to see the results, but it will only take a few hours to make on-site tweaks.
2. Check that your site can be indexed by search engines
What good will your SEO be if it cannot be searched in the first place? Make sure to resolve any issues that keep search engine bots from properly indexing your website. Check for any improperly installed codes or hacked content.
3. Check your link profile and compare it with your competitors
When you are done doing on-page optimization, the next step is to analyze your website’s backlink profile. The number and quality of backlinks leading to your website can have a huge impact on your site’s search engine results.
4. Look for broken links or dead pages
Your website may contain broken outbound links or dead pages. These erroneous links can hamper your site SEO, so make sure to identify and resolve any issues.
If you are using a content management system or an e-commerce platform, there are a lot of tools that can automatically check these links. Some WordPress plugins, for instance, can notify you of any broken links. Meanwhile, some online apps can run a free site link checker to help you identify and resolve any issues concerning backlinks.
5. Check the speed of your website
The average speed and page load time of your website can impact the amount of traffic in your website. Visitors will not usually spend much time on a website that loads pages slowly.
Site speed is an important ranking factor, and so you need to prioritize the speed of your website if you want to boost traffic and search engine rankings.
Subjecting your website to an SEO audit can go a long way in improving overall performance. With the tough competition online, you need to make sure that your website is generating enough traffic and getting ranked where you want it to be. Otherwise, your efforts will all be for naught.
You can always bank on the help of an SEO agency to make your website SEO-friendly and attractive to your potential customers. If you have not considered an audit report for your website yet, today is the best time to include this in your SEO strategy.
A lot of businesses have become successful online. Apart from providing the best products and services, companies need to invest on search engine optimization (SEO), which has become an integral element for online success. One of the best ways to base your SEO strategies on is to get an SEO quote.
What is an SEO Quote?
An SEO quote is a proposal made by an SEO agency to list down the existing problems of a website in terms of SEO, the solutions to rectify the errors, and the scope of work that the agency can provide.
While the cost to hire SEO professionals may take some business owners aback, the long-term benefits in terms of SEO should be enough reason to consider hiring an SEO agency. As a business owner, you should be able to witness the improvement in your website’s online presence when you start with an SEO quote.
What To Expect in an SEO Quote
The primary goal of any SEO agency is to ensure that their client’s websites will appear among the top search results. As part of the SEO quote, SEO professionals offer a wide range of services to drive more traffic and eventually make visitors become loyal customers.
Here are some of the basic services that most SEO agencies and professionals can offer:
- Provide a suggestion in choosing a domain name
- Optimize titles, keywords and overall content
- Assess the quality of content and its uniqueness
- Suggest outbound links, backlinks and internal links
- Optimize the site loading time on different devices
- Increase visibility by creating accounts on different social media sites
- Optimize meta tags, title and description
- Ensure that there are no broken links
A standard SEO quote contains the following provisions:
1. Careful assessment of the virtual health of your website
This includes checking the content, keywords used, current ranking, and analytics data.
2. Enhancement of website “crawlability”
Google checks on each website by crawling and indexing the pages. However, you need to boost the chances of your website to get indexed by implementing SEO techniques. This means that there should be some valuable information on the website worth indexing.
Crawling is the process wherein search bots would go throughout the website looking for new and updated information or content, and report back to the search engine. Meanwhile, indexing involves the processing of information gathered by bots from crawling activities. In the case of Google, crawled data are placed in the searchable index if the process has determined that the website contains good quality content.
3. Improvement of keyword strategy
Identify the existing keywords or keyword phrases, and check how relevant they are with what the website is all about.
4. Competitor monitoring and analysis
You can use the competition as basis on how to make your website more engaging to your visitors. This includes knowing how your competitors gain leverage in presenting themselves online.
5. Link analysis
Making use of backlinks is another element of an SEO quote that is extremely essential for any website. Backlinking is important because it is an indication of the popularity of a website.
Making use of inbound links that are relevant to the site is an effective way of increasing traffic to your site. Be careful, though: Using links that are not relevant to your business may not help your website at all.
6. Content review
This process is composed of two phases: checking the content on each of the pages, and determining how and where the content is used on other sites. By doing this, SEO experts can determine if the site content is of good quality that can make others visit often or link back to the website.
7. Social media integration
Social media has become an integral part of any business as this provides more channels to increase online awareness on a particular brand. A good SEO quote should include social media as one of the elements to integrate in your SEO campaign strategy.
8. Reports generation
The SEO agency should provide a complete analysis, as well as strategic planning and forecast to make the website attract more traffic. Reporting may be done on a weekly or a monthly basis.
9. Mobile friendliness
Google prefers responsive or mobile-optimized websites to appear at the top of SERPs. This is reason enough to check the SEO quote whether this factor is included or not.
Besides, the popularity of mobile browsing has skyrocketed in recent years, and most online users prefer to read websites through their smartphones or tablets. If you want to grab the attention of the mobile target market, your SEO strategy should include optimizing your website for mobile viewing.
Importance of SEO for Businesses
SEO can definitely help improve a company’s online visibility, and drive more traffic to the website through organic search results. However, to become successful in SEO, you must determine the factors needed to help you land on the first page of search results. Some of these factors include the following:
- Using the right keywords
- Providing high quality content
- Creating engagement with visitors and turning them into customers
- Adopting sound online marketing techniques
When SEO comes to mind, most companies choose between assigning an internal team or hiring a third-party agency to help them with a good SEO plan. Whatever the company’s choice is, the people assigned to do the job should be experts in SEO.
Assigning people from the company to handle SEO is very helpful because they already know what the company wants to achieve. Working with these SEO experts may be easier because you can reach them faster. The best way to maximize on your SEO campaign is by coordinating with the marketing team.
Businesses should definitely consider seeking help from SEO experts. These professionals have sufficient knowledge on how to maximize your company’s online visibility. By asking for an SEO quote, you should already expect to learn much about your website’s shortcomings, and improve from there.
Search engines use complex algorithms to identify pages that they will include in the index and display in the search engine results page (SERP). By utilizing SEO techniques, websites will have a way of getting discovered by search engines.
A lot of factors can affect the search ranking of your website. Today, we will discuss off site SEO as a major factor in leading your site to increased traffic.
A Brief Background on On-Site SEO
Most websites focus on on-page elements of the website. This should not be the case because most of the time, Google focuses on the things that happen outside.
Dr. Peter Meyers of Moz observed that most authority website owners spend around 30% of the time in link building and 70% in on-page SEO. Other kinds of websites, on the other hand, do it the other way around.
What is Off Site SEO?
From the name itself, off site SEO refers to the external factors that affect the search ranking of a website. It is often associated with link building, but off page SEO is more than that. It often involves promotion methods for the purpose of getting noticed by search engines.
Off site SEO uses a variety of factors for generating awareness for your website. While on page SEO factors focus on content and HTML codes on your site, off site factors can contribute to increasing the popularity and traffic to your website.
Off Site SEO Best Practices
Here are some of the most commonly used off site SEO techniques:
Link building is the practice of acquiring external links to your website. If visitors discover your site through other people’s blog posts or other reputable websites, there’s a big chance that they will become your loyal followers. Link building is a way of telling search engines that content on your website provides good information.
Although there are about 200 factors that Google considers in ranking websites, effective link building can play a crucial role in making your website an authority in your chosen niche.
It is worth noting, however, that link building is not all about quantity but quality as well. The number of links pointing to your website is not necessarily more important than the sources of those links. A link to your site from a personal blog doesn’t generate the same effect as a mention from the New York Times or other high-authority sites.
This is another commonly used technique for off site SEO. The idea behind bookmarking is for people to link and share web pages that they like through bookmarking sites such as Delicious, Propeller, Digg, and the like.
The links can be seen by other online users, who may decide to visit your site. As a result, your website traffic will increase.
While not as popular as it used to be, bookmarking is still a good strategy to use if you want to get traffic to your website. Depending on your niche, there are many bookmarking sites that you can use for promoting your content.
Social media channels provide websites with a good medium for boosting their search rank. First off, you need to create accounts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or other social media networks. Through these channels, you can share your site links to friends and inform them about posts on your websites.
In short, social media can be used for website promotion and for building your online reputation.
In a way, social media is similar to link building. Sure, most of the links from social media sites are no-follow, but this does not mean that they are not valuable.
Social media mentions are now becoming a ranking factor. By properly configuring your social media profiles, you can also boost your search engine rankings. The more your contents are shared through social media, the more it will get noticed by search bots.
Blogging is another powerful and effective way to promote your website online. The important thing to remember when it comes to blogging is to write unique content. You need to be precise when writing your blog posts so that readers will easily understand the point you are trying to drive.
Aside from posting unique content, another way to promote your blog is by posting comments on similar blogs. If you are not into writing, you can consider getting a guest blogger to produce the content for you.
Cross linking is the process of linking two separate sites through clickable links. With this strategy, you get a link from other websites or blogs that are related to yours. This may be hard to implement if you do not have enough content to link, though.
Citation is a process of including the NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) on your website pages. It can help search engines evaluate your online presence and authority.
Unlike link building, the URL of your website does not have to be present to get cited, the NAP will suffice. However, it is important to be consistent. The NAP should match the information on your website.
How Can Website Owners Benefit from SEO?
A successful off-site strategy will deliver the following benefits to website owners:
- Increased rankings: Higher search engine ranking means more traffic for the website.
- Higher PageRank: PageRank refers to any number between 0 and 10 to indicate how important a website is to Google. The system was one of the reasons for the success of Google in showing the most relevant results to search users. It is just one of the hundreds of other factors that Google uses to rank websites.
- Better exposure: Higher ranking goes hand in hand with higher exposure because when a website is ranked at the top page, it will get more links, visits, and social media mentions.
These off site SEO strategies can contribute to improving the popularity and search ranking of your website. By implementing them, you can look forward to seeing the pages of your website appearing at the top of search results.
When it comes to SEO campaigns, some website owners seem to ignore conversion, which should be a primary objective. Sadly, a lot of businesses miss out on one fundamental SEO best practice: conversion rate optimization.
People put up an e-commerce website to sell products, while a blogger guns for subscribers. While it is nice to have thousand or even millions of visitors, conversion offers more benefits. In this article, we will take a look at the practice of conversion rate optimization.
What Is Conversion Rate Optimization?
CRO is aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of a website to boost sales using the same amount of traffic you are currently generating. With this practice, you evaluate your website’s sales funnel so that you can determine how to improve your website in order to boost your website and get people to sign up for a product or service.
In CRO, you come up with a new landing page for testing a hypothesis. From there, you will implement the page that generated the highest number of conversions.
When optimizing conversion rate, user feedback and analytics will be examined in order to spot potential roadblocks to conversion on your website and remove them. In the traditional conversion funnel, your aim is to get the attention of your customers. When selling goods and services, you aim for conversion.
But what if there is an obstacle along that funnel? If a widget is not working, you could lose the chance to connect with your customers.
CRO lets you examine your website so you could fix any obstacles to conversion. Optimization of conversion can address issues such as filling out lead forms or abandoned shopping carts.
Factors That Affect Conversion Rate
The conversion rate of your website will depend on the following:
This refers to the percentage of people that leave your site after viewing just one page. A high bounce rate means visitors are not finding what they are looking for, so you need to fix it immediately.
This is the percentage of people who leave after viewing a page. A high exit rate is another red flag you should be aware of.
Average Time on Site
This refers to how long visitors are sticking around in your website. A high bounce rate translates to low average time, which means visitors are not staying long enough on your site.
Average Page Views
APV is another engagement metric that tells the number of pages the average visitor goes through before leaving. A high APV means engagement but could also mean lack of clarity in your conversion funnel.
These are the just some of the metrics that matter when it comes to conversion rate. A website with 5,000 visitors but only 50 conversions could either celebrate for those unique visitors or realize that they could still improve their conversion if they want to optimize. We at Victorious SEO can help your website improve its conversion rate with our conversion analysis promotion service.
Benefits of Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion rate optimization offers a wide range benefits for websites:
In the past, website-related decisions would probably be based on gut feel or “I think” statements. CRO lets you test your theories and evaluate the results. It would be easier to revert back to what was working, should you prefer something different.
In CRO, you make decisions based on data and facts that you gathered instead of mere perception. You can do A/B tests and analyze the data. As a result, you can make smarter and more informed decisions in the future based on the data you have in hand.
Optimizing the conversion rate allows you to get significantly better results. For instance, if tests prove that changing the color of a button would give you 5% more visitors, chances are you can convert those visitors when you make the change.
Another benefit that can be derived from CRO is the additional money you can make. CRO will help you identify small windows of opportunity that will boost your conversion rate in a matter of months. Any changes that will be implemented, while seemingly small, can add up to the potential additional revenue you can get by optimizing.
Of course, you should not expect the additional revenue right away. It will come to you over time.
Beat the Competition
Conversion rate optimization can also help you improve your search ranking. Depending on what you test on your website, you may be able to identify elements that will improve the time visitors spend on your page.
This will help in decreasing bounce rate, which Google includes in its ranking factor. Lower bounce rates may give you a shot at outranking your competition.
In addition, an increased conversion rate could translate to an increase in website traffic, social media engagement, and overall online popularity. These factors can contribute to improving your search engine ranking as well. The more you test and optimize your conversion rate, the better will be your ranking in search engines.
Prior to CRO, testing something on your website would mean implementation, checking of the result, and then changing it back. Most of today’s A/B testing tools now provide opportunities for secured testing even without permanent implementation, as well as show different versions to visitors.
More Risk Taking
Sometimes, online marketing may involve taking risks. With CRO, you may take risks, test, and try new things.
Nowadays, A/B testing is secured and easily controlled, so it won’t have any damaging effect on your website. Therefore, test all you want without harming your visitor engagement and potential revenue.
Learn More About Visitors
As you implement CRO, you will get to know more about your visitors. No group of customers are alike, and so testing and experimenting what your visitors prefer. Through optimization, you may be able to realize that some customers will prefer to contact you right away or may not want to see the form until much later. In short, optimizing conversion rate allows you to know your visitors’ preferences.
Now that you know the importance of optimizing conversion rate, it is about time you take it into consideration. It will not only boost your search engine ranking but also give you additional revenue and make your site visitors happy.
Looking at your website’s performance, you may already feel confident with your SEO strategies and search ranking. However, in the same way that fashion trends change, the same thing happens with Google’s algorithm. As a result, any SEO expert should always keep abreast with the latest trends in search engine optimization.
The main focus of SEO experts is to put websites among the top search results. This can only be made possible by implementing sound SEO techniques, such as choosing the appropriate keywords.
What most website owners fail to do is to create target keywords that would specifically direct users towards their site. Not knowing what search terms to use or how to be more competitive will definitely affect the site’s search ranking.
Niche Topic: A Common Keyword Strategy
It is not enough to simply make use of keywords that you think will perfectly describe what your site is all about. Using a generic term as a keyword may not be helpful because your competitors may be using the same. What will give you an edge over the competition?
The answer: niche topics. By choosing highly specific topics related to your website, you can come up with more related keywords. This could easily drive traffic and optimize your pages.
Map out a list of different topics that your target audience is most likely to search online. By doing so, you should be able to come up with a few different niche topics, from which you can pull out great keywords to use.
SEO Expert Tips To Refresh Your Keyword Strategies
Here are some SEO expert techniques to give your current keyword strategies a breath of life to really boost your chances of landing at the top of search results:
1. Check your on-page or on-site SEO
If you’re getting links to your site but are not seeing movement for your keywords, your issues are with likely with your on-site SEO. To fix this, ensure that you’re adhering to on-site SEO best practices, which largely involve weaving in your target keywords into important on-page elements like the page title, meta description, H1 tag, and content.
2. Visit online discussions related to your industry
Checking out forums can help you find the right keywords for your site. You might be surprised to find sub-topics that will lead you to identify the most appropriate keywords.
3. Expand your keyword search
Don’t limit yourself to a single keyword to describe what your site is about. Get inspiration from online sources and SEO expert websites to generate several keywords that your site may have the potential to succeed. In other words, you need to learn how to think outside the box.
4. Use long-tail keywords
We at Victorious SEO are advocates of long-tail keywords, because they can help drive more traffic towards your website as compared to short, generic keywords. However, this SEO strategy will only fly if you can come up with content relevant to the long-tail keywords.
How Can An Effective Keyword Strategy Benefit Businesses?
Keywords are the foundation every SEO campaign is based on. It’s absolutely critical that you establish and internally agree upon a core set of relevant, commercially viable phrases since they will drive all of the other optimization efforts including page titles, content, authority development, and the like.
I hope these tips can help you revive your otherwise plateauing SEO results. Feel free to tell us about your experiences in refreshing keyword strategies, so that we can guide you further.
So, you’ve come around to the idea of starting an SEO campaign for your company. Some companies say it’ll take some time until you see quality results, others tell you it only takes one month to boost your search rankings and website traffic. While both seem like nice, pleasant companies to have do SEO for you, one is not. One company is like the plague. That company is the one who said they could provide quality results from your new SEO campaign in one month. They can offer that short of a time frame because of the way they do SEO, however the techniques used are unethical and frowned-upon. These are known as black hat SEO techniques.
Coined from old western movies, “black hat” refers to the sketchy, downright scheming way of doing things, while “white hat” refers to well, the opposite. If old western films have taught us anything, it’s that “black hat” is bad. Which only confirms that black hat SEO techniques are as well.
It’s important to know the difference between black, gray, and white hat SEO, as well as the infamous black hat SEO techniques that can singlehandedly dismantle your company’s reputation, ban your site from search engines and negatively affect your company’s search rankings on the Internet.
Let’s take a look at black hat SEO, how it differs from white and gray hat SEO, and 5 black hat SEO techniques that you should avoid like the plague.
What are Black Hat SEO Techniques?
Black hat SEO is the sketchy, dishonest cousin of white hat SEO. Focused on practices used to increase page ranking in search engine results, these techniques operate by violating search engine terms of service. Black hat SEO techniques don’t benefit the user or the user’s experience with informative content, but only increase rankings for the site using the techniques like paying for a rank, duplicating content, and presenting information as something other than what it really is. Ultimately, black hat SEO takes away from the usefulness of services offered on the Internet and instead pushes undeserving sites to the top of search rank pages.
In simplest terms, black hat SEO is the bad way of doing SEO. Here’s a look into 5 techniques of doing black hat SEO:
The “cloaking” black hat SEO technique is just as mysterious as it sounds. Cloaking is when two versions of a page are created when only one should. One of the pages is created for users and the other is created for search engines. By redirecting visitors to a different IP address than search engines, the content on the presented page is altered depending on the audience it’s brought to. The content on a page tricks search engines to rank them for their targeted keywords while in reality, the content users are seeing doesn’t reflect those targeted keywords. Dishonesty with a capital “D”.
As simple as it sounds, duplicating content is plagiarizing another’s work instead of doing it yourself. Just like getting caught for it in grade school, it’s equally detrimental in the world of SEO. Search engines seek out unique content in their process of ranking, so duplicating content directly skews the that ranking for yourself, as well as the content’s owner that you’re copying from. Do your own work!
This black hat technique refers to the text and links of a page’s content that is invisible to the user while still visible to the search engine scanning the page. This allows black hat do-ers the ability to reap the benefits of having certain content on a page without having to actually present it to anyone to see. Search engines would continue to rank pages as if this content was actually on-page, providing an illegitimate ranking. Shame on you, black hat SEO.
Knowing that link building is pivotal in the world of SEO, black hat SEO introduces yet another infamous technique that improperly executes linking. In black hat SEO, links are paid for based on page ranking in order to obtain a higher search result standing. While white hat SEO focuses on providing, implementing, and embedding internal linking as well as other relevant site’s links in their content, black hat SEO focuses on not doing any of the work, yet reaping the benefits through paying for links.
Ranking well on search result pages relies heavily on a page’s keyword density. In hopes to increase a pages visibility and reach, black hat SEO techniques stuff content with keywords.
White hat SEO-appropriate keyword density falls around 2-3%, ensuring the user searching that keyword finds a relevant and quality article, resulting in positive user experience. With the black hat SEO technique of keyword stuffing, content is chalked full of the keyword, overloading and overflowing the user with worse quality content and a worse experience in the end.
Black Hat vs. Gray Hat
Black hat SEO and gray hat SEO are more similar than different. While it’s obvious how black hat SEO is illegal, gray hat SEO consists of questionable techniques that are technically legal at the moment, but are more than likely destined to be illegal in a matter of time. Gray hat are the techniques that aren’t yet illegal, yet still do not fall into the realm of white hat SEO. Some gray hat SEO techniques include irregular website design changes with no content changes and illegitimate or “made-up” users showing interest in your company’s website, social media platforms, and other online pages. While these won’t get you thrown out of the game quite yet, it’s better to focus on practicing legit SEO techniques to build a better foundation for your company’s future.
Black Hat vs. White Hat
Black and white hat SEO techniques are night and day when you get down to the nitty gritty. Black hat SEO focuses on scheming search engines and competitors to obtain better rankings and page visibility than deserved. White hat SEO focuses on techniques like site optimization, original, quality content, and link building for the betterment of SEO and users, not only for the benefits of themselves.
It’s important to implement solid groundwork when starting your SEO campaign with techniques that follow the white hat rules. At Victorious, we operate solely through white hat SEO techniques to boost SEO for our clients in an honest, transparent way. We see it as the only way to do SEO right.
In the great race to rank at the top of a Google search result page are a number of competitors and algorithmic nuances you must step, crawl, climb, and jump over. The competition is tough. With over 200 factors that delegate your ranking in the Google algorithm, there are many site specificities Google relies on to put your company in it’s place.
The battle to the top of the page is a daunting one, and a long one at that. However, we’ve become well acquainted with Google’s algorithm and ranking system. With some elbow grease, patience, and answers to the question, “how does Google rank websites?”, you can rest assured that you’ll climb the Google rank totem pole.
If you’re asking the loaded question, “how does Google rank websites?” then it’s time to fully dive into the world of search engine ranking.
How It All Works
In short, the results of Google’s algorithm and information gathered by search engine “spiders” create a ranking for a website. Then, these websites are displayed on search result pages in an order reflecting their rank. Being at the top of the page communicates an authority and “usefulness” of your site’s link in regards to a user’s search. The higher the rank, the more traffic to your site. The more traffic to your site, the higher the opportunity for generating leads and landing potential customers. As you can tell now, it’s pretty damn important.
The Algorithm and the Factors
While there are the handful of 200 factors that make up Google’s entire ranking algorithm, one very important factor is Google’s PageRank, the algorithm created by Google founders to rank websites in search queries. PageRank is a calculation that values websites based on the quality and quantity of links to a webpage, prescribing a rank number as a result.
When a site links your website on their page, Google sees that as an endorsement of authority and quality of your website, thus giving you a higher rank for that given search. The more established the site that links your website, the better. This allows for a more organic process of ranking a website, instead of being ranked through what we’d call black hat SEO techniques.
Site authority is one of the factors stuffed into the mighty 200+ factor algorithm. Moz developed a quantifiable metric for site authority called domain authority, which is a score given by Moz that predicts how well a site ranks on search engines. The higher the domain authority score, the better, as it displays an honorable gold star on your site from a respected authority. The score is given around the amount of authoritative sites that link back to your site, and vice versa. These links are called backlinks.
Backlinking, known as incoming or inbound links, are the links to your website from other sites on the Internet. As an indication of the popularity of a site, backlinking is yet another crucial factor in how Google ranks a website. The inbound links of your site continue to enhance the authority of your site to your competitors, your possible leads/clients, and Google’s rankings. Building backlinks can go a long way in your SEO campaign. Ensuring that links on your website aren’t broken and link to keyword and content relevant pages boosts domain authority which is key in the way Google ranks websites. Focusing your links and content around competitive and relevant keywords is vital in targeting users to find your site content and land them on your page.
At the core of SEO is keyword research and analytics. Keywords are fundamental components in landing high in Google rankings. Making sure that your keywords are relevant helps to connect users to your content. Here are a few necessary steps for keyword relevancy:
Identify topics to focus content on
Generating topics that potential leads might search for online is crucial in creating traffic to your website. Pick keywords from the broader topics brainstormed and mold your content with those keywords and keyword themes
Make a list of keywords to use
Next, outline a list of keywords you’re going to implement into your content wording and your content’s thematic focus. Be sure to integrate links with these keywords so they hold even more weight in the scheme of Google’s ranking.
Research related terms
Using keyword research tools, locate similar terms searched for your initial keywords. Creating keywords around these related terms helps to generate those users searching for slightly different keywords and keyword phrases.
Use head terms and long-tail keywords
Head terms, or shorter, more generic keywords and long-tail keywords, more specific, phrase-based keywords are both effective in your keyword relevancy. There’s notable effectiveness in attracting more traffic by keeping your content and site rich with keyword-specific and keyword-related terms.
Integrating these steps into your SEO campaign helps the visibility of your site and content through search terms and phrases, which in turn boosts the ranking of your website in Google’s search rankings. Your site will be deemed more authoritative and useful by Google’s algorithm, keeping your company’s climb up the search ranking scale steady and beneficial.
Last but certainly not least in the factors that help Google rankings for websites is a site’s on-page optimization. Simply put, on-page optimization are the aspects of SEO that are displayed “on the webpage”. While the intricacies of on-page optimization are detailed and lengthy, they serve as yet another way for Google to rank your website.
Some of these on-page optimization factors include:
-Fresh, high quality content. Ranging in appropriate word count, starting at a minimum of 500 words
-Target keyword search phrase integrated the appropriate amount in headline, title, sub-headline, and the content’s body
-Links to relevant authoritative sites, links back to your own site, and other coded link specificities
As the list goes on, these qualities of on-page optimization are utilized the best when done correctly and effectively. On-page optimization creates yet another avenue for your site to be noticed by Google and ranked accordingly to it’s quality of content and relevance in related searches.
How Does Google Rank Websites?
While Google’s ways of ranking websites is not always clear, and certainly never easy, there are many strategies and techniques inside the skeletal structure of a SEO campaign to climb that rank ladder. Keep your content relevant, continue to build your linking, integrate relevant keywords and phrases, and assert your site authority by doing so. Soon enough, you’ll be closer and closer to the top.
We’ll see you there.
It’s time to ramp up your business’ SEO, huh? At this stage, it’s important to keep the unique characteristics of your company in mind so you’ll know what services and tools you’ll need. When you’re getting started with your company’s revamp, you’ll want to decipher through numerous little SEO-related things to ensure you’re getting the cream of the crop and not wasting any time while doing so.
At the start of all SEO campaigns comes a time of keyword research and analysis. While there are definitely keyword analysis best practices, there are also a handful of keyword analysis tools out there to help you get started. Here’s a more in-depth look at five major keyword analysis tools to help your keyword research and analysis as effective as possible:
Need a Keyword Analysis Tool? Our Favorites:
Tool #1: SEMrush
SEMrush ensures keyword optimization through their keyword analysis tool. This tool works as a generator by expanding the keyword pool for your site, increasing the web presence opportunities for your site. SEMrush’s tool provides tested keywords that compete well against other competitors ranking high in Google, Yahoo, and Bing results. In addition, this tool supplies the user with useful metrics for keywords like CPC, volume, trend, the number of results and others like these.
Some of the “pros” of SEMrush is it’s speed, it’s familiarity with backlinking and site audits, it’s vast network of websites and keywords in it’s database, and it’s ability to see how competitors’ sites are doing. The main “con” found with SEMrush is it’s cost. But, sometimes you gotta pay to play!
Tool #2: Google Keyword Planner
Another top contender in the keyword analysis tool market is Google’s Keyword Planner. Google’s Keyword Planner helps you to discover keywords, compare the keyword trends, create a plan regarding the keywords you’ve acquired. This keyword tool allows the user to analyze past keyword popularity to better predict what could come in the field of keyword searches.
Some of the “pros” found in Google’s Keyword Planner is it’s backlog of past keyword trends, the ability to track content popularity based on location, and the fact that it is free. This allows you to do kick-ass profitable keyword analysis at no cost. On the other hand, a few “cons” tied to the Google Keyword Planner are the lack of data regarding keyword trends and the inability of knowing which device your target audience is using more. This can leave some blind spots when determining upcoming keyword usage and the platform that people are viewing it on.
Tool #3: Moz Pro Keyword Explorer
Moz’ Keyword Explorer is one tool out of many that Moz offers for improved SEO. The Keyword Explorer provides multiple effective features like keyword suggestions, a wide variety of metrics, search engine result page (SERP) analysis on an easy-to-use interface. A grouping feature allows keyword suggestions to be grouped into broader folders for better organization. This interface allows the user to do almost everything they need in one location. Unlike other keyword research tools, the Keyword Explorer displays data using easily accessible metric graphics and datasheets to make analysis a little easier on the eyes.
Moz Pro’s Keyword Explorer “pros” include its keyword suggestion feature along with it’s detailed analytic features. A cleaner, simpler way of analyzing data is vital in the long run. A “con” with this tool is that it is part of a larger package that Moz offers, the Moz Pro package, so if a small budget is in the picture, it might be best to avoid this choice and utilize another great keyword research and analysis tool until funds permit.
Tool #4: Wordstream’s Keyword Tool
Created by SEO and PPC online advertising company, Wordstream, this keyword analysis tool was designed to be more accurate than Google’s Keyword Planner. By collecting keywords from a variety of categories like keyword phrases, long tail keywords, meta keywords, and others like these, this keyword tool provides over one billion keywords for your keyword research and analysis. The Wordstream Keyword Tool helps to target certain keyword niches, giving suggestions of what keywords word be best for you, and create a group for similar keyword campaigns.
The “pros” of this keyword tool are the accessible keyword analysis metrics, the keyword suggestion feature and the keyword frequency meter. A few “cons” are that it doesn’t supply other competitive keywords as well as the fact that after 30 free searches, you have to sign up for an alternate account. The inability to access keyword competition could put you at a disadvantage in the long run of keyword analysis.
Tool #5: Long Tail Pro
Last but not least, Long Tail Pro’s keyword analysis tool. Their system allows users to find profitable, targeted keywords and calculate their competitiveness relevant to keyword niche. Some of Long Tail Pro’s features include a proprietary keyword competitiveness score that determines the difficulty of ranking keywords in the top ten Google results. The metric system used in Long Tail Pro’s keyword analysis tool always the user to determine numerous key characteristics like domain strength, page strength, indexed URLs, number of links and many more. Long Tail Pro offers a proprietary algorithm that calculates a score of 0-100 for keyword competitiveness.
The “pros” for Long Tail Pro’s keyword analysis tool are in the intricate features. The in-depth results, metrics and proprietary algorithms that Long Tail Pro offers helps to set it apart from other keyword analysis tools. This tool gives users the ability to attack their keyword analysis with features that set them apart from other keyword analysis tools. After a free week long trial, Long Tail Pro offers a selection of pricing options targeted to boost your SEO.
While there are many effective keyword analysis tools on the market, it’s important to know that not every single one is fit for your company. Depending on your company’s competition, the size of that competition, the keywords of your market, and multiple other characteristics, it’s smart to navigate through each keyword analysis tool offered to find the one that will be the game changer for you, your company, and the way you do SEO.
Behind a solid amount of search results are the techniques and procedures executed to get there.
In the world of SEO, we categorize these techniques into three similar, yet vastly different sections: white hat SEO, gray hat SEO, and black hat SEO.
Enemies in the SEO world, these “hat” techniques all offer ways to improve search results whether it is done in compliance or out of compliance with search engine guidelines (we’ll get to that soon). When trying to revamp your company’s presence on the internet, it’s important to only adopt effective, smiled-upon techniques.
As we deconstruct white, gray, and black hat techniques, we’ll slowly but surely reveal why white hat SEO techniques are crucial in increasing search results.
To start, let’s jump into the unethical world of black hat SEO.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black hat SEO is the frowned-upon SEO strategy. It focuses on providing fast results through the use of high-risk and poorly executed techniques that don’t comply with search engine guidelines.
Black hat SEO is often seen as a strategy directed solely towards search engines and not the human audience, unlike white hat SEO techniques. Often fueled by impatience and financial greed, black hat SEO helps sites rank inorganically through techniques like link farms, keyword stuffing, and cloaking, each of which you should avoid:
A link farm is a group of links that directly link themselves to each other. This spams search engine indexes by rigging the organic ranking process. Most link farms are generated by automatic programs and services, further skewing the organic ranking process. Don’t ruin the organic rankings for everyone, link farmers.
Keyword stuffing is the optimization technique of cramming keywords into meta tags/descriptions and site content. It’s the classic “the teacher isn’t looking” cheating technique. However in this case, the teacher actually has eyes in the back of their head. Search engines rid their ranking process of meta tags that have been keyword stuffed, hurting other meta tag users from their chances at organic ranking. Shame on you, keyword stuffers.
Cloaking; it’s exactly what it sounds like. Cloaking refers to the unethical optimization technique of presenting content to search engine spiders as something different than it actually is. “Cloakers” will present content to search engines one way, then present it differently to visitors on a webpage by directing them to a different IP address. In our opinion, not okay.
Since each of these techniques and others used in black hat SEO put websites at high risk of being deindexed by search engine sites, it’s probably (definitely) best practice to NOT use black hat SEO strategy.
What is White Hat SEO?
So, we started from the bottom (black hat SEO), now we here.
Simply put, white hat SEO is the process of obtaining high search engine ranking through techniques that comply with search engine guidelines. With little to no risk, white hat SEO is a long-term strategy that lays a solid foundation of SEO strategy to further build a company on. Over time, as more search queries are responded to with relevant and valuable content linked to a company’s website, the higher the company’s site with rank in search results. This process is a long-term strategy with notable, long-term benefits that ensure a company’s relevance for the long haul.
Within the white hat SEO strategy are a number of white hat techniques to implement into your company’s SEO strategy. These white hat SEO best practices are the go-to tools you need to implement into your business plan:
Effective keyword research is vital in white hat SEO strategy. Identifying what keywords are relevant to a website, making a list of those, and focusing content around those keywords is important in hopes of reaping what you sow. SEO campaigns are centered around keyword identification and analysis. Keywords are the portal between a Google searcher and your website.
To be as effective as possible in white hat SEO, use keyword research tools like the Google Keyword Planner or the Wordstream Keyword Tool. Tools like these help give insight into what keywords a company should focus on to optimize their white hat SEO campaign.
The first order of business in site optimization is performing an audit of your site. Our battle audit tool helps to uncover weak spots in three key areas:
Content Issues – To better optimize a website for search engine rankings, it’s important to format web pages with quality and relevant content that isn’t too short or too long. Rid your site of spam content to keep it easy for search engine spiders and site visitors to navigate through.
Technical Issues – Ensuring that your site loads quickly and properly depending on the format (laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.) is key to keep visitors around.
Optimization Issues – Making sure that content titles and meta descriptions are of correct character length is important in complying with search engine rules. Meta descriptions should be 155-165 words long while titles should be 55-65 words long.
Implementing a solid back linking structure in your site is a game-changer. Keeping broken links off your site and choosing only relevant and valuable links boosts any sites SEO. Having diverse and strong backlinks helps establish your site as an authority, keeping the competition on their toes as your SEO boosts. Try using Ahrefs tool to see a site’s backlinks and other useful SEO metrics.
Let’s Review White Hat SEO Techniques
In the colorful world of SEO, it’s important to know the difference between black hat SEO, white hat SEO, and the different techniques that both use to achieve similar goals. However, black hat techniques drive your company into the ground, while white hat techniques guide your company one way: UP.
Steer clear of the shady ways of black hat SEO, white hat SEO is the way to go!