There are several things that websites can do now to make sure their indexed page ranking is higher than their competitors. Original content is at the crux of it, but there is more than just content that affects how high your website will be ranked in search engine indices.
Why is it necessary to rank higher on a search engine index? Well, simply put, your website will become invisible if it is consistently ranked low. Eventually, the web crawlers that search engines use to index your website will stop visiting your website, and it will stop being shown in search results. Although that is what happens eventually, there are several ways you can prevent it from happening if you prepare for it in advance.
Below are listed five efficient ways to make sure you attract the most traffic in your domain. Before we get to that though, let’s quickly understand the different aspects that are involved in your website’s existence on the internet.
Web Crawlers: These are tiny programs that any search engine employs to find websites and webpages along with cataloguing all the information present on these pages. Web crawlers are the reason you can get any search results at all on Google and other search engines.
Indexing: This is the next step of the process and is concerned with keeping a freshly updated record of everything that is on the internet. The Google index has collected over a trillion webpages since it started crawling the internet for websites and pages.
Page Ranking: Once your website or page has been indexed in the Google index or any other search engines, it will then be ranked according to its relevance. The relevance is decided by which domain your content falls under and how informative and engaging it is compared to your competitors. The highest ranked websites and pages are shown first when someone searches for a term related to your content.
And now, quick ways you can optimize your content to make it rank higher in search engine indices:
1) Keyword Research
This is the first and most common tip that you will see online if you try to find ways of ranking higher. But it is not as simple as most sources claim it is. Keywords are the actual search terms that your target audience will use and are the bridges that will lead them to your content. But, to get them there the search engines must think that you have used the keywords in such a way that it is very informative, easy to understand, and not repetitive.
Keyword stuffing is a big No-No! Do not overuse the same keywords over and over again in your page. Search engines are very clever and over time have figured out how to tell when you are stuffing your content with keywords, because it means targeting a bigger audience. Search engines trust pages which incorporate keywords naturally in their content over ones that are using keywords unnecessarily. So, make sure you use your keywords efficiently and in the flow of your content. Don’t force any keywords into the content that do not make sense as a whole.
Also, research themes as well, as they give you a large pool of secondary and long-tail keywords to choose from that supplement your focus keywords. For example, if you were looking for keywords related to a specific type of shoe, you might also look for keywords related to foot fashion, footwear in general, types of shoes, problems with shoes, etc.
2) Refresh Content Regularly
Your website’s content needs to be updated regularly for the search engine crawlers to keep visiting your website frequently. The more times your website or page is indexed, the more of a chance of it moving up the page rank ladder. The reason for that is that most websites and webpages fail to be updated by their creators, and over time, crawlers stop crawling them. A failure to update regularly pushes them down the ranks and eventually, they do not show up on any search results. So, make sure you are uploading new content to your website frequently!
3) Originality of Content
In the world of SEO, the originality of your content is the ultimate deciding factor. The better your content, the higher your chances of showing up on the first page of search results. The best content is usually in the first 3 or four search results. Face it, even when you search for something on Google or any other search engine, you mostly always end up using the first three options. That is because Google ranks those pages as having the most useful content relating to your search query!
Whatever your domain might be, if you do not produce completely original and informative content, along with keywords incorporated naturally, your ranking will suffer! And, so will your web traffic, which is bad for any business. If no one comes to your shop, who are you going to sell to?
Backlinks are the way for other websites and webpages to direct traffic to your page. For example, if your webpage’s link is shared on some other website as a reference, all the traffic coming to your page will be recorded as having came through that backlink. The more times your webpage is linked to in other websites, the higher its ranking is. Search engines consider pages with more backlinks as being authoritative in providing information about their respective domains. The New York Times website is a very high ranked news website, as it is linked back to by several other news sources online, making it the authority when it comes to news. Another thing that helps is to have a significantly higher number of backlinks compared to outlinks. Outlinks are links you have on your webpage that link to other pages related to your content. The algorithm search engines use to rank pages based on links, depicts an inverse proportionality between outlinks and higher page rank.
To summarize, if your content is so good that it gets referred to on other websites and pages, then your page will be ranked higher as it will be considered an authoritative page for information regarding your domain.
5) Loading Time
Webpages that have a low loading time will obviously be preferred by internet users as opposed to ones that take a long time to completely load. Search engines keep a track of how long it takes for your webpage to load and having a longer loading time is a sure way to fall in ranking. To make sure your website loading time is low, use small size images and optimize your content in such a way that the individual files have a small size in terms of kilobytes. There are tools you can use to compress the size of your files, which can be highly effective when trying to reduce load time.
Statistically speaking, a 1 second delay in loading time leads to 7% less conversion, and a reduction of 11% in your overall traffic (Survey conducted by Aberdeen Group). Those are big numbers, especially from a single second of delay. The fastest load time will always trump the slower webpage when it comes to satisfying your visitors.
What Have You Learned
So far, you have learned how to look for good keywords, and what to avoid when incorporating them in to your content. You have learned the importance of original content which is refreshed regularly. You have also learned the value of links sending traffic to your content and the importance of a short loading time for your website/page.
These five tips are only the beginning of the things you can do to improve your page ranking, but they are also the most important ones. As long as your content is absolutely original, with no plagiarism, has good keywords incorporated into it, is updated regularly, has more backlinks than outlinks, and has a low loading time, you will undoubtedly be one of the top webpages shown on Google. Being among the first three search results when your target demographic looks up keywords related to your content is paramount. Most people will ignore your website/page if it is not on the first page of search results.
The page rank that your website/page has in a search engine’s index is what ultimately decides whether your content will be read by your target audience or not. These few changes will go a long way in making sure the traffic keeps coming, and that you have a higher SEO ranking, till you are the authority in your domain!