When it comes to digital marketing, being able to dominate SEO is a crucial step in the path to glory. It’s an indispensable tool for success and your odds of attracting customers, and riches, are low if you’re not doing your damnedest to stay at the top of search engine result pages (or SERPs). When we say indispensable, it is not hyperbole. If you are not making the effort to place high in search engine results, no one is seeing your business and the Internet marketplace is completely lost to you. Worse yet, OTHER businesses are receiving all the visibility you so richly deserve (and you really do deserve it.) So then, what do you have to do to start ranking high? Trust.
Google is the behemoth it is today because the results it pulls are trusted to be quality. You want to rank high, then you must be just that: quality. Attempting to game your way to the first SERPS won’t mean anything when users aren’t sticking around, arriving on your page to find a jumble of keywords and no useful content. They will quickly click away and find another site better suited to their needs. That, in turn, plummets your rankings.
Earning Google’s Trust
Trust is rarely given freely—it must be earned. With SEO, that means Google’s trust specifically. To develop that trust, you need to understand and master 3 pieces of the puzzle. A puzzle with 3 pieces shouldn’t be hard, so long as you have all three handy!
- Index Age
- Regardless of how slick your site looks, Google cares about age first and foremost. That means the first time Google’s crawlers track your site it enters their awareness, it becomes ‘indexed.’ Now Google knows your site exists and can be a home for the information people are searching for. In this case, it is better to be finished than perfect. Get your site up, get it indexing.
- Authority is built by links. Links from all across the web, specifically from quality content pages themselves. If your site is being linked to from other high ranking or quality sites, Forbes, CNN and the like, this increases your reputation. Google trusts that rep.
- The importance of content cannot be overstated. Thin, poorly written, copied or duplicated, error-rife content will drag you down. Quality, keyword focused content that keeps readers engage will garner Google’s respect.
With that in mind here are our Laws of SEO to start ranking high on SERPs.
Content is KEY
Content is the single greatest determining factor for placements. Thin or otherwise poor content, even if it is released daily, or weekly, won’t do your site any favors. Google’s goals are to push for better quality, not just in the Google search engine itself but across the web. If your site isn’t meeting the rules and factors they use to determine quality, your site is going nowhere. Put in the time, the work and make quality relevant content. Quality content is what earns shares, links, and that top spot in the search results. What makes quality? Length and keywords.
Studies done on Google’s rankings have revealed that the top spots were all taken by pages with over 2,000 words of content. Not 2,000 words of nonsense, of course, but quality, relevant, and focused writing that engages readers and kept them on the page. When finished, the content sends them off to visit other pages on the site or sharing the page with their like-minded friends and family. Relevant means keywords.
Keywords are a double-edged sword when it comes to SEO in 2017. You need to have them but in measured doses. If your page is trying to place for the keyword phrase “best exercise for building muscle” you will use that exact phrase because let’s not kid ourselves we are creating content for search engines, but you cannot mindlessly stuff your content with keywords or keyword phrases. Overuse will alert Google’s Penguin algorithm, and your rankings will be penalized accordingly.
Instead, you want to use similar language. Phrasing such as “top muscle building workouts” or “best workout for muscle building.” Google’s Hummingbird engine recognizes these similar phrasings, known as Latent Semantic Indexing keywords, and uses them to further identify relevant, quality results.
Links, Links, Links
In the quest to dominate SEO your content needs to be high-quality, but standing alone will only make things harder.
Links are integral to placing higher and higher on SERPs, and while the number of links is important, where those links are coming from is more important. Gaining support from other trusted, high-ranking sites bolsters your own placements. The more trusted the site, the more authority it gives yours. Getting sites like CNN or Forbes to link to your site is a massive push in the right direction (up!)
Keep the Trust
This is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistency is key in gaining and keeping those top search results. Don’t look for any quick schemes, Google is basically Skynet at this point – all knowing, all seeing. Keeping the trust means staying consistent in generating new quality content, and link building. Link building will happen over time, and so long as your site continues to produce worthwhile content, sites will point to your as an authority. Skynet- I mean Google stays appeased.
Past that, the nuts and bolts of solid SEO are things like accurate metadata, solid site architecture, and optimization. Making your site easier and faster for Google crawlers, to scan, identify, and index, as well as ease-of-use for visitors, can see you netting higher results page placements. In building your site optimally behind the scenes, it will pay dividends.
Take this information, internalize it, and put it to use to get your site those top SERPs, you deserve them.
Cody Eastlick is a Content Writer with the Helix House Team. He earned his Bachelor’s in English Literature from Arizona State University. When not at work, he is writing and drinking coffee at a much more humane pace. He also enjoys wrestling his dog Freya, training Jiu-Jitsu, eating pizza and drinking good beer. Not necessarily in that order.
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