The Dos and Don’ts of Ranking Your Website First in Google
It’s no secret that ranking on the first page of Google is difficult, but there are ways to do so—and ways not to do so. By following these do’s and don’ts, you’ll ensure that your website ranks as number one in search results and secures your web traffic in the future.
Do: Keyword Research
There’s a reason keyword research comes first—it is a vital, unavoidable step. The point isn’t just to find any set of keywords to target; you want your site to rank for terms that people are actively searching for. Do thorough keyword research before putting pen to paper on anything else. There are several free tools available online such as Twitter character counter.
Do: Know What You Need
The first step to ranking your website is understanding what exactly you want it to do—and why. If you want traffic, are you okay with that traffic only coming from search? Or would you prefer a mix of natural search, social media, paid advertising, etc.? Once you know what your goals are, reach out to an SEO consultant who specializes in that area.
Do: Understand Who is Going to Buy
The first step to creating a valuable website is to understand your buyer. If you don’t understand who you are marketing to, it’ll be very difficult for your site to convert visitors into customers. Make sure you thoroughly research your target market: What does your buyer want? How can you provide them with what they need? Who else offers a solution that may appeal to them? By going through these steps, you will have identified what sets your product apart from others and given yourself an advantage over competitors.
Do: Start Writing Posts for Search Engines
Before you can rank your site first, you need to get your website indexed by search engines. Simply put, if search engines can’t see your website, it won’t matter how awesome your content is. Every page on your website must have a unique title tag.
Do: Write as Much as Possible About your Topic
Write as much as possible on your website about your topic, says Backlinko’s Brian Dean. It’s no longer a good strategy to try to ‘game’ search engines by stuffing a bunch of keywords onto a page. Instead, you should focus on creating useful content that answers people’s questions and provides them with helpful information. There is no doubt that having an abundance of content (at least 500-1,000 words per page) is one of the best things you can do for your SEO, he adds. Not only does it help you rank better for more keywords but it also makes visitors trust you more.
Do: Use Relevant Keywords Everywhere
There are times when you should use your most relevant keyword on a page, and there are times when it’s better to not use that keyword. When it comes to ranking highly in search engines, there is a fine balance between over-optimization (which can actually hinder your rankings) and under-optimization (which would give you few or no clicks). Do your best to ensure that keywords are used only where they make sense, whether that means using them as primary tags, secondary tags, subheadings or content.
Do: Optimize All Images on Your Page
If your page includes a number of images, you may want to consider including an image optimization plugin. These plugins allow you to optimize all images on a page for faster load times and easier indexing by search engines. If your website uses WordPress, there are plenty of plugins that can help you do just that.
Don’t Over-Optimize Pages with Words From Other Languages than English
In some foreign countries, specific words have their own individual meanings. For instance, scissors are a tool used for cutting paper or fabric in American English but are a weapon used to threaten someone with violence in British English. If you were using scissors as one of your keywords, it might be confusing if someone from outside America was searching for that term.
Don’t Forget About Mobile Devices
Mobile devices (especially smartphones) are now responsible for more than half of all web page views. If you have a website, it must be mobile-friendly to rank well on search engines. To check, go to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, enter your website URL and click on Run Tests. The tool will tell you whether your site is friendly or not; if it isn’t, follow these tips to fix it.