Getting to the top of Google’s organic search rankings is harder than ever before because Google has added so many features, like news snippets, video carousels, and paid advertising, that cut down on the number of websites that can appear on its first page.
However, with perseverance, you can succeed in gaining the coveted number one position and garnering over 33 percent of all click-through traffic for a given keyword. Here are some tips that will help you succeed in gaining a first-place listing on Google.
Start with a Sound Foundation
Simple site navigation is essential for getting a website to rank in Google’s number one spot. Put your navigation in the same place on every page unless you have an extremely important reason for why it needs to be moved. Divide your content into well-thought-out categories.
If those categories become too large, then add subcategories so that no page becomes so buried that it is difficult to reach. Your navigation titles should give Google and your viewers a general idea of what is located there. If you use images, then make sure that you have labeled them correctly so that a computer can read what is located there even if the picture is unclear.
Use Schema markup where possible to further tell Google what they will find at each location. Install a search function and ensure that it is highly functional.
Fix Technical Errors
Open your Google Analytics and look at your error report from the last time that your site was crawled. Immediately correct any errors that Google found. One common error is a 404 that shows broken links or problems with your site’s architecture.
Another common problem is 408, where your system times out the request before it can be fulfilled. This may indicate that you need a new host server if it is repeatedly happening. After you have fixed all the errors, submit a Google Reconsideration Request so that your website will be crawled again sooner.
Optimize for Speed
With approximately 50 percent of all searches now being done on mobile devices, almost all sites ranking highly on Google are fast-loading, responsive sites. Large image files take longer to load, so consider having those load after your main website has loaded.
While CSS scripts generally load faster than HTML, you still should be watching the number of declarations and operators that you incorporate. A site with simple coding will load faster. Use only those plugins that add value to the website. Optimize your database by eliminating spam, post revisions, and other trash.
Gather and Comment on Reviews
Just like you wouldn’t want to send your friends to a bad business, Google doesn’t want to do that, either. Therefore, it is hard to get to number one without having great reviews. While Google keeps their exact algorithm a highly guarded secret, there is strong evidence to show that reviews impact local SEO and business reputation.
Make it easy for your customers to leave reviews on many different sites across the web, including Google Reviews. Claim your reviews and respond to all of them as it will build trust and put a voice behind the company.
While it may be tempting to hit back with words when someone leaves a bad review, always make sure that you respond in a professional manner. If necessary, encourage the person to contact you through Messenger, a phone call, or an email.
Be Consistently Great
According to a study done by Ahrefs, the average age of a page that ranked first in search results was three years old. Most websites appearing on the first page were older than two years.
While that may be a long time to wait and hope, the study suggests that once you get your first highly ranked keyword, it is much easier to get keywords to rank high in the future.
Using these ideas and your own ingenuity will help you achieve the number-one position that you covet. Keep trying to build a better site consistently, and your site will soon place higher. Do not wait to get another review from Google, but continually make small changes in your website to stay ahead of the game.
Are you developing your business to be SEO-friendly? Be sure to consult with our team at Green Street Technology Solutions. We offer complete digital marketing services that will place you far ahead of your competition. Contact us today to get started.