Getting listed on Google's first result page is the goal of many webmasters. Unfortunately, many webmasters still do the wrong things to improve their rankings.
It's not possible to get top 10 rankings on Google by focusing on a single strategy. Getting listed on Google requires you to work on all elements of your website. Here are the top 5 factors that influence the position of your website in Google's search results:
Ranking factor 1: website accessibility
It doesn't make sense to optimize your web pages if search engines cannot access your web pages:
- Your robots.txt file should allow search engines to visit your web pages. If your robots.txt file contains errors then many search engines won't list your website.
- The HTML code of your web pages should be error-free and your web server should return the correct response code. The contents of your web pages should be readable to search engine spiders. Details can be found here.
Before you start to optimize your web pages, check if search engines can read your web page content. You can do this with IBP's spider simulator. Double-check your robots.txt.
Ranking factor 2: site architecture
Google wants to show relevant websites in the search results. Your website shouldn't be a collection of random web pages. If you want to get top 10 rankings on Google, the pages of your website should be related.
Your web pages should show Google that your website is relevant to a certain topic. All pages of your website should be linked. If possible, web surfers should reach any page of your website with a maximum of three clicks.
The links and the directory structure of your website should make it easy to search engines to categorize the contents of your website.
Ranking factor 3: keywords
Choosing the right keywords is one of the most important steps. If you choose the wrong keywords, you won't succeed with your campaign.
- Optimize different pages of your website for different keyphrases. The more pages of your website you optimize, the better.
- Start with very targeted keyphrases that consists of many words, for example "find inexpensive hotels in brussels".
- When you have top rankings for these targeted keyphrases, proceed with more general keywords such as "hotels in brussels".
- When you have top rankings for these keyphrases, you can proceed with very general keywords such as "hotels".
In general, targeted keywords have a much higher conversion rate than general keywords, i.e. you will get more sales per visitor with "find inexpensive hotels in brussels" than with "hotels".
Also think about the type of visitor that you attract with a keyword. Are these people interested in information or do they want to buy?
Use IBP's comprehensive keyword tools to find the keywords that will work best with your site. You can find further information on how to find the correct keyword type in the IBP manual (PDF).
Ranking factor 4: content
Your website won't get high rankings on Google if it only offers articles and affiliate links that can be found on dozens of other websites.
Separate your website from the rest by creating unique and trustworthy content. Write your own articles about the topic of your website, publish them on your own website and make your website a useful resource.
Ranking factor 5: links from other websites
It is not possible to get high rankings on Google without having links from other websites.
The more links point to your website, the more likely it is that your website gets good positions in Google's search results. The links to your website should be from trusted websites.
If a web page that links to you is related to your own website then the effect of that link on the search engine rankings of your website is higher than the effect of an unrelated link.
It also helps if social bookmark websites link to your website. If many people bookmark your website on social bookmark sites, then this is a sign that your website might deserve high rankings.
A small error in one element can destroy your effects in all other ranking elements. For that reason, it is important to use the right strategy when optimizing your website.
Detailed step-by-step instructions and checklists can be found in our free search engine optimization eBook.
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