Getting on the Top of Search Engine Rankings is getting tougher Day by Day, especially ever since Google came up with Panda update.
A research study recently revealed that for a given niche website a single site in 100,000 , makes it to the first page of Google.
Before we discuss the SEO secrets, if you are beginner then you can try SEO for dummies refresher blog.
What it means to be on the First Page?
Most people don’t realize that getting listed on the first page of Google means more than anything else.
Research Study Source: Moz.com
Just look at those numbers. You will see that the average organic clicks for the first position is around 40% in 2006. That means more than around 40% click on your site link if you are ranked 1. Similarly 6% for the 4rth Rank and around 3% Click Through Rate for the 10th position in 2006
Wow, that’s pretty good research !! But that was in 2006.
It was very easy to rank a website in 2006. Just create a page with some content and few back-links (you could even buy few) and hey, you are ranked.
But over the years, this has changed and today it only makes sense if you are in Top-5 since the CTR (Click through Rate) for rankings above for pages with ranks more than 5 is tending zero.
So, it makes more sense that you apply the right SEO and content marketing strategy.So are the right parameters, that decide your SEO strategy? Social presence on Facebook or Twitter?
The answer is not very straightforward,but yes it does some sense to spare a minute understanding what Google wants us to do and what they are doing with their algorithms.
Google algorithms have come a long way since late 2010 to provide users with a better search results experience.
Google launched Panda update in February 2011. The main purpose was to filter out low quality,poor content and high advertising sites in search results. Google has released more than 24 updates till March 2013 for Google Panda.
Google released Penguin update in April 2012. The main aim of the update was to lower the rankings of website which violate the Google Webmaster Guidelines.
The common purpose of introducing these updates was to
- Penalize duplicate content
- Penalize Over Optimized pages.
- Bring high Quality and content sites on higher rankings.
- Disavow Links Tool, to avoid site being penalized for paid links.
So the whole idea is to focus on high and quality content websites, once again emphasizing the string “Content is King“.
Moreover the way results were displayed 10 years back and now have changed a lot. If you search for a timer, you would see a timer watch on your screen right away.
Similarly if you type , What is SEO, you will see a YouTube video in the search results.
So the results today are in the form of
- App based results like the Timer as shown above.
- Twitter and Facebook pages which are very popular.
- Local search results, if you looking for person,place or thing.
- Snippets of site that you could potentially visit.
- Certain search results yield image results.
Many blogs had their ranking changed due to these dynamic algorithmic updates. But there were quite a few who could still maintain the top slots.
The big question is,How was this possible? The only reason they survived was they followed below SEO secrets which aren’t secret anymore.
SEO Secrets You Must Know
1. Optimize Compelling Content
Yes. Not just content, you will need to have a Compelling or a WOW content that adds value to readers. I recommend you run through below checklist for your content.
- Well written
- Should speak what your readers are looking for , not what you think they should be looking for.
- Do some good research about your product or service and Keyword around that, which readers are looking for. Make sure that your blog is about that Keyword if you want to be on the top slot.
- Content should be long enough,but make sure its not boring.Try to present it in the form of story. Check my blog which is over 5500 words on how to start a blog.
2. Basic Site Architecture still holds the Key
The basic site architecture still holds the key, what the people might say. You must get below 4 correct for every page you write.
- Your Page Title must contain the Keywords.
- Your META description must be around Keywords so that it is displayed in Google search results. Google may or may not display META description and choose a snippet from your content instead.
- URL’s still play a big role and exact keyword match still holds the key. Make sure it does not contain special characters and is not clumsy, with keywords.
- Make sure you have a robots.txt and sitemap.xml. A sitemap page help users find content on your site and will improve your ranking if user experience is good as well.
3. Social Backlinks
If you ever did SEO before you know that it was all about backlinks. People bought backlinks to rank their sites higher in Google. But the whole story changed after Panda and Penguin updates.
Now if any of pages gets 5000 likes, then its going be indexed by Google because “Google loves what other love” and hence will have higher rankings.
So how do you get to build these backlinks?
- Create your profile on Facebook & Twitter. You can check mine.
- Request your readers to share your stuff on social sites if they like your content.
- Socialize and like other’s stuff so that you can become a part of larger community.
Bounce Rate is an indicator that shows the number of visitor that leave your blog without visiting any other pages on your site.
e.g a visitor landed on my page and then closed the pages without visiting any other page on my website , then the bounce rate is 100%.
If your website has a bounce rate of 50% of less, then that is extremely good rate.
So how do you lower your Rate?
Make sure your site is attractive. Check out some cool themes which gives a fresh look to your site.
I run my site on Genesis Themes, it helps me keep my bounce rate low.
Don”t share all at once
Yes, that’s how I build my mailing list and audience. I leave a little bit of suspense and try people to subscribe to my newsletter to get the inside scoop.
I can talk about SEO secrets endlessly, but I think SEO is more of a long term strategy and suggest you subscribe to my newsletter where i keep sending updates about SEO.
- Secrets of SEO Long term strategy.Slow and steady wins the Race.
- How to do Right Keyword Research. Much more on this.
- Does More Pages makes a difference in your ranking.
- What role does tags play ?
- How about technical issues?
- Words in a larger or bolder font are weighted higher than other words. Really ?
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Share Your SEO Story
So how is your blog performing after these Google updates. What are some of the best SEO practices you adopt to rank your site and get social back-links.
Do share your feedback and don’t forget to Tweet and like the content on social sites. After all that the new back-link story.