So exactly how to rank on the first page of google step by step if you’re newer to SEO or still struggling to get those high search engine rankings having a checklist to follow can help you in several ways. First, it helps you see the bigger picture and the steps you’re going to need to optimize a website for those top search engine rankings properly. It helps you track the elements that you’ve done and the tasks you still need to complete.
Sometimes these are the things that can mean the difference between a first-page ranking or a second-page ranking, and let’s be honest; a second-page ranking is about as useless as a 10th-page ranking because nobody’s going to the second page. I’m going to go through a lot of the most important points here in this article. Looking For SEO Consultants in Chicago?
So let’s get started with the foundation. The very first thing you want to do anytime you’re thinking about ranking a website, whether it’s a new property or even an existing web property, is properly setting up and integrating google analytics at its core
Essentially what google analytics allows you to do is to track the analytics, the metrics, the data to see what kind of people and where they’re visiting from and what kind of interaction and behavior and all sorts of engagements people are taking with your website.
The more information you have about how people are finding your website as well as what actions they’re taking on your website well, the better you’re going to be able to design an SEO strategy to make sure that you’re optimizing the parts that need optimizing and leveraging the parts that are already working in your favor.
Google Search Console
Take advantage of google analytics older brother, which is the google search console. Essentially just because you build a website well, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Google is going to find it or find it in the right way or index it in the right way.
This is where google search console comes in handy but aside from just telling google that you have a website and you’d like for them to rank it also gives you some other valuable metrics like your website load speed as well as how it’s looking on mobile.
WordPress, probably the most common and most popular one, is known as Yoast SEO. Having a tool like this allows you to make fast and easy, relatively simple changes to your overall website structure and content and all sorts of different variables that will impact your page ranking.
You need to understand optimizing your website for user experience because the vast majority of traffic in most cases will come from mobile devices, which means your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices.
Now the average is around 60% of all traffic is mobile. Still, fortunately, you’ve got google analytics set up so you can see exactly what percentage is coming from desktop or mobile or other things; this is an incredibly important step to higher search engine rankings that really can’t be overlooked.
When I say optimize your website for mobile, I mean prioritizing mobile, ensuring that the user experience on a mobile device is equal or even better than that on a desktop.
Website Load Speed
If your website loads faster, if people don’t have to wait for even a second well, you’re going to rank higher in fact, even a one-second delay in your website load time well can result in a loss of seven percent of website conversions and that adds up over time.
The next thing you want to do is make sure that you keep your URLs or essentially the address of your website and the pages on it as short and as clear as possible.
One of your website performance’s biggest factors comes down to your web host or the company you’re using to host your website to store the content and make it accessible by your audience now; the big players in the game are Bluehost, GoDaddy, and Hostgator.
Resizing Massive Image Files
Website performance also improves your page load speed has to do with resizing massive image files here’s the deal with most people looking at your website from a mobile device even if they’re looking at it on a desktop
You probably don’t need massive image files, and you do yourself a lot of advantage by simply downsizing downsampling and making the image file a whole lot smaller.
If you haven’t already, make sure to switch it over to HTTPS. This is essentially making your website more secure, and search engines love a fast and secure website. Https is so important that if two websites are ranked neck and neck with similar domain authority, similar page ranking and speeds, and all of that but one of them has HTTPS and the other just HTTP well, the “S” is going to win.
Make sure you’ve got a site map and that you’ve created this sitemap and then uploaded it to the google search console.
A sitemap essentially provides more data to the search engines about your site about its layout and its content, which allows the search engines to crawl your website more accurately.
Create a Robots.txt File
Making sure that you’re getting all the credit that you deserve, another thing you want to create is a robot file, and what a robot file does is allows you to tell the search engines which pages to crawl and which ones to ignore.
This is important because you want to make sure that you’re prioritizing those high-value content-loaded pages and possibly ignoring the ones that are not really that important or that you don’t even want to rank.
SEO or marketing in general content is so incredibly important that I can’t even begin to describe it. However, I will try to see if you think about it for a second. What google has to use to determine what website is better than another website to rank it higher. Of course, it has things like off-page factors and links, which we’ll talk about in just a minute.
Still, the main way is by the content that’s on the website itself what are the topics what are the subjects what are the keywords that are embedded throughout the website you see it’s google’s goal to provide its searcher with the most relevant and accurate and up-to-date information possible which is why it’s important to have useful and relevant and accurate content on your website and lots of it.
When it comes to ranking it for the search engines, the first thing you want to do before planning or even thinking about creating content does some pretty in-depth keyword research. This means finding out what keywords your market is using, what keywords they’re searching for, and what keywords you want your website to rank.
Create long-form content around these keywords here’s the deal like I’ve already said google wants content. They want lots of content, which means that it’s not enough to throw up a flimsy half-written page with a couple of hundred words.
Especially when you could go a whole lot deeper and build out a solid piece of valuable and helpful content what this means is no more 200-word blog posts rather you should be aiming for around 800 words to 1500 words maybe 2,000 maybe even 3,000.
I appreciate that sounds like a whole lot. Still, you can take the less is more approach here by really focusing on the quality of the content rather than just trying to fill up your website with as much random content as possible once you’ve got your keyword decided. You’ve started building out the long-form content you want to create, what brian Dean calls Skyscraper content or what Moz calls 10x content.
Essentially, you aim to create the single best piece of content for this topic on the internet. That is also a huge and lofty goal, which is why it’s invaluable and important to go after longer tail and slightly more specific keywords rather than trying to rank for these massive competitive keywords right off the bat, but if you can take this piece of content and inject videos and quotes and infographics and lots of links and all sorts of things to beef it up.
This first piece of advice applies both to google as well as to youtube which no secret that Google owns Youtube and their search engines work in a very similar way well that advice is to focus your SEO on people not for search engines themselves sounds counter-intuitive right after all we’re talking about SEO right here we’re going over all kinds of technical stuff.
Still, you’ve got to keep that in balance with making sure that your content doesn’t end up looking fake or keyword stuff or designed just for the robots and not for the people that need to use it.
You see user signals that google receives from the searchers, and your website’s users are powerful drivers, which means if you get somebody to click on your first-page ranking. Still, then they immediately hit the back button, and bounce your rankings are going to tank very quickly.
Another important on-page ranking factor has to do with including the relevant keyword for the word you’re trying to rank in the URL in the title and in the body copy itself.
Yes, Google is smart, and it can use latent semantic indexing LSI again, kind of nerdy talk for finding synonyms and things that look like your keyword but aren’t exactly your keyword.
Still, you don’t want to rely on that you want to give the search engines exactly what they want: the keyword and variations of the keyword you’re trying to rank for.
Make sure that your content is properly formatted so that it looks good and that it reads well this means breaking up long clumps of text with h1 headings and h2 headings and h3 headings, which unsurprisingly will also help with your search engine rankings and allow you to put in different variations and different versions of your keywords.
The very first thing you need to think about when it comes to off-page SEO is making sure that you’ve got a thorough and strategic link building plan in place gone are the days long gone are the days where you could throw thousands and thousands of spammy links at your website and assume it to rank now doing that will have the exact opposite approach it’ll hurt your rankings.
It may damage your website permanently. This is why your purpose should be to acquire high-quality and relevant backlinks from other high-quality, relevant sources to your website. These signals provide clues and provide cues to the search engines themselves that your website is valuable and worth linking to, so they should probably rank it. Fortunately, some of these things are relatively simple.
Foundational links are links from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and youtube and high authority directories like yelp and yellow pages. The better business bureau could also be from very niche-specific directories relevant only to you in your industry.
Guest posting is still very much alive and well today where what you’re going to do is you’re going to create content for another person’s website they, in turn, are going to rank back to your website, which will help with your authority and your link building efforts.