How to get your Website on the First Page of Google Search?-Part One
Structure of the Website-Silo Links
Title and Description Tags
URL and Links Optimization
In my earlier post I had highlighted to importance of getting your website listed on the first page of Google search in the organic listings.
As promised , I am going to discuss the 10 SEO techniques that I have used on my websites and on my clients’ websites ,which has resulted in 95% of the websites or key web pages of the websites getting listed on the first page of Google search in the SEO listings.
In this post I have discussed 5 of these techniques.
The rest will be discussed in my next blog post to follow soon!
Structure of the Website-Silo Links
The structure of your website plays a very important part in the success of the SEO of your website.
Conveniently your website design and development should be done with the consultation of a SEO expert, but most of the times your or your client’s website is fully operational when the SEO expert is approached.
The first thing that a SEO expert will give you is the list of keywords that are important for your website. These are the search queries that are most commonly used to find your business online.
Once the keyword list is finalized then the SEO work will start based on the keyword list.
The product or category pages are the most important pages to optimize, especially if you have an e-commerce website.
These are the pages that will be featured in the search results as per the search query, not your home page!
Imagine you are searching for best laptop deals online, when you type that search query, the listings are of the category pages of the websites, not the home page.
Furthermore, if you search for specific laptops, for instance, “best deals online for Dell laptops”, then in the search engine listings you will find listings of the pages of websites that feature Dell laptops, not listings of the product/ category page on laptops.
A business that is selling laptops online, will have specific pages created for those specific keywords, thus increasing the relevancy of the pages as per keywords, and we all know that Google will try to display only the most relevant pages in the listings, especially on the first page of Search Engine Result Pages.
Firstly create a main category page on laptops.
Second the main laptop category page would contain links to the other pages that should be created, for instance, laptop category pages as per each major laptop brand.
The user can do a general search on buying laptops online, which would take him to the laptop page, he can further narrow down his search by clicking the links to specific laptops.
Or when he can do a search for specific laptop, in this case he would be taken to the specific laptop page when he clicks the listing.
These are called SILO LINKS.
Advantages of Silo Links
- The biggest advantage is that each page is optimized only for a couple of important keywords. This increases the relevancy of the page thus having a better chance to be featured on the first page of search results.
- When certain pages get featured on the first page of search results, then they will have good traffic coming to those pages. A user normally goes through some other pages also, thus increasing the traffic to pages that are not listing on the first page of search results.
- Thus the pages which get high traffic will increase the link metrics of other pages and these pages’ page ranking in organic search results will also increase.
This is one of the most effective ways to increase your SEO rankings.
Always remember that Google wants to display websites on the first page of search results that are highly relevant and provides users some high quality original content.
So how does Google know that the users are finding your content relevant and enjoying your content?
By studying these important SEO parameters:
Bounce Rate: The bounce rate of a website is the metric which measures the percentage of users who almost immediately left the web page of your website they landed on without interacting in any way with your website.
Why do people “bounce off ” your web page?
Site Speed: A normal internet person is a very impatient. He wants to access information as fast as possible. If he has to wait for a long time for your website to load then there is a high probability that he will simply go somewhere else.
So make sure that your web page loads within 5 seconds.
When the internet user comes to your web page then he wants to very quickly see that he has come to the right page, the page that provides him the information that he is looking for.
So what you need to do is that your content needs a very clear header/title with 2-4 lines of information as to how it is going to be beneficial for him to read further.
Your header/title in the content should be in the “h1” tag size. Google only picks up content from titles that are in the “h1” size.
It is but obvious that your “h1” title should always contain your primary keywords.
Once you have passed the first hurdle of keeping your visitor engaged on your page for a few seconds then the next very important step is to try and keep the user on your website as long as possible.
The other important SEO parameter that Google and other search engines looks at is the “time spent on the website” by a user. This is also commonly known as “dwell time“.
By having a high average time spent on the website, Google will interpret that the user found the content on the website highly relevant and useful and this can give a tremendous boost to your SEO rankings.
So how do you keep your visitor engaged on your website as long as possible?
Besides having easy to read and easy to understand content(please do not try to show off your English vocabulary) one of the best ways to keep your visitors engaged is to have some short videos in your content.
If you can afford to make some professional videos that would be good, but even a simple video made with your inbuilt webcam is enough, do not forget, the visitor wants quality relevant useful content, quality of the video to a large extent does not matter.
Another important tip is not to directly upload your video to your web page, instead first upload your video to your YouTube channel and then embed the YouTube video on your web page. Since Google owns YouTube, he likes you to embed YouTube videos on your website and besides the fact that your videos on your YouTube channel will start collecting views, Google will give you a boost to your SEO rankings.
Do not forget that besides your content being relevant and interesting and providing value to the user, your content also needs to be original.
Google hates duplicate content, content that you simply copy from other sources on the internet and “paste” it on your web page.
Google has got some very sophisticated tools to measure the originality of your content so make sure that your content is original.
One other thing that Google watches out for is that how often you are updating/changing your content. Business information keeps changing and a business owner who makes sure that the content on his website is showing some new/updated content is a good signal to Google that he wants to do business on the internet and provide the visitors with the best content possible.
Title and Description Tags
These are the first pieces of information that Google spiders picks up when they crawl your web page.
The title and the description tag is displayed in your search results.
Title and the description tags form the foundation of your SEO work.
Besides this Google spiders picks up your primary keywords first from the title tag and indexes your web page accordingly.
The title and the description tags are very crucial to improve your SEO rankings, since both the Google spiders and users look at them very closely.
Title Tag Parameters
–length should be approximately 60 characters
-should contain your primary keywords
-First letter of ever word should be capital
-should contain company name
Description Tag Parameters
Though Google does not look at the description tag for SEO purposes as it does with the title tag, a well designed description tag helps your SEO in a big way because
– this tag provides a synopsis of what content your webpage contains and also your description tag can highlight some reasons(special discounts, free delivery, best deals, EMI options etc.) as to why the user should come to your page.
– with mobile voice search increasing exponentially, we can use the description tag to highlight some long tail keywords which otherwise cannot fit into the title tag.
– should contain your keywords
– name of company and location
– character limit up to 230 characters
– should be in simple, grammatically correct English.
Google spiders are just lines of code, thus they cannot “see” and understand an image as humans do.
For instance, if we have an image of a person kicking a football, a human can easily understand what the image is about.
A Google spider cannot understand the image so we need to explain to the Google spiders as to what the image is about.
Why is that important ?
As we know, Google has a separate tab on Google Search for searching for images.
Google also has created special spiders that only scan and index images from web pages.
When we do a Google search for images we normally get thousands of images and the most “popular” ones are shown first, very similar to website listings in SERPs.
There are billions of searches every day happening on Google only for images!
Though there are no published facts on image searches, a lot of SEO experts have concluded through their research is that if your images are ranked higher in Google Image Search results, your website can get 10% more traffic through image searches!
That’s a huge chunk of traffic!
Besides the above reason, images greatly enhances the look of your web page and since 80% of internet users are scanners, images can prove very important for the user to understand your content and hopefully convince him to read more of your content.
But you need to careful about a few things if you are inserting images in your web page:
- Image size – We like to show high quality images on our web page, but the file sizes of these images are very large and they can slow down your site loading speed.
You need to reduce the size of the file by using photo editing tools like photoshop as much as possible. Please note that the best type of images to insert into your web page should be in JPG or PNG format.
2. Image File Names– Normally we use very generic names for our image files. For instance we call our image files “image1.jpg” or if we are uploading images from our digital camera then the file names are like “DSC001.jpg” or something similar to that.
By changing the names of the image files, helps the Google spiders to understand the content and index the image properly. In our example of an image of someone kicking the football, we could rename the image like “mankickingfootball.jpg”.
3. ALT Tag – the alt tag is very important to use since the Google spiders reads the contents of the ALT tag to understand and index the image appropriately.
You can include a short description of the image in the alt tag, like “man is kicking a football”.
What you should be doing is that in image file names and in the alt tag include your most important keywords.
URL and Link Names
Keywords in the URL/domain name of your website is a SEO ranking factor as per Google.
Since your domain name is the first piece of information that Google spiders collects, having keywords in the URL helps Google spiders to instantly register your primary keywords.
This can be very easy to do for new domains, but to change the domain name of an old domain is impossible.
So what you do is to create a new domain with your keywords. But do not delete/discontinue your old domain!
The above image is taken from Search Engine Watch
One other ranking factor for SEO is domain authority. Higher the domain authority of the website, better chance for the website to rank higher in the rankings.
Though there are variety of factors that affect domain authority, one of the main factors is the age of the domain. If your website has been active for a long period, then it is a positive signal for Google.
In an hypothetical example, if there are two websites with the same amount of ranking factors, then Google will display the domain which is older higher in the rankings.
So if you delete/discontinue your old domain and replace with your new domain then you are starting your SEO work from the beginning!
One way to avoid this is to maintain your old domain and then use the 301redirect command to permanently redirect your users from the old domain to the new domain.
The biggest advantage of using 301redirect command is that you transfer almost all of your positive SEO ranking factors(including domain authority) to the new domain.
One more thing you can do to insert keywords in your URLs of your website is to include keywords in the link names, these are simply names of your web pages. This will also help in your SEO rankings.
Further advantage of having your keywords in your main URL and your link names is that the user and search engines can immediately understand the content of your web pages and that can lead to higher click rates and better SEO rankings.
Some guidelines to follow:
- Keep your URLs as short and concise as possible. By trying to insert keywords in the URLs, some SEO optimizers create very long URLs which can affect the readability and recall of your domain names. Do not forget that once your website gains popularity a large chunk of your visitors will directly enter your domain name in the search bar. A short URL is easy to remember and this will increase the recall rates of your domain name.
- In continuation of the above, keep your URL names simple and relevant thus making it easy for users and search engines to understand.
- Use lower case characters. And use hyphens when necessary to improve readability.
Hope this blog post will help you to get your website on its way to the first page of Google organic listings.
In my next post I will explain the other 5 SEO techniques.
So stay tuned and best of luck……..