Your search engine ranking can make or break your website. If you rank in the first three spots in a search result, you will most likely get a ton of traffic for your target audience. But, if your ranking is fifteenth or lower, it will be difficult for you to ever reach your desired audience and it will be difficult to succeed. If you want to rank high, you need to know what factors determine your position, and it’s not based purely on popularity, like in high school. Understanding all of the factors that can affect your ranking, and learning to work with them, will help you build a successful website.
The Importance Of Your Ranking
Search engines are designed to help people find exactly what they are looking for. When someone searches for fast food options near them, they don’t want to be sent to the local veterinarian clinic. They want food. So, search engines are not going to list veterinarian clinics in their results. But, they are going to show the results for food close to them. Research has proven that most people stop at one of the first three options listed in their search results. After that, they only look for more information if what they needed wasn’t provided.
If your ranking has you in the first three spots, then you are in the right place. However, if your ranking is not one of the first three results, you could be missing out on some massive traffic. That is why your ranking matters. In order to get traffic, you have to be one of the recommended results. Knowing that, here are a few factors you should focus on in order to boost your ranking.
Is It Relevant?
Relevance is, by far, the most important factor that affects your ranking. When someone searches for a query, search engines will send back information that appears to be an algorithmic match for what they want to know or find.
If your website has content that matches the user’s request, it is possible that your website will be in one of the first three spots. Of course, much more goes into relevancy than just that. In fact, if you only have one article on their specific request, but not much else related content, you might not rank as high. Additionally, the links that point to your website and the links that you point to can affect your relevancy rank, too. If you are receiving links from an irrelevant website, you could be penalized. Additionally, if you are pointing to websites that aren’t relevant to your niche, you could be penalized.
The biggest thing to focus on when worrying about relevancy is making sure that you are providing excellent content focused on the user. If you are worried more about SEO, you will eventually be penalized. Instead, make sure you aren’t just getting random links from shady, backlink vendors and make sure you aren’t selling your link juice to irrelevant websites.
How Many Times Do People Go Back?
If people are visiting your website, the search engines will show favor to your ranking. The more people visit your website, the better. Even better is when they come back again and again. Search engines see this as a trusted website, so they tend to ship more people to their trusted resources.
This is exactly why you see major retailers on top of the search engine result pages. People go there constantly and search engines know that people tend to find what they need, and they go back again and again. Of course, this makes it harder for smaller websites to take over the top positions, but with a good marketing strategy, you can do it.
So, make sure your website is built for the user. Again, do not build your website for SEO purposes only. You will eventually get penalized.
Is It Trustworthy?
You aren’t going to buy a Rolex from a guy on the street and search engines aren’t going to send their traffic to websites they cannot trust. Using a highly sophisticated algorithm, these search engines look for websites that conform to design standards, content standards, link standards, and so much more.
The more you focus on providing a great experience for the user, the more likely you are to make the search engine algorithms happy. Otherwise, you may get a quick bump in rankings through artificial inflation, but you will eventually be penalized.
Is It A High-Quality Website?
And finally, you have to have a high-quality website. A high-quality website incorporates all these elements while focusing on the visitor. But, they go a step further by also using the most up-to-date code and making sure that the right security certificates are in place.
A website that takes the time to use the right coding practices and security practices shows the willingness to invest in their visitors. Some websites don’t do this, and the search engines just can’t trust them (there’s the trust issue again). It may seem trivial, but the extra time and money will be well spent.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the best way to ensure you rank well is to make sure you have a website built with the visitor in mind, not the search engines. Sure, there are some companies that seem to get away with breaking all the rules, but eventually, they do come crashing down. If you don’t want to be like them, then you should focus on making your website the best experience that the visitor has ever had. If you can build a website that works with the factors that search engines use to determine placement, you can get on the first page of the search results, which is where you want to be.