The Blueprint for a High Ranking Website

Every digital marketer, web designer and small business owner has the same mission for their website: to make it appear to get it in front of their target market.

In terms of marketing strategy, this means creating a website that produces impactful content, drives traffic and in turn produces conversions by maintaining a high ranking in Google’s organic search results. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the factors that the largest search engines take into account when ranking search results, so you'll know what to prioritize.

Here are some iron clad tips that will help your website shoot up the search engine rankings:

Engage in Multiple Channels

One of the keys to running a high ranking site is having the ability to drive a lot of unique traffic to your pages. How do you retain these website visitors? By targeting them from multiple channels and making multiple offers based on their "temperature" (how likely they are to convert into a lead/sale).

This can mean combining an email newsletter with a curated blog, as well as using social media and word-of-mouth to spread awareness of your brand, prompting more users to visit your site. Where traffic is an important factor in ranking your blog, multi-channel marketing is a surefire way to increase your leads  in no time.

Utilize Smart Blogging Strategies

Those who say content marketing and SEO are two different subjects are sadly mistaken. In fact, the relevance and value of a site's blog content is one of the main factors that Google takes into consideration when listing search results.

Be Impactful, But Consistent

The goal of your site's content should be to provide regular and actionable content for your audience, in such a way that positions your brand as an authority in your corner of the market. This means constantly staying at the forefront of developments in your field and providing tips and impactful information that's valuable to readers, on a regular basis.

Write to Your Audience First, and Search Engines Second

Once you understand the importance of content marketing to SEO, this seems like a no-brainer. Gone are the days of simply packing a blog post with keywords and sending it off to be published. With the modern algorithm's used by the search engines today, content must also be valuable and relevant.

Promote Your Content So That It Earns Links Naturally

If your blog content is valuable enough, your links will build themselves, but don't leave it up to chance. In the eyes of search engines, individual page backlinks and links to your site's domain both factor largely into how you stack up against the competition, helping you rank your site on the first page. Do your outreach and market research, find out what people care about and create content that is unique enough and interesting enough, that people will link to it.

If You Can't Be Creative, Go With What Works

Let's face it, it's tough to think of ideas for a new blog post every week, that's completely unique and valuable to your audience. When writer's block strikes, run a search on an intriguing topic to write for, and then see what the top-ranking posts are.

When you find one that really hits on all the marks, both in terms of SEO and being relevant to your audience, improve it, take a different viewpoint, or find some other way to add value and send it out. This is known as the "Skyscraper Technique" in the SEO community and it really is an effective way for a small blog to gain notoriety. So for example let's say you find the top post for your keyword has "10 tips on XYZ" and hasn't been updated for 2 years, then create a post with 20 tips and make it clear that they are 20 tips that are still relevant in 2017. That's what we did with this infographic and we've gotten a lot of links from high authority sites as a result!

Stay Up to Date With SEO Trends

In the early days of digital marketing, creating a high ranking site took little creativity and was fairly easy to do. As search engines became more sophisticated, however, they started singling out tactics that website owners were using to cheat the system and penalizing them.

A good way to stay on top of the tactics that might and might not get your site penalized is to keep up to date on search engines' policies, and the differences between "white hat SEO"— tactics that benefit your standing in the eyes of search engines— and the reverse, "black hat SEO".

This means that no longer can a web master simply pack a post with nonsense keywords, or trick readers with dishonest link redirects. To get your site that ranking high in the search engine results, you have to build links and create content with integrity, that provides value to your audience.

Perform A Site Audit

Whether you have the skills to analyze your site's metrics or not is no excuse when it comes to auditing your content and your site's functionality. For the uninitiated, there are tools like the Screaming Frog SEO spider that will audit your site and produce a report you can forward straight onto your web designer.

Other tools allow web designers and site owners to see how quickly their pages are loading and whether errors and bounce rates are affecting their users' ability to utilize their site.

Install Google Analytics From the Get-Go

If you aren't using Google Analytics— or some other analytics engine —from the first day your site goes live, you're missing out on some key details that might explain why you're site isn't ranking, or show you what you're doing right.

Analytics can tell you which pages on your website are most popular, which pages are producing the most leads or sales and help you understand important details about your audience, aspects of running a site that are crucial to ranking highly in organic search results.

Optimize Your Landing Pages

Landing pages are one of the most overlooked aspects of digital marketing, especially when it comes to SEO. While the primary use of landing pages is to get a visitor to your site to purchase a product or service that your small business offers, the ability of your landing pages to draw in traffic to your site, (whether they convert or not) can have major implications on your site's ability to rank.

Here are some best practices to optimize your landing pages for traffic and conversions.

Drive more traffic to your site through paid advertising

The recent ranking factors case study by SEMrush, suggests that two of the biggest factors in ranking for Google are traffic and time on site. This could be interpreted that driving traffic to your site through paid sources such as Google adwords, or facebook ads could help increase your rankings.

The official line from Google has always been that setting up an adwords campaign won’t make any difference to your organic rankings, but in reality I’ve had instances where my clients organic rankings increased after starting an adwords campaign and decrease after stopping an adwords campaign. The case study from SEMrush would seem to support this, meaning it’s entirely possible that hacking adwords could also increase your organic rankings.

If at first your site has trouble ranking on page one of the search engines, don't panic. Let these tips serve as a framework for improving your Search Engine Optimization and ensuring that your website has a blueprint to rank highly in relevant search engine results.

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Comments 1

James OSullivan on Wednesday, 28 February 2018 13:59

Google is the perennial mover of the goalposts. So hard to figure out. ;-)

Google is the perennial mover of the goalposts. So hard to figure out. ;-)
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