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Heading - Playing in the SERP

Playing in the SERPS

When an internet user opens Google and types in a search term.  Google presents them with the highest quality results it can find.  The Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) that are generated as a result of a web search lists the web pages that are the most relevant and most likely to provide an adequate answer to what was asked in the search.

The very first page of the SERPs is like prime beachfront real estate, with the second and third pages being still relevant, but not as desirable as that first page.  Therefore website owners need to try to learn how to get higher google ranking that will take them into these top pages.

Why is first page ranking so desirable?  Well simply because the sites on the first page will get the biggest audience and traffic from the people who are actively interested in, and searching for that particular search term.  Whatever it may be.

I know that personally when I do a search for anything online, it is rare that I view results that are beyond the first page of the SERP.  Some people will search up to page three, and a few others will still go beyond that.

So how can you get higher rankings?  Lucky for you I just happen to know a few tips and tricks that will help to skyrocket your website straight to page one.

How to get higher Google ranking

Write kick ass content

Your content is really the lifeblood of your website.  High quality content is one of the most important things to Google.  Try to make your content both attractive and compelling for your readers, while providing the best answer you can give to the question posed in the search.

Be as natural as possible.  Try to make your writing sound as if you were communicating with a friend or family member instead of something you’d hear from the voice synthesizer on a robot or find in the nearest dictionary.

Remember to include your keywords.  These help Google to find your content and also helps to match it to relevant search queries.  Basically this is helps to put your content in front of the user whose Google search is related to it.

write kick ass content

Don’t overuse the keyword in your content though.  Google will very likely give you a nice little slap on the wrist for that.  Personally I try to use my keyword in the Title, then in the first or second paragraph and finally somewhere in the last two paragraphs of my content.

Use heading tags.  You should use H1 or H2 tags for your content title.  After that I generally use H3 tags for titles within my content. 


Get more Backlinks

It’s now February 2019 and backlinks are still one of the most important metrics that Google uses to decide page rankings.  A backlink is a web link coming from another website on an outside domain that links to your website.  They help to determine the quality or authority of your website and as such backlinks coming from top quality, high authority domains provide the best value for improving your rankings.

Here are a few sources that can provide high quality backlinks:

Kick Ass content – If your content is really good then naturally people will want to share it and also link to it for reference.

Business Directories – List your business website in the most appropriate business category .  Google My Business for instance is a good directory site to list in.

Online forums relevant to your niche – Complete your profile including your website link and if possible your main keyword as well.  Then start writing a few forum posts.

Optimize your page speed

You should optimize the page load speed of your website for both computers and mobile devices.  No matter what business you are doing in 2019.  Good page load speeds will enhance your websites User Experience (UX) performance.  

Better UX can mean more conversions of visitors into customers, as well as higher rankings in Google.

Here are some ideas for optimization:

Move your website to a hosting service that uses Virtual Private Servers.  With this sort of service you have your own space on the server and your configuration is not affected by other users.  Some providers that offer VPS hosting are HostGator, BlueHost & GoDaddy

Use compressed images.  If you use stock photos that you downloaded off the internet. These can sometimes be very large and cause your website to lag when loading.  It is a good practice to run your images through an image optimizer like Improve your speedCompressor.io or Tiny PNG to reduce the file size to ideally 150 kb or less.

Reduce your plugin count.  Plugins are useful to extend functionality or add new features to your site, but sometimes they can literally be too much.  Having too many plugins can slow your site down.  I would recommend removing the ones that are not mission-critical for your website.  First run a performance test on your website to determine which plugins are slowing it down.  Then you can delete those for increased speed.

Start using a Content Delivery Network.  A CDN is a geographically scattered network of server computers that provide faster access to web pages based on the location of the user requesting the resource.  What that means is that the closest server to the user delivers the content.  Signing up for CDN services will mean that your website content will be loaded faster when a user requests content.

Link your website to social media

Social media presents a really huge audience for your promotional and / or marketing efforts.  In fact Statista estimated that we had 2.62 billion social media users worldwide in 2018, and that’s going to move to 2.77 billion sometime in 2019. 

So it stands to reason that finding a way to leverage these platforms is something of importance.  Unfortunately though Google’s Matt Cutts said in 2014 that social media activity does not directly impact the search engine rankings.

Yes that is a pity really, and a bit shocking too, but social media does have other ways in which it can positively affect rankings.  Social media posts about your business or products can definitely increase your website traffic and that metric coupled with the time each user spends active on your website can affect rankings positively.  So try to make your content engaging and also social media friendly.

Another benefit of increased traffic due to social media is the possibility for higher conversion rates for your products and services etc.

Optimize for mobile phones

The number of web searches carried out from mobile phones have been steadily rising throughout the years, and in 2017 had grown to just a few percentiles over 50% of the total search volume worldwide. 

2018 saw another increase with mobiles now commanding a total of 52.2% of all searches.  This is why it is now imperative that websites begin to optimize to fully accommodate these devices.  If you are thinking of creating a WordPress at this time it would be wise to find a theme that is tested and proven to be mobile friendly.

If you already have a website up and running then you can test for It’s mobile friendliness by first of all trying to access it from one or two different smartphones to see if there is any easily discernable issues.  After that you can continue testing by running a test using the Mobile friendly testing tool

Get higher google ranking - optimize for mobile

This tool will generate a result telling you whether the site is mobile compatible or not.  If it isn’t you will be given a list of the elements you need to fix for it to become compatible.

Here are some other considerations that will increase your optimization for mobile phones.

Leave the Flash behind. – The Flash platform is not supported on most mobile phones today and also currently not supported on the majority of desktops as well.  Because of this mobile phones are not able to play Flash content .

Optimize for speed – As mentioned previously this will enhance the websites UX performance.

Modify pop ups – If you use pop ups on your website you are going to need to modify them for the mobile screen.   When you have completed modification your pop ups must be easy to close and must also be non obtrusive and not take up too much of the real estate on the mobile screen viewing the website.

Use Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages – This is a method developed by Google to create mobile friendly versions of websites.   This version can then be presented when access to the page is requested from a mobile device.   To make this all easier a WordPress plugin has also been developed which will automatically create AMP versions of your web pages.  This plugin’s name is AMP for WordPress

Turn your website into a Mobile App – This one sounds kinda like a joke on my part doesn’t it?  But it’s actually serious business, and there are some great advantages to this, such as:

Increased speed – An app is quicker than the website because they usually store their data locally on the phone instead of on a web server that you have to wait on to load the page.

Ability to provide some features offline – Yes an app will need internet connectivity for certain major tasks but some basic features and functionality can be setup to run in offline mode.

Easier and more direct notifications – These days people spend a large part of their day doing something or other on their phones, and even if they’re not doing anything at a given time the phone is still on their person and they are usually motivated to check out notifications received.  After all it could be the next hot, juicy post on Facebook or Instagram that they’re being notified about.

If you think you’d like to create a mobile app version of  your website, then you should check out these services that will quickly and easily do just that for you.

AppPresser, BuildFire,  and Como.

Optimize graphics for search

Make sure to place ALT text on your graphics.  This is a little bit of text that you use to describe what the photo is about.  This is good for users who are visually impaired as the audio screen readers they use will be able to read the alt text. 

It is also good for your websites user experience, helps to make your site more mobile friendly and inreases your sites chances of being found in web searches as images are also searchable on Google.  See my example below of image results generated from a search using the term how to get higher google ranking.

How to get higher google ranking image search

Remove the broken links  

The links between our website and others is an important factor of our objective to better our ranking.   Unfortunately sometimes links go bad.  A webpage we linked to might get deleted or an entire website might get taken down permanently.  Such broken links can do harm in many ways.

For instance it can do damage to your SEO efforts and your search engine rankings as well.  It may also affect your sales conversions and can do damage to your credibility if your site is seen as an authority website.

Therefore it is important that you check your website for broken links fairly frequently.  There are some free tools out there that will help you to do this check.  Including Google Analytics and Xenu.  Both tools can generate a broken link report that you can then take action on.  Other tools that can find your broken links include Broken Link Check and Dead Link Checker.

After you’ve generated and analyzed your report the next step is to remove these bad links.  You could do this manually using your websites Content Management System, but there are also tools that can help make this process a little bit faster.  Whether you want to remove the bad link altogether or you want to redirect it to some other internet resource.  One such tool is the WordPress Broken Link Checker plugin.  

This nifty little plugin can be used to monitor the links in your posts, your comments and your pages.  Basically monitoring all of the links you have on your website.  It notifies you about broken links that it finds and then gives you the option to remove or edit the url to redirect the link.

Are higher Google rankings worth all this?

Oh yes.  Most definitely!  The statistics tend to show that an enormous percentage of the search traffic for any particular keyword tends to belong to the websites that manage to find themselves on page 1 for that keyword.  Actually page 1 websites can account for 75% of all the traffic.  A website that falls into the much sought after number 1 position in the SERP tends to get as much as 33% of all search traffic.  While position number 2 gets 15% and number 3 gets 9%.  That’s a total of 57% for the top 3 positions.  Leaving 20% of the page 1 traffic for the rest of the websites that make it onto page 1.

In my book that’s definitely worth the effort it takes to get to page 1.  That traffic can equate to high rates of conversions, quite a bit of money earned, better authority and a good dose of satisfaction.

I hope this post has successfully answered the question of how to get higher google ranking, and please remember the information presented here is currently valid worldwide.  So you can use these ideas and methodology wherever you happen to live on our lush, green beautiful planet earth.

If you’ve found this post useful, please leave a comment in the comment area below.  Thanks for taking the time to read the information presented here.

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