As you start your endeavors into the world of SEO, your best starting point is working to rank on Google, as it’s the number one search engine across the world. In other words, the majority of internet users utilize Google to find what they need online. So, if you can rank on the first page of Google search results, or even the second, you’ll have a pretty good chance of attaining traffic and getting conversions. Of course, ranking well on Google has long been any SEOs bane of existence, for achieving those top results is rarely an easy task.
While reaching the top spot on Google search results is a difficult feat, with the right information and accurate analytics, it is absolutely possible. And, here at StatCounter, we strive to provide our valued members with both: quality analytics and necessary information to help our members monitor traffic, boost their site, and ultimately make the right SEO decisions to rank on top search engines. With this, let’s take a look at Google SEO and what it takes to get your website ranking in the top results.
Why Google SEO is Key
Like we said before, Google has long been the most widely used search engine and its usage is only growing. In fact, if you take a look at the current search engine market share, you’ll see Google takes the cake by a long shot. Having said that, it’s easy to see why so many companies and SEOs aim their efforts toward ranking on Google’s search results. Of course, you’ve got to wonder why it’s Google that so many internet users go to for their search queries. In short, Google constantly updates its search algorithms to best match user's’ intent when searching, and in turn, Google provides results deemed closest to each user’s query.
These constant updates and efforts to match users’ requests are what keeps SEO experts and companies scrambling to stay atop the search results. Despite these updates, there are always plenty of ways to achieve top results and remain in the top spot. To achieve and maintain this, however, you’ll need strong SEO efforts and accurate analytic metrics to keep your website ranking well. For starters, it’ll help to understand how Google crawls websites and what the search engine looks for when determining which results to draw for any given search query. Let’s take a look.
How Google Determines Top Results
Though no one may know exactly how Google determines which websites and pages get the top results, Google does provide plenty of insight and, therefore, SEO experts have a pretty good idea of what ranks and what doesn’t. In fact, any SEO will tell you Google actually uses approximately 200 ranking factors to determine results. While some of these are proven factors, many are simply speculations and assumptions. Regardless, we are aware of the main ranking factors, and there’s plenty of them. Here are the top factors Google uses to determines its search results:
Keywords: Selecting and properly utilizing keywords throughout your website is a surefire way to increase rankings, within reason. By selecting keywords closely related to your business and industry and strategically placing them throughout your site and within content, you can begin to rank for those keywords, but the factors to follow will also have an impact.
Page Titles: Your page title is what appears in Google results and at the very top of your browser when you’re on any given webpage. Page titles should always include the keyword(s) for its corresponding page, as well as something telling about the content within.
Content Length: Longer content always looks great from Google’s perspective, but the content should also be well organized and labeled with headings and subheadings throughout to help Google determine what the page is about. Simply put, more content provides more information for searchers.
Inbound Links: Both the quality and quantity of inbound links are a major ranking factor for Google search results. Inbound links, which are links to your site from an external site, give your site more authority, especially when the links stems from a strong or well-known website.
While there are certainly plenty more factors Google uses to determines its results, such as the age of a website, domain authority, and more, it’s always good practice to meet your user's’ intended results. Sure, keywords, page titles including those keywords, and inbound links from external websites will all improve your rankings, but Google’s ultimate goal is to ensure any given user’s request is matched with relevant results. With this, consider what your targeted audience is looking for, and what information they’ll be seeking, and gear your content to satisfy those needs.
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