How Search Engines Rank Websites: A Simple Guide
Making the top of the search results page is every websites owner’s goal but very few make it. Only so many sites are allowed on the first page, which means you have to do everything right if you have any chance of making it to the top. Some sites seem to dominate the first page while others seem to struggle for a little recognition and it all has to do with search engine optimization and how search engines rank websites.
If you want your site to rank higher in searches, you must use good SEO techniques, which applies as much to the website design as it does the content found on the site.
It Starts with a Good Web Design
A good website design lays the foundation for good SEO techniques. Hiring a web designer that understands SEO will help to ensure you meet the standards needed to rank high. Some of the things you need to be aware of include making the site easy to navigate, your pages need to load quickly and you need to use keywords in the Meta Data. In addition, all keywords used on the site must be relevant to rank high.
Spiders also follow the links on your site to see where they lead and if they lead to pages with relevant and useful information, this moves you up on the SERP. However, if the links lead to pages that have been deleted or that redirects to pages not relevant to your site, then you’ll rank low. Search engines will also rank your website based on content quality and they even look at how often sites are featured on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
How Content Quality is Determined
When determining the quality of the content the search engine looks for duplicate content, originality and value. If people click out of your site immediately after arriving, search engines will consider this to mean that you don’t have anything of value to offer. Therefore, you must provide interesting content so visitors will stay and click through your pages. As a result, search engines will rate your site as having valuable content.
You should also know that search engines penalize sites containing duplicate content and move them down in rank. Duplicate content includes posting the same content on more than one page but it doesn’t necessarily mean articles or blogs. A couple more examples of using duplicate content includes providing a description of your products on multiple pages or using both https and http in URLs that lead to the same page. This looks like duplicate content because users get to the page in two different ways.
Simple SEO Tips
The only way to rank high in search engine results is to follow good SEO practices on your website and in your content. Make sure your pages load quickly and that your site is easy to navigate to make it user friendly. You also want to keep the layout, text and photos consistent throughout your site to maintain balance and avoid overcrowding. Choose good, relevant keywords, provide original content, update regularly and avoid duplicate content and you should see your site move up in rank.
Since search engine guidelines are always changing, it’s a good idea to hire a professional SEO expert to help ensure you’re using the best techniques possible. This will also keep you from breaking any rules that will bump you down in rank.