Whether you’ve been knocked down by the Google Police, or just struggle with breaking into the top search results, the key to getting higher organic rankings comes down to providing value to your audience through your website. High organic rankings have many advantages including greater click-throughs to your site, branding power and visitor trust. A recent study states that 62% of search engine users will only click on first page results; 42% of all search engine users click on the top ranked results. So if you’re ranking low or on the second page (gasp!), you’re definitely missing out on great potential returns. Thankfully, you can rise above bad rankings! While there are a number of factors that affect search engine rankings, three key components remain the core of organic rankings:
Google’s sole purpose is to direct searchers to information that is the most relevant to their search. That being said, it is imperative to provide content and information your customers actually want to know, and what they’re looking for. This doesn’t include pages loaded with fluffy word-filling stuffed with keywords, but actual meat and potatoes of information that establishes your business as an authority on the topic and an actionable solution to their problem. If Google finds your content boring and irrelevant, they’re definitely not going to direct traffic to your page.
User experience is expected to become more important as a ranking determinant in 2013. Providing proper on-page optimization and easy navigation for both search engines and humans go hand in hand with accommodating a great user experience. Creating a site with the user experience in mind improves site engagement, encourages social sharing, links and return visits. Ensuring a positive user experience is as simple as giving your visitors what they want right away, assuring them they’re in the right place and making it easy to find solutions throughout the site.
Links are still possibly the most powerful ranking factor a website can have in its tool belt. Often thought as a site’s vote of confidence, external linking domains not only send additional traffic to your site through the link, but signal to search engines that your site is trustworthy and relevant to the visitor’s needs. The goal is to get links from other sites that Google already trusts by providing something their site visitors value. What’s the key to creating link worthy pages? Again, it all comes back to having unique, quality content. This could be a useful tool, helpful tips and advice or an answer to the problem a user is facing.
These three factors go hand in hand with each other to help increase organic search traffic. Although trends will come and go, the ultimate goal of SEO is to make it as easy as possible for people to find you. The goal is to create a valuable site that users will find enjoyable and useful while attracting inbound links along the way.