Trying to figure out “how to rank a website” is one of the most common struggles for new internet marketers.
You have set up your new blog, added some content and …… nothing.
Your new blog just sits there with no one coming to see what you have to say.
You keep adding new content but as the months come and go you are starting to get really discouraged.
“I followed everything the training program said to do and I am not getting any results, can you help?”
Questions like these are common among new online marketers and one that I have been asked many times.
I remember what it was like starting my first blog like it was yesterday and I also remember how long I struggled before breaking through.
I don’t want anyone to struggle the way I did or give up on internet marketing because they were not given the information they need to be successful.
Let me be the first to tell you, internet marketing is not hard, anyone from any background can go on to become extremely successful but it’s not going to be easy either.
Success in this industry really comes down to nothing more than learning what you need to do and then doing it over and over again like clockwork.
That is my goal for this post, to show you how to rank a website in 2017 and beyond.
How To Rank A Website
There are so many opinions on ranking a website that it is confusing to really know what to believe.
If you do everything that some of the so called “seo experts” tell you to do, you will never have time to actually create content for your blog.
I have read blogs that talk about the over 200 ranking factors that Google uses in their algorithm and how you need to focus on each one of them.
No shit, over 200, who has the time to learn all that let alone make sure you are following them all.
Just in case your curious to see the list of all 200 factors for ranking a website in Google, click here.
Google’s algorithm is complex, no doubt, but you do not have to be a geeky seo nerd to understand how it works.
(Side note, no offense to the geeky seo nerds out there!)
In fact, ranking a website can be extremely easy if you just remember the three key principles for seo success I am about to share with you.
It is in these three principles where you will determine:
- why one site ranks higher than another
- what you need to do to push your site higher than your competition
- what Google is looking for right now with their algorithm
The three key principles for seo success are: Trust, Authority and Relevance.
Ranking a Website: Trust
There was a time not that long ago when ranking a website simply came down to who had the most back-links.
Back then it was easy to get a brand new site to the top of page one by blasting it with back-links.
Those days are gone thanks to some major updates Google made a few years ago.
I won’t bore you with the details of each update but Google’s Panda and Penquin updates shook the foundation of internet marketing.
These updates penalized poor quality sites and sites with links from poor quality sources.
Many marketers who built there business on creating shoddy sites with poor link profiles saw their income disappear overnight when these updates went into effect.
With the majority of the low quality crap out of the search engines, Google shifted their focus to Trust which is now at the core of their ranking algorithm.
Now you will probably never hear Google speak of Trust as a ranking factor but if you look at their algorithm, it is clear that website Trust is at the top of their list.
Trust is a combination of many ranking factors that lets Google know your site can be trusted to deliver quality content to their search users.
After all that is the name of the game, Google wants to know that the results they show when someone types a keyword(s) into their search box are the best results for their users.
If a search user does not get the results they are looking for they will probably go to one of the other search engines to find it.
I mentioned there are several factors that go into building Trust with Google, they are:
- Consistently updating your site with high quality, unique content
- Gaining links naturally from high quality, relevant sources
- Site usability, is your site user friendly and easy to navigate on all devices
- Internal and external linking
- Content readability
- User signals (click through rate, time on site, bounce rate)
I am sure there are others from the list of over 200 ranking factors that are devoted to building a strong Trust score with Google but I honestly believe that if you can nail down these, you will be well on your way to first page rankings.
Ranking a Website: Authority
It wasn’t that long ago Page Rank was the ultimate deciding factor is how well your site performed compared to others.
Page rank pretty much only took into consideration the power of the sites that were linking to your website so it was very easy to manipulate.
I remember being so obsessed with increasing my page rank that I spent more time searching out back-link opportunities than I did creating new content for my readers.
Google also realized that page rank was being manipulated by pr networks and link sellers so they began to devalue page rank and eventually stopped updating website page rank scores.
Page rank is no more, in its place is authority which Google uses in conjunction with trust and relevance to ultimately determine which sites to rank high in their search results.
Google loves high authority sites which is why you typically always see results from sites like Wikipedia, YouTube, WebMD etc ranking high on page one of just about every search you do in Google.
What do these sites have in common?
- They have been around for a long time
- Tons of sites linking to the content on their site
- Huge volume of content available
So you can pretty easily determine what goes into determining your sites authority.
- Domain age
- Number of inbound links (links from high quality sources)
- Size of website (amount of content, pages & posts)
Authority is not something that comes overnight, it can take years to become an authority in your niche.
You can dramatically reduce the time it takes to increase your websites authority by focusing on building your online brand, some of the ways to do this are:
- Consistently adding fresh high quality content
- Grow your social media following across multiple social channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc)
- Network with other sites in your niche
- Look for other opportunities to promote your blog (YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Web 2.0 properties, etc)
- Guest Post on niche related blogs
- Look for back-link opportunities from other authority sites related to your niche
- Provide excellent customer service
Growing your site’s authority should be part of your long term strategy and will increase over time as you build out your site, grow you following and increase the number and quality of the back-links coming into your site.
Google is very good at uncovering methods for manipulating authority scores so avoid any of the tactics to artificially inflate your authority the “seo gurus” are teaching.
How To Rank A Website: Relevance
Website relevance is a very powerful SEO strategy for increasing your website’s position in the search engines.
When looking at techniques for ranking a website, relevance should be at the top of your list.
Relevance simply means that all of the content on your site is relevant to your niche and that you are obtaining back-links from relevant sites.
For example, if I create a niche site about curing the fear of public speaking I would make sure all of the content I publish is related to speaking in public and would look for linking opportunities from similar websites and blogs.
Sticking with this strategy will require a lot less back-links to get high search engine rankings as relevant links are much more valuable than non-relevant links.
Remember that any back-link is considered a vote for your site and getting votes from sites related to your niche tells Google that your niche is voting your site to be ranked high in the search engine.
You can take this a step further by organizing the structure of your website to spread the power of each back-link your site receives throughout your content so that one back-link benefits many of your website’s pages.
This is typically referred to as a website silo structure, I will be discussing this in much greater detail in the coming days.
Google looks for sites with relevant content and rewards them with higher search engine rankings.
This explains why smaller niche sites can outrank the huge sites like Wikipedia for niche related search terms.
Relevance is a powerful strategy that you can take advantage of right now to increase your website’s search engine rank.
Three Key Principles For SEO Success
How to rank a website will continue to be a highly searched for question that new online marketers will be asking for years to come.
Ranking a website doesn’t have to be hard but it does take time and will require a long term strategy that focuses on each of the 3 SEO pillars I have discussed above.
I honestly believe that you can greatly increase your website’s search engine rankings by focusing on your website’s trust, authority and relevance and understanding that obtaining free traffic from Google takes time but it is definitely worth the effort and the wait when you do start to receive a steady flow of traffic.
I will be posting several more articles on how to rank a website in the coming weeks, if you have any questions on ranking a website, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.