HOW ARE WEBSITES RANKED?
Did you know that more than 40% of consumers will use an online search to lead them to goods and services?
Even with social media growing at an exponential rate, a traditional online search is still the best way to generate sales for business.
Studies show that less than 10% of leads generated from social media result in sales.
Generating website traffic is key for businesses to get their products and services in front of potential clients.
Are you not getting the web traffic that you’re aiming for?
There are many ways to ensure that clients and potential clients are finding their way to your business website.
The use of search engines has created a unique opportunity for businesses in that if a client finds his or her way to your website through an online search, chances are, that client is already in need of what your business has to offer.
These are some proven ways to make sure that your business is ranking at the top of the list in 2016 to put your business at the forefront of opportunities and new clients.
Every other year, the Seattle-based SEO company Moz releases a study on website ranking factors.
The latest report, which was released in August 2015, offers marketers insight into the changing trends in web marketing and describes how to ensure quality search engine optimization based on the latest ranking factors that affect a website’s climb to the top.
Each time they do the study, the company interviews 150 top-ranking Internet marketers (hopefully, we will be one of them soon) on multiple different factors that affect the ranking of sites and compiles all of the data into a comprehensive report that is publicly shared through their website.
Their data are based on a correlation study of the top-ranking categories from Google AdWords.
The study was performed on the top 22 that were chosen, and 800 queries were made for each category.
Then, the team at Moz examined the top 50 results for each query and analyzed them based on an established set of ranking factors.
Google uses over 200 ranking factors that determine where a site will rank on their search results list.
They combined the data that they collected through this study with those from SimilarWeb, Domain Tools, and Ahrefs.
The study done in 2015 was the largest and most comprehensive to date.
TOP RANKING FEATURES
The research showed that the highest-ranking feature was domain-level link authority features.
Domain-level link authority features refer to both the amount of links on a website around a certain subject matter and then the quality of those links on your website.
The way search engines are structured is that they want to ensure the sites they are recommending have authority in their subject matter and are only going to take you to other high-quality sites with equal levels of expertise.
Therefore, it is important that the links on your websites are only to websites with high-quality information and services.
Additionally, think of your website as a one-stop shop for information for your field.
You want to make sure that, if there is any content that users can’t find directly on your site, they will be able to find it through one of the links on your website from a trusted and reliable source.
Both quality and quantity are equally important.
You will want to consider that, even if your site provides high-quality information, if there is another website out there, even one that provides lower-quality information or less information but has more links to reliable sources, you risk being outranked by it.
The next-highest ranking feature is the page-link metric.
Similar to the above, this one refers to the quality and quantity of links to your page that you are trying to have make the top rankings.
Consider things like whether you can navigate to this page from nearly any other page on your website with merely a click or two?
Are the page-level links easy to find and navigate? All of these are factors in increasing page-link metrics.
Customers get frustrated easily when they have to click through multiple pages of a website to find what they are looking for.
A page link can bring visitors to the page that you are trying to rank easily and effortlessly so that it is accessible time and time again, thus making for an excellent customer experience.
Google and other search engines are looking for these features, too.
Search engines want to make sure that the websites that they are ranking for their clients are effortless to navigate and that clients find what they are looking for without having to click through an entire website.
The third highest-ranking feature was the page-level keyword- and content-based metric.
This metric concentrates on the optimization of keywords and content so that information narrowly focuses on a specific topic.
Keywords should appear throughout the page but should certainly be found in the title of the page and in the URL.
Subtopics should be broken up with subheadings to maintain focus around the general topic.
In cases where it is appropriate, keywords can even be made to stand out using bold or italicized text.
Headings should also include the primary keywords.
In some cases, secondary keywords are also used to help to optimize a page, but in all cases, the primary keywords should be used throughout the content of a page at least twice.
There are additional ways to optimize content as well, but these are the primary ways to help your website get to the top.
Ranked at number 8 of the features was that of domain-level-agnostic features.
What this is referring to is everything about your website as it relates to your domain, with the exception of keyword usage in the domain name.
There are numerous ways that this is evaluated, such as the domain length and relevance to the content.
Typically, you want a short domain name that is easy to remember and relevant to the key content of your site.
It also takes into consideration things like load time and crawl issues.
A good website has content that is specific and unique.
Another important factor to consider here is how well your site responds on a mobile device.
You want to make sure that users are able to navigate effortlessly to the necessary information on a PC or mobile device.
It is also extremely valuable to have your website hosted by and with other quality websites, thus assuring the user that it is a reliable source of products, services, and information.
Of the 22 metrics that were studied, what seem to rank the lowest consistently are social metrics.
With social media booming and becoming more and more of a marketing platform for businesses, it is safe to say that society puts a strong emphasis on how websites rank socially.
How many Facebook shares does a business have? How many likes? Other things factor in too, like whether it has a five-star rating on LinkedIn and other such considerations.
However, research shows that these social metrics are actually not what puts businesses at the top of a list of search results from the world’s leading search engines.
Again, as we mentioned before, less than ten percent of sales revenue is being generated through social media on average, but more than forty percent of sales are generated through search engine results.
This metric measures all of the interactions across social media that are related to that page.
The key here is to have multiple levels to engage the viewer on your site to take action.
Have opportunities to like and share things on Facebook, to Pin them on to Pinterest accounts, and to tweet them through Twitter.
Making engagement as effortless as possible is also a great way to build up the rankings here.
People are more likely to engage if it is made easy for them to do.
Also, consider relating things in the website content that will show up on searches on the social media sites themselves.
For example, including a popular hashtag in the post itself will ensure that when consumers do a Twitter search, your website will pop up there as well, further directing traffic to your site.
There are many ways to ensure that your website ranks at the top of the world’s most popular search engines.
While many factors go into building a website, it is important that sites are narrowly focused and anything that is not directly covered by the content provided is addressed in a link to a reliable source where consumers can get further information.
Also, making sure that your website is accessible from other websites that serve as a reliable source for your field is a great way to generate quality traffic.
It is important also to keep in mind that our world is becoming more and more mobile, and optimizing your website to accommodate that is vital to its success.
Finally, while social media isn’t on the top of the list, it still plays a very important part in the visibility and success of your website to keep consumers engaged throughout their experience.