Everyone who has a website should know that Google rankings are everything when it comes to traffic. You’ve got to rank at or near the top if you’re going to get clicks because few people will click to the second page of search results, let alone look below the top five links. Unfortunately, Google changes the way it ranks pages on a regular basis, which means that to improve your Google rankings, your approach has to be fluid.
Google may have tweaked its algorithm again
So what do you have to do this year to get your website higher up in the Google rankings? The good thing is that you might not have to change much if you were already set up for last year. However, just a small tweak here or there can always help. So far this year, experts say Google is either preparing for a minor change to its algorithm or has already done one.
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The folks at Search Engine Roundtable said last week that ranking and traffic chatter from Google had increased, but they didn’t think it was a major update. One change that should be noted is the mobile interstitial penalty the company warned about some time ago. The search engine rolled out that penalty on Jan. 10, as it said it would. Most sites weren’t affected much, but Search Engine Roundtable suggests that this might be because the update wasn’t fully rolled out yet.
Mobile-focused pages do better in Google rankings
That penalty basically just means that Google’s new algorithm will demote mobile pages with “intrusive” interstitials. So websites that have something that make their content “less accessible to a user,” such as a popup that covers the main content of the page, will be demoted in the rankings. In other words, make your page as easy to use on mobile devices as possible. Google’s full explanation can be found here.
It’s best to think of the mobile version of your website almost as a second version, so you have two websites and not just one. The reason Google is placing so much emphasis on mobile versions of websites is because of how many more people are using the web on their mobile devices. Facebook has been seeing a big increase in its mobile revenue over the last couple of years, further underlining how important it is to have a strong mobile experience on your website. More eyes means more opportunities to attract business, and mobile certainly offers opportunities here.
Opt for niche keywords
Forbes contributor John Rampton suggests that smaller websites choose niche topics rather than major ones because it’s best not to go head-to-head with the names that are already dominant in large keywords. This means choosing less-popular keywords in order to boost your position in the Google rankings in those areas. It takes a long time to build a website, so start where it’s easiest, which means more specific keywords instead of broader ones.
It’s also important to choose keywords that are realistic and actually helpful for your business. It’s easy to have a high position in the Google rankings for a very obscure keyword, but that wouldn’t help you because no one will look for it. So you want a niche, more specific but not too-obscure keyword that accurately describes what your business is about.
And when creating your content, make sure those keywords are used not only in the paragraphs on the page, but also in the headings, title, tags and URL.
Content and links
It’s also best to have as much content as possible because bigger websites tend to rise higher in the Google rankings. It’s a good idea to include articles and blog posts in addition to pages that describe what your products or service are about.
As you create articles and blog posts, start making contacts with the webmasters and publishers of bigger websites. See if they will let you provide free content for them in exchange a link back to your website. Google pushes websites higher when they are linked on other websites.