With more than a billion active websites and blogs on the internet today, the one common goal for all of them is to get more site traffic and higher search rankings. However, this can be one of the most challenging aspects of running a site on the internet.
This is mainly due to the fact that the amount of free and organic listings on Google’s search results just continues to diminish in size year after year. After all, Google doesn’t make money from free listings, they make money from ads.
What was originally seen as ten organic search results per page, is now sometimes even less. Yet at the same time, it seems like there are more ads being placed at the top and bottom of search results time and time again.
With all of this in mind, it’s important to make sure you fully understand not only how SEO works, but also what needs to be done to improve and maintain your rankings over time.
All of this and more will be discussed throughout the quick reference guide below.
The Ultimate Guide to Organic Traffic for Small Business
Monitoring your SEO rankings and movements
The process of knowing when, where, why and how your site is ranking where it is in the search results is referred to as “SEO”, but there is plenty more to it than that.
SEO is all about knowing what keywords your site is ranking for, which content articles can be further improved, and also keeping an eye on where your rankings currently are to help you improve them for the future.
An excellent tool to help in this process is Sitechecker, which includes a rank checker, site health checker, backlink checker, and more – all of which are extremely important when trying to monitor and improve your site’s search rankings.
Through the use of such a tool, site owners can monitor their existing rankings, while also seeing the associated volume for a keyword, its competition level, and its movements over time. With data, the more you have, the easier it is to understand and improve.
No matter what SEO tracking solution you prefer to use, it’s important to have one in place. It’s simply one of the best investments you can make, and it’s also one of the most fun and addictive things a site owner can spend hours endlessly reading through.
If you’ve already been researching the many different ways to improve the content and rankings for your site, you might also be aware of the many different Google ranking factors that are being used today.
Whether it’s On-site or Off-site, there are plenty of ranking factors to be aware of. A perfect example of this can be seen through the infographic below from ahrefs.
And while On-Page ranking factors (site content) are always going to be important, the majority of influence in rankings will come as a result of inbound links and the anchor text and power rankings of those sites.
With this in mind, we can move to the next topic of discussion, which is on-site content.
Content < Content Marketing
As they say “Content is King”… but guess what? When there are more than a billion different sites on the internet, who needs that many Kings, Queens and Jesters… or whatever you might want to consider your site content.
The truth of the matter is, you can create all the content you want, but if you aren’t actively promoting it, building high-quality backlinks to it and getting it the necessary social shares it needs – it’s not going to rank.
Yes, the wordcount and quality of your content matter, but the continued promotion and SEO marketing of that content is even more important. And according to HookAgency, the ideal length for site content is 1,760-2,400 Words. But they also highlight the following recommendations from other industry experts.
- Search Engine Journal – 1,900 Words
- WesFed – 1,600 Words
- Moz – Best length for SEO is BS
- Satish Gonesh – 1,000 – 1,500 Words
- Buffer – 1,600 Words
The takeaway here is, stay away from 300 to 500-word articles… they are simply no longer going to cut it.
And in addition to the usual content optimization tips that we are all used to, Alexa has also come out with a very nice resource guide on the 12 different SEO factors that they rank in importance.
- Site Security
- Page Load Speed
- User Engagement
- High-Quality Content
- The Right Target Keywords
- Optimized Content
- Structured Data
- Consistent Business Listings
- Backlink Profile
- Domain Age
If you are serious about improving the rankings for your site, make sure your content is quite lengthy and also has the necessary backlinks and promotions in place. Then, also take some time to focus on the recommended optimization tips for the factors listed above.
Analyzing the competition
Take a look at any of the top SEO sites on the internet today and they are going to provide you with a lot of the same information, case studies, and resources… yet some tend to rank higher than others.
With so many SEO agencies and blogs all fighting for the same keywords, you can only imagine how important it is for them to keep an eye on the competition and where their latest rankings are.
As mentioned earlier, this is why it’s so important to have a quality SEO Checker in place for not only your own site rankings but also your closest competitors. And speaking of competitors in the world of SEO, Search Engine Journal recommends the following:
Use your competitor analysis tool to look at your competitors’ total domain strength and then analyze specific factors, such as:
- Domain authority
- Domain country and age
- Indexing in search engines
- Catalog listings
- Backlink data
- Alexa rank
- Traffic volumes
- Social signals
Again, this is all easier said than done, and not something you should try to accomplish manually. There are just way too many moving data parts and factors in place.
What you can do is hand select your main competitors, and then plug in the data to your preferred SEO tool to make sure you never miss a beat, while also having the necessary tools and data to stay ahead of the curve.
How to get the most out of your SEO efforts
At the end of the day, everyone is using the internet for one reason or another, and they can be broken down into the following:
- To find information
- To be entertained
- To buy something
Once you have this service and engagement in place, it’s all about focusing on your backlink building, further SEO optimization and analyzing the competitors already ranking for your sought after terms and search phrases.
This is a long and tedious process, but one that EVERY site on the internet must go through in order to continually rank at the top of Google and to compete with the best of the best.
Take advantage of the recommended tools, resources, and solutions above to get the most out of your valuable time, work, and SEO efforts.
Guest author: Zac Johnson is a world-renowned blogger and entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience in the online marketing space and has helped his readers generate millions of dollars online. He shares his story and guidance at ZacJohnson.com