As it is said, first impression is the last impression and the first impression of a user with your site makes the difference between success and failure. When going to build a ranking websites, it is important to keep your audience in mind. But this post is about ranking so why not focus on search engine optimization? The answer is simple. Search engines use smarter algorithms that favor user-centric websites.
With millions of websites already competing online, the competition may not be fair for newbies. The great thing, however, is that there are a number of things you can do to increase your odds of succeeding. This post looks at the key characteristics that distinguish the best ranking websites today.
High Ranking Websites Key Characteristics
1. Memorable Campaigns
Have you ever wondered why big brands like Coca-Cola don’t seem to struggle as much as you do in online marketing? If you have been keen, you may have realized that such brands rely on campaigns that are memorable and mesmerizing. Refrain from running boring campaigns.
Blast your campaigns through social media. The more social shares you get the more people will learn about your campaign. All in all, to manage your online reputation, you have to keep track of what people say about your brand/ campaign. Not all comments will be positive.
Big brands thrive on backlinks, mentions and many other social signals. Leveraging on this tactic will see your ranking go up mostly so when considering search engines seem to prefer ranking websites with more social mentions.
2. Solid domain name
The process of marketing your website should start long before you start building it. The type of domain name you select will determine whether your website will dominate or fall in the bracket of the barely-getting-by sites.
The domain name you select has to be easy to type, remember and should say what your business is all about. That is why it is highly recommended to use keywords in your domains. Although Google is not paying as much attention to the metric of domain names with keyword, the strategy will boost your ranking.
All in all, you still need to remember that Google is paying more attention to the keywords in places like URLs, titles and internal and external links. Well balanced internal linking structure will bring valuable juice to your site.
3. More testimonials
In today’s social world, shoppers rely on the feedback of others to make decisions. Testimonials from fellow shopper feel more genuine than advertisements. Most of the high ranking websites have more testimonials. The more testimonials a brand has the more social shares and reviews it gets.
Resist the urge of creating your own testimonials but rather rely on the genuine replies of your customers. The best way of doing this is to get on as many social networks as you can and feature some of the testimonials on your website. Focus on getting more Twitter tweets, more Facebook likes and shares and more Pinterest pins. Google+ profiles have been found to get the most ranking recognition followed by Facebook.
Do you have a Google+ account for your business? If you don’t, you are missing out on a lot. Now might just be the perfect time to get one. It will boost your SEO strategies.
4. Good navigation
The navigation of your website is your site’s GPS. As aforementioned, search engines now give preference to sites that are user centric. Being navigable is one of the many things that are considered when ranking a website. How easy is it to navigate your website?
Taking from time from time to time to visit your own website and navigating it can help determine whether the navigation is intuitive or not. How easy is it to find the contact information, services and products pages? If you don’t have a good navigation, you competition will probably outrank you and porch your customers.
5. Pages that are well constructed
Navigation is not the thing you should check when building your website, you need also to look at how well-constructed your pages are. A good page should be easy to use with easy navigation, great link utilization, clear call-to-action and information that are well presented. It should be easy to find all critical pieces of information such as what your business is about and how customers can find you.
Google crawlers go through your website to determine its relevance to certain searches. If your page is not well constructed, you will suffer when it comes to ranking.
6. Great content
One thing that the highest ranking websites have in common is great content. You will not find websites with bad content ranked among the first search results and if they do, you will not find them there for long. Well-written and high-quality content is fundamental in the eyes of Google.
Successful websites are consistently publishing high-quality content, steadily acquiring quality backlinks and adding rich media to their website. This is what helps them maintain solid ranking on various search engines.
7. Clear identity
A clear identity is crucial when marketing your business online. Your campaigns have to be consistent. Your logos and titles should not be obscure and your design should not be filled with clutter of any kind (banners, ads, irrelevant images).
The key to success in Internet marketing is keeping your identity visible and your content concise. You don’t need to use lots of buzzwords to pass a point. Cut to the chase and post cleaner text. All high ranking websites consider it very seriously.
8. Load speed
Last but not least, your web pages’ load speed will affect your ranking. Websites that are bloated seldom rank high on search results. There are many things that affect the load speed of a page among them coding, the number of graphics, server speed, and traffic volume. Make sure your pages load in under 10 seconds.
The shift in online ranking seems to be bending towards high-quality content with more social shares and quality backlinks. This is as opposed to the recent past where focus was on the type of domain names registered and the amount of keywords in your content. Search engine algorithms keep on changing and it is up to you to keep up with these changes.
Author Bio –
Michael Bentos is an experienced digital marketer and part of the at ParadoxSEO.com team. He provides SEO and internet marketing services across the globe including analysis using SEO tools and a range of options. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.