Google Search Placement - Six Rules for Getting a Better Ranking
Intense battles as being waged daily in the coliseum of Google search results. Web designers are constantly tweaking their websites in the hope of achieving ranking success. If you are a site owner or designer attempting to gain ground and perhaps surpass your competition, here are six rules to climb to a better ranking.
1. Design your site with the user in mind.
Every updated search algorithm from Google makes it more and more important for your site to offer easily-accessible content of value to the user. Can your users find what they are seeking? Is there enough quality content available to cause them to spend time on your site? Do your site's pages load quickly? Is visiting your website a positive experience for users, or will they quickly become frustrated and click the "back" button? Make your site as simple, user-friendly, and useful as you can in order to keep visitors and improve your placement in the search results.
2. Regularly add new (unique) content.
A major component of making your site user-friendly is the regular addition of new content that will benefit your visitors. Websites that become stale can easily drop down several pages with Google. When you add content, though, make sure it is unique. Duplicating content from another website—even a site you own—will not improve your ranking and may actually count as a strike against both sites.
3. Pay attention to what's "above the fold."
Many websites rely on Google AdSense and sponsorships for revenue. However, if all a user sees when entering your site is an array of advertisements, it is unlikely that user will stick around for long. Eventually, Google will notice that visitors are not staying on your site, will discover that it is ad-heavy, and will penalize the site in the rankings. You can certainly use ads on your site, but do not ruin your user's experience in the process. Make sure your users can quickly and easily find useful content without scrolling down or clicking links.
4. Use keywords organically.
Keywords have always been a vital part of SEO (search engine optimization), but be careful not to overdo it. Keyword stuffing can have a detrimental effect on your rankings. Page titles, headers, bullet lists, and opening and closing paragraphs are good locations for keywords, as long as they fit the context and the content flows naturally for the reader.
5. Make it easy for Google to crawl your site.
Just as visitors to your site can click on links to visit other pages, Googlebots (or Web crawlers/spiders) can follow links to index your site. Make it easy for them by making sure all your pages are linked and that all the links work. Not all the links have to appear on your main page, but the spiders should be able to access all the pages by following a maximum of 3 links. To further enhance your search ranking, include a Sitemap and a robots.txt file.
6. Build credible links.
Google pays attention to how many other sites are linked to your site. The more links that are directed your way, the more value Google places on your website. Submit your URL to relevant directories and include your site’s address when you comment on blogs. (As long as the blog's comments do not automatically include a "nofollow" tag, you should benefit from the additional link.) Periodically, write an article to be posted on sites that allow authors to provide a short bio or resource box that includes a link to their site. Beware of link exchanges with link farms, though, as that strategy will inevitably backfire on you.
After implementing these rules, be patient. It can take time to reap the benefits of making positive changes. Eventually, though, as the Googlebots revisit your site and discover the enhancements you have made, you will see your ranking improve and the number of visitors to your site increase.