Higher ranking in Google search results for the right keyword means more visibility for your brand. Think about it: when was the last time you looked on page two or three of Google? The fact is if you’re not on page one for a keyword search result, more likely than not, your target customer won’t find you.
More visibility translates into more traffic to your website & more leads. However, your competitors know this as well. If you’re having trouble outranking them on Google, you may have to change your SEO tactics.
16 Facts on How to Outrank Your Competitors on Google with SEO
You can build a strong online exposure through understanding the core SEO fundamentals, building strategies, & implementing tactics that take these fundamentals into account. Let’s have a look at these core fundamentals that are affecting your website ranking and discuss what you can do about them.
1# A New Website Does Not Work Well until it Has Authority
Authority principally means that how much other websites value your website as a source of information. Google grants higher ranking for a website that is seen as authority site. A powerful way to gain authority is through backlinking. However, as a new website, your website hasn’t been around for very long, so it usually doesn’t have many (if any) backlinks.
2# The Biggest Factor for Building Authority: Backlinking
Google treats backlinks (links from other websites that redirect to yours), as a proxy for your website’s authority. Consider a backlink as a “vote” of approval for your website. For instance, if an owner of another website finds your content valuable and credible, he/she might borrow your ideas, publishing a blog post on his/her website, and linking to your website to credit and cite your resource. More backlinks mean improved authority of your website, resulting in more quality traffic.
3# Not All Backlinks are created equal. You want quality over quantity
Backlinks are vital for building your website’s authority, but quantity is not only the matter. You want quality over quantity. Google looks at the quality of the linking domains. Getting a backlink from a high authority website is better than a hundred backlinks from very low authority ones.
In fact, many low-quality backlinks are more to harm your website’s authority instead of improving it.
Several SEO tools helps to measure domain authority, based on certain metrics and scores used by these tools. You need always to aim for a backlink from high domain authority website.
Quality matters of course, but Google also takes into consideration of how many different domains linking to yours, the more is the better, instead of just a one or two. Google will treat your website as trustworthy as its algorithm sees a plenty of domains linking to yours.
4# A Backlink Will Not Magically Appears, You Need to Outreach for it
No one can ignore that content is king; however, it is not that easy to collect backlinks if you have quality contents. You need to build relationship with relevant websites owners in your industry. Networking with social media influencers and bloggers is also important. Guest blogging is one of the popular way for backlinking, which lets you use someone else’s online exposure to raise yours.
5# It Takes Time to Build your website Authority
Authority reflects your reputation, and for sure it takes time to build it through blog posting, networking with other websites, and attracting visitors to your website. Depending on how much your industry is competitive, and assuming you are actively doing the right SEO tactics, you need to wait from six to twelve months for your ranking to be improved.
6# Relevancy of Your Web Page is a Huge Factor to Rank
Google takes into account to show its users a content that is directly relevant to their search queries “keyword searched for”. For Google to show a page from your website in the search results for a certain searched keyword, this page needs to contain content that is relevant to that searched query.
7# User Experience Signals do also matter to Google
User experience signals are metrics used by Google that helps in determining web rankings. The most important of these signals are click through rate (CTR) & bounce rate. CTR refers to how many users click on your site from a search engine result pages (SERPs), while bounce rate refers to the ratio of users who return to a SERP from your page (i.e. clicking the back button before viewing another web page on your site).
Another metric is dwell time, which captures how long a user remains on a web page. In essence, the more engaged & returning visitors to your website signals that it is of high-quality contents & useful for Google users.
8# Your Web pages Headlines Are Key for a better CTR & ranking
Once a research query – or a keyword – is done, Google will show in the SERPs three things from each different webpage that match or is relevant to the search query:
- A headline: or title tag of the webpage
- The URL of the webpage
- Meta description: a short description of that page
Title tags & meta descriptions are what hook users to a certain page. With more interesting relevant titles & descriptions, CTR can be boosted, which in turn helps in ranking. You can always compare the snippets for webpages that rank high on SERPs with your page, spotting any changes needed for improving your titles & descriptions.
9# New & Fresh Contents are preferred to Google Algorithm
Content marketing is a vital part of SEO tactics. Nowadays users looking for new, relevant, and engaging contents, and Google also does. You need to update your old blog posts with new & up-to-date information if they’re ranking poorly. Don’t also forget to replace weak contents with well-researched, informational pieces.
10# Your Site Speed Must be optimized
With Google 2018 Mobile First update, website loading time became one of its priority for ranking. Slow websites result on higher bounce rates as users abandon slow sites for faster ones. Typically, under 3 seconds is a good practice in terms of loading speed for your website.
11# Mobile Friendly Websites rank better
Google’s Mobile First update also taking into consideration a mobile friendly site. So always perform check on how your website looks on mobile devices. You need to test all of your webpages on different types of devices. This helps you on spotting if there is anything that doesn’t look right or needs improvement for an easy navigation & interaction. Many websites owners think that their website looks great on desktop, but don’t realize it looks less than awesome on a mobile device.
12# Securing your website With HTTPS is also vital
Digital security is among Google’s higher priorities. It also penalizing websites that don’t use HTTPS encryption, resulting in less ranking potential. An HTTPS certificate for your website can be obtained by buying one from a certificate authority and installing it on your website.
13# Your Site Architecture affects crawling
“Three clicks” This what makes your website easy to navigate & loved by Google. A user to your website should be able to get to any page in it within three clicks.
Try horizontal linking in a way that a page is linked internally with related articles. You can also try vertical linking; i.e. using breadcrumbs to guide the user back to the home page.
14# You Must Have a Sitemap
Sitemaps in an XML format are easy for Google and other search engines to read. They help them better crawl, understand the outline of your website & how its pages & contents are connected. and rank your website.
15# Never opt for black Hat Tactics, they work Only Temporarily (if they did)
Black hat tactics are SEO tactics that hack Google’s algorithms, and boost ranking “temporarily”. They include driving artificial traffic via paid followers, traffic bots, or by backlinking from a private blog network. Stolen or spun content also fall under the black hat tactics. The best SEO practice is to avoid them, otherwise do not panic if your website gets heavily penalized by Google once it is being caught by its algorithms.
16# Algorithm Changes, so never stop “SEOing”
Google algorithms keep changing, in turn you need to keep an eye on your ranking continuously. Invest in time & resources, and follow best practice of SEO to avoid drops in ranking whenever an algorithm/s update occur.