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Climbing the Ranks: The Top 10 Ways to Get Your Site Noticed by Google in 2017

Climbing the Ranks: The Top 10 Ways to Get Your Site Noticed by Google in 2017 - Optimize Your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Having optimized title tags and meta descriptions can make a huge difference in driving organic search traffic and clicks to your site. The title tag and meta description are often the first elements of a web page that searchers see in Google search results, so they serve as a critical opportunity to capture attention and get visitors to click through. Despite their importance, many sites neglect to optimize these elements properly.

The title tag should be descriptive yet concise, accurately conveying what the page is about. It"™s best to keep it under 70 characters so the full title is visible in search results. Using relevant keywords naturally is also key, but avoid keyword stuffing. The title tag is displayed as the clickable blue link for each search result, so an enticing, keyword-rich title can compel visitors to choose your site over others.

The meta description gives you a chance to provide a preview summary of the page. Well-written meta descriptions that highlight the page"™s key information can boost click-through rates substantially. Google will often use snippets from the meta description as the search result description if sufficiently relevant. Aim for meta descriptions between 150-160 characters - long enough to entice users, but not so long Google truncates it.

For example, DigitalMarketer increased their click-through rate from search results by 75% simply by improving title tags and meta descriptions. As Backlinko found through their research, pages with optimized meta descriptions had a click-through rate of over 8%, compared to just 4.5% for those without. Clearly, not optimizing these critical elements leaves potential traffic on the table.

Climbing the Ranks: The Top 10 Ways to Get Your Site Noticed by Google in 2017 - Improve Your Site Speed

Having a fast loading website is becoming increasingly critical when it comes to ranking higher in Google and converting visitors. With more searches happening on mobile devices, slow page speeds can cause major issues. Even minor delays of a few seconds lead many users to abandon a site and move on to competitors. By improving site speed, you can boost user experience, conversions, and search engine visibility.

According to research by Akamai, a one second delay in load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. For ecommerce sites, this directly hits revenue. But all websites suffer from high bounce rates when pages load slowly. Google has explicitly stated site speed is a ranking factor, as part of delivering a good user experience. They've warned sites with consistently slow load times may get lower search rankings, even if their content is highly relevant.

Optimizing images is one effective way to improve site speed. Compressing JPEG and PNG files can significantly reduce file sizes with minimal loss in quality. Using next-gen image formats like WebP or AVIF for critical above-the-fold images can also boost performance. Lazy loading images below the fold cuts load times by delaying non-essential images. Minifying CSS, JS and HTML files, removing unused code, enabling browser caching of static assets, and optimizing databases can also help.

Migrating to a faster web host, content delivery network (CDN) or caching solution may provide major speed gains. Upgrading to HTTP/2 has shown sites achieving 30-50% speed improvements from more efficient asset loading. AMP pages built specifically for mobile can also substantially cut load times.

Climbing the Ranks: The Top 10 Ways to Get Your Site Noticed by Google in 2017 - Fix Broken Links and Redirects

Having broken links or incorrect redirects on a site can seriously hurt search engine rankings and user experience. When a user clicks on a link and receives an error page, they are likely to leave the site frustrated and unlikely to return. For Google and other search engines, encountering multiple broken links on a page signals low quality content not worth ranking well. That's why fixing broken links needs to be a priority.

The first step is running link analysis tools to identify any 404 errors or broken links. Google Search Console provides data on crawling errors and invalid URLs reported. Other useful tools include Xenu, Deadlinkchecker or LinkChecker. These will crawl all pages on a site and highlight broken links, missing images and other issues. Once you've identified broken links, fix or remove them. If the content was removed or moved, set up proper 301 redirects so search engines and users are sent to the correct active URLs.

Incorrect redirects can also negatively impact rankings. For example, redirecting a blog post to the site homepage will confuse Google on what that specific content is about. Ensure redirects go to relevant pages with closely related topics. Use 301 permanent redirects for URL changes you want indexed, vs 302 temporary redirects when keeping old URLs out of search. Setting up precise redirects maintains SEO value from old URLs while providing a good user experience.

Moz found that fixing broken links improved rankings for over two-thirds of the sites they analyzed as part of a case study. One site improved their organic search traffic by over 250% after identifying and resolving crawl errors from broken links. Another site saw a 34% increase in overall site traffic. So while fixing broken links may seem tedious, it's low hanging fruit that yields substantial SEO and user experience gains.

Climbing the Ranks: The Top 10 Ways to Get Your Site Noticed by Google in 2017 - Increase Engagement With Quality Content

In today's crowded online space, creating high quality, engaging content is more critical than ever for driving meaningful engagement and conversions. Simply churning out content to fill your site won't cut it anymore. To truly connect with your audience and prompt action, you need content that informs, entertains, inspires or helps them in a tangible way.

Crafting genuinely useful, insightful content tailored to your audience demonstrates your expertise and establishes trust. This quality content gets shared more, links to it spread, and it attracts more engaged visitors who will convert better. Here are some hallmarks of highly engaging content:

Relevance - Laser focus your content on your ideal audience's needs, interests and pain points. Write posts that directly address questions they have and provide real value. Stay on topic without veering off course.

Uniqueness - Avoid regurgitating the same generic information everyone else covers. Do your research and come up with fresh angles and actionable advice your audience won't find elsewhere. Share your specialized knowledge and perspectives.

Reader-Centric - Always keep your audience top of mind. Address their pain points, answer their questions, explain how your content benefits them. Write in simple language they can easily grasp.

Climbing the Ranks: The Top 10 Ways to Get Your Site Noticed by Google in 2017 - Get More Backlinks From Relevant Sites

Backlinks remain one of the most important ranking factors for Google and other search engines. While the quality and relevance of backlinks carry more weight than pure quantity these days, increasing the number of high quality backlinks pointing to your site from trusted sources is still hugely beneficial for rankings. But securing backlinks needs to be done strategically and patiently to avoid spammy link building tactics.

The ideal sources for backlinks are respected, popular sites with relevant content and high domain authority in your niche. Getting links from these trusted sites signals to Google that your content is also trustworthy and valuable. Links from irrelevant, sketchy or low quality sites can actually hurt your rankings rather than help. Focus on earning links naturally through creating stellar content that site owners want to reference - not paying or bribing for backlinks which violates Google's guidelines.

Outreach to ask for backlinks needs to be done politely and sparingly. Build relationships with other sites over time by commenting on their content, sharing on social media, linking to their content in your own posts when relevant, and providing thoughtful feedback to establish familiarity and trust. Once you've engaged with a site, it's fine to politely ask if they'd be open to linking to your content in their future posts if it fits. But aggressive, mass outreach comes across as spammy.

Earning links from guest posting can be worthwhile, but stick to reputable sites accepting high quality, original pitches tailored to their audience. Avoid cookie cutter guest posts spammed across hundreds of low-quality sites just chasing links.Localized citation listings on directories like Google My Business, Yelp and Maps also count as valuable local backlinks and are worth claiming and optimizing fully.

Utilize Broken Link Building tools to find pages linking to broken resources relevant to yours, and politely let them know about your content as a potential replacement to fix the broken link. This can yield high quality links editors are often happy to swap in.

Just as important as acquiring backlinks is making sure your internal linking structure is strong, with links flowing to and from your most important pages. This helps search engines better crawl and index your site. Analyze your internal link structure and add links where needed between related content.

Climbing the Ranks: The Top 10 Ways to Get Your Site Noticed by Google in 2017 - Use Alt Tags and Image Optimization

Using optimized alt text and title tags for images on your site provides huge benefits for both accessibility and SEO. Alt text attributes specify alternative text descriptions for images, while title tags show tooltip text when hovering over an image. Properly utilizing these helps search engines understand your images, and aids visually impaired users relying on screen readers.

With images making up over 50% of webpage content on average, optimizing alt text and title tags is critical for higher rankings. The alt text specifically can get indexed by Google Image Search to drive more relevant traffic. For SEO, the alt text should concisely describe the image content and include relevant keywords where possible without stuffing. Avoid generic phrases like "image" or leaving it blank.

The title tag meanwhile can supplement the alt text by providing additional descriptive details and context for the image. Title tags also get indexed directly in Google's image search results. However, rely more on the alt text for your core image description for SEO, as Google primarily looks at this in assessing relevancy.

For accessibility, the alt text needs to comprehensively convey what's in the image for someone unable to see it. Be accurate and descriptive. Include things like colors, actions, facial expressions and other details a visually impaired reader would want to know. Avoid phrases like "graphic" or "photo of...". Craft the alt text to stand alone if the image doesn't load.

- Give each image distinct, detailed alt text matching the specific image content

- Use relevant keywords in alt text, but don't over-stuff

- Title tags can supplement alt text with extra context

- Put the file name into title tags for user-uploaded images without contextual descriptions

- Place alt text and title tags directly in HTML rather than through CSS or JavaScript

- Alt text maximum recommended length is 125 characters

-Title tags optimal length is between 50-60 characters

Climbing the Ranks: The Top 10 Ways to Get Your Site Noticed by Google in 2017 - Setup Google Analytics and Search Console

Setting up Google Analytics and Google Search Console provides invaluable data to optimize your site's SEO and measure performance. Though they sound technical, getting started with both platforms is straightforward. The insights they unlock are well worth the small time investment to configure and integrate them.

Google Analytics offers a wealth of website traffic and user behavior data. Once installed, it tracks metrics like your site's bounce rate, pages per session, referral sources, location of visitors, and much more. You gain visibility into how users navigate your site, which pages are most popular, your conversions rates, and where your traffic comes from. All this enables data-driven decisions to improve user experience and increase conversions.

The key with Google Analytics is customizing it for your site's needs. Apply meaningful filters to fine-tune the data captured. Set up conversion and ecommerce tracking to see your sales funnels. Build custom reports to analyze specific metrics. Enable features like remarketing to leverage analytics data in advertising. Take advantage of the mobile app to access analytics from anywhere. And integrate Google Analytics with platforms like Google Search Console to combine analytics data for greater insights.

Speaking of Search Console, this free offering from Google provides invaluable search performance data. Connect Search Console to see how Google bots crawl and index your site. Use it to check indexed pages, discover crawl errors, evaluate page speed, see mobile usability issues, and monitor real-time search queries driving traffic to your site.

Most importantly, Search Console reports on your site's search visibility and performance in Google search results. It shows how you rank for target keywords so you can optimize pages to improve rankings. Identify high performing pages driving organic traffic to double down on what works. Discover untapped keywords where your site should rank but doesn't yet, representing opportunities for growth.

Search Console also surfaces manual actions, algorithmic penalties, or spam reports negatively impacting rankings so you can correct them. Integrating its data with Google Analytics paints a complete picture of your search optimization efforts. They complement each other perfectly, which is why leveraging both tools is critical for any effective SEO strategy.

Climbing the Ranks: The Top 10 Ways to Get Your Site Noticed by Google in 2017 - Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

With mobile devices now accounting for over half of web traffic globally, having a mobile-friendly site is absolutely essential for ranking well and providing a seamless user experience. If your site isn't optimized for mobile, you are likely frustrating visitors and hurting conversion rates, while also limiting your search visibility.

Google has made it very clear - mobile-friendly sites are rewarded with higher rankings in mobile search results. Pages formatted properly for small screens and easy to use on the go will gain an edge. On the other hand, sites that are difficult to navigate on phones or that haven't been mobile-optimized can get buried in mobile search rankings.

Adjusting your site's layout for smaller screens is key. Content needs to resize and reformat flexibly without horizontal scrolling or tiny text users have to pinch and zoom to read. Large buttons and click areas make navigation easy for fingers. Keep menus and calls to action prominently visible above the fold. Optimize forms and input fields for mobile typing.

Ensure pages load quickly even on slower mobile network connections. Leverage accelerated mobile pages (AMP) or streamlined, lightweight designs. Avoid large file sizes for images, videos or web fonts that bog down load times. Enable GZIP compression and browser caching. Minify CSS and JavaScript files.

Also important is adjusting site content itself for mobile-first indexing. Use concise, scannable content in short paragraphs, bullet points or numbered lists for easy mobile skimming. Chunk content into clearly divided sections. Cut unnecessary words to deliver information as efficiently as possible on small screens. Offer expand/collapse sections to allow users to view more details only if desired.

Test your site on a range of actual mobile devices, networks and OS versions. Don't just rely on desktop simulation. Ensure functionality and usability hold up across the mobile landscape. Identify any issues from real mobile use cases and fine-tune the experience.

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