The topic of website rankings is probably the single most written about subject for online marketers. With so much content readily available online discussing tips on how to rank your site better, I still find 9 out 10 small businesses are left wondering why their competitors are outranking them in search. Almost always it is because they are ignoring the 5 most fundamental elements of getting their sites to rank.
If your a small business or launching a brand new site you will want to pay attention to these most commonly overlooked elements that contribute to your competitors to outranking you.
#1) You Aren’t Publishing New Content on a Regular Basis
You can’t expect Google to boost your site’s ranking unless you are publishing fresh, relevant content on a regular basis. Google has said that high-quality content is the single most important element on a website, attesting to its positive impact. By publishing new content, you’ll have more pages in Google’s index, which means more visitors and higher search rankings.
#2) Your Website Isn’t Mobile-Friendly
Mobile-friendly is the word of the year – well, it should be at least. As smartphones and cell service becomes faster, more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the Internet as opposed to bulky desktop computers. Webmasters should take advantage of this trend by offering a fully functional experience for mobile users. If mobile users encounter broken elements on your site, they will likely leave and take their business elsewhere, which could hurt your rankings in the process.
#3) You Aren’t Performing Basic on-Page SEO
There are two primary components of search engine optimization: on-page and off-page. Unfortunately, many webmasters overlook basic on-page SEO, assuming it yields little-to-no value. But things like proper Title usage, Meta description, interlinking, etc. will go a long ways in encouraging higher search rankings.
For more detailed examples for creating solid on-page optimization check out the Source of the infographic shown above:On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page – Infographic
#4) You Aren’t Building Links
Equally if not more important as on-page SEO is off-page SEO, such as link building. Google, Bing, Yahoo and even the smaller second-tiered search engines all use backlinks to determine where and how websites should rank. If you don’t have enough backlinks – or if your backlinks are low-quality/spammy – you won’t be able to achieve a top search ranking. It’s just that simple.
#5) Your Website Has Broken Elements
When was the last time that you performed a usability test on your website? Even if the homepage loads and functions just fine, other pages may have broken elements. Take a couple minutes (or longer) to go through your website and test the buttons, links and other elements to ensure they are functioning as intended. Something as otherwise harmless as a broken button could prevent users from going through the checkout process, and when this happens, Google may lower your site’s ranking as a result.
The more you read about seo the more complicated and mysterious it can become. Keep it simple with these 5 basic guidelines and you’ll be on your way to building your audience and rankings.