Search engine rankings are affected by three primary factors: well-optimized title tags, site content, and site popularity. Once you’ve taken care of your title tags and have created a solid content plan that’s being regularly implemented, you can begin working on site popularity. There are many ways to increase your site popularity. Today, we’re going to look at a few of those tactics.
What is this site popularity all about? Site popularity (or site authority) is an algorithm that search engines use to determine how many other sites link back to your site or talk about your site. Google has created a system called Google Pagerank that ranks a site’s authority from 1 to 10. A new site will have a site rank of 1. So a site that has a rank of 2 is more popular than a site with a rank of 1. The higher your page rank, the more likely it is that your site will show toward the top of search rankings. You can think of page rank as votes: the more votes that your site gets, the better it will perform in rankings. Each link from another website to your site is like a vote for your site. However, not all votes are the same. If you have a bunch of pagerank-level-1 sites linking to your site, it won’t help as much as having a few links from sites with a page rank of 7 or 8. You can think of this ranking system like a referral network in your business. In your business, if one of your sales representatives gives a referral to your business it carries little weight in the mind of a prospect, but if one of the prospects most trusted associates makes the referral, it carries much more weight. The same logic holds true in page rank, the better known and trusted the referring site, the more weight the back link carries for your site, helping to raise your own authority.
So, now that we (hopefully) understand the important and logic behind page rank, how do we use it to increase our own site authority?
Because page rank is based on site popularity, the best way to increase your pagerank is to get mentioned or listed by other websites. There are a ton of directories on the web that will list your company and your website, some of these directories are free while others charge a small fee. Go with the free ones first and then come back to the fee-based ones as needed.
Everything about good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) comes down to creating high-quality content. People won’t just magically come to your website; you’ve got to provide a reason for them to want to come and a reason for them to tell others about you. That starts with providing high quality, sharable, useful content. Create a content plan, and produce content that is meaningful to your prospects.
Volunteer your talents to write an occasional article for well known (i.e. high ranking) bloggers, and make sure they will allow you to link back to your website. Develop relationships with bloggers who are talking about the things related to your industry. You’ve got insights, experience, and expertise; bloggers have a need to produce content. And everyone needs a break once in awhile – even bloggers want to go on vacation or get writers block. Again, it’s a content thing, but it’s a great way to get credibility.
Keep Things Fresh
Google likes fresh content and fresh sites. If your site hasn’t been updated in months, let alone years, it’s a good chance that you’re not going to rank well. If you want to win in the ranking wars, be sure to keep things fresh and up-to-date on your site. Refresh your main site content at least annually. Create a blog and update at least monthly (weekly is best). Add new content to your site monthly by creating landing pages for products and services. There are many ways to stay fresh. Be creative.
Engage in social networks and complete your profiles. Many social networks have the highest possible page ranks; getting your site listed on those networks and getting people talking about/sharing your site on the network can have a profound effect on your page rank.
Don’t wear a black hat
While trying tricks and “black hat” tactics to fool the search engine algorithms is tempting, it can completely destroy your search visibility. Follow the rules, be consistent, provide value, and the search engines will eventually find you and rank you well. Good marketing isn’t a sprint or the lottery; it’s a marathon. Take the time to do it right and it will pay dividends for years to come. Do it wrong, and it can harm you for years to come.
There are many ways to increase your site popularity and if you desire to rank well, it’s a critical component of successful SEM (Search Engine Marketing). Many of these tactics can be accomplished by you or your staff; however, if you need assistance, we’d love to help out. Contact us today!