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20 Ways To Get Your Website To The Top of Search In 2019

Posted By > Amrit Dubey > 28 December 2018

Disclosure: "This article is personal opinion of research based on my experience of almost 11 years. There is no third party advertising on this page or monetised links of any sort. External links to third party site are moderated by me."
Amrit Dubey, JSM Digital Marketing

Would you like your webpage to feature right at the top of organic search results? We bet you would! Google algorithm is getting smarter by the day, and it takes into account multiple factors while determining the SERPs. Here are 20 significant ways which can ensure that your webpage will gain ranking and leave behind all its competitors.
Let’s take a look!

1. Compress & Optimize Your Images

The success of a website depends on multiple factors, one of those factors being a presentation. How the website comes across to the viewer is of great significance. Speaking of websites, as most of us already know, some of the primary features of the website are that it must be able to:

  • Grab the attention of the visitors
  • Communicate information in an easy and effortless manner.

If a person wanted to work hard, they’d probably just open a book or look out for information in the world outside. When they are on the internet looking for something, it means they want to gather knowledge fast and effortlessly. This is exactly the images used in the websites gain their significance.
Not only do images add to the persona of the website making it more attractive, but images also help in communication information easily when they are put to the right use. For instance, in a travel blog, a couple of images immediately convey what the tourists can expect to see. In an e-commerce website, images run the business. In a website meant for an organization, the images help the visitors to become familiar with the environment; this sense of familiarity can often be psychologically reassuring.
So the significance of images on a website is considerably high. However, the use of several images often tends to slow down the website. To prevent this, the images must be compressed and optimized.
Ideally, a page should load within 3 seconds in order to have the minimum bounce rate. Some of the ways to prevent the images from slowing down the pages are:

  • You can choose some effective alternatives to images like CSS effects and web fonts. CSS animations, gradients, shadows, and such features can be used to make the page look attractive, and they require not even half the space that images would. Similarly, web fonts can be used to draw attention to certain parts of the text. Both of these features help in optimization.
  • Webpages either use vector graphics or raster graphics for the images. While the vector graphics employ straight lines or points to produce polygonal structures, raster graphics produces individual pixels with precise detailing to come up with the images.

How to optimize vector images?

Using the SVG or Scaling Vector graphics image format can help to reduce the file size. These XML based files can be used to minimize the size of the files and the files, in turn, should be saved in Gzip format in order to be compressed. The SVG markup can be embedded in the page or it can be there as an external source.

How to optimize raster images?

It is a grid of pixels where each pixel either with color or with transparency contributes to the whole image. The size of the image can be reduced by reducing the number of bits being used per pixel. A minimal bit depth helps in keeping the size of the image small.

  • Lossy and lossless algorithms can be used for compression of images.

It is to be remembered that there is no simplified go-to strategy that can at once solve the problem of compression and size reduction. To achieve the best result, for optimization, one has to combine various procedures and make the most of each.

2. Make your website mobile friendly

Ever had one of those experiences where the content of the websitejust can’t seem to fit the breadth of your mobile screen, so you just have to keep scrolling left to right and right to left to read a sentence. There are also webpages that suddenly seem to freeze when used from a phone. Enter and information five times and the site still can’t seem to process it. This is all because the particular website isn’t mobile friendly.
This is a huge drawback for any website and tends to lose a lot of traffic. How many people do you think actually use their lappy or pc when they need info? Well, it is mostly when they are using the machine already. Otherwise, the device in their hands is the go-to equipment. Most people conduct searches on the phone,and if a website isn’t mobile friendly, it certainly will fall behind in the race.

Some of the ways to make the websites mobile-friendly are:

  • Make the page responsive, fix the font size and display of the content to make it compatible with mobile screens
  • Reduce the size of images to improve response time
  • Do away with Flash; it doesn’t really work with android or iOs
  • Make the buttons larger so they can actually work on touch; if there are spaces for filling data, they too should be enlarges
  • There should autocorrect to help with the typing
  • Information should be made easy to find with the help of meta tags and such
  • There should be an option to switch to desktop view
  • Mobile testing should be performed regularly to make sure everything is working properly.
3. Increase site speed

Improving the responsiveness of a page is integrally associated with an improvement of the site speed. Lesser the time is taken by a page, the more its capacity to retain traffic. Like already mentioned, the aim should be to limit the response time within 3 seconds. 5 seconds or longer see a drastic fall in traffic.
Now there are multiple things that can be done to improve the site speed. Some of those things are:

  • Compress the images:

Images usually tend to slow down a site because as bigger files they take a longer time to load. To avoid this, one must try to compress and optimize the image sizes to a minimal or to use alternatives to images. Videos must be used only when absolutely necessary; autoplay feature can be turned off to reduce loading time.

  • Using a simple design for the website can help to radically increase the site speed. But simple doesn’t translate to dull. The design, just because it is simple, doesn’t have to be unappealing. Reduction of the number of attributes reduces the number of HTTP requests, and therefore the page loads faster!
  • Enable Caching:

With this, when the same viewers visit again, the date will load promptly without their having to wait for all the HTTP requests to be sentagain. It’s a great way to reduce the response time and increase site speed.

4. Custom design your Error: 404

Error 404s are annoying and your visitor is disappointed for the moment. The possibility is, they’ll leave and move onto another website. So something needs to be done to placate them, to hold onto their attention even when they are not having the best results from your website. The way to do that is by customizing the error page.
While some websites state the error blatantly in a boring fashion, others make an error to atleast make the error page seem cute or funny. The same thing can be said in multiple ways. “oops! seems like you got lost along the way!” sounds better than “page not found”! The custom page must be set up as the 404 error page and that way, when the visitors click on an URL that the server can’t locate, they will be redirected to the customized (and hopefully funny) page!
So they are disappointed but at least they are smiling!

5. Install an SSL certificate

If your website is meant for e-commerce, you simply cannot hope to do without an SSL certificate! The SSL certificate is of great importance because the information anyone shares on the internet is passed from one computer toanother and they pass through several computers before reaching the destination server. Without the SSL certificate, all the sensitive information like username, passwords, card numbers would be visible to every computer that the information passes through. So the safety of the user is potentially threatened.

The session key makes sure that all the date passing through are encrypted. With the SSL certificate, when one browser connects with another, it asks for the second browser o identify itself. The latter than identify itself with the certificate which ensures that all the date being shared would be safe.
Get an SSL certificate for your site to uphold its credibility and let your users know it is safe. Without an SSL certificate, your site is likely to get blocked by anti-viruses since they would deem your website as “unsafe”.
On the other hand, The perks of an SSL certificate are:

  • Encryption of sensitive info
  • Improvement in the google search ranks
  • Authentication of the credibility of the site
  • Helps to earn the trust of the users

It is a necessity that also privileges business when installed.

6. Secure map listing

This is a great way to draw attention, particularly if your business is something like a hotel or a restaurant or anything along the line. Map listing places your property on the Google map. This, obviously, has several advantages. First of all, if we take the example of hotels in tourist destinations, one can imagine how people target certain locations and look for hotels.
Now while viewing one property on the google map, the properties located nearby also pop up. This increases the visibility of these properties, bringing them to the notice of the potential customers. People definitely check the available destinations ion the same locality to compare the prices and amenities. This way your property can draw in customers.
Also, placement on the map makes it much easier to locate the property. Newly opened cafes in rather unpopular areas can be found buzzing with customers, and that’s because they are on the map, so locating them is no longer a problem!
Apart from all these, map listing improves google ranking by providing the leverage of authentication to the site.

7. Prioritize Pages in Website Navigation

No one likes to keep scrolling through an ocean of information before they can locate precisely what they are looking for. They are on the internet; they are impatient, they havealternative sources of information. So you have to prioritize the information you choose to deliver.
Every website has certain pages that are more important than others. The proper prioritization and placement of the pages go a long way in generating clients’ interest. When someone is visiting your page, the first thing they would like to know is the products and services you offer. The first page they land on should, therefore, be informative, briefly introducing all the available products and services.
There should be links on this page leading to the detailed description of each service and product. Next, one can place the pageshowingreviews and testimonies: they help to gain the confidence of the visitor. When the visitors are intrigued, they might be interested in knowing more about the company or contact details. So here one should feature the ‘about us’ page of the website.
Therefore, while prioritizing your web pages, place yourself in the shoes of the visitors, and decide what would be the first thing you’d like to know. Place the pages accordingly. Also, if there is some piece of information that you’d particularly like to bring to the attention of the viewers, don’t forget to place it prudently on the first page!

8. Implement Tracking on Your Site

Most people are acquainted with the tracking feature in the era of Amazon, Flipkart, and Zomato! Yet, for those who aren’t here is what it is: tracking is a feature that allows the shoppers on your site to get information about the product they have ordered after they have ordered it. That is, they can “track” how far the product has reached, how much longer it will take to get delivered, whether there has been any delay or not.
For instance, Amazon tracking feature sends a notification once the order is approved, and then multiple notifications when it is:

  • Packed and ready to be shipped
  • Shipped
  • Out for delivery
  • Delivered

During this entire course of time, the buyer can use the tracking feature to track how far the product has reached.
Similarly with food ordering and delivery company, one gets to know when the food is being prepared, when it has been pickedup when it is out for delivery. One can track the delivery person while they are on the move.
The tracking feature is likely available with apps like ola and uber.

The point is, since the customers have easy access to information, they find it easier to rely on the website. They feel like they can monitor what is happening to their product and this builds trust. The tracking feature opens a door for interaction between the customer and the seller. In the absence of the human factor (while shopping online), this interaction can be reassuring for consumers.

9. Update/Improve Existing Content

It is important to test the functioning of the website regularly to make sure there aren’t any broken links or the response time isn’t slacking, or there isn’t any glitch in the system at all. At the same time, it is important to keep the content fresh and updated. The thing about information is that it becomes old and therefore, must be updated and replaced constantly with new information. The changes can be anything: from new pictures to the latest posts.
Now there is a difference between static and dynamic websites.This is particularly applicable todynamicwebsites. For a website of an organization, it is important to update the recent changes, an organization like a university must keep posting latest notices on the websites.
A website that provides information on cars must keep updating the content, focusing on new models. The content must constantly be under scrutiny and any chance to update or improve it must not be missed.

10. Post Fresh, High-Quality Content

The content of a website is all the information that is available on the website. If we use the term more loosely, in the case of an e-commerce website, the content would mean the information as well as the product. It is essential to keep both fresh, crisp, edgy.
While the web designing will help you to attract the viewers and to glue their eyes to your page for a while, it is ultimately the content that saves the day. No matter how amazing your web pages look, they’d be of no use unless the content they are offering is relevant to the visitor.
It is, therefore, imperative that your website offers something of value. The content must be of superior quality. Even when a website doesn’t look too lucrative, it can sail merely by virtue ofits high-quality content. So there are few things to be kept in mind while developing the content:

  • The content must be highly informative
  • The information that the content is offering should be updated from time to time. Something posted 3 years ago has little chances of being high rel;event today. Even if it is today, the changing surroundings ensure that there is always something more to add. So it is important to update and refresh the content from time to time.
  • The tone of the content must be set right and it must reflect the personality of the website. It depends on you whether you want a formal approach or a funny one.
  • Remember the more value you add to your content, the more chances it has of being useful to the viewers. And that ought to be the basic purpose of any website. Ask yourself what the viewers could be interested in, and add more of that interesting stuff to the content.
  • Make your content stand out. Add information that isn’t available at your competitors. It is this edge, this difference that makes a website stand out among multiple others.
11. Repurpose Existing Content

Like we mentioned in the earlier segment, it is crucial to post fresh and latest content to keep the website afloat. One must always look out for the latest trends and improvements in business, changes in technology, new policies or practically anything that’s new and has anything to do with business. For instance, the latest trends of 2019 would be different from the trends that soared during 2016.
Therefore, it is important to stay at par with all developments and to post fresh content accordingly.

Apart from posting fresh content, it also equally important to revise the old content. In some cases, the old content might be obsolete; in other cases, the old content might be relevant but with a scope for improvement. This scope must never be missed. For instance, an article on Google algorithm is likely to become outdated from time to time because of constant experiments, upgradations, alterations. One must always remain cognizant of the latest developments.
Likewise, One must stay sharply aware of what the world is demanding at present. The content should always be updated to serve exactly what is in demand!
So reevaluate the content of your website from time to time, see if it can be made better, wiser, more informative. If the answer is yes, make the changes immediately.

12. Optimize Your Titles and Headings

This can be seen as a subdivision of the content. When we look through articles on the internet, we scroll through the page first, before deciding whether we should dig in and look for more. Using proper titles and headings improves the scanability of the article, and one cannot emphasize enough the significance of this scanability.
The title must be appropriate and give the readers an idea regarding what can be expected from the article. Try to put as many keywords in the title as you can. The more the number of topics you cover, the more valuable the article seems. Also, it attracts more people with varied questions. However, the coherence of the title must not be compromised for the sake of the keywords.

Another way to make your title gain attention is to make it seem objective, with a use of terms,like “top 10 ideas”, “10 best ways”, so on and so forth. You can also certainly come up with your own unique title, but it would do good to keep in mind the kind of questions that people usually type when searching for information. The right kind of title can help a lot in increasing the traffic.

Once someone clicks on the title and enters the webpage, headlines are the thing they’ll notice next. Use your headlines or subtitles to divide the content into several parts. Also, the subtitles must clearly indicate which parts they cover. For instance, an article on a car might have several subheads like ‘interior’, ‘engine’, ‘design’, ‘price’ and so on. This helps the readers to promptly find what they are looking for.

13.  Interlink Your Pages with Keyword Rich Anchor Texts

Everyone has observed how articles often embed links within their content. The link directs to a related article. For instance,an article on interior décor might refer to a certain fashion of architecture (say Italian architecture), bearing a link to the same. The article on interior décor would then lead to an article on Italian architecture.
Interlinking your page with other pages affects the ranking of your page. So you need to be very careful about the pages your associate your page with. The more informative the anchor page is, the better it is for your page. A page that ranks high on the google search engine is likely to be useful to the readers. A page that is rich in keywords is likely to draw a lot of traffic. Using such a page as the anchor would boost the traffic that is directed your way as well. The interlinked pages drag each other up on the ranking scale based on individual performance. Hence, choose the anchor pages prudently.

14. Add Breadcrumbs to Your Pages

What are breadcrumbs? Well, breadcrumbs are just trails that bring the viewers to your website. Breadcrumbs appear as links on pages that redirect the visitors to the homepage of the website. And that is precisely where you must want your visitors to be – on the homepage where they can finally check out the products and service and may order some. So when you are creating pages for your website, never forget to add the breadcrumbs for redirecting them to the aimed destination.
For instance, consider a page that has informative content on cars. The breadcrumbs added to the page can lead the readers to the homepage of the website that is selling car parts and accessories. This is how the breadcrumbs can be useful is drawing in potential customers or clients.

15. Link to Relevant, Authority Websites

Authority websites are the websites that are highly popular with a top rank on Google organic searches. Amazon can be seen as an example of an authority website. Every field has its own list of authority websites. For instance, when one is looking for books to download, Planet Muse can be an authority website. The authority websites are called so because they have an impact on people. People trust in them; theycarry a brand value.
It is quite simple to see why linking your pages to an authority website will work to your benefit. It will help to form trust among people, give them high esteem of your worth. But apart from all these, linking to relevant authority websites will help to improve the ranking of your pages on the search results.

16. Acquire Your Competitors’ Backlinks

Backlinks are hyperlinks from other websites that lead to your website. Backlinks are incoming links. Backlinks play a crucial role in the ranking of a page. A page or website that has a lot of backlinks directing towards it gains ranking in all search engines including Google.
Gaining a backlink from your competitors would be ideal.Industries in the same field deal with similar products and services. Once you have acquired backlinks from your competitors, it will give you access to their customers. It is one way of directing their customers to your page, informing them about the alternative. Also, obviously, you get access to an existing client base. Therefore, if you can acquire backlinks from competitors, it can be a privilege for your website in multiple ways.

17.  Invest in advertorials with nofollow backlinks

Advertorials are advertisements which do not look like advertisements. It might sound a little confusing, but here is how it works: an advertorial would look like a regular article or blog, something that is highly informative. This highly informative piece of the article might casually allude to your website, or might have hyperlinks to your webpage, but it doesn’t go on to directly endorse your service. For instance, you can think again of that article on cars. The article or blog can be full of knowledge and information, with only subtle allusion or a simple link to your page. The tone needs to be non-promotional. Apart from articles and blogs, one can also use press releases as effective advertorials.

We mentioned earlier that when two pages are interlinked, the ranking or content quality of one often affects the ranking of the other. But in some cases, you might want toestablish the link to improve the visibility or gain sponsorship, without wishing for the page to affect your ranking. Under such circumstances, one can use the nofollow link. It is an HTML attribute that instructs the search engine to not take into consideration the rank of the target link. It can be quite useful when you want your ranking to be free of influences.

18. Ask Friends and Customers for Reviews

People who are visiting your website for the first time know nothing about the quality of your service. Even the regular customers might not be absolutely certain about the quality of the product they are about to purchase. Under such circumstances, they like to look for the reviews of erstwhile customers, hoping to learn from their experiences.
Therefore, it is of great importance that you have a huge stock of reviews easily available to potential customers. This will help to develop their faith in you. There are multiple ways to acquire reviews. If you want reviews without investments, you can ask your friends and customers to review your products and services. This can be done through direct communication or through push notifications.

After a service is delivered, you can send your customers push messages or notifications asking them to rate and review their experience. The greater the number of reviews your website has, the more likely it is to create an impression on the visitors.
If you believe in putting a little more effort in marketing, you can hire review writing services. Here, experienced content writer chalk up to-the-point, relevant, informative reviews about the products and services offered by an organization. These reviews are written and posted in the manner of genuine customers helps to boost the image of the company.

There is another advantage of reviews. It opens up the door to interaction by letting the consumers provide feedback. You get to know whether they are pleased with your service, or if they aren’t, what exactly are they dissatisfiedwith. This helps the company to improve its services, fix the problems. Replying to customer complains and attempts to fix problems create a good impression. Chances are, the clients would return for better service.
Therefore, take some time and focus on building a reliable image for your website using reviews and ratings.

19. Secure Your Social Media Profiles

One of the best ways to reach out to people without investing anything is through social media. Marketing has never been so convenient. Social media gives you access to millions of people, literally to the entire world, provided you can use it properly.
All leading business organizations have secured their presence across various social media including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others. Companies now hire employees for social media marketing. Yes, it can be a job in itself and people are paid for managing the brand image on social media, that’s how influential your social presence can be.

So the first thing to be done is to create pages for your website on different platforms. The pages must be active, regularly posting relevant content, reaching out to as many people as possible. Linking the website to the social media pages increases traffic. Also, the more activity or response a page receives on various social platforms collectively contribute to the ranking of the website. A buzz of activities on social platforms can help you to climb the organic search results.
Feature ads: apart from creating pages for your organization, which is free of cost, you can also put up sponsored ads for your websites. This brings the pages to the notice of the users and often lead them to like or follow, thereby increasing the footfall on your page, and also increasing the number of followers.

Social media can also be used to market the products. When people do not come to your website, you can take your website to their social media homepage. Have you ever noticed Flipkart showing their products in a streamline in the middle of your homepage? Notice how they highlight there’s a 50% sale? Once you click on the advertisements you are directed to their homepage. This too can be seen as an instance of linking to authority websites. All the rising e-commerce sites tend to link themselves with social platforms to maximize visibility. These same strategies can be used by you to display your products and therefore, direct potential buyers to your website.
This helps to improve SERP as it also helps to improvethe visibility of the pages by reaching out to more and more people. There securing the social media profiles is immensely important.

20. Increase the Shareability of Your Pages & Posts

The potential of a page on social media increases exponentially with an increase in the number of viewers. One of the ultimate goals should be to reach as many people as possible. The best way to increase the reach is to gain shares. With every average person sharing a post, say on Facebook, the possible number of viewer’s increases at least by an odd 200. There can be absolutely no better way to improve popularity.
Hence, you should try to maximize the shareability of your page. When you’re sharing content that’s contemporary, trendy, and useful, people are likely to share it. Similarly, sharing humorous content can be a great perk in the era when memes are all the rage on the internet. The presentation of the content becomes significant, and it must be done to lure more and more people into sharing the posts. The more the number of shares, the greater is your reach. This eventually will create awareness among people about your brand.
Apart from this, as mentioned earlier, Google algorithm takes into account the activity on the social media pages, and a website with high popularity in the social platform will swiftly leave behind the competitors and reach the top of organic search results.

So now you know of all the effective ways in which you can improve the ranking of your website in 2019. Pay attention to each and every one of this aspect, and once you are taken care of, nothing will stop you from gaining the highest slots as organic search results! Goimplement them now; wish you all the success for your website!


Amrit Dubey is the founder of the digital marketing company JSM Digital Marketing based in Delhi, India. He’s been working in digital marketing since 2009, focusing primarily on SEO. You can find him on Twitter.

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