Admit it. If you are not on page 1 of Google Search Results, you are nowhere!
It’s very rare to see consumers click on page 2 or page 3 for the best option to their queries after page 1 and if you are beyond page 3, you are sure at risk.
What Can You Do?
To be on page 1, you know that your website has to be optimized for it. SEO tactics help achieve the goal. However, unethical, outdated and anti-Google practices can have the opposite effect on your SEO goals.
Here, we have listed a few tips that will help you tweak your SEO strategy and stay on top of the game.
1. Broken Links
A broken link does not connect the user to anything.
Examples of Broken Links are;
404 Page Not Found: The page or resource may not exist on the server
400 Bad Request: The host server is not able to understand the URL on your page
Bad URL: Malformed URL such as extra slashes, a missing bracket, wrong protocol, and so on
Bad host: The server with a name that doesn’t exist or is unreachable
Bad Code: Invalid HTTP response code
Empty: The host server returns responses with no content and no response code
Timeout: HTTP requests timed out constantly during the link check
Reset: The host server drops connections. It is either not configured properly or is too busy.
Unfortunately, Google demotes websites that have too many broken links on their pages. It shows Google that you have not taken efforts to offer the best to the users.
To avoid being ranked lower by Google, make sure that you audit your website regularly and keep all your links up to date.
2. Low-Quality Links
Excessive and irrelevant link exchanges (incoming and outgoing) are sure to damage your Google credibility. Websites with several outgoing links to paid directories or incoming links appear as if they paid to get the websites out there without any consideration for the consumers. It might have worked earlier as such sites were not mentioned enough online.
The Penguin Algorithm was developed to put an end to such malpractices. The algorithm ensured to demote websites that abused the SEO Technique of linking and reward websites that followed the rules and offered consumers with good content.
The best way to stay in Google’s good books is to make sure that you do not have any irrelevant and excessive links on your page.
Always make sure that you are linking to a website that is relevant to your industry.
Avoid having links on your website just for the sake of having them. Another great way to ensure Google thinks you are credible is to get your site recognized by high-quality sites via a link.
3. Index Tags
Check your Index tags. A ‘no index’ tag on your web pages will stop Google from looking at your pages. This will affect your SEO Rankings to a great extent. You may also be relegated for having useless information on your website.
Some pages that you can set as “no index” are:
Thank you pages – Pages such as “Contact Us” or “Schedule an appointment” should be set as “No index”. A visitor should arrive at these pages only after they complete your form. The “no index” tag will make sure that those pages are not included in the SERPs.
Members-only pages – These pages are exclusive to your employees and other organization members. The “no index” tag will keep such pages from being found in SERPs.
4. Website Loading Speed
Make sure that your website loads in less than 5 seconds and is available all users all the time. Google will flag a slow website.
To achieve a fast loading website ensure that you have a reliable host. The host should be able to take care of the traffic on your website.
Simply put, invest in a good host and make sure that your website loads fast.
5. Use Keywords Judiciously
Stop stuffing your content with keywords. It is an obsolete SEO technique and harms your ranking.
Including repetitive and out of context, grammar or relevance keywords in your posts just to appear on top in the search results is a red flag. Nowadays search engines are aware of this manipulative tactic and are less likely to rank your website higher.
Use the targeted keywords in relevant places such as titles, descriptions, and introductory paragraphs. The whole idea is to make sure that your readers can read the content without getting distracted by the keywords. Use the keywords as naturally as possible in your content and be sure to be rewarded by Google.
The above-mentioned SEO Tips will help your website from being punished by Google. The best way to get Google's attention is to ensure that you audit your website regularly and fix any issue at the earliest.