When it comes to ranking high on Google's natural search listings, there are two things to consider. One is staying relevant. This means having new, unique content that you post on a regular basis. The other thing to consider is your site's reputation.
If your website has a good reputation, then you are seen as a credible expert in your niche. People love to link back to those who they consider to be experts. And getting credible sources, such as a professional, journalistic, or educational site to link back to you is even better.
The Importance of a Good Reputation
When other credible sites link back to yours Google ranks you higher in its natural search listings. So how do you gain a reputation for your website that leads to more people linking to your site?
Matt Cutts from Google's anti-spam department answered this very question at the WordCamp conference in January, 2013. Here are the tips that he shared with those in the audience:
- Be Interesting - Don't blog about a topic that is oversaturated, like whether Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes can agree on whether or not Suri will be allowed to attend scientology meetings. A better example of gaining traffic on this topic is Suri's Burn Book, a fictitious blog written from the (unauthorized) point of view from the precocious toddler.
- Post Often - If your blog has not been updated in the past six months, then it is unlikely that people are visiting your blog often to find out when you are going to post a new update. But you post regularly (which is easy thanks to scheduling plug-ins) then people will come back and visit on a regular basis.
- Choose Your Niche - And start small. You can't expect to take over a large topic overnight. Don't overreach, and avoid shortcuts because you will likely have to start back at square one anyway.
When it comes to choosing your niche, let's say that you want to be the world's best blogger on the topic of small kitchen appliances. Start with a small niche like juicers, and then work your way on to other products.
Before you know it people will start linking to your blog, causing it to gain a better reputation. If enough credible sites link to your blog, then you will begin to see your Google rankings climb to the top, and people will see you as an expert in your niche.
Website Reputation and Social Media
Dharmesh Shah, the CEO at Hubspot, recently said that, "You can't NOT do social media anymore because it's so interwoven into SEO and inbound marketing." And that's so true, whether your business is a small mom-and-pop shop or an online corporation.
The reason is because being active on social media helps build traffic which leads to more linking. It doesn't take an expert to watch how a topic goes viral on a social media site like Facebook, Twitter, or even YouTube. There is even a TED talk on this topic!
Social media is free marketing that has replaced pricey print ads in the local newspaper or telephone book. Every time someone shares, re-tweets, or re-pins an update from one of your social media accounts, what they are really doing is promoting your website.
Do You Need an Analysis?
You may be wondering if you are in need of some type of analysis to gauge the effectiveness of the SEO techniques that you are using on your website. The answer is yes. Some of the things that this type of analysis can provide you with includes:
- Lists of related keywords and their competitiveness
- Which keywords are more effective than others
- The popularity of your site compared to competition in your niche
- Your website traffic in regards to who visits from where at what times
- Analysis of the keywords your competition is using
Most importantly, if those who are competing with you in the same niche are not using any type of website analysis then it gives you the upper hand. It allows you to improve your sites visibility and improve its overall performance.
An analysis is the quickest and most reliable way to generate more traffic and gain better links that point back to your site. The better you know the fine details about your website, the better you can optimize it to naturally rank higher in Google's search engine results.