When figuring out what it takes to rank a website, you have to take into consideration who is the standard. Everybody knows that Google is the search king! So when you want to rank a site, you have to ask yourself what is Google's ultimate goal? Google's goal is to satisfy their customers, just like every business.
Who is their customer? Well, anybody that has ever conducted a search using Google! Pretty close to everybody on the planet!
So, what's their plan? Google wants to give searchers (their customers) what every other business wants to give their customers; the best experience possible! The way they do that is to give them the absolute best information on the internet for the search topic.
How do they do that? Glad you asked! They constantly crawl the internet for information. They use that information to form the search results. They put the best results at the top of the list, which in Google's case is in the map section and on page one of the organic listings (listngs below the map).
So now ask yourself, what gets you to the top of that list?
Well, we said Google wants information! So, if you have the most information in your field, who do you think will be at the top?
But information is not enough. The information has to be relevant to the topic searched. Luckily people won't search for underwater basket weaving if they need a plumber, so that makes it a little easier.
What does Google look at?
Google looks at hundreds of criteria when ranking a site. But, there are 3 main things that business owners and SEO analysts need to consider.
1. Content - The best way to become relevant is to show Google you are the authority on your topic. The more informative your site is, the higher it will rank. If your competitor has little content on their site, this is an easy fix. If not, keep adding content until you have more!
2. Citations - This is simply putting your business information on directories throughout the internet. The more times Google finds your business info, the more relevant your site becomes.
3. Backlinks - Backlinks are like votes for your website. However, you need to be careful and make sure the backlink comes from a relevant site and the more noteable the site, the better. (for example, if your site is for home construction, you'll want links from sites that have to do with this topic. A backlink from a bakery site has no relevance to home construction). Now, all links don't have the same power! Think about this, if you're running for some local office, and you get endorsed by Jim Bob, nobody cares. However, if you get endorsed by the mayor, suddenly eyes start looking at you! Backlinks are the same way, if you get a backlink on Home Depot's site and you're a home builder, how powerful is that? This was just used as an example, so don't go running to Home Depot asking for a link, they'll send you to the fence department or they'll just look at you funny!
This is just a few of the things and a big over-simplification of the SEO process, but it should give you a better understanding of why your website is not ranking or what to work on if you're a budding SEO person.
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