7 Tips for Search Engine Domination
Taking into consideration the current growth rate of internet users’ and their increasing dependence on Search Engines, it is evident that the value of websites and their ranking on search engines will only increase. A simple Google search also shows the sheer number of competitors who are always trying to make it to the first five ranks. However, no matter how sincerely you follow the rules of Search Engine Optimization, there will always be someone out there to sabotage your SEO domination.
This is somewhat an unpredictable aspect of SEO. Google (we are talking about Google because it is the King of search engines) is solely invested in making the experience of the user as beneficial as possible. Hence, taking the shortest route by attaching SERP to your website won’t produce long-term results.
Nevertheless, we have a few key tips that will help you dominate Search Engine results.
- Paid search results
Perhaps the most effective ways of pushing your website to the readers and getting at the top of SERP is by paying to appear in the Ad section. Normally the paid websites are visible at the very top of the search result page, the section on the right side of the page or the shopping section.
The first step to appear in the paid for listings is setting up an account in AdWords. Shopping sections are only for those who have a product to sell since they are also the user the Google Shopping Campaigns.
In order to be able to keep your chosen keyword, you will have to bid against your competitors. Hence, the money spend will be dependent on your willingness to pay Google AdWords for ever click on your ad made by the user. However, it is not just the click that matters. Google also takes into account the quality of your content by using a metric called “quality score”. This metric determines the relevance of your ad to the search words put in by the user. Add to it the number of clicks your ad has received beforehand or CTR (click-through rate) along with the relevance of your website’s landing page.
Bigger brands bid their own name to ensure that there are no competitors taking advantage of their name.
For example, a search conducted by using the brand named Adidas shows the top most panel to be of shopping for Adidas goods followed by their official website, Adidas’s Wikipedia page etc.
2. Google News
In order to appear on Google News, you have to submit your website to Google. By doing so, Google will check whether your website has genuine news items.
The News results are found at the top part of the SERP along with a couple of links that that lead to relevant search terms.
The eligibility check for your website is important since it also verifies the ownership of your website. Hence, to pass the test, make correct use of meta-tags.
Google has some strict guidelines in order to ensure that News does not become a marketing service-
“We don’t want to send users to sites created primarily for promoting a product or organization, or to sites that engage in commerce journalism. If your site mixes news content with other types of content, especially paid advertorials or promotional content, we strongly recommend that you separate non-news type pf content. Otherwise, if we find non-news content mixed with news content, we may exclude your entire publication from Google News.”
So, retailers are out of luck when it comes to Google News.
When a search is conducted for a particular brand or a publisher, there are some extra links that can be found right under the main URL- these links are known as Sitelinks.
With the help of Sitelinks, you can easily add an oomph to your branded search results while developing more tangible results for your website.
However, how sitelinks appears in the results is in itself a mystery. Google states that sitelinks are only shown for those results that they consider would be helpful for the user.
Nevertheless, you can work on increasing the chances of the preferred sitelinks to appear in a search. Creating an XML sitemap and forwarding it to Google is the first step. Some other crucial steps to cover are maintaining a logical and clear hierarchy of your website.
- Search Box
The box that appears in the results list when a search is conducted for some brands or publishers is known as a search box.
If you find a search box for a particular website, it allows you to search for things within the site.
Very similar to the sitelinks, this little tool helps you amp up the size of branded search results.
In order to set up your own search box, you will need a couple of things- a website with its own search tool and a schema mark-up.
- Google’s Knowledge graph
People are mostly aware of Google as an advertising company which specializes in AdWords PPC. However, Google is so much more than just marketing. The primary goal of the search engine is to collate data on just about everything and ensure that it is easily and quickly available to the users, irrespective of the nature of platform used by them for searches.
The starting point of the collection and compilation of accurate information in response to the search queries made, is the formation of knowledge graph.
To be more specific, the knowledge graph is a database where millions of pieces of information about various keywords that people regularly look up on the internet. It also stores data regarding the intent of those keywords which are based on in information already available on the internet.
So how is Google’s knowledge graph related to search results?
The answer to this question brings us back to very basics of Search Engine Optimization and the content of a website.
Google considers the search words put in by the users as a form of data and uses it to improve its algorithm. In other words, Google focuses on the relevance of the page and matches it with what the user is looking for.
Thus, it is only when Google is able to understand what you are writing on your website, it will direct more traffic to your page and improve your ranking.
One of the easiest way of portraying what your website is all about is by building an About Us box or section with the help of Schema markup.
6. Answer box
Google at times makes use of answers provided by third party websites in order to provide answers to the simple questions that appear in its own answer boxes.
This feature simply does not allow the user to leave Google. It places the best answer at the very top.
The easiest and simplest way of increasing the chances of being the ‘chosen one’ is to keep your content updated on a regular basis and ensure that the information is genuine, easy to read and accurate.
7. Map results and Google My Business
You are perhaps surprised to find out that Map results are a part of the strategy that improves the ranking of your website.
Particularly valuable for retailers, Google puts in a lot of importance to the local results based on the location of the user.
On the other hand, Google Map doles out suggestions based on a series of factors such as relevance, distance and most importantly- prominence. It is based on a simple fact that the Google’s suggestion might be more relevant despite being farther away from the user’s location.
Thus keep your business information complete and updated along with the stock listed on your website.
However, for being able to do any of these, you need to register yourself with Google My Business which will put you out on the map listings and contribute to your overall local web presence.
Lastly, you would want to keep some key feature in order to dominate Google– proper description of your business, choose the right category for your business, state the opening and closing time, add images, provide regular updates, add a functional phone number and address, and allow customers to review your business.