Anyone who’s ever tried to outsource their Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) efforts knows that when you ask an SEO expert how long this will take, the answer is always ‘it depends’.
And they are right.
It depends on thousands of factors and there is no exact formula or ‘one size fits all’ approach. However, some factors that we do know play a key role:
- Domain Authority;
- Keyword Competition;
- Content Quality.
And also it seems AGE.
So I hear you ask…
Does Page Age Make A Difference To Google Rank Position?
Yes. Ahrefs took 2 million random keywords on Google and pulled data from the top 10 ranking pages and found that Search Engine Results Page (SERP) is dominated by “old” pages:
- 95% of pages in the Top 10 positions are over 12 months old;
- The average Top 10 ranking page is 2+ years old;
- The average age for a Number 1 ranking is almost 3 years old.
So, what strategies can you employ to speed that process up?
It sounds obvious, but many people still don’t do it – analyse what your successful competitors are doing!
Ask questions like:
- What are they doing?
- How are they doing it?
- Can you copy/mimic or even improve on their efforts?
Use a strategy that works, and if you can, improve it.
Use a strategy that works; make sure that you constantly review it to ensure you are always using the most effective strategy to make your website rank higher.
To help you along the way, you may need a few tools:
- BuzzSumo can tell you what content on your competitor’s websites are getting shared the most (shares are good to increase social signals).
- Moz’s Open Site Explorer allows you to see everything from domain & page authority to inbound links and root domains;
- Screaming Frog SEO Spider crawls websites’ links, images, Clinical Classifications Software (CSS), script and apps to evaluate onsite SEO.
Which leads us to…
So, after you’ve done your competitor analysis, the first thing you should do is optimise your website for on-page elements.
You should include things like:
- Relevant content to the subject;
- Keyword optimization;
- HTML Tags;
- Inbound & Outbound links.
The website plugin by Yoast is a great tool to help you get this right. It gives you tips and suggestions on how to improve your on-page SEO; for example:
When you’ve got your on-page elements correct, you are essentially telling Google ‘this is what we do’; however, in order to rank well, you also need independent online sources to ‘recommend you’; this is easily achieved by generating backlinks to your content/website.
However, any old backlink won’t do. You must get backlinks from high domain ranking websites. Quality is better than quantity.
So how do links pass Domain Authority?
A great link building strategy is to create an infographic on your subject (Venngage is a great tool for this) and send to other audiences who might be interested and willing to share it with their audience. Once they share it, voila, you have a free backlink.
Next on the agenda…
Google snippets are designed to answer your search questions at the top of a Google page. You will recognise them as looking something like this:
Known as “position zero”, you can gain the top spot on Google, even if your linked content isn’t at the top of the rankings itself.
The way to achieve a ‘Rich Snippet’ is by creating content which answers a question, such as ‘how to make a pancake?’.
In order to achieve this top position, your content subtitle should be the question that needs asking and the next paragraph should answer that question precisely.
Bear in mind that Google reads your content like a robot which means you need to organise your content logically; if you do, you might even get your own snippet. If you don’t, forget about ranking in position zero.
And finally, something which goes without saying…
Don’t Forget Social Media For SEO
Some people will tell you that social media has nothing to do with SEO.
As we know, Google takes into account thousands of pieces of information in order to rank your website. When someone searches for a topic within your subject area, search engines do consider social media in rankings.
In particular, they look at:
- How active your social media accounts are;
- How up to date they are;
- How many shares your website gets.
It has also been proven that a strong presence on social media has a positive correlation with better website rankings.
And don’t forget, social media offers 2.7 billion social media users. You’d be crazy not to utilise it as a sales tool.
So What Now?
SEO is sometimes over complicated. It’s all a matter of knowing what strategy to employ, putting in the hours and being patient.
As we know, 95% of websites/content can take up to 12 months to rank well in Google, however, if you get it all right, you may just find yourself ranking in a day:
By James Rowland, Business Development Director at Neathouse Partners Ltd
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