We’ve all been there. Your website is doing poorly, it’s not getting anywhere near enough visits and therefore is making you no money. There’s only one solution for it, right? You must get your website to the top of Google!

Wrong – kind of.

Let’s start from the beginning and explain how Google works

Google, like Bing or Ecosia, is a search engine. It creates an index of all the web pages across the internet and ranks them.

This is where it gets complicated. Google has its own algorithm – a set of rules it applies to every website to determine its rank. Google likes to keep the exact algorithm a secret. However, Google will give us some hints every now and then – they’re not all that bad, honest!

Generally, Google has over 200 rules at one time calculating the best websites to show when you search for a something on their website. These rules can range from how many pageviews the website gets a month, to how relevant and trusted the content is on your website.

But let’s talk about keywords

Keywords are basically search terms. They can be just one word or a string of words. So for example, if somebody is searching for a green umbrella to buy on Google. The search term would be something like, ‘buy green umbrellas online’.

The words in that phrase are key – literally. ‘Green’ and ‘umbrella’ would be the keywords Google searches for in websites across the internet.

There are an almost infinite amount of phrases somebody could use to find something on Google, but it’s common phrases that usually trip people up.

The problem with common phrases

Common phrases are search terms in each industry that are very likely to be searched for. So, you own a flower shop and want to rank highly for ‘flower shop CITY’. The likelihood is that you won’t rank highly for this, not yet anyway.

The common phrase not only means that everybody is searching for it, but all the other flower shops in your city are trying to rank for it too. The competition is too high.

Hint: Try keywords that might be less obvious as well as your common phrases. This way, you will rank better for other keywords, and in turn, this will help you rank well for the common phrase too. I.e. ‘flowers for weddings CITY’.

So let’s get to the point, how long does it actually take to rank highly on Google?

One thing I want to get out in the open before we go into more detail. There are absolutely no quick fixes to getting a high ranking on Google, especially if your website is brand new.

95% of newly published website pages don’t get to the top 10 in Google within a year.

This means that your new website or new web page is going to take a while to get some traction.

I bet you’re wondering about the extra 5%. Well, these web pages get to the top 10 of Google rankings because of a few different factors.

  • They have a great domain authority – which means their website has already been around a while and Google trusts it
  • They know how to achieve a great ranking through coding tweaks, they use headings and great images
  • They have picked the right keywords
  • They have written a great page title or headline
  • They have promoted it on social media and have plenty of people sharing it/linking back to it

To rank highly on Google, it’s going to take some work. The good news is, you can do a good chunk of the work yourself.

How you can help your website rank highly on Google

Google changes the parameters of what they consider a ‘good’ website every now and then. However, a few things will likely stay the same. The following is a list of things you can do to give your website a boost, not just for Google, but your readers too:

  • Start a blog/resources section of your website and update it regularly with quality content specific to your audience
    • Update this every 1-2 weeks
    • Pick a keyword or string of keywords that you can repeat throughout your text
    • Use headings with your keyword in
    • Break up your text with bullet lists
    • Give any images an ‘alt’ tag and make sure you include your keyword in this
    • Make sure each blog post/resource is at least 500 words
  • Promote your content on social media regularly and engage with others
  • Ask customers, influencers, reviewers etc to link back to your website
  • Find relevant directories to list your website in (make sure they are legit ones)
  • Do a press release and send it to your local paper – ask them to link back to you

So why did I say you were wrong at the start of this article?

I’m not disputing the fact that a website does better at the top of Google. However, your website will do infinitely better if you simply shift your focus.

[bctt tweet=”The website owner who obsesses over SEO and Google rankings will lose sight of what’s truly important – their visitors.” username=”ginaxlucia”]

Here’s the trick, Google’s algorithms show us what we should be doing. In the simplest of terms, Google is telling you how to make your website the best it can be for your visitor.

Break up your content with headings – it makes it easier to read. Get links back to your website – helps people find you. Pick a keyword and repeat it – helps you keep the article on track and relevant.

Take the above as your basis for moving forward. You’re not making your website better for Google, you’re making it better for your visitors, and in turn, your ranking on Google will increase.

So on that note, go away and get improving that website of yours. Before you do though – share this one if you found it valuable.