Are you even ranking? Start Building your SEO empire!

By Opium Works | May 16, 2018

in SEO

 

Rome was not built in a day... As you might know, according to the legend, Rome was built by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus who were brought up by a she-wolf when they were kids.

The legend says that the two brothers started building a city and later on started conquering neighbouring ones, thus establishing a small empire! Long story short, this small empire started spreading until it even reached Asia Minor. Of course, this didn't happen in one night; it took nearly a thousand years.

I know you might be wondering what on earth this has to do with SEO. The answer is really simple; it takes time to build great things, and if you're investing money in SEO and being promised top-of-the-page ranks in a short period of time, you have likely fallen into a trap.

In this article, I'm going to give you some tips on how you can get started with your SEO activities and slowly start building your own empire on Google Rankings.

 

Mobile-First Indexing

 

Are you reading this on mobile? I could bet that you probably are, but if not I am sure you are now using your mobile to navigate the web much more often than you used to do in the past!

Mobile-First Indexing is pretty simple to understandit means that the mobile version of your website becomes the starting point for what Google includes in their index. Just to make things clear, your desktop version is still going to rank, but having a non-mobile friendly website will have a negative impact on your rankings.

If you are doing any kind of Paid Media (Facebook Advertising, Google Adwords, etc.) I'm sure one of the first optimisations you do when troubleshooting your campaigns is for mobile devices. This is because you want to get most of your campaigns from your best-performing devices, helping you spend less while getting better conversions. That's exactly what Google is trying to achieve: offer its users the best possible results and top user experience.

Having this in mind, one of the first things you need to do in order to start ranking on Google results is to work on optimising your website for mobile devices, making sure that:

  • Your website is loading fast
  • You have checked the readiness of the mobile version
  • You have submitted the mobile version of your site on Google Search Console.

If you are wondering whether this update is affecting you right now, based on a conversation we had with a Google representative, it won't go into effect until June 2018.

 

Security

 

It has been stated and repeated countless times before that security is a top priority for Google, and will be taken into consideration in search rankings in an effort to make the internet a safer place. Security has been a ranking signal since 2014; however, non-HTTPS websites will officially be labelled as not secure in July 2018!

Securing your website is not rocket science. All you need to do is purchase an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate and install it on your web server in order to initiate a secure session with browsers. This will simply convert your website URL from HTTP to HTTPS and at the same time provide encryption of personal data and sensitive information to your website visitors.

 

Backlinks

 

Backlinks are the best way to tell Google that your website has high authority, and this authority makes other website owners link back to you.

Back in the day, people would pay a lot of money to get thousands of backlinks from different “SEO Experts,” and this seemed to work for a while. I am sure if you take a look at some freelance websites there are people who are still making a living by selling backlinks and promising higher rankings, or even top-of-the-page ranks. Apparently the Google algorithm is becoming smarter and smarter, something that makes it able to identify whether your backlinks are coming from “suspicious” domains or if they were created using a black hat technique. So if you are using any of these services, I would recommend visiting your Search Console and looking for “Manual Actions”…

The question is, how can I get backlinks to my website without it looking spammy to the Google algorithm? Well, there are several ways to do that, and here you can find some suggestions from us:

  • Create shareable content: If you're putting a lot of effort into your content then chances are that people will share or refer to it when they are writing about a similar topic.
  • Expand your network: One of the best ways to get backlinks is to contact local portals or people who work in the same industry as you and ask them to share your content. It’s time to make use of your email contact list and see if you can get something out of it!

 

Featured Snippets

 

To begin with, featured snippets refer to those results that are featured in a special snippet block at the top of the search results page. A featured snippet includes a summary of an answer with a link to the original source.

Here are some examples of what a featured snippet looks like:

 

Featured Snippet 1

 

Feature Snippet 2

 

If you're wondering how you can mark your landing page as a featured snippet, the answer is very simple: you can't. Google programmatically determines that a page contains an answer to a user's question, and displays the result as a featured snippet.

Featured snippets are a reminder to all of us of how important it is to write unique, precise, and high-quality content. I am sure you have heard multiple times the cliché expression: "Content is King"; if you were ever in doubt, then this is a straight answer! I don't think Google would ever feature a random or irrelevant snippet at the top of their search results.

Finally, featured snippets are mainly what voice assistants use to answer user questions. Having in mind that people who use voice assistants are likely to visit the website that gave them the answer to their question, as well as experts' predictions that 50% of Searches will be by voice by 2020, then it's quite easy to understand how important and valuable it is putting extra effort into your content writing.

 

Synopsis

 

For sure, it takes a lot of effort to build a ranking empire, however, paying attention to Google updates and signals for what is coming up next can help you outperform your competitors.

It's time to move on from traditional SEO practices and start focusing on content, security, mobile user experience, and how you can establish yourself as an authoritative website in order to make people link back to you and share your content.

 

What do you think?

 

Have we missed anything important? Did you enjoy reading this? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think!

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