Getting your startup ranked on Google is a boss move!
Jumping on the entrepreneur’s bandwagon is an outside-the-box adventure, but learning how to rank your startup? It is a guaranteed business-boosting gambit.
If you have landed on this page browsing for an insider’s scoop on ranking intel, then you have reached the dragon nest of your SEO hunt!
In our heroic lets-save-the-start-ups-across-the-globe surge, we will be dropping some off-the-record actionable SEO pointers that will give you a cutting-edge upper hand in the services/products you sell.
I believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has persuaded most of us to shift your businesses online. During the 2020 pandemic, Jeff Bezos managed to bag a tidy sum of revenue through his Amazon platform that has the earth’s biggest range of products.
So! SEO, right? Is it as tough as machine learning? Does it involve coding? Can I do it on my own without hiring an agency, and would I have to sell my soul to the devil? No, no, yes, and well, maybe.
Optimizing a brand in terms of SERPs is a craft – before we dive into some notable SEO tips, let’s have a brief look at different page factors that can be optimized to bring your content up top:
- Backlinks – also known as inbound links, a backlink is a link to your webpage posted/published across different platforms/webpages on the internet. The more backlinks you have, the merrier your site will be.
- Google Algorithms – algorithms are the minute tweaks made by Google to develop a ranking system. Search algorithms filter web pages with keywords (typed by users) to match their search intent.
- Domain – domain names or your domain address is typically mentioned in your site’s URL, like the physical address of your store, a domain name is a cyber address that your users can visit you on the world wide web.
- Brand Signals – these are cues that allow the search engine to identify you as an authentic, credible and trustworthy brand – in other words, it lets Google know that you are not an evil lurking alien ready to take over the internet in an attempt to destroy their cyberspace because if you try to do that, alien or not, you will be penalized.
- Site – this is your webpage, your holy grail that we want to bless with endless traffic.
- Page – a page is to your site like a page is to a book, pretty easy, no?
- User Engagement – this is how internet users are reacting to your site (ignoring you, liking you, falling in love with you, being passive-aggressive and the likes – all user behaviors in relation to your site are important for your site to rank – don’t take this one personally – it is more about them than it is about you)
Note: Google is quick to give a penalty to sites that try to hack their way to the top, ergo, it is important to stick with practicing whitehat page optimization.
“Linking out sends trackable traffic, it makes your site a more valuable and scalable resource.”
– Rand Fishkin Founder of Moz
An industrious SEO study has predicted that there is a definite connection between the number of backlinks your site has and its ranking spot.
Some useful backlinking pointers include:
- Backlinks from older domains – the older the domain address is the more rank robustness it can give.
- Backlinks from guest posts – Too much guest posting (publishing an article on other blogs) can actually get your site into trouble.
- Root Domains – Over 1 million sites have marked referring links as an important element in a site’s ranking.
- Linking Pages – the number of pages linked does have a positive relationship with your site’s ranking status!
- Building site profile – too many links from the same source can be identified as webspam, ergo, using diverse links helps your site in SERPs (search engine ranking pages).
Ranking Fact: The top listed site has 3.8x the number of backlinks than a site at the second, third, or tenth position.
“Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.”
– Wendy Piersall
Google has a reputation for refining its algorithms every few years, months, and even weeks! To facilitate users to access exact results, it introduces new updates every now and then.
To be able to navigate through the latest updates is a tacky task, but the good news is that Google gives a generous boost to cheer up new site pages.
Ranking Fact: As per the latest algorithm updates, if you can make a site visitor stay on your site for 3 seconds, your webpage will be moved a rank higher.
A Brado study analyzing 6.9 million feature snippets found out that google algorithms primarily weigh the following factors:
- Page authority
- The use of HTTPs
- The length of content
In addition to this, YMYL keywords aka your money and your life have higher quality standards for content in google algorithms. So if you plan to target this niche, make sure you know who your competitors are!
There is one thing that our beloved Google is very serious about, and it is about writing unplagiarized content that adds value to their search engine. One of the recent updates include taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site.
For this reason, sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in search engine results.
“The difference between a domain that’s six months old versus one-year-old is really not that big at all.”
– Matt Cutts
In other words, the domain age is not that important.
A domain name that starts with a primary keyword gets a competitive edge in that niche. As shown below, a keyword in the subdomain extension increases the strength of your ranking status.
Other than that, sites with a local IP address and a domain name extension that includes a country-specific name get an absolute ranking boost!
This means .us domains if you are from Christopher’s land of liberty and .uk domains if you are from the Queen’s land.
Ranking Fact: The correlation between short URLs and ranking status is slight, but it is there.
Brand signals are the building blocks of your brand identity and act as a solid ranking factor for your startup.
Digital branding includes branding your brand name within different places. There are different types of anchor texts or clickable texts in an article.
A branded anchor text is when you use a brand’s name to link to one of its articles.
“Quipit Media has grown into a full-scale digital marketing agency that now caters to all aspects of strategic brand management.” Branded anchor texts are one of the strongest brand signals. Apart from this, if a user searches for your brand name, it signals Google that your site is a real brand.
As a boss man/boss lady of a startup, you might be tempted to backlink your brand with any and all sites, but that could potentially damage your brand identity.
Ranking Fact: Links from bad neighborhood sites are going to hurt your rank status in SERPs.
If your site also includes your Facebook or Twitter handles, it will tie your site’s content to your verified online profiles that will help you rank further.
Getting a brand name alerts search crawlers to take notice of you.
Moreover, if a number of users are searching up your brand name and clicking on your site, Google will automatically rank your site higher for users to find you with ease.
“My rule of thumb is to build a site for a user, not a spider.”
– Dave Naylor
Before we proceed to optimize a page, let’s look at some overlooked factors that help your site secure the top spot:
- Google is quick to penalize sites that don’t bring anything new to the table. So if you would like to convert your startup into a brand, you need relevant content that stands true with your niche.
- Search engine spiders prefer sites that have a proper contact us page, if your site has all the necessary contact information then you get a +1 for including an adequate amount of useful information for Google users.
- Your site’s architecture can be another ranking factor for you. If your content is already organized and well put it helps the Googlebot access and index all of your pages.
- Sitewide freshness factors like updating your site every now and then when you upload content can maximize your ranking status. On the contrary, Google does not use the publishing frequency on your site as a ranking factor.
Ranking Fact: According to Alexa, there is a zero correlation with a page’s loading speed and its ranking.
“If you want to master SEO in 2018, you need to become a CTR Jedi.”
— Brian Dean
To improve your page’s search visibility, prefer title tags that begin with the main keyword over title tags that use the keyword by the end of the tag.
Ranking Fact: There is near to no evidence for using a primary keyword in your article title and your page’s ranking.
Likewise, Google does not really consider your meta-description as a ranking factor, but if you use a kickass CTA in meta, it will help increase your conversion rate which will in return boost your site’s rank.
Ranking Fact: There is a clear connection between content grade and ranking status – the better you write, the higher your site will go!
Google prefers pages that cover a topic in good length. Not only does it mean a minimum word count of 1500 words but also pages that cover different parts of the topic briefly are more likely to rank.
An unmistakable SEO success factor for your page is TF-IDF – or in other words, the frequency of a word used on a page acts as an indicator of what the page is all about. If the Google algorithm finds frequent use of the word “mobile phones in Texas” on your page then it is more likely to rank for an American user that is looking for mobile phones in Dallas, Texas.
“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”
If users keep coming back to your site, then your site gains repeat traffic that sets your site as a ranking host.
Although, not all SEO analysts believe that a bounce rate is a ranking factor, statistical results show that Google uses its users as beta-testers to determine site rank.
A site with a high bounce rate signals that the user search intent is not being met which thereby can lower your site rank.
We can also confirm from bounce rate results that only relevant content is written and a site that addresses the search intent appropriately gets ranked.
Another rank factor concerning user interaction is called pogosticking. Unlike a regular bounce, in pogosticking the user skips past other sites to click on a link that matches their search intent on face value. If a user keeps on scrolling past your site, then your site is bound to drop its rank.
If you have other sites ranking in your niche, you will need to outrank them by writing unique content that is backed with kickass SEO skills. All in all, for reaching your maximum optimizing potential for your startup, you will need to:
- Assess your traffic potential by auditing a ranked article
- Address your site content to humans, not search engines.
- Make sure your content is super easy to digest.
If you are having trouble optimizing on your own, you can get in touch with our SEO experts at Quipit Media to break the algorithm code and get your rank status rolling.