You’ve worked hard to reach top billing on Google, but now you’ve got to defend your position. Seems easy, right?
Maintaining a steady stream of traffic is a priority for almost every organisation with an online presence. If visitors aren’t making the trip to your website, it’s impossible to convert them into loyal, long term customers.
If you can prove your worth to Google, your visibility on its search engine results pages will increase, but what happens after you’ve bagged yourself that illusive top spot?
Contrary to popular belief, ranking for optimised keywords is really only half the battle. SEO is constantly evolving, and you’ll need to stay up to date with the latest trends in order to keep those search rankings secure.
1. Regularly update your content
This may sound obvious, but it’s one of the most common mistakes made by SMEs.
Google takes into account content quality and freshness as part of its ranking algorithm, so keeping your site current is a simple way of maintaining your organic search position.
If you’re targeting keywords, look at updating existing content by adding fresh visuals. This will enhance the user experience and entice others to link back to your site.
2. Speed up the process
Site speed has long been an ‘unofficial’ ranking factor for Google, yet many sites still don’t load particularly quickly – especially on mobile, where the majority of searches now originate from.
Keep in mind that there are over two million pieces of content posted each day, so if your site isn’t loading fast enough, visitors will most likely resort to an alternative solution.
Google urges webmasters to get their page load time down to less than one second for mobile devices. However, if you can’t get it that low, consider that every second you shave off of your page load time reduces abandonment.
3. Build links the natural way
One of the most common mistakes that webmasters make is focusing on quantity rather than the quality of their backlinks.
If you’ve ranked for a particular keyword, there’s no need to build excessive backlinks to that page. Google can detect if a site is gaining links at an unreasonable pace. Building links too quickly can be perceived as a massive red flag that can potentially lead to a damaging search penalty.
Remember, Google wants its users to be able to click through to relevant, useful content.
If you want to maintain your position here, then you should look to expand your inbound links to various pages on your site. This strategy will diversify your profile and increase your authority from Google’s perspective.
4. Set a clear path for users
Outbound and cross-site links can be just as important as those linking to your site. Sending users to authoritative bodies helps Google determine the relevancy of your website.
You should make sure that the external pages you’re linking to provide relevant, valuable content to your readers.
Internal linking is another useful strategy that will help maintain your rankings. When done properly, internal linking will help search engines understand the importance and topical focus of each page. As a bonus, smart internal linking can also keep users stay put for longer by giving them easier access to additional on-site content.
Similar to outbound links, you want to use internal linking in moderation. Don’t overdo it by adding a plethora of links to your existing content.
5. Build a wider presence
There is still some ambiguity as to whether social media engagement is a ranking factor for search, both directly or indirectly. However, it’s clear that search engines view each major social platform as a dominant authority.
Acquiring links from these networks will help Google determine the relevancy of your website. The more people like and share your content, the more visibility you’ll receive from these social channels on search. As you continue to garner quality backlinks, it may also help boost and sustain your rankings in the long term.
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