Your site is stuck on the second page. That feels like a good achievement and it actually is. Now you’re wanting to rank on the first page. It’s not impossible to do so. It’s just a matter of time and effort. You’ll eventually get there. Ranking on the first page isn’t magic. You can’t just throw up any site and expect it to rank though. The world of online marketing is very competitive and no one is going to sit back and let you take away their ranking.

Change the Title and See If that Helps:

This might sound overly simple, but it could actually help. Does your title reflect what the person is searching for? If not, you should make a change. You don’t want to stuff your title full of keywords. Doing this will more than likely hurt your rankings. Instead, stay focused on what the person is searching for. The title of your site or blog post should reflect what people are searching for. If it doesn’t, then you need to change it immediately. The title is one of the strongest areas on the page. It gives Google a short synopsis of what you’re page or site is about.

Does your site answer fully answer the visitor’s question?

This is a big deal and we’re going to spend some time talking about it. Your page needs to offer a solution to someone’s problem. Maybe they want to find out how to repair a ripped cassette tape. Regardless of what the question is, it needs to be answered. You need to look at the other sites and see if they answer the question better than you did.

What if the sites that rank higher answer the visitors question better than you do? If that’s the case, then you need to make your page better. You need to study the pages that rank higher and see how you can improve. Maybe those sites don’t have videos. If that’s the case, then you might be able to improve your ranking by adding a video. Are you using custom images and infographics? If not, then there’s another way that you can improve.

At the end of the day you’re just trying to answer a question someone has. Google can tell by using a variety of metrics which sites answer the question better. You’ll see an increase in your rankings if you improve the user experience. Find the flaws in your competition’s pages and make yours better. Google wants to list the best answer for the question. If you can answer the question more thoroughly, then you’ll definitely out rank your competition.

Recommended reading: How to Build a 7-Figure Blog Fast

Make Sure You Interlink Your Pages Using Keywords as Anchor Text:

You don’t want to be spammy and stuff your anchors with keywords. Doing that may actually decrease your ranks. Google wants to know what pages on your site that you think are important. The way you do that is by interlinking pages using the appropriate anchor text. This let’s Google know that the information on this page is important. The anchor text reinforces to Google what is important about that page. You may see a jump in rankings if you just interlink your articles in a way that helps Google clearly categorize your pages better.

Reach Out to Sites that Link to Your Competitors:

You can use Ahrefs or Majestic to see who links to your competitors. There might be linking opportunities that you’re missing out on. For example, you may find a site that’s reviewing your competitor’s product or service. You could send the site owner an email asking if they’d like to review what you have to offer. You may even offer them a freebie in exchange for a review. This is a great way to get back links if you’re confident in the quality of your product or service to deliver.

What you don’t want to do is beg them for a link. Even worse is trying to bribe them. You could point out that your site is a better resource than the one they link to. You could add that you’ve worked harder to provide more value to the visitor. Don’t by shy about playing up your custom images and videos. Hopefully the site owner will check out your page and agree that you’ve done a better job at answering the question. If this is the case, you very well could get a link from them. Don’t be surprised if they still link to your competitor. Sometimes that happens and the site owner just wants to give out as much information as possible.

Check for Bad Code, Broken Images, and Do a Speed Test:

This is the nuts and bolts of your website. The technical stuff that some of you may not have grasp on. You may need to hire someone to look into this. We’ll talk about that a little later. However, there’s still plenty of things that even someone who isn’t a tech wizard can check out. You want to make sure that all of your images are loading properly. Make sure there are no broken images. You should also try to optimize your images as much as possible. Big images can slow down your page loading times. Every image should be optimized so that they load as fast as possible. There should also be no broken links or anything that doesn’t work properly. You can simply click on the links and see if they work. If they don’t, then you’re going to have to fix that. All of this stuff does play a role in ranking.

You need to check the speed of your site using Pingdom.

Your site should be in the top 80%. If it isn’t, then you need to contact your host and ask them what the problem is. Your site should be in the top 80% if you’re using a reputable host. If not, then it’s time to move. Some hosts overcrowd servers to make as much profit as possible. The amount of time it takes to load your page is a ranking factor. If your pages load slow, Google will penalize them. The good news is fast hosting isn’t expensive. You’ll get a good size savings if you can pay for an entire year up front. You should be able to get a year of good hosting for less than 50 dollars.

Have an SEO Audit Done for Your Site:

This doesn’t have to be as expensive as it might sound. You can find people on Fiverr who’ll do this for five dollars. You do kind of get what you pay for. But, it’s a good place to start. You’ll probably want to go elsewhere if you’re a company with a big budget. Though, Fiverr actually does now have quite a few qualified freelancers who charge a considerable amount more. Fiverr or other outsourcing places are a great way for people with a limited budget to get an audit done. It’ll give you precious insight to what needs to be improved.

Sometimes a new pair of eyeballs can actually have a big impact. You want someone who has experience and is probably using some kind of software to check out your site. Their software should go through every page on your site and look for errors. It will generate a report that you’ll be able to go over later. No person can go through each and every page to make sure everything works 100% the way it should. Software has been developed for this purpose and anyone who does a good audit of your site should use it.

It May Just Boil Down to Domain Age:

The age of your domain does play a factor in how well it ranks. A new domain simply isn’t going to out rank other sites. It takes Google awhile to trust your domain. Trust is something that’s earned over time. How long does it take for Google to begin trusting your site?

This is something that’s up for debate. You can find conversations on this topic in search engine forums all over the internet. No one knows for sure exactly how long it takes Google to trust your site. The general consensus is that it takes about nine months for your site to be trusted by Google. Could it be six months instead of nine? Maybe. But, the one thing you know for certain is that Google isn’t going to trust your site over night. Trust takes time. So does creating quality content. By the time your site is full of great content Google will begin to trust it.

Any Quality Site Can Rank on The First Page:

It may not seem that way right now. You’ve thrown everything you have into this site. You may even be brought to tears over the fact that your site doesn’t appear on the first page. This isn’t the time to give up. You’ve watched your rankings increase the entire time. Sites when they pass the Google trust test leap in the rankings quite effortlessly. It’s when you want to get on the first page and crawl up the rankings that things are a little more difficult.

You always want to ask yourself if you’re offering value to the visitor. Do you answer their question completely? Are you doing a better job than the other sites? The days of being able to game the system are coming to an end. You’re not going to be able to throw a ton of backlinks to a site and have it rank in the top three positions on the first page. It’s just not going to happen any more. There are many more factors involved and it’s going to take time.

None of this is meant to discourage you. Information is power. You can use it to help your site rank. You’re probably not going to make any money until your site ranks in the top three. The learning process that gets you there will be invaluable. It will help you rank other sites or pages in the future. Search engine ranking is a cookie cutter process. What works for one site will definitely work for another. You’re free to move on over to the next page or project once you’ve go the process down pat. You can work to rank other pages or sites. This is where the real money is made.

Quality sites that don’t take shortcuts will always rank. What ranks today will have the same results five years from now. Quality white hat SEO is what you want to learn how to do. Never search for an easy way out. The easy way will cause headaches down the line. It all boils down to one very simple thing… Are you answering the question your visitor has? Are you doing it better than the other sites? If your site does, it’ll always rank at the top. Google is a business and they want people to continue using their search engine. The only way people will do that is if they provide access to information that answers their customer’s questions.

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