When was the last time you checked out page three of Google search results? That’s right—never!
The majority of users never even go to page two, let alone beyond that. This is why every website owner’s dream is to get to the top of the Google search results.
New SEO strategies are being developed constantly, and the rules of SEO keep changing. This can make it difficult for those new to SEO to keep up with the developments—and figure out what the best SEO strategy for their website is.
While the history of SEO starts over a decade ago, we here at SEO JURY still see millions of people searching for “SEO” every month, which means that there are still plenty of confusing things about SEO that most users are struggling to understand.
SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to a process of getting web traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial,” or “natural” search results on search engines like Google. The more organic traffic a website or a web page gets, the higher its visibility on the search engine.
The fact that Google’s top 5 results get 75 percent of the clicks is the reason SEO is so important for almost every kind of business these days. Since most users never go beyond page one when googling a certain term, websites that never make it to the top of the search result list have much lower chances of expanding their audience reach.
This is why SEO has become such a lucrative business and why so many marketing graduates are choosing SEO as their career. The SEO industry is worth a whopping $65 billion, and it doesn’t look like it will stop growing soon.
What’s the difference between off-page and on-page optimization?
The main difference is that on-page optimization is internal and needs a constant revision of one’s own website to drive more traffic, while off-page optimization is external and relies on other web pages to improve a website or blog’s visibility. This means that off page SEO deals with link building factors.
One important aspect of on-page SEO is meta descriptions—160-character snippets that sum up the content of a website. Ninety-nine percent of the top 10 websites use meta descriptions as part of their optimization strategy.
Another key factor of SEO is the page load time—nearly half of target audiences (47 percent) expect websites to load in 2 seconds or less.
How long will it take to get rankings?
While a top search engine ranking is not something you get overnight—only 5.7 percent of all newly published pages will get to Google Top 10 within a year—it’s not impossible to achieve.
If you want your website to climb to the very top, you’ll need to put in quite a lot of time and effort to create quality content, publish multiple weekly blog posts, and build links regularly. All of this can take anywhere between 2 to 6 months while getting more substantial results can even take up to 12 months.
On a research sample of 20,000 URLs from pages that were published in 2016, the average amount of time it took a page to reach their top position was 3.39 months.
What you can do to speed up your way to the top
- Creating fresh content is crucial for keeping your website alive and well. Think of updating website content as watering a plant—the moment you stop doing it, it withers and dies. As long as you keep your content fresh, your website will flourish, and you’ll improve your chances of getting to the top of the search engine results.
- Check the recent Google updates frequently, since changes to Google’s algorithms can affect your SEO rankings. Google changes its algorithms often, so you always need to be on the top of new trends if you want to master the art of SEO.
- Tracking your organic traffic can help you figure out if your SEO strategy is going in the right direction. If you don’t keep track of how much traffic you gain or lose in a month, you won’t know if you’re doing something wrong that’s stopping you from climbing to the top.
- Doing keyword researchis one of the most important aspects of every successful SEO strategy. If you want to get more organic traffic and improve your SEO rankings, you need to do careful research and pick keywords that users are most likely to search for when looking for your type of product or service.
- Investing in link building, in the long run,is one of the surest ways to increase your website’s visibility and improve your rankings. Keep in mind though that link building is as much about quality as it is about quantity. Having lots of links is great, but you also want to make sure you get your links from high-quality websites.
- Check your website speed from time to time to make sure your page isn’t lagging, since even a 1-second delay can cause your website to lose traffic and automatically lower your search engine position.
- Knowing your position on PageRank—Google’s algorithm used for ranking websites—can help you understand how well your website rates among your competitors.
- Building quality backlinksis a proven way to get to the top of Google search results faster. The more quality backlinks you have, the higher your popularity. Don’t wait too long to start building backlinks—1.8 months after you publish your content is the optimum time.
To find the rest of the 16 SEO facts we still struggle to understand, take a look at this comprehensive infographic:
This article and infographic originally appeared on the SEO JURY site; reprinted with permission.