So you have done everything you knew about SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO) and still, your site is nowhere near in top 10 results of Google ranking? If yes, you are in the right place. I will show you the things that are probably going wrong. But before we dive into the details, let us first have a look at some of the important SEO factors.
What You Will Get Here
- What Is SEO and how it works?
- Types of SEO
- 1. On-Page SEO:
- 1. Site-specific on-page SEO: It involves the following:
- 2. Page specific on-page ranking factors
- 2. Off page SEO:
- (A) Some off page techniques that form the foundation of any sites backlink profile but don’t influence ranking a lot:
- (B) Some off page SEO factors that work very well
- (C) One off Page technique that works super-fast but is risky:
- 3. What is more effective? On page or off page SEO
- 4. Pre-penguin SEO:
- 5. Post penguin SEO:
- 6. Where should you start from?
- 7. Has SEO died?
- 8. My page is on the 2nd or 3rd page of Google for long but not coming to the first page. What to do?
- 9. A SEO flow chart for novices to follow
- 10. Best SEO software SEO experts use:
- 11. Difference between SEO and PPC
- 12. What is organic and inorganic traffic and are they of the same quality?
- 13. How Local SEO differs from global SEO
- 14. Why is it important for Google to trust your website?
- 15. Now let’s see what’s going wrong. Why is your website ranking poorly on Google?
- 16. Wrapping it up
What Is SEO and how it works?
I know this is a very basic question for most of the people visiting this page. We all know SEO stands for search engine optimization. But the way you can optimize your website for search engines has changed. Earlier you had to have loads of backlinks to rank a website. The more backlinks you had, the more ranking you would get. Google used not to consider click data or social signal data or how much time a visitor is spending on your page etc. But with the passage of time, Google has made necessary adjustment in their algorithm. So SEO, today, is a lot different than it used to be in the past.
Types of SEO
1. On-Page SEO:
On-page SEO involves optimization of every single page of your website for search engines. We can broadly categorize on-page SEO into 2 types:
1. Site-specific on-page SEO: It involves the following:
- Robot text Creation: It’s important to create a proper robot text file so that Google bot knows which pages to crawl and which pages not to crawl.
- Integration of Google search console: Unless you integrate Google search console, you can’t check how many 404 error pages your site is having, or how fast Google is crawling your website or how many pages got indexed. All these data are very important for you to keep your site in a perfect condition for search engines.
- Sitemap generation and submission in google search console: Google bots won’t know how many pages you have on your site unless you create a sitemap and submit it to webmaster. The indexing of your pages will be fast when you will submit a sitemap.
- Proper navigation structure: A proper navigation structure is necessary for Google bots to find out all your pages easily.
- Website speed: From my personal experience, I can say that sites with a poor loading speed don’t rank well or the improvement is very slow. You can check your websites loading speed and do the necessary fixes using this tool from Google.
- Mobile responsiveness: This is another important factors. You probably built a very nice website but didn’t care about mobile and tablet appearance. When visitors are going to your website from their phones or tablets, they are finding it broken and leaving the site immediately thinking the site is under development. In such cases, Google bots will think that visitors are not finding your text useful hence will lower your ranking for mobiles and tablets. If you pick a responsive theme and use only its default features, everything will be responsive automatically. In case, you add anything manually, you need to make that particular section responsive manually. You can check responsiveness here.
2. Page specific on-page ranking factors
For page specific on-page factors, you can just install Yoast SEO guidelines. Some of those factors include:
- Keyword in the title
- Keyword in the page URL
- More than 800 words in the body. From our personal experience, Google doesn’t rank small texts i.e. 500-600 words texts well currently.
- 0.3-1% keyword density i.e. keyword should be used once in every 100-300 words.
- Use of LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords. Google bots have become smarter now-a-days like I said before. If you use the same version of a keyword over and over, they may think you are stuffing keywords to manipulate ranking. If you write naturally without keeping any particular keyword in mind, it’s natural that multiple version of that topic will naturally come in the text.
- A good readability score. There are tools to check readability score including Flesch Reading Ease.
- Meta description. Just put this field blank. Let Google automatically pick a relevant part of the text and show it as Meta description based on the search queries.
- Keyword in the alter text: Google bots can’t read images. They assume topic of an image based on the alternative text.
- The inclusion of internal and external links.
- The title shouldn’t be more than 70 characters long and not less than 50 characters.
- It’s good to include the keyword in the first paragraph of the text.
- H1, h2, h3 tags: You should put your title in H1 tag, subheadings in h2 tag, Headings under subheadings under h3 tags. This way Google will know which one is the main topic, which ones are the subtopic and which ones are the sub-sub-heading and will rank your page accordingly.
2. Off page SEO:
1. Blog comments: This is one of oldest and easiest link building techniques. It involves commenting on various relevant blogs with the link to your site. It doesn’t work that well currently.
2. Directory submission: Paid directory submission still works. People will find your business through those directories when they will search for businesses in the relevant category. But free auto approved directory submission links don’t work and may impact your sites ranking negatively.
3. Article directory submission: It involves writing articles in your niche and publishing them on article directories with your websites link. Google blacklisted article directories in their recent updates. So it doesn’t work anymore.
4. Press release submission: While press releases can be a great way to reach your target audience but it’s only valid when you are using premium press release sites like prweb.com. They can distribute your press release to hundreds of known news platform like nytimes.com. Submission to less known press release sites doesn’t work anymore.
5. Forum posting: Low profile forum links don’t work anymore. But if you are an old member on a forum, you should be able to put links of your website when answering relevant question of other people and if other people find your answer informative, they will consider visiting the link you put. So you may get some referral traffic this way. But Google doesn’t put much emphasis on forum links anymore.
6. Social bookmarking links:
This is another thing that doesn’t work anymore.
7. Guest posting:
Guest posting used to work very well in the past but now-a-days it doesn’t work that well.
(B) Some off page SEO factors that work very well
1.Blog outreach: Links from real blog sites with a good amount of organic traffic work the best.
2. Edu links: Edu links work not because Google gives them added priority rather they are naturally high domain authority sites with loads of traffic and Google has no way but to care for those links.
3. Govt. Links: Same goes for Govt. links as well.
4. Wikipedia links: Wikipedia links are typically no-follow links. But still, Google cares for those links because they know Wikipedia is not going to allow a reference unless it’s highly relevant and adds value to the content.
5. Social signals: Google takes social signals into account i.e. how many times a post is getting shared on various social media platforms etc.
6. Maintaining an ideal proper anchor text ratio: You need to maintain a proper anchor text ratio otherwise your site won’t rank well on Google no matter how many quality backlinks you generate. I will explain what an ideal anchor text profile looks like after a while.
(C) One off Page technique that works super-fast but is risky:
Well, links from PBN (Private Blog Network) work very fast are risky. A Private Blog network is a list of sites maintained by an individual. Usually, they purchase high domain authority expired domains and then add some posts to it so that the site looks complete and then start offering links to website owners that are looking for backlinks. Since these sites usually have a good domain authority, so people get interested easily. Also, they keep the IP of each domain different so that Google can’t catch them easily. But still, Google may know that they are involved in link business since they usually have a huge amount of external links pointing to unestablished websites. And when Google becomes sure of a Private Blog network, they usually take action against most of the sites that took links from sites under that network. So if you have a long-term goal, better not to have links from a PBN.
3. What is more effective? On page or off page SEO
Both of them are important but on page needs to be done first else off page won’t be of any use. For example, you may create a page and send 100s of backlinks to it but you didn’t submit your sitemap to webmaster hence google bots are not indexing your pages including that page. So all your efforts and time in creating those backlinks will go in vain. Same happens when you don’t specify a focus keyword. You may have loads of backlinks to a page but if Google doesn’t know which keyword it should rank your page for, everything will go in vain.
4. Pre-penguin SEO:
Google’s Penguin update was announced on April 24, 2012. Pre-penguin sites Google bots used to put a lot of importance on the number of backlinks. The number of backlinks was more important than their quality. The more backlinks one site had, the better it would do in the search result. Also, the quality of the content was not that important. Small texts that don’t provide any value to the readers would rank well just because it had a high number of backlinks pointed to it. Same goes for spam like texts with a high amount of ads.
5. Post penguin SEO:
Like I said before, Google bots have become smarter in the recent days. Currently, you won’t rank well on Google even with 1000s of backlinks if you don’t have quality contents on your website. And lots of backlinks will actually work against you. So what you need to do is create quality links and have only a few high-quality backlinks pointed to various pages of your site (Not all of them to homepages!!).
Now if you ask, how Google bots will know if your text is quality, the answer is Google bots check various signals like what’s the CTR (Click through rate) of a page for a specific keyword, How long a visitor is spending on a page, What is their bounce rate etc etc. Based on all these, they can know if a content is a quality one or not.
It’s true that they can’t tell if a text was written by a Native American or a cheap SEO copywriting agency but they don’t need to know that either. If your target audience is American and the English is Indian standard, visitors won’t stay long on your page anyway. And when USA visitors will keep bouncing, Google bots will automatically know that the text is not appropriate for the American audience and they will lower that page ranking for that particular keyword.
6. Where should you start from?
Let me list down one by one:
1. Do some preliminary keyword research and based on your findings select a niche that has a good amount of keywords with high monthly search volume and low keyword difficulty.
2. Now that, you are done selecting a niche, start thorough keyword research so as to make sure you can target the best of the best keywords in your niche.
3. Have the site developed and content written. Make sure all the contents are 100% unique.
4. Implement on page SEO techniques.
5. Analyze competitors’ backlinks and start off page SEO.
7. Has SEO died?
Based on my personal experience, I can confirm that the answer is a BIG NO. Why? Let me explain. Suppose you wrote a very informative post covering all the related subtopics. And you are a native English speaker. And you targeted some awesome keywords with very high monthly search volume and very less keyword competitiveness.
Now publish this page and wait for a few weeks or probably a few months. Don’t give any backlink. Nothing happens right? Yes, this is what I was talking about. Unless or until you send 1-2 links from relevant sites, your keywords are not going to move much.
Also, page age is a factor. You can’t create a page today and give 2-3 links today itself and then expect it to rank for some keywords tomorrow. It needs to be a few months old at least for Google to start showing it in first or 2nd page even if you do everything correct. So effective SEO is not yet dead.
8. My page is on the 2nd or 3rd page of Google for long but not coming to the first page. What to do?
Well, this is a common issue. You don’t need to know loads of SEO secret in order to be able to solve this. So if this is the case, keep a close eye on your page CTR (Click through rate). If this is very low, Google probably is thinking that your page is not relevant to that particular query. You can check your page CTRs on Google search console. Keep changing the title until it has a good CTR. The more CTR a page will have, the more upward movement you will notice for that page.
9. A SEO flow chart for novices to follow
Lots of beginners who are just into SEO ask me for some search engine optimization tips and a step by step guide of what they should do to rank their website. I have created an info-graphic for this. Here it is:
For 6: you can keep publishing remaining blog posts one at a time. Usually, 1 new post per week is good.
For 9: Links to be scattered to various pages on your site, not to homepage only. Also, you need to keep an ideal anchor text ratio.
About 10: Don’t be aggressive when doing this. Not more than 2-3 links per week. Also, links should be scattered to various pages. Also, 2-3 high-quality links should be enough for a page to rank. But don’t give those 2-3 links in a short period of time like in 1 week or 2 weeks. Google checks this frequency. There should be a reasonable gap. Don’t send more than 1 links from a single article to the same page. You can insert 2 do-follow links in an article but they should go to 2 different pages else.
For 11: Keep a close eye on CTR and keep changing the titles until or unless it has a good CTR because Google won’t keep your site for long in that position if it CTR is less than the pages below it in the search result.
About 12: If these data are negative, bring some change in your content so as to improve these metrics. You can check your top competitors to know what they are doing. Since they are on the top of Google result, so most possibly people are staying for a good amount of time on their pages because their content structure is better and also informative.
10. Best SEO software SEO experts use:
Here is a list of few SEO tools I personally use every day:
- Ahrefs: It’s the most efficient SEO tool I have come across so far. It’s best for backlink analysis, anchor text analysis, organic traffic, and top page analysis. This tool is an all in one package.
- SEMRUSH: This tool is best for traffic data analysis. Although none of these tools can show exact traffic that a site is getting (they always show less), but still you may have a good idea.
- Long tail Pro: This is a great took for checking keyword competitiveness. Proper keyword research forms the base of any SEO success. Best SEO Companies always make use of this tool along with Google AdWords keyword planner.
- MOZ: This is another great platform for SEO agencies and experts. You can do loads of things with this platform but the best thing about this platform is its domain authority and page authority features. If you have mozbar installed in your browser, you can check, DA, PA, Meta title, Meta keyword etc. for any page as and when you visit that page.
- Majestic SEO: This tool has many features as well but the most important ones are trust flow and Citation flow. Trust flow of a site with many good backlinks will have at least half compared to its citation flow.
If you are doing SEO for clients, you can import SEO reports from all these tools.
11. Difference between SEO and PPC
So you can get traffic and sales if you can rank your website high by implementing some valid and working SEO techniques. But there is another way to get traffic to your website from the very first day your website is live. You can just use pay per click (Commonly known as PPC). Using PPC, you can advertise your website on Google search result pages for some specific keywords. When someone will click that ad, you will pay for that click. This is a great way to have traffic right from the beginning and also a way to know which keyword you should target for a page. So basically SEO is a free way to generate traffic but it’s a long-term process. PPC is paid but it can get you traffic immediately. But you should go for PPC only if you have a service website, if you are monetizing only using ads or affiliate programs, PPC may not be the right thing for you because the money you will spend in paying for PPC campaign may be way more than what you will make.
12. What is organic and inorganic traffic and are they of the same quality?
You can receive traffic to your website from various sources including search engines, social media, other websites etc. etc. The visitors that you receive from search engines are known as organic traffic. Quality of these traffics is usually very high. From our experience, we saw that traffics from social media are usually less serious and convert less than organic traffic. And you can guess the reason. People usually surf social media to spend their free time, not to purchase something. Quality of other referral traffics can vary based on where they are going from.
13. How Local SEO differs from global SEO
Global SEO means targeting everyone irrespective of their country. For local SEO, you have to target audience from a specific country or city. Suppose, you have a restaurant business in a particular city and you want to target only residents of that city so that they find out your website when they search on Google with something like “Nearby restaurants” etc. hence visit your restaurants. If the case is similar to this, all you need is local SEO. For Local SEO, the first thing you will need is to submit your business to Google using “Google My Business”. Also, you will need to submit you’re your site to local directories, need backlinks from local blog sites etc. When doing global SEO, you need not worry about local sites etc. You can grab links in a natural way from any website as long it has a high domain authority with a good amount of real traffic. If you target a specific country or a region, the competition is relatively less so it’s easier to rank.
14. Why is it important for Google to trust your website?
When Google will trust your website, they will do start ignoring things that they take very seriously for sites they don’t trust. Let me give you an example. I was checking backlink profile of one of my top competitors yesterday. I was checking their last 30 days links. I found that they were having about 20-30 low-quality links per day during last one month including blog comment links, directory submission link, social bookmarking links etc. So what happened to them? Nothing!! They are still at the top spot of Google result. Had this been the case for a domain that Google doesn’t trust, Google won’t have bothered to move its ranking up if not it banned it, especially when the quality of links were so poor. Just because Google trust that competitor of mine, they are not taking that low-quality link building stuff seriously. Now, let me list down what makes Google trust your website:
1. What is average CTR (Click through rate) of your pages? If its high, that means people are clicking your page titles when they are surfing Google search results i.e. your page titles are interesting.
2. Then how long people are staying on your website. If they stay more than they stay on the sites that are above your site in the search result that means your site deserves to beat that site.
3. If you could establish your domain name as a brand name. If you could, Google should show it like this i.e. with 6 results from your page:
4. What is your sites average bounce rate i.e. how many people are leaving your site from the very first page they are landing on.
So first when you give a page a few quality backlinks it makes a jump and moves to the 2nd or 3rd page of Google where it gets noticed by some of the visitors. From there, Google just compares these data and ranks your page up or down based on these. It’s that simple.
15. Now let’s see what’s going wrong. Why is your website ranking poorly on Google?
Let’s start with on page factors:
- Are your web pages indexing well on Google?
This is the very first thing you need to check. If Google even didn’t index your pages, there is no way that it can rank them well. You can visit on search console to know your indexing status. Maybe your robot.txt file is preventing google bots from crawling your pages or chances are that you didn’t create and submit a sitemap to webmaster tool. Or your pages have very less text so google bots are not giving much importance to them. You can check this guide to have Google index your webpages fast.
- Did you select a niche that has a good amount of monthly search volume?
This is another important thing. If your niche doesn’t have enough good keywords with a very high search volume, and you developed pages with low search volume keywords, chances are that you won’t have any traffic on your site even if you rank well for those bad keywords.
- Did you select the keywords that are less competitive but have a high search volume?
Well, this is of enormous importance. We usually use long tail pro to check keyword competitiveness i.e. kc. Now if you chose a keyword of KC 80, it will be very tough to rank for it even after doing a good amount of SEO for 3-4 years. So the best strategy is going for KC less than 35. But that’s not the only thing that you should consider. Another crucial thing is search volume. What if you picked a keyword that has a KC less than 5 and search volume of 10? There will be almost no traffic even if you rank on the first spot. So for KC, the lower the better and for search volume, the higher the better. For example, if you find a keyword with KC 25 and 12k monthly search volume, it should be perfect. So need to check if you kept these factors in mind when creating your pages else need to renovate all these pages to rank well Google.
- Did you target long tail keywords?
This is another field where lots of people make mistake. For example, you are planning to target a keyword @Pellet smoker@ which has a 42 keyword competitiveness and 10k monthly search volume. Now, it will not be a wise decision to target it directly. You can target its long tails which have relatively less competition and a reasonable search volume. For example, you can go for @Best rated pellet smoker@. Now what will happen is that you will be able to rank easily for this less competitive long tail keywords. And then when you will be ranked well for those long tail keywords, Google will consider ranking you well for its various short tail versions as well and based on how much CTR you will be getting for short tail keywords, your pages will gradually go up for those shorter versions of keywords too. So ultimately you will rank for both short tail and long tail versions.
- CONTENT is KING: Are you having the type of content that may work against you?
Well after Google’s latest algorithm changes, content is now of enormous importance. Now Google doesn’t rank a content well if it is less than 800-1000 words at least. Also, your content needs to be SEO optimized as well as informative so that people spend time in reading it. It needs to be able to drive traffic to other relevant pages so that the bounce rate is less. The longer and detailed a text is, the more chances are that it will be ranking for more keywords.
- Do you have a proper sitemap and robot text?
This is very important. If you don’t have a proper sitemap and robot text, Google is not going to index your website, let alone ranking them well.
- What your website DA (Domain age)?
If your website is less than 6 months old, you shouldn’t expect a good ranking for your pages no matter if you did everything right or not. Google takes some time before they start ranking a new website well. If your website is 6 months-1 year old, you can expect Google almost (not completely) the same way they treat a 5 years old site. I mean they won’t get not much extra preference over your site just because they are 5 years old if your site is at least 6 months-1 year old.
- Do you have a unique brand name as your domain name or you are just using a keyword as your domain name?
If you purchased a domain name that is exact match keyword and thought that Google will give your site an edge over your sites for that keyword just because they are finding that keyword in your domain name, you are wrong. This trick used to work in the past. Currently not only does this trick not work but it impacts your entire SEO campaign negatively. For the domain name, you should go for something that can be established as a brand name I mean a term that no one else is using. For example, Grills Forever. This is a term nobody else is using so Google thinks it’s their own brand name and is showing it with 6 results when someone searches “Grills Forever”. A unique domain name is very important for you to be able to establish that name as a brand name, when that will happen Google will trust your site and when they will trust your site, you will see an upward movement for all your pages.
- Are you handing 404 errors efficiently?
When you change URL of a page or remove text from that page, Google gets 404 not found error when it tries to crawl that page. If it gets too many 404 errors, it’s really bad for your website. Because it may think that you have started to be inactive or something. You may check how many 404 error pages you have in Google search console. The best way to deal with it is 301 redirect those pages to the new urls or the most relevant pages where people can have the same information. When you will 301 redirect a page, all the SEO value of that page will be forwarded to the new page. After you will be done 301 redirecting all these 404 error pages, just mark them as fixed in search console.
- Do your website have a proper navigation?
Another important thing. Your website design should be something that can help anyone explore any relevant page they want. And you should link to relevant pages of your website from other pages so that people visit those relevant pages too when reading a post. I mean it should be easy for anyone to find out any page on your site and check what pages you have in their area of interest. When this will happen, the bounce rate will go down, link juice will pass from one page to another, and people will spend more time on your site before they will leave hence you will enjoy more conversions.
- Do you have internal and external links in your texts?
This is a factor that lots of people ignore. Creating relevant internal and external links is a must for SEO success.
- Click through rate (CTR)
Are you having a good CTR for few of your pages that are ranking well on Google (if there is any)? If not, Google will start thinking people are finding your topic irrelevant to their search query hence decrease ranking position. If the CTR for a particular page is less than 4%, you should keep changing the title until it has at least 4-5% CTR. But it depends on the position of that page in SERP result also. I mean it’s very difficult to have a 5% CTR for a page that is in the 40th position of Google search result. So you should try to figure out if the current CTR of a page is good enough considering its position on Google search result. If not, you should keep changing it until it has a good enough CTR. A good CTR means Google will keep moving it up until they find a page whose CTR is better than your page CTR. If there is none with a better CTR than your page, your page will go to the top of Google result. This doesn’t happen overnight though. Google moves a page up slowly.
- Are you approving your blog posts on a regular basis?
New blog posts means adding new text on your website. When you add new texts on any page, google thinks you updated that page and that you are keeping your readers up-to-date with the latest information hence they award that page by improving its ranking in google search result. But don’t approve spammy comments that give readers a bad impression. Also reply to those comments so readers know there is someone that will reply to their queries in case they ask something.
- Publish new blog posts on a regular basis
If you want google to know that your site is very much alive, you need to publish new blog posts on a weekly basis or at least bi-weekly basis. This is something that gives google a feeling that the site is fully functional and they dont have the risk of serving some old backdated info from a half dead site by ranking your website on the first page.
- No-index/Nofollow appropriate pages
No-index all the less important pages that shouldnt appear in google search result. For example, the post payment page where something like this appears: “Thanks you for this payment. You will receive all the details to your email shortly”. Or the post download message like “Thank you for downloading our eBook. Click here to go back to our homepage”. Or an order form. Or your previous works which is the property of other people and you just wanted to keep them in your portfolio to convince your new clients. Or those pages that have very little text like 2-3 lines etc. You can no follow or noindex a page using yoast SEO. When you no follow a page, no link juice is passed from it to the other pages i.e. google bot will simply ignore those nofollow pages. When you noindex a page, it will disappear from the google search result in a few days.
- Make same texts cannonical so that google knows which one of those pages is the most important one
There are cases, when same texts need to be put in multiple pages. In such cases, make the less important page canonical so that google considers it a part of the important page. Putting same texts in multiple pages without using a cannonical tag is a crime in googles eye.
- Keep a balance between highly promotional money page and non-promotional educational posts
This is not directly related to initial ranking of a website but if not done, this can help a well ranked site get penalized by google. If you publish one money page, you should try to publish at least 5 educational blog posts. Also there should not be excessive call to action (CTA) buttons or ads. I mean your site shouldnt solely intended to making money rather it should try to provide value to the readers.
Some off page factors that are probably going wrong:
(I). Are you having an ideal anchor text ratio when creating backlinks?
This is a very important thing. Your brand name, naked URL, no text links, generic text links, site owners name, exact match keyword and partial match keywords all should have a proper ratio. Else, your SEO campaign will fail. For example, in the following image, you will see an ideal anchor text ratio. This is the anchor text profile of bestbuy.com which is a reputed eCommerce site.
Source: Gotch SEO
Now, what if your anchor text profile is different? Like too many exact match or partial match keywords and very less other anchor texts. Will you rank faster than the others that are using a lesser amount of exact or partial match keywords? No, you won’t. We did this experiment about 3 years back with one of our sites where we used too many keywords as anchor texts and that site was performing poorly in Google result until we changed the anchor text ratio. Exact match keyword should be less than 1% and partial match keywords should be less than 5%. Remaining 100-1-5=94% should other types of anchor texts.
(II). Are you making use of most important off page techniques?
Like I said above, low-quality links don’t work anymore. You can create some low-quality links as foundation links. But the ranking will be mainly impacted by those high-quality links like Edu links, blog outreach link, gov. links etc. If you keep building low-quality links, for example, low-quality directory submission, social bookmarking on low profile bookmarking site, press release submission on free press release site etc. etc. without trying to grab high-quality ones for months, you will not see much change in ranking positions.
(III). Are you getting links from sites with real traffic?
This is very important to be honest. High domain authority site with no traffic (which is most possibly a part of a PBN) may help you for a while but it won’t help you in the long run. You should try to contact relevant blog sites in your field (they should have some organic traffic) and convince them to add one of your pages in their similar posts. The tone should be as such it will add value to his audience.
(IV). Are you doing social media marketing?
No? Then that is another factor that is impacting your ranking. Google checks if people are talking about an article/text on social media. So the more shares you will get, the better. Also its important for social media algorithm as well. Like search engines, facebook or twitter have their own algorithm. For example, there are 3 posts on the term @Killer content writers@ on facebook. Now when someone will search this term on Facebook, which one will appear at the top? That depends on how many comments, likes, shares one post has and also the level of engagement i.e. if the admins were replying to other peoples comments etc. There are some other factors as well. Based on all these, the best post will appear at the top. You can read this post by Neil Patel to better understand social media especially Facebook tricks.
Let’s understand one important thing now:
How Google algorithm works and how often does it change
Now that, you already know what Google like and what they don’t like, I don’t think I should make this section very long. Let me just list down the key points here:
1. You develop a website and publish contents in it. You can take help from outside developers and SEO content writers for this part.
2. You do site-specific and page specific on-page optimizations.
3. You pick some key pages that you want to rank very high.
4. You do some foundation links during first 1-2 months.
5. Once you have some foundation links, you start grabbing links from real blog sites with real traffic. Don’t be aggressive with this. Just 2-3 links per week are good enough. If the frequency is high, Google may ban or not rank well.
6. This way you give 1-3 do follow links to each of the top 5/10 pages you picked. It may take a while since you will not be acquiring more than 2-3 links per week.
7. Every time a page gets a high-quality link, you should see an upward jump (of course not immediately, Google will need about 10-15 days at least to notice it and start showing its effect) until your page is on 2nd or 3rd page of Google.
8. When your page is on 2nd or 3rd page of Google, you should focus mostly on CTR. Because at this point, more links will not help much. Google will just compare its CTR with the CTR that other pages above it have and based on it Google will keep its position static or move it up or move it down. For example, your page is in 22nd position. Now Google knows what CTR you should be getting for 22nd position, they won’t expect it to be 10% definitely but they won’t expect it to be as low as 1% also. They also know what the CTR of the page that is in the 21st spot. Now if your page is having better CTR than the one on the 21st spot, they will think your page is more relevant for that search query that’s why people are clicking on your title more even if it’s served below that another site. So they will start serving you in 21st position. Like this, they will keep comparing relative CTR and keep moving your site up and down.
16. Wrapping it up
So this is the process that google follow for website ranking. While none of us has any doubt about the benefits/advantages of SEO, but a lot of us don’t know how to enjoy those benefits by ranking our website high. This is where this SEO guide will come in handy. I tried to be as much through and detailed as I could when explaining all this. But probably there are many more questions that are going through your mind. Just leave a comment to let me know all the questions you have and I will get back with an answer.