Typically, when you think of ranking in Google, you think of SEO. Both on page and off page SEO are sighted as the best ways to get your site, page, or article to that coveted #1 spot.
But ‘over-optimizing' your site, and writing content for search engines instead of for readers can affect other aspects of your site, namely CTR (click through rate), number of pages per visit, and time spent on your site. Below are some alternatives to SEO.
In fact, they may end up getting you better ranking in the SERPs!
1. Social Media
If you know anything about internet marketing and online business, then you know that social media plays a bit part in getting your content out there, read, and shared. But did you know that it can contribute to your rankings?
Google and other search engines are starting to place more emphasis on who's talking about you, instead of just measuring how much you talk about yourself!
A word of warning though: When I talk about social media, I don't mean just posting your link on Twitter and Facebook! You need to connect with other people, share content you enjoy, and respond to others that are sharing yours. The aim of using social networking websites is not JUST to get ranked, but to meet other people in your industry, share information, and improve your own knowledge on your niche.
2. User Experience
Writing and creating your site to be optimized for search engines is fine, but in the end, how the user feels will affect your site as well. Having too many ads, a confusing layout, hard to read text, other things that lower the quality of the user experience can make people leave your site quickly and never come back!
Don't forget, Google is tracking these metrics. They also keep track of things like link relevancy (internal and external link), and social media buzz.
Caring for your visitor is not just rhetoric aimed at being an ‘honest' marketer or being good just to be good. Keeping visitors at your site, and brining them back again and again can definitely boost your authority in the eyes of a search engine.
It will also increase your conversion rate! If I had to choose between getting a higher position in Google or getting more money, I would definitely choose the money.
3. Encouraging Comments and Responding to Them
From a technical perspective, Google doesn't distinguish between comments and original content, so the more comments you have, the more content it looks like on your page. What starts as a 400 word article could end up being thousands upon thousands of words just a few months later. It's like having people write for your site, for free!
Though one aspect of user comments you might not be aware of is that other visitors, upon seeing comments from previous people (and you responding) will also want to make comments. You know, monkey see, money do, right?
This can increase your trustworthiness in visitors eyes. Knowing that there is a person behind these words, and they can speak to this person directly is an awesome way to get Tweets, Likes, Shares, and all that social media stuff from #1 (see above). It will also keep people coming back to read future articles and watch videos too!
Why You Aren't Ranking in Google (YouTube Video)
Getting better ranking in SERPs should not be your end-goal. Creating a better, more engaging, more transparent, more honest and more trustworthy user experience should be your goal. That's a mouthful, so to sum it up:
Make your website for your target audience, not for search engines. The rankings will follow.