Trying to rank a website in 2021; building links, creating the right type of content, linking to other pages on your website; but you’re still getting little to no organic traffic?
There’s something you’re not doing right.
In fact, search engines like Google, over the years, have been making a lot of changes to their ranking algorithms. Even worse, their algorithms are getting harder by the day to figure out.
With all these changes, you might be tempted to ask: “is it even possible to rank at the top anymore?”
The answer is a big Yes!
So if you want to rank a website on Google in 2021, you’ll love this new approach I’m about to reveal.
Truth is, revisions in Google’s ranking algorithms–from Panda and Penguin to RankBrain and Fred–reflect an overall shift in the direction SEO is traveling in. And whatever niche you’re in, you’ll need to pay attention if you want to remain at the top of search results.
It doesn’t matter if you have a brand-new website or if it’s an old one. You can still generate a ton of traffic from search engines like Google and rank organically.
How do you rank a website in 2021?
The latest approach: Put your user first
Always. That’s how you win in SEO in 2021.
In 2021 and even beyond, SEO has taken a rather different approach. An approach many SEO “gurus” may not have figured out yet.
So what the heck do I mean by ‘put your user first?’
Here’s the truth:
It’s no longer just about building links, creating the right type of content, or sprinkling keywords all over your website.
It’s about thinking about the user and putting them first. It’s similar to what SEO marketers refer to as Search Intent or User Intent which is really the main goal a user has when typing a query into a search engine.
The way Google and other search engines look at rankings these days is different.
You’ve got all the fundamentals of SEO right and a flood of traffic is jamming your website.
Yet, people keep clicking the Back button right away, bouncing off, returning to Google quickly, and clicking the next result.
That’s telling Google that while many people are landing on your website, they don’t like the content.
At this point, Google doesn’t care how much SEO magic you’re performing. Because Google knows people aren’t liking your website, they’re not going to continually rank you, even for a keyword you previously ranked for.
So if you want to rank in 2021, don’t just think of SEO from an on-page (on-site) or off-page (backlinking) perspective.
Rather, think of SEO from a user’s perspective.
How to rank a website by putting the user first
For example, let’s say you’re so hungry and need to eat beans stew for lunch but you want to prepare the food yourself.
So you head to Google and search for “quick beans stew recipes.” At first sight, the first result you click on looks great. But then, you realize the recipe takes over two hours to prepare and you just can’t wait that long.
What do you do? You return to the search results to find something else. And this time, you love what you see. You find this recipe that takes only 15 minutes from start to finish. Exactly what you’re looking for.
If many users like you who search for “quick beans stew recipe” feel the same way, then Google immediately gives that result a significant rankings boost, possibly at the top.
Why is this important?
Well, satisfying search intent, which is really about putting the user first, is Google’s primary goal. Google has always made the user its priority. And content that serves the user’s needs will always perform well.
So if you want to succeed with SEO in 2021, getting obsessed with putting the user first–like Google–it has to be a big part of your organic approach.
Does this mean other SEO strategies are useless?
Not at all!
Other traditional Google ranking strategies still matter. A lot. You still have to improve your on-page SEO, build backlinks to your site, reduce bounce rate, improve your technical SEO, publish insanely high-quality content, optimize your site for voice search, speed, video, and mobile.
Truth is, once you start putting the user first and serving them with what they need, all these other tactics begin to fall into place.
Think about it for a moment.
You would find that because you’re giving your users exactly what they want, they won’t be bouncing off your site thus, reducing your overall bounce rate. Plus, other authoritative sources and bloggers would start linking to you as one of the solutions providers to a specific problem your users are facing.
Here’s the point. If the content on your page doesn’t put the user first, it’s not going to rank (or at least, not for the long term). And that’s because you’re not giving the user exactly what they want or what they’re looking for.
If your website provides a paid plagiarism checker and you optimize your page for the keyword “plagiarism checker,” 90% of users who land on your site will bounce off.
Why? Because they’re most probably looking for a “free plagiarism checker.”
So the fact that your “plagiarism checker” keyword brings a lot of users to your site doesn’t mean Google will rank you high.
Once Google’s ranking algorithm notices many people are landing on your site from that keyword but immediately bouncing off, it immediately down ranks your site. Because you’re not giving your users what they’re looking for.
What do you do then? Just ask them.
Ask your users what they want
If you don’t know who your ideal customers are or what they want, head over to tools like SurveyMonkey and you can survey users. You can ask them questions like;
- What else would you like to see on this website?
- How can we make our website, product, or service better?
- How can we delight you?
They’ll most probably tell you what they want. In this case, probably free plagiarism checker.
SurveyMonkey is such a powerful tool that makes it easy to create a survey from scratch or from a template. This video outlines pretty much everything you need to know about creating surveys with SurveyMonkey.
Bonus tip: Increase your click-through-rate (CTR)
Google uses click-through-rate (CTR) in its ranking algorithm. In fact, there’s a correlation between CTR and Google rankings, according to several studies like this one.
In other words, the higher your click-through-rate, the higher and easier it is for you to rank. And you might be wondering why.
It’s simple. A higher click-through-rate tells Google to rank your page higher because that’s what searchers are looking for. The best part, Google will continuously boost your rankings so people can easily find your site.
The inevitable question pops up: “how do you get more people to click on your links?”
Here are two simple ways you can get more clicks and increase your click-through-rate:
1. Use short, descriptive URLs
Apart from being good for general SEO, they also help Google searchers see your website as a great fit for their search.
2. Create compelling meta descriptions
Meta descriptions tell Google what your page is all about so it can know which searchers to serve up your page’s content to. They also tell searchers what content your page covers so they know what to expect when they click on your site’s link. To get more click-through-rates, your meta description should “sell” your page. Read this guide to learn how to create a compelling meta description.
Now you know. What do you do with this information?
Quite a lot. But the one thing you can do is to create a limited version of your product or service and offer it to them for free. This way, when they land on your website, they won’t hit that back button because they found some value on your site.
The good thing about this strategy is that once your ideal customer uses your free product or service, it creates an emotional attachment between them and your brand, which will most likely drive them down the line to purchase your paid versions.
Putting your user first is, therefore, essential in ranking in 2021. Even if your backlink count is way off or your internal linking strategy isn’t perfect, you can still rank high.
By figuring out what your users want and then giving it to them, you’re more likely to climb in the rankings.
It’s providing the best experience for your users that trumps all else. It’s not just about doing the “hype” that everyone is talking about.
Now that you know the latest approach on how to rank a website in 2021, are you ready to implement this hack and get a flood of traffic to your website?
If you need help improving your SEO, check out my ad agency, Digital Hama. If you enjoyed this article, like it, share it, and let us know your thoughts below.