5 Things the Highest Ranking Websites Don’t Want You to Know

June 30, 2015

Everyone is asking the question: What does it take to get high rankings on search engines? The answer just might lie in looking at some of the highest-ranking websites on the web. Though many of their marketing tactics will not apply for gaining rankings as a small business, there are several things that small and intermediate-sized businesses can learn from the highest-ranking websites’ SEO tactics.

In order to learn these lessons, digital marketers should pay close attention to the highest-ranking websites in the world. Currently, the five top websites include Facebook.com, Google.com, Youtube.com, Yahoo.com, and Vk.com, according to a top website ranking chart provided by SimilarWeb.

The key here is to look closely at these websites’ ranking strategies and see what they all have in common. Here are a few things that small businesses can learn from the highest-ranking websites in the world.

 1. Recognize the Right Social Signals

Social signals matter, but there are some that matter more than others. If you were to guess which social signals generally have the most clout in gaining rankings on Google, your guess would probably be Facebook, and you aren’t far off. The leader of the pack is actually Google +. The highest ranking websites know that Facebook is great for spreading brand recognition and gaining a loyal clientele, but when it comes to boosting your rankings, Google + is just one step ahead according to the ranking algorithm.

2. Use Backlinks and Headings Strategically

A popular train of thought in web ranking strategies is to use keyword-rich backlinks and headings to gain popularity on search engines. However, that practice has been outdated for a few years. In fact, Google and other search engines have come to recognize “keyword stuffed” headings and anchor text as a scheme to rank higher, which doesn’t bode well for their users.

If you look on major websites, you’ll realize that they don’t use keyword stuffing in any sense of the word. Part of the reason is that they are so popular that keywords are unnecessary, but a larger part of it is that they are speaking to their users and search engines in their content.

3. Don’t Register a Domain Name with Keywords

It’s simply not necessary to register a domain with keywords anymore. Search engines are now so advanced that they can look deep into websites and judge their ranking based on the content. It’s more important to add keywords to the internal structure, including internal and external links.

4. Look at More than Quality in Your Content Strategy

The importance of high quality content in gaining rankings isn’t going away in the near future, but it’s not the only thing worth looking into. To really understand the important factors to look for in your content strategy, open up several of the top-ranking websites and take a closer look.

Not only do they have great content, but they also have faster page speeds, rich media, a plethora of social shares, and very little keyword use. It seems that one of the most important factors of a great content strategy goes much farther beyond the developmental stage.

5. You’ll Have to Work Harder

One of the most major, and probably the most obvious, lessons to be learned here is that you will always have to work harder to gain the rankings you want. Huge brands are already well known enough that their content often spreads with very little push from inside.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t compete someday. If you continue to work at your ranking strategy and your overall business, you can go from a small business to a huge corporation that doesn’t struggle anymore for a spot on the top website ranking list.

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