Despite what you have seen online and heard from several experts in the SEO field, it’s possible to rank your website without backlinks. These techniques below focus more on on-page SEO, creating valuable content as well as off-page mentions. So what are these ranking techniques?
1. Create valuable content.
First, when you fully respond to a search query, you give your readers what they want to know. Giving them what they wish, increases their engagement on your website. This engagement will tell search engines that your content is valuable. Learn more about how to write content that ranks.
The result is, search engines will rank your website high for that search term. For higher rankings, go deeper than your competitors, provide clear answers, and provide charts. Also, provide illustrations to help your reader understand the content clearly.
Don’t forget to link out to relevant articles, even on your competitor’s website, if it provides more value to your readers. The act of linking to other websites shows your readers they can trust you for getting valuable information.
2. Try to rank for long-tail keywords.
These are niche-specific keywords and can have very little traffic from search engines. You will aim to rank for these terms because there is less competition, so it should be easier to rank them at the top.
Positioning yourself high for these terms will be more comfortable and perhaps even faster to achieve. Also, if you rank very well for many of these terms, your overall traffic will increase. At this point, you might consider ranking based on more competitive search queries.
3. Get customer reviews.
With local businesses, reviews submitted on your online website can also affect your search engine ranking. It is rewarding to spend time and effort in ensuring the best possible service to customers for many reasons. Excellent customer service will lead to more reviews as well as customers.
Google and other search engines will see your website as a trusted and relevant source for your targeted keywords. Making sure your clients and website visitors leave positive reviews on your website will improve your rankings.
4. Copy your competitor’s on-page SEO strategy.
Go to your competitor’s website and study its content. You might think that creating longer content forms is the best thing when it comes to classifying. However, this is not always the case. Check the ranked pages for each search term on the page.
Once you have the top-ranking pages, analyze the web pages and check how they structure the content. The first thing you should check is the length of the content. Once you know the length of the content, you should strive to create a lengthier article while ensuring the quality is very good.
The next thing to check is how they use the targeted keywords on the pages. Use the same pattern but in a better way. Try the Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) approach. By doing so, you increase the quality of your content over your competitor’s web page.
5. Build internal links.
For each of your most extended and most authoritative articles, link smaller supporting blog posts in your website to this main page. Building strategic internal links will help your longer posts get better SEO rankings.
Search engine crawlers use links on web pages to discover new content on your website. Using a well structured internal linking strategy will make it easier for crawlers to move from one web page to another. Search engines will place your website in the non-user-friendly category if you have lots of dead-end pages.
With an excellent internal linking structure, you don’t need to worry much about building backlinks. Your website can still rank higher pretty much well without incoming links.
6. Ensure that your website is easy to navigate.
If your website is not easy to navigate, your visitors will click away and visit your competitor’s websites. This poor website navigation could lower the time spent on your web pages. As a result of less time on your web pages, your bounce rate will increase. Lesser time on your website and higher bounce rate reduce your SEO rankings.
7. Have a mobile-friendly website.
Nowadays days, almost every internet user accesses a website through a mobile phone or device. Websites that aren’t rendering correctly on mobile will dramatically harm user experience, SEO rankings, and sales. So, make sure you optimize your web pages for mobile phones, tablets, and desktops as well.
How to Optimize your website to be Mobile friendly.
Since most webmasters work on your website using laptops or desktops, they often overlook the mobile version. The overlook on the mobile version of your website comes with a tremendous detrimental consequence on your ranking. Always conduct a thorough audit on your website to check its mobile-friendliness.
You can manually check your website’s mobile version by visiting every web page using your mobile device. Here are the things to check;
- How readable is the content in terms of size? Your visitors shouldn’t have to pinch and zoom their screens to read your content.
- Is the content wrapped? See if everything fits properly on the screen. It would be best if you didn’t have to swipe right with your finger to read the content correctly.
- Do the clickable elements have enough space between them? Elements like buttons and other links should have enough margin between them so that your visitors can easily click on them.
- What is the load time of your web pages on mobile devices? As you know, website visitors don’t wait around for lazy websites to load. Users will quickly exit your web page if the load time is prolonged. Unfortunately, this is always a problem with lots of websites.
What to do for mobile-friendly website optimization.
Once you have conducted a thorough mobile-friendly check on your website, start optimizing all the web pages with issues. Here is how:
- For the readability of your content, use 16px font-size for the mobile version of your website. If you are not a developer, ask your webmaster to do it.
- Place all paragraphs inside a div tag and make sure the div tag has some paddings, especially on the left and right. Within your CSS file, set this div tag to have a width of 100% instead of a hard-coded pixel value. This way, the content will look well on mobile.
- Place margins of at least 5px on all clickable elements like buttons.
- Reduce the size of your images without tampering with the quality. You can use tools like JPEG Optimizer or Tiny PNG to reduce the size of all your images. Once you reduce the sizes, reupload the images.
8. Increase your page speed.
Page speed refers to how fast a web page loads, which affects the website’s ranking position. A web page with fast loading time improves the user experience of your visitors. No one wants to wait for a website to load for a long time. Chances are, if they have to wait longer than a few seconds, they will leave the website immediately.
Before optimizing your website’s speed, you should first conduct a page speed test. With FREE tools like Google Page Speed Insights, you can check the loading time on both Mobile and Desktop. The ideal number to aim at is 100.
So you might be asking yourself, “How can you make your slow website faster?”. Below I have mentioned a few tips to reduce the load time of your web pages.
Five ways to fix slow websites.
#1: Enable Caching.
Every time you visit a website, some items are cached, so the next time you visit the site, it can easily access those parts and load much faster. With caching, instead of having to download every single resource from the browser, it has to download only a few.
By enabling the cache, you can significantly improve the loading of your site for returning visitors. If you use a CMS like WordPress, you can install a plugin like W3 Total Cache or W3 Super Cache, one of which will allow you to enable site-level caching or caching of certain Site Elements.
If you do not use a CMS, additional steps are required to take advantage of browser caching.
#2: Optimize and reduce the size of large images
If your site has tons of not optimized images, this will hurt your site’s load speed. Having large images will require the browser to upload larger files. There are several ways to optimize images to load them faster.
Make sure your images are unnecessarily large. For example, if your blog page width is 900 px, make sure it’s the width of your photos.
You can install a plugin like WPSmush if you are using a CMS like WordPress. This plugin will automatically reduce the images’ file size.
Before uploading images, you first run them through a Tiny PNG tool to reduce the size of the image file without sacrificing quality.
#3: Use a CDN
The speed of loading your site is affected by the user’s proximity to the server where your site files are stored. The further away they are from this physical location, the slower your site will load. Using a CDN can solve this problem.
A CDN network distributes your site files through a network of global servers, so your users can access your site through the server closest to them.
#4: Minify or Reduce Your scripts files.
Sometimes your website code can get a bit messy. When this happens, loading your site will take much longer. When you do a lot of customizations, use a CMS, or even a website builder to build your site, there will be line breaks, spaces, and other unnecessary elements that don’t have to be present.
If you use WordPress, Better WordPress Minify will minimize the code of your website. If you don’t use a CMS, you can reduce your code using the Pagespeed Insights extension for Chrome. This chrome extension will create a minimized version of the code, so you can see which version is faster.
#5: Remove Plugins your website can function without.
If your site currently runs too many plugins, you could potentially slow down your website. You may need a handful of plugins for your site to work the way you prefer, but chances are there are a few you can live without, especially if they are resource-devouring.
The best way to do this is to get a basic load speed test through a tool like GTMetrix or Google PageSpeed Insights. Next, scroll through the plugin List and disable one plugin at a time. Next, run the speed test with the plugin turned off.
It may take a long time, but it will help you find the plugins hurting your site’s load speed the most. At that point, you can look for a less heavy plugin or find another workaround.
9. Get an SSL certificate for your website
Websites with an SSL certificate have been shown to increase SEO rankings. These days many search engines will warn their users that a website without an SSL certificate is unsafe. As a result, users will leave your website immediately. This bounce rate damages your rankings and maybe even your reputation.
If users find your website secure and trustworthy, they will likely revisit your site and share your content on social platforms. This social sharing forms a ripple effect because their friends will also share your content and so on. More social sharing will increase your social signals, thus improving your SEO rankings without backlinks.
Two Main Benefits of SSL Certificate on SEO
Although there are a lot more benefits of having an SSL certificate on your website, below are my two main benefits. These two benefits summarize most of the other advantages SSL certificates have on SEO.
1. Protect your user’s data
By encrypting data transferred to and from the site with 256-bit encryption, it protects it from being read by attackers attempting to gain access. Even if a data breach occurs and some data is intercepted. Your visitors can feel safe knowing their information is in good hands.
2. Your website visitors develop trust in you
We’ve already said that: especially of these technical points, a massive advantage of having an SSL certificate installed on your website is to gain trust from your visitors. For those who often use the internet, having a green lock icon next to your web address gives you some legitimacy.
Without this green lock, many potential visitors could avoid your site. Google itself adds to this: if you try to navigate to a site that is only running over HTTP using Chrome, you will see an intimidating screen with a warning sign. It warns you that the connection to the website you are trying to access is not secure.
It’s like having a huge warning sign outside a store saying, “beware of pickpockets.” The warning visitors will impact the success of your traffic negatively. Your potential website visitors have to click a small progress button actually to reach the unprotected website. Will you continue to such unsecured websites if you were the visitor? I guess not.
If your visitors trust you, they will share or post your content on their social timeline. These social shares increase your social signal, which increases your ranking position without any backlinks campaign.
10. Make your website AMP compatible
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) alone does not help with positioning but are mandatory for individual page placements.
For example, if you want to be in the news carousel, in addition to being in the Google News program, you must have AMP pages, or you cannot appear there. This also applies to AMP Stories. So merely using AMP, you can get into the top of placements that weren’t open before.
If your website is relatively new and hasn’t yet established any authority in your niche, just keep on creating high-quality content. Google and other search engines will rank your web pages as long as the contents provide value to searchers.
As your website becomes more competitive, creating backlinks will help you keep ranking higher. But in the meantime, don’t worry about backlinks. Attract your visitors to your secure, fast-loading website and provide quality content they’ll want to interact with and share with others.
In conclusion, these simple ways mentioned above will boost your SEO rankings without backlinks.