Backlinks are still powerful google ranking factors in 2018. It is very hard to achieve backlinks especially for a newly built site which has low popularity. On this article, I will show you how you can improve your blog or website to rank for a keyword without backlinks.
First, let me explain about what backlink means. Suppose that you run a weblog and have tons of internal links, so called URLs. When a third party website run by another owner publishes a URL of your site in any of their pages, then it is called a backlink for you. Such URL is visible to public and often sends visitors to your site through them, thus boosting traffic and rankings.
New websites rarely get backlinks because no one knows that they exist. Even if your blog contains quality content, it may be found somewhere on the fifth or sixth page of Google. That means zero visitors and low earning.
However, you can still rank for a keyword without backlinks on Google and increase visitors to your site. You can bring your site from fifth page in Google to first page using the tactics that I have mentioned here.
Ways To Rank For A Keyword Without Backlinks on Google
Here is the list of things that you should do in order to rank without Backlinks.
Table Of Contents
1. Choose The Right Platform
Most of the newbies make mistake that they go with free stuffs. It may be good for students and learners to choose free platform but they still want to rank and earn.
Choosing free platforms like blogspot, free domains/sub-domains, hosting, etc. won’t help you to rank well.
Because Blogspot (Blogger) don’t provide you full permissions to SEO optimize your site. You cannot make images and URLs search engine friendly. There are also some other issues like URL canonicalization which they don’t allow. With tons of restrictions, you cannot rank in Google.
The best platform to start a website is WordPress because they provide you full permissions to optimize your site well.
Also, avoid free hosting and sub-domains. Such web hosting are made for educational purpose only and they don’t have capacity to store excessive traffic. Therefore, they block some features of your site and prevent it from being indexed on Google to keep the amount of visitors and bandwidth limited. Avoid sub-domains like example.blogspot.com, example.wordpress.com, etc. for full improvement of your site. Using a premium domain like .com, .net, .org, etc. will increase your value in Google and makes changes in rankings.
2. Use Google Tools
To check if website is indexed or not, search for “site://example.com” and you will see a list of pages on your site that Google has indexed in search results. Replace example.com with your blog URL.
Similarly, do not play with robots.txt unless you have proper knowledge as it can prevent spiders from crawling into your site. Leave them as they are.
3. Focus on the Links
Make your blog clean by removing all the dead and broken links. Exclude numbers and stop words such as the, for, in, etc. from URLs. It is compulsory to setup 301 redirection if you have changed address of an old blog post to a new one.
Not only articles but also optimize the URLs of image. Generally, when you take a picture from camera, its filename becomes “img0001.jpg” or similar to that. If you upload such file directly, its URL will become like this: example.com/uploads/img0001.jpg . Let’s suppose you took a photo of cat. But it will rank for keyword “img001” instead of ranking for “cat” in Google. So change file name properly before uploading as it will become web address of the image. Separate with dashes “-” if there are spaces. For example, if it is “Black cat.jpg” change it to “black-cat.jpg”.
Also take care of nofollow and dofollow links. Links that are given permissions to crawl by search engines and appear on search results are called dofollow links. By default, every link that you post are dofollow on your site.
Search bots do not crawl nofollow links and exclude them from showing on results. Every internal link that your site owns should be dofollow and external links that belong to any other site should be nofollow as they have direct connections with SEO.
You have to place an small html tag (rel=”nofollow”) to change a link into nofollow. An example is given below:
<a href="https://www.example.com" rel="nofollow"> An example of nofollow link</a>
It recommended that you insert at least 2 internal and external links each on your blog posts. Internal links are the self built backlinks of your site. But be careful not to make your site a link farm by placing too much links at the same area.
In an interview, Matt Cutts (Google Engineer) said that the first 3 to 5 words on permalink are given more priority. That means fix your permalinks right now by adding the most important and juicy keywords in first 3-5 letters of the URL.
4. Reduce Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is determined by the total amount of time spent by a visitor in your site. It ranges from 0 to 100 in percentage. It is good to reduce bounce rate so that visitors stay for a longer period in your site boosting your rankings. Use Google Analytics tool to check bounce rate in your site.
Having high bounce rate is a symptom that your site needs a new strategy. It is very serious matter and you could rank on last page due to HBR. So it should be fixed immediately.
Some practical ways to engage audience in your site so that they stay for longer time are:
- Write lengthy article around 1500 to 2000 words long. However writing long content does not means that you should add thousand words of crap. Just get to the point of your article and make it concise.
- Write paragraphs clearly so that users can read each and every lines properly.
- Do not insert more than 3-4 lines in one paragraph as makes it even more clear to read.
- Add related links in between the pages so that they keep on browsing through your site.
- Learn to be a good storyteller.
- Engage audience using multimedia (screenshots, photos, infographics, videos, audio, etc.) about the topic.
- Keep your site updated with fresh and quality content
- Avoid use of pop-ups.
- Make external links open in new tab by adding the code target=”_blank”in html as shown below.
<a href="https://example.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">This link opens in new tab</a>
These were some methods to reduce bounce rate of any website.
5. Increase CTR Using Effective and Well Researched Titles
In most cases, you don’t rank because the title is not effective and researched well. The biggest mistake that you could be doing might be use of unfriendly titles that do not contains optimised keywords. You should perform title research before writing the content to make headings more clear, meaningful and catchy.
Be creative with fresh ideas to make picture perfect titles so that search engine learns what your content is about and how it is unique from others. This also helps in increasing Click Through Rates (CTR).
Use tools such as Google Trends, Keyword Planner, and SEO Toolbook to find the most popular and highly searched keywords in your industry. You can also find suggestions from related search terms in Google and use the best selected keywords in your title.
Try your best to place the most important keyword closer to the beginning of title. Do not capitalise or avoid using unnecessary words such as “a” , “the”, “for”, etc. in headings. Generally a SEO perfect title does not exceeds more than 150 characters long. So check the length of your title.
You can add brackets or numbers to grab attention of readers. People love to see what is written inside them. But don’t fool audience by creating click baits. It will only increase your bounce rate. The title should be clear enough to represent what is exactly found in its content.
6. Use HTML Properly
HTML tags play quite good role to rank for a keyword without backlinks. If you are able to use proper html tags in articles, it will make bots easier to identify the type of content and text written on it. That is why most of the SEO experts suggest to use subtitles rank a youtube video.
While writing your article, keep in mind of using proper html tags. H1 tag is reserved for the website’s name and slogan. Use h2 tags for sub-headings.
Do not use heading tags multiple times to make text bold and large. There is separate tag for it called “strong” tag, say goodbye to “b” tag. Use universally accepted html tags for new and old browsers.
7. Apply meta description
While meta tags might not be as much important but they add efforts by describing content of your web pages to search engines. The optimal length of meta description for search engine is 155 characters. Add the focus keyword in first paragraph of your content and then paste it in meta description.
Other than these 7 genuine ways to rank for a keyword without backlinks, connecting your site with social media using their respective api, inserting logo and favicon to your blog, adding alt tag to images and other forms of on page SEO is a must. But if you perform these steps, it is easy to rank. Just try it and let me know if this has worked for you in comments below.