Ranking Higher on Google: What Works and What Doesn’t in 2017

Even companies that do big business online struggle to be noticed by Google users. The Web, after all, is home to some 120 million Internet domains and tens of billions of indexed pages. But every company, big or small, can draw more Google traffic by using search-engine optimization - SEO, for short.Jason Fried

When faced with a burning question, one that you can’t leave unanswered, what’s the first thing you do? You search for the answer online. In less than a second, you’ll have thousands of sites ready to tell you whatever you need to know. It’s great!

But, how many times have you scrolled all the way down the search page? Not too often, right? How many times have you gone to the second or third page of search results? I bet it’s almost never. In fact, only 4.8% of searchers ever go past the first page.

As a business owner, this should be a big deal to you. Because if you’re not on the first page when your prospects have a burning problem, then they’ll probably never see your business.

Let’s solve this problem. In this post we’ll look at what you can do to improve your SEO and which old-school techniques you should give up on.

SEO Tactics that Don’t Work Anymore

Ranking high on Google or any search engine used to be a lot simpler. Savvy marketers were able to “game” the system because search algorithms were so basic. Here are some tactics that used to work well, but don't anymore:

  • Keyword stuffing - this means choosing a few focus keywords for your site and filling every piece of content with as many keywords and variants as you can.

  • Repeat pages - this means taking a URL like pixelpressweb.com/website, and repeating it with every possible keyword variation, such as: pixelpressweb.com/site, pixelpressweb.com/page/, etc.

  • Paid links - this means paying a directory, article, press release, or social media service to blast your links onto the web.

  • Linkbait - this means capturing attention with text like “Eating this one food will help you lose 10 pounds in one week” and then linking to a sales page for toilet lights.

These are a few practices that used to work very well. I think we can agree that none of these will help your business build trust with prospects. Most of them will actually make your company look bad.

Google understands that these practices make for bad business and will penalize sites that use them. Yes, your site could rank lower if you use these techniques today. So, what will work?

SEO Tactics that Do Work

If there’s one word that sums up how to rank high on any search engine, it’s quality. Sites need to be built right from the code up and offer meaningful content to rank high. Here are a few ways that you can take advantage of this trend:

  • Mobile optimization - Ever since 2011 responsive web design has been the standard way to build business websites. Using a custom or Squarespace website that’s responsive can have an excellent impact on your site’s ranking.

  • Using HTTPS - Since January 2017, Google has placed a big emphasis on encrypting your website. Installing an SSL certificate translates into a website that visitors can trust and a higher ranking.

  • Social Media - Getting people to link to your site on social media means that your business is engaging with them. Just having a few people link to your site can lead to sales, but it also gives your business a better spot in the search results.

  • Produce meaningful content - Putting the right content in front of the right people at the right time is the easiest way to make sales. Using Inbound marketing can do great things for your business and Google rewards you for providing this value to visitors.

The secret to optimizing your site for search engines isn’t gaming the system or looking for loopholes, it’s running a great business with a valuable site. Aligning yourself in these four areas will make your site more effective and you’ll provide useful information to prospects. It’s a win-win.

Getting to the First Page

Over 60,000 Google searches are made every second. That means that 14 million searches have happened since you started reading this article. Will your business be on the first page of the most popular free marketing opportunity?


Getting your site to rank higher on Google requires long-term thinking and consistent effort. If at any point you feel stuck, we’re happy to help you keep moving forward with a complimentary 30-minute consultation.