You build an amazing website and put in a lot of hard work and time into crafting well-thought content to attract your audience. But it all goes for naught when you don’t get enough visitors to your site.
We understand it can be frustrating to put in so much work and get low rankings in Google search results. Google is the ultimate tool that is used to find anything and everything over the internet. People don’t say search the internet anymore; they say Google it. So, it’s no wonder you want your site to have the highest possible ranking in Google search results. And that’s the entire point of Google based SEO. A systematic process and set of best practices will help you get in the good books of Google search algorithm and get ranked higher.
Read on to get a simplified guide on how you can improve your SEO rankings and get that coveted top spot in Google search page results.
The Fundamentals of Google Ranking
As there are millions of websites and content spread across the internet, Google uses its own algorithm to sort through the internet to give relevant results to the user. For instance, when you search with a search phrase ‘home appliances,’ Google will list sites that will either lead to home appliances shopping pages or informative pages that say something about home appliances. So, the critical factor that Google uses to qualify a link to be displayed on the search result is relevancy.
In that vein, the exact search phrases or queries used are called the keywords. When a website link or content matches closely with these keywords, it is given priority. To further assure relevant quality content for every query, Google uses certain factors to rank a website. Here are some of those factors listed:
- Domain age
- Keyword position and placements.
- Domain history
- Country TLD extension
- Keyword density
- In-depth topic coverage on the page
- Page loading speed
- Use of AMP
- Entity match
- Duplicate content
- Image optimization
- Recent content
- Content edits frequency
- Historical page updates
- Keyword prominence
- Outbound link quality
- Mobile-friendly pages
- Reading level
And a lot more. While Google does not make its page ranking algorithm public, these common factors are used to assign a website ranking. As you can see, using the right keywords and optimizing the website for usability and performance can automatically help your site rank better.
Step By Step Guide to Improving Your Ranking In Google
Step 1: Understand Google Search Algorithm
The list of Google ranking factors is just a sample of the whole process used by Google algorithm to rank your sites. And estimates say that Google changes ranking factors rather frequently, making around 500 to 600 changes per year.
So, continue learning all the new updates and changes made to the Google ranking mechanism and fine-tune your SEO strategies accordingly. Some of the major updates made in the recent past are:
- Mobile-friendly update – this update started giving priority to mobile-friendly sites while ranking the websites
- Pigeon – integrates search results from sources like Google Maps
- Hummingbird – understanding the context behind a search query to show relevant results
- Penguin – gives a low priority to spammers and sites with unnatural links.
Google keeps updating itself to boost organic SEO. Understanding this mechanism will help you drive better SEO efforts that work.
Step 2: Evaluate Your Current Ranking
There are multiple tools available that you can use to estimate your current ranking. Knowing your current position is necessary to gauge the success of your efforts.
Here are some ways to evaluate your current strengths.
- Use any site audit or keyword rank tracker tool to find your keyword positions and ranking
- Evaluate the performance of your site by checking site speed. Make use of tools like Webpage Test, Rigor, Kingdom Website speed test to assess your site’s loading speeds and performance
- Assess your site’s health status by using site audit tools to generate domain health reports.
- Keep track of your organic traffic received.
- Check if your site has any current penalties and fix them. For instance, recent updates to Google penalize link schemes used for inbound link building. So, if you have been using any similar outdated strategies, make sure to fix them as soon as possible.
Step 3. Establish the Right Metrics
Evaluating your current position calls for establishing the required metrics. Identify these metrics like organic traffic, conversion rates, keyword rankings, backlinks, and page performance and keep track of them via SEO dashboards.
Step 4. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
Now let’s move on to actionable items that you can do to improve your ranking. As you employ these methods, keep track of your metrics to see if you are taking the right direction.
The first such step should be making your site mobile friendly and responsive if it isn’t already designed to be so.
About 60% of all search queries originate from mobile devices. Hence naturally, Google prefers sites that can adapt to smaller screens and render well on the device.
To check whether your site qualifies as mobile-friendly, you can try running it through Google’s mobile-friendly test. If you find any related issues, do make the fix immediately.
Here are some additional tips to make your site best suited for mobile viewing:
- For a quick makeover, you can use services like Mobify, Duda Mobile to adapt your site to fit mobile devices.
- Make use of responsive themes and plugins if you are using CMS platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and such.
Step 5: Keyword Research
The next natural step is to improve your on-page SEO.
Let’s start with keyword research, which is the most critical part of the inbound marketing strategy.
To do so, you will first have to know how your audience is trying to look for your services.
Avoid making assumptions on popular keyword choices and use analytical tools to get lists of keyword phrases in use. Tools like Uber suggest can be used effectively to get keyword ideas.
Here are some tips for finding high-performance keywords:
- Find keywords that have a good performance but have lesser competition.
- Give priority to keywords that are driving traffic to your site over popular keywords with a higher ranking. For instance, long-tail keywords may bring your site more traffic than popular keywords.
- Focus on the intent of the target audience to figure out keyword phrases. For instance, users trying to find tutorials might start with ‘how to.’
- Keep an eye out for your competitors and get an estimate of their keyword targets. Tools like Google Keyword Planner can help you.
- Research on related topics and themes to find more effective keyword phrases.
Step 6: On-Page Optimization
Make use of your keyword analysis to optimize your content.
Here are some tips to improve your on-page optimization.
- Use original and quality content with appropriate word count.
- Include the target keywords in the right places like the headline, sub-headers, title tags, and content body. Try to make your unique keywords appear first.
- Avoid using generic title tags as it could be perceived as a duplicate content. Use specific descriptive terms separated by dashes (-) or pipes (|).
- Provide links to relevant sites and link back to your own site.
- Create site maps as a way to inform Google about the structure of your website. There are plugins and online tools available to generate simple sitemaps for your site.
- Create unique and quality content centered on your keywords. Make sure to include clear CTA sections. To add more value, make your content data-backed and engaging to the viewer. You can use any media and an engaging narrative style to deliver your message.
- Scan your site for any duplicate content and remove them.
Step 7: Make Best Use of Backlinks
A good amount of organic backlinks indicates quality content, and Google uses it as a critical factor in ranking your site. Backlinks are inbound links from third party or external websites that link to your site. There are many ways to embed links like anchor text, images, author notes, etc. Try to provide referral links, guest content, and similar organic methods to build your backlinks.
The Wrap Up
As you can see, securing high ranks on Google requires a lot of effort. You need to be persistent in your approach and be experimental to figure out what is working and what is not. It is, undoubtedly, time-consuming and demands expertise. This is why it makes sense to let the professionals take care of your SEO. We are here to your rescue. Talk with us to learn more about our services.