How to Improve SEO Ranking On Google
Every business wants to know how to improve SEO ranking on Google. After all, the company owns more than 90 percent of the worldwide search engine market share according to StatCounter’s latest report. But there’s no magic bullet solution, despite the many Google SEO or how to increase Google ranking for free promises on the web. That’s why we’re going to show you how to rank higher on Google the right way.
However, there are a few things you’ll want to look at before implementing any of the tips in this article. Firstly, have you taken an in-depth look at your target audience? Researching the intended audience will force you to look at the big picture. While website traffic is the goal, the wrong kind of traffic won’t benefit your business and is often harmful.
Here’s one simple example. Businesses pay the web hosting provider regardless of where their website visitors are coming from. With that in mind, a company selling lawn care in NY but receiving traffic from LA is wasting resources. Hence, audience research is the first thing you should do.
Then investigate to see if there’s a search interest in your products or services online. In other words, are people searching for your offerings on the Internet? The easiest and most reliable method of doing this is to use Google Trends (it’s free). If you are not experienced you should ask for a consultation from a search engine optimization company!
Using Google Trends For Audience Insights
This is a Google feature that scores keywords or terms based on popularity from a scale of 1 to 100. Here’s an example. A shoe repair shop in New York, NY that’s considering investing in SEO decides to enter the search term, “shoe repair” in Google Trends. The company also specified their exact location of service to make the results more precise. They received the following results from Google Trends.
From the screenshot above, the term “shoe repair” has a rating of 66 out of 100. Plus it’s been pretty steady in the last 12 months, which indicates that the company should invest in SEO.
Every business that’s considering SEO as a marketing strategy should conduct similar research before investing. Now for how to improve SEO ranking on Google!
Any business can improve their rankings on search engines with a strong SEO plan. The following tips or suggestions will help you improve the performance of your web pages on Google SERPs (search engine results pages).
1. Enhance Website or User Experience (UX)
The experience of the user determines how much they’ll interact with your website. Good experience also drives return engagement. Your website should be aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly, and consumer-focused. That means ensuring your site is professionally designed, while paying close attention to usability aspects such as navigation, intuitiveness, etc.
Great user experience naturally improves rankings since it promotes a lot of applicable search engine ranking factors. Things like social engagement, accessibility, usability, and others naturally improve with UX enhancements.
Increase the Load Time of Your Pages
The speed at which your web pages load is essential for a couple of reasons. The first is that Google has high standards for site speed, which makes a lot of sense. The search engine’s continued success depends on user satisfaction and a slow web page hinders that.
This is why slow web pages rank lower than faster ones on the SERPs providing that all other factors are equal. Though speed is relative to your niche too. That means you have to beat the average load time across all competitors in your industry (e.g. 6 seconds).
The second reason is that you’ll lose customers with a slow site. People aren’t as patient as they used to be during the era of good old Windows 98. Now consumers have an almost unreasonable expectation when it comes to site speed. Today under five seconds should be the goal and even less for eCommerce sites. A study by Forrester revealed 47 percent of people expect eCommerce pages to load in two seconds or less.
Address Mobile Usability
Mobile-friendliness is a huge ranking factor. More than 50 percent of searches on Google originate from mobile devices and that data came from the horse’s mouth. So making your website mobile-friendly will undoubtedly improve SERP performance.
There are two approaches you can take concerning mobile usability. These are responsive web design and AMP (accelerated mobile pages). The former keeps everything the same but introduces mobile-only styling and layout structure. The latter does the same but removes programming code, leaving only the bare essentials.
We recommend going with a responsive web design approach instead of AMP unless you’re a news site. This is because AMP eliminates some of the controls you’d normally have with your site. Certain features that may be unique to your website will become disabled. So don’t use AMP unless you’re in a highly competitive niche.
The loss of some control is fine if the benefit of enabling AMP outweighs it.
Publish High-Quality Content Regularly
If there is one thing you can do. One thing to improve Google ranking, it would be addressing content quality. Content is the top driver of SEO success. Regular content updates will improve how your website performs on Google. Search engines want to show their users websites that are consistently updated. Publishing high-quality content regularly indicates your site is well maintained, managed, and in business.
Bad site architecture or structure can impact SEO directly and indirectly when users aren’t happy. The structure of your website should be continuously improved. You can do so by implementing a way of monitoring user behavior on your site and adjusting its architecture accordingly.
Good architecture ensures people won’t leave because they aren’t able to locate needed resources. You’ll also improve the user experience of your site, which naturally leads to better Google SEO rankings.
Here are some tips for improving your site structure.
- Add a search feature if you have a larger site with lots of content. This saves users time by allowing them to search for the content or product they’re looking for.
- Make sure your logo links to the homepage. Users have grown accustomed to that so they expect it.
- Navigational items should be clearly labeled such as categories, product pages, etc.
- Be mindful of how far users have to travel from the homepage to access new information. Also, pages that are further away from the root are less likely to outrank web pages located in the root. That means www.domain.com/page/ will rank better than domain.com/page/page-here/hello-world.
Use Optimized Visuals
Images or other visuals like video are fantastic additions to any site. They improve user experience, encourage social shares, and can make content assets linkable. However, visuals must be optimized correctly if you want them to improve Google rankings.
While selecting the right visuals is important, the file format and dimensions are critical. Massive media slows down web pages (load time), which hurts your rankings. Large visual files will take too long to load on many devices, causing you to lose visitors that don’t want to wait. Fortunately, both of these issues can be solved.
Images can be resized and/or compressed to maximize load time. Videos can be hosted on super-fast servers like YouTube or Vimeo and shared on your site for viewing. These servers are so fast that most media files load quickly on some of the slowest networks.
Also, the load speed of these networks is made possible through the smart use of technology. These sites auto-detect the user’s Internet speed and serve the most suitable file size. For example, someone with a slow connection may receive 144p video quality, while another person with faster speeds would receive 720p.
The utilization of headings to section out your content enhances user experience. Headings and subheadings make it much easier to read, including skim content as needed. Headers focus the reader’s attention, helping them find what they’re looking for quickly.
Websites that are simply walls of text with no headings are discouraging to visitors because they seem like hard work to enjoy. Search engines also look for headings and use them to properly feed content to searchers. You have to use HTML heading elements since search engine bots can’t see as we do. Here’s an example of what that looks like in code.
Not using headings and/or subheadings can reduce your Google SEO rankings. This is because websites that always use them will outrank yours since they’ll be winning from a user experience standpoint.
Your keyword choices are the most important aspect of a successful SEO campaign. Think about how your customers would search for the products/services you offer to identify the right terms. You’ll need to use keyword research tools to spot keyphrases or keywords that are being used by the intended audience.
You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to identify suitable terms. First, go to the website and sign in (create an account if needed, it’s free). Select “Discover New Keywords” on the page that shows up.
Enter your seed or one-word keywords separated by a comma on the next page.
Your keyword suggestions will appear on the next page. You’ll also be able to narrow your research further by specifying location, language, and search networks among others.
From there, play around with the tool to familiarize yourself with all its other functions/features. Use the “DOWNLOAD KEYWORD IDEAS” option to export any uncovered keyword data into a CSV file.
Know The Searcher or Keyword Intent
Searcher intent is the most important aspect of audience targeting in SEO. Even the most well-funded SEO campaigns will fail without a good grasp of the intent behind consumer searches. Understanding keyword intent ensures you’re attracting qualified prospects from search engines, which leads to higher conversions.
There are several types of searcher intent with two primary distinctions. These are high and low intent. High intent keywords are commercially driven. Consumers use them whenever the goal is to purchase or transact. These terms are also used whenever a person intends to transact in the future.
Low intent keywords are usually informational and may or might not lead to a sale. They’re like a double-edged sword in that way. While the probability of securing a transaction is low, these keywords attract lots of traffic. You can strategically leverage them for exposure (or brand awareness) and sales with the right plan.
Types of Keyword Intent
The four kinds of keyword intent are as follows.
- Navigational – These are searches performed to locate a particular destination (e.g. “Nike’s website”).
- Informational – These queries are utilized by the consumer to obtain information on particular subject matters (e.g. “how to improve SEO ranking on Google”).
- Commercial investigational – People use these kinds of keywords whenever they’re interested in something but aren’t sure of where to buy it (e.g. “best museums in New York”).
- Transactional – These are conversion-focused queries. They may be a direct purchase inquiry (e.g. “Chinese food near me”) or some other commercial intent (e.g. “SEOExplode’s newsletter sign up”).
Use Keywords in Your Content
There are many advanced, more technical ways to use keywords but the most important thing is within the copy. Your keywords should be naturally placed within the content without affecting readability. Essentially, you have to write for people but take keyword placements into account.
The best approach is to first develop the content for your target audience. Only worry about keyword placement after the copy has been created. The main goal is to ensure keywords appear as natural as possible. Plus make sure you use the main keyword in a heading or subheading at least once.
Additionally, you can target multiple keywords in one publication if they’re closely related. Though not recommended unless you’re a seasoned SEO professional.
Use keywords With Visuals
You can leverage your visuals for keyword optimization. Videos and images can be named using your target keywords. Also, you can drop keywords in the alternative text area if it makes sense. The alternative or alt text is meant to assist the visually impaired. This is the text that’s read aloud when using a text to speech program. Alt text is an important area for adding keywords.
For example, let’s assume you have an image on a page that shows a boy playing basketball. And your target keyword is “basketball camp”. In this situation, the alt text of the image can be something like the following. “A boy is playing basketball at what seems to be a basketball camp”.
Use Keywords in Your URL or Web Address
Another important area to use keywords is the web address. For instance, a web page about improving SEO ranking on Google with a URL like domain.com/SEO-123 is ineffective. Domain.com/improve-SEO-ranking-Google would be more effective since it includes the keyword, excluding stop words (e.g. on, to, how).
3. Start a Blog
Blogging is the best way for any company to leverage its content for growth and it’s an excellent tool for lead generation. So how does blogging improve SEO? Well, in the following ways.
- A regularly updated blog is a signal to search engines that your site is actively maintained, which increases confidence.
- Blogging naturally builds readership and returning visitors is a good sign your website is good for users.
- More content means more occupied space on the SERPs, giving you more opportunities to attract visitors.
- High-quality blog content naturally builds backlinks.
A blog is a means of connecting with your audience and forming new consumer-brand relationships.
4. Encourage Social Sharing
You can greatly increase your SEO rankings if people regularly share links to your site on social networks like Facebook. So make sure you’re active on some social media networks and encourage content sharing.
The practice of encouraging social engagement should be ingrained in your SEO strategy. Include social share buttons in visible areas by your published articles/posts. And share at least one of your content on social media each day. There are virtually no limits to what you can do to encourage social shares. So think outside the box or get creative about it.
Google’s ability to utilize links for rankings is the main reason they’ve been so successful. Links are used in several different ways. We’ll discuss each type of link and how to improve SEO ranking on Google using them.
Utilize Outbound Links
Outbound links are a good way of improving the credibility of your site. These are links to other pages from your website that contribute towards credibility and enhance viewer/reader experience. Both are important aspects of effective content marketing.
So back up your claims whenever possible by citing other sources that either confirm them or add to ideas in the content. Use outbound links to improve the value your content provides. Cite facts from credible or authoritative sources that are recent or still applicable.
There isn’t a clear statement from any search engine that outbound links are a direct ranking factor. But correlation studies suggest they’re used to assess page trust.
Use Internal Links
Internal links are links within and from your site. Search engines crawl websites by following hyperlinks (both external and internal) via the use of bots (a form of AI). A bot will follow every link on a web page to reach other pages. The bot then attempts to figure out the connection between web pages based on their contents. For example, a bot can identify pages on your site that cover similar subject matters or external web pages that support the topic.
Proper internal linking and how you do it is crucial. Google and other search engines perceive web pages that have no internal links pointing to them as unimportant. These pages are also referred to as orphan pages. The better your internal link structure, the easier it is for bots to crawl your site and discover web pages.
Internal links also direct visitors to other pages on your site. And people generally spend more time on websites that have a good internal link structure. This is why site-wide navigations that link to your main pages are useful. A good internal link structure ensures every page is accessible by bots and human beings.
Fix Broken Links
Broken links are links to web pages that either aren’t live or no longer exist. Unreachable links affect page quality, which reduces your SEO rankings and they’re a UX issue.
Imagine searching the web for hours upon hours looking for a particular kind of software to use in your business. You finally found a page that claims to have a link pointing to your exact need. However, you later discovered the link doesn’t work. How would you feel? Chances are you’ll be frustrated and move on to the next search result.
Broken links are both frustrating to users and damaging to your SEO efforts so avoid them. However, growing sites inevitably deal with broken links. Thankfully, there are two ways to solve broken link debacles. Let’s take a look.
a) Check The Whole Site For Broken Links
The easiest way to check your entire website for unreachable links is by using the Dead Link Checker. Simply visit the domain and enter your URL or website address, then hit submit to begin.
Are you using WordPress?
You should use the Broken Link Checker plugin if so. The tool works very much in the same way as Dead Link Checker but provides the advantage of expediting broken link fixes. In other words, it’s a more efficient solution. Broken Link Checker notifies you of any broken links and facilitates a one-click resolution such as link removal or replacement.
b) Check Individual Pages
Being able to check one page at a time is handy when you want to quickly fix something. We recommend making it a policy to always check newly published content for broken links.
Check My Links is a Google Chrome browser extension for uncovering broken links. While it’s a great choice, there are plenty more broken link checker plugins for Firefox and Chrome. So explore available choices to find the right one for you.
We touched on this earlier and you probably know what they are. Backlinks are links that point to your site from other sources (or websites). Basically, a backlink is the opposite of an outbound link.
Every business needs to devise strategies for manually and naturally gaining backlinks. They’re among the top three Google ranking factors. The other two crucial factors are content and AI.
Ways of acquiring backlinks include but not limited to the following.
- Content marketing to attract and build backlinks.
- Ask friends, family, or acquaintances for links.
- Submit your website to web directories.
- Branding in a way that leads to naturally gaining links.
- Build useful things such as free tools, infographics, etc. as a way of attracting backlinks.
- Social media marketing to attract linkers.
- And much more!
6. Improve SEO Metadata
SEO metadata is what appears on the SERPs. Search engines display the Meta title and description of your web pages to users.
Let’s take a look at how to optimize both.
The title is your attention-getter or hook. There will be other web pages on the SERPs so standing out to the consumer is key. The title should make the searcher want to click-through or pay attention to the contents of your Meta description.
However, we’re not suggesting you use misleading titles. That would only serve to diminish your SEO rankings since consumers aren’t forgiving when misled. Your title should contain any one or more of the following elements.
- Implied instant gratification
- A definite promise
Optimizing your titles alone can greatly improve SEO ranking on Google.
Like your Meta titles, the description’s purpose is to convince the user to click-through. Use this space to convey what and why or “what’s in it for me” to the prospect. You can also title case your descriptions to grab searcher attention.
7. Optimize Web Page Titles
The web page title is the one visitors see or your content title. The principle is the same as optimizing your Meta title. You can use a different page title or the same one as your Meta title. However, keeping the web page title (H1) the same as the metadata title promotes consistency.
Now You Know How to Improve SEO Ranking On Google
SEO isn’t going anywhere and will continue to grow in demand as the world becomes further digitized. So now is the time to begin working on SEO if you haven’t yet started. Hopefully, you’ve learned how to improve SEO ranking on Google from this article and will implement strategies or tactics accordingly. However, keep in mind that SEO is overwhelming unless you have a team. Whether in-house or externally outsourced, you’re going to need a team of SEO experts.
Consider SEOExplode. Reach out now for a free SEO demo. No obligations.