If you have been wondering how to improve ranking in Google, to get enough traffic that can be converted into sales, this article will guide you through the major steps to take towards better SEO.
Whether you have an online shop or a blog promoting affiliate marketing links, your level of success will depend on your site ranking.
Did you know that the first page of Google receives 95 percent of web traffic, while all other pages get 5 percent or less?
It takes a lot of time and persistence in order to get there but good ranking can eventually be achieved by applying a few strategies.
Ensure that your website is fast, as well as user and mobile friendly
Easy to use, fast and mobile friendly websites rank better on Google. This is because Google puts user experience at the top of its priorities.
Furthermore, users themselves will always prefer a site that they can easily navigate.
Whether your website was built from scratch by a development team or was done by you via WordPress, there are a few things you can do to improve your website’s performance:
Have you ever landed on a website that was so hard to navigate, that you could not figure out how to find what you were looking for? You probably gave up eventually and left.
Well, this is what your users will do, if your website is not user-friendly.
There are two important things you should do to find your site’s flaws and make improvements:
- Test the website yourself
- Ask your friends to give you their unbiased feedback
When testing the website yourself, check at least the following:
- Is your site clearly branded (e.g. logo)?
- Do you have a nicely laid out menu bar?
- Is it easy to see where the “About” page is? Users will want to know who you are and decide whether they can trust you or not!
- Is your contact information clearly displayed?
- Should the overall site layout be improved?
- Are there any broken links?
You can check if your site has broken links by using a free broken link checker. Here is what you need to do:
1. Go to free broken link checker and enter your site URL
2. Click on “Find broken link“. You will be presented with the page below
3. Enter the security code you see on screen, select the type of report you want and click on “Find broken links now!”
As you can see, one broken link has been found:
- The URL in the “Broken link” column is the actual broken link
- “Page where found” indicates which page presents the bad link
- “Server response” tells you what type of error the broken link is causing
You are now ready to fix your broken link, using the information provided by this handy tool 🙂
Google has its own tool to allow websites owners the test their site’s mobile friendliness.
Here is what you need to do to perform the test:
- Go to Google mobile friendly test
- Enter your URL and click on “Run Test”
- Once site analysis ends, you will be presented with the screen below. Fix any issues that have been flagged up!
The link I will provide you below, will allow you to test speed of your website both in desktop and mobile mode.
They will always differ from one another in terms of speed, so you might have to make different adjustments.
Here is what you do:
- Go to PageSpeed Insights
- Enter the URL and click on “Analyze”
- Check your mobile and desktop results and fix any issues
Write quality content
Content refers to any text and images on your website. Each page must have a clear purpose, for example, if you have written a product review, Google will check whether it is relevant, thorough and informative.
Here are the basic content principles, taken from Google’s guidelines:
- Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
- Don’t deceive your users.
- Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
- Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
Google also says you should avoid doing the following:
- Automatically generated content
- Participating in link schemes
- Creating pages with little or no original content
- Sneaky redirects
- Hidden text or links
- Doorway pages
- Scraped content
- Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
- Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
- Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware
- Abusing rich snippets markup
- Sending automated queries to Google
What defines high-quality content?
Although we do not know exactly how Google’s algorithms work, here are some principles that should be applied to all of your content:
- Try to provide all the information the user needs, so that the user stays on your site, instead of looking elsewhere.
- Keep your blog posts at 1500+ words. 2000+ would be ideal.
- Add internal links to serve customers with additional content available on your website.
- Let your keywords flow. Do not force keywords in your content if they do not make sense.
Target keywords based on your site’s authority
Having relevant keywords is crucial, however what is also important is to target keywords based on competition.
What this means is that if you have only just started your blog, then you should try to use low competition keywords that not many other websites use.
Low competition keywords usually do not bring as much traffic as a high competition ones, but as long as you keep on writing content, two magical things will happen:
- Traffic will build up.
- When your site’s authority improves, it will start ranking for high competition keywords that are present in your content.
If you are just starting out, I recommend you to target “long-tail keywords“. These are keyword phrases that contain 3 or more words and are used to target niches.
I personally look for keywords, using Jaxxy. It is easy to use and it has quite a few useful features like:
- Keywords search
- Alphabet soup (Enter a keyword to get suggestions)
- Analyse your competitors
- Site Rank
Let’s see how we can find a low competition alternative to “improve site ranking”:
1. Sign up to Jaxxy (You can create a FREE account and perform 30 searches to try it out).
2. Go to the “Keywords” tab.
3. Search for the keyword and inspect the first result.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the number of competing websites ranking on Google (QSR) for this exact keyword is 168.
Chances are that if you are reading this article is because you are just getting started and therefore, your site has yet to gain authority.
In this case, I recommend you look for a keyword that has a QSR lower than 50 (30 would be even better).
Let’s try “how to improve seo ranking in google” and look at the results:
Now, that’s nice! QSR for this long-tail keyword is 6!
Remember, although the traffic of this keyword is lower than the previous one, you could eventually rank for the other keywords located in your post.
Metadata and alt-tags
Metadata is a set of data that our site sends to the search engines, to help them understand what the website is all about.
Here are the most used types of metadata for SEO purposes:
- Title metadata – This is the title displayed at the top of a web page. For example, for this post it will be: “How to Improve Ranking in Google – 9 Simple Steps”. When you search for a keyword in Google, a list of results will be returned. Each results will show a title at the top and then a description.
- Description metadata – This is a brief description of your content and is visible when your website is returned as a result of a Google (or any other search engines) search. The description should be appealing and encourage people to click on your result and read the rest of the content.
- Keyword metadata – These are not really used for ranking purpose, however, it is good practice to add a few keywords that are relevant to your content.
- Alt tags – These are just a short text description of the images presents on the website. They are useful for accessibility needs of users with disabilities, as well as being used by search engines to provide relevant images, when a user performs an image search.
Grow traffic using Social Media and YouTube
Social Media and YouTube are a great way to reach both existing and new users.
According to Statista, in 2018, Facebook had around 2.27 billion active users per month, Pinterest had 250 million users per month and YouTube had 1.58 billion yearly users.
Looking at these numbers, you can imagine how important it is to have a Social Media presence!
It is important, however, for you to use something you are comfortable with.
I see many people out there trying to be on several Social Media platforms because they think that it is a good way to reach as many potential clients as possible. This is risky if you are on your own, as you could end up managing them all really badly and give up altogether.
I personally like Facebook because it allows you to post different kinds of content, do live videos and easily invite your friends to like your business page (the latter is useful when needing to give your new Facebook page an initial boost).
Facebook also has a powerful ad tool, which allows you to target users, based on age, country, interest and so on. What is even better is that they also provide you with an insights tool that shows you data of your existing users, as well as those who visited your page and engaged with it. This way, you will be able to be even more specific with targeting, when setting up your ads.
YouTube is also a very common platform among small businesses and bloggers.
Some people might choose videos as their favourite learning method, rather than reading an article. That is a portion of audience that you would never be able to reach, without using videos.
Also, imagine how many people out there have such busy lives, that would prefer to be able to just hit the play button and listen to the information they were looking for, while getting on with other tasks!
Be active on Quora
Quora is a question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, edited, and organized by its users.
It was founded in June 2009 by Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever and according to these statistics, it had around 300 million active users per month.in 2018.
Users can ask any kind of questions and can either wait for others to answer or can send requests to specific people.
The cool thing is, if someone asks me to answer something SEO related, I could include the this blog post’s URL in my response and drive traffic to my website.
Look at the screenshot below, showing stats of a new account I created.
I was very active during the first couple of days. On 6th January 2019, 159 people viewed my answers and some of them were then checking my website out.
I then stopped being active on Quora to see what would have happened and as you can see, the bars started getting lower and lower (and so did my traffic).
Make sure you always give relevant answers and you send people to your website only if you are linking them to something that might help them further.
Even just answering 5 questions a day will have a nice impact on your traffic!
Leave comments on “Commentluv” enabled sites
Commentluv is a WordPress plugin that retrieves the last blog post of the person who is typing the comment. This will appear at the bottom of the comment once it is submitted.
Commentluv benefits both website owners and commenting users.
Website owners will get a chance to receive lots of engagement on their site, which helps SEO. Users will be more willing to leave a comment, if they know that they are getting something in return.
Commenting users will have the opportunity to use this feature to gain a “dofollow” link.
What is a “dofollow” link?
A dofollow link is like a vote given to your site and it can improve SEO if enough votes have been given by an authority website.
Be prepared to regularly check for sites that are linked to your website. Having a dofollow link from a spammy low-quality site can damage your SEO and it needs to be removed as soon as possible!
You can go to Ahrefs backlink checker to see your backlinks sources. If you have any link that needs removing, you should first try to contact the webmaster of the website that is linking to you and politely ask them to remove the it. If that does not work, you have the option to use the Google disavow tool and clean up the unwanted backlinks.
Dofollow differ from nofollow links, as the latter do not count towards SEO.
To find websites that have Commentluv installed, go to Google and search for: your keyword + “This blog uses premium CommentLuv”. For example, if I want to leave a comment that links to this article, I will search for a relevant site, using the query: SEO + “This blog uses premium CommentLuv”.
Build internal and external links
Understanding the importance of external and internal links and implementing them correctly, can help you boost your site position on the search engine results page.
Let’s see what the difference between internal and external links is:
This is when you write a blog post that talks about one topic and you include a relevant link in it, that will take your readers to a different post within your website.
Google loves this! It shows that your site is high-quality because users can find everything they need in it, without having to go somewhere else to fill the gaps.
A high bounce rate generally indicates that the page your visitors entered from does not have the relevant information they were looking for.
There will be times when you feel like you need to send your users outside of your website. That is OK, as long as it is relevant to your content.
For example, I previously talked about discovering dofollow and nofollow backlinks and mentioned that there is a tool that can help you find them. Giving you that link is relevant to the content of this post and will help you further with improving your SEO, which is what this article is about!
I have previously mentioned about Commentluv as a way to build dofollow backlinks. However, there are other ways you can do this:
Writing an article on popular blogs, will allow you to gain a link to your website, as well as some new followers.
You can search for blogs within your niche that accept guest posting by using the following queries in Google:
- your keyword + “write for us”
- your keyword + “guest post”
- your keyword + “become a contributor”
Take some time to think about all the tools that you use and reach out to these companies to discuss the possibility to feature your testimonial.
This will give you a chance to gain a backlink from a high authority website!
The broken link method
This involves scanning a website that is under your same niche and comes up on the first page of Google for important keywords, using a tool like the online broken link checker.
Once you have found some broken links, you then contact the webmaster, tell them they have a broken link and politely ask them if they wish to replace it with a link to your content.
Donate to non-profit organisations
You can earn backlinks by donating to non-profit charities.
Search for a website within your niche and check if they accept donations in exchange for a backlink.
Here are some queries you can use in Google:
- your keyword + “contributors page”
- “donation” + “contributors” + your keyword
As you can see, improving your site ranking is a long process that takes time and patience.
However, you can eventually get great results, so your perseverance will definitely be worth it.
Try not to get overwhelmed by doing everything you can in one go with the illusion that you can improve your website ranking overnight. It will only lead to stress and you will end up throwing the towel in!
Implement each strategy one step at the time and one day you might be able to claim the number one spot for an article that has thousands of monthly visitors!
Did you find this article useful? If so, please let me know which of these steps you are going to apply and keep me posted on the results. I am so excited to see how far you will go! 🙂
Knowing how to improve ranking in Google, will also be beneficial to those who are seeking to make passive income, so I would suggest you read this article next: What is Passive Income about and How Can You Generate it in 2019?
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