Improving a website’s rank in Google’s search results is the name of the game in today’s digital marketing efforts. The Internet has been around for some time, so you’d think that figuring out the best marketing strategies would be easier today, right?
That’s completely false, unfortunately, as Google changes its algorithms to deliver the best results to consumers. What that means for businesses like yours is that your website needs to keep up with these changes and constantly learn how to get higher on Google.
We’ve compiled the latest white hat SEO strategies that will help your web pages rank higher. Check out our tips below.
1. Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research is the backbone of SEO; every successful campaign starts here. A good keyword research strategy allows you to target consumers using the keywords they search for that are also related to your industry.
You can rank faster using low-competition keywords. The trick is to find the keywords that have a high search volume but have less competition, which means you might have to use a longer string of words.
Another effective tip is to use long-tail keywords with area modifiers. Your keyword will look something like this: “product or service + city name” or vice versa. You may also use states and then branch out to cities and other areas from there.
Lastly, the Google Keyword Planner can help you find low-competition and local SEO opportunities. Once you have your keywords, you’ll then use it in other areas of your website.
2. Create High-Quality Content
If you want to rank for certain keywords, make sure to have high-quality landing pages. Keywords can only take your business so far in Google rankings, and it’s the content that really matters.
Google loves articles that help your readers, not the articles that look like a mess with spammed keywords. The search engine’s algorithm uses a lot of factors to determine what’s helpful for the readers and what’s not, essentially dismissing any black hat tactics.
In other words, you should create the content with your readers in mind. Optimizing it for search engines should be your second priority. That said, it wouldn’t hurt to create articles around the keywords you’d like to rank for though.
You should also go back to your old content and refresh it with new information and keywords. Remember, keyword research is something you’ll have to do continually, and the best keywords may have changed and an update to include them might be in order.
Take the time to comb through your content for any mistakes in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Be sure your content also has proper structure and formatting. Then, figure out the best length for your posts.
Research reveals that the average length of the content found on the first page of Google’s search results is 1,890 words. It suggests you should shoot for around 2,000 words for your articles, but pair this piece of data with your own analysis of your website’s bounce rates and conversions.
3. Videos are Your Best Friend
According to the research above, readers like articles that are in-depth. However, a good portion don’t like reading as much, and around 65 percent of us learn better through visuals. For those that fit this demographic, what’s the best way to inform them and keep them on the page?
Instead of having a text explain something to visitors, you can show a video that relays the information through visuals. Hire a studio that knows how to use the right colors, graphics, and music to keep viewers glued to the screen. This will also keep them longer on the website, signaling to Google that your visitors are liking your content.
Want the video to be searchable? Provide readers with a transcript. You may already have it if you used it to make the video, but in case you made the video without a script, you may use an online service that will transcribe it for you.
4. Optimize Your Images
Visuals aren’t all about videos. You can use images as well.
This should help break up large chunks of text, making the article easier on the eyes. Put infographics or some images that fit the context. It’s a good way of involving your readers more as they’ll have a clear image of what you’re talking about.
Another benefit of including images in your content is that you can optimize them with keywords. Use file names that include your keyword and some words describing an image, provide captions to help readers know what they’re looking at, and add ALT tags to help search engines know what the image is about.
Aside from optimizing it for the search engine, optimize it for your website as well. Use high-quality images, but trim the file size down to reduce the loading time.
5. Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media marketing doesn’t have a direct impact on SEO, but it does have a positive influence on your website’s engagement. When users like or share your content, it encourages their friends to read it as well. You have the potential to reach thousands of people with a single like, as their friends may then share it and so on.
You may also set up social media accounts and share your posts there. That way, people who follow the account get access to the posts first, making it easier for them to like or share them.
The increase in inbound links will also improve your credibility and the page’s relevance in Google’s eyes. Both your website and social profiles will then get a boost in the rankings.
6. Add Some Links
As you insert keywords in your content, don’t forget to sprinkle in some internal and external links too.
Other than the obvious benefits of linking to other pages in your own website, internal linking will help Google’s crawlers crawl your website better. This helps the search engine better understand the web page, and it also helps the bots find other pages within your website.
When you link to a page, this creates a pathway for the crawlers and bots. Having a better navigation system helps them index the pages properly, and the pages will show up in the search engine results if they are relevant.
Adding external links will also help your Google rank. No, you’re not directing users to your competitors. You’re providing them with valuable resources that will help improve the authority of your own website.
Make sure to add high-quality links, those that lead to high-ranking websites and to pages that are relevant to your post.
7. Build Authoritative Backlinks
Backlinks are the links from other websites that lead back to yours. Like external links, the quality of these links matters as well. For example, backlinks from high-ranking websites have much more value to Google than links coming from directories.
One way to get backlinks is to produce high-quality content, which will make natural backlinks as other websites would want to link to your post. Having original information that no other website has helps big time too.
If you’re publishing the information you received yourself, consider making an infographic as well. Internet users are more likely to share infographics on social media, and it will encourage other websites to link back to you.
Another way to build backlinks is by asking for one. Contact the webmaster and ask if they could add a link to your post, which should be relevant and will add value to the article.
8. Prioritize a Mobile-Friendly Web Design
Believe it or not, the majority of Google searches now come from mobile phones, which is why the search engine prioritizes websites that are mobile-friendly.
When designing your website for mobile, you have to keep in mind what your users will want to do once they get to your web page.
Find out the top five tasks that visitors will want to do. Then, make sure they can do this without much effort. That means, for example, no endless scrolling to find your business’s contact information.
Google also favors a mobile site over the desktop version, pressuring website owners to ensure that their mobile site contains the same information as their desktop site.
9. Focus on a Faster Site
People are incredibly impatient, especially in a world when information is accessible within seconds. Even messaging, buying things, and reaching out to businesses like yours can be done with breakneck speed.
With that said, make sure your website caters to these kinds of people. When your page takes too long to load, it’s much easier for them to go back to the search results page and look for another website that will give them the information they want in an instant.
When they do this, it increases your website’s bounce rate, which negatively impacts your Google rankings.
Some factors that affect your website’s speed are the images, animations, and other graphics. If you want to preserve the quality of the image, use tools like PhotoScape and ImageOptimizer that compress images without compromising the quality.
Keep your the file size as close to 100KB as possible, but don’t hesitate to go a bit over if that’s what it takes to keep the quality.
10. Secure Your Site
Google has also confirmed that encryption is a strong ranking factor. The search engine wants to show results that will keep the users safe, so it started using encrypted connections as a ranking signal back in 2014.
Secured sites keep the user’s connection and information safe, so you would also want to have your website secured for the benefit of your visitors. To get an HTTPS web address, you’ll have to get an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. You need to buy it, activate it, install it, and then update your website.
Besides affecting your page ranking, having an unsecured website also affects your site traffic. Chrome warns users whenever the site has an HTTP address and discourages them from proceeding to that page.
11. Don’t Rely on Black Hat Tactics
If you want to learn how to get higher Google ranking, don’t resort to black hat strategies. They’re quick routes to getting penalized.
Black hat SEO refers to questionable practices that could still increase your ranking. Its goal is to rank quickly, taking advantage of Google’s algorithms without considering the value of the page being offered to visitors.
Some examples of black hat techniques today include adding invisible text to content (which is still readable by Google’s crawlers but not viewers), spamming the content with keywords, using unrelated keywords, and even page swapping (i.e. changing the web page entirely once it has achieved high rankings).
If you don’t want Google to remove your site from its results pages, steer clear of these practices. Most of the people implementing them are doing so simply for a quick financial return. For them, getting a Google penalty doesn’t mean much because they will simply repeat their search manipulation using another site.
We’re assuming that you’re in this for the long run, so you’ll need to do it the hard but safe way.
12. Don’t Forget to Run a PPC Campaign
Many people seem to think that focusing on SEO means you can’t focus on PPC, but the truth is that you can make them work together to improve your rankings.
It doesn’t hurt to put up ads while you work on your SEO strategies. Yes, SEO will bring you quality leads that are more likely to trust you more than those coming from clicking an ad, but running both campaigns benefits you in more ways than one.
PPC increases your visibility, which will then help with brand recognition. Determining what works for your PPC ads will also help you implement it in your SEO strategies, and if you have an e-commerce business, you can set up the ads to direct visitors to your product pages.
How to Get Higher Rankings
Keeping these tips in mind should help you determine the best steps to take to increase your Google rankings, but if you want a professional who knows best how to get higher page rankings, schedule your free breakthrough strategy session with us today, so we can devise the best solution for your business.