With so many website racing to top the SERPs and improve google search rankings, it has become even more difficult for Google to manage and decide what should be shown to end users. So Google has come up with newer, smarter and stricter algorithms that can deal with billions of such content, smartly and place the most relevant piece of information on the top.
But the problem with this scenario is the fact that there billions of pages competing for billions of keywords. And since only first 5 search results (excluding the ads) get 95% of clicks it becomes densely competitive to remain at the top for almost forever.
So how does Google decide which content is worth placing on the top? What does Google use to scale the page rank of a piece of information? What is that observance that makes Google place your content on the top of rest others? The answers to these questions are the key to rank any content to the top of SERPs for any given keyword at any given point of time. In this post, we will be covering the search engine optimization tips to improve Google ranking/SEO rankings.
In the previous post, we saw how to plan blog post so that it ranks well on search engine. And after planning it is time to implement it to reach the maximum crowd with the help of search engines.
How are Google searches ranked?
There are whopping 200 factors that affect the page rank of your posts. But the main functionality is super easy and straight.
The crawler continuously scans the web pages available online and create a knowledge graph with the keywords found in the pages crawled. And when the user does a Google search, the crawled pages from the knowledge graph are indexed to the user.
How to improve google search rankings with these factors?
Now the ranking is made based on the 200 factors mentioned above. So the bottom line of this is to create a keyword rich (in quality, not quantity) content so that it indexes well and later the ranking would change based on the user interaction with it.
Also providing a top quality content (that is really useful to the user) will automatically bring your content to the top.
Undoubtedly, backlinks are still the number one Google ranking signal that Google uses. But to make the best out of the algorithm update that Google rolls out, one must follow a certain checklist that has proven to be really helpful to many. Without wasting further time, let’s hop into seeing the checklist.
#16 Bring the keywords to the front of title tag
Wouldn’t it be nice if Google can find the target keyword in the beginning of the title itself? Google loves front load title tag and upon doing this for your blog posts would help Google to rank your post higher, faster. By doing this you not only place your content on the top of SERP but also you reduce the workload on Google bots. Even if publishers mistakenly happen to place the target keyword in the front, Google would rank them by default.
DIY: Place your target keyword in the front of the title tag. Just the keyword, a colon and then the title would be magical.
#15 Have readable URLs, short & sweet
I probably need not emphasize & explain how important is having a readable URLs for your posts/website entities. Here’s the reason, if you have a readable URL one thing is for sure that the user will try going through the URL at least and in case it is readable they will be able to get a gist of what the content is. I personally prefer having short and readable URL as it clearly tells me what am I going to read. Product URLs from shopping sites are classic examples for this.
DIY: Avoid default URLs from your CMS, create your own URL i.e <www.domain.com/target-keyword/> , include your target keyword in the URL so that you the crawlers would notice a keyword in the very beginning of your post (crawlers begin crawling from URL of the post)
#14 Use external links
Linking has proven to be the best way to improve ranking. Be it internal linking, external linking or backlinks. The link is the key to success in SEO ranking. Recent Google algorithm update has kept links in the limelight. Hence it becomes utmost important to have external links of high DA/PA/PR which indirectly bring traffic to your site also inform Google about your presence. The skyscraper technique from Brian Dean is a classic example to this.
DIY: Include at least 2-3 external links. Target news websites, education or any popular blogs in your niche.
#13 Welcome crawlers with your target keywords
After crawling the URL the bots begin with your content. And not welcoming the bots with target keywords would be a mistake. The reason to include the target keywords in first few paragraphs is that upon seeing the target keyword the bots flags the page for indexing and hence increasing the chances of being indexed. Also, Google also pays attention to the placement the keywords on a particular page.
DIY: The target keyword should appear for the first time first 100 words and after that multiple times as per your need. But make sure on NOT stuffing the keyword, else you might be penalized for keyword stuffing.
#12 DO NOT use Text-only posts/pages
We ourselves quit the pages with text-only information. I mean, it sounds so boring if we have to read a text only post. Images keep our brains interested and eager to read further. So having multimedia in your post would be a great idea.
The main reason why including images in your post is a good idea is the fact that Google bots index/crawls images too (in Google Images) and there an image can be viewed either by “View Image” or “Visit Page” and most of the people go for Visit Page option to check the licensing of the image. So not including Images (multimedia) is directly rejecting organic traffic from search engine.
So not including Images (multimedia) is directly rejecting organic traffic from search engine.
DIY: Include images, detailed & descriptive screenshots, videos, GIFs etc. The trend says to include infographic as that more than an Image and text together. No doubt on its popularity, it is indexed well by Google.
#11 Increase site load speed
This is a genius trick to get the page rank well. This is no direct connection with SEO, it’s just psychology that plays the trick. Do you know that how many visitors are you missing because of high site load speed? And because of which the incoming user is not counted as a +1 user by Google?
On average, a user waits for 3 seconds for the page to load, and if it doesn’t the user simply moves to next result. Irrespective of the quality of the post you have to serve, because of high load speed you lost a visitor.
DIY: Use a high-quality hosting plan (will be expensive) that will automatically increase the site speed. And another alternative is to use CDN, as it brings the content from the nearest location of the user, hence diminishing the loading time.
#10 Write a mile
With this, I mean to produce long content. Long content is something which naturally includes long tail keywords, short tail keywords, and LSI keywords. If you intend to produce long content you will be forced to have target keywords in various forms, hence covering all possible keyword combinations.
In a blog post, Neil Patel explained amazingly why long content does better than shorter ones.
As you can see, first five positions are nothing less than 2000 words. So this should be enough to show you the importance of long content.
DIY: Go beyond the usual and produce at least 2500-3000 word content to out mark the rest. Produce so long content that no one will dare to copy your content.
#9 Include modifiers in title tag
Many times we tend to fail to include modifiers in the post and the title tag as they don’t fit into the context of mail content. The longer tail keyword (generally queries) eliminate the possibility of including the modifiers. However including specific modifiers is impossible as they’re unpredictable both by Google (that is why Google has restricted the long tail keyword length to 3-4 words) and yourself.
DIY: Add all possible modifiers like “Review”, “2017 update/edition”, “Infographics” etc. This will nearly cover the left over keyword inclusion in your post.
#8 Include sharing buttons
Again an indirect way to gain traffic is including trending and prominent sharing buttons. Seeing the social sharing buttons invokes a sensation of sharing it immediately (provided the content is good) and hence including all the popular medium to share the content is important.
Needless to say, all the top bloggers include top social platform is the visible area of the page so as to get maximum shares and hence more visitors.
DIY: Include sharing buttons/icons to increase the user base and get the views. The position of the sharing buttons should be easily visible and properly work.
#7 Pull down bounce rate
Bounce rate is defined as the percentage of visitors bounce back right from the landing page or percentage of visitors leaving your site after viewing only one page. If you have a high bounce rate it’s a clear signal to Google that your content is not worth being on top and Google will soon drop your post down to the second or third page.
DIY: Create a catchy beginning of your post and also include internal links in the first paragraph. Maybe recapping the previous post or linking any relevant post would do.
#6 Use LSI keywords
It’s evident that using keywords is the building blocks of a successful post. LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are nothing but synonyms or related keywords to actual keywords. The idea behind using LSI keywords is to cover all possible keywords for the main keyword you are targeting for.
If you are writing about automobile so you might want to include BMW, Audi, Mercedes etc. And when such words are detected in your post bots gain confidence that your content is topic oriented and not post-oriented.
DIY: Use tools like LSI Graph, search related to the section in Google search. Include 2-3 LSI keywords in each article.
#5 Title tag for high CTR
The other side of low bounce rate is high CTR (click through rate) and the reason being the exact same- to increase the clicks and hence the organic traffic. Now to increase the CTR you must include a number and use braces/parenthesis with a keyword(s) in it.
Including a number and a catchy keyword in braces induces the user to click it. So many famous marketing campaigns have had numbers for a reason.
DIY: <use, strong title>  is an ideal way to create a title. You can place the keyword part within the braces even in the front. In fact placing it in the front is more useful, as per tip #16
#4 Increase session timings
If a user clicks back button immediately after reaching your page then it indicates Google that your page is of low quality and hence lower your ranking.
Longer content will automatically increase session time and further indicate Google that your content is of good quality and this eventually will increase your rank.
DIY: Create top quality content so that user is engaged from first paragraph itself. This is a critical signal for ranking your content well on search engine.
#3 Use Internal Links
Internal linking is creating the web of your own domain. Creating internal linkings has so many benefits. It increases session time, it gets you page views, it gets you visitors and helps you increase your revenue or maybe get leads.
Wikipedia is the best example for this. Wikipedia ranks well in the search result for a reason. It has so many internal links that the user hardly gets away from it.
DIY: Place at least 2-3 internal links in each article you publish.
#2 Bring sensitive content closer to homepage
Your homepage has the maximum traffic, i.e 90% of the traffic goes to the home page and hence the page you wanna rank well should be nearer to the home page.
If your super hit post is very deep in page category then you might need to bring it closer to the home page. In many cases a post structure is something like this Home> Blog > [category] > post. In this case, chances of ranking well reduce as the user will never navigate this much to find your post.
DIY: Create a hit list and place it in the home page widget area. Or creates highlights of the hit posts and place it somewhere on the homepage.
#1 Create quality backlinks
Nevertheless, backlinks have been and will be the top most signaling factor to rank any content. So it will be fruitful if you create backlinks from high authority domains. The reason why backlinks have gained so much popularity in recent times (so much that Google rolled out an update
The reason why backlinks have gained so much popularity in recent times (so much that Google rolled out an update to its algorithm with backlinks in mind) is because it has manual intervention. People editorially create links (which obviously are verified & tested)
People editorially create links (which obviously are verified & tested) which are clear indication that the site linked to is of a great quality and Google would want to show it to more people.
DIY: Create backlinks by guest posting on high authority websites, platforms like quora-medium-facebook-popular blogs etc. Building backlinks is a skillful job and hence learn how to build backlinks.
#Bonus tip Rank for more…
Longer content is so much useful that it helps you rank for more than one long tail keyword. research a lot on what keywords you will be using, get a list of long tail keywords you will be ranking for and then use it intelligently in your post.
By doing this you are covering all possible combinations of the main long tail keyword. And hence be it any keyword that user searches for your content will be surely on page one. This will definitely help you rank better and improve google search rankings of your brand.
DIY: Include more than one long tail keyword in the post. And the post should obviously be a long one, it will make sense only then. Get the list of the semantic list of long tail keywords from Google search instant suggestions, forums like Quora etc.
So this brings me to end of this post. What strategy do you follow to improve google search rankings of your brand? Which tip mentioned in this post are you going to use first? Is it using the external links or pulling down the bounce rate? Let me know in the comment section below.
I’m sure this must be super useful to you, but do you know who’d be benefitted by this information? Share with them and also in your network.