This article is about Digital Marketing
Top SEO Tips to Rank High on Google
By NIIT Editorial
Published on 15/10/2020
Businesses that undertake SEO seriously don’t need long to realize that its risk-return ratio is too good. Yes, it may take time to claim progress in terms of measurable results, but your journey to claim a first-page Google rank will nevertheless have a top-down (positive) effect on other marketing metrics. With that in mind, this guide will help you streamline basic SEO ranking hygiene practices that, believe it or not, continue to work wonders for first-page benchers. Let us begin our guide on how to rank your website on Google and get familiar with Google search optimization tips.
Pay Attention to SEO On-Page Activities
Creating SEO optimized content should be your starting point for any On-Site Optimization techniques. On-Page content optimization begins with optimizing parts of your content. These parts comprise the title tags, the body of the text, links redirecting to internal pages, and the URL. The presence of not just the right Keywords but also the placement of the same is considered deeply by crawler bots. Expert opinion suggests it is better to include and begin your headings with the keyword. From a user’s perspective, you would much rather present the sought information immediately than wait for the reader to get fed up and close the window. This process is called frontloading, wherein you place the target keywords in the front/earlier portion of the title, URL, paragraphs, any interlinks, and Call-to-Action buttons.
Take extra caution that your content is long-format. Multiple studies back the claim that long-format content results in higher engagement rates. One study found a content length of 3000 – 10000 words to get maximum shares on social networks. To look at it from another perspective, if you want to offer all the information on a subject to the reader on a single page, the content piece is bound to get longer. From a ranking perspective, aim for articles that are within the region of 2000-ish words. At the same time, disperse your primary keyword evenly throughout the page. In a 2000 word article, one keyword can be used 2 – 3 times.
Leverage LSI SEO
LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. Semantic keywords are conceptually related terms that further elaborate on the descriptiveness of your primary keyword. In other words, these are terms related to your primary keyword.
For instance, if “Email Marketing” is your primary keyword its LSI terms could be “tools”, “services” and “templates”.
Google displays a few LSI keywords that appear in the drop-down when you type your search query in the Google search bar.
But it will only show the terms that are most frequently being searched for aka trending. Therefore you must use an LSI tool to generate additional terms to incorporate as part of the content.
There are plenty of digital marketing tools in the market. You could use LSI Graph or Uber Suggest.
Take Technical SEO Seriously
Search Engine Optimization has many specialty skills to learn and apply to your website. In a routine technical SEO audit you should be aiming for the following:
- Ensuring that you’ve specified your preferred domain
- Updating the Robots.txt file to point to crawlers which sections of your website to crawl and which to skip
- Your URL should be formatted as per industry standard
- Keep the website structure lean and easy to navigate
- Adding breadcrumb menus on relevant pages of the website
- Implement structured data codes to help crawlers identify the theme/topic of the content
- Maintain Canonical URLs for all pages of the website
- Mitigate 404-page instances
- XML sitemaps should be updated
- Install SSL certificates to establish trust with the user
- Optimize website load time
- Make the website mobile-friendly and if possible, try to integrate Accelerated Mobile Pages
- Introduce pagination and multi-lingual site support for a streamlined user experience
- Deploy webmaster tools to diagnose additional errors
While going through the above checklist pay close attention to making your website mobile-friendly.
The simplest way to check whether your website has a mobile-friendly setup or not is to run it through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
It’s an extremely fast and efficient way that points out backend loopholes. Another important technical SEO aspect to keep in mind is the site load time. It is an important measure that points to the collective SEO hygiene of your website. A study by marketing expert Geoff Kenyon proposes the following site-load standards that most webmasters abide by:
- Websites loading in 5 seconds are considered to be speedier than 25% of the web.
- Websites loading in 2.9 seconds are considered to be speedier than 50% of the web.
- Websites loading in 1.7 seconds are considered to be speedier than 75% of the web.
- Websites loading in 0.8 seconds are considered to be speedier than 94% of the web.
Align Content to the Search Intent
There was a time when SEO marketers could get away with stuffing their websites with keywords. Today, they know better. Google rolled out its RankBrain algorithm in 2015 to accommodate the nuances connected to a particular search query. The update was aimed at ranking those content pieces higher which better served the SEARCH INTENT of the user. To meet this objective, RankBrain has the authority to tweak and change SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranks and see how users interact with the new content.
The only sure short way to immune yourself from the hazards of getting de-ranked is to study those websites which are ranking on your keywords. We can understand this with a simple experiment. Let us assume your target keyword is Digital Marketing Tools. It is a very competitive one, to begin with, but let us see which sites are ranking and what is their content-flow like.
The results contain all high domain authority websites such as Sproutsocial.com, Neilpatel.com, and Medium.com. All the articles are listicles. The word length for such listicles is well over 2000 words, almost touching (even surpassing) 10,000 words. Therefore, if you had to create an article that ranks among these, you must pick and match their content-flow, if not the content itself.
Additionally, the articles have been segregated into sections that dedicatedly speak about sub-domains such as Email Marketing Tools, SEO Tools, and Content Creation Tools to give you an idea.
Reduce Website Bounce Rate
The average bounce rate is the percentage of site visitors who exit your webpage without further exploring the website. There could be multiple factors contributing to this recession in time-spent on site. Perhaps the content was not structured right, or there wasn’t enough information to prolong reader attention or poor UI leading to confusion. In the last section, we pointed to the significance of understanding search intent.
Creating your content around that would solve half the problem. Secondly, content positioning is paramount to navigation for readers. It is also considered a convenient practice from the CX perspective to have a table of contents at the beginning of the article. If you routinely perform SEO audits that should take care of most things, but an important area for you to take very seriously is the top-most section of your webpage.
This is also referred to as the Above-the-Fold section. It sets the tone of expectations at the reader's end and makes them scroll through the page.
Depending upon the theme of the page and the user intent, the most important content terms (or keywords) should make it to the top. The bounce and Google analytics go hand in glove so you should have a stronghold on GA as well.
Remember “Content is King” in SEO
If you want to boost search engine rankings then bear in mind, Google prioritizes content that is unique in taste and style. If your site already boasts a respectable domain authority then that would play into your ranking as well. Remember to check page rank on Google regularly to observe fluctuations. It is highly advised that you do not indulge in black hat SEO practices. The following pointers are something that you can let go off while streamlining content quality:
- Auto-generated content by bots
- Content catered towards giving backlinks than information
- Content that contains little to no original content
- Fooling the reader and then redirecting them onto a different page
- Keyword stuffing using terms with no remote connection to the content theme
Now that you know what not to do while creating content, let us also throw some light on what you should do. The clichéd quality content has the following features:
Content should be useful for the reader, which in turn depends on your keyword selection and optimization.
- Its uniqueness should bring value addition to whatever it is that the content proposes to do.
- Include primary research, citations, mentions (if any) to establish authenticity and credibility.
- The theme or the details of the content should not have been mass-produced or easily available. To that extent, even if it’s a commonplace topic that you are writing on, try and add some elements that others have missed out on.
There should be a good use of pictures, infographics, videos, etc. to keep the reader on the webpage.
As mentioned before, try to create long-format content when possible. As a matter of fact, the larger the content volume of each page, the greater its probability of generating backlinks. It turns out, backlinks are directly proportional to the search engine page rank of websites. As a result, they are an answer to the question of how to increase page rank on search engines.
Have a Back Link Strategy in Place
What happens when you find something worth forwarding? You share and spread the word. Good content has that effect on people and one of the ways Google determines this is through a backlink analysis. A Backlink audit should be at the top of your checklist.
When relevant external websites link back to your content it is a measure of the quality and credibility of your website. In addition to giving your site link juice, it is an informal way of communicating to the search engine saying,
“Hey, this piece of content is a bang for its buck! And you better know it!”
The more backlinks you have to your site the better, but remember the Google ranking algorithm knows when you are abusing it. Guest posting is one of the ways you can play it cool. Also known as Guest Blogging, it is an inbound marketing tactic wherein you publish a piece of content on a different website (particularly for their high DA) and link back to a webpage on your site.
While linking back to the original piece of content, make sure that you do not use a keyword-rich anchor text. Make sure to check your competitor’s backlinks while in process. A preliminary competitor backlink analysis would enlighten the kind of sites you should associate your content with.
Begin Work on the Best SEO Tips
We are almost through this guide on how to improve Google search ranking. Monitoring and tracking the results will ensure that you know the metric you are performing best and modify the ones that aren’t.
Everybody is after rank #1 on SERP, and for good reason, it has been found that 75% of the people do not scroll past the first page of Google with the topmost position gaining a 34% CTR. Just another reason why you should work to improve Google search results for your website. But all is not lost even if you can’t bag that spot.
Google’s featured snippet update offers publishers a clear cut opportunity for windfall traffic gains, without actually ranking on the SERP.
Take for instance the query TIPS FOR OFF PAGE SEO. Notice that the first result is not an organic ranking. It is the snippet that the publisher had embedded on their original webpage.
But since there can be multiple variants of the same query so you have this FAQ section that is labeled PEOPLE ALSO ASK. It contains similar questions with short pointers as answers clicking which would redirect you to the hosting website. As a result of which your CTR will improve. Remember, CTR is one of the crucial components that directly impact your organic search rankings.
In addition to that, there is also the Q&A section on the SERP. Assuming you already have a relevant question you can post an answer and perhaps a link to your webpage that has the potential for further informational addition.
But refrain from spamming the area.
Learning how to boost our website on Google is more of a trial and error process. The above step-by-step guide will lead you in the right direction but remember to make appropriate amends to plans that may vary depending upon your industry. If you feel like you need further guidance and professional training in the domain to garnish your employability prospects then we recommend you NIIT’s Post Graduate Programme in Digital Marketing and Branding. Certified trainers aid you in developing the right credentials not just towards SEO fundamentals, but also the following:
- Digital Marketing – an introduction
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Website design and change management
- Content creation strategies
In addition to the above, students also gather critical input from trainers on standards tools employed for:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Search Engine Marketing
- Inbound Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
With NIIT’s years of expertise in securing student careers, give yourself a promising chance of standing out of the crowd.
Post Graduate Programme in Digital Marketing and Branding
An Online programme for Graduates to get them skilled for rewarding careers in the Digital Marketing Industry.
400+ hours of Online Learning
Mapped to FB & Google Certifications