Google rankings can make or break your site, especially if you’re in a competitive niche. The higher you rank in Google searches, the more visitors your site will probably have. Ideally, you’d want your webpage to be at the top of the results page, but this will take a lot of hard work and dedication.
Being on top doesn’t mean that you’ll be dominant forever. If you’re in a volatile or competitive niche, there’s a high chance that your ranking will change regularly — daily changes should be expected. Your page could be at the top today and then fall back down a few notches the next day.
If you’ve noticed a drop in your Google rankings, there’s no need to fret. You can do plenty of things to improve your online reputation. Here are 15 simple steps to focus on if you want to improve your Google ranking.
Focus On Fewer Keywords
One thing to always keep in mind is that you probably won’t rank high for all of your keywords. This is SEO, and you might rank high for some keywords while getting mediocre results for others. This is especially true if your keywords are also used by your competitors.
To improve your Google rankings, you need to limit your keywords. Test a few ad campaigns and evaluate which keywords are getting positive results. If you find that some keywords are ranking poorly, ditch them and focus on the productive ones.
How should you decide on which keywords to focus on? Ideally, your keyword list should include medium to low competition but have high traffic potential. These keywords fall in the sweet spot for Google rankings. You can use some available tools online like Google’s Keyword Planner or Brightedge.
Organize Your Site
Every business wants to have a good online reputation and acquire more site visitors. However, it may not be easy, especially if you have multiple pages published online. Say you have 10 to 15 pages relevant to a specific topic, Google might have a hard time deciding which page is relevant.
As a result, your Google rankings might suffer. Fortunately, you can remedy this through the so-called “cornerstone pages or content.” Cornerstone content organizes all your relevant and best articles onto one page — reducing SEO confusion and ensures that your content ranks higher. To do this, you may place all your internal links on your homepage or include a few links on your blog posts. Google also loves it when you pay special attention to your headlines, title tags, and keywords.
Create Good Content
If you want to improve your Google Ranking, honestly, nothing beats good, high-quality content. If you’re going to rank higher, your content must be impressive and interactive for your audience. Using relevant keywords just aren’t going to cut it — you need to work on your content structure, SEO strategy and invest in striking photos and videos too.
Google doesn’t exactly reveal how it ranks pages, but the recent trend has shown that helpful, informative, and well-researched content ranks higher than poorly-written content. If you want to create excellent content, you may need to hire proficient writers or collaborate with content creators.
Use Keywords Well
As mentioned above, it’s essential to focus on a few keywords to rank higher on Google that is relevant to your niche than a whole bunch of keywords that will only rank mediocrely. That being said, you should be able to strike a perfect balance between using your keywords throughout your copy while producing good content at the same time. If you’re into advanced SEO, you can even use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. These are keywords that help a search engine better understand your content or topic.
Write a Good Meta Description
Your meta description is one of the first things that users will read on your site. It’s also another factor that search engines include in ranking pages. Thus, your page needs to have a good meta description.
Well-written meta descriptions aren’t too long — but they shouldn’t be too short, either. The sweet spot is around 160 characters. As much as possible, include relevant keywords in your meta description.
Prioritize Technical SEO
One of the most overlooked aspects of SEO is technical SEO. This type of optimization is different from creating good content and using the right keywords. Technical SEO is what makes your site run well. It ensures that it loads faster and that images are shown in full pixels. This will also increase your average time on the page.
Technical SEO also takes care of any broken links or site errors. If you miss out on taking care of this aspect, your page surely won’t appear in top results. If you notice that your website takes too long to load, you might need to work more on your technical SEO.
Analyze Your Bounce Rate
Bounce rate refers to the time spent between visiting your page and the user going back to the results page. A low bounce rate is good because it sends a signal to Google that the user is satisfied and interested in your content. On the other hand, a high bounce rate might indicate that your content is poorly written or just is not that interesting.
To improve your bounce rate, optimize your page’s load time and create accessible content with intelligent formatting. It would help if you also minimized your widgets and pop-up ads to avoid annoying your visitors. Bounce rates can be calculated on Google Analytics. You could also analyze it on WordPress or use the Optimizely tool.
Backlinks tell Google that your site is worth visiting. The more relevant backlinks you include in your content, the more positive signals it sends to Google that your site is authentic and credible. To build strong backlinks for your website, you may use infographics or choose links from authoritative sites. You can also experiment with guest articles, write testimonials, or collaborate with journalists and influencers.
Get News Coverage
Speaking about influencers and journalists, local news coverage can help improve your site ranking. If you’re just starting, you can begin promoting locally before reaching out to global users. This way, you can get a more targeted audience and ensure that your business is significant in your area.
When you’re successful with local targeting, you can collaborate with big media corporations and prominent news websites. Just make sure that all press releases and promotions have direct links to your site to improve your traffic. You may also include backlinks to your content to increase your site’s ranking and credibility.
Find Your Area
As discussed, focusing your efforts on a particular area is a great strategy to improve your online reputation. However, the logic is that you won’t always get the same results for different areas. One page might rank higher in a specific location but get poor results in another area.
To maximize this strategy, you can focus on particular areas that give you positive results consistently. It’s just like focusing on relevant keywords and ditching the poorly-performing ones. Knowing your area of focus will save you time and energy. It also allows you to concentrate your efforts on things that matter.
Authenticity is also directly related to producing good content. These days, users enjoy reading authentic content — content that is more realistic and personalized. People want to feel that a real person is writing to them on the other side of the screen — not just some robot. Cold and impersonal content rarely ranks well, so it’s essential to make sure all content is authentic, genuine, and resonates well with the audience.
Ensure that Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
With the rising use and accessibility of mobile phones, every website needs to be mobile-friendly. Google also takes a site’s accessibility and mobile-friendliness into consideration when it comes to ranking pages. To make your website mobile-friendly, ensure that it’s responsive and that people can look for information quickly.
You might also need to ditch pop-ups, text-blocking ads, and flash promotions. Most importantly, your mobile sites’ design should be simple, and the fonts must be readable. Simply put, if you want your site to be mobile-friendly, you should work on your technical SEO.
Make a Concise and Comprehensive URL
Like meta descriptions, tags, and backlinks, a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) matters when it comes to Google rankings. Search engines prefer pages with readable URLs. This means that the average person should be able to read and remember your URL easily. You might think that you’re making yourself unique by choosing a difficult URL, but it will only affect your rankings with Google. Keep it short, sweet, and easy to remember.
Follow E-A-T Guidelines
Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness, or rather known as E-A-T for short, are Google’s way of gauging a page’s quality. You should try to adhere to these E-A-T guidelines as much as possible when creating your content and building your website. Know your expertise and make people feel that you’re a trustworthy authority on the topic.
To improve your E-A-T score, you need to include reviews on your site, get recommendations from experts in your field, and get excellent news coverage. Make sure that you have a clear company profile so people can easily find you on the Internet. Simply put, E-A-T SEO is all about good reputation, references, and other credible information written about your webpage.
Avoid Black Hat Techniques
The term “black hat techniques” refers to methods that are forbidden by search engines guidelines. A typical example would be buying links or backlinks to your site. It might sound like an easy solution to your problem because you could get your site to rank higher with ease, but if search engines start cracking down on bought links, your page will suffer, and you could face hefty penalties from Google.
Instead of engaging in black hat SEO strategies, try to focus on writing original content that displays great expertise and avoid keyword stuffing. Always abide by the rules and create a good website structure.
Summary & Takeaways
Improving your Google ranking isn’t an easy task, but it’s possible with hard work and dedication. Have enough patience, perseverance, and guts, and you can easily take up this challenge. Just follow the simple steps above and start optimizing your website now.