Every business wants to rank better on Google.
It’s paramount of getting found by the right audience.
However, doing it well tends to be a mystery.
Google’s algorithm is intentionally shrouded in mystery to make sure SEO professionals aren’t gaming the system.
That leaves many small business owners to fall prey to SEO gurus, who promise a #1 rank on Google.
However, knowing that only one business can rank in that #1 spot, it should be obvious that this promise can’t be kept.
Still, it is possible to rank better on Google for everyone.
Following a few key tips can be a huge boost.
Beware Of SEO Tips That Promise Fast Results
The tips we’re about to go over are completely white hat.
They’re methods that aren’t cheating but rather designed around Google’s best practices.
Using them will help you rank better on Google honestly.
But they take time to work, and that may leave you tempted to seek out a fast route.
You’ll find all sorts of magic techniques, from artificial backlinks to doorway pages if you search around long enough.
These techniques are considered “black hat”, and even though they might work short-term, they’ll hurt you over the long run.
Google penalizes them, which will destroy your rankings.
It’s always safer to work on SEO with the long game in mind.
Rank Better On Google With Tried And True Methods
Look, SEO has some surefire techniques.
You can rank better on Google without cheating or fear of penalty.
However, it’s going to require a little bit of learning and some diligent work.
Using the tips that I’m about to outline, you’ll get your site to rank better on Google reliably.
Start With Really Good Keywords
I’ve said before that keywords are beginning to matter less to Google.
Don’t misunderstand that, though.
If you want to rank better on Google, you need to decide which keywords you want to rank for.
Google just spends less effort on keyword quantity than they used to, and they’re seeking to make that number as irrelevant as possible.
They’re still relevant, though.
Which means you need to use them to rank.
Selecting the right keywords can make or break you here.
You need to know how to decide.
Trying to compete for the most common keywords in your industry isn’t going to do you much good if you’ve got a new website and domain with no web history.
Conversely, if your keywords aren’t common enough, nobody will use them in search.
You’ve got to find something in-between.
So, how do you do that?
Start with a topic list.
Think about all the topics you could create content about that pertain to what you do.
For example, I write about “SEO”, “Email Marketing”, and “Lead Generation”, among other marketing topics.
Put your topics in the Google Keyword Planner and see what related, relevant keywords come back.
Add those to your list.
There are a ton of ways to expand that list further, but this is a great start.
As a list you can add to continually, this is going to be a great foundation for the keywords you can write about.
Select a few that fall in the “low” to “medium” competitiveness range and see at least 1000 searches per month in your target area.
The keyword planner can help you get that information.
Now you can start writing the content you’re going to use to rank better on Google with.
Use Short URLs That Include The Keyword
Believe it or not, URLs shouldn’t be too long.
They should be short, digestible, and to the point.
Many aren’t though.
And that’s why those sites don’t rank better on Google.
It’s simple: short URLs are easier to remember.
That’s good for your Google rank because it adds to your on-site score when people come back.
Short URLs are also a factor to rank better on Google because they can be seen in the search results.
Google wants to present short information in the snippet and a long URL will be truncated.
However, a short URL isn’t enough.
The keyword must be included in it.
Including the keyword is a massive boost to your rank because it indicates to Google that your content is, in fact, about that topic.
For example, if you’re writing a piece about air compressors and the keyword is “air compressor uses”, you might want your URL to look something like www.example.com/air-compressor-uses.
Now, when someone searches “What are air compressor uses?”, you’ll have the keyword in your URL.
That’s going to give you a better shot to rank better on Google for that search.
Get Ready To Write Longer Content
Content is what’s going to help you rank better on Google.
Pure and simple.
So, it’s your content that you need to focus on when doing SEO work.
But what kind of content does Google want to share with its users?
The kind of content Google is looking for does two things.
- Great content covers the topic completely.
- Excellent content answers all the reader’s questions, bringing them real value.
Truth be told, writing a 300 to 500-word blog post can get the job done, and it’s certainly easier than writing something longer.
And, when it comes down to it, the quality of the content matters far more than the length.
If you can’t maintain quality content for more than 400-ish words, keep it to that length.Never sacrifice the quality of your content. Click To Tweet
However, if you can maintain the quality, the extra benefits that longer content brings are well worth the effort.
There is a now-infamous study done by Backlinko that details an analysis of over a million blog articles.
What they discovered was that posts averaging about 1900 words ranked on page one of Google more often than shorter posts.
They aren’t wrong.
Our posts have seen far more traffic since our post length has begun to exceed 2000 words on average.
It’s no joke.
I know that writing something that long can be scary.
You’ll have an easier time if you’ve got a format like the blog outline that I use.
Why does longer content work?
One, Google wants you to get all your answers from the number 1 spot.
A longer post is more likely to have them.
Two, it gets people to spend more time on your post, which tells Google it was the right content.
That’s going to help you rank better on Google.
Make Your Title And Description Something Readers Want To Click
If you’ve ever searched for anything on Google, you’ll understand immediately where I’m going with this.
The titles and descriptions attached to the results Google returns are what’s going to help you decide if that’s the result you’ll get your answer from.
Therefore, they’ve got to catch attention.
But they’ve also got to contain your keywords.
That’s because they’re a major factor to rank better on Google.
You’ll notice that most of the titles I use in my blog posts have the keyword at the beginning.
If you can, you need to do that.
Your meta description also needs the keyword and – spoiler – a description of the article.
Try to keep it short and to the point of what the article is about without giving away the details.
An air of suspense makes people want to find out the rest.
Like the article itself, there is a length requirement for your description.
On desktop search, Google will show about 158 characters and about 120 characters on mobile.
Ideally, your whole description will be visible on desktop and most-to-all of it will be visible on mobile.
I aim for just under 120 characters.
My meta descriptions are just short enough to be seen, but still long enough to offer a decent teaser.
So, how do you craft a great title and meta description?
Well, you’re looking for a title and description that makes people want to click it.
Your click-through rate, or CTR, has an impact on your rank.
A better CTR means you rank better on Google.
Here are a few key tips:
- Modifiers like numbers, adjectives, or rankings are often more compelling.
- Emojis can help grab attention and get people to click.
- Add excellent Schema Markup.
Boost your clicks and rank better on Google.
Fill Your Content With The Right Links
Your readers need to know that your content is well-researched and comprehensive.
They need to fact-check you to make sure you’re giving them the correct information.
So does Google.
That’s why links are so important.
If you want to rank better on Google, you need links that point to additional information.
And you’ll need both internal and external links.
External links, as you can infer from the name, are links that point to content on other websites.
Links like this are great for your Google rank because they help people fact-check your information.
It’s like providing sources for your content.
Google values it the same way.
Make sure that your links only point to information relevant to your niche and are proven sources of information.
Best if you get your sources from Google on page one, as the quality of your links will affect your rank.
Internal links are the ones that point to other content within your website.
These links aren’t as important as a ranking factor, but they’re still relevant to your score.
An internal link has three benefits:
- They create a hierarchy of information on your website.
- Visitors can use them to dig further into your content and stay on your site longer.
- Their presence helps your whole site – not just one page – rank better on Google.
The links you add to your content help show your readers and Google that you know what you’re talking about.
Relevant, correct information will always rank better on Google.
Maximize The Engagement Factor
Social media is starting to play a huge factor in search rankings.
The more an article is shared around the web, the higher it tends to rank.
There are a ton of factors that play into that, but the bit two are proof of relevance and high traffic.
When your content is “buzz-worthy”, Google notices and rewards you.
You need to encourage that buzz to exist on your content, too.
Comments are a big way to rank better on Google.
And they’re easy to get, too.
Here’s what you need to do.
To make sure your content is getting the social shares you need, add share buttons to your site.
Make sure they exist on every piece of content you have.
If people reading your content like it, they can hit the button for their social network of choice and share it with their audience easily.
But make sure your share buttons are easily seen.
As for the comments, it’s as simple as asking.
Close your content by asking for feedback.
It could be a question about what they read or a request for their additions.
Whatever it is, usually people will answer.
Especially when you have a large enough audience base.
Added interaction on your website plus increased shares is going to help you rank better on Google.
Add A Sprinkle Of Multimedia Content
One of the keys to keeping people on your site is user experience (or UX).
Keeping people on your site is a big factor to rank better on Google.
Google ranks the average time a user spends on your site as a part of your score.
The more time people spend on your site, the higher you’ll likely rank for that search.
That’s because Google assumes that people won’t spend much time if it’s not the answer they’re looking for.
Likely a correct assumption.
To provide a fantastic user experience that keeps people engaged, add a sprinkle of multimedia content.
Pictures, graphs, charts, infographics, and videos (especially videos) help keep people on your site longer to consume them.
Of course, the multimedia needs to support your topic.
It would be useless to add a video about skiing to a blog about gardening, wouldn’t it?
By adding these multimedia elements that support your topic, you show your audience that the statements you make are valid.
Your audience stays longer, which shows Google they’ve presented the right content.
As your average time on page increases, you’ll start to rank better on Google.
It’s Time To Make Your Site Move Faster
People hate to wait for websites to load.
No matter how great your content is or how well it covers the topic in question, it will rank lower if it loads slower.
It’s a little more of a technical aspect of SEO, but you can’t ignore it if you want to rank better on Google.
Start by testing your website’s speed.
Google PageSpeed Insights is a great way to do that with results straight from the source.
If your site is slow, it ruins the UX.
You’ll want to speed it up.
Here are a couple of tips to help.
- Optimize your images. There are image compression services available.
- Enable a website cache. Storing some data on the visitor’s computer speeds up the return visit.
- Compress your site files. Properly reducing file size allows them to load much faster.
- Speed up your server. If you can’t, contact your web host to see what can be done.
- Use a content delivery system (CDN). They help to serve some of your site content faster.
We already talked about the media.
For a lot of websites, the media is what slows it down the most.
Try to keep your images small and host your videos on YouTube.
Using videos that you want to keep exclusive to your site visitors?
Take advantage of a video host like Vimeo.
They’ll load a lot faster from a proper video host and allow your site to load faster as well.
That added speed helps you rank better on Google.
Secure Everything On Your Website
Data security is a massive concern on the web.
With so many breaches happening involving sensitive personal information, people are more concerned than ever.
Web browsers made a decision a few years back to make the site’s security level clear and apparent to users.
And, back in 2014, Google decided to make SSL certificates a ranking signal.
That’s what makes the web address “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP”, and it encrypts data sent by the site.
If you’re looking to rank better on Google, you’re going to need one.
Thankfully, most website hosting companies include them in your package.
So, if you don’t have one added to your site, there’s likely already one available to you.
Should you not have one, they aren’t difficult or expensive to get or have added.
The data security and peace of mind they bring for your users is more than worth any cost.
SEO boosts don’t hurt either.
Check with your web host to see if you have one available or what you can get through them.
Security is one more slightly technical SEO factor you can’t afford to be without.
Especially if you really want to rank better on Google.
The Things You Need To Do To Rank Better On Google Aren’t Complicated
SEO doesn’t have to be difficult or a mystery.
As you can tell from what we just went over, it’s primarily based on how well you can answer your audience’s questions.
Even better if you make getting the answers easy.
That’s what these steps are all about.
Follow them fully and check them frequently if you want to rank better on Google.
Remember that SEO is something that continually needs to be revisited.
It’s not something you can do once and be good.
Search rankings are constantly fluctuating, and the rules change from time to time.
If you’re going to rank better on Google, you’ve got to stay ahead of the curve.