Organic search traffic guarantees growth in business. And that is why everyone desires to achieve higher rankings in the search engine.
However, there are certain issues that sometimes bring down your site’s ranking. One such factor is constantly changing SEO which can lead to a penalty if you are caught doing anything wrong on your website to improve ranking.
For the past few years, Google has been constantly coming out with new updates starting from Panda, Penguin, Google EMDs (exact match domain names), PBN or Private Blog Network deindexing updates and the latest, Hummingbird.
Google is slowly coming out with all these changes that follow its mission statement. The mission statement suggests that Google wants to organize the whole information in the world so that it is universally useful and accessible.
That is why it has become all the more important now to drop all the Black Hat techniques that small business SEO services previously used and focus on the rudiments of on-page search engine optimization.
Here we are going to discuss new SEO strategies that will help you know the ways to optimize your website for both search algorithm robots as well as humans.
Remember one thing that there are no quick schemes or guarantees. So always try to make a website that you would like to visit for yourself and add content that humans would find interesting to read.
Check Current Ranking Of Your Site
Before you start off with the SEO strategy to improve the ranking of your website, the first step should be to find out it’s current ranking in the result of a Google search.
It applies to all the websites irrespective of whether they are new or old. You can make use of various tools that are available free online to get this particular input.
Use Serps.com For Current Ranking
Serps.com is one such site that generates information about the website’s keyword rank. As a part of your SEO strategy if you use particular keywords for optimizing the webpage content Serps.com will help you assess the rank for these keywords.
Just type the keyword and the URL for your site and the result will reveal the rank of your site in Google for the particular keyword and also for the first page that is displayed during the search for that particular topic.
Check Site Speed
One of the important factors of Google ranking is the speed of the website. In case your site loads very slowly, it will immediately affect the ranking of your site in the search engine. And this, in turn, will surely affect your business growth.
A report from WebPerformanceToday says that Walmart faced a huge turn down in conversions when the loading time of its pages increased from one to four seconds.
So if your page is loading slowly, then you are sure to face a drop in ranking despite the fact that you have optimized Meta description, image texts or title tags.
No matter whatever on-page SEO tricks you try, nothing can beat the advantage of loading faster for a site. That is why professional SEO services check, the speed of their website to analyse whether they can increase Google rankings by improving the loading time.
Multiple tools are available online which you can use to check the speed of your website. Some of the most popular include:
- WebPage Test
- Pingdom Website Speed Test
- PageSpeed Insights from Google
- YSlow browser extension
Here we are using Pingdom for testing the content speed of your page.
For knowing the content speed:
- Visit tools.pingdom.com & then type the URL of your website under the Pingdom Website Speed Test.
- Press the button “Test Now” and wait
- The results will load in a few seconds.
For getting topmost ranking the performance level of your website must be high enough. Generally, if the performance figure is over 50 its is considered good start for any website.
But if the results are below 50 then your page speed is really very slow. Hence, you will have to do something to improve it.
Apart from checking page content speed and performance, SEO services also advise checking the load time of the page.
The result for Quick Sprout shows that its load time is over 3 seconds. However, for a website to rank high it needs to be very fast and especially for mobile devices, it should load below 1 second.
eConsultancy cited research results reveal that 47% of Americans anticipate that the page content should load within 2 seconds.
Assess Website Health
Now, before starting to optimize assess your website’s health first. Review whether your site has been experiencing a sudden decline in its organic traffic in the past few months after getting good traffic for years or months? Has Google banned (deindexed) your website?
Check this out by using a Google penalty checker from PixelGroove. Add your URL in the box and just click on “Check.” In case everything is fine you can expect a message soon.
However, if there is something wrong, you will not get the message and then it becomes imperative that you try out the tips listed here to recover the ranking in Google search engine for your website.
Also, check the domain age of your website before finally starting with optimization.
The SerpIQ analysis of more than 160,000 search engine results pages and almost 1.6 million URLs showed that the domain age is an important factor contributing to #1 ranking for most of the names for the domain.
The result indicates that the search engine ranking increases with the increase in your domain age and the links that are pointing towards your website age.
It means you must be patient as it will take some time for your domain to age and rank higher in the search engine.
2. Adding Keyword Phrases/Subject Of Your Page
A keyword phrase is the search term that according to you is most likely to be used for searching your kind of product or business. It is nothing but the subject of your page as per the search engine.
It is very much possible to obtain good ranking by optimizing your content across a website with the right keywords.
As a rule, your primary keyword should always appear in the first paragraph or 100 words of your content. However, it is highly important that the usage of keywords all through the content should appear natural.
Keep The Flow Natural
The flow of the content should be natural so that it appeals to the visitor when he is searching for your topic or business.
Research says that it is always helpful to tell the people what they are about to read at the start. For this, you can think yourself from the perspective of the visitor and what exactly you would be searching on the website.
Also, you can check on Google Trends which keywords related to your business are trending and make a list of them in your spreadsheet for reference and add them on your webpages.
Using Commercial Keywords
Brian Dean says that the topmost mistake while optimizing keywords on websites is that SEO’s do not spend sufficient time on commercial keywords.
He believes that these keywords are crucial for business growth and making money. That is why top SEO services always focus on the use of commercial keywords instead of informational keywords for improving ranking on search engines.
Informational keywords are those that give details about your product/business. And using them will surely initiate organic traffic. But they may not be of much use when it comes to converting the visitors into buyers and users who would like to share your website details on social sites and networks.
But they may not be of much use when it comes to converting the visitors into buyers and users who would like to share your website details on social sites and networks.
Also, keywords that come with suffix or prefix also do well as compared to the other keyword phrases. These include:
You must use commercial keywords along with their prefix or suffix for the on-page SEO as well as in the Meta description.
Stick To One Keyword Per Page
Always ensure that the content you offer to the visitors offers detailed information. But irrespective of whether your subject is broad or not, you must always stick to only one key subject for each page.
Avoid putting keywords randomly in between unrelated content.
Clear and in-depth writing keeps the visitor engaged. Hence, never hesitate to write long and detailed content. However, ensure that you do not spam it with multiple and irrelevant keywords.
Also, try to follow the “inverted pyramid” style highly popular in journalism. Give the big idea first to the reader and slowly break it down in detail and end the content with a conclusion.
Give An Attractive Title To Every Page
Always ensure that your page has a descriptive name along with <title> attribute. Most of the search engines often display the results as a link along with the title of the webpage.
So write a title that will generate interest and also convey what you are offering in the content.
A link that says ‘untitled’ is not attractive enough to make the visitor click. If appropriate you can increase your chances of attracting the visitor by including the keyword phrases in the title.
Links Are Important
Links are the biggest factors when it comes to optimizing your page for higher ranking. Search engines look at both the links to and from the website.
Google always looks at the words used within the link to analyse the type of content in your webpage.
Using links within the webpages is one way of emphasizing the keywords. Instead of saying “click to learn more” you should rather say “Read more” or “Also Read.”
Links from the other sites coming to your website determine PageRank. You can improve the ranking of your page by exchanging text links to the relevant websites matching your subject.
Avoid banner exchanges as it can hurt the ranking of your page. How many links should be there on each page? It is a debatable topic.
However, a best SEO service company will always keep only those links that look natural and helpful instead of stuffing the webpage with multiple links.
Avoid linking your content to ads or other scripts as it may damage the credibility of your website and you may end up losing your ranking on the search engine.
Generating/Analysing Right Links
According to Matt Cutts links should not only look natural but they should rather be natural. So although linking helps you gain topmost rank in the search engine, it is important that you find out and get rid of the unhealthy links that can damage your website.
You can use various link analysis free tools for analysing inbound links such as:
- Majestic (formerly known as Majestic SEO)
- Open Link Profiler
- Open Site Explorer
When you analyse the links the result will display some of the most vital elements you need to keep in mind while analysing backlinks. These elements are:
Exclusive Active Backlinks: These are the links that indirectly or directly affect your search engine ranking. The term “Unique” here indicates that these links have a different IP address which also means that these are natural links.
Nofollow links: The above table shows Nofollow links of around 8.3% for Problogger which amounts to around 1,600 backlinks out of the complete 20,293 links prevalent on the site.
The”Nofollow” tag has been introduced by Google in 2005 for putting an end to the spammed comments on the blogs that were artificially manipulated.
Ever since the introduction of an update on Google Penguin, it has become highly important that your website has a diversified link profile.
For that, you should always have a blend of nofollow links (links not passing ranking value) and dofollow links (links passing ranking value to Google).
Industry: Understanding your industry helps you to choose the relevant links and this, in turn, helps in improving backlink profile.
Anchor Text: Access the data for the anchor text by clicking the link to the left of the menu. This update from Google Penguin was introduced to stop the website owners from interfering with the search results by using exact match for anchor text. So make sure that your site continues to get indexed by diversifying the anchor text.
LIS or Link Influence Score: This score displays how the links from your website are influencing the rankings of the linked pages on the search engine. Higher LIS is an indication that your site is highly influential and popular.
Removing Unhealthy Links: You can identify low-quality links with the help of Google Penguin 2.0. These are the links that are:
- Generated from PR0/ PR-n/a
- More often sitewide links
- Referred from domain names having very less traffic
- Coming from websites with similar IP class address
- Coming from pages having plenty of external links
You can use different free tools such as Linkquidator or Monitor Backlinks for identifying unhealthy links.
Social Networking Makes Difference
Social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+ are good options for promoting your site and improving the ranking.
Studies indicate that a lot of traffic that comes to your website is from social networks, so it is important for every website owner to have an active account on such social sites.
Always update your social media account with new and attractive images and engaging titles and content.
Conversion XL says that you can get high ranking and improve traffic simply by having a data-driven approach.
When your facts are backed up with accurate data, people will automatically consider it as highly authoritative and will share it more on the social media. It will eventually lead to the expansion in your organic reach.
You can take help of various resources below to get the accurate content to back up your articles:
- The Freelance Economy in Number
- 20 Social Media Facts and Statistics
- Hubspot Marketing Statistics You Need To Know
- Over 100 B2B Content Marketing Statistics for 2014
- Statistics: Release Calendar
Techniques For Engaging Content
Writing case studies and experimenting with your content to reach a wider audience is one way of improving your ranking on search engines.
You can experiment with various techniques like writing case studies or even expanding on topics that others have already covered.
Storytelling is one the most effective ways of evoking emotions, captivating the audience and improving the rate of conversion.
The best example regarding this is that of the China story of Alibaba, which has managed to help it grow into a multi-billion dollar e-commerce site today.
Start With Something Unique
According to Harvard Business School, you should begin your blog or article with a unique message that appeals to your audience.
Ideally, you must ensure that the content you are writing should somehow connect with the questions of the audiences.
Add Your Own Experience
Try to write down your own experiences and make a story. The experience can be good or bad, but it will be unique and hence attract more audience.
Adding a call-to-action or CTA to every story or article is a must for a proper ending. Since your reader is eagerly reading your content, he will expect you to lead him to a solution.
After all, the intention is to solve a problem by going through the content. You can add a CTA button or link to lead the visitors further up to the sales funnel and then convert them.
SEO marketing services believe that CTA is a very important aspect that can definitely lead to conversion. Match office managed to increase its conversion rate by 14.79% simply by changing its CTA content.
Adding numbers to the title can make a lot of difference. If your title says “Tips for increasing conversion rate” then it may not draw that much of an attention as compared to the title, “10 effective tips for increasing conversion rate.”
So the numbers do influence the decision of the visitor, whether to click on your post or not.
Add <ALT>attributes to your images so that they are more accessible even to those who are visually impaired.
Moreover, this particular format also gives you extra chances to place your keywords exactly where Google can find them. Simply avoid stuffing keywords wherever not necessary.
With more people using their Smartphone for searching their topics across the internet, it has now become highly essential that your website is mobile friendly and offers good user experience.
Also, mobile-friendliness is one of the Google ranking signals and hence assures you of high ranking.
Keep Eye On Your Competitors
If your competitors’ site is ranked ahead of yours, then you need to check what exactly is making them reach the top. You can use the Google Keyword Planner to find out the keywords targeted by the competitors.
Improving your Google ranking is only possible if you understand your target audience or market. For this you need to do some research using the various free online tools as mentioned above, come out with the most trending keywords for your business and create an SEO strategy around it.
Apart from using the right keywords in the right places say in blogs, articles, image texts, ALT tags, Meta descriptions and so on, you also need to produce detailed and interesting content that offers something new to the reader and encourage him to take an action.
The promotion is also an important aspect of improving Google ranking. Use various social platforms and other strategies like backlinks to promote your content massively and do it consistently for getting the best results.
The whole game is about understanding the intent of your target audience and for that, you need to conduct a thorough online market research. Using all the research figures when you implement the above tips your Google ranking will surely improve and will continue to sustain despite constantly evolving changes in the Google search algorithm.