Difficulty Beginner

SEO tips to help you rank on Google

Everyone wants their website to rank on Google, particularly on the coveted page one. To do so, you’re going to have to implement several SEO strategies to increase the chance of your website ranking.

Keywords

Keyword research

When you’re trying to rank on Google, you’ll want to be using the right keywords. To do this, you’ll have to undertake keyword research. One of the best tools to use was Google’s Keyword Planner but you have to have a Google AdWords account to be able to use it and the quality of the data they impart is dependent on how much you’re spending with them. The best tools we’ve found for keyword research is Ahrefs keyword explorer and Moz’s similarly named Keyword Explorer. These two companies even had a back and forth about the conflicting naming on Twitter 🙂

As a first cut, with clients and for our own team, Google itself is a great first tool.

  • Use the suggestions, type in the keyword idea and don’t press enter
  • Then go back to the start of the query box and add a space ” “, this will then show suggestions that end with what you typed.
  • You can even add a “where” before the space (” “) to trigger phrases that begin with “where” and end with your keyword idea.
  • The suggestions here can be invaluable.
  • And, when you have a handful, noted in a text file, we recommend you actually search for them. Then look for two things.
  1. Look for keywords that google associates with them, in a block at the bottom of the search engine results page (SERP)
  2. Look for questions that people ask about this keyword. There will be a block of question and answers.

 


Know where to place keywords

You don’t want to receive a penalty for black-hat techniques such as keyword stuffing. But you do want to place keywords in the best places on your website.

Places you need to have keywords includes:

  1. Header

    Your title and sub-headings should include keywords. When your website is crawled for indexing, your headers will show what your page is about and help it to rank. It’s also helpful for your readers – they will easily be able to skim your page and know what the content is about.

  2. URL

    Your URL also helps Google to know what the page is about, and is the first thing that will be crawled. Including relevant keywords in your URL is an easy way to help your SEO efforts.

  3. Alt-tag

    Text isn’t the only thing that gets crawled, your images do too. Google only reads in text, so you need to make sure your images have alt-text so Google knows what it is. If the image doesn’t load, this text will be shown instead.

  4. Content

    Without keyword stuffing, include keywords throughout the body of your content. Just make sure you write for your audience rather than Google – crawlers can tell, and this won’t help your ranking efforts. Naturally include keywords to get the best SEO results.

Links

There are two types of links that are important for SEO – internal and external links. To help give your content more authority, you’re going to want to include internal links. Make sure the links you include are related and are authoritative.

The links that get more attention are external links. These are links from websites other than your own. This helps search engines determine how relevant your post is. Links essentially act as a reference – the more links pointing to your website, the more relevant it appears to be. To legitimately gain links, you’re going to have to undertake link building. Look at who is an authority in your industry, reach out to them and see if they will let you publish a guest post. This will take a lot of time and may not have a high success rate, but is a good way to gain more external links.

Content

To help your ranking improve, you’ll want to focus on publishing new, quality content. Your content should be created specifically for your audience.

Make sure it is something that they’re interested in, and is relevant to your industry. Also make sure you don’t go overboard with the self-promotion in your content. People want to read blog posts that are useful for them, they don’t want to always read about how good your company is. Consider following the 80/20 rule – 80% of your content should be useful, interesting tips for the audience, and 20% should be self-promotion.

The more content you post, the more pages you’ve got that can rank. It also means you’ve got more content to share on social media, which increases your engagement and traffic flow, and therefore your ranking in Google.

If you’re going to have a content strategy, make sure you pick a schedule for how frequently you’re going to post on your blog. Having a blog that is frequently updated helps indicate your website’s relevance. No matter what your schedule is – daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly – make sure you don’t overcommit yourself, and pick a schedule that you can stick to. Eventually, your readers will come to expect new content this frequently.

Website design

Your website should be completely user-friendly. This will help users navigate through your website and want to stay on the site longer.

Formating tools you need to consider are:

  • Use short paragraphs to avoid having a wall of text
  • Break up text using sub-headings – headings with keywords will help your ranking
  • Use bulleted or numbered lists
  • Font size and type

 

You’ll also want to look at more technical aspects of your website design, such as page load speed. After all, who wants to sit there staring at a white screen while they wait for your website to load? Search engines take load speed into account when ranking pages, so it’s important to ensure your website loads quickly.

To make sure your website loads quickly, you need to make sure you:

  • Optimise your images by compressing the size of your images
  • Reduce the number of plugins
  • Minimise redirects
  • Use clean code

Broken links

To create a good user experience, you don’t want to have any broken links on your website. Everyone knows it’s frustrating clicking a link and ending up on a 404 page.

It’s not only frustrating for the user, but it looks bad for search engines too. Having multiple broken links on your website can severely damage your ranking. There are many tools available which allow you to see whether you have any broken pages on your website. Some tools are:

Follow these tips on your own website to ensure your rankings improve on Google.

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