If you have a website then I’m sure you want to know how to rank higher on Google – unless you are already in the coveted position 0 or position 1, page 1 for all of your keywords.
With ongoing Google algorithm updates some website owners see that they’ve dropped in rankings and wonder what to do. Higher ranking, means getting your website / business in front of more people which hopefully will lead to more traffic (visitors) and more business for you. In this article, I cover 3 tips to get your website ranking higher.
Produce relevant, quality content in natural language.
Give Google what they want. It’s why Google exists and why it’s the most popular search engine. If you search for something on Google and you are able to find exactly what you are looking for (relevant) and it meets your need or solves your problem (quality) then you will be happy…and Google will continue to be successful.
Here are some tips for you to put into practice:
Deliver what it says on the tin, BERT
This is the reason that titles, meta descriptions, image alt tags and keywords are important. They not only tell the search engines what your content is about but they also tell the searcher what to expect. If the match between the search and the resulting listing is good, then there is a higher chance the search result will be clicked. By making sure your on-page SEO is working well, you are making it easier for the search engines to find your content that is relevant to the search.
In 2019, Google made a major algorithm update and introduced BERT which is a natural language processing (NLP) framework. What that means is that, using Machine Learning (ML), Google is now better than ever at understanding the intent of a search, not just the exact words people are searching for but the intent of the words. This means that exact match keywords are not as important as they used to be. Words and the context in which they are used is complex but BERT helps Google to understand this. If you want to dig deep and understand how all of this works, then watch this Search Engine Journal webinar replay.
Don’t try to manipulate on-page SEO. Instead, produce better content using the kinds of words and phrases real people use – not only to type but also spoken as voice search is on the increase. If visitors see your search result, click on it and realise it’s not relevant of high quality, then they will very quickly leave your site and this shows up as a high bounce in your analytics. If Google see that your page has a high bounce rate, then they won’t rank it as well.
Keep it fresh.
If you want to rank on Google, then you have to give Google something to rank. That means regularly adding fresh content – give the Google spiders something to feed on 🙂
This content can be a new page, a new post, a video, an infographic or a transcription and a link to a podcast. You don’t need to publish content on your website every day but you should try to add something new each week or each month if you can. It takes time to produce quality content and like many business owners, time is one thing you don’t have a lot of! Consider outsourcing some of your content. You could pay someone to write a few articles for you, seek guest posts from other writers, create a video but then have someone else do the editing, transcription writing and even sharing it on other video sites. We provide these services so if you are interested in finding out how we can help, contact us.
People love case studies, real examples with real data, tutorials and ‘how to’ content. If you create fresh content, then your existing visitors will return to your website because they know there will be something new for them. Google will find fresh content and index it.
For some content ideas inspiration read The Top 15 Ways to Come up with New Content Ideas.
Remember to E.A.T.
Google evaluates your website based on Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness (E.A.T). So make sure you remember to EAT!
Why is it important to E.A.T?
EAT is about being (or being perceived as) a trusted expert in your subject matter. It builds trust in you and your brand because people trust authorities – think police, fire fighters, military, researchers, educators. For the most part, they have instant authority and we trust them. In these days of “fake news”, it is important to Google that they show results from reliable sources.
How to E.A.T.
Some examples of off-page expert, authority and trust signals include things like having other relevant, high authority sites, link to your website – more on that later.
If you are cited as an expert by other authority sites like newspapers, well-regarded online sources and even having your business listed in common directories and social media can help build your E.A.T. Of course reviews on external sites like Google My Business, Facebook and other review sites like YOTPO, TrustPilot and the like may also send signals – good and bad!
Amplify your content – let people know about it!
Once you’ve published your high quality, relevant content, following E.A.T guidelines, you now need that content shared by other people to help it rank higher on Google.
If a lot of people are talking about something new or something great, it creates a buzz and you want to find out about it too. It makes sense then, that if Google is getting lots of signals from different places across the internet that your content is creating a buzz, then it is more likely to rank higher than some other piece of content that no one is talking about.
Make it sharable
If people like your content, they might choose to share it with their community. Make it easy for them to share by having social sharing buttons on your website. Don’t make your visitors work for it because they won’t.
Ask people to share it. Sometimes a simple call to action saying something like “if you liked this post, please share it” can help boost the number of shares. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
If you’re not prepared to market and share your own content, why should you expect others to? After you publish your content, be sure to share it on social networks and other relevant places by:
- Adding a link to your signature when you comment on other people’s blogs – but don’t spam the comments
- Adding a link to your content in your email signature
- Manually sharing a link to your post with a relevant comment on your social networks
Attract inbound links
Other people linking to content on your website from their site can help to push your site higher up the search results, providing the source of the link is relevant and good quality.
This is very important now. In the past, link building was about getting as many links from as many places as possible back to your website in the hope that Google would rank your site highly because so many other sites were linking to it. Not any more. In fact, all of these old spammy, low quality links could now negatively impact your website and cause you to rank lower in the search results. If you think you have low quality links pointing to your content, then it might be time to clean them up.
Having high quality, relevant sites linking to your content is a good thing, not only because it sends targeted visitors from that site to yours but also because it tells Google that your content is worth linking to and therefore worth ranking.
This article was originally published in June 2013 and was updated in February 2020.
Run a quick audit on your website to see find what you can do to rank higher on Google:
If you’d like us to work with you to improve your ranking on Google, then order a comprehensive Digital Marketing Review for your business.