While pursuing my work from home journey, I’ve had to study and learn a lot about SEO. After all, I want my website to rank first for my keywords in order to get as much traffic as possible. The only problem is, everyone else wants the same for their own sites. This is where using proper SEO techniques comes into play.
Understanding what it takes to increase your Google ranking is extremely powerful knowledge, and is what will ultimately lead to your success.
Through both personal experience and extensive research, I’ve come up with this list. Hope you find it helpful!
35 Ways to Increase Your Google Ranking
- Create content regularly
If you regularly publish new content, Google will see that you mean to stick around for a long time and will therefore give your site preference over one that publishes content less frequently.
- Write comprehensive articles
It’s a well-known fact that lengthy articles rank far better than thin ones. A couple reasons for this are; 1) more words = more keywords for Google to index; and 2) long articles provide more value, and Google loves to show valuable content in their search results. SerpIQ did some research that proved longer content ranks best:
- Update your content
Google loves fresh content. Going through your old posts and updating them regularly will help to increase their ranking. It’s better to give them major updates such as adding or replacing entire sections rather than just changing a few sentences here and there.
- Try to help, not sell
Google, and most importantly your readers, can tell when you’re trying to sell to them, and when you’re trying to genuinely help them. No one likes to be sold to, and your visitors know how to use the back button. If they aren’t getting the information they’re looking for, you can expect them to leave.
- Use long-tail keywords
If you’re writing about social media marketing, don’t try targeting the keyword “social media marketing”. Instead, try something like “social media marketing plan template”. That way, you’ll have a much better chance at ranking on the first page of Google, because the competition isn’t so tough.
- Put your keyword in the title
Having your main keyword in the title of your post will get you ranked much better than simply placing it throughout your article but not in the title.
- Have your keyword in an H tag
Placing your main keyword in an H tag will help Google confirm what your article is about, helping it to rank better.
- Pepper LSI keywords throughout your article
LSI (or Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords tell Google more about the subject of your post. If your keyword is “social media marketing plan template”, some good LSI keywords to use would be “strategic social media marketing plan”, “effective social media strategies”, and “social media planning calendar”, just to name a few.
- Rank for multiple keywords per page
In general, you should try to target a single keyword, but by sprinkling in related (LSI) keywords, your post will come up for multiple queries.
- Make the page user-friendly
Minimal, user-friendly articles without distracting things like ads and popups tend to get better rankings than their counterparts. Also, keeping your content well-organized and easy to read will help to increase the amount of time visitors stay on your site.
- Use bullet and numbered lists
Bullet and numbered lists make your content more user-friendly and easier to read. They may also be a small ranking factor as well.
- Make your site mobile friendly
It’s no secret that Google prefers mobile-friendly sites. A recent change in Google’s algorithm gave mobile-friendly websites a boost in rankings, leaving non-responsive sites in the dust. This will only continue to happen as time goes by.
- Make your content bookmarkable
This just means you should make your content so awesome that people want to bookmark it to read again later. Chrome collects data about which sites people bookmark, and these sites may experience a slight boost.
- Get people to stay on your site longer
Google can tell how long people stay on your website. If people stay on your website for a long time, obviously you have some excellent content and Google always rewards you for this.
- Don’t have intrusive popups
Beginning January 10th, Google began cracking down on sites that show intrusive popups or interstitials on mobile devices. However, they also stated that the intent of the search query still plays the strongest role, so if your content is extremely high-quality you may not lose rankings if you continue to use popups/interstitials.
- Include relevant images or videos
Multimedia articles tend to rank better than those with just text. People like to see images and videos, and what people like, Google likes.
- Describe your images
Use the image Title, alt tag, and description to describe your image accurately. Google can’t actually see your image, but if you describe it, Google will have a good understanding of how it looks. One case where this is useful for both Google and humans is when the image doesn’t load successfully, in which case the alt tag will be displayed instead.
- Compress your images
Compressing your images will make them load faster, and therefore enhance the user experience and SEO. Google likes things that load quickly, so compressed images can be a small ranking factor.
- Use tags
Although a lot of people don’t think tags have much significance, I experienced a case where a tag showed up on page 1, position 1 for a keyword with decent traffic. Granted, the keyword had low competition, but even the competition that existed included some 1,000+ word posts specifically targeting that keyword.
- Use categories
A well-organized website will experience better rankings than the same with poor organization. Categories make it easier for people and Google to determine how everything on your site fits in with each other.
- Get comments on your posts
Engagement is a huge factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. Articles with lots of comments will gain much higher rankings, because engaging content means more valuable content, and the word count of each comment adds to the word count of the article as a whole.
- Have G-rated content
Keep your content G-rated so it shows up in Google’s Safe Search filter. Most visitors also prefer clean content, plus it establishes yourself as more trustworthy and therefore more authoritative.
- Build quality backlinks
Having a great link profile tells Google that your site is both trustworthy and authoritative. A few examples of quality backlinks include:
- links from websites within your niche
- links from aged domains
- links from authority sites
- links from the content of an article (rather than from a comment below the article)
- links from articles with a positive – not negative – sentiment
- links from high quality and in-depth content
- Have a good internal linking structure
Linking to previous articles you’ve written will give those articles more SEO juice. The more internal links you have and the deeper the links take you, the better rankings you can expect.
- Write guest posts
Guest blogging will give you or your brand more reach, and can drastically increase the visitors to your site. Wherever appropriate, you could include a link to a relevant article on your own site within your guest post, therefore collecting a backlink.
- Have a sitemap
Sitemaps allow Google to index your articles more thoroughly and in less time.
- Use Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools
Use of these tools will help Google get an insider’s view of your website, which may help increase trust and ranking.
- Use a well-coded theme
Themes with sloppy coding are more difficult for Google to index, so their ranking will suffer. Before installing a new theme, research it to make sure it has clean code.
- Use Schema.org microformats
Ever seen those star-ratings in the Google search results? Those are microformats (or rich snippets, markup data, etc.) and they help to improve your ranking.
- Have an SSL certificate
There is a definite preference for sites with SSL certificates (https:, instead of http:). In Chrome, sites with SSL will have the words SECURE and a green padlock before the URL, but non-SSL sites won’t. A website with an SSL certificate will get better rankings than the same without SSL.
- Have contact information
It’s no secret that Google prefers sites with an appropriate amount of contact information. The more you provide the better, but a simple Contact Us page will still work just fine.
With these two pages, your site will be considered more trustworthy by Google.
- Get more social likes and shares
Strong social signals tell Google that people love your content. Google only wants to show the very best in their search results, so getting a lot of social likes and shares is a powerful ranking factor.
- Have strong social media accounts
It’s likely that Google puts more weight on aged and established social media accounts than brand new ones. A share from a social media account that is several years old may be more powerful than from a brand new social media account, even if it has more followers.
- Have a Google+ page
Having a Google+ page associated with your website may positively influence your rankings. Oftentimes, your Google+ posts will also rank well for competitive keywords.
Although Google actually has over 200 ranking factors, I listed the ones I personally believe to be most important. No one has cracked the code of Google’s algorithm, but there are definitely some factors we know of that are proven to increase a website’s rank (and those are included in this list).
Hope you’ve found this post helpful in your SEO endeavors. If you have anything to add, or any questions you’d like answered, feel free to leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!