When it comes to people searching for how to get a higher ranking on Google, I feel it is sometimes overthought and made more complex than it actually needs to be.
Yes, there are rules to follow and these should be adhered too. The difficulty though (in my opinion), is so many people have different points of view, ideas, thoughts and SEO practices when it comes to rankings. In actually fact it can be almost impossible to know who or what to believe. Are you having a nightmare when it comes to your Google Rankings?
Well, here I want to simplify things for you and I hope it will make your life easier as you move forward.
So, without further delay, lets make a start shall we?
First off, before we dive in any deeper, please look at the following screenshot I have made for you.
As you can see, the name of this post is ‘How To Get A Higher Ranking On Google’. Are we agreed? GREAT!!
Now, the screenshot you see has been taken from a keyword tool I use called Jaaxy. A keyword tool is very important when it comes to research and it is important to know the keyword you are targeting has a chance of getting into a good position on the search engine results page (SERPS).
You can clearly see that my keyword for this post gets an average search 3550 times per month on Google. The QSR (the competition) is only 16. This means that on the whole of Google all around the world there are only 16 pages/posts on the internet with this exact keyword on them. Personally, I feel I have a great chance to get this post onto the first page of Google and in the number one position for this search term.
Enter Your Keyword & Try The Jaaxy Keyword Tool For Free Here
This keyword is known as a Low Hanging Fruit Keyword. There is little competition and therefore I have a very good chance of climbing to the top of the tree. Does this make sense?
If you are just starting out, good numbers to aim for are to find keywords that get more than 100 searches each month with less than 100 competing pages. Of course, the more authority your website gets over time (and the more SEO experience you have), you can then start to target some of the more competitive phrases down the road.
ALWAYS make sure the Keyword you are using makes grammatical sense.
For example, if I was to use a keyword for this post – How Get Higher Ranking Google for example – this is not a good keyword. It does not make sense.
A Couple Of Important Points On Keywords
It is important to have your targeted keyword in the title of your post. The same as I have done here. It is also important to have the same keyword in the first paragraph as close to the beginning as possible. If you look at the first line of this post, you can see that the keyword is in the very first sentence.
You will (without doubt) hear different opinions on this. Some will tell you to place it in the first couple of paragraphs, others will tell you anywhere in the content is also fine!
TRUST ME!! Place your target keyword in the title of your post, and in the first paragraph as close to the beginning as you can. IT WORKS!!
Another point I want to mention, is to not stuff your keywords into your posts and/or pages. After you follow the rules above, write naturally. There is no need to have your keyword spread throughout your writing. Google will slam you for it, and it will irritate your readers to death.
Have a look at this example of Keyword Stuffing, and you will see how annoying it is. DON’T DO IT!!
Write good informative and interesting content that people want to read. I.e write for your audience and not for the search engines.
Ensure The Keyword Is In The Post/Page URL
When you start to write a post and you enter the keyword in as the main title, more often than not, the default URL (the Permalink) that you are given will have your keyword in it (see the below image). There is no need to change this URL. It is important that the Keyword is here. After you have published your content to your website, you can edit the title to make it more appealing, and the URL will remain the same. Do not change the post/page URL after it is published. This will result in a 404 error on your website.
Content Is King – Do Not Make Shortcuts
The search engines are a lot smarter than they used to be and they are only getting better. Long gone are the days when you could build a website and get it ranked in a wonderful position by purchasing back links and using various outdated black hat techniques.
Google wants to see quality. Why?
Google is providing a service. Millions of people all over the world use the internet to look for something every day 24/7. Maybe they are looking for help, information, guidance or even to purchase something. Google wants to (and will continue to strive towards) presenting its users with the most relevant and informative results.
Ensure your content is thorough, interesting, helpful and engaging.
You can make use of the best keyword tool and have very little competition, but you will not achieve good rankings (or success) if your content is badly written and presented.
Compose a good piece of content, add relevant images to show what you are talking about and also make use of video where you can too. It is important that your readers get value. If they get it, they will stay to read your material, maybe even share your content on social media and hey, they will keep coming back too. This is called trust and it shows you are providing quality content.
You have to remember that during these modern times, people have become very lazy. If you do not write something engaging, interesting and something easy to digest, visitors will simply leave your website. Very often, visitors will simply skim over your content and look for something interesting. If it is not there, then its goodbye, no questions asked!
Make use of Headings (H Tags) to break up your material and make it easier to read. Heading Tags are a great way for people to see what they are looking for more easily. Also, be sure to check all of your spelling and grammar before you publish. Nobody wants (and nobody will) read badly written content.
Remember – It only takes another website to be more helpful than yours, and you will go down in the rankings.
Watch The Video For A Practical Overview For Google Rankings
Content Length – What Are The Requirements?
This is another area where you will find yourself confronted with many different opinions. Does my post or page need to be 2000 words? How many paragraphs do I need? What ranks better, shorter content or longer content? etc.
My take on it is this!
For sure, you need to aim for a minimum of 1000 words. It is true that more informative content will get better rankings because it is full of information and therefore longer. However, the biggest mistake people make is writing for the hell of writing just to make a number count acceptable.
Not all content needs to be the same length, and it would look strange if it was. If you have said what you need to say in 800 words, then so be it, do not fill it out with garbage simple to get it up to 1000 words. On the other hand, if you find you have written 1500 or 2000 words to get your point across, this is also good.
When composing your material, write it for the people that are going to read it. Tell them what they need to know and do not look at the word count as a major factor. If the information delivers, then you will be ahead!
Internal & External Links – You Need Them
Making use of internal and external links within your content is very important to your success.
As your website/blog develops then you will have many pages and posts which you would have built over time. It is vital that you link these pages and posts together in a relevant way. Internal linking shows Google the website is easy to navigate (aside from your menu) and it allows your readers relevant links to read further information. This is great for SEO and for rankings.
Similarly, external links need to be made use of too. An external link is a link which points away from your website to another authority website. This displays that you are trying to offer your audience further education, and you are not obsessed with keeping them on your own site. Again, remember Google is trying to offer quality to its users.
As a rule, it is suggested that you need a minimum of 1 internal and 1 external link per page/post. I always ensure that I have 1 external link, and I try to add between 2 and 4 internal links on every piece of content.
Engage With Your Readers Using Comments
With comments, again you will hear a lot of opinions. My take on it? – Comments Are Vital.
Talking with your readers and answering any questions they may have is a real trust builder and it will help you no end. Google wants to see interaction. It wants people to go to websites that they present to get the assistance and information they need.
Imagine you went to a website and wanted to ask something. You emailed the author or left them a comment and they never replied! Would you come back? Would you recommend the site to another person? NO. It has happened to me many times and it is infuriating.
If on the other hand they replied to you and offered you advice, and you knew there was someone you could talk to, I am sure you would be a lot more content and comfortable to trust them. Am I right?
Comments – Do Not Underestimate Them And Always Encourage Your Visitors To Engage With You!
The more comments and engagement you have on your website, and the more people that like it and share it, the more authority you will obtain as a result.
Meta Titles, Descriptions & Alt Tags
It is also very important not to overlook your Meta Titles and Descriptions. These are crucial for SEO and they will really help you in the search engines.
Ensure Your Meta Title is in place and make it catchy and appealing and less than 60 characters (It must Include Your Target Keyword). This is the first impression people see when searching. Also ensure your Meta Description is there, and again your keyword must be included (less than 160 characters).
As you can see below, the Meta Title And Description Are Complete, and you can witness the preview of what the person searching sees in the search engines.
It is also important to ensure your images have been allocated file names and the alt text applied. Google cannot read images (yet) so you need to explain what the images are that you have applied to your post.
My Last Piece Of Advice
Now, when it comes to building a website and getting into the search engines with a good position to get traffic, it can be a frustrating process. I myself have built websites in the past in my earlier years (when I was starting) and I pulled my hair out because I did not get results I was hoping for.
My biggest mistake back then was my content. Basically you could say my writing was not up to standard and I was making shortcuts to get the website built fast.
Get your material ready, be thorough and follow the rules mentioned here and you will see success. It will not be fast at the start. I always remember my friend Robert telling me that content is like a good wine. It takes time to mature.
Keep working hard, keep building, follow the rules and write for your audience, and success will follow. If you have any questions or you need any help, leave me a comment and I will get back to you!