I’m going to be completely honest with you and tell you that there is not a secret magic technique that will rank your website on top of Google search results.
You need to be persistent, creative, and work hard for a little time because improving your position is a continuous process. In this article, I’m going to tell you about three proven methods that you can use to improve your website ranking on Google.
1. Improve user experience on your website
User experience, sometimes abbreviated as UX, helps you understand and analyze how users interact with your website after landing on it through a search result.
The goal of improving user experience is that users spend more time on your website, read more content on your website, and sign up for more of your services.
Every SEO expert recommends that you improve the user experience of your website. Because Google analyzes user experience on a website by using metrics and ranks the pages with the best user experience on top.
How does Google determine a good or bad user experience? Good question. Google uses metrics like bounce rate, average time on page, page loading time, optimization for mobile devices, etc. to determine what users are experiencing when they click on a link to your website.
Here are some tactics you can use to improve these metrics of your website, or in other words, improve the user experience on your website-
a. Improve the design and layout of your website
I’m not telling you to hire a fancy web designer and spend 1000$ on the design of your website. I’m talking about making your website look nice to the eye.
You can achieve that simply by using more white space on your website. Don’t be too greedy and stuff your webpage with recommended content and Advertisements.
Use enough white space around the main content so that users don’t have trouble realizing what part of the webpage contains the main content.
b. Optimize your page-speed
We all know how annoying we feel when a webpage takes too long to load. Everyone expects webpages to load within the blink of their eye.
If your webpage takes too long to load, it means that the content on that page has a large file size. Most of the time the larger file size is because of images.
Don’t put images on your content without compressing them to a small file size. You can use tools like imagecompressor.com to compress your images. But if your site uses WordPress, many free WordPress plugins automatically compress any media file you add to ensure the best optimization. The one we are using at Ultimate Index is Optimole.
You just need to create an account on their platform to get the API key and that’s it. After installing the plugin on your WordPress Installation and submitting the API key the plugin will auto optimize your images and set the lazy load for you. According to me, it’s from far the best plugin for image optimization on WordPress because it’s super easy to set up and it’s free up to 5000 monthly visits on your website and you can see right away the speed load improvements.
c. Use appropriate images with the content
Images are an important part of your content. But you need to use images that are more appropriate with your content, your brand image, your products, and services. Stock photos are great for a normal blog post or a technical article. But if you are trying to sell a service or a product to your audience, stock photos are not enough. You need to put images that connect your brand with the audience.
Where can you find such images? Make them. Yes, hire a digital artist, or a photographer, depending on your brand. Trust me, this is an investment in your business that you will not regret.
2. Optimize your content for SEO
You have to optimize your content according to the recommended SEO best practices to rank higher on Google’s search results.
But remember that Google updates their search engine algorithms constantly and you need to be smart enough to keep your SEO practices updated with Google’s latest standards. (If you are curious to know how to acknowledge a Google Algorithm update before it has been confirmed, read our article on the SERP Volatility)
Here are some important methods you can use to SEO optimize your content:
a. Focus on 1-2 long-tail keywords
A common mistake people make when optimizing their content for SEO is they try to incorporate as many keywords into their posts as possible.
But this doesn’t work anymore according to the current SEO standards of Google. Instead, it will hurt your SEO rankings because Google will recognize this practice as keyword stuffing.
Besides, the readers won’t like this type of content either. Optimize each webpage for 1-2 long-tail keywords. Focus on keywords like-“best tips for WordPress beginners” instead of “WordPress beginners”.
After you’ve chosen your focus keyword/keywords, use them in the headings and subheadings of your post. Search engines understand the structure of your content based on the headings and subheadings.
If you use the keywords wisely, Google will give your content more priority because it will think your content is truly informative.
Lastly, and most importantly, use the long-tail keywords in the meta description and meta title. Because search engines will look at your SERP snippet before looking at your content.
If your snippet doesn’t contain the keywords you are trying to rank for, Google won’t bother looking at your actual content.
b. Use long-tail keywords in the image alt text
Unlike humans, search engines can’t see or recognize pictures. This is the reason you see images being used in an “I’m not a robot” verification. Search engines recognize and understand what an image is about based on its alt text and title.
So, you need to use the long-tail keywords when writing an alt text and title for an image on your website.
Internal links help Google’s spiders determine the validity of your content and the structure of your website. It makes Google’s work easy and Google will definitely reward you for making its life easier.
Building backlinks to your website is the most important part of off-page SEO.
First, let’s talk about why backlinks from high authority websites are important. Websites that are trusted by everyone have the highest domain authority on Google.
The websites with .gov and .edu domain are trusted most by everyone and that’s why Google gives these websites a higher domain authority. Then comes websites with .org domains, and then .com domains.
When ranking webpages in search results, Google gives the most priority to the websites with the highest domain authorities. When a trusted website links to a website with lower domain authority, it increases the trust of the lower domain authority website. This process is called “trust flow”.
When you start a new website, your domain authority is 0, and it increases over time if you can attract the audience towards your website. But you can gain the trust of search engines faster if you can get backlinks to your website from higher authority websites.
Link building through guest posting
If you get backlinks from websites that have lower domain authority than yours, then it’s not going to help you much.
If you are just starting with link building, the best option is for you is guest posting on higher authority blogs and websites.
You can find websites that accept guest posts if you search on Google with the name of your niche and the phrase- “write for us”. For example, if you write on a tech niche then you can search with “Technology write for us”.
You can also write on relevant topics to your niche on websites like medium.com. Remember that you don’t want your guest posts to look like they are solely focused on linking to your website only.
Create posts that are informative and engaging. And post links to relevant content only, don’t spam. You can refer to Ahrefs blog they have a great article on guest posting or most recently hunter.io release an article on how to write a guest post pitch that converts with 5 proven steps.