Looking for ways to improve Google ranking? In this article, we have outlined the actionable SEO techniques to help you claim your first space in Google’s search results.
Ranking better on Google can be a time-consuming effort, especially if you are green when it comes to SEO.
Note that Google examines more than 200 ranking factors to rank your site. It is good to understand some if not all when starting your site. Well, of course, when starting out, it can be difficult to know how to write articles that rank better on Google.
When you type the phrase “SEO techniques to improve Google ranking now” you will be overwhelmed by the results that come up. However, not all the tips are actionable.
The internet is full of theories when it comes to SEO and Google rankings, but not all content is helpful.
Today, we have decided to dive deep on the subject to give you actionable SEO techniques to improve your Google ranking now.
Here are some SEO basics
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Before we proceed to outline our Actionable SEO techniques 2019, we need to ensure you understand what SEO is and how it can affect your site. SEO changes with search engines algorithms. This means if Google changes its algorithm, everything changes and this can impact your site rankings in a flash.
The technical definition of SEO is:
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting pages to rank better in search engines such as Google to maximize the quality and quantity of visitors. People discover content by conducting a search on search engines; therefore, appearing at the top pages of search engines can lead to an increase in traffic to your website.
SEO is a collective term that encompasses services such as- on-page optimization, link building, content creation and marketing, analyzing and monitoring.
All these services differ, for instance, on-page optimization is different from content creation but all work collectively to form an SEO strategy.
The deal is to take time, be patient and be willing to learn for you to perform the SEO work yourself. However, you can hire an SEO agency.
On page SEO Techniques
On-page SEO, as the name suggests is the process of optimizing your site in order to rank better and drive more relevant traffic in search engines. In other terms, it is the enhancement of your content or the design your site. On-page factors include user-friendliness of your site, textual and visual content, and the quality of your code.
Off-Page SEO Techniques
Off-page SEO is the process of generating traffic to your site through link building, social media, and local SEO.Off-page factors include social media activities, links from other sites, and other external signals.
So, what are the real and actionable SEO techniques to improve your search engine rankings?
- Select the Right Keywords
The keywords you select can make or break your effort to improve Google ranking. If your domain is still new, it wouldn’t be safe to compete for difficult keywords. The best thing to do is to find simple keywords that are still driving a decent amount of traffic.
How to find the right keywords?
- First, find the topics you want to right that are relevant to your industry
- Use a keyword research tool, for instance,Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to find keywords related to your topic and write them down in your list.
- Search the keywords on Google and pick the URL that appears on the top of search results.
- Enter the URL on Ahrefs and then click on “organic keywords” to get a list of keywords your competitor is ranking for.
- Another best way to find the best keywords is to look into Quora
- Understand How to Integrate Keywords Appropriately.
To improve Google rankings, you need to integrate keywords into your content. However, you should not just plant keywords anyhow but add them the right way.
In this case, you need to ensure you optimize your pages with the right keywords.
To use the best keywords the right way, ensure to add them in your:
- URL– Use a short and easy to remember URL and add the main keyword here
- Title Tag-The title of your post tells Google what your content is about. If your site is hosted on WordPress, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to optimize your title for SEO. This will help to improve Google ranking and boost click-through rates.
- Meta Description– This section is very important since it also increases the click-through rates. Although it does not affect your Google rankings it can attract a reader to click on your page. Add your target keyword here as well
- Headings– The headings can affect your search rankings. Ensure to use a keyword at least once in your headings
- Image and ALT Tags– Google does not read images, so you need to include keywords for it to be readable.
- The body of the post– Adding keywords throughout the body of your text can also improve Google ranking. However, you should not stuff your content with keywords.
- Shorten Your URLs
Permanent linking structure, also known as Permalinks is the URL of your post. It’s the one that appears in the browser’s address bar. You can also include the target keyword here as well. Studies have shown that shorter URLs have higher chances of ranking better in search engines.
When creating your site’s URLs:
- Keep them short
- Include your target keyword
- Use a hyphen to separate words
- Do not use stop words.
For instance, the URL for this post could be:
The idea is to make it easy for Google and your readers to understand what your post is about.
- Structure Your URLs
By default, a blog post shows the date it was published. Most people will want to read the latest blog post to stay updated on the latest news and happenings.
The worst thing is that even if you edit a post you made 5 years ago today, it will still show the date it was published.
The best way is to change the URL of your posts so that it shows the last updated date instead of the publish date. Google will pick the post much quicker and improve your rankings.
Google loves fresh content. Therefore, keep your posts updated regularly.
However, you need to be keen when updating your links and posts since people who have linked to your post might get an error when accessing the links.
So, when you update your posts:
- Redirect the old post to the new one- You can use a plugin to do that
- Use a link structure that does not display the publish date.
- Write Long-Form Content
(Image source – SerpIQ)
It’s still not clear how Google determines which pages to rank on page one for specific search keywords but Google loves content the way users do. Writing long-form posts keeps visitors on your site for a long time, thus reducing bounce rate which shows Google that your content is valuable.
According to a study conducted by SerpIQ,the average number one article in Google is over 2,450words long. Additionally, studies featured by Neil Patel prove that long-form posts receive better search rankings than short-from posts.
Therefore, if you are looking to improve your Google rankings, then you should strive to write in-depth posts. Also, throughout your post, you need to add LSI keywords. These are variations of the keyword you are looking to rank for.
Long-form posts also get more backlinks and social shares as well. Nevertheless, while it is beneficial to write long-form posts, you should focus on providing value to your visitors at all time.
- Optimize for Mobile
Most people use mobile devices to access websites. In 2016 Google started receiving more searches from mobile than desktop and so the giant rolled out its mobile-friendly algorithm boost.
The best thing to know whether your site is mobile-friendlyor responsive is to test it using tools that are available online. You can choose one that you are confident with. Once you find your site is not optimized for Google, make the necessary adjustments to improve your Google rankings.
- Improve Your Site Loading Speed
Your site loading speed is beneficial in numerous ways:
- People are not patient and will move to other sites when yours takes ages to load
- Google recognizes slow loading sites and that affects your rankings
- Slow loading site hurts your SEO, increases bounce rates and reduces conversations
According to studies, 40% of people abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. And when they abandon your site it sends a signal to Google which hurts your overall rankings. What is even worse is that a 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
All these factors affect your site traffic and ultimately kill your SEO rankings.But when your site loads faster, it improves time on site and visitors will keep coming back. Google will know that and adjust your search ranking.
- Compress images before uploading them to your site
- Change web hosting
- Upload few images on a single page
- Speed up your site using a CDN
- Add Internal and External Links
Link building can boost your Google rankings tremendously. Therefore, it’s important to link internally and externally. But when linking externally, you must ensure to link to authoritative sites.
Linking internally is when you link to other articles on your site. Linking externally is when you link to other outside sites.
When search engines crawl your site to find content, they use numerous factors to rank your pages based on specific topics. To ensure these bots spend time on your site, you need to link each new post to other old posts you have written on your blog.
The best thing about cross-linking your content is that it reduces bounce rates and also boosts your SEO rankings.
When cross-linking your content:
- Link to relevant and useful content
- Avoid linking to other sites that are targeting the same keywords as yours.
Also, ensure to shoot an email to those you link to. They might return the favor by sharing your content on their social media, thus attracting social share traffic to your site.
- Make Your Content Shareable
Social signals can affect your search rankings. The benefit that social sharing is that it attracts more social traffic and hence increasing the chances of making more sales. In addition, when more people get to know you they will want to link their content to your site which enhances your link building effort as well.
You can create shareable content by using the plugins available online.
Apart from making your content shareable, you could also encourage people to comment on your posts. When people interact with your content, Google recognizes that and rewards your content.
Include a simple sentence at the end of your post like “let us know the SEO techniques you use to improve your Google rankings in the comment section” and see how it can give you a huge amount of engagement.
- Produce High-Quality Content
As mentioned above that Google loves quality content and its users.Always write for your readers before you write for Google. High-quality content is one that solves a problem your target audience is facing.
When people visit your site, they may either want to learn something new or they want to be entertained. If your topic is about actionable tips to improve your Google rankings, it should be relevant and relevant to your readers. Creating high-quality content will get you backlinks.
Just a quick question: How often do you update your content?
If your content is still the same since you published it, you probably hurt your Google rankings. In order for your site’s visitors to keep coming back, you must give them great, recent, and relevant content.
Another thing that affects Google ranking is the dwell time or time on site.
This refers to the time people spend on your site. If you create evergreen and relevant content people will want to keep reading it from the introduction to the conclusion. This means they will stay longer on your post.
Well, of course creating high-quality content takes time and effort, but the results are worth it.
- Use H1, H2, H3, H4… Appropriately
H tags are pieces of HTML code that helps Google to know the headings of your content.
The title of any post is always an H1 tag because it tells what the content is about. The subtitles are H2 tags and sections titles are H3 which are found inside the H2 tags.
It’s advisable to add the main keyword in your heading tags- H1 tags.
This helps search engines to know what your posts are about and can improve your Google rankings. It is also recommended to add LSI keywords on the other H tags such as H3, H4 and so on.
- Use LSI Keywords
Over-optimizing your content can hurt your Google rankings. In this case, you should use LSI keywords. These are variations of your target keywords.
This way, it’s easy for people to find your LSI keywords because Google will take the hustle out of your hands.
There are plenty of tools to get LSI keywords online. For instance, our favorite is: LSI graph
See image below.
(Image- LSI graph)
To create great content, ensure you slip in more LSI keywords as possible into it. It will help Google understand your content and hence increasing chances of ranking better for SEO.
- Create Irresistible Introduction
The introduction of a post is what visitors see first. In this case, you should make them want to continue reading your content by hooking them with a concise and irresistible introduction.
This will make them keep scrolling down your post and reduce bounce rate by maximizing time on site or dwell time.
You should start your blog post with a specific, compelling and brief statement so as to improve your SEO rankings.
- Optimize Your Images
A picture is worth a thousand words. They are easy to digest and attract visitors to your site. But you must ensure to properly optimize images for you to improve search rankings. In addition, you should upload great images and compress them to speed up your site and most importantly give them appropriate names
Remember, Google does not read images but text and naming your images makes it easy to read by Google.
Most people will upload images with names like 2020476dng.jpg. This makes it difficult for Google to understand what the image is about. The best thing to do is to name the images using keywords. Apart from naming images, include keywords into the image Alt tags.
- Create a Site Map
A site map is important in many ways.
First of all, it makes your site indexable by Google and tells them where your site is. This makes it easy for your site to be indexed since you do not need to wait until Google finds it.
Secondly, it also tells Google where each page is.
The Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin can help you to submit a sitemap fast.
- Reclaim Your Mentions
When you become an established brand, people will likely mention you in their posts. However, not all will link to you.
You can find your brand mentions on the web and then reach out to those who mention you asking them to link back to you. Some will agree by some may not.
- Include Great Infographics in Your Posts
Our brains can process information in picture form more than text. Infographics are powerful tools to achieve that. In fact, creating amazing infographics can create doors for backlinks and social shares which boost your SEO. Read this article by Brian Dean to know how infographics can get you backlinks.
But remember, Google can’t read infographics so you need to add text together with your infographics to improve your rankings.
You can use Canva to create amazing infographics. It’s one of the cheapest tools out there.
As we come to the conclusion of this post, here are a few SEO tips to remember.
- Never Buy Backlinks
There are plenty of black-hat SEO techniques and buying backlinks is the first one. Well, it’s cheaper to buy backlinks but it’s costly on your end since Google knows it when you purchase links.
In fact, Google is banning link farms and blogs that depend on these farms are going slipping down the rankings.
Black hat SEO techniques are those that are illegal and banned by search engines. Instead of purchasing links which could cost your site, invest your time writing great content that people love which definitely they will want to link to.
- Nofollow Links are Also Powerful
Most people think that nofollow links aren’t powerful.
A nofollow link is one that you set in your website/blog but search engines cannot crawl it. This means web crawlers will stay on your site.
On the other hand, dofollow links allow search engines to crawl. The hardest thing about dofollow links is that they are not easy to obtain since most influential bloggers link to authoritative sites.
Most people ignore nofollow links in most of their link building strategies but they must not be ignored.
Getting too many dofollow links and less or nofollow links can make search engines get suspicious which could hurt your Google ranking. Google wants organic and natural things and having only dofollow links might make it appears too staged. Mix dofollow links and dofollow links and Google will not get suspicious.
To summarize…17 Actionable SEO Tips toImprove Your Google Rankings
Google knows it when you use illegal SEO techniques to improve your rankings. The giant search engine has invested money into their eco-system to counter any illegal activities going on on the web. Google wants to give users high-quality and relevant results. Spammy content will be cleared out and only content that adds value to users will remain.
For that reason, you should follow the genuine and actionable SEO techniques we’ve mentioned above to be on the safe side.