We’re often asked…
“How do I rank higher on Google?”
“How do I improve my SEO?”
“Are there any short cuts to improving my search engine optimisation?”
The top 3 organic search results receive 68.1% of all clicks on the Google search page – and the number 1 organic search result gets more clicks than results 3-10 combined. But unfortunately, there are no shortcuts when it comes to increasing your site ranking in Google search, and there’s no point in doing a half-hearted job for quick, small gains that could result in long-term penalisations from Google. Be prepared to invest time and effort in increasing your Google Business ranking to give you lasting benefits.
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
In short, SEO is about giving visitors to your site the best possible experience. When a user types a key phrase or question into a search engine, they’re seeking useful and relevant content that provides the information they’re looking for. Good SEO involves making your website and its content as informative and accessible as possible, in order to give users exactly what they’re looking for.
Why is SEO so important for a website?
SEO is vital in boosting your site’s visibility, attracting more traffic and therefore achieving more conversions.
Think of your website as the ‘shopfront’ of your business – good user experience is key to SEO, as visitors need to be able to move around it easily and engage with your content. Good SEO builds credibility and trust in your business, and increased site visibility raises awareness of your brand.
Your website is also a relatively inexpensive marketing channel, so investing time and effort into your SEO is a cost-effective way to market your business.
How long will it take to improve Google rankings?
It varies, and as we said at the beginning, there are no shortcuts. Continual improvement is key when it comes to SEO – think of it as something that will always evolve, as you make data-informed changes and track their impact to further improve your site.
7 ways to increase your Google ranking
There’s a wealth of actions you can take to help users find your website. Some of these actions will be part of your on-page SEO (i.e. optimising content on the website itself) and some will be part of your off-page SEO (i.e. getting links to your site from elsewhere).
1. Improve your on-page SEO
- Keywords. One of the fastest ways to boost your Google rankings is to focus on target keywords and optimise your web pages using these keywords
- Meta data. Think about your title tags and meta descriptions
- Use emotive title tags
- Make sure your URLs are short but descriptive
- Rich snippets, such as reviews and star ratings, can really help your site stand out
- Write compelling meta description
- Alt tags and image optimisation. Name your images and videos and add a brief description in the “ALT text” (or alternative text) of what your picture shows. People who use screen readers rely on these image descriptions, and making your site more accessible will attract more visitors
- Sitemaps. A sitemap is exactly what it sounds like – a file that sets out the structure of your site, the most important pages and the relationships between pages on your site. A sitemap helps search engines crawl your site and rank the pages.
- Use long-form content. It may sound surprising, but long-form content tends to perform better and get shared more than shorter content. Keyword and ranking experts SEMrush found that long reads (articles of 7000 words or more) drive almost 4 times more traffic than articles of an average length (900-1200 words). Of course, this doesn’t mean that all your content has to be thousands of words long! It just means you don’t have to shy away from longer articles, as they allow you to use keywords and variations, go into detail about your subject, and really show off your expertise.
- Break up your content with header tags, and use your keywords in your headings
- Update your content regularly – sites with fresh content rank better than those that aren’t updated very often
- Remove any duplicate content, or consolidate pages that repeat the same information, as Google will penalise your site for duplicate
- Target 1 main keyword/phrase and 2-3 variations per page. Aim to use your main keyword no more than five times in the body copy, as anything more could feel a little forced and may not read smoothly
- Use latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords in your body content. LSI keywords are the synonyms and variations of your main keywords, which may be in the form of a whole phrase or a single word. LSI keywords are part of Google’s algorithm to understand user search habits and give users the best quality content for their search queries
- Internal linking. Linking between the different pages of your site is essential for SEO, as it helps Google to understand the structure of your website and identify what your most important content is
- Target less competitive keywords. Software like SEMrush shows you how competitive a term is. Opt for long-tail keywords, which are more targeted to specific audiences, and therefore less competitive
2. Monitor your technical SEO
- Mobile optimisation. In November 2021, it was found that 27% of website page views in the UK came from mobile phones – so you need to ensure your site works well on mobile!
- Page speed. Users simply won’t wait for a site to load, so Google ranks faster sites higher than slower sites
- Backlink audit. In short, a backlink audit is a review of all the links that lead to your site. Good backlinks come from authoritative sites that have quality content and are updated regularly, while bad backlinks come from spam sites or paid link schemes
- Manage internal and external links. Make sure all the links between the pages of your site are working, and set up redirects for any broken links
3. Off-page SEO
- Build high-quality backlinks. Like improving your overall Google ranking, it’s best to see a link-building strategy as a long-term project – a slow, steady process where the links and listings are carefully selected on relevance, quality and authority. Remember that if you’re using listing sites or online directories, each bio needs to be unique. Find out more about backlinks in our blog post
- Identify and repair broken links. Having too many broken links on your site will negatively affect your Google ranking, as it suggests the site is not updated regularly, so you need to check for broken links and fix them. This may involve setting up redirects, reproducing content on another page, and in the case of external links, reaching out to other sites and asking for the link to be fixed
- Blog comments. If you have a separate blog, enable the comments on it to encourage users to interact with your content
- Social media. Be active on social media and encourage users to share your content on social channels
Quick social media tip!
When it comes to social media, you don’t have to be present on every platform. Consider which ones are most relevant to your business and your customers’ needs, then regularly publish interesting, topical information to these platforms. The more you post links to your content on social networks, the higher the chance people will visit your site, thus increasing traffic.
4. Remember: content is king
Google pays attention to how people interact with your site and uses that information to help determine rankings. This is why ‘content is king’ – users will read relevant, useful, well-written content.
Ensure your content is unique and includes high-quality information, as Google will compare your content to all your competitors’ content, and rank accordingly. It’s worth putting in the time and work to become a data source, so that users don’t need to go anywhere other than your website.
Consider what kind of content best communicates each piece of information. Users love visual content like infographics, charts, videos, and maps – and features like this help to break up blocks of text.
5. Reduce bounce rate.
‘Bounce rate’ is the rate that visitors arrive and then leave a page without any interaction. Bounce rates vary across sectors, industries, and even the type of web page, but generally a bounce rate of 70-80% and above is a red flag and something you need to work on bringing down.
6. Get set up on Google My Business (GMB) if relevant.
Google searches are often location-specific, so a GMB profile will help boost your site’s ranking. And if you’re aiming to be found by people in your local area, a GMB profile is an absolute must. When completing your profile, make sure you include as much information as possible, update images regularly, and respond to all reviews you receive.
7. Track and monitor your results.
One of the great things about SEO is that it’s quantifiable – you can measure performance using tracking and analytics, which will flag any problems and help you plan future content for your site.
There are many actions you can take to boost your site’s Google search rankings, including:
- Optimising the content you already have
- Developing a strategy to get high-quality links back to your site
- Using analytics to help you plan new content.
And while it may look like there’s a lot to do, you don’t have to go it alone. For help with your marketing strategy, boosting your site ranking, paid online advertising – or anything else that requires ROARsome marketing genius work – get in touch with us today!