8 Actionable Tips To Help You Rank on Google’s First Page
These techniques will help you get an edge over your competition in the new year. You don't have to use all of them at once, but you can implement them in your business one at a time, and you will start to see huge increases in traffic, conversions, and your rankings in the SERPs.
Getting better SERP (search engine results page) rankings is a process that takes time, but it is nowhere near as difficult as some people would have you believe.
All you need is a repeatable process that you can use with each piece of content that you create to give yourself the best chance of getting high search engine rankings.
So, without further ado, here are 9 ways to rank your content fast:
1. Pre-emptive SEO
Most marketers jump onto digital marketing trends only after they have already gained a lot of momentum. They use tools like BuzzSumo and Google Trends to see which topics are hot, but by that time, there is already a huge amount of competition around the topics.
But, what if there was a way of getting onto those trends, and ranking well for those particular keywords way before your competition even thought of them? And no, you don't have to be a psychic to make this work.
All you need is to do some pre-emptive SEO such as writing a post about the digital trends of 2020 when there isn't much content around that subject yet.
This means that once your content gets ranked, it will continue to gain momentum into the new year as the post becomes even more relevant.
This strategy involves producing content around your particular niche and focusing on a point in time that is ahead of where you currently are. This allows you to get a competitive edge, particularly in a crowded niche.
For example, if you go to Instagram and conduct a search for 'Summer 2019', you will be met with over eight million posts on the subject. But, search for 'Summer 2020' and you will find just over 50,000 posts.
So, begin now to produce content using keywords and hashtags that revolve around the months or years to come and your posts will be ranking at the top as trending posts for that category.
After that time period is up, your posts will be more relevant and their exposure will be increased.
2. Content Clustering
The current algorithms being used by Google reward websites that produce valuable content that is focused around niche topics. This is called content clustering, and it is an effective on-site SEO tactic that revolves around altering the actual structure of your site.
3. Google Search Console
If you aren't already using this tool, then it's about time you started doing so. Google Search Console allows you to maintain your website's presence and monitor everything easily. It puts your site on the map, so to speak.
This is a simple process that you can use to stay on top of all things SEO. All you need is a sitemap.
A sitemap is exactly what the name sounds like: A map of your site. It allows the search engines to read your website better and ultimately rank it better. You're able to see results from Google Search Console in just 72 hours.
4. Google Business
This is yet another great tool that you can use for your business. Most marketers skip this one because they believe that you have to have a physical brick and mortar business to set one up, but that isn't true.
You can use Google business to improve your local SEO when people search for products and services that are related to yours in your area.
Google Business can also contribute to the development of a knowledge graph that is not only visually appealing but also attracts more traffic to your website. It's a great way of establishing an additional point of contact with your prospects and gives you an opportunity for generating new leads.
By now every marketer is aware of how fast video is growing, and with over 80% of online traffic soon to be spent on video, it's important to include this in your overall ranking strategy.
For instance, embedding video on your main landing page will increase your conversion rates as well as improve your bounce rates and the total amount of time that visitors spend on your site.
Google loves to rank sites with low bounce rates and higher user retention as this shows that the site has strong content that is relevant to the target audience. Google wants to put the best and most relevant content in front of their audience, and it does this by ranking the sites that provide that well.
This is why video is vital to helping you improve your search engine optimization now and in the coming years. It keeps your users on the page longer, increases engagement, and reduces bounce rates.
6. Super-Targeted Content
The next tactic has to do with content.
After all, the only real key to improving your SEO is by improving your content. Each and every website should have blog posts and videos. We've already discussed the importance of video, and now let's take a look at the importance of content to your SEO.
To rank high in the search engine results pages you obviously need to have high-quality content that is very informative and establishes you as an authority in your niche.
The trick here is not to try to be everything to everybody. Google hates people who are 'jacks of all trades' and prefers to rank those sites that are focused on a particular niche in their industry.
For instance, if you're in the fashion business, you don't want to be posting about makeup, jewelry, clothing, shoes, latest trends, news, celebrities, and whatever else remotely relates to that. If you want to be effective in your SEO efforts, then you need to post high-quality content that is super targeted to your ideal audience.
Posting lots of articles on various topics might be great for your brand awareness, but it's not very effective when it comes to good SEO. Posting across a wide range of subtopics means that you won't be able to position yourself as an expert in your niche.
Using our previous example, if you wanted to rank well for 'winter boots' you would lose out against brands that focus mainly on content that is related to winter boots. The search engines will identify those sites as being more relevant than yours which focuses on lots of things at the same time.
So, to effectively leverage this tactic on your site, find the most popular product that you have and do everything you can to promote that.
Write most of your posts around that topic, and even when publishing content that isn't directly related to it, link it and include links in other pieces of content that you create.
7. Back-links Matter
A study of what matters to Google shows that there isn't just one factor that is the most important when it comes to ranking number one in Google.
There's a whole bunch of variables to do with your particular brand, your current situation, and the type of content that you're trying to rank within the search engines.
But having said that, there are lots of interesting insights that you can get from analyzing the large data set of your best performing web pages.
This will give you a holistic view of the factors that influence your search engine rankings and help you understand the way that Google evaluates the pages that it ranks high in the results pages. Results from sampled data show that back-links matter - a lot.
According to studies, the top 2 results on the first page of Google have almost 40% of all the back-links found on page one.
This means that the higher up a result is on the first page, the more linking domains it has. On average, the number one result has over 150% more linking domains than the fifth result on the same page. More back-links equate to higher rankings.
Creating great content isn't enough: You also need back-links if you want to rank high in the SERPs.
Go through the content that you currently have on your site and identify those pages that are under-performing in terms of organic search.
There are lots of posts on our blog outlining some effective link building techniques that you can use to acquire additional back-links to those pages.
Getting back-links from multiple sites (as opposed to just one domain) is very important. So make sure that you have a substantial amount of diversity when it comes to the domains that are linking to your web pages.
Take a look at your current back-link profile, and if your web pages could do with more domain diversity, then use tools like Ahrefs to analyze the ratio of your back-links to the linking domains.
If the majority of your back-links are coming from a small number of domains, then it's time to diversify the back-link strategy that you're using and start getting links from a wider variety of domains.
This is arguably one of the most clear-cut elements that equate to higher rankings in the search engines, and it is well worth spending a bit of time working on this aspect of your overall ranking strategy.
8. HTTPS, Anchor Text, and Page Titles Matter
Pages on HTTPS have a positive correlation with the higher rankings. According to the studies conducted, 33% of the pages that ranked first, second, or third use HTTPS.
Anchor text is still a big ranking signal. Pages that are ranked number one have, on average, 5.42% anchor text including the target keyword. This percentage goes up the higher you go up the first page of results.
The highest ranking web pages tend to have page titles that are shorter. The sweet spot is close to eight words in length or 59 characters. Also, web pages with the target keyword in the URL typically rank higher in the search engines than those that don't.
As previously mentioned, you won't be getting to the top of the SERPs in a week (not unless you have thousands of dollars to spend on building links, etc.)
The processes outlined in this post may take time to show results, but they work. Implement them into your marketing strategy, and before you know it, you'll be seeing your posts on the first page of Google.
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Updated: Originally published September 28th 2018