5 Ways to Improve Your Website Rankings with Google

Website Rankings Google

SEO doesn’t have to be complicated. There are best practices you can implement right now to improve your website rankings with Google.

The formula big brands use to dominate search isn’t a secret either, they just get the basics right and tick the boxes Google look for in a website.

Truthfully, there’s maybe a little more to it than that, but all very successful websites are setup properly. And it pays to do it. The first page of Google hoovers up 95 per cent of all web traffic, with the rest receiving just 5 per cent.

No wonder brands are vying for a podium finish.

In this article, we’re going to discuss five ways to improve your rankings with Google. By implementing these properly, you’ll be ahead of most of your competitors right off the bat.


1. Plan Keywords

Keyword research is the process of identifying lucrative keyword and phrase opportunities in search. Establishing and executing a successful keyword strategy is the first step to improving your website rankings with Google.

One of the common mistakes businesses make with keywords is assuming they can rank for primary keyword terms. For example, a shoe designer might think that ‘red shoes’ is a great keyword to target because it gets 11,000 monthly searches.

While that might be true, the chances of a small retailer outcompeting the biggest high-street names in the UK is next to impossible. It would be much better to invest time and effort into so-called long-tail keywords. These are phrases three to five words in length.

Examples might be ‘shoes with red soles’, ‘red shoes for ballet’ and ‘red wedding shoes’.

Your keywords should be relevant to you. Your brand name, products and services should be considered when planning your keywords. Start with something big like ‘red shoes’ and identify opportunities that are realistic for your budget as a small business.

Keyword Strategy

2. On-page Optimisation

On-page optimisation is important because it tells Google what your website is about and what keywords are important to your business. Without these pointers, you’ll be ignored by search engines because they won’t see relevance in what you’re offering.

The best practice for optimising pages is to make them as informative as you can.

Here’s a five-step on-page optimisation checklist to get you started:

Page titles: These are the first thing Google reads and they’re the first thing people will see in their search results. Your page titles should include your keywords and be no more than 60 characters in length.

Meta descriptions: These are displayed below your page titles in search. They aren’t a ranking factor, but can help with getting clicks to your site and should be written to entice the searcher to click on your listing. They can be up to 300 characters in length.

URLs: These should be SEO friendly i.e. short with a keyword-focused format. Use the structure example.co.uk/red-wedding-shoes/ instead of example.co.uk/thej181872989.html.

Headings: H1, H2 and H3 tags should be used to improve the readability of your content and describe the content on the page. You can also use headings to improve keyword relevance by mentioning keywords in them.

Images: Googlebots can’t see images, but they can read the text around them, their file names and their alternative text. Optimise your images by naming the file a keyword term and mentioning the keyword in the alternative text.


3. Have a sensible website structure

Your website structure determines your customer’s onsite journey. It’s one of the few things you have complete control over. If your website is difficult to navigate, or you make it difficult for people to find what they want, you make it difficult for Google too.

Google rewards sites that deliver a good user experience. Part of that involves making it easy for people to find what they want.

We recommend all businesses, no matter their market or vertical, adopt a sensible approach to website structure by making every journey path as easy as possible. Everything should be no more than a click or tap away.

Try it yourself. Visit your website right now and have a click around. If you find it takes more than a few seconds to visit an important page, it’s time to change it up.


4. Keep adding high quality content to your website

Quality content is the backbone of success on the web. There’s hundreds of different types of content you can create, including articles, infographics, Slideshares, guides, webinars, case studies, press releases and much more.

What these have in common is they all serve a purpose - to convince, educate, entertain, or inspire the reader into a form of positive action. They play a role in your customer’s journey. For this reason, they also play a role in your website’s ability to rank.

Google rewards websites with meaningful content. They even have their own guidelines for creating it. And, the busiest sites always tend to rank best.

That means you need to keep adding high quality content to your site to compete with the most successful businesses.

A good content strategy should always have the end user in mind. Content should be created for human consumption. However, you can insert keywords into your written content and interlink to improve cross-site relevancy. Publishing new content frequently will also ensure your website is regularly indexed by Google.


5. Ensure your website is fast and mobile-friendly

Page speed is a ranking factor, Google sees it as a tie-in to user experience. They announced as such earlier this year, calling their latest algorithm update for mobile devices a “speed update” that would improve the quality of search results.

The long and short of this is your web pages need to load in less than 2 seconds. According to analytics specialists Kissmetrics, 40 per cent of people leave a website if the loading process takes more than 3 seconds. Ouch!

Mobile-friendly design is equally important. Google sees that as a ranking factor too. They announced as such back in 2015. Since then, numerous algorithm updates have released to improve search result quality. It’s an ongoing thing, and certainly isn't going away anytime soon.

Back then, there was a big debate over whether businesses should be investing in both a desktop version of their website and a mobile version, or a responsive framework that delivers both. The best practice now is to deliver a responsive experience i.e. a website that is automatically resized by the web browser to accommodate the size of display the visitor is using. This satisfies both desktop and mobile users.

Posted on June 21st 2018

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