Posted on March 1, 2021 at 12:00 PM
Ranking your website on Google is something that many business/website owners are striving for… and it makes sense! Why pay for traffic when you can just rank on Google and get thousands (or more) visitors for free. Below are the main steps you need to take to ensure Google ranks you as quick and as high as possible.
Another term for ranking is Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short. The added bonus of getting highly ranked on Google is that you will naturally rank higher on the other smaller search engines (Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo etc.).
I’m going to go over the two areas that you need to focus on, the first is on-site optimisation and the second is off-site. Over the years Google has shifted more and more focus to on-site optimisation, however off-site is still incredibly important if you want to hit the top 5 places for your specific keywords or phrases.
It’s fairly easy to explain what it is, anything that is on or within your website. This includes all content, images, videos, meta-data, tags, and scripts. Think about it as anything that someone can see or interact with on your website, but also the “hidden” elements that are public within your html.
Now, every time you think about wanting to improve your Google ranking, think about this phrase over and over: “content is king”. There are many little tweaks you can do to improve your Google visibility and inch up the rankings, however, if you want to rank up the listings like a rocket you need to create good quality content… Google knows if it’s spun old material and it’ll know if it is poorly written. Invest time into writing some great content on your blog or hire a copywriter who knows what they are doing. It is equally important to have great content outside of the blog.
Secondary to this is layout and tags, make sure that your content is readable on all popular devices. You can test this with most browsers, in the developer tools (Chrome for example is in the three little dots>More Tools>Developer Tools). Google uses different types of crawlers to search through your website, mobile has become very important and Google has a dedicated smart phone crawler. In terms of tags, these are to give the crawler a helping hand… H1 tags are your biggest ally here. H1 tags indicate what this page is about and helps Google know what search terms should appear (DO NOT fully rely on this though… let the content do the speaking, and for heaven’s sake, do not stuff loads of keywords into H1 tags).
Images are also quite important for Google, make sure they have alt-tags that make sense for the content on the page. This helps you appear in image results as well as the bog-standard search results in Google… bumping your traffic even more!
These are the main things you should consider, anything else other courses, blogs, or how-to videos tell you to do will give you minimal exposure and could even be a waste of time. Google’s main goal is to serve the most relevant, highest quality content to its users… if you focus on ticking these boxes then your website will become timeless!
Off-site optimisation is the opposite of on-site optimisation, it refers to things that impact your rankings that are not present on your website. This mainly consists of backlinks to your website.
Like on-site, you can’t cheat the system… you can, however, enhance it. Google looks for reputable links back to your website, this helps the crawler understand whether your website content brings value to users. The more reputable backlinks, the more trusting the crawler becomes of your website… the key rule is that they have to be reputable and genuine. In recent times, the most "valuable" links come from social media sites linking back to your website, however, video sites, and blog type websites also play a role.
What you should concentrate on here is creating social media profiles on all the major platforms and make sure they have a link back your website. Also create an “intro video” or similar on YouTube and link it back to your website. After these initial steps, make sharing of your content as easy as possible… you want people to share you blog posts and content on their social media. A good tactic here is to have something people care about in your blog, so maybe start a competition or charitable giveaway related to your business niche.
You can also reach out to other blogs and guest post for them, which basically means to write an article on their behalf and link back your website. This used to have a big impact, however lately it is having less and less impact as more websites and businesses try to abuse this element of the ranking algorithm.
Google is trying to do what’s best for its users, bear this mind and try not to “trick” the algorithm. Produce high quality content that people want to share, and you will be rising the ranks in no time (no time = months). SEO is a marathon, not a sprint… plug away and you’ll see a difference.