The term “Google” has become so synonymous with information seeking that, over time, it has become not only a noun (as originally intended), as in Google the search engine, but it is now recognized as a verb: to google or to search for something through a search engine online.
As of July 2019, Google accounted for 88.61 percent of the global search market. When you are looking at improving search engine ratings, these numbers show that you want to focus your efforts to rank higher on Google specifically. This guide gives you the why and how to improve your website’s SEO and achieve a higher ranking through everyone’s favorite search engine, Google.
How Long Does It Take to Improve Google Rankings?
There is no clear-cut answer to this question. There are hundreds of factors that contribute to higher search engine rankings. One thing, however, is certain: improving your Google rankings is not an overnight project. Good SEO takes time, and that’s ok—and good! Short-term success almost never lasts. If you’re in it for the long haul and are utilizing best practices for improving your Google ranking, you’ll see higher rankings over time, and they won’t be temporary.
What to Avoid
As time has gone on, the internet has exploded, and Google has gotten smarter. In the past, you could simply stuff a bunch of keywords into articles and on your site, and Google’s web crawlers would pick up your content and catapult you to the top of their SERP.
Those days are over. If your content is clunky and stuffed haphazardly with keywords; if your content is low quality; and even if your content is old, Google will pass over your site, and you’ll never see a high ranking. Leave these old practices behind, and instead focus on how you can outwit and out-create your competition, so Google’s algorithms take notice of what you’re putting online.
Paid Search Results
Sometimes in the SEO world, paid advertising gets a bad reputation. But we believe that Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising and SEO practices don’t have to exist apart from one another. When you utilize PPC advertising, your site will jump to the top bar of Google’s SERP, making it easy for users to see your site. PPC is a great option because you are only charged “per click” and not a flat fee like in other forms of marketing or advertising.
Local Search Results
Local search results are displayed within Google Maps so a customer can have a visual understanding where businesses are located. This requires having a Google My Business page, which we’ll cover below.
Local search results are important when trying to rank higher with Google for two reasons:
1. You have a higher chance of ranking.
If you show up in local search results, you compete only with other local businesses, which gives you a higher chance of ranking compared to organic searches using keywords only.
2. Local customers are more inclined to make a purchase
When customers search using the “near me” clause, it’s typically because they want a product or service that day and don’t want to wait. Additionally, these users usually want to shop local, which is good for your bottom line.
Utilizing Google My Business to show up in local search results is not only going to rank you higher with Google, but it’s going to present more opportunity for business to come to your door.
Claim and Optimize Your Google My Business Page
An easy (and free) way to improve Google rankings is to take advantage of Google My Business. One of the benefits of claiming and optimizing your My Business page is that it puts you in a much better position to rank in Google’s local search results, a must-do if you’re a local business.
By inputting your information and utilizing a few best practices for the page, you can take huge steps to improving your SEO ranking.
Organic Search Results
Improving your SEO ranking is most often achieved by utilizing practices that help increase traffic from organic, or unpaid, search results. There are limitless ways to improve organic search results, but one thing is certain: every site looking to boost their ranking with Google would benefit from having a dedicated team to improving their SEO.
Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
Since the invention of the smartphone, mobile internet usage has steadily increased, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. The stats on mobile internet usage are constantly changing, but one thing’s for sure: the numbers are growing. In order to rank high on Google’s SERP, your site must absolutely be mobile-friendly. Here are a few key things to focus on that will improve your SEO ranking:
- Make your website responsive
- Cut out unnecessary content
- Don’t use Flash
- Make buttons large enough for mobile users
- Have a quick site load time
For more in-depth information about optimizing your website for mobile, check out our articles here.
Building links happens when your business is being referenced or linked to on other sites. This helps Google know that your website is authoritative. And when Google knows your website provides real value to users, they will rank you higher on their SERP.
Think about the kinds of sites you want to be linked on. They should be doing all of the things you’re doing while reaching your target audience: creating high-quality, fresh content, utilizing relevant keywords, and ranking high on Google.
Create Fresh Content
The internet is constantly evolving, and so is the information we have access to. This means that search engines like Google are also continuously adapting, changing, and growing to give users the most relevant, high-quality search results based on their queries.
All of this means that your site must be constantly churning out fresh, high-quality content that your users are searching for. Google’s algorithm bases SERP rankings in part on how new or how frequently updated your content is. “Fresh” content is timely and centers around topics that are relevant to and/or trending among your users. Write content that is helpful, informative, and clear and includes keywords that your users are looking for when they go to Google—and write it often.
Incorporate High-Volume Keywords
Improving your SEO ranking is, in part, a formula, and one crucial part of this formula is the inclusion of high-volume keywords. If you want to dominate the Google rankings, optimize every part of your site to include relevant keywords, but don’t repeat the exact keywords over and over again. When Google’s web crawlers find that a site is keyword stuffing, that site loses credibility and its spot on the SERP.
The goal is to create great content with keywords that are organically incorporated. Don’t try to squeeze in keywords just for the sake of including them. Remember: your user wants high-quality content, and so does Google.
Improving your Google ranking is one of the best things you can do for your site and business. It won’t happen in a day, but you’ll see that over time and by using these practices, your rankings will increase and you’ll see more and more traffic to your site.