Making your website appear on the first page of Google search results is the dream of all webmasters. The task itself is not easy. There are no shortcuts to get there.
Only through sheer perseverance and effort can someone make it to the first page and stay there.
In this article, we will discuss 9 steps that will help you increase your website’s ranking in the Google SERPs. Using these steps, you can ensure that your effort is not wasted.
9 Simple Steps to Increase Your Website’s Ranking in Google SERPs
1. Have a Good User Interface?
User interfaces are very important for SEO. Google in particular tracks how visitors interact with a website.
Having a good user interface will help your visitors in using and navigating your website without issues.
On the contrary, a badly designed interface will make them frustrated and annoyed. That will naturally end up with them leaving your site.
When visitors leave the site without making proper interactions, then that is called a “bounce”. A high bounce rate is very bad for SEO and SERPs rank.
The opposite of ‘bounce’ is ‘conversion’. A conversion happens when a visitor makes meaningful interactions with the site.
A high bounce rate will make your website ranking fall in the Google SERPs.
2. Reduce Loading times
Loading times are very important to ‘user experience’. When a visitor lands on a website and it takes a considerable amount of time to load (several tens of seconds), then more often than not, the visitor will leave before the loading is complete.
This, as we mentioned earlier, is called a bounce. A high bounce rate is bad for SEO, while a minimal bounce rate will increase your ranking.
Google understands that a low bounce rate and high conversions mean that the website is of good quality and has the things that its visitors are searching for.
It would be a terrible shame if a website that has good content gets overlooked because it took a little bit more time to load.
You can use tools to measure the loading times of your site and most of these tools can identify improvements that will reduce the loading time.
3. Optimize for Mobile
In 2022, over half of the internet traffic is due to mobile phones rather than laptops and computers.
Optimizing your website for mobile phones will make it more accessible to the public. Google also ranks websites on whether they are mobile-friendly or not.
In fact, Google started “mobile-first indexing” in 2020. This means that Google checks all websites as if they are running on a mobile device.
If your site is not responsive enough or hard to navigate on a mobile device, then your rank will be affected.
4. Find and Remove Broken Links
The linking structure of a website is very important for SEO. Google considers the internal linking and the number of inbound links a website has when ranking it.
Internal links are used by site crawlers to index your website. If you have broken links present in your link structure, it could prevent the crawlers from completely indexing your site.
That is not a good signal to Google and they will rank your site lower. To improve your rank, you need to have immaculate internal linking. None of your links should be broken and the link structure should be well designed.
A confusing link structure that sometimes leads to ‘404’ pages will confuse and repel visitors. That will increase the bounce rate which is detrimental to SEO.
5. Create High-Quality Backlinks
A major factor that Google considers during SERPs ranking is the number and quality of backlinks.
Backlinks are outbound links from other sites to your own. Backlinks from high authority sites can really help your site’s rank to skyrocket.
An important thing to note here is that the quality of backlinks has a higher priority than their number.
This is to prevent a black hat SEO technique in which spam sites that serve no purpose other than to provide backlinks are used to give a lot of links to a legitimate site.
This method to get backlinks can be caught by Google and it will punish the offending site by lowering its rank. Also, use the website DA PA Checker Tool before creating backlinks for your websites.
Some ethical ways to get backlinks are through guest posting, outreach emails, collaborations with other bloggers, and acknowledgment links, among others.
6. Optimize the Content Well
The content you write and host on your website is very important for your ranking in the SERPs. Your content is what adds relevance between your site and the keywords it is ranking for.
When the keywords you rank for and the content you provide are not well-matched, it can cause visitors to turn away.
This causes the bounce rate to increase. On top of that, it gives Google the message that your website is irrelevant for its ranking keywords.
When Google realizes that, it automatically reduces the site’s ranking in its SERPs.
If the content you provide is relevant to the keywords but is not well researched, or it has a poor writing style with lots of repetition, that can cause visitors to go away as well.
Using content optimization tools, such as Yoast Content analyzer, you can avoid this kind of bounce. These tools can do many things, such as provide feedback on your content’s reading difficulty, and the format of your blog posts like the number of headings, keyword density, and the number of links it has.
By using these tools to your advantage, you can make your content look interesting and informative.
7. Utilize Relevant and Proper Keywords
In order to rank high in the Google SERPs, your keyword research must be on point.
You should know what are the keywords that your website is ranking for and then optimize your content for those keywords.
You can conduct keyword research through SEO tools such as those provided by Moz and Ahrefs.
You should be using both “informational” and “transactional” keywords. An example of an informational keyword would be “how to install Windows”, but an example of a transactional keyword would be “buy Windows online”.
Transactional keywords are those that people use when searching for something to buy. You should be ranking for them as well because that’s how you drive revenue. Google will consider your usage of proper transactional keywords when ranking your site.
8. Make Sure Your Content Is Duplication Free
Your content is a huge part of your SEO. All the keywords that you rank for are present in your content to indicate to Google that your content is relevant to that search.
However, that content needs to be free of duplication. There should be no plagiarism found in it. This is because Google can detect if your content is plagiarized. A website that has duplicated content is penalized severely.
There are two possible punishments: 1) The website rank is lowered, and 2) the website is removed from Google’s index.
Both of these punishments are damaging to your site. There are various ways to detect any plagiarism found in your content.
Mostly we use a plagiarism checker to detect plagiarism. Online plagiarism checkers can reliably detect any duplication present in your work.
Once you have spotted all instances of duplication, you can edit them out or you can properly cite them. This way your content will be free of plagiarism and your site won’t be de-ranked.
9. Match The Search Intent of Your Visitors
You have done keyword research and started ranking for those words, but sometimes your content can be mismatched with the user’s search intent.
“The search intent is the term used to describe the purpose of an online search.” – Yoast.com
Search intent is also called audience intent and user intent. Let’s take a deeper look into what matching the intent means.
Sometimes you may be ranking quite high for a keyword due to some great content you have posted about it. However, you may notice that your traffic due to that keyword has dwindled since the initial post.
That is because the content your site is providing is not what the users are looking for. This will reflect badly on your site and Google will lower your rank for that keyword.
To rectify this, you need to find out what is the search intent for that keyword. That is an easy task to do;
- First, do a Google search for that keyword and look at the top results. The content of those results is what the people are searching for.
- You can then edit your posts or make new ones that help you match the search intent for that keyword.
Additionally, long-tailed keywords are very helpful in finding out the search intent due to their incredible specificity.
With that, we have looked at 9 simple steps to increase your website’s ranking in the Google SERPs. These steps are not too advanced for a webmaster. Beginners and experts alike may use these steps to boost their rankings in the Google SERPs. These tips can also help with other search engines as well.