June 8, 2018

Get Higher Google Ranking in 2018

eagle flying high with sun above, text over top states

If you really want to get higher Google ranking then you will need to follow the simple checklist which I am offering you right here.

Search engines like Google do NOT want you publishing content just for the sake of publishing content. In fact, Google employee Gary Illyes stated that if you publish fewer but better quality posts then this will result in better quality traffic from Google.

So, let’s get started…

9 Step Checklist Get Higher Ranking

Step One: Find and delete all pages and posts that are on your website that no longer provide any value.

Examples are pages and posts that are old and outdated, category and tag pages, search result pages, ecommerce product pages that don’t get any sales, sparse content, and even pages with duplicate content.

Simply add NOINDEX to search results, and your category and tag pages so that Google no longer indexes these pages. Merge pages or posts where your content is relevant but less than 1000 words, and then delete all outdated posts, pages and press releases.

Step Two: Find and fix all technical and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) issues on your website.

There are literally hundreds of technical issues that could impact your website SEO. Fixing them is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get higher Google rankings.

Some of the most common technical issues are: duplicate or missing title tags, duplicate description tags, broken links, images with missing ALT text, pages blocked by robots.txt, and 302 redirects that should be 301 redirects.

How can you find these technical SEO issues on your website?

There are websites available for you to use and you can find them by Google searching for them. Start with “free website audits online” (without the quotation marks, of course) and go from there.

Pick a few different audit sites until you find one or two that offers you the best information. Once you enter your website URL, the site will crawl your website and let you know about technical problems that might be hurting your website’s SEO.

One of my favourite audit sites offering a website audit is bdc.ca.

screen print of bdc.ca's website

Step Three: Basic and advanced on-page optimization. On-page SEO can make or break your website’s ranking.

Make sure the keyword you want your site to rank for is added near the top of the page.

Why?

Because Google puts more weight on words that appear in the beginning of your content. So it is important that your keyword shows up there.

You can also sprinkle in a couple LSI keywords (Latent Semantic Indexing). That is keywords that are closely (or semantically) related to your primary keyword. These are not just synonyms either.

When you include LSI keywords in your content, your site will get a ranking boost.

How can you use LSI keywords?

An example of LSI keywords is… let’s say your keyword is coffee; LSI keywords for coffee would be words like mug, caffeine, and Tim Hortons. So you want to make sure to include those terms in your content.

Step Four: Boost your site’s organic click-through rate (CTR) by optimizing your title and description tag.  CTR is a huge ranking factor now.

Think about it… if people searching for a keyword click on your result more than others then that tells Google that your page is the best result for that keyword… and then your site will rank higher in Google.

In fact, a recently published Google research paper states that “click-through data has proven to be a critical resource for improving search ranking quality.”

screen print of Google research paper with pertinent sentence highlighted

So, it is clear that CTR is an important ranking signal. The question is, how can you optimize for it?

First you can check out the Adwords ads that show up on the search result page you want to rank high on. See what is being used and then mimic this as best you can. Be sure you use your keywords in your description tag.

Done correctly, this step alone could easily boost your website CTR by 60%.

Step Five: Improve dwell time.

What is dwell time and how can YOU optimize for it?

When someone searches for a keyword and clicks on a result, two things can happen. They can stay on your website for a long time, or they quickly click away. The amount of time someone spends on your website is known as dwell time.

screen print of the definition of dwell time

In general, the longer your dwell time the higher your page will rank in Google. So, here is what you can do to quickly improve your website’s dwell time.

  1. Remove large white spaces that appear at the top of your pages.
  2. Make you introductions more… sticky, here’s what I mean; when someone comes to your website, your intro makes them either stick around or click away.
     
    In fact, your intros are so important that some of you need to spend more time on your intros than on your headlines.
  3. Reduce large blocks of text to contain only a sentence wherever you can to make it easier for reading.
  4. Use smaller images so that your content is right there ready to be read, rather than making your readers scroll to find your content.

These are the things that will encourage your readers to stay on page.

Step Six: Improve page speed is to improve your website’s loading speed.

Can making your website load faster really improving your Google rankings?

Definitely!

Go to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and check to see your website’s loading speed.

screen print of PageSpeed Insights website

Enter your website’s complete URL, and fix the problems that it tells you about.

Next, check out GTmetrix. Like Google’s tool GTmetrix will show you potential problems with your website’s code.

screen print of GTmetrix's website

This tool will also tell you about hosting problems that can slow down your website.

An example would be if your images are not compressed. Compressing your website’s images can make a huge difference with how quickly your website will load.

Step Seven: Now it’s time to publish a piece of content using a skyscraper technique.

Here is what I mean; this is where you find the best content in your industry and then provide something even better, or more inclusive.

Be as thorough with useful information as you can be so that your reader will have no questions left once they have read your article, and you have your very own skyscraper.

Doing this could improve your website’s organic traffic by over 80%, if this is done right.

Step Eight: Use only quality images rather than those lame stock images that your competition may be using. Find images that make your posts stand out from others.

Like your title tag and description in search engine results, a properly used image can be the matter of searchers clicking on your social media shared content… or not. Getting attention IS important to increasing your website’s CTR.

Step Nine: Protect your visitor’s devices.

This year is the year Google promises to rank protected websites above unprotected websites.

You will need to purchase and install a security certificate for your website so that your website URL will be display using HTTPS, meaning your website is secured, and needs to display a green padlock your URL on all of your website pages.

screen print of Google's search with red arrow pointing to green padlock that displays before the URL

If you are not technically savvy then purchasing a security certificate from your web hosting provider would be your best bet, as they will look after installing your certificate for you.

Once this has been completed… and, if you are using WordPress, you will need to install a plugin.

My favourite plugin to use is Really Simple SSL, as it has worked the best for me on all different types of websites. However, there are other plugins available to be used, so pick one and install and activate it in your website.

Next, you need to check to make sure that all of your pages are displaying the green padlock.

If even one web page is displaying a broken padlock, you could lose a potential customer, as Google will be warning viewers of any websites that have a Connection is Not Secure or are not using a security certificate.

Once you lose a potential website visitor, your chance of ever getting them to come back will be slim.

This is where the Why No Padlock website can help you discover any outstanding security issues with your website.

screen print of Why No Padlock's website

Once you have completed and fixed the list of issues your website should easily get a higher Google ranking.

Should you have found this checklist helpful, I do hope you will come back here and let me know how big an improvement your website gained in ranking by your following this checklist.

 

Header Image: by FalshBuddy at Pixabay bald eagle soaring bird raptor 521492

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