How to Improve Your Google Rankings for Keywords

Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

CEO - Shout Agency
[email protected]

Overview

A website is only as good as the quality of traffic it receives. And, one of the key determiners of traffic quality is keywords. Since every website is unique, which keywords you target will depend on your site’s niche. Long gone are the days where you could weave a keyword a few times into the text of the article and expect it to take the top spot on Google’s search engine rankings

With the demand for valuable content on the rise,  search engine ranking algorithms constantly changing, and with the amount of competition getting fiercer by the day, it’s now become a challenge to get your web pages to rank well for a specific keyword. That said, it can be done, but just be aware that it will be a slow and repetitive process. 

Here are some actionable tips you can use to get your keywords to climb up the search engine rankings for your target keyword:

1. Choose a keyword with a good volume

Keyword search volume  signifies the amount of searches is being held for a specific keyword over a set time frame. It also reflects the competitiveness of a search term. Some keywords might be seasonal– i.e. they only boost in search during specific time of the year, for e.g. “best christmas gifts for kids”, while other search terms are evergreen which means their search volume stays consistent throughout the year(s).

Stay away from keywords with a high search volume because these often times are very competitive, and thus, harder to rank for.

Also stay away from keywords with very low search volume. 

2. Research your competition

Once you decide on a few relevant keywords you’d like to target, Google them to see who your competitors are. How are they using your keyword? Are the keywords present within the url and the title tag? Also check to see what kind of content got them ranking for that keyword– Is it a blogpost? A product page? An about us page etc?  Also, assess their authority– are they a big or a small website? Once you have all this information, you can figure out a strategy to overtake all your competition with a piece of content that’s much more powerful and optimized than theirs.

3. Include long-tail keywords

These keywords are longer– i.e. contains three or four words– but extremely specific. Long-tail keywords are less competitive because most people ignore these and instead focus on short tail keyword. 

“You can easily strike gold with these, especially if you are an Ecommerce website, because the longer tail keywords show more intent since they are predominantly used by people with strong purchasing intent.”

Michael Jenkins

You can create compelling content using these keywords and get an influx of ready-to-convert visitors to your website. 

4. Create a better user experience

To increase visibility on search engine results, you must improve the user’s on-page experience. This means, ensuring that all your pages load quickly, are mobile friendly, have a strong internal cross-linking structure, is easy to navigate, and are correctly tagged. When Google sees that people are engaging with your website, rather than bouncing back to the search results, they’ll know your site holds value for their users. 

5. Include keywords at key areas-

Optimizing content for a keyword doesn’t necessarily mean stuffing the keyword numerous times throughout the article. Instead, include your focus keyword at a few specific areas on-page. These include the page title, meta description,  subheadings, and throughout the content– once in the first paragraph, images, URLs, anchor text link, and then use the keywords and its variations wherever it naturally fits throughout the rest of your content.  

6. Optimize for featured snippets

Featured snippets are granted “Position Zero”; i.e. they show up even above the #1 result on Google SERP. These little boxes are designed to quickly answer a user’s question right within the search engine results page.

To increase your chances to score the featured snippets position, craft your content around a question, and base your most of your piece on that question.

You can add related question to the article as well. You can also create your article in a list-format and include tables in it since these are the type of content that’s usually pulled for featured snippets. 

7. Use inbound links

Internal linking is a huge factor that determines your ranking for keywords. These links connect the pages within the same website together through the main navigation or through anchor texts. When Google sees that a page has received several internal links from other pages using the same anchor text, it confidently knows what the page’s content is about, And it will consider this information when giving the page its rank.

Consistent implementing the tips above will make a difference on your keyword ranking for a page. Also, don’t be afraid of aiming for a different keyword if, despite all your efforts, growth for one becomes stagnant.

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