It’s clear that search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the most important things you can do for your website or business. It draws people in and helps you target people outside of your immediate audience. If you don’t know the basics of SEO and you plan to have a significant presence online, you’ll need to learn SEO tactics to stand out.
But, if you want to know how to improve your search engine ranking on Google, your best bet is to go beyond basic, everyday SEO methods. There’s so much more to SEO than keywords. Think of them as the cornerstone that almost every SEO tactic relies on. But, you need to understand what to do with them to get your practices to work for you.
These on-page and off-page SEO techniques will help you see how you can use SEO techniques on your website and throughout the internet to help your site rank in Google.
How to Increase Search Engine Ranking in Google with On-Page Techniques
When thinking about SEO, on-page factors aren’t the first thing that come to mind. We usually think about building links to our site, but on-page SEO plays an important role as well. On-page techniques are things that you can do on your website to improve your search ranking. The following methods will teach you to go above and beyond using keywords in your content and pages and, instead, will go deeper to help you do what Google loves to see in its top-ranking sites.
Optimize Titles, Headings, and Meta Descriptions
It’s incredibly important to look beyond optimizing your written content and also focus on your titles, headings and sub-headings, and meta descriptions. These are all things Google looks for when determining how to increase search engine ranking in Google for your site. If you forget to add keywords into them, you’re missing a golden opportunity for Google to find you easier.
All three of these elements should have your main keyword included. If your keyword is “best mattresses for side sleepers,” you can create a title like, “Top 10 Best Mattresses for Side Sleepers to Wake Up Refreshed”. Use the main keyword in at least one heading and your meta description and sprinkle other keywords throughout each.
Hit the Sweet Spot of Keyword Density
Keywords are the backbone of SEO, but it is possible to overuse them, which can hurt your ranking more than help it. Keywords help Google, and other search engines, learn what your site’s focus is so it can display your site in relevant search queries. But, content littered with the same keywords multiple times and close together may cause Google to ban your site, which can be a difficult – or even impossible – process to reverse.
Google equates high keyword densities to spam sites that use shady practices to rank within its search engine. Unfortunately, there’s no magic keyword density percentage to target for your content. But, a Searchmetrics report analyzed top-ranking pages and found that the higher the rank, the lower the keyword density – some had 0.6% or less. It’s better to focus on using your keywords in the best context instead of stuffing them into places that don’t make sense.
Link to Your Own Content
Linking to other sites, known as external linking, is helpful in establishing the authority of your content. Internal links, or linking to pages within your own site, is equally as important for showing Google what your pages are about. When one page of your site, like a blog post, links to another page using one of your targeted keywords, you’re essentially telling Google, “This page is all about this topic,” which helps you rank for that keyword.
A good way to create some strong internal links is through cornerstone content. Your site should have three to four long-form, extremely in-depth posts that link to several other pages. If your site is about men’s fashion, for example, you can have one cornerstone page about men’s fashion for each season, linking to important blog posts or products on your site.
How to Increase Search Engine Ranking in Google with Off-Page Techniques
Off-page SEO techniques can be a bit more difficult to master and may even make you uncomfortable when you’re just starting out. Why? Because learning how to improve search engine ranking on Google with off-page techniques means that you’ll have to engage with other sites outside of your own to create a presence. These methods are another form of marketing and promotion and include ways to improve your website’s ranking without stepping foot in your website.
Social Media Presence and Engagement
Yes, your presence and engagement on social media indirectly affect your site’s ranking! Quality followers on Twitter, Pinterest, and other networks can help you rank in Google. The best way to grow followers organically is to be as present as possible on your accounts, asking and answering questions to increase engagement. And, when you create interesting content for your site that gets shared on social media, you automatically get quality backlinks.
Don’t forget to look beyond typical social networks, though. Quora is also a great way to link to your site as you answer questions with your expertise. And discussion forums within your industry can further help you establish yourself – and your site – as an authority.
Engage with Other Sites
Did you know that one of the keys to ranking in Google is engaging with your competitors? If you aren’t yet sure who they are, you can use our keyword tool to help you search for competitors based on keywords, SEO techniques, and more. In the world of digital marketing, your competitors can also be your biggest helpers.
Guest blogging on other sites in your industry – your direct competitors – may help drive traffic to your site and establish you and your business as authorities. Ensure that you post on highly reputable sites and create only helpful and engaging content. If someone finds your post helpful, there’s a good chance he or she will want to learn more about you and your business from your bio.
And when you link from your guest post to your site, you now have an authority backlink that will make Google happy.
Use Content Types Other Than Writing
Helpful images and infographics and videos are becoming just as important to master as content. In our must-have-the-information-I-need-now world, these forms of media can be incredibly helpful to those looking for quick tips, especially when they’re on mobile devices. It may be time to utilize social networks that you didn’t give much thought to before, like YouTube, Snapchat, and Instagram.
Infographics perform especially well on Pinterest. How-to videos on YouTube, depending on your industry, can quickly become popular without much help from you. And videos can even rank in Google, so don’t forget to share a link to your site in the video and in the caption so new viewers can find you. Create some funny office Snaps on Snapchat to give your audience a peek into your team’s behind-the-scenes personalities.
Conclusion: Improve Search Engine Rank in Google
With so many options for improving search engine ranking, there’s no excuse not to try. With access to your top competitors from Long Tail Pro, you can study your competitors and create your on-page and off-page strategies that will be even bigger and better than theirs. It’s important to look beyond the usual SEO methods and start optimizing your presence outside of your site to help it rank.