26 Effective Ways to Improve Organic Search Engine Ranking
How to Improve Organic Search Ranking on Google
There is a little-known (or often overlooked) truth in our business. When you first build and launch a website or e-commerce store, only you know about it. To attract visitors to your new online presence, you first must help them find you.
You have two ways to do that. First, you can invest in a paid search marketing campaign. But that takes resources many startups and small businesses don’t have.
The other way to attract visitors to your website is to improve organic search engine ranking. Even with the rise of social media, organic search is still a crucial website traffic driver, and it’s not going away anytime soon.
That’s why it’s essential to improve organic search engine ranking so people can find you more quickly than your competitors. That’s what search engine optimization (SEO) is all about.
Whether you know the basics of SEO or are just starting, this list will give you an action plan of the best ways to improve search engine rankings. So if you are still asking, “How do I improve my organic organic organic search rankings?” keep reading.
Having your web pages rank high in Google’s organic search listings for important keywords is extremely valuable for driving traffic to your site. Here are 26 fundamental strategies to get you started on improving your organic search engine rankings.
26 Effective Ways to Improve Organic Search Ranking
1 – Optimize Your Site for Mobile.
If you want to improve your organic search ranking, this must be your top priority! Unfortunately, if you do not have a mobile-first website, the following strategies will not provide the results you expect.
Back in 2015, Google announced that it would be using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This announcement triggered the infamous “Mobilegeddon,” as brands scrambled to optimize the mobile versions of their sites.
Since then, Google has been gradually increasing the importance of mobile-friendliness in its rankings. In September 2020, the search engine completed the move to mobile-first indexing.
Below are some tips to optimize your website for mobile:
- Test your site using Google’s mobile-friendly tool
- Design for touch — fingers come in all sizes and can easily make incorrect taps
- Make your CTA buttons accessible to mobile users
- Redesign your pop-ups for mobile devices
- Enable Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
- Implement caching
- Compress your images to improve loading time
Use heat maps and mouse tracking tools to understand how people use your website on mobile and optimize accordingly.
Improve Your Page Speed
Load time is one of the critical measurements in Google’s recent Core Web Vitals upgrade. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure your site is as fast as possible to improve your search rank and provide a good user experience.
2 – Install Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Before you get started, it’s a good idea to install and use these website tools. Tracking your progress and current successes is essential. Analyze every aspect of your website to increase traffic.
Google Analytics is a free tracking tool. It can be very complex, but many valuable reports are only a few clicks away. For example, using the Channels report will show you how your organic traffic compares to all other traffic to your website.
You can easily dig a little deeper by clicking on ‘Organic Search‘ in this report to see what pages users find on Google (Landing Page). Unfortunately, most keywords will show up as (not provided). That is where Google Search Console comes in.
Google Search Console
While Google Analytics won’t give you many specific keywords people search for, Google Search Console will. In addition, Google Search Console will tell you details of your organic search ranking.
These details mean you can see how each page on your site ranks for specific keywords users searched on Google. The dashboard will also warn you if your site has any technical issues that may hurt your organic search ranking.
3 – Do Keyword Research
Use search data and research your competition to find the best targets for each page on your website. Then, depending on your website and your available resources, start with the most helpful pages for your customers.
Here are some examples: your top one or two product/service pages or a blog post that provides information your customers need.
Another effective strategy is to focus on long-tail keywords. They generate less traffic, but less competition makes it easier to rank for them.
4 – Define a Keyword List
It’s unreasonable to assume that you will rank in Google for every keyword relating to your industry. Instead, your goal should be to secure high organic rankings for your most desired keywords.
Think about how people would search for your products and services, make a list of these keywords, and check the traffic and competition for each term with a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner.
Keywords with high volume and low to medium competition are the sweet spot. These keywords have high traffic potential and are easier to rank for.
5 – Adhere to Google’s EAT Guidelines
According to Google, EAT is one of the top three factors for gauging page quality. Here’s the breakdown of what the acronym means:
Google wants to see that a website demonstrates expertise in your field. Expertise is especially pertinent to the medical, financial, and legal industries. You can establish expertise by providing clear, accurate information and citing reputable sources in your content.
Show off your authority. You can demonstrate authority through credentials, positive reviews, and customer testimonials. You can highlight this information throughout your website.
Make sure users feel safe on your site. It’s essential to have an HTTPS site and an SSL certificate, especially if you accept any monetary transactions online. And since 2019, Google will display a warning on any site that does not have an SSL certificate.
In addition to the tips above, you can ensure EAT compliance with these best practices:
- Include author bios if you have a blog, and be sure to mention any credentials that demonstrate the author’s expertise
- Go after high-quality backlinks and disavow spammy backlinks
- Make sure your website has accurate information on your About, Contact, and Customer Service pages
- Guarantee that qualified experts create all content directly related to your visitors’ money or life, such as financial advice or medical information
- Cut or edit low-quality EAT content
6 – Optimize for Local Search
More and more people are using their smartphones to search for businesses “near me.” To improve your chances of showing your business in relevant local searches, make sure you claim your Google My Business listing. Provide relevant content in Google Posts, get your business listed in local directories, and improve your online reputation with excellent online reviews.
7 – Optimize for Voice Search
More than 60% of people surveyed said voice search is their preferred method of asking questions on their smartphones. Make sure those voice searchers find your business by incorporating likely voice search phrases into your website content. Be sure to use complete sentences phrased in a natural conversational style rather than single keywords.
8 – Aim for “Position Zero”
When a user asks a question in Google Search, Google sometimes pulls content from a relevant website and displays it in a special featured snippet or answer box above the #1 search result.
Getting content into a featured snippet is a great way to increase traffic (snippets include a link to the page where the content came from) and boost the credibility and visibility of your brand.
To increase your chances of being featured in a snippet by Google, think of likely searches related to your business and prepare your site with clear, authoritative answers.
9 – Write High-Quality Content
It is vital to write high-quality content that attracts interest and compels visitors to share it and link back to it. High-quality content has the best chance of being viral content. Google rewards content virality heavily in its rankings algorithm.
10 – Remove any Duplicate Content
Search engines like fresh and unique content. Find any duplicate content and make it substantially different or remove it altogether. There’s no advantage to saying the same thing over and over, and Google will penalize you for it. There are two likely scenarios where you’ll have duplicate content.
You’ve created a lot of content over the years and forget that you, or someone else, already wrote a page or blog post about the same topic. Of course, previous content probably isn’t a complete duplicate. Still, if the content significantly overlaps, you can better combine it into one strong page.
You don’t even realize it, but your website has multiple versions of the same page. These duplicates could be from someone accidentally copying a page, or you’ve created multiple versions for different languages or tracking purposes.
You can let search engines know that you intentionally duplicated a page using a canonical URL. The RankMath SEO plugin on WordPress enables you to assign canonical URLs to pages if you need them.
11 – Create Cornerstone Pages
Suppose you have ten pages relating to the same set of keywords. In that case, Google will have difficulty determining which page is relevant. So instead, merge your content into a single cornerstone page. There is no SEO confusion with one authoritative cornerstone page on a specific topic, and you should rank higher.
12 – Add Your Keywords to your Page Content
The best way to rank for a keyword is to use it. Therefore, you should include important keywords early in your page titles, headlines, and body text since early placement can signal relevance. In addition, you should use your focus keywords often throughout your copy — but never at the expense of good writing.
Google’s algorithm has become wary of “keyword stuffing.” It penalizes pages that use keywords excessively in ways that interfere with the reading experience. An excellent way to avoid being penalized for “keyword stuffing” is to read your copy aloud.
If your keyword use sounds unnatural, you may get flagged for stuffing. To correct this, you can replace your focus keyword with secondary keywords for which you want your blog to rank.
13 – Optimize Your Page Titles
The <title> HTML tag defines a web page’s title and concisely describes that page’s content. It is the first line of hyperlinked text Google displays in their organic search results, and it is what appears in the top frame of most web browsers for that page and tabs. Therefore, Google’s algorithm considers this to be a crucial on-page SEO element.
When you write your page titles, keep them less than 70 characters since any text beyond that gets cut off when listed in Google’s organic results. You should include your important keywords in the title, preferably in the beginning. If you have extra space, consider including your company at the end to increase brand awareness.
14 – Write Meta Descriptions that Drive Clicks
The <meta name=description content=> HTML tag is meant to be a concise explanation of a web page’s content. Google displays your meta description beneath the page title in their organic results. Meta descriptions aren’t nearly as important to Google’s ranking algorithm as page titles.
Their function is to drive clicks from users. People read descriptions as a preview of your page and use them to determine if your content is worth visiting.
Therefore, you need to provide a clear value proposition about what they’ll gain by visiting your page and reading your content. Consider using words that inspire action like “learn more,” “find out,” or “get.”
Be sure to keep your meta descriptions to 160 characters or less since Google won’t display text beyond that. You should also include target keywords in your text since any words matching a user’s search query will be shown in bold.
15 – Start Blogging
The benefits of blogging for SEO can are evident in how search engines like Google and Bing crawl your web page as it grows. So the more pages you have, the more chances there will be for those search engines to pick up on your targeted keywords and start indexing your site.
The quality of the content matters! Modern algorithms look for pages that are rich in content and easy to read. Search engines and social sharing prefer long-form content. Investing in good, evergreen, in-depth content that is longer than 2000 words results in a more significant impact for your business.
16 – Have a Link Building Strategy
Link building is a catchall term for the practice of acquiring new links to your site from external domains. Beyond creating great content people want to share, guest blogging and asking web admins from authoritative sites relevant to your business to link back to your pages are great ways to build links.
The higher the site’s domain authority you receive backlinks from, the more your ranking will increase. These sites, in effect, pass authority from their site to yours through those backlinks. SEOs often refer to this phenomenon as “link juice.” You can use a domain authority checker to evaluate which sites can pass the most authority to your site.
Use relevant keywords as the anchor text for your backlinks, as this will help send signals to Google that your pages are relevant for those terms.
17 – Link to Internal Pages
Internal linking is selecting a phrase and adding a hyperlink to the blog post or page you reference. These links will get some users to click through and read your other pages, but more importantly, search engines will crawl these links too.
The keywords you hyperlink are called anchor text. Anchor text gives the user and search engines context about the page you link to, so it is important to use meaningful keywords in the hyperlink.
18 – Use Keyword Variations as Anchor Text
Anchor text is the visible words and characters that hyperlinks display when linking to another page. Using descriptive, relevant anchor text helps Google determine the relevance and value of the page you are linking.
When you use internal links, you should use anchor text that is a close variation of your target keywords for that page. Avoid phrases like “click here” or “download here.”
But at the same time, avoid overuse of exact match keywords. Instead, using close variations will help you improve your organic Google rankings for more keywords.
19 – Optimize Your Images
Optimizing your images is crucial to boosting the speed of your site and making it easier for Google to identify the images on your web pages. Make sure all your website images are compressed, have descriptive filenames, and include alt text.
20 – Write Image ALT Tags
ALT tags are HTML elements used to specify alternative text when the element they describe, such as images, are not rendered. ALT tags are a signal for Google’s ranking algorithm. When you have images and other elements on your web pages, be sure to always use a descriptive ALT tag with targeted keywords for that page.
21 – Write Short and Relevant URLs
Search engines prefer URLs that are readable for humans, so keep yours clean and relevant to the page. Avoid blocks of numbers and special characters. Shorter URLs perform better in Google organic search rankings than longer ones, so keep that in mind when you architect your site.
But keep the slashing to a minimum. You should also include keywords in your URL names and place them close to your domain name.
22 – Create an XML Sitemap and Monitor Crawl Errors
Submitting a sitemap will help get pages indexed by search engines faster. For example, if you’ve verified Google Search Console for your site in the first step, you can submit your sitemap with Google. Bing also has a webmaster tools dashboard where you can submit a sitemap.
Crawl Errors and Warnings
Search engines also crawl websites through links on pages. Be sure to monitor any errors or broken links and fix them or create redirects to ensure your site has the best chance to rank well. See below for free broken link checkers.
23 – Fix Broken Links
Having quality links on your website is one of the best ways to boost traffic and establish your site’s authority. Still, links that bring up a 404 error hurt both your user experience and your search rank. So instead, use a tool like Screaming Frog, BrokenLinkCheck, or Dr. Link Check to find any broken links.
24 – Avoid Black Hat SEO Techniques
Black hat SEO refers to the practice of trying to trick search engines into giving you higher rankings by using unethical tactics, such as buying links. The risk is just too significant. Even if you enjoy a temporary boost in rankings due to black hat tactics, it’s likely to be short-lived.
Google is getting better and better at spotting dirty tricks. Sooner or later, an algorithm update will cancel out any progress you made. Even worse, your site can get removed from the index altogether.
25 – Increase Your Social Presence
Social signals are impacting organic search engine rankings, and many industry experts believe that will only increase. If you haven’t already, consider setting up some social media pages such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, and start engaging with your audience there.
26 – Track Your SEO
Improving organic search engine rankings is only half the battle. It is equally important to measure the impact of your efforts on website traffic and lead/sales generation. Google Search Console can give you important insight into how your site functions and identify potential errors you should correct.
A tool like Google Analytics helps measure changes in search traffic and track visitors’ interactions with your website that direct SEO. For example, you can set up Google Analytics reporting to measure how well your organic traffic converts to subscribers, leads, and customers.
Start Improving Organic Search Engine Rankings Yourself
If you can go down this list and put a check next to all 26 items, chances are your website is already ranking well. If not, each one you can implement will begin to improve organic search engine ranking.
Achieving high search engine rankings through effective SEO techniques takes time and dedication. However, you now have a plan of action. So what’s holding you back?
You can hire an experienced web design agency to build a top-notch website or online store. In that case, you have a much better chance to support your business objectives.
Here at PixoLabo, we offer a full range of e-commerce website consulting and WordPress web design services, including website design and development, e-commerce solutions, search engine optimization, and WordPress optimization.
If you are not sure how to improve your organic search ranking, let’s talk. We will listen to you, answer your questions, and determine the best web design and SEO solutions for your company or product brand!
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