Ever seemed like all your SEO efforts were wasted? No matter what you did, Google never ranked your site higher.
You have followed all the rules for topping the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages), but yet search traffic eludes you.
Right now, you are thinking if Google is the problem. Or maybe Google algorithm has a hitch that you alone know about.
The post isn’t about pointing fingers as the topic suggests. It is a guide to help you improve your search engine ranking – using simple steps to improve your site’s ranking and get more traffic.
The main topics covered in this guide include:
- Narrow Down on Keywords You Rank For
- Decide on Which Keyword to Rank For
- Find Out Reasons You’re Not Winning on This Keyword
- Bringing it On
- Monitor Your Results
Let’s dive into the steps to improve your ranking.
Step 1 – Narrow Down on Keywords You Rank For
One of my greatest lessons in marketing is “new customers are more expensive to maintain”.
A typical business pays more in order to acquire new customers than it does for old customers. It’s a fact that applies to marketing, and also your search ranking.
It is less expensive to improve ranking from position #4 to #3 than from #19 to #10 in SERP. A one-step increase in position on the first page can yield an exponential increase in CTR.
To find the best performing keyword, you need the Jaaxy keyword tool.
The other tool you may find useful is Ahrefs Site Explorer.
Enter the desired domain name, then navigate to Organic search > Organic keywords > Add filter.
Finally, click the drop-down menu, and then “Exclude” to see “True” rankings. To finalize this step, select the “All features” tab, marking the option; “Only linking to target”.
Step 2 – Decide on Which Keyword to Rank Higher
Now that you’ve identified your site’s ranking keywords, it’s time for some sorting. You want to improve your best positioned keyword for higher ranking.
Here are some vital factors to guide you in sorting the keywords.
I. Your Top Ranking Keywords
The highest-ranking keywords have the best chances to improve your traffic.
They already account for major traffic to your site. All you have to do is filter them to get the best performing keywords.
The traffic column on Ahrefs’ Site Explorer gives the details of your keywords.
II. High Business Value Keywords
Why trigger search ranking for a keyword when it doesn’t offer economic benefits to your business?
For instance, a keyword like “home designs” offers little or no value to the keyword “Sports Club”.
Even if the keyword brings in the highest traffic right now, it makes no business sense to choose it. The Sports Club should opt for related keywords that offer business value.
III. Keywords That Have High Search Volume
Search volumes are an important metric you can deploy to filter the keywords. Higher search volumes translate to higher potential traffic.
To find the search volumes of your preferred keywords, click on “Volume” on Ahrefs Site Explorer.
Other factors such as the keyword difficulty score, which requires you to find keywords with lower scores. Also, filter out branded keywords as it’s almost impossible to outrank brands behind the keywords.
Step 3 – Find out Reasons You’re Not Winning on This Keyword
Now that you’ve decided on a keyword, you ought to know why you aren’t ranked number one for it.
So many factors could be responsible for this, some of which are outside your control. Some of the factors you can start working on include:
I. There are some content types that are better optimized for search results. These include blog posts, product pages, categories, and landing pages.
II. Google’s mandate to organize the web’s content for relevance is still a driving force. If your pages do not offer value to visitors, you can kiss Google traffic goodbye.
High quality posts that fully address search queries are very likely to get more traffic.
III. Quality and quantity of inbound links – Backlinks from authority domains say a lot about how trustworthy your site is. Domains with higher authority will transfer some of that to your website.
The quality and quantity of these backlinks come to bear on your site’s search ranking.
IV. Page authority – This factor is synonymous with Google’s Page Rank algorithm. A lot of premium is placed on the backlink authority on each individual web page on your site.
Step 4 – Bringing It On
It’s time to start improving the ranking factors identified in Step 3.
Building high-quality backlinks can be achieved through guest posting, creating resourceful, and high-quality content.
For boosting your page authority, consider adding relevant internal links to your web pages.
Also work on improving user experience on your site, such as load speed, responsive sites optimized for mobile browsing.
Remember that search engine ranking is an ongoing process, so you have to keep at it.
Step 5 – Monitor Your Results
You will need to track the ranking of the keyword using a tool meant for that.
Ahrefs Rank Tracker is an ideal tool that lets you track up to 10,000 keywords – although you do not need to track that much, since we’re dealing with just one keyword at the moment.
The tracking results tell you how well your efforts have been, which shows if there is a need to adjust any area.
Step 6 – Get Familiar with the Ranking Algorithm Updates
It’s easy for me to quickly jump straight into some practicable SEO tactics you can implement on your website now.
But I chose to prepare you for a long-lasting success, so you don’t get ranked down due to a change in algorithm.
As affirmed by Google officials like John Mueller and Gary Illyes, Google keeps updating its search algorithm from time to time, though most updates are not openly described or disclosed.
While Google tries to disclose major algorithm changes, the precise internal operations of the algorithm aren’t disclosed (and a bit ambiguous) to the masses. An ideal majority of data out there is mere speculation from industry experts.
Thus, it’s believable that 40 percent of digital marketers regard constant algorithm changes as their greatest hindrance to SEO breakthroughs.
After all, if everybody understood the process for ranking on the first page without getting penalized for black hat SEO practices or shortcuts, it wouldn’t have been possible for Google to achieve milestones at ranking just the best results alone. People could hack their route to the first position without much of a stretch.
Not alone would this make it difficult for loyal webmasters like you and me to achieve success, but it’d, of course, get Google’s mission (which is to set up the global information and make it useful and globally-accessible) compromised.
The greatest orientation we do have regarding Google’s search algorithm appears like major Google algorithm changes such as:
- Pigeon – Aiming to incorporate Google Maps
- Mobile-friendly changes – Ranking sites with responsive designs, mobile-optimized versions, and preparing the grounds for penalties in case sites violate the terms and conditions
- Penguin – Focusing on spam acts and brands that buy toxic links to increase their PageRank
- Hummingbird – Targeting to figure out the intent and context behind a visitor’s search rather than just evaluating the real words they enter in the search bar
Other updates include Google’s Exact Match Domain Names (EMDs), Panda, and the PBN (Private Blogging Network) that deindex changes. Another update is called Phantom, which showed first in 2013 and is hoped to have been updated up to 4 times, even though not yet affirmed by Google itself.
Thus, should you track all of these?
Meanwhile, some resources are available to help. One of these is the database, , that chronologically sets up algorithm changes. Other resources include and .
This tutorial is updating you with the tactics for on-page Search Engine Optimization, link building, and user parameters when contending for the first position in Google.
Having figured out the fundamentals of the search algorithm, let’s implement those practicable strategies already disclosed.
Step 7 – Evaluate Your Current Organic Ranking
To boost your organic ranking, you must find out where you are right now. This is real even for brand-new websites. Gratefully, you have several tools and resources at your disposal that can be of help to you.
Check your website’s keyword status using SERPs.com
If you’ve been trying to target certain keywords in your content, evaluate your keyword rank using SERPs.com. Enter your keyword and your website address. Other options are available like considering Yahoo results, selecting between mobile or desktop, and accessing local rankings by ZIP or city code.
The following items will be shown on the results page:
- The first page on your website that appears in search results for the subject
- Your website’s position in search engines for the phrase
- Your site’s average CPC (cost-per-click) for the key phrase (for sponsored search like AdWords)
- Your avg (average monthly searches)
Assess your site loading speed
It’s imperative to assess site loading speed, as it’s a crucial ranking signal in Google’s search algorithm.
If you’re experiencing slow speed, your position will be low in search results. You won’t be able to convert and generate new sales.
From research, there was a serious decline in Walmart’s conversion rate when it experienced a drastic rise in its page load times.
If this occurs, it doesn’t really matter what your title tags, Meta description, or on-page Search Engine Optimization are. You’ll get severely punished by search algorithms, even if you happen to be a big brand like Walmart.
That’s why it’s necessary to conduct a site loading speed test for your website and find out where to improve your search rankings.
There are a lot of tools that let you do this. Some of these tools include:
- Google PageSpeed Insights
- Pingdom Website Speed Test
- YSlow browser extension
Below is the right way to examine your page content using Pingdom.
Visit tools.pingdom.com and enter your website address. Select the location you would prefer to examine from and choose the “Start Test” button.
If your website registers above 50, you have a great start.
With a performance score below 50, you have low page content and you really need to improve on it for a boost. You need to test the page load time as well.
Typically, a fast website shouldn’t have the page load time longer than 2 seconds on desktop and 1 second on mobile devices.
From the research by Optimizely, the artificial latency incorporated in the Telegraph’s portal led to the 11 percent drop in page views for a four seconds load time delay and another 44 percent drop for a 20 second load time delay.
Thus, anything longer than 2-3 seconds of loading time is capable of making you lose a huge amount of organic traffic.
Examine your site’s health
After evaluating site speed and keyword organic rank, examine your site’s health prior to starting optimization.
Have you got a sudden decline in search engine traffic after years of consistently posting?
Are you contemplating whether your site has been banned or deindexed by Google?
There are numerous tools to help carry this out. Explore the tool of MxToolBox to examine major likely issues in five distinct categories: blacklist, DNS, overall site problems, web server, and mail server.
Simply hit the box for each of the categories to find out what warnings and errors have been specifically detected. Fix them right away one after the other.
To find out if you have already got some penalties from Google, use the of FE International.
Once you have achieved success with the first keyword, you can use the same tips for the other keyword from Step 1. Continue with this process until the keyword-ranking has improved.
There are certain keywords that do not merit your attention. Efforts at improving their rankings would result in wasted efforts. These include branded keywords and the ones that offer no business value.
You can get started right away by improving your search engine ranking.
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