Ranking on Google’s first page is the pinnacle of success for online businesses. Google’s first result appears on page one of search results 31.7 percent of the time, while the second page only receives .78 percent of clicks.
Whether you are new to a business or an established manager, trying to improve your Google ranking without being penalized can be a challenge.
How To Boost Your Google Rankings On #1
It would be amazing if there was a magic button that assured your site would rank #1 every time. You must be resourceful, dedicated, persistent, and creative. Due to the constantly changing nature of Google’s algorithm, this is especially true.
It isn’t possible to fly to the top overnight, but there are steps you can take at The top of a search engine result page (SERP).
However, it doesn’t have to be like that for you. I’m going back to the fundamentals of optimizing web pages on-page and off-page to help you better understand the new SEO rules, learn how to optimize for humans as well as search engines, and master both.
Google’s Algorithm: What You Need to Know
In addition to Gary Illyes and John Mueller, Google executives confirm Google constantly updates its algorithm.
Google’s algorithms change 500 to 600 times per year, according to Moz! However, despite Google providing announcements of major algorithm updates, no one knows exactly how the algorithm works. Most information is speculative, based solely on the opinions of industry professionals.
The truth is, if everyone knew how to get into the top position without getting penalized for using shortcuts or black hat SEO strategies, Google might not succeed in ranking only the best results. Putting in the work is not required. The top can be reached by anyone.
In addition to making it hard for honest people like you and me to succeed, this would seriously undermine Google’s mission statement:
The mission of Google is to organize and make information accessible and useful to everyone, everywhere.
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As a result of major algorithm updates, we know the most about Google’s algorithm.
- Core Web Vitals, organic results, and News alerts were impacted by this update (June 2021).
- (December 2020): This update focused on relevance and quality.
- New Googlebot update (July 2019): It now treats all websites as mobile-friendly, prioritizing sites that optimize for mobile devices.
- Update on mobile-friendly websites (April 2015): Favoring sites with mobile-friendly versions and setting the stage for future penalties if sites do not comply.
- Worked with Google Maps to integrate local search results. Pigeon (July 2014): Created a tool to show local search results.
- Hummingbird (August 2013): Responded to user inquiries instead of showing only the literal words they entered.
- Aims at spammers and sites that buy links to boost their rankings. Penguin (April 2012): Targets spammers and sites that buy links.
The Panda and Google EMD (exact match domain name) updates, as well as the data deindexing on Private Blog Networks (PBNs), were all added to the list. Meanwhile, there’s Phantom, which has made an appearance since May 2013 before it was thought to have been updated four times – but it hasn’t actually been confirmed by Google.
The Google updates can be overwhelming, so how can you keep up with them all? Helpful resources are available. It is a great resource for tracking Google’s algorithm updates chronologically thanks to Moz’s Google Algorithm Change History. Google Webmaster Central is also worth checking out. In the following video, you’ll learn about how I build links, optimize on-page, and measure user behavior in order to rank higher on Google.
Following our discussion of the algorithm’s basics, let’s look at some actionable strategies.
Analyze your current ranking on Google
If you want to improve your Google ranking, you need to know where you stand. Even for new sites, this is true. There are several tools available to help. You can use Ubersuggest to determine your site’s keyword rank if you’ve targeted specific keywords in your content. Log in, then select “Traffic Overview” under the competitor report. You can enter your domain to see a list of SEO keywords you rank for, top pages, and an overview of SEO keywords ranking.
The “SEO Keywords” chart shows how your site ranks for main keywords. You should also check your site’s speed as this is still an important ranking factor for Google. A slow site has little chance of ranking highly in search results. In addition, it will affect your ability to attract and convert new customers. After its page load times increased from one second to four seconds, Walmart experienced a sharp decline in conversions. It does not matter if your meta description, title tags, or on-page SEO is excellent. The search algorithm will punish large companies like Walmart, no matter how big they are.
Your site’s health can be checked
You should assess the overall health of your site before optimizing based on keyword search engine rank and site speed. After months or years of consistent organic traffic, have you noticed a sudden drop? Have you wondered if Google deindexed (or banned) your website? The tools available to help piece this puzzle together are quite extensive. Check your sites for major issues with MxToolBox Domain Health Report, which identifies five categories of problems: general site issues, blacklists, mail servers, web servers, and DNS.
Please note that this report will indicate if a human reviewer determined that your site violates Google’s quality guidelines – it won’t tell you if a Google algorithm update penalized your site. If you have received a manual penalty, fix it (see this guide to recovering from a Google penalty), then submit a reconsideration request to Google.
SEO Metrics You Should Track and Measure
Next, you should track some vital metrics of your site to find out what else needs to be improved. The following metrics should be evaluated. Organic traffic to your site is an important factor you should know about. The largest proportion of website traffic used to come from organic search, crushing paid search and social channels. Organic traffic is often driven by social media, email, and paid ads. However, it varies widely by industry. Check out your Google Analytics account’s acquisition channels report to find out how many visitors reach your site. You will find this Google Analytics guide helpful.
Traffic Conversions from Organic Sources
Pay attention to the keywords that generate traffic to your site in addition to analyzing search traffic. The view is less obvious than in the past, but it is still possible.
This can be done with Google Search Console (as it was formerly known). This can tell you how many clicks you receive for certain keywords in organic search results.
The most common mistake in keyword research is leaving too little focus on transactional keywords. Those are the keywords that drive revenue, so they are commercial keywords. Understanding the difference between commercial and informational keywords is essential to boosting Google rankings and generating money. It may be hard to convert organic traffic to sales or spread on social media if all of your keywords are informational.
Ensure your site is mobile-friendly (and optimized for mobile-first searches)
Most website traffic comes from mobile devices. As a result, your site needs to be optimized for mobile devices if you want to rank well. Despite some algorithm changes that remain unclear, Google left no room for imagination when it came to mobile. The Google Webmaster Blog announced January 10, 2017: Starting today, pages that are not easily accessible to a mobile user on the transition from mobile search results may not rank highly.
Google also moved to “mobile-first indexing” in 2020, which means it looks at websites as if they were mobile devices. In an easy-to-navigate site, your ranking will suffer. Fortunately, it’s easy to see where you stand. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test allows you to determine if your site is mobile-friendly or heading for Penaltyville.
Analyze current Google penalties and fix them
Having established tracking for your most important metrics and knowing your search ranking, it’s time to assess your site in-depth for any current penalties.
It makes no sense to promote or build links to an unhealthy site. I’d like to cover a couple of things that could get you penalized by Google before we proceed.
Keyword research will help you rank higher in Google
As soon as you get rid of unnatural links, you can focus on improving on-page SEO.
Keyword research is an essential component of an effective inbound marketing strategy. Without knowing what it is, you can’t succeed.
By researching keywords, you can gather firsthand information about your target audience, the information they want, and how they want it.
The searcher of “html5 tutorials for beginners” clearly wants content to assist them in learning this topic.
You can use that to write content and headlines that rank well in Google searches.
Knowing your target audience’s buyer personas and their customer lifecycle is helpful for understanding what motivates them. Your page content should be relevant to help you achieve a higher ranking on Google.
On-Page SEO can help you rank higher on Google
With this information, you’re well prepared to make meaningful on-page SEO changes based on what keywords you should target – and should be targeting.
There is an excellent guide on Backlinko that breaks down on-page SEO elements that will appeal to Google and your visitors.
Content that uses keywords will be more effective
In this section, we’ll focus more on leveraging those keywords that you’ve researched, even though I’ve touched on keyword research and placement already.
Keyword research and placement are misunderstood by many people.
The best search marketers were already aware that relevant, valuable, and helpful content should target specific groups of people before Google rolled out the Google Panda update.
By writing resourceful, detailed content and supplementing it with descriptive meta descriptions and title tags, you can optimize for informational keywords and improve your search ranking.
Your content gets shared on social media, and relevant and high-authority links are gained naturally in this process.