8 Proven SEO Tips to Improve your Website’s Google Rankings

Broadly speaking, search engines will test a website’s usefulness for
visitors using the presence of various types of keywords, how responsive the user is to the website, and the technical aspects of the website.

According to an Ahrefs study, only 5.7% of crawled pages are “lucky” enough to rank in Google's Top 10 within the first year of their crawling date. Out of these lucky pages:

  • On average, it can take a page from two to six months to rank in Top 10.
  • Pages targeting low volume keywords are likely to rank within the first three months. 
  • Pages that target high volume keywords can take up to a full year to rank in the top 10.

This clears it then"It is difficult to rank in the top 10 and requires a great deal of knowledge about SEO factors for high ranking - and of course, patience!"

Improving Google ranking with SEO tips for your website or blog

Broadly speaking, search engines will test a website’s usefulness for
visitors using the presence of various types of keywords, how responsive the user is to the website, and the technical aspects of the website.

For a software bot (the search engine crawler), there are several SEO
factors to look at, such as:

  • Keywords in headings, text, metadata
  • Time on site
  • Bounce rate
  • Pages views
  • Incoming and outgoing links
  • Page loading speed
  • Landing page copy

Getting into the top 10 search results on Google requires hard work and
a good understanding of SEO. This article explains 8 definitive ways of increasing website traffic using SEO.

1. Optimize for website speed and page speed

Visitors don’t like to wait until a page loads fast. If a web page
loads slowly, they will close the page without waiting. The internet is too
huge for visitors to seek and not find an alternative. 

The effect accumulates and leads to an increased bounce rate, lower time
on page, and less number of pages visited.  The search engine reads it as
a website with poor user experience; it’s a downvote for your website’s
ranking.

There are 3 key ways to improve page speed, thereby strengthening the SEO of a website:

  • Reduce image file size by compressing them using plugins such as ShortPixel.
  • Enable browser caching using plugins such as W3 Total Cache so subsequent requests of the same page load faster (directly from the cache memory of the visitor’s own browser).
  • Reduce the number of server calls for loading CSS and JS scripts as well as the script size with minified versions of the original scripting file.

2. Optimize for featured snippets

Featured snippets are Google’s way of optimizing search engine experience
for searchers. It pulls information from the highest-ranking pages and displays it directly on the search engine result page (SERP) so the user can get a snippet of the information without having to open the webpage.

A featured snippet pulled from the highest-ranking page for “SEO factors”.

To create a featured snippet, follow three easy steps:

  • Choose an article that ranks on the first page. Ahrefs has proved that over 99.5% of featured snippets are extracted by Google from blogs that rank on page 1.
  • Identify the type of featured snippet already being displayed by Google. It can be a list, description text, or a table.
  • Add text in the ranked article that exactly resembles the featured snippet already displayed. Most importantly, give this text a very simple heading text (that makes the type of the snippet obvious).

3. Optimize for mobile

According to a  Statista report, the first quarter of 2020 saw more than 50% of worldwide traffic coming from mobile devices. The number of mobile readers has witnessed a dramatic increase from 2018 when Google announced that it will prioritize the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking.

This makes optimizing a web page for mobile devices one of the best SEO
tips for higher ranking of your website and blog.

Follow these steps for mobile optimization:

  • Ensure that the WordPress theme on the website is fully mobile optimized. 
  • Ensure that there are no disruptive ads or website popups on the mobile version of the website.
  • Ensure that the visitor can achieve their top three to five objectives
    effortlessly.
  • Use Google’s Page Speed Insights to ensure your mobile page loads quickly on low-speed connections typical of mobile devices.

4. Optimize internal and external links

Links and link text are how Google’s crawler bots identify the relevance of web pages to each other. Fixing internal and external links is a great way
of strengthening the SEO of your website. 

To optimize internal and external links, follow these SEO tips:

  • Improve your website’s navigation experience by fixing broken internal links (404 errors) by running a crawl on your website with tools like W3C Link Checker
  • Minimize exact match link text on internal links. It looks unnatural and may be construed by the bot as forced. Vary link text by using synonyms and long-tail keywords.
  • Use Google Alerts to find such websites that mention your website’s name without a link and write to them to link to your website instead.
  • Create a Table of Contents at the start of the blog articles. If they rank on the first page, Google will extract them to create site links i.e. deep links directly from the search result page to a specific section on the web page.

5. Increase time on the website with videos

Many SEO experts mention this tip when asked about how to improve
keyword rankings.

Since Google considers the overall user experience for calculating
rankings, low time on site becomes a signal of less-than-ideal search
experience. The easiest way to increase time on site is to embed videos that support your explanation or help you make a point in your articles.

This is an easy tactic because embedding videos into your blog posts is
beneficial in several ways, as illustrated by the image below:

Source

You can either create the videos in-house or curate them from
non-competing brands in your industry, giving them the due credit. 

The type of videos that can help extract those benefits and strengthen
your website’s SEO:

  • List videos
  • How-to videos
  • Benefits description videos
  • Concept videos
  • Videos explaining the reasons for using a technique

All video players (YouTube, Vimeo, etc) provide an embed code to include
videos in your post. To add videos without complicated embed codes, paste the video link to Add Media (left of WordPress editor toolbar) > Insert
from URL option. 

The image below shows how it will look like:

6. Organize your content using Header tags

One of the most widely-used SEO plugins is Yoast SEO. On its Readability tab, it shows a warning when the content has subsections larger than 300 words.

This helps the writer avoid large blocks of text by using subheadings.
It also helps create an outline that visitors can skim through to get the most valuable insights instead of spending their precious minutes reading the whole post.

Using headers in your post is easy. Just use the text styling option on
the WordPress text editor.

To properly use headers to improve the SEO of your website, follow these
guidelines:

  • Use a single H1 tag to indicate the core topic of your post to the search engines by using the primary keyword in it.
  • Always use H2 for the subheading.
  • Don’t skip directly to H3 - it is read by Google’s bots as having less importance as a subheading in H2.
  • Conversely, never skip H1 to start directly with H2.
  • Use H3 to add a sub-sub heading when the content within H2 subheading is larger than 300 words.
  • H4, H5, and H6 are typically not used in modern web pages. They indicate the content under them doesn’t hold much importance.
  • Avoid stuffing the same keyword (or even synonyms) in every heading.
  • Avoid including the H1 title exactly inside your page’s meta description.

7. Create high-value assets to attract links

This method is useful for both, attracting SEO juice and increasing
website traffic using SEO.

Like lead magnets are useful for lead generation, linkable assets are high-quality infographics, resource guides, articles, and tutorials, and other forms of content designed specifically to attract links from other websites in the same niche.

For example, this single-page interactive infographic from NeoMam studios
about why Infographics are effective has over 1,300 links to it. 

This is a huge SEO boost for their website neomam.com and gives all
their product pages and blog articles a solid base of trust from search
engines. 

Web pages with linkable assets can experience the following benefits:

  • Higher organic traffic to other pages that are linked from the asset’s webpage.
  • Higher referral traffic to the asset’s webpage.
  • Higher exposure to the source company’s brand.

The linkable asset guide from Ahrefs helps you dive deeper into linkable assets.

8. Understanding the user intent: SEO’s secret weapon

Your users no longer search in a single manner, which means there is no single search result page. 

For the success of any useful SEO campaign, understanding the user
intent behind the keyword is absolutely essential. 

For example, your user searches for “video tools for marketers” as a starting point. During the search, they also found variations such as “video
editing software with no watermark” and “video editing tool for beginners”.

Each of these keyword variations results in a 10X increase in the search leading to your blog/website/landing page. 

Wouldn’t it be a great idea to integrate these results into your SEO
process? Had you not done this keyword research, you would not have found the deeper keywords worth targeting, based on the audience search behavior.

As per Google's Rankbrain algorithm, it all boils down to how deeper you want to go into the keyword research. If you do it, it may lead to better opportunities being uncovered. 

 

[source: https://hackernoon.com/8-proven-seo-tips-to-improve-your-websites-google-rankings-ls123x60]

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