18 SEO Tips on How to Improve Google Search Ranking

18 SEO Tips on How to Improve Google Search Ranking

Search Engine Optimization is an ever-evolving craft that can be hard to get a handle on. Not only do the rules of the road constantly change, but often, much of the advice you read online is either speculative or outdated.

This makes knowing where to start a huge challenge. In this post, we outlined what items are most relevant for improving your website’s visibility and rankings.

When performing search engine optimization, you have to consider two things.

First, you need to have good strategies that produce results.

Secondly, you need to make sure that those strategies will not eventually produce a penalty that altogether knocks you out of the search results.

It does not matter if you are focusing on local SEO or ranking nationally. To accomplish both of these and improve Google rankings fast, you must use sound SEO strategies that fall under Google’s guidelines. It’s also important to listen to Google when they explicitly tell you something is important.

Using Google’s Own Guidelines To Improve Your Google Search Ranking

Google’s own Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide is a good resource to start with. Stray too far from these suggestions and you may find that your high rankings will be short-lived. Understanding and improving your Google ranking as per Google’s SEO guidelines is crucial for enhancing website visibility and performance in Google search results.

Google SEO Guide Lines

Learn How To Rank For Rich Answers In Search Engine Results

Therefore, learning how to optimize your pages to trigger rankings with rich answers is very important and will become even more important over time. Most website owners have trouble ranking for rich answers because it is a new concept that involves more than just ranking number 1 in the organic search results. Many rich answers come from the number 2 and number 3 slots. Rich answers can even come from results as low as number 10. When employing rich answers on your site, you need to employ five basic strategies for maximum success.

Google Rich Snippet

Make sure you rank in the top 10.

This involves nothing more than traditional SEO tactics. Without a top 10 ranking, you can guarantee a web page has little chance of becoming a rich answer. The top 3 results will give you the best chance though, so it’s best to aim for that.

Start your sentences with a question or command word.

For example, “Use these 5 SEO tips for better rankings” is a sentence that is started with a command word. In the example, the word “Use” implies a command because you are not suggesting something, you are telling them to do something. Likewise, the sentence “How to improve your Google Rankings” uses the “How to” phrasing to start the sentence implying that you are providing an answer to this query.

Keep your headings unambiguous.

What that means is to make sure that your headings are clear-cut and cannot be interpreted any other way than their intended purpose. Unambiguous headings assure google that your content is precisely the information the user is searching for. For example, the heading “Hospitals Get Sued By 7 Foot Patients” is an ambiguous heading. This heading can be interpreted two ways. It can mean that the hospital is getting sued by 7 different patients that came in with foot problems or it could mean that a 7 foot tall patient with foot issues is suing the hospital for inadequate care. Google’s search algorithms are exceptionally good at distinguishing unambiguous headings from ambiguous ones.

Utilize list in your content.

Writing list-based articles that are explicit in their purpose gives you the best chance at generating a rich answer ranking. This is because list-based articles employ both an explicit headline (the blue link you click on in the results) and provide the crawler with an easy way to scan your content. If you type in any sort of list-based keyword into Google, you end up with a rich answer result almost every time. The same holds true with questions as well, but they do not have the same success rate as list-based articles do.

Ranking your site with Rich Answers

  1. Make sure you rank in the top 10 of the organic search results for the targeted keyword.
  2. Start your sentences with a question or command word.
  3. Keep your headings unambiguous.
  4. Utilize list in your content.

Outwit the Competition with Content

When you’re trying to outrank your competition, it helps to understand what content is driving traffic and social shares. Tools like SEMrush, BuzzSumo, and others will allow you to see what content generates traffic for your competition. While it is never a good idea to rip off someone else’s work, you can look at who else is ranking for what you want to rank for and improve on what they’ve done. Our blog post titled Competitor Analysis with SEMrush has a great step-by-step on this process.

Competitor Analysis

When evaluating your content against that of the competition, don’t think that it’s only about writing more copy than they have. Look for opportunities to improve your content in ways the competition has not. This could mean adding a supplemental infographic or adding some embedded audio, it might mean having a downloadable checklist or guide that is offered with your content. The objective here is to outdo the competition’s content so that your piece is more relevant and noteworthy. Emphasizing the importance of on-page SEO is crucial in creating content that outperforms competitors by publishing relevant, authoritative content, utilizing LSI keywords, and optimizing content through strategic keyword repetition and linking.

Improve the Quality of Your Content

Google is very much a quality over quantity search engine. It isn’t about how much you post but the value your posts offer the reader. Many websites with blogs try to publish content as quickly as possible or engage in click-bait, but this is a superficial move that doesn’t help in the long run. It’s better to publish less frequently but with well-crafted content that engages and keeps the interest of your intended audience. Crafting a compelling meta description for each page is also crucial, as it not only improves the quality and attractiveness of your content to both users and search engines but also encourages more clicks by providing a clear, concise summary of the page’s content.

Girl planning a content strategy

One SEO recommendation is to prune your website’s content. If a page or blog no longer applies or is no longer relevant, don’t keep it thinking you’ll boost your rankings. If you have any redundant pages on your website get rid of them. You want a concise site that attracts traffic that will stay. Ranking high is only half the battle. Really think about it, if your content gains traffic quickly but that traffic doesn’t stick, then your websites time on site and bounce-rate will suffer as a result.

Freshen Up Old Content

In 2011 Google rolled out an algorithm update referred to as the Google Freshness Update. This update changed how Google’s algorithms viewed content. The freshness algorithm meant that freshly created or updated content would now get priority over similar content that was old and stagnant. While it’s easy to create a piece of content and move on, it’s important to remember to go back and update older content, especially if the content in question has in the past ranked well or generated traffic.

Include Meaningful Visuals

Adding meaningful visuals to your website or online content can greatly enhance your SEO efforts. Not only do visuals like images, infographics, and videos make your content more engaging and shareable, but they can also improve your search engine rankings. Here are some tips on how to include meaningful visuals in your SEO strategy:

Use high-quality images

When adding images to your website or blog posts, make sure they are high-quality and relevant to your content. Low-quality images can make your website look unprofessional and could deter visitors from staying on your site.

Optimize image alt tags 

Alt tags are descriptions of your images that appear when the image cannot be displayed. Including relevant keywords in your alt tags can help improve your search engine rankings and make your images more searchable.

Create and share infographics 

Infographics are a visually appealing way to present complex information or data. They are highly shareable on social media platforms and can drive traffic back to your website. Make sure to optimize the text and keywords in your infographics for SEO.

Embed videos

Videos are a popular form of content that can keep visitors on your site longer and improve your search engine rankings. Create videos that are informative, entertaining, and relevant to your target audience.

Use structured data for images

Structured data markup can help search engines better understand the content of your images. This can improve your chances of appearing in image search results and drive more traffic to your website.

Incorporating meaningful visuals into your SEO strategy can not only make your content more appealing to users but can also help improve your search engine rankings. Experiment with different types of visuals and analyze their impact on your website’s performance to find what works best for your brand.

Have content that is link-worthy

If you are a webmaster or author a blog, chances are you have linked out to other content online. This may have been done to make your content more comprehensive or perhaps you were looking to offer up additional resources or references to your content.

When it comes to creating link-worthy content, you need to think about this scenario but in reverse asking yourself, what kind of content might others link to or reference in their website or blog.

So what kind of content gets linked to most often?

While any piece of content that offers up value has an opportunity to get links, content such as Tutorials, Guides, Case Studies, and HowTos often lend to being referenced and linked to more often than content that is less insightful or actionable.

To ensure your content remains link-worthy, it’s crucial to fix broken links to provide a seamless user experience, enhancing the overall value of your content.

Aquire Backlinks

So, you’ve got an awesome website up and running, but now what? How do you make sure people find your site and keep coming back for more? The answer lies in link building.


Backlinks are like votes of confidence for your website. When other sites link back to yours, it tells search engines that your site is credible and worth showing to users. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the better your site will rank in search engine results.

But how do you go about getting backlinks? Here are some strategies to help you build those valuable links:

Create amazing content

The first step to getting backlinks is to create high-quality, relevant content that people want to link to. Whether it’s a blog post, infographic, video, or some other form of content, make sure it’s top-notch and provides value to your audience.

Reach out to other websites

One of the most common ways to acquire backlinks is through outreach. Reach out to websites in your industry and ask if they’d be willing to link to your content. Be sure to personalize your outreach and explain why your content would be valuable to their audience.

Guest blogging

Another effective way to build backlinks is through guest blogging. Write a guest post for another website in your industry and include a link back to your site in the author bio or content itself. This not only helps you get a backlink but also exposes your brand to a new audience.

Submit to online directories

Submitting your site to online directories can also help you build backlinks. Look for reputable directories in your industry and submit your site for inclusion. Just be sure to choose directories with high domain authority for maximum impact.

Remember, building backlinks takes time and effort, but the payoff can be huge in terms of increased traffic and higher search engine rankings. So, roll up your sleeves and start building those backlinks today!

Use Internal Linking

Alright, buckle up folks, because we’re diving into the world of internal linking! Internal linking is a crucial aspect of SEO that often gets overlooked, but trust me, it can make a world of difference for your website’s ranking.

So, what exactly is internal linking? Well, it’s the practice of linking one page of your website to another page on the same website. These links help search engines understand the structure of your site and how different pages are related to each other. Plus, they can also improve the user experience by guiding visitors to related content.

When it comes to internal linking, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, make sure your links are relevant and natural. Don’t just throw in a bunch of random links for the sake of it. Instead, think about how each link can add value to the reader’s experience.

Next, consider the anchor text you use for your internal links. The anchor text should be descriptive and relevant to the page you are linking to. This not only helps search engines understand the context of the link but also provides valuable information to the reader.

Another important tip is to create a logical hierarchy with your internal links. This means organizing your content in a way that makes it easy for both users and search engines to navigate your site. Consider creating topic clusters or pillar pages to group related content together and link between them accordingly.

Lastly, regularly audit your internal links to ensure they are still relevant and functional. As your site grows and evolves, some links may become outdated or broken. By keeping tabs on your internal links, you can ensure a smooth user experience and maintain strong SEO performance.

Internal linking is a powerful SEO tool that can have a big impact on your website’s performance. By following these tips and incorporating internal links strategically throughout your site, you can improve your site’s visibility, user experience, and overall SEO success. So, don’t overlook the power of internal linking – it’s a game-changer for your website!

Utilize Social Signals

Social Signals Mean More Eyeballs

Social signals refer to the number of shares, likes, and overall social media attention a piece of content gets online. Search engines use numerous factors to assess the quality of a website or page, including social signals. It’s not entirely known how much impact social signals have on things like rankings, but it’s undeniable that content that is shared on social media has a greater potential to convert into traffic. Ultimately more attention means a greater likelihood that your content will be shared and linked to.

Quicker Indexation

Search engines utilize social signals in the indexation and crawling of content so sharing a new piece of content on social media is one of the best ways to get it indexed quickly in the search engines.

Use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)

The heart of any SEO-strategy is the right keywords and phrases as well as their placement. It’s still a good idea to have your target keyword at the beginning of your content, preferably within the first few sentences as well as in the headline. This assures Google (and your audience) that what you have written is relevant to the search path that retrieved your page.

When optimizing a page or post, don’t forget about synonyms even though you might have a single keyword or phrase in mind. When people are looking for something they don’t just use one word. If they’re searching for toasters, for example, they’re probably also typing words like “appliance”, “stainless steel”, or “kitchen”. These are called LSI keywords and they enrich your content and provide more context to the search engines as to what your content is about. Google tends to favor content that has good LSI vs those optimized only around a single keyword or phrase. Utilizing search queries data from Search Console can further enhance your content’s relevance by understanding the variety of terms users might use, helping to anticipate different variations of search terms and how Google’s language matching systems can understand your page in relation to many queries.

Increase Page Speed

There are three main platforms for a website, or at least there should be if you are doing it right. These include the mobile, tablet, and desktop platforms. Page speed optimization is most commonly tested against the desktop platform. However, there are a huge amount of websites that do not increase their page speed for mobile and tablet platforms. Google’s takes all three of these into account when ranking your web pages in the search results. This means that you could have an increased page load speed on the desktop platform, but not rank well overall because your mobile and tablet platform templates load very slow due to a lack of optimization. Google’s PageSpeed Insights is a good place to start your cross-platform testing as it measures load time both from a desktop and from a mobile perspective.

Use The Smallest Amount of 301 Redirects That You Can

Avoiding a large amount of 301-page redirects has always been important in SEO. These redirects cause your web pages to diminish their page rank and thus result in a drop in the rankings. Google recently stated that these redirects are not punished like they used to be, but research tells us differently. It seems as though the use of 301 redirects results in a reduction of the passing of topical relevance through link anchor text from page to page. Basically, it can be summed up as the reduction of 301 redirects can likely improve your site’s rankings, but an increase in 301 redirects can possibly hurt your site, so it is best to stay on the safe side and use minimal 301 redirects regardless of Google’s current stance/statements. 

Use Advanced Analytics To Improve User Engagement

As mentioned earlier, things like having a low bounce rate and the amount of time a visitors stays on your website are important for search rankings. Advanced analytics can tell you a lot about how visitors are interacting with your site while browsing. For example, using advanced analytics can help you figure out which pages are the common exit points for visitors. Typically, when there is a high percentage of visitors exit the same page, it means that the information on that page was not what they were looking for. This can often have a negative effect on your site overall bounce rate. Utilizing advanced analytics can help determine this as well as many other things that will help improve your site’s overall usability.

Make Sure Your Content Includes Search Intent

When it comes to creating content for SEO, one of the most important concepts to understand is matching your content to search intent. Search intent refers to the reason behind a user’s search query. It’s crucial to align your content with what users are looking for in order to rank well in search engine results.

To effectively match your content to search intent, you need to first understand the four main types of search intent:

Informational intent 

This type of search intent is when a user is looking for information or answers to a question. For example, someone searching for “how to tie a tie” has informational intent.

Navigational intent

This search intent is when a user is looking for a specific website or page. For example, someone searching for a “Facebook login” has navigational intent.

Commercial investigation intent

This type of search intent is when a user is researching products or services with the intention of making a purchase in the future. For example, someone searching for “best laptop for gaming” has commercial investigation intent.

Transactional intent

This search intent is when a user is ready to make a purchase. For example, someone searching for “buy Nike running shoes” has transactional intent.

Once you understand the different types of search intent, you can tailor your content to meet the needs of users in each category. For informational intent, create comprehensive guides, how-to articles, or FAQs. For navigational intent, ensure your website is easily accessible and optimized for key terms related to your brand or business. For commercial investigation intent, create product comparisons, reviews, or buying guides. For transactional intent, make sure your product pages are optimized for key terms related to purchasing.

By matching your content to search intent, you can attract the right audience to your website, increase your chances of ranking well in search engine results, and ultimately drive more traffic and conversions. So, always keep search intent in mind when creating content for SEO!

Monitor And Update Your Technical SEO Elements

Monitoring your technical SEO is crucial to ensuring that your website is performing at its best and ranking well on search engines. By regularly checking and analyzing various technical aspects of your site, you can identify any issues that may be holding you back and make the necessary improvements to enhance your SEO efforts.

One of the key aspects of monitoring your technical SEO is checking your website’s loading speed. A slow-loading site can negatively impact user experience and ultimately harm your search engine rankings. Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to test your website’s loading speed and identify any areas for improvement.

Another important factor to monitor is your website’s mobile-friendliness. With an increasing number of users browsing the internet on their smartphones and tablets, having a mobile-responsive website is essential for SEO success. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check how your site looks and performs on mobile devices and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a seamless user experience.

Additionally, regularly monitoring your website for any crawl errors, broken links, or duplicate content is essential for maintaining a healthy site structure and ensuring that search engines can easily index your content. Use tools like Google Search Console or Screaming Frog to identify and fix any technical issues that may be impacting your SEO performance.

By regularly monitoring your technical SEO, you can stay ahead of any potential issues that may be hindering your website’s performance and make the necessary improvements to boost your search engine rankings. Remember, SEO is an ongoing process, so make monitoring your technical SEO a regular part of your strategy to ensure long-term success.

Track and Monitor Your Results

So, you’ve put in the work to optimize your website for search engines. You’ve implemented keywords, optimized your meta tags, and created high-quality content. But the work doesn’t stop there. In order to truly see the results of your SEO efforts, you need to track and monitor your progress.

Tracking your results allows you to see what’s working and what’s not. It gives you valuable insight into how your website is performing in search engine rankings, how much traffic you’re getting, and what keywords are driving that traffic. This information is crucial for making informed decisions about your SEO strategy moving forward.

There are a few key metrics you should be keeping an eye on when tracking your SEO results. These include:

Keyword rankings

Monitor the ranking of your targeted keywords on search engine results pages. Are you moving up in the rankings, or are you falling behind?

Organic traffic

Keep track of the amount of traffic coming to your website from organic search. Are you seeing an increase in organic traffic as a result of your SEO efforts?

Click-through rate (CTR)

Monitor how many people are actually clicking through to your website from search engine results pages. A high CTR indicates that your meta tags and titles are effectively enticing users to click.

Conversion rate 

Track how many visitors are completing a desired action on your website, whether it’s filling out a form, making a purchase, or signing up for a newsletter. Are your SEO efforts leading to conversions?

By consistently tracking and monitoring these metrics, you’ll be able to see the impact of your SEO efforts and make adjustments as needed. Remember, SEO is an ongoing process, and the key to success is staying informed and adaptable. Keep an eye on your results, and don’t be afraid to tweak your strategy to achieve even better outcomes.

Boost Your Click-Through-Rate

When it comes to SEO, one of the key metrics to focus on is your click-through-rate (CTR). Your CTR is the percentage of people who click on your website or a specific link compared to the total number of people who see it. A high CTR means that your content is engaging and relevant to your audience, while a low CTR could indicate that your content is not resonating with users.

There are several strategies you can use to boost your CTR and drive more traffic to your website. One effective technique is to optimize your meta titles and descriptions. These are the first things users see in search engine results, so they need to be compelling and relevant to attract clicks. Make sure to include relevant keywords in your titles and descriptions, and try to create a sense of urgency or curiosity to entice users to click.

Another important factor in boosting your CTR is to focus on creating high-quality, engaging content. Users are more likely to click on a link if they believe the content will be valuable to them. Make sure your content is well-written, informative, and visually appealing. Consider using eye-catching images or videos to grab users’ attention and keep them engaged.

Additionally, you can improve your CTR by optimizing your website’s loading speed. Users are more likely to click away from a website that takes too long to load, so make sure your site is fast and responsive. You can also utilize schema markup to enhance your search engine listings and make them more attractive to users.

Boosting your CTR is essential for driving more traffic to your website and improving your overall SEO efforts. By optimizing your meta titles and descriptions, creating high-quality content, and improving your website’s loading speed, you can increase your CTR and attract more visitors to your site. Remember to continually monitor and analyze your CTR metrics to make informed decisions on how to further optimize your website for better results.Conclusion


There you have it! By following Google’s own guidelines and implementing these SEO best practices, you’ve equipped yourself with a powerful arsenal to improve your search ranking. Remember, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Stay committed to creating high-quality content, optimizing your website, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and track your results. SEO Sage Sarah is here to cheer you on every step of the way! If you have any questions or need help with a specific SEO challenge, feel free to leave a comment below. Let’s conquer the search engine results pages together!

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