How to improve search engine ranking: Advanced guide.
To understand better let’s personify Google search engine. Here we’ll take Google search engine as example as it is the biggest and most used search engine across the globe.
Google search engine is a peon.
School being the Google ecosystem with thousands of students(information).
End user as parents
The index database+knowledge graph being the head master.
Now imagine this situation, when a parent comes to school for a parent’s meet (end user reaching out to the search engine for information). Parent would need to reach out to the peon (search engine) to meet their kids (get information from search engine)
The real magic happens now
The peon (search engine) would note names of the students and their class (keywords) reach out to head master (indexing database and knowledge graph) to know whose parents are they.
Head master (indexing database and knowledge graph) would give the details (relevant search results) from the register (database) and now the peon would go to that class and bring the students(search results). Catch here is that there are more than 2 students with same name in that class.
Peon, not knowing who the right kid is will bring all the students with same name in front of the parents (end user) and parents would identify their kid (select most exact result from the search results) and let other kids go back.
This exactly happens when a user searches on Google. The query that end user searches for are scanned by Google search engine, keywords are identified (long before user finishes typing as suggestion) and the “relevant” result containing those keywords are served. This cycle repeats every time when a search is made.
There are over 200 factors which determine the google ranking of a webpage (almost all major search engines) and permutation and combination of which is beyond calculation. Ways to improve google ranking has been most common task done by webmasters. The major ones that directly affect the rank are listed and discussed below.
Deserving rank #1 factor that heavily affects the rank. After the biggest update in Google search algorithm Penguin 4.0 last year, Google is focusing a lot on Long tail keywords as it’s the most used format of search done Google and heavily understood by the search engine itself. Instead of using keywords like
- Baseball bats
- Metro timings
Use Long tail keywords like
- Baseball bats for kids
- Baseball bats for sale
- Baseball bats online
The reason for choosing a long tail keywords in your article is because they are more specific and results are more accurate from search engine and for end user.
Another reason would be the conversion rate. If you are a e-commerce business holder or even a affiliate marketer, user with a mindset of buying something for sure would be using exact words as they themselves want best results. And if we as blogger miss using the keywords end users mostly use, we’re at huge loss or both traffic and revenue.
It is highly recommended to work on Long Tail keywords as it is the maximum source of traffic. However short tail keywords work really well but when compared to Long tail keywords, it’s way ahead in quality of results.
Best way of using the long tail keywords is to place them in the title and meta description. It is also recommended to use the keywords in the first paragraph of your post.
How to research on keywords?
There are ample number of tools in the market for keywords research but as a beginner blogger we’d not be in a position to subscribe a premium version of those tools. But don’t worry, there are tools totally free and equally powerful.
- Google keyword planner: A free tool from Google to plan your post. It’s actually for planning the ads on AdWords platform but it’s effectively usable for planning blog posts too. Here you need to enter the keywords you intend to use, and click get ideas. And in the next page, look for the best long tail keyword that would amazingly suit your idea. Doesn’t matter if it has a huge competition, use it as it has huge search frequency.
- Google search text box: The suggestion are brought into use to ease the end users search and facilitate their search experience. But we as blogger can (it’d sale should) use it to power our post so as to reach the maximum readers.
- Related searches section: This is the section that appears at the bottom of the search results. Which are equally accurate as the search results are. This can come handy when you have to synonimize your keywords, which is also one of the technique to get search engine’s attention. It’s known as LSI technique, also there is a tool to provide LSI keywords.
- Google Trends: As the name suggests, google trends keeps records of trends going on (in terms of keywords) across the globe on their search engine. All you have to do is find the right trend (keywords) going on in your target region/country with respect to your topic. It will result in tremendous outcome in favor of your blog post. You can sort interest by region, find rising keywords (must try stuff) and related topics too.
Content is undoubtedly the king for content marketers. If you have a business and you depend on organic traffic for your business online then there isn’t anything better other than content marketing to put your products & services in front of billions of people.
Content means nothing if it doesn’t get the traffic that it deserves. No matter how amazing the content is, if it does not appear in front of people who are looking for information it’s nothing more than few paragraphs of meaningful content.
Also writing in-depth articles is equally important. It gives you more room to use more long tail keywords and hence keyword density is also taken care. And since you have more long tail keywords your chances of ranking higher increases exponentially.
And as a user, who wouldn’t like in-depth articles covering almost everything of what they are looking for ? A minimum of 1200 words is standard now hence to outstand this standard, I’d recommend you to go beyond and put in atleast 2000 words to rank well and produce evergreen content. Allow me to remind you that evergreen content never stops getting traffic and it’s like wine “older the better”
Consider using short URLs as they are easy to remember and easy to crawl. But this increases your work of deciding what keywords should come in the URL, take time and decide well on this. Backlinko says shorter URLs gets most of the traffic as users find it easy to read.
How to create a good article that gets constant traffic ?
A decent blog post should begin with the problem itself, then solution followed by alternatives (if any) and conclusion. Content should be user friendly and not search engine friendly, because at the end of the day it is the readers who’d like, share or comment on your content and not the search engine. Now what is the difference between a blog post with very little or no traffic (from search engine) and a super hit blog post with huge traffic (majorly from search engine) ?
What magic do those people add in that post which makes it a magnet to iron solid traffic from search engine ? After following the pattern of the blog posts from top bloggers/content marketers I realized one major thing, “content is the king” if you manage to provide detailed & deep content to a problem, you are actually bribing search engine to bring tremendous traffic to your posts/site/blogs.
So let’s have a look at those magical wands that make these things happen.
Things mentioned here are with respect to you, hence putting you in shoes of those top content marketers and making you owner of a super hit blog for a while.
- Niche: Identify the area you can write amazingly on. Doesn’t matter how small it is, it’s still an information for people seeking it, how to open a campaign bottle is still a information for a person who’s has never tried doing it.
Be a little choosy while rounding off a niche. No idea is small, even if you are intending to write on “How to effectively open a campaign bottle?” just write it, it’s still an information.
If you don’t believe this, search anything on google and check the results count under the search box, you’ll be amazed to see how many people on this planet think exactly like you. There many people seeking information always, no exceptions. Analyze what other people are serving, find what they’re missing.If you’re really a expert of that topic, you surely will find a loop hole as there always is. No one is perfect. Once you decide the content, you’ll have a clear picture of your target audience.
- Audience: Research on your audience. What are they looking for, how they act to a piece of information, how to implement it and all that’s needed to establish a good ambiance for your readers. Tools like Alexa & SEMrush would be useful to understand your target audience with the content (keyword wise) as base.
Demographics play a super important role in connecting with readers. It’s as important as your content. Delivering a good quality content at wrong time means nothing to reader as they already have information with them (doesn’t matter if it’s lower in quality than yours). Demographics gets you that knowledge of right time.
Before you publish your content spend time to work where your future loyal reader spend their time also find the reason why they spend their time there ? what that site serves, how they serve and how differently you can serve to your readers.
- SEO Optimize: SEO optimized sites are magnets to iron solid traffic (which in turn transforms into revenue by various means) and as a surprise wordpress takes care of most of the SEO. Take care of few SEObasics to begin with. Advanced level SEO tips aren’t needed for now.
- Practice: These are the baby steps one needs to take in order to slowly but surely grow. Continuously, innovatively and cautiously govern your activities over these basic steps. Create your own schedule to manage your work for the blog, being consistent in producing content is highly recommended (but never be consistent in the content you produce, keep improving on how & how much you deliver. Consistency is death)
The two factors mentioned above are the major and most important factors to focus on when your intention is to rank on 1st SERP. Apart from these there are multiple other factors that bring your post to top of SERP, let’s see those.
Search engines trusts backlinks like we trust search engine for quality of search results. Backlinks are nothing but the referrals from other sites that point to your blog post. Higher the quality of backlinks higher are the chances of getting higher ranking.
Backlinks are one of those 200 factors used to rank a piece of information and all the major search engine giants focus very keenly on backlinks to rank your blog. Having said this, it’s recommended to focus on backlink building once you post your content and are in promotion phase.
Search Engine again considers the site from which your post is getting backlinks. Higher the standard of the site higher is the quality of backlink for that post. Do consider building links internationally. It’ll help you scale up faster and leave deep routes into the web and your content will outstand many locally targeted blogs.
How to get quality backlinks from trusted sites ?
1. Social Media Promotion: First things first, social media is one platform for all your business promotion. Whether you own a e-commerce business, a product & service business or any other business that needs attention to grow. All the social media platform have their own way to promote any content (ads in case of paid promotion) on their platform. And depending upon the promoting technique your content is expected to be upto the par. Few big names in this list include.
Facebook: This has to rank #1 as this platform is source of inspiration for many such platforms. Facebook is having over a billion active people and millions of active user daily. Facebook gets billions of posts (in form of photos,videos, text content, GIFs) and all these posts are so curated that it reaches each member’s feed in the network of each member in the network.The Facebook network is so huge that one post has potential to reach millions and millions of people if targeted well. And if the content is amazing then there is no need to go for paid promotion on Facebook. The viewers would do that for you, all you have to do is create some amazing content and push it into the endless stream of Facebook.Facebook provides amazing tools to put your business into millions of users. Tools like Facebook page, groups are best in the arsenal along with techniques like comments and share.
Quora: My personal favorite for so many reasons. No paid promotion to reach large audience, super powerful algorithm to find exactly what you want to and target to exactly to whom we intent to.Just find relevant questions and answer it with best of content, don’t forget to leave necessary redirects(without spamming) to your original blog post. And make sure you write so helpful post that the readers would convert to followers and hence increase your reach as a blogger.
Medium: Another platform that is getting a lot of lime light these days. Similar to quora but very very powerful. It takes a lot of care while creating the content to reach the feeds. The algorithm is so designed that only the trending stories would reach the top of the feed unlike Facebook it doesn’t have stack approach.Feeds have most trending article on top based on people, tags, publications you follow. But if you make it to the feeds on medium, huge traffic is definite.
Pinterest: This social media is a blend of Instagram and Facebook. This social network also works on photos which they refer to as Pins. Unlike Instagram your photos are clickable and you can mention the url you want the reader to be redirected to. Like Facebook pinterest also has huge traffic covering almost everything under the universe.You can have boards containing common pins which are nothing but photos containing clickable links. I myself get huge traffic from the boards on blogging tips on pinterest. It’s more or less a photo curating platform and it has huge market value as any photo you see on the web has save button when hovered on it.
Instagram: 500+ million monthly active users, just a little over 300 million users active on daily basis. 95+ million photos a day, which comes around 216,000 photos a minute, 4.2 bn likes a day.That’s enough stat to convince you pull out the max from Instagram. Apart from source of traffic, Instagram also is revenue generating pool for people. Creating a catchy image and leaving a link to redirect users is one thing that’s worth doing on Instagram.
Google plus: How about playing around in Google’s ecosystem and increasing chances of getting indexed easily. As you’ve left your presence on a Google product and this wont go unnoticed. Google plus is powered by communities and collections where in you can showcase your posts. Google+ plus only source of traffic initially for my blog.
To summarize backlinks from any social networks will be considered a good quality backlinks and high traffic from the social networking site would slowly but eventually push your content to the top of SERPs. Both paid and organic would be considered for ranking but organic will take lead naturally.
2. Commenting: Commenting on blogs with similar niche as yours is a psychological way to get some attention from a senior blogs. People love options and when you engage on well established blogs via comments with a valid discussion point and leaving a link to what you have to serve would give really nice quality back links that would help rank your blog higher.
3. Engaging on forums: Google groups is a classic example to this. Reddit, Disqus, stack overflow follows in the list. All you have to do is find relevant topics questions or discussion, put up your opinion with valid links without spamming the discussions. Good groups being Google’s own product it’s worth time spending there to get backlink.
4. Guest post: This is well know way to get backlinks from reputable sites. It’s a win-win situation for both. You will get backlinks and they will get a good quality post. Many blogs are open for guest posts (provided your content is interesting and original. This is the most effective and guaranteed way to get quality backlinks.
5. Content Marketing: When it comes to product & service based business content marketing is proven way to get your business to the next level. A study by Hubspot says that businesses that focus on blogging get 67% more leads and as a blogger it’s a amazing time to learn unexplored things in this field and as a business owner it’s amazing opportunity to reach newer heights.
#4 Blog Design
Remember, you are creating content for users and search engine. If your blog is full of high quality SEO elements and techniques implementation but if your site is not user-friendly then your rank is surely gonna be beyond imagination. So make sure your blog has super easy navigation and is decent enough to be readable. Before pushing your content to the billions of readers first read at your end, get into reader’s shoes and analyze will you as a reader read what’s on your site ?
I’m sure you would design your blog as per your likes and dislikes and hence you’ll keep your blog a super decent one. Focus a bit more on readability i.e. fonts and it’s size, color combination of tabs (it shouldn’t be eye hurting) and the widgets you use.
#5 Speed up your blog
Average user waists for 3 seconds for the content to load, if it doesn’t they simply skip and move to next result. So even if your content is #1 on the first page it’s of no use. Test the site speed by various tools available and analyze the area you need to work upon to outsmart your competitors.
Ranking #1 in SERPs is not a day or two’s task. It takes time and continuous efforts in order to see best results. All that’s mentioned here is proven way to rank higher and it has worked for many (including me) it will surely work for you too and many others. There are major steps needed to get the best out of search engine and make the most out of organic traffic.
Do share you valuable comments below and do share this easy guide to let many beginners grow.
Originally posted on Smarter World- btriks