Google’s algorithm can be a pain in the behind sometimes.
When it comes to beating your competitors, you want your business to rank as high as possible on Google’s search engine. Everyone wants better search engine rankings because organic traffic drives business. But not everyone knows how to navigate the ever-changing landscape of search engine optimization.
Increasing your Google ranking means spending a little more time on the content you put out and what words you use. Your content needs to be stellar and provide value to your reader; all links in and out of your content need to be flawless; the keywords you use can influence where you land on the Google search page. It’s a combination of some research and fixing up but it’s the close attention to detail that will push your website ahead of the game.
Tip #1 – Research Your Keywords
When it comes to keywords, there are two types you should be looking at: short-tailed and long-tailed keywords. Short-tailed keywords are those individual words like “marketing” or “digital” that are vague and are less specific than long-tailed words. Long-tailed keywords are much more specific and show up less frequently. Webpages will rank much easier if you incorporate longer terms that focus on your product or service.
Let’s say you’re searching for terms related to digital marketing. In Chicago alone, there are hundreds of marketing agencies that work in the digital landscape so you need keywords that will help your business stand out.
Log-in to your Google AdWords account to get started. Under “keyword planner”, type in your long-tailed keyword to begin searching for other term suggestions. Let’s use the term “digital marketing strategy” as an example.
To find similar key terms, select “keyword ideas” and you’ll see keywords plus how often they’re searched in a month.
One thing to keep in mind is Fortune 500 companies typically dominate search engine results and they have the money to spend on their SEO. If you’re on a small budget, focus on less competitive terms that would still be used by your target market and stays true to your business’s mission.
If Google Keyword Planner isn’t your thing, keywordtool.io is a free keyword tool that proves just as useful as AdWords. Regardless of which platform you choose to use, long tailed keyword research is absolutely necessary to write content that will grab Google’s attention.
Tip #2 – Incorporate Keywords in Your Content
The goal of all your research should be to create the best content available on Google for anyone searching for your keywords. After using your keyword finder, you should have several high-competition terms that you can include in your written content.
A simple way to incorporate keywords is by paying attention to your titles and headlines. A strong first impression can lead to an increase in viewership. Let’s say you want to write a piece covering digital marketing and ways to improve your strategy. Going back to your Keyword Planner, the top two results we get are the following:
For the sake of this example, we’ll go with the term “marketing strategies” to incorporate into our headline. Next, consider the type of article you’re creating and what your readers want to see. Are you posting your tips as bullet points? Are you drafting an essay-like how-to guide with lengthy paragraphs? The actual content you’re producing should have some influence on the naming of your piece. If you’re creating a list of marketing strategies, your title might read something like this: “5 Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Website SEO”. As you incorporate your long-tailed keywords into your headlines, make sure it reads naturally; Google looks for that natural flow in any inbound marketing campaign you launch.
A piece of advice: search for your long tailed keywords in Google and scroll to the bottom to see how individuals are searching for these terms. If we take the word “what is digital marketing” from our search above, Google returns the following:
This reveals the natural language people are using to search for long tailed keyword online and it tells us a lot about the individual. As you go to write your content, see if there are any terms you might be able to squeeze into your writing. If someone is searching “what is digital marketing” then they’re most likely going to be new to the world of digital marketing. An appropriate piece for this type of reader might be a beginner’s guide to SEO that explains digital marketing in its entirety.
Tip #3 – Balance Your Inlinks with Your Outlinks
It’s important to remember that Google ranks webpages based on the number of links that point in and out of a webpage. Providing links to important pages are likely to increase your Google ranking because you are recommending a page with tons of value. Think of a website as an individual who recommends other websites. A recommendation from the CEO of a company is much more valuable than a recommendation from a stranger. If you are a very important website and you include one or two links to other sites, those sites you link to will be viewed with high regard.
But be careful with the number of links you include going out of your website. If your page only has outlinks and zero inlinks, that’s akin to an individual who is generous and shares the wealth but receives nothing in return. Similarly, if your website is only filled with inlinks then you might be a very powerful website who doesn’t help others. Balancing your inlinks with your outlinks keeps your website from hogging all the power and a healthy balance will help your rank increase.