Do you have a website, it's either new or improved or maybe your just really proud of it? You are excited and imagen your website ranking super high on Google and other search engines, but for some reason, you are just not seeing the results you planned for?
Maybe there is more to the problem than a mistake on Google's part or an internet black hole that is sucking up amazing content and websites! The truth is, there are many possible things you could do to fix your search engine ranking, and this blog post is a great place to start!
If you want to know how to make your blog post outshine the rest or boost your low ranking, keep reading for all the expert secrets.
On-page SEO is basically doing everything possible for each of your site pages to rank higher and get more relevant traffic in search engines. It is great for user experience and helping search engines understand your relevance.
This optimizing practice guarantees that nothing prevents you from ranking higher on search engines like Google.
If you are not practicing good on-page SEO you are sure to feel the burn when you don't see your website ranking on search engines, but lucky for you I have mapped out everything you have to do! Don't worry, you can thank me later.
Search engines use keywords to organize the tens of millions of gazillions (exaggeration intended) of web page results it has to sort. This way it can better provide results for search engine users because they rank your page depending on your keyword(s) in relation to a users keyword research.
This way, if a user searches the keyword ‘restaurant near me' they won't receive results about dentist clinics or lawn mowers (makes sense right?). So, using the right keywords is pertinent to ranking in the right SERPs and attracting your specific target audience.
To find your keywords, you can make a list of all of the terms and phrases that relate back to your business and niche. You can also look at what keywords your competitors are using.
There are multiple tools you can use to find the keywords you already rank for, the ones you should reach for, and which specific keywords are working the best for you on search engines. Some tools like kwfinder.com even show you which keyword research is the most popular in your city and how hard it is to rank for , you can even see what the top ranking results are for specific keywords.
As a side note, when certain keywords appear more often than others, it serves as an indication of your relevance for search engines. So, once you have found your main keywords for your niche and business, it's great to stay consistent with them as it provides better insight into the content on your website.
2. Quality Content
Your content is a major factor in on-page SEO, it's also the ‘make it or break it' moment when it comes to search engines.
I'm not just talking about blog posts here, every single page of your website needs to have optimized quality content. That means you are writing about 300 to 400 words that are actually useful to your audience. However, the word count also depends on the context of your page. Don't repeat yourself or write about useless things just to increase your word count (Google may see this as spam or low-quality content).
For a blog post, you should aim for 2,000 to 2,500 words. In most cases, the highest ranking results are around this and the goal is to either match that or better yet aim higher.
Also, it's not just about written content, you should have a diverse collection of content such as images, videos, infographics, and more. You can really be creative here!
When creating content, these are some things you should consider:
- Make your content useful.
- Direct your content to your target audience.
- Try and answer common questions and create solutions for your audiences' problems that relate back to your brand and niche.
- Talk about other things than yourself – You don't build your brand and website up by telling people how great you are, you show them through useful content and brand authority.
- Be consistent with posting content – Google likes to show users recent results for the most relevant information. So, the more you post the better (but don't get spammy!).
The Body Text
Now, obviously the body of your text is where all the ‘meat' is. The key here is to remember who you are creating content for. Although you want your keywords throughout your text, you don't want to keyword stuff. People won't enjoy reading a redundant and useless piece of text and it will not rank.
There are two things to note here,
- You need visual content within your web pages if you want to keep people's attention and lower your pages' bounce rate.
- Make sure to optimize your images by using your keyword in the file name and ALT attribute.
It's that simple, use visuals to enhance user experience and make sure to optimize every image to rank higher in SERPs.
4. The Slug
The slug, which is part of your page's URL describes the content of your page. You should always include your keyword in your slug as it really helps with SEO by providing more evidence for search engines to recognize the context of your content
Changing your slug also changes your URL so you have to redirect the old page using a 301 redirect. If you don't, search engine bots and site visitors will end up on your old URL as a 404 error page and let's face it, no one likes a 404 error page.
5. Title Tag
I always say, your title tag and meta description (coming up next) are like your first impression, so make it count.
The first thing that people see when searching for a keyword is the title tags of web pages. So, your title tag should be catchy and 100% relevant to the content on that page. The worst thing you can do is mislead someone, it both increases your bounce rate and lowers the authority of your website.
Also, search engines use metadata like your title tag to understand what your website is about. Every page has its own and you can optimize it to rank higher. To best optimize your title tag, place your keyword at the beginning of the title, this way it is sure not to be cut off.
6. Meta Description
The description of your page is so important because it describes to people what they will find if they click the link to your page.
When creating your meta description put your keyword at the beginning of the phrase and use a call to action like ‘click here' to encourage engagement.
These are great because they organize your page for a better user experience and indicate to search engines what your content is about. I'm sure you have noticed that a big part of on-page SEO is about the organization and defining your content for search engines.
Another way you can organize your content is by using a number system (like I have in this very post), this is a great way to create a better user experience and then possibly rank higher in search engines (another pro tip, no big deal).
Alright, we are getting into the more ‘coding' side of on-page SEO but I swear it is totally do-able and so worth it. Breadcrumbs, as you can see in the image below, show search engines the structure of your website more effectively.
They are also great for site visitors because once they have landed on one page, they can easily navigate through your website based on relevance to their research needs.
9. HTML Sitemaps
This is for more complex websites with multiple pages. It allows search engines and coders to read your website like a map.
This part is great because it allows search engines to understand the flow of your pages, the context of your whole website, the quantity, and quality of your content, and more.
10. Page Load Speed
Did you know that a second delay can cost you a 7% loss in conversion and 11% fewer page views? It doesn't sound like much but for a company like Amazon, it can lead to $1.6 billion in loss every year.
Make sure your website loads quickly to prevent people from leaving in frustration. You can do so by compressing your images, and more.
11. Mobile Optimization
At this point, Google penalizes websites that are not website optimized. So, make it a priority to have a website that not only fits every screen but is responsive as well.
Things buttons, videos, pop-ups, and animations don't always look as great on a mobile device as they do on a desktop computer. You should consider different sizes of screens when creasting your web pages for the ultimate user experience.
‘Baby Got Back(links)'
Backlinks are the links that direct people back to your website pages. You want to have a good amount of high-quality links if you want to rank. However, the quality of your links is way more important.
When I refer to ‘quality backlinks' I mean that the links need to be coming from reputable websites like directories and websites in your niche.
You can use a tool like this one to check your backlinks. But, if you don't have any yet or are lacking in quality ones, there are ways to increase high-quality links.
- Write quality content – The better it is, the higher chance people will want to share it.
- Reach out to other websites in your niche to share your content.
- Offer to write guest posts where you can put links going back to your website.
- Don't use sketchy backlinks because it doesn't look good. If you have backlinks from casinos, Google may rank you in that category. So, always make sure your content is up to date.
Social media indirectly affects your search engine ranking because it builds your authority and audience loyalty. Also, it's a great way to create links back to your website.
You can use a tool to see which of your content is shared the most on social media, it's a great way to know what type of content your audience wants.
Keep Your Friends Close and Your Enemies Closer.
One great way to rank on search engines is to look at the next door neighbors tactics. If your competitors are ranking then they have to be doing something right, right?
You can look at the
- keywords used
- website layout
- social media activity
- and overall SEO tactics
This is a great way to get inspired and lead you in the right direction to rank in search engines. It also shows you what your competitors may be lacking and how you can ‘one-up' your opponent.
You Did All That And You Still Aren't Ranking?
Here are some other possible reasons why you can't find your website in search results:
- Your content isn't in-depth enough.
- You are using poor grammar and spelling.
- You didn't inform Google after changing URLs – They show you how to do it here.
- Your niche is really competitive.
- Your website isn't indexed. You might have an amazing website, you put a ton of work in your SEO but you are not seeing yourself in the results. The problem might be that Google has not yet indexed your website. You can check it by simply searching on Google site:yourwebsite.com. If your website is indexed you should find a list of results of all of your web pages. If not, you need to go to the search console to tell Google “hey, I'm here, validate me!”