Before starting this post about How to Get Higher Ranking in Google in 2019, let’s just imagine this situation for a bit: You have a blog or a business website, and you have done everything you can to get your website featured on top results of a search engine, which in this case is Google.
You have spent money on expensive themes and templates, hired expensive copywriters to churn out high-quality articles, you have been posting great contents regularly but still, you are not getting the results you want. You are nowhere to be found on the first page of google when visitors are searching for your keywords.
Why is it so? What have you done wrong? In this article, I’m going to tell you how to get higher Google rankings fast.
Along with that, you are going to learn about the checklist that top SEO gurus use. You will also learn why you might want to delete, yes, delete, half the pages on your website. And a simple trick you can use to improve your Google rankings fast.
With that, let’s dive into the checklist that SEO experts use to get higher Google rankings.
1. Your first step is to find and eliminate ‘zombie pages’:
Many people think that Google rewarded sites that publish lots and lots of unique content. But it is wrong. Today, I’m going to tell you the truth.
The truth is that Google doesn’t want you to publish content just for the sake of publishing content. In fact, a Google employee – Gary Illyes, recently stated that they prefer websites that publish fewer high-quality pages.
This quality over quantity approach is one of the secrets behind the blog’s success of Backlinko, one of the authority websites regarding backlinks, which gets over 150,000 unique visitors per month. Unlike most blogs, they only publish every four to six weeks. But when they do, they make sure each and every post is awesome.
Fortunately, many bloggers only published high-quality content on their blogs. So, that wasn’t an issue. The problem was their site had lots of zombie pages.
So, what are zombie pages?
Zombie pages are pages on your site that don’t provide any value. In theory, zombie pages are pages like old and outdated blog posts and press releases, category and tag pages, search results pages, eCommerce product pages that don’t get any sales, thin content pages, and pages with duplicate content.
For example, Proven.com shouldn’t have a ton of pages. After all, Proven is an online job board where job postings come and go. Despite that, they had nearly 50,000 pages indexed in Google.
That’s a lot!!!
As it turned out, Proven didn’t automatically delete their old job postings. So, these pages stuck around even though the job had been filled years ago. To make matters worse, Google was indexing their search result pages which are classic zombie pages. So, they realized their mistakes and finally took action. They deleted their old job postings and add the no-index tag to their search results.
Thanks to these changes, Proven now only has around 4,000 pages indexed. Which is 40,000 less than they had before.
2. Fix any technical SEO issues that your site has:
There are literally hundreds of technical problems that can impact your SEO. Fixing them is one of the fastest ways to get higher Google rankings.
That said, here are some of the most common technical issues that I see during SEO site audits. How can you find these technical SEO issues on your site? I recommend using the Raven tool Site Auditor or SEMrush’s Site Audit tool.
They’ll crawl your site and let you know about technical problems that might be hurting your site’s SEO. Fortunately, Proven didn’t have too many technical SEO issues. That’s mostly due to the fact that they deleted so many zombie pages.
“Fewer pages equals fewer problems”
The only problems they could find were some missing ALT text on images and a handful of duplicate titles. Not a big deal but worth fixing. As expected they quickly took care of all these technical SEO problems. Now that the Proven.com’s technical problems are fixed, it was time to optimize their content.
3. Basic and Advanced On-Page Optimization:
I probably don’t need to tell you that on-page SEO can make or break your site’s rankings. That’s why there is an entire point in this SEO checklist which covers on-page SEO.
If your blog or website has thousands of pages, then it is not possible to optimize every single one. So, you can choose your top 10 most important pages which could be blog posts and/or commercial pages, etc. Now target keyword for these posts and add that keyword to the top of the page.
Because Google puts more weight on words that appear at the beginning of your content. So, it’s important that your keyword shows up there. You can also sprinkled in a few LSI keywords like business tips.
“LSI keywords are terms that are closely related to your target keyword. When you include these LSI keywords in your content, you will get a rankings boost”
In fact, one recent Backlinko.com analysis of one million Google search results found that LSI keyword-rich content tended to outrank content that didn’t contain LSI keywords.
So, how can you use LSI keywords to get higher rankings?
Well, let’s say you just wrote an article about coffee. LSI keywords for coffee would be things like a mug, caffeine, and Starbucks. So, you want to make sure that you include those terms in your content.
4. Optimize your title and description tag for click-through rate (CTR):
You probably already know that CTR is a huge ranking factor right now. Think about it, if people searching for a keyword click on your result more than others, it tells Google that you are the best result for that keyword and you will rank higher in Google. In fact, a recently published Google research paper states that “Click-through read data has proven “to be a critical resource for improving “search ranking quality.”
So, it’s clear that CTR is an important ranking signal. The question is, how can you optimize for it?
Let me walk you through a real-life example: One of my friend’s blog had a huge list of job boards. Considering how epic this content was, it should’ve been ranking in the top three. But, his page was stuck in the fifth spot. And he had a feeling that the page’s title and description were hurting it’s CTR and rankings.
Here’s what he did to turn things around. First, he looked at the ad words ad that showed up when someone searched for best job boards
and other related keywords. He noticed that almost every ad used a specific number. And none of the ads used the term niche talent. So, he changed the title tag and his description tag to match this.
These changes boosted that pages organic click-through rate by 64.1%. And his blog currently ranks in the top three for his target keyword. Now that he improved his website’s click-through rate, it was time to optimize his site around another important ranking factor: ‘dwell time’.
5. Improve Dwell Time:
So, what is dwell time? And how can you optimize for it?
When someone searches for a keyword and clicks in a result, two things can happen.
They can stay on your site for a long time or they quickly click away. The amount of time someone spends on your site is known as dwell time. As you might expect, the longer your dwell time, in general, the higher your page will rank in Google.
Here’s what you can do to quickly improve your blog/website’s dwell time. First, move your content up so it appeared at the top of the page. You see if you have huge gaps, that will push your content below the fold. So, just cut this gap down by about 50%. If your post also has giant images, that will push the content down even more. Make these images smaller so they take up less room.
Next, make your website’s introductions more sticky.
Here’s the deal. When someone comes to your site from Google, your intro makes them stick around or click away. In fact, intros are so important that many SEO experts recommend that you spend more time on your intros than the headlines. So if your introductions weren’t formatted in a reader-friendly way. for example, all that text is squished together, etc, that’s really hard to read and will impact your CTR.
6. Improve your site’s loading speed:
Can making your site faster really improve your Google rankings? Definitely. In fact, a major search engine ranking factor study
found that faster loading pages tended to outrank slow pages. Here’s how to quickly evaluate and improve your site’s loading speed.
First, head over to Google PageSpeed Insights.
Just enter your site into the tool and fix the problems that it tells you about.
Next, check out GTMetrix.
Just like Google’s tool, GTMetrix will show you potential issues with your page’s code. But, it also lets you know about server hosting problems that can slow down your site.
For example, if your images weren’t compressed, they will take forever to load. Both the tools will show you this, And this single fix will make a huge impact on your loading speed.
These tools will help you to have your site optimized, error-free, and fast.
There you have it, my six-step checklist to improve your Google rankings. If you like this article, make sure to share this post with your friends, family, and colleagues.
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Now, I want to turn it over to you. Which tip from this post are you gonna try first? Are you gonna work on your dwell time? Or do you want to delete zombie pages? Let me know by sharing your thoughts.
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Thank you for reading.