Do you find it difficult to rank your blog in Google search results? Does your post get viewed, read, or shared by an adequate number of users in the online space? With a burgeoning number of digital audiences, getting noticed on the internet can be tricky. But as long as you get the basics right, you can draw attention without requiring to dedicate too much time or energy to the same.
In this brief guide, we have put together a list of 8 valuable tips that can help you rank high on Google, even when you are new to blog SEO. So, let’s begin without further ado.
Useful Tips for Ranking Your Blog Higher on Google
1) Find the Right Keywords
Keywords are words/phrases that you think people will use to find information on Google (or any other search engine for that matter). Every blog you publish should target certain keywords that are relevant to your post. This way you can make Google understand what your content is all about.
To get the most relevant keywords for your blog, it is highly recommended to use a keyword research tool. Popular tools include KWFinder, SEMrush, Keywords Everywhere, Moz Keyword Explorer, and Google Keyword Planner.
A research tool reveals your keyword’s average search volume, competitiveness, and even suggests related keywords.
Here are some tips to get the right keywords:
Focus on Just One or Two Keywords Per Blog: A mistake that many beginner bloggers make is using too many keywords in every blog. Focusing on just one or two keywords helps you target your article better.
Use Long-Tail Keywords: Short keywords with three or fewer words are searched quite frequently and, therefore, are more competitive. Long-tail keywords (i.e. those with four or more words) have fewer search results, so they are easier to rank for.
Put Keywords in Appropriate Places: Getting the right keywords isn’t enough. It is vital that you place them appropriately in your blog to get the most out of them.
The keywords should be a part of your blog title. They should also appear in the first 100-150 words of your blog. In the subsequent parts, they should be sprinkled throughout the post and not concentrated in a specific part.
2) Create an Appropriate Title for Your Post
As per a recent study, only 20% of the viewers read beyond the headlines. This means the success of your blog post depends, to a great extent, on your title. So, make your title stand out by optimizing it for search engines.
Here are some tried-and-tested tips for an SEO-friendly title:
- Include your primary keyword in the title, preferably in the beginning.
- Use attention-grabbing words such as ‘Free’, ‘Practical’, ‘Instant’, ‘Comprehensive’ to arouse readers’ curiosity.
- Keep it under 55 characters. Because only the first 55 characters will be visible in Google search results.
Some examples of effective blog title templates:
- How to Use (Noun) To Increase Your (Desired Outcome)
- How to (Verb) Your (Noun) For Huge Growth
- How to Rock a (Noun) That Will Save You Lots of Time
You can carry out A/B testing to find which headline works better than the others.
3) Make Your Blog Responsive
With mobile marketing becoming ubiquitous, Google has started using mobile-first indexing. This means it will look at your mobile website to determine how it ranks in search results. This holds true even when a search is made on a desktop.
So, it’s essential for your web servers to be mobile-friendly even when most of your audience accesses your site through a desktop. The easiest way to get this done is to choose a responsive WordPress theme. WordPress offers many responsive themes, you can pick the one that suits your preferences.
4) Optimize Your Blog for Featured Snippets
Now that Google has introduced featured snippets in its search results, optimizing content for these snippets makes sense.
Featured snippets appear before the first position (called as zero position) and are usually in the form of a list, table, paragraph, or video. Because they stand out in search results, snippets help you get more clicks and, therefore, more traffic to your blog.
Here are some instances of featured snippets:
Use them judiciously wherever possible in your content to get more traffic.
5) Optimize Images to Drive Traffic
Because Google has an image search as well, optimizing your images to drive blog traffic is a great idea. To accomplish this, add ‘alt text’ to all your images. Click on your image and add a suitable description in the Alternative text box. This will help Google recognize what your image is all about. It will also help your readers discover your content when they carry out an image search.
Besides adding text, make sure your images load fast. This can be done using a WordPress plugin such as reSmush.it, WP Smush or ShortPixel Image Optimizer. These will compress the images, helping them load easily when someone opens your blog.
6) Enhance the Loading Speed of your Website
Google considers page loading speed as a key ranking factor, so it’s vital that you make every effort to ensure your webpages load fast. To optimize the speed of your pages, go to PageSpeed Insights on Google, enter your URL and click ‘Analyze’. A description like this will appear:
Google will offer recommendations that, if implemented, can boost your website speed significantly.
In addition, you can install a caching plugin on your WordPress account to improve your speed. W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache, WP Rocket, and Hyper Cache are some of the best plugins that can help your page load faster.
In order to rank well on Google, you need to have high-quality backlinks. These links act as a vote of authority, making your content stand out.
Before creating a link-building strategy, make sure your content is high-quality because let’s face it-no one will link to your content if it is below par.
Once you are certain that your content is worthy of linking to, start reaching out to the influencers in your niche asking them to link to your content if they find it valuable.
That said, backlinks alone will not help you rank on the first few pages of Google. Google’s algorithms are immensely complex with over 200 ranking factors that determine the ranking of a particular page. To get your content ranked, it’s imperative that you have a robust content marketing strategy in place.
8) Enhance the User Experience of your Website
A high search engine ranking is directly correlated with an excellent user experience. If a user lands on your page that isn’t well-designed or doesn’t have the right information at the right place, he will abandon the site. This will signal Google that your page lacks relevant information and your site will go down the rankings.
There are several ways in which you can improve the user experience. Make your website easy to navigate. All the information including CTAs should be in the right place and easy to locate. Internal links should link out to relevant articles on your site.
In addition, the content you publish should be both reliable and relevant to your target users. Low quality or irrelevant content will increase your bounce rate, making your users leave your website without spending much time or taking the desired action.