According to insights from the Search Engine Journal, roughly 25 percent of online users click the first result they see on a Google search page. That priority (digital) real estate doesn’t come easy—but it’s not impossible to achieve either. There’s no silver bullet to boost your rankings, but you can implement these three essential tips to get you on a pathway to the top:
Tip #1: Focus on Website Quality
It’s easy to only focus on the content users see in the search results, but the way Google “ranks” the quality of your web page begins long before the meta description. Google’s algorithm measures the quality of your website (and its content) to help assess if you should be in the top spot. After all, they want their users to find the best answer to their query.
You should start with a thorough audit of your website. Ask yourself:
- Does my website contain high-value content or is it full of filler material?
- Do all my website’s web pages load correctly, along with the content (i.e., images, video, and text) they contain?
- How quickly does my website load?
- Is my website easy to navigate? How quickly can a user find what they need?
- Does each page description accurately describe its contents?
Once you’ve completed a robust audit, you can use your findings to optimize and improve your website. But how do you measure up against the competition? While you can’t know for sure, Domain Authority and Domain Ratings are good indicators of potential success. These scores rate the quality of your website against all other websites and rank them on a scale of 1 – 100. The higher your score, the more likely you will get the edge over other landing pages.
Tip #2: Fill Out Your Google Details (Completely)
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often businesses forget to “fill out” all the relevant details. For example, a business listing should include hours of operation, address, or an overview of services and products—all of which can be updated directly through Google. Similarly, you should include a headline, meta description, and relevant child pages for a specific landing page.
You’d be surprised how often an incomplete page or listing is what turns a user away from clicking through the content. And even more surprising? Google is watching your content, too. Missing details or lack of information can hurt your ranking.
Tip #3: Use Smart Keywords
Most digital marketers are familiar with keywords and how they inform content. Keywords can (and should) help craft your meta descriptions and content to become more search-worthy. But not all keywords are created equal, and just because they’re popular doesn’t mean they’ll help you reach the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Two metrics are most commonly used to measure keywords:
- Volume: the number of individual searches for a keyword or phrase per month
- Difficulty: the percentage or degree of difficulty it will be to rank for that keyword or phrase
Ideal keywords have high volume and low difficulty metrics, meaning that a specific string of words garners a lot of attention every month but doesn’t have a lot of competition. However, targeting phrases with low difficulty and volume can still be valuable for local keywords. This is because limiting your keyword radius limits the number of users (so you won’t have as many people searching per month).
Final SEO Reminders
Now, remember: improving your search ranking isn’t a “one and done” initiative. For every campaign, execution, or idea, remember to:
- Evaluate: analyze your work and measure its success against your benchmarks
- Optimize: pivot or tweak your content based on findings
- Repeat: relaunch your content or campaign
If you don’t see results right away, don’t give up. Keep going, and keep reevaluating your approach! SEO is a slow burn, but it changes the game when you get it right.