10 Ways To Optimize Your Website to Improve Search Rankings

search rankings
Image by Edho Pratama From Unsplash

Search Engine Optimization needs to be at the top of your priority list if you are relying on people to find you through Google searches. Generating leads for your business becomes a lot harder if nobody can find you. in the first place.

93% of experiences on the internet start with a search engine. Google's top search results have a 33% chance of getting clicked. This means you’re missing out on a third of potential traffic if you are not at the top of your Google search page. So, if you are wondering why your website is not ranking higher like the other websites on Google, it is because they are making a conscious effort to improve their SEO.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of ten ways how you can optimize your website to rank higher on search results.

But first, let’s dive into what SEO is and how it works.

What Is Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is often known as the science and art as the science and art of getting pages to rank higher in search engines like Google.

You will often see in Google and other search engines like Bing, that paid advertisements are usually at the top of the search results page, followed by the regular results. These regular results are also called organic search results.

Organic search traffic is a term used to refer to the traffic that comes by proper Search Engine Optimization and not through paid search.

Search engine marketing (SEM) or pay-per-click (PPC) are the terms used to refer to paid search. The higher your visibility in search results, the higher your ranking and therefore, the higher the number of customers.

How Does Search Engine Optimization Work

Search engines have spiders or automated robots. These spiders collect all kinds of information and data about your website on the pages that make it up. This helps them to easily determine when to push a page on your website to the searcher.

The spiders collect title tags, internal linking, page speed, social signals, backlinks, and many more. There are multiple things to consider when trying to optimize a website.

With over 200 ranking factors used by Google in their algorithm, you have to determine how well your site is optimized in both off-page and on-page ranking.

One important thing to consider here is that the spiders are automated by computer programs and not actual human beings. Hence, these have limitations. They cant view a website as normal humans can. They crawl the code of the website which implies that they cant see videos or images or audio clips or flashy designs.

10 Proven Ways To Optimize Your Website To Rank Higher In Search Results

1. Improve Site Crawlability

Crawlability means the spider’s or search bot’s ability to crawl or access all the content throughout your site. If those spiders cannot access your web pages to index your content, your pages will never be ranked high in the search results.

To ensure access to the bots, make sure you have a good linking structure that fluidly connects all your web pages. Use a robots.txt file to exclude the pages you don’t want to be crawled.

Moreover, Google’s search console not only lets you see which pages have been crawled but also has a robots.txt generator you can use.

2. Optimize Images and Visuals

You might have added tons of images to your website to make it look more appealing. But you have to make sure to optimize these properly if you want to improve your website’s SEO ranking.

3. Ensure Quality Outbound Links

Outbound links are one of the best ways to increase the credibility of your website. One important thing is that all of your data claims should be linked to authoritative and trustworthy sources.

You can also use outbound hyperlinks to websites with high domain authority. Make sure all the information or links from the hyperlinks are up-to-date.

You’ll also have to include internal links to improve your Search Engine Optimization. These links direct your visitors to other pages of your website. This allows your users to search through your content more and hence, improves your SEO.

4. Display Accurate Contact Information

To improve the credibility of your website, it is crucial to provide accurate and updated contact information.

Make all your contact information clear and in plain sight, for people to find. If you don’t do so, the worst thing that could happen is people will start reporting your website only because you forgot your email address, location, and phone number.

Having your website marked as spam is bound to crush your SEO efforts. This is one of the easiest yet most dangerous factors to overlook.

5. Get The Right Keywords

Google uses over 200 factors in its algorithm to determine search rankings. Here are some of the key factors that can have a massive impact on your SEO efforts.

google search ranking factors
Image from Quicksprout

You might know it already but keywords play a very significant role in improving your SEO. You might want to include your keywords sparingly, but enough to spread them out throughout your content.

Remember not to go overboard with and saturate your website with keywords. More keywords don’t mean a better ranking. In fact, your ranking will take a hit when Google picks up on this, and it will.

Make sure your keywords fit naturally in your sentences by including them in image captions and header tags. Try using long-tail keywords. These are three or four-word phrases used by searchers to look for specific content.

For instance, if a user is looking for a phone to buy, and wants the phone to be suitable for gaming, they would probably not search for “phone”. Instead, they’d usually search for “best phones for gaming”, or “gaming phones under $500”.

Ranking for these long-tailed keywords will give you a greater chance of ranking higher, as these usually drive high-quality traffic.

6. Create Engaging Titles And Descriptions

You need to write an engaging title for the pages of your website within 65 characters. Although there’s no strict character limit for titles, it will however get cut off after 65 characters, when displayed in the search results.

Here are a few tips on how to make sure your titles are click-worthy:

7. Optimize Loading Speed

Nowadays, when accessing a website, people expect it to load quickly. This is a very important factor to consider while optimizing your website.

Your website is highly unlikely to rank higher through Search Engine Optimization if your website takes ages to load.

These are a few loading speed benchmarks to take note of:

8. Ensure Quality Backlinks

When another site links your site in their content, either because they like your content or you have high authority, these links are known as backlinks.

But how are you supposed to ensure the quality of these backlinks?

Creating engaging content will opt for other websites to want to share which will also allow them to include these backlinks to their sites.

Apart from unique content, good infographics and interesting statistics are a great way of driving backlinks. You can also build and monitor your backlinks easily with BacklinkSEO.

BacklinkSEO allows you to optimize your backlink workflow along with saving hours outreaching. You can also get competitor insights, monitor unlimited keywords, import your backlinks automatically, manage projects, have detailed reporting, and more.

9. Craft Engaging Content

SEO can only be as good as your content. Long-tailed keywords won’t save you if you’re hosting poor-quality content on your website. This makes having great content a top priority for your website.

Plagiarized and duplicated content can be spotted through search engines and you will be penalized for doing so. Any page should have a minimum of 300 words of original content.

Huge paragraphs with little to no information can also hamper the quality of your content. If you have a lot to write, break it into smaller chunks and use lots of headings and subheadings to make them more readable.

Google introduced the E-A-T criteria in 2015.

E= Expertise A= Authoritativeness T= Trustworthiness

Google’s guidelines specified a few topics that require a high E-A-T score. For example, websites containing information about treatment for cancer and other sensitive subjects need to have higher E-A-T.

The content on these websites might include statements from recognized or experts in the field, or links to reliable sources such as .edu or .gov websites and peer-reviewed research to get a higher E-A-T score.

10. Get A Mobile App

This might come as a surprise, but creating a mobile app can actually be extremely effective for boosting your Search Engine Optimization efforts.

It may look like an expensive option (which it can be), but it's also an investment. You might also ask how exactly does it boost your SEO?

Recently, Google has started indexing apps on Google search with Firebase App Indexing. Users when searching for keywords in your niche will stumble across your app, which can drive traffic to your website as they’ll look for more information about it.

When your app pops up on a google search page, it automatically becomes a valuable source of information. If you have the expertise or the budget, this is an option you might consider seriously.

Final Thoughts

Now, that you know what SEO is, how it works, and how to use it for getting higher ranks, it’s time for implementation. The 10 optimization practices we’ve explained in this article can help you streamline your SEO efforts to get maximum results.

SEO is a continuous process. Make sure to evaluate your results and see what works for you and what doesn't. Having the right SEO tools can help you achieve exactly that.

If you’re looking for a backlink monitoring tool that helps you keep tabs on your backlink profile in real-time, BacklinkSEO is the perfect tool for you.

Create a free account on BacklinkSEO today and start gaining more backlinks and growing your traffic in no time!

2 Simple Ways To Check Your Website’s Ranking On Google

Your website’s ranking on the search engine results pages (SERPs) is one of the main ways to test the effectiveness of your SEO strategy. If you do not monitor your website’s ranking on Google, it could be next to impossible to acquire your desired position on the SERPs. The article will walk you through the process of checking your website rankings on Google step-by-step.

website rankings

According to recent studies, the first five organic results on the first page account for 67.60% of all the clicks. Therefore, the craze in the SEO industry for ranking on the first page of Google does not come as a surprise.

Now, not everyone can rank on the first page. This is because each page displays only ten organic search results. The good news is 21% of users will view more than one page in the search results. So, it’s still worth improving your SEO strategy in pursuit of ranking higher.

However, before you plan your strategy on making it to the top of the SERPs, you need to first assess your current ranking.

Website rankings fluctuate due to various reasons (which we will discuss below). Nevertheless, keeping a check on them can help you to get an idea of where you are headed with your current SEO tactics and strategies.

Otherwise, you could end up choosing unsuitable strategies, resulting in a waste of time, effort, and even money.

There are several free and paid tools that you can use to track your search rankings. But really, why go for paid tools for checking your website rankings when you can get more or less the same results by using the free tools available? Some paid tools may even lack sufficient data for new or small websites.

We will discuss two simple and zero-cost ways in which you can check your website’s ranking on Google. And the best part is, these methods can be used for any website: new and old, big and small.

First, let’s go over some key elements related to checking website rankings to aid your understanding of the topic.

What Are Ranking Positions?

Google aims to display the most relevant web pages in response to search queries. It intensively crawls its index of web pages to match every word or phrase that is typed in the search box.

The most relevant search results appear on the first page.

For example, the website that appears first for organic search results is said to have the 1st ranking position.

What Are Organic Search Results?

Over the years, Google Search has evolved to add several features that have drastically improved user experience. For example, if you search for 'coffee shop Boston', you will see that paid ads (indicated as ‘Ad’) are displayed first, followed by a local listing with a map, and then finally the organic search results. Here’s an example.

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Paid Ads
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Local listing
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Local Listing
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Organic search results

Organic search results are based solely on Google's formula and algorithm for providing accurate and relevant results.

Do note that ranking positions are only for organic search results; it does not account for the other types of search results which include images, maps, paid ads, etc.

Why Website Ranking Positions Differ

Google search results vary depending on:

Fluctuations to your website rankings caused by these factors can indeed make understanding ranking positions difficult. It’s not possible to get truly objective information on your ranking positions. Some people may as well feel that there is no such thing as ‘website rankings’. However, this limitation does not eliminate the need to track website rankings.

Okay, quick question. To understand the demographics (such as the age group) of your customer base, what would you do?

One way would be to calculate the average age to get an idea of which age group they belong to.

Similarly, to get around the limitations posed by Google’s algorithmic updates and other factors as outlined above, you could use average rankings to get an overall idea of your website ranking. We will show you how you can do this using Google Search Console in Method 1.

It may not be possible to completely stop these factors from influencing search results. Yet, knowing how they affect search results can help you to take steps to get data that you can act on. We will cover how you can get more authentic search results in Method 2.

So, without further ado, let’s look at the two simple ways you can use to check your website’s ranking position on Google.

Method 1: Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google through which you can get comprehensive insights about the performance of your website.

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Google Search Console

Here are some of its features as highlighted by Google:

In short, Google Search Console provides information about your website that can help you to improve its visibility and presence in the SERPs.

Let’s look at the steps that you need to follow to crack the ranking of your website.

Step 1

If you haven’t used Google Search Console previously, you'll need to first add and verify your website. Head over to Google Search Console to do this.

If you have done the above earlier, click on ‘Performance’ from the menu located on the left side of the page.

website rankings

Step 2

You will then see something like this:

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Performance report

The report shows insightful metrics about the performance of your site in Google Search results over time. Some of the metrics are search traffic, keyword rankings, impressions, click-through rates, etc. You can use filters and dimensions to get more narrowed down results, such as the location-based performance of your website.

As you can see in the first highlighted box at the top, the average position is 43.3.

According to Google, the average position value shown is the position of the topmost link to your website in search results, averaged across all queries in which your property appeared. So, for example:

  1. If the first query returns your website at positions 2, 4, and 6, its position value would be counted as 2, since the highest position is 2 here.
  2. The same goes for the second query. If your website is returned at positions 3, 5, and 9, 3 is taken as the position.
  3. The average position for these two queries would then be (2 + 3)/2 = 2.5.

A link must be within the viewing periphery of the searcher for its position to be recorded. For example, if the result is on page 4 of search results, but the searcher doesn’t go past page 1, then its position is not recorded for that query.

To dig deeper into your website ranking, click on ‘Search Type’ (the second highlighted box in the picture). Here, you’ll find data about the search appearance of your website in the following sections: Web, Image, Video, and News tabs.

Data is stored separately by each type. You can see click, impression, and position data for each search type, as shown below. The position data will tell give you an idea of your search rankings for each type of search.

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Check out this video to get a better understanding of the other parts of the Performance Report:

So, now you have a quick and simple way to analyze your keyword rankings using Google Search Console!

Method 2: Manual Checks

Running a manual check on your website rankings is the most straightforward yet effective way to check the ranking position of your website. Here are some steps you can take to get authentic search results.

Hide Private Mode

Head over to Google and type a keyword that you know you are listed for. If you are logged into your Google account, make sure you choose ‘Hide private mode’ from the ‘Settings’ option located below the search bar to get the most authentic results.

website rankings

Search Using Incognito Mode

As we have discussed earlier, most of the discrepancy in search results is due to personalization. If you search using incognito mode, your past search information won’t factor into the search results so you will get less subjective search results. Most popular browsers have an incognito mode that users can activate right from the menu or via settings.

Delete your browser data

Browser data is all the information that Google collects from your internet activity, such as the websites you visited, cache data save over time, and the cookies received from them. Clearing this data will enable you to reduce the personalization of search results.

These steps are crucial as you might believe your web page is performing better in the search results than it is if you rely on your own search experience.

Final Thoughts

So you see, checking website rankings aren’t as complicated as it may have seemed earlier due to the volatile nature of ranking positions.

You may use both the ways simultaneously to get an even better idea of your website rankings as well as to test the accuracy of the data you are presented. However, since the data is coming straight from Google, gross inaccuracies are unlikely.

Nevertheless, factors such as time lag may occasionally lead to gaps in the data, so it’s never a bad idea to use both the methods in conjunction with one another.

Lastly, remember to monitor your website rankings regularly, ideally at least once every week.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any queries.

BacklinkSEO is your one-stop solution for the management of your backlink profile. It streamlines the process of monitoring backlinks- one of the most important factors in SEO- and implementing outreach campaigns so that you can focus on the other aspects of SEO for your website. Check it out now!