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!

How to Optimize a Website for Google Search: 7 Broad Steps to Rank Higher on SERPs

Put your hands up if you ever faced this question, “How to Optimize a Website for Google?”. The truth is that the answer isn’t as straightforward as the question. Getting to the core would require a human to write for days endlessly.

Hence, we have come up with 7 broad categories of steps that you can undertake to optimize your website for Google search.

website optimization graph

How to Optimize a Website for Google Search in 7 Broad Steps

Proper Homework on your Existing Website Data

People often jump on the bandwagon of website optimization without a solid clue of what to optimize for. Website optimization is not limited to proper keyword research, SEO, or rankings only. Rather, SEO is only a part of it.

Hence, make sure you analyze your data before doing anything rash. A solitary piece of data might mean nothing. However, as you start to gather lots and lots of data, you start to see a pattern.

Every issue above has a distinctly different solution. Hence, before you optimize a website for Google search, make sure that you have identified the core issue. Otherwise, you will be investing a lot of time and money in dead-ends.

Some Key Metrics that you can Analyze in Google Search Console

Analyze the data and derive a specific pattern, if any. Does your data seem to be significantly skewed? If yes, why is it skewed? What did you do differently? What did your successful competitors do better?

Now, list down the issues and probable solutions. One of the easiest ways to do so is replicating and reverse-engineering your competitors’ strategies. The goal is to redo everything better.

Optimize a Website for Google through Keyword Research

You would be surprised at what keyword research can do. It is literally a demand graph for what people are looking for. Using the research to advantage can significantly optimize a website for Google.

Find the Core, Secondary, and Accessory Keywords

A core keyword is ideally the word/phrase for which your page tries to rank #1 in SERPs. On the other hand, secondary keywords are queries that have a close relationship with the core one.

Secondary keywords are found at the bottom of any SERP. Moreover, your keyword planner tool is also likely to display secondary keywords.

secondary-keywords
Secondary keywords for the search query “Link Building”

Finally, accessory keywords are the probable queries that pop up when searching for a core keyword. These keywords are usually found in the People Also Ask Section of a SERP. Furthermore, they can also be ideally found in your keyword planner tool.

accessory keywords list
Accessory keywords for the search query “Link Building”

The Gospel Truth about Keyword Research

Most marketers will admit to this mistake. As soon as they find the list of the keywords, they start optimizing each page for the core keyword. Hence, remember the gospel truth.

Optimize only one page for one core keyword.

Create a pillar architecture. In this system, you need to optimize the pillar page for the core keyword. You should also utilize your secondary keywords in the pillar page. Finally, the accessory keywords are used as topic clusters or supporting pages for the pillar page.

internal link system between pillar page and support pages
Pillar Page Architecture

This architecture is most suitable for blog pages and such. However, they can also be utilized in e-commerce as well.

Analyze your Competition

This discussion had to come eventually. Analyzing your competition is the easiest step in your keyword research. Here is how you do it.

What number do we mean by low SEO difficulty?

Lend me your ears. IT DEPENDS. But that’s not the answer you would take. So, if we had to ballpark a figure in KWFinder, the recommended SEO difficulty to aim for is below 40. For ahrefs, the bar somewhere near 30. Then again, we are no fortune-tellers. These are general estimates mostly.

Optimize a Website for Google through Resourceful Content

You might have conducted deep keyword research. You now have great website insights. However, nothing matters if not for the content. Creating resourceful, relevant, and useful content is and will remain the key step to optimize a website for Google search.

Replicate your Competitors

As with keyword research, one crucial step in content creation is analyzing and improving on your competitors’ status.

Firstly, create a list of top-performing websites and their content. Next, you create an Excel sheet for the following content metrics.

The goal is to emulate your competition. However, the trick is to improve on every mentioned factor and more. For instance,

Designing Original Studies

If you have been in the content industry for a while, then you must know how people drool over original studies. Creating original studies will have positive consequences on your link building campaign as well.

However, it’s not easy. You must have a good knowledge of research methodology and hypotheses. Nonetheless, one of the easiest ways to design an original study is to conduct an online survey.

You can use Google Forms or Typeform to create unique and robust online forms. Then, circulate the questionnaire to your contact list. You can even send cold emails. However, remember the thumb rule of communication. Always personalize your message and tailor them to your audience's needs.

The next step is simple. Compile the data. Analyze them. Look for patterns. Finally, publish them to create a unique study based solely on the findings. Now anyone willing to use the secondary data must link back to your study.

Creating Gripping Content

What do we mean by ‘gripping content’? In this age of information, where visitors are consuming information 24/7, it is extremely tough to hook the readers. Hence, words are not enough anymore. That’s why you need visual content. Here is a possible list of alternatives to words that you can use to drive audiences.

Having these genres of content will set you apart from a pile of generic websites. The bottom line is that great content can be your valuable asset to optimize a website for Google search.

Optimize a Website for Google through CTR

Not enough people focus on CTR while optimizing their website. However, contrary to popular opinions, CTR is more important than you think. The point has come up in several studies recently on how CTR is positively correlated with rankings.

We already discussed how you can improve your CTR in our other blog. The key takeaways are as follows.

Optimize your UX to Optimize Your Website

User experience metrics are getting increasingly popular in the SEO industry for its proven correlation with rankings. In a sense, it is only rational that Google penalizes websites for poor user experience. From Google’s perspective, poor UX metrics only frustrate the users.

Optimize your Page Load Speed

Google disclosed that it ranks pages from 1 to 100 on page speed. Your page is safe if it scores 85 or above in the PageSpeed test. The metric is further broken down into other sub-metrics. For instance,

Whatever the metrics, make sure that you are investing enough to get your pages to load fast enough.

Other techniques involve:

  1. Add a simple and minimal design.
  2. Don’t overburden your page with excessive ads.
  3. Enable cookies to decrease page load speed for repeated visitors.
  4. Choose eye-soothing colors. Strong color distracts visitors.
  5. Use sharp but low-size images for faster page load.
  6. Use enough internal links so that users can navigate easily.
  7. Finally, personalize your website for your core audiences.

Optimize a Website for Google through Link Building

Pardon us for bringing this topic so late. This is an open secret that backlinks play a pivotal role in website optimization. So, the question as to how to build a solid backlink profile will generate a whole lot of discussion.

Therefore, we have created a tons of resources for your in our blog. Here are some that we recommend.

We even have resources for beginners. Feel free to check them out. However, if you are a veteran, you can give BacklinkSEO a try. This is our dedicated backlink analysis tool designed to monitor your most important links.

The takeaway after you have finished all these resources is that backlinks matter in your quest to optimize your website for Gooogle search.

A Continuous Monitoring & Evaluation Strategy for Website Optimization

Website optimization is not a one-time affair. It takes continuous effort. Hence, it is important that you trace the rankings before and after you have implemented the strategies. In this way, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your optimization campaign.

Pro-tip: Keep records of your findings for long-term evaluation.

Moreover, revise your keyword research on a semi-annual basis. Furthermore, revisit your links weekly (or monthly if the content volume is low) to identify broken links. Finally, if you are not selling evergreen products, it is wise to revise your content as well.

Conclusion

Truth be told, the answer to how to optimize a website for Google search does not come in black and white. You will probably find thousands of dissenting views on this one topic. Nevertheless, the above mentioned strategies are products of our year-long observation and experience.

Do you have even a greater strategy to optimize a website for Google? We would genuinely love to hear from you.