“How to increase keyword rankings in Google?”
1) Update your knowledge on the Google ranking algorithm
First and foremost, you should know that the ranking algorithms of search engines are in a constant state of flux.
We update older posts to keep the information useful and relevant. But when it comes to SEO, you can never be too sure.
You never know when the next Google update will roll out and wreak havoc on a website’s keyword rankings.
2) Look for keywords you already rank for
There are two types of people reading this post:
– People who are new to blogging
– People who did SEO, but didn’t get the results they want
For those who are new to blogging, feel free to skip this step.
What you need to do is search for long-tail keywords and learn how to integrate them into your content strategy. I created an in-depth long-tail keyword research tutorial for this purpose.
When you’re done, jump ahead to step number three — that’s where the real work begins.
With that out of the way, allow me to address those who overcame their doubts and took action.
If you’ve spent the last couple of weeks building links and optimizing your site, check your keyword rankings.
Believe it or not, you could already be ranking for a few relevant keywords in your niche.
I’m not saying you’re already on the first page of those organic keywords. Nevertheless, targeting them in your SEO strategies will get the most returns for the least amount of work.
3) Sort your keywords list according to keyword difficulty
Before we go further, let’s get one thing clear:
If you made a list of low-hanging fruit keywords, you don’t need to sort them according to difficulty.
The fact that you already rank for them on pages two to five indicates that they’re well within your reach. They just need a little more push to make it to Google’s first page — don’t give up on them now.
For new bloggers, however, it’s imperative that you select low-competition, long-tail keywords to target. Doing so will help your SEO efforts get meaningful results.
4) Determine the business value of keywords
Don’t close your keyword tracker just yet — there’s something else we should do.
When handpicking target keywords, you have to pay attention to the user intent behind them.
Basically, all search engine queries are fueled by one of three possible intentions:
Informational — When a search is performed with informational intent, users aren’t necessarily interested in buying something. Most of the time, they only need to obtain certain information and would prefer to do so for free.
Navigational — If a search query contains a branded term or name, it only means the user already knows what they want. In which case, the search engine only functions as a means of navigation to a specific web page.
Transactional — Lastly, transactional queries are done when the user intends to solve a problem with money. That means they’re more receptive of the right paid product or service sent their way.
You don’t need to be an expert to know that transactional keywords have the most business value.
It doesn’t matter if you intend to make money blogging using affiliate marketing, paid ads, or e-commerce. Users who are willing to pay and take the next step are the lifeblood of blog monetization.
5) Perform a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) analysis
You now have an idea of the user intent behind your target keywords.
Can you match your target audience’s expectations with the right content strategy?
You can eliminate the guesswork by analyzing the organic results for your target keyword. This can be done by either running a Google search or a keyword analysis with an SEO tool.
6) Write SEO-friendly content
Enough planning — it’s time for what bloggers are supposed to do best.
Writing brilliant blog content that can rank higher on Google is a topic that warrants its own article.
Here are the crucial content writing techniques that will help you produce top-notch, rank-worthy content for your blog:
Write shorter sentences and paragraphs
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve fully committed myself to write short sentences.
Go ahead and check the length of every sentence in this post. I bet you won’t find a sentence that’s over 20 words in length.
The thing is, keeping sentences short and crisp will instantly boost the readability of any article. The same can be said for paragraphs.
Make your content more scannable
Even with short sentences and paragraph, there’s still no guarantee that they’ll read the whole post.
Think about it: what’s the first thing you do when you come across a long blog post?
Me, I’d scroll and scan the entire page to see if I can easily get the information I want.
You see, a lot of bloggers have the nasty habit of constructing articles with thick walls of text. This can make the entire reading experience tedious and downright boring.
To avoid this, include an adequate number of headings within your content’s body.
Insert tweetable quotes
Adding tweetable quotes to your content serves two purposes:
– They function as a visual break that improves the readability of your posts.
– They make it easier and intuitive for readers to spread the word on your blog.
Add eye-catching visual content
Aside from headings and tweetable quotes, you can spice up the reading experience on your blog with visual content.
It’s easy to make the excuse that visual content isn’t your forte. But with cloud-based visual tools that virtually take no effort to use, that excuse is no longer acceptable.
Use LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing keywords
To cement the topical relevance of your content, sprinkle it with LSI — short for latent semantic indexing — keywords.
These are keywords that are related to your primary keyword. But unlike long-tail keyword variations, LSI keywords don’t always pertain to the same topic.
Fulfill the user intent by the conclusion
In between your tweetable quotes, graphics, and data-driven sentences, you must always remember the user intent you’re trying to serve.
Cut the jargon
All in all, a post must be a cohesive, well-flowing piece that takes readers from point A to point B.
You can’t accomplish that if readers need a dictionary to understand what you mean.
That said, avoid overly-technical and hifalutin words. Go with simple words that your audience will have no trouble comprehending.
7) Make killer headlines
An SEO-friendly blog post isn’t complete without a powerful headline that makes users think:
“I need to read that.”
Fortunately for you, your quest for killer headlines can be finished with a single tool.
The CoSchedule Headline Analyzer scores your headline and provides actionable insights on five key aspects:
Word balance — A captivating headline utilizes the perfect balance of common words, uncommon words, emotional words, and power words. Headline Analyzer measures your usage of those words to help you achieve the ideal combination.
Headline length — To be displayed properly in SERPs, your headline must be no longer than 70 characters.
However, Headline Analyzer recommends a length of around 55 words for more click-throughs.
First & last three words — When skimming the web, users tend to fixate on the first and last three words of a headline. Use this to your advantage by placing terms related to your keyword or the user’s goals in those places.
Keywords — A keyword-optimized headline is another can’t-miss item in your SEO checklist. If Headline Analyzer doesn’t detect the right focus keyword, you may have to restructure your headline.
Sentiment — Your headline must either have a strong positive or negative sentiment to be effective. It’ll be hard to convince users to click on your page if they aren’t moved on an emotional level.
8) Implement a solid internal link architecture
Speaking of SEO-friendly posts, another way to keep readers absorbed in your blog is to use internal links.
Put simply, a link is internal if it points to a page on the same website.
The rule of thumb is to only link to relevant pages that align with the user intent.
To illustrate, I’m currently talking about internal links — a fairly advanced topic that requires intense planning.
Here are a few must-have tips when building your website’s internal link architecture:
Don’t include too many internal links in one page — As useful as internal links are, they can derail users from their original goal. Only include internal links when they make sense and space them out to keep your content looking clean.
Open links in a new tab — This can easily be done by enabling the “Open in New Tab” switch in WordPress Gutenberg. Otherwise, you have to add the target=”_blank” attribute to your tag.
Keep anchor texts natural — While the anchor text for your internal links may contain a keyword, don’t overdo it. Use natural language and don’t force exact match keywords as anchor texts.
Explain the link to readers — As a courtesy to readers who trust you enough to click internal links, clearly describe where they go. Mentioning the benefits of reading the linked page will also earn you more click-throughs.
Remember to link to your product or service pages —If you care about blog monetization, don’t forget internal links to your money pages. To avoid disrupting the experience of readers, slide these internal links into the sidebar or footer.
9) Add internal links from existing pages to new posts
There’s one more internal linking strategy you can use to improve the Google positioning of your new posts.
That catch is, this will only work if you already have a page that’s already indexed by Google.