Need a Plan to Improve Your Google Ranking?
“Why is my Google ranking so low?” we get asked regularly at Imagefix. It could be you’re your website is quite new, or that it’s lacking backlinks, or maybe it loads too slowly. There are numerous reasons why your website may not be ranking, so we’ve created a plan you can follow which will demonstrate what you need to do to get a better Google ranking.
Working out how to improve your Google ranking is what the Imagefix team do for a living. We have a specialist Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) team who do this work obsessively – and that’s what you need. There’s no ‘magic bullet’ with SEO, you need to be patient, persistent, observant, and methodical. The plan we’re sharing here is one we use with our clients, and all of them are hitting top ranking positions.
What is Google Ranking?
Google uses around 200 ‘ranking factors’ when assessing websites. In order to ensure that Google’s responses to search queries produce the very best results, each site is crawled and ranked according to:
The more ranking factors you score well for, the better your Google ranking, and the more traffic you’ll drive to your site, ready to convert into sales.
The Imagefix Plan to Improve Your Google Ranking
Are you serious about improving your ranking? If so, roll up your sleeves and get ready to work through the next 10 steps to get yourself seen on Google.
1. Check Your On-Page SEO
Are you using keywords to optimise your titles, sub-titles, and page content? If not, there’s some keyword research to be done before you go any further. Imagefix has created a guide to carrying out effective keyword research.
Use Keywords in Your Page Titles
Each page of your site should have a title which features a primary keyword. One of our target keywords is ‘SEO Services’ for example, and the keyword appears on its own, to give a clear signal to Google that this is an Imagefix specialism.
Google want to be sure that pages it ranks offer value to users. One of the ways it assesses this is by wordcount. Whilst the ideal length of a page will differ according to the context, most top-ranking pages use between 600-1,500 words. An expert article would be expected to be 2,000-5,000 words, whilst an informative blog would normally have around 1,000 – 1,500 words. Check out the length of competitor’s content; wordcount matters.
Use Keywords in Your Content
As well as using your primary keyword in your title, use a couple of other closely related keywords in your content. These give Google a clear signal of the breadth of your topic. For example, a page about SEO Services might also include the keywords, ‘local SEO’ and ‘SEO web design’.
2. Use Related Keywords in Your Content
As well as using keywords that relate directly to your product or service, also include keywords that are contextual. If, for example, your business is a bakery, it would make sense to include keywords from:
These related keywords could form the basis of a series of blogs, or social media posts.
3. Take a Look at Your Technical SEO
We’ve all used our mobiles to click through to a site and found it impossible to use. The text sprawls of the screen and navigation is almost impossible. These are sites that haven’t been designed for mobile, and Google will avoid matching them to searches because they offer such a bad experience. Try out Google’s mobile-friendly test. If there’s a problem, a web designer will be able to fix it.
Most of your potential customers will be searching on their phones, so providing them with a site that loads instantly is critical. If your site loads slowly, they’ll simply bounce off to the next option. Most sites take longer than the optimum 1-2 seconds to load. Check out your loading speed right now. If it’s slow to load, take a look at our tips for speeding up your website load time, to ensure people are able to click through to your content.
4. Match Up Your Content With Search Intent
Imagine you’re talking to a friend about bread-making. You ask, “What type of bread do you enjoy baking?” Your friend replies, “I love making sourdough bread. I find it so challenging and rewarding.”
In this conversation, your friend is expressing their search intent. They’re not just looking for a list of bread types or bakeries where it’s sold; they’re specifically interested in sourdough bread. They’re interested in information about the challenges and rewards of baking sourdough bread.
This is how search intent works in online search. When someone types or speaks a query into a search engine, they have a specific goal in mind. They’re looking for information, trying to complete a task, or trying to find a specific website.
There are four main types of search intent:
1. Informational. Looking for information on a topic. For example, they might search for “how to bake sourdough bread” or “what are the different types of bread?”
2. Navigational. Looking for a specific website. For example, they might search for “Facebook login” or “Amazon.com.”
3. Transactional. Looking to buy something. For example, they might search for “buy sourdough starter” or “new running shoes.”
4. Commercial. Looking for information before making a purchase. For example, they might search for “best sourdough bread recipes” or “running shoe reviews.”
Understanding search intent is important for two reasons; first, it helps you to create appropriate content for the audience you’re targeting. Second, it’s important to your ranking. Google will prioritise content that are relevant to the searcher’s intent.
If you’re trying to rank for a keyword, search for it in Google before you start writing. The top organic spot will be held by someone who understood the search intent perfectly and offered the exact match for what searchers wanted.
5. Check Out Your Bounce Rate
A bounce, as defined by Google, is when a visitor lands on your site and then navigates away from it without having opened any further pages as part of the session. This is read by search engines as a clear signal that the users are not finding what they expected, or what they need when clicking through, so they click away immediately.
A bounce rate is the number of ‘bounces’ divided by the overall number of visits to the website. So, a website that gets 75 bounces out of 100 visits would have a 75% bounce rate. Whether or not that’s a bad bounce rate depends on the type of page and the sector under review. Google Analytics has created some useful benchmarks:
If you want to improve your bounce rate, you need to get inside your users’ heads. First, think about search intent; are you giving them what they want/expect when they click through? Second, how easy is it for them to find what they want from their first glance at your page? You’re unlikely to have more than a couple of seconds to persuade them they’re in the right place so:
6. Optimise for Voice Search
Search engine optimisation is always evolving, and voice search is the latest symptom of this. Voice queries are becoming more popular and they’re more conversational than typed search queries. Best restaurant in Basingstoke turns into Where’s the best restaurant nearby? or DIY laptop repair guide becomes How can I repair my laptop by myself?
To compete with voice search, your keywords need to understand user intent. You’ll know the questions that are regularly asked about your product or service, these need to be captured in a natural, or conversational format.
7. Publish Content People Want to Read
The goal when creating content for your website, is to increase the potential for other sites to link to yours. So, the question to ask is: what kind of content will be attractive to bloggers, influencers, authorities, or experts?
Here are 4 examples of the kind of content sites love to link to:
• Surveys. If you can produce a credible survey that provide facts and figures for bloggers to cite, you’ll have plenty of links to show for it.
• White Papers. If your business has expertise to share with your sector/industry, a white paper will attract links, and provide authority for your website.
• eBooks/Guides. Do you have practical knowledge you could share? Offering a free guide is an excellent way to collect clicks and links.
• Video. Any kind of visual information is popular, but none more so than video explainers or guides.
8. Make Simple Changes to Improve Your Click Through Rate (CTR)
If you place an ad on a website that is seen by 100 people and 10 people click on it, then your CTR is 10%. This means that 10% of the people who saw your ad were interested enough to click on it and learn more about what you have to offer.
The higher your CTR the better you are going to rank because Google interprets a high CTR as a signal that you page is providing what searchers are looking for. A boost in your rankings is intended to make it easier to find what they’re looking for.
3 Ways to Improve Your Click Through Rate
1. Create Eye-catching Titles. For example, How to Save Money on Your Grocery Bill, 5 Biggest Secrets to a Healthier Lifestyle, How to Say Goodbye to Stress in the Workplace.
2. Use Powerful Calls to Action (CTAs). A compelling CTA is the driving force behind clicks. Use clear and direct language that tells users exactly what you want them to do. Avoid vague or generic phrases like “Learn More” or “Click Here.” Instead, use specific action-oriented phrases like “Download Now,” “Sign Up Free,” or “Shop Now.”
3. Implement A/B Testing. Don’t assume you know the best way to improve your CTR. A/B testing allows you to experiment with different versions of your headlines, copy, CTAs, and visuals to determine which ones perform best.
9. Use Internal and External Linking
This is an easy way to improve your Google ranking, and you can do it whenever you’ve got a bit of time spare.
Internal linking means connecting one page to another on your website. Suppose I want to improve my Google ranking for SEO services; every time the keyword SEO services appears on the site, you simply link back to the page it’s referencing. This won’t catapult you to a top-ranking position, but it may bump you up. And that can make a real difference.
External linking, on the other hand, involves linking to reputable, authoritative, and relevant websites outside your site. These links act as endorsements, signalling to search engines that your content is authoritative and trustworthy.
Broken links impact your SEO because they provide a poor experience for users. It’s worth your while checking regularly for broken links either internal, or external.
10. Images Matter
Images play a crucial role in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), influencing both user experience and search engine rankings. Here’s why images are essential for SEO:
1. Visual Appeal and Engagement. Images break up text-heavy content, making pages more visually appealing and engaging. They capture attention, increase dwell time, and reduce bounce rates, all of which are favourable SEO signals.
2. Relevance and Context. Relevant images, such as charts or infographics can make it easier for both users and search engines to understand the topic at hand.
3. Image Search and Discoverability. Images are a valuable source of traffic through image search engines like Google Images. Adding alt tags and descriptions to your images increases their chances of appearing in image search results, which can drive additional traffic to your website.
4. Social Sharing. Images are far more likely to be shared on social media platforms, than chunks of text. This can significantly boost your website’s visibility and brand recognition.
Would You Like Imagefix to Help With Your Ranking?
The Imagefix team has two decade’s experience of working with local and UK-wide businesses to maximise the SEO potential of their website. We know how important it is to our clients to have a website working 24/7 on their behalf, and that requires an excellent Google ranking to order to achieve it.
We don’t promise ‘overnight success’ because that’s not how organic SEO works, but we consistently provide Page One rankings for our clients over a period of 3-9 months, dependent on the sector.
If you’ve found our tips for how to improve your Google ranking useful, why not talk to one of our SEO experts about fully optimising your site for excellent results? Give us a call today on 01525 715608.