As a business, having your website rank high on Google and other search engine platforms for targeted keywords can make a difference in driving inbound organic Web traffic. However, with the algorithm constantly changing and evolving, getting on the first page of the search results is a task that’s easier said than done. So to help you get started, we’ve laid out a few fundamental practices that’ll allow you to elevate your organic rankings on the search engine results pages or SERPs.
1. Have a defined keyword list
It’s a lofty and unreasonable goal to rank high in Google’s search results for every keyword relevant to your industry or niche. Therefore, your objective should be to get excellent organic rankings for the most desired phrases and terms. So, brainstorm how your target audience would look for your offerings online, list down possible keywords, and compare both the competition and traffic for each using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or ahrefs.
The search tags that generate a high traffic volume with low competition should be the ones you choose because of their potential to draw in more visitors and the ease of ranking them. Try to explore AI-powered analytic tools because they can provide invaluable insight into how your brand is perceived.
2. Quality content wins every time
Before you start digging into technical strategies for improving your search engine optimization efforts, you must remember that content creation can attract interest and engage users in ways that few other digital marketing practices can. After all, publishing quality material online has a great chance of creating exposure for a brand or company. And because search engines like Google will reward online visibility with its algorithm in ranking, you’ll stand to appear much higher on its search results than you otherwise would have.
3. Incorporate keywords strategically into your online content
There’s no denying that the most effective way of ranking for specific keywords is by using them. However, times have changed since spamming these terms was an accepted practice. These days, it’s considered a Blackhat technique and is more likely to end up in costly penalties. For this reason, you need to incorporate your chosen search tags naturally into your published content – from the title and headlines to the body of the text. However, if you do it excessively, you’ll only ruin the experience. So always make sure that you strategically position your keywords.
4. Optimize the page titles
The HTML title tag defines the title of a Web page and should be a concise and brief description of its content. It’s generally the initial hyperlinked text line that is displayed on Google search results, and it also appears at the topmost of the Web browser for the page and tabs. Google’s algorithm considers the element integral to on-page SEO. So, when writing the page title, be sure to limit it to 70 characters or less. If you don’t, it’ll just get cut off once it’s listed on the organic results of Google. If possible, include some integral keywords in your title. And if there’s additional space, try to insert your brand name to increase awareness.
5. Create meta descriptions
The meta descriptions essentially explain the content of a Web page. Google usually displays it under the title of the page in their search results. While they may not have the same weight and importance as the pages’ titles to the ranking algorithm, they can drive up clicks from potential visitors. Most people read the descriptions first to see if the content is worth their time. And by providing them with a clear and transparent value proposition of what they can expect to gain, you’ll be able to encourage them to visit you.
6. Don’t forget the alt tags
Alt tags are increasingly becoming more common today, and for a good reason. Apart from specifying alternative text for elements that they’re applied to, like images that can’t be properly rendered, they send positive signals to the ranking algorithm behind Google. As a result, you have greater odds of ranking high with their use. So make sure that you use them, or you’ll miss out on opportunities to elevate your organic ranking.
7. The URL matters
Few realize that most search engines have a preference for readable URLs. As such, you’ll want to use a clean Web address that’s relevant to your content. Try to steer clear of special characters and numbers for your URL and keep it as short as possible. They tend to perform much better in the search rankings of Google than those that are longer, so keep this in mind as you architect the site. Don’t forget about including keywords in them too. The closer these terms and phrases are to the domain name, the better it’ll be.
8. Optimize your Web pages for mobile
Back in 2015, Google announced that mobile-friendliness would be considered a strong ranking signal. Since then, they’ve been increasing their importance in the rankings. Due to this, you need to ensure that your site is optimized for smartphones and tablets. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Test the site with the mobile-friendly tool of Google.
- Take touch-screen interactivity into consideration.
- Ensure that your calls to action are accessible to all users.
- Redesign the pop-ups to appear properly on tablets and smartphones.
- Enable AMP or accelerated mobile page.
- Compress images to boost loading time.
- While there are many other mobile-friendly practices, the methods listed above should help you get started on creating a Web page that will look and function correctly on smaller handheld devices. If you’re not confident in optimizing your site for mobile, don’t be afraid to hire experts.
The prospect of improving organic rankings might appear daunting, but it doesn’t always have to be the case. By following the tips mentioned above, you’ll give your website excellent odds at ranking for your chosen keywords and, in turn, help you attract a broader audience.