Every business strives to feature high in Google searches for their relevant keywords. Some even remember the days when you didn’t have to work very hard to get there. Now, things are completely different. Competition for high ranking keywords is tighter than ever, with big brands and small and medium businesses fighting for the same 8 positions of the first page of Google search results. In this article, we will show you how to improve your Google keyword rankings and get there. Or, even better, your site may be prominently displayed in the Featured Snippet category.
Why Is So Hard to Improve Your Google Keyword Rankings?
Every day, hundreds of new businesses open in your area. Some of them thrive, some don’t. But there is a constant influx of new companies in your niche. And they start doing exactly what you are doing: search engine optimization (SEO).
Meanwhile, people are essentially using the same keywords to search for specific products and services. There are some variations (long tail keywords, LSI keywords), but when people want to buy a new pair of leather shoes in Perth and get a good deal on them, they will usually type “leather shoes in Perth best price” or something similar.
The conclusion is that there are a growing number of businesses doing their best to show up for a limited combination of keywords. Thus, your efforts to improve your Google keyword rankings are increasingly difficult.
How Can You Get Ahead of Your Competitors?
Now, this does not mean that you have to throw in the towel and start putting all your money in Google Ads. Paid traffic keeps coming in as long as you are running your campaign. When you finish the ad budget, you see the sharp drop in traffic.
No, organic traffic is not dead. You should still strive to improve your Google keyword rankings and get visitors who find your site while performing a relevant search. Here are some effective ways to do it:
1. Know How You Rank Right Now
Before we talk of improvement, you have to know how your website ranks page by page and keyword by keyword. The Google Search Console and Google Analytics have all the data you need. You have to export the reports for keyword data and landing page traffic.
By analysing these data you will find out:
- Your top ranking keywords
- The pages with most visitors
- Underperforming keywords and pages
- Opportunities to improve ranking.
In many cases, you will understand where to start optimising from these results. For instance, if you have a very low score for specific blog pages, analyse their topics. If they are similar, you have just found something that your visitors are not interested in. Thus, you can change your content strategy accordingly.
2. Rank for Relevant Keywords
When you are planning your keyword strategy, you need to consider two main aspects:
- Keywords you want to rank for
- Keywords you don’t want to rank for (negative keywords).
Why is this aspect important in your effort to improve your Google keyword rankings? Let us take two different search queries:
- What is comprehensive car insurance?
- Affordable comprehensive car insurance near me.
In the first instance, someone is searching for a definition of comprehensive car insurance. They may be a content writer looking for information or someone simply curious to know what it covers, even if they don’t own a car. These types of website visitors are not very relevant to you. They are not likely to be converted into customers.
The second query indicates an intention to purchase. This type of website visitor is likely to become a lead and then a client.
3. Find Opportunities to Rank for Low Competition Keywords
Low competition keywords are not low quality keywords. They are simply more elaborate and original, so most businesses have no idea that people use them.
The best places where you can identify low competition keywords in order to improve your Google keyword rankings are:
- Online communities (Reddit, Quora, forums)
- Social media
- Google suggestions: auto-complete, People Also Ask, Related Searches.
4. Improve Page Dwell Time
Google uses various signals to determine the ranking for a site. One of them is the average time spent by visitors on a webpage. Thus, you must find ways to keep your visitors engaged for as long as possible.
Here are some helpful tips:
- Create informative and helpful long form content (over 1,000 words)
- Add inbound links taking readers to related pages on your site
- Format your content carefully to allow users to browse it quickly before they start reading
- Add links to similar or related content at the end of the article
- Have a comments section and encourage readers to leave their feedback.
If your content meets the visitor’s needs, these tactics will definitely determine them to spend more time on your site, exploring other articles and related pages.
5. Answer Frequent Questions
We are not merely talking about having a FAQ page. This is helpful and you should have it. But, to further improve your Google keyword rankings, be constantly aware what your audience is asking on:
- Social media
- Your comments section
- Your Google Business Profile.
Identify the most frequently asked questions and create standalone content that provides clear and helpful answers. This is a huge opportunity for your site to appear in the Featured Snippet section, at the very top of the first page of Google results.
6. Leverage Social Media
Social media platforms are an invaluable help for SEO. Promoting your content on your social media pages can bring traffic from new sources, generate shares and even make your most valuable content pieces go viral.
Without explicitly saying so, Google is paying attention to social signals. Web pages that get a lot of social shares and comments will definitely rank higher on Google.
7. Constantly Optimise Your Site for Users and Search Engines
Finally, remember this golden rule: SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. You don’t put in your best efforts and flex your muscles at one point, then lie back and relax knowing that your site is optimised.
This is a constant work, because:
- There are constant changes in people’s browsing habits
- New user interface features appear daily
- Google updates its ranking algorithm every year (sometimes, several times each year).
For these reasons, you need to audit, test and analyse your website constantly and make sure that it meets the latest Google ranking requirements, as well as your visitor’s expectations. This is the only way to improve your Google keyword rankings and stay on top of your game all the time.