Every company wants their site to rank highly on Google. But how can your business gain the advantage and get to the first page without spending a fortune on a pricey ad agency?
There are multiple ways to boost your Google ranking, from site re-structures to content updates, and we’re here to break down some of the best.
1. Google Tracking
When you decide to start experimenting with your Google ranking, one of the first things to do is to track and monitor your existing relationship with Google. Using Google Analytics to explore where your users and site traffic is coming from can help you to discover which keywords can help you later down the line.
Google Search Console is a popular option for tracking deep within the Google algorithm. However, if you don’t want to get bogged down in altering your site code, the standard Google Analytics platform can be just as helpful. Try taking a look at your Aquisition tab, and find out how many of your users found your site through an ‘Organic Search’ i.e. straight from Google. Finding out the different search terms they used to find your site can be a great way to identify the keywords you’ll need to reinforce when you alter your content.
Studio Seventeen, for example, can be found through the search term ‘Nottingham design studio’, tying in what we do and where we’re based. We aim to repeat this term regularly throughout our web and social copy.
2. Website Structure
Even if you feel you know your site inside and out, there are likely to be areas of your site structure that are slowing down your ranking. Areas of duplicate content and underperforming pages can prevent Google from ranking you as highly, preventing your site from being found by potential users. Indexed pages such as tags archives, old blog posts and out of date content can still show up, making your site appear outdated and disused.
An easy way to find out which pages Google is still indexing is simply to search for ‘site:yoursite.com’ and explore just how many pages are currently listed. You’re likely to find some that are unused or out of service from your actual site, but still manage to show up in your search field – slowing down Google’s crawler algorithm.
Having a cohesive site structure and a clear, secure backend can also help Google to rank your site higher, so it might be worth taking a look at your HTML to see if there’s anything in your coding that’s holding you back.
3. Meta Data
One of the best and easiest ways to boost your ranking is to start utilising the metadata of your pages. For WordPress users, the Yoast plugin is a great way to play around with your meta titles, page URLs and keywords on pages, allowing you to optimise how your site will appear in search results.
Whilst your meta description will not directly impact your rankings, having clear and descriptive meta titles and tags on your pages can help your overall click-through rate, boosting your site on Google. By using targeting words and keywords relevant to your industry, this can also encourage more traffic to your site which also helps Google to spot your site when crawling.
Another way to use metadata to your advantage is through localised targeting, as this is the place where you can optimise where Google places your site in search results. Frequently using a location, i.e. Nottingham, in your meta tags or titles can push your content into searches from Nottingham-based IP addresses, allowing nearby users to find your site.
4. Content Planning
One of the most important things to understand about Google rankings is that high-quality content will always be boosted over high-quantity content. The more you post won’t matter in the algorithm if the content itself isn’t of good quality or relevant to your keywords.
For example, one blog post which uses clear, concise and readable language, within the guidelines of 300 words, with around 5 good uses of keywords thrown in, is going to help your rankings more than 5 poor or short posts.
Other things to include in your content could be internal links, to other pages in your site, or external links to sites that support your copy. Images used throughout your site can also be altered to encourage higher ranking, for instance, compressed images can help your site to load faster, improving its overall usability.