As the biggest search engine on the internet, Google is solely responsible for more than three-quarters of all organic traffic. But all those clicks aren’t distributed equally. Most of them go to the top three results for any given search; websites that land on later pages of results are unlikely to see any visitors. Simply put, a better Google ranking means more traffic, making good Google rankings one of the most important things for increasing traffic to your website. Luckily, there are certain simple fixes you can implement right now that can go a long way in improving your rankings.
The most impactful simple fixes for better Google ranking
To reach the top of Google’s search results page and stay there, you’ll need a long-term search engine optimization strategy, including frequently published optimized content, quality website maintenance, regular updates, and more. But in the short term, there are specific SEO techniques that make a big difference, even though they’re pretty simple. By implementing them, you’ll boost your rankings without too much effort.
Fix errors and dead links
Error pages and dead links don’t belong on any website that takes itself seriously. Users hate them, so for Google, whose ultimate goal is to serve up exactly what its users are searching for, they are a big red flag. As such, they can negatively impact your rankings (to say nothing of user experience). Of course, mistakes will happen sometimes – an external link will stop working, or you’ll make updates to your internal link structure, and this will mess up some of your links. But that is why it’s so essential to run audits and maintenance on your website regularly. That way, you can quickly identify errors and fix them before they become a problem.
Optimize for mobile
Roughly half of all Google searches come from mobile devices, and the percentage has been steadily going up for the past couple of years. Consequently, Google introduced mobile-first ranking. This means that Google assesses your website’s mobile version even for searches that come from desktop computers. So if you can’t develop a mobile app for your business, at the very least, make sure your website is optimized for mobile.
Improve loading speeds
Research has shown that users expect any website to load within 3 seconds or less. If it doesn’t, they leave, increasing the website’s bounce rates and decreasing its Google ranking. To avoid such issues, make sure your website loads quickly. Use a simple and minimalistic theme, don’t overload your pages with unoptimized media, use caching, and employ other tactics that increase your page speed.
Add relevant external links
High-quality outbound links increase your website’s credibility and authority, which can, in turn, positively affect your Google rankings. Always link to relevant, high-quality content that adds value to your content. Even more importantly, always link to credible websites with lots of authority in the industry – this creates a connection between you and other quality websites, signaling to Google that you are a good source of information.
Optimize your images
Adding images to your content is a great idea – they break up the text, make it more visually appealing, and add value for the reader. But Google can’t see images the way your users do. So for Google to interpret images on your website, they need to be optimized. This primarily refers to using alt tags in your images. These brief and to-the-point descriptions of the photos will help Google interpret your content. Include a keyword in your alt tag, and you’ll even improve your rankings. Finally, by editing images to decrease their size, you’ll make sure your loading speed stays high.
Pay attention to your URLs
An informative and straightforward URL is easier for Google to interpret and for your users to remember, so start by securing a good domain name that represents your business. Follow that up with a clear and flat hierarchy of pages. Finally, use a static URL system that includes keywords. Avoid using stop words like “and”, “or”, “of”, “but”, etc in your URLs. Instead, focus on the main keywords in the title of the content to keep your links short and to the point.
Include headings in your content
Headings break up your content into smaller parts that are easier for both humans and search engine bots to read and understand. Using headings will add structure to your content. If you also include keywords in them, you’ll let readers and search bots know precisely what your content is about in a clear and obvious way. This can help improve your ranking on Google.
Get more backlinks
Quality backlinks are one of the best things you can do for your rankings. They create connections with other websites and add authority to yours. However, to boost your SEO with backlinks, you’ll need to place your backlinks on high-authority, high-traffic websites. Create a good pitch and start reaching out – a healthy, diverse backlink profile takes time and effort to build.
How long before you see a better Google ranking?
Google rankings don’t change overnight. Even if you make all these changes right now, it’ll take time for the effect to show. And it’s worth remembering that SEO doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Your ranking doesn’t only depend on what you do – it depends on your competitors and Google’s algorithms. So it’s hard to say precisely how long it’ll take before you see an improvement in your ranking. One thing is sure, however: you’ll need to give it at least a few weeks, if not months, to see actual results.
Continuous improvement is vital for better Google ranking
Google rankings are not static. Things change all the time: your website changes, your competition changes, Google’s algorithms change. All this will affect how you rank on Google’s search results page. For a better Google ranking long-term, it will be necessary to follow SEO best practices and continuously improve your website. It is only through consistent improvement that you’ll maintain good rankings.
Amanda Todd is a single mother from Lancaster, PA. After her divorce in 2016, she decided to start over with her life and quit her corporate job. She has been running a successful blog about parenting, crafts, and other lifestyle topics ever since, occasionally venturing into other industries by guest writing for Link Department and other websites. Blogging has changed her life for the better so she tries to encourage others in similar ventures by sharing her knowledge and advice.