Both seasoned SEO experts and beginners have one thing in common: they all want their websites (or those of their clients) to be at the top of search engine results. Or, if they're already there, they want to make sure they stay there. With so much competition and constantly evolving algorithms, it can be extremely challenging to get your site to the top of Google.
But that doesn't mean it's an impossible task. With careful planning and the right strategies, you should be able tomake your website rank higheror until it hits the front page in a few months. Here are some tactics you should use to get your site to the top of Google.
1: Create content that adds value
One of the most critical steps to ranking your site higher is creating high-quality, valuable content that people want to read and link to. 90% of the most successful content marketers in aContent Marketing Institute StudyPut the information needs of your audience as a priority.
When your content adds value to your audience, it will make them stay on your site longer. This can positively affect your ranking, according to experts likeLarry Kim, which conducted studies that identified a correlation between longer dwell times and higher search engine rankings.
And you probably already know that backlinks affect your rankings. TOStone Temple StudyIt also proved that highly relevant website links with high authority can help you rank your website higher on Google.
Image Source: Stone Temple
This makes it crucialdevelop valuable contentif you want to get your website to the top of Google. You can use content search tools likeBuzzSumoto identify the most shared and popular content. This will help you come up with content ideas that your target audience will love. You can also run polls and surveys to directly ask your audience what they want to see from you.
2: Create more long-form content
You can also rank your site higher in Google by creating more long-form content. Long-form content allows you to dig deeper into whatever topic you're discussing, making it more informative and of higher value. So it tends to drive more engagement, increasing your dwell time and helping you rank your site higher.
Also, people love to share long-form content. TOBuzzSumo ReviewOut of 100 million articles, long-form content was found to be the most shared on social media. Articles between 3,000 and 10,000 words had the most shares, followed by articles between 2,000 and 3,000 words. More social shares will result in higher visibility and increased traffic, which is crucial to getting your site to the top of Google.
Image Source: OkDork
3: Optimize for Google Answers Box
The results in the Google answer boxes are even more prominent than the number one position in the Google search results, as you can see in the screenshot below.
Image source: Google search results
If your content appears in this section, it will gain much more visibility and will probably generate a lot of clicks and traffic. This boosts your effort to get your site to the top of Google search results.
This makes it crucial to optimize your site for the Google answer box by using question phrases to optimize your content. According to an analysis ofSECURITY, question phrases like “how” and “what” were the top two keywords that triggered featured snippets.
Image source: seoClarity
You can use tools likerespond to the publicto identify what are the main questions that people ask about a specific topic. Optimizing your content with these question phrases can also help you cater to voice searchers who tend to ask conversational questions.
Additionally, you should also use H2 tags correctly in your subheadings to help Google understand that you are answering a question. Once you've managed to get the featured snippet, these tags will appear in Google's response box to give searchers an idea of what's on your page.
These efforts will increase your chances of getting the featured snippet for relevant keywords and help you rank your site higher.
4: Keep an eye on the competition
As mentioned above, there is a lot of competition on the SEO scene because every website wants to get to the top of Google search results.
So, if you want to rank your website higher on Google, you need to be one step ahead of your competitors at all times. This means you need to keep an eye on them, where they are currently ranking for, what keywords they are ranking for, etc.
You can use SpyFuCompetitor analysisresource to get a complete picture of the overall performance of your competitors. SpyFu helps youidentify competitorsand domains that are winning on your keywords; and how many clicks they are getting for their keywords.
You can use all these insights to optimize your strategy and prevent your competitors from overtaking you.
Image source: SpyFu
5: Improve your internal link structure
Internal links help establish the proper architecture of the site. Which helps Google to easily crawl all the pages of your website and list them in the relevant search results. Therefore, if you want to get your website to the top of Google search results, you must have a proper internal link structure.
In accordance withMoz, the ideal site structure is in the form of a pyramid with minimal links between the home page and other pages. Instead, you will have the home page link to the main category pages, which in turn link to the product pages.
Image Source: Moz
Even when linking blog posts, you can try to have a detailed and comprehensive pillar post on a specific topic. And then link it to other relevant posts that discuss specific tactics or subtopics in detail.
For example, if you have a pillar post on SEO as a whole, you can link to several other posts that discuss specific SEO tactics such as anchor text optimization and backlink strategies.
6: Optimize your anchor texts
Anchor text optimization is another crucial step in getting your website to the top of Google search results. The anchor text you use to link to other pages can help Google understand what the page is about, helping it to accurately number the pages.
then usingrelevant keywords as anchor textIt's a great way to guide search engines and help them understand the content of your page and rank your site higher.
There are five different types of anchor texts that you should be aware of:
- Exact match anchor text– An exact match anchor text uses a keyword that reflects the page you are linking to. For example, "SEO strategies" linking to a page covering SEO strategies would be exact match anchor text. They are ideal for helping Google understand the content of the linked page.
- Partial Match Anchor Text– This type of anchor text includes a variation of the main keyword on the page you are linking to. For example, “content optimization strategies” linking to a page that talks about content optimization. These are also a great alternative to exact match anchor texts, as they remain relevant to the topic of the linked page.
Here's an example where we used the "SEO Strategies" anchor text to link to a post explaining SEO for beginners.
- brand anchor text– As the name suggests, this type of anchor text uses a markup. For example, "SpyFu" links to a SpyFu blog post. Excessive use of this type of anchor text can be considered suspicious and manipulative. Avoid using it more than once in your posts. Here is an example from one of our blog posts.
- link now– When a URL acts as an anchor, it is considered a single link anchor. These anchors may not be the best option if you're trying to link to content in blog posts, as they can detract from the reader experience.
- Generic anchor text– Generic anchor text is a generic word or phrase that links to other pages. "Learn more" or "click here" are some examples of generic anchor text. They are not very SEO friendly because Google has no way of understanding the content of the linked page and its relevance to the linked page.
Google's Gary Illyes has explicitly said that there areno sanctionsfor over-optimizing your internal link anchor texts. This means that you can use the exact match anchor text as much as you want for your internal links.
That said, it's still a good idea to use synonyms and variations to keep your articles flowing naturally, rather than trying to force your anchor text to match exactly.
7: Have a great guest posting strategy
No matter what you may have heard, guest posting is still one of the best ways to get your site to the top of Google search results. It's not just because of the backlinks, but also because of the increasing amount of visibility you get with the relevant audience.
By being published on a reputable website, you build your credibility in the industry and drive more people to your website. It all adds up to higher domain authority and ultimately helps you rank higher in Google organic search results.
For example,Adam Enfroypublished eight guest posts in 15 days. It got 247 new backlinks, 32 new referring domains, and 268 new organic keywords ranked in the top 100. Their Alexa Rank improved by 600,000, their organic traffic increased by 372%, and their domain rank improved by +12.
But that doesn't mean you should submit suggestions to any site that accepts guest posts. For this to work, you need to take a strategic approach and come up with a proper plan.
Here are some tips to follow:
- Aim to get published on relevant sites with high domain authority (preferably above 60). This is the most crucial step because you don't want to get backlinks from any website.
- Choose themes that appeal to the site's target audience.
- Be sure to create high-quality, detailed content that is useful to your target site's readers.
- Back up your claims with relevant, high-authority sources for added credibility.
- Link to other influencer sites and bloggers where relevant.
- Avoid being too aggressive in your outreach emails if you want your proposal to be accepted. Be nice and courteous and don't hesitate to follow up at least once.
8: Show rich snippets in search
Showing rich snippets in search engine results is one of the best ways to get more clicks on your website. This, in turn, helps improve your rankings and can eventually help you get your site to the top of Google search results.
The structured data in your HTML page helps Google toshow accurate enriched fragmentsfor researchers to see. You can include information like price, rating, stock availability, and more.
This way, search engines get an accurate picture of whether the product or content is relevant to them or not. This is also a great way to minimize bounces, since most of your clicks will come from relevant search engines.
Image source: Google search results
do googleJohn Mueller also clarifiedthat the use of Structured Data makes it easier for Google to understand in which searches your page should appear. In other words, it improves your targeting and makes it easier for your page to rank for relevant search results, even if it doesn't directly affect ranking.
The higher you rank for relevant keywords, the more relevant traffic you will receive. All of this helps your site rank higher over time.
9: Optimize your URLs
As small as it may seem, the structure of your URL is an important consideration in improving your rankings. On its own, it may not have a huge impact on search engine rankings.
But if you want to get your website to the top of Google search results, you can't ignore even the smallest factors that can influence your ranking.
Here are some best practices for creating SEO friendly URLs:
- Keep them short and to the point. TOsprout fastA study found that the top 10 results on Google had an average of 37 characters in their URL. URLs that contain 35 to 40 characters seem to work much better, according to the study.
- Use hyphens instead of underscores to separate words. This makes it easier for Google to understand what your page is about. Of Googlecortes matealso explained that Google ignores underscores by considering hyphens as separators.
- Add keywords naturally to improve relevance signals and help Google understand where to rank for your site. While this is a small factor, it still plays a crucial role if your ultimate goal is to get your site to the top of Google.
Shaun Anderson deHobo even conducted an experimentin which he found that a page's rank gradually decreased when the keyword was removed from the URL slug. It's aCognitive SEO Studyfound that the top ranking page is three times more likely than the secondary ranking page to have a keyword in its URL.
Image Source: Cognitive SEO
Avoid using extraneous characters like @, &, $, or % in your URL, as they can confuse search engine crawlers. Only 0.194% of the top 100 results for 1000 results across all industries had foreign characters in their URL, according to the Quick Sprout study cited above.
10: Optimize your meta tags
Just like your page's URL, your meta tags are small but important factors that can influence your page's ranking. You will need to optimize both yourtitle tagand your meta description to help search engines and users understand the content of your page.
This can help increase your click-through rate, as well as allow Google to rank your page in relevant search results.
Here are some best practices to help you.optimize your meta tagand make your site rank higher:
- The aforementioned Cognitive SEO study found that the presence of keywords in your title can make the difference between ranking first and second. This makes it crucial to optimize your title tag with relevant keywords.
- Similarly, you will also need to optimize your meta descriptions with relevant keywords. But make sure you don't overwhelm it with keywords just for the sake of it. Use them naturally so that the description flows well and is understandable by both search engines and humans.
- Keep your titles short, catchy, and to the point. The average title length in organic search results is 55.04. But you can go beyond 60-65 if you need to without exceeding the 70 character limit.
- Summarize the content of your page using meta descriptions. Avoid making them too long, as those longer than 160 characters may not show up completely in Google search results. While RankRanger's analysis found the average meta description length in organic search results to be 164.07, it's best to avoid going over the 160-character limit.
11: Improve page loading speed
As of July 2018, mobile page speedhas become a major ranking factor.for mobile searches. While Google said this update would only affect a small fraction of searches, that doesn't mean you should ignore it.
As mentioned above, you cannot ignore even the smallest ranking factors if your goal is to get your website to the top of Google search results.
And while the consideration is for mobile searches only, there's a chance this could still impact your overall ranking in the long run.
A fast loading page improves the user experience, which will likely reduce the number of bounces. This can eventually contribute to a higher ranking in Google search engine results.
you can use theGoogle Page Speed Insightsto see how fast your site loads. Apart from analyzing page load speed on mobile and desktop, this tool also shows you some opportunities to speed up your page load time.
Image Source: PageSpeed Insights
12: Aim for new developments to rank in Google News
Ranking your content in Google News is a great way to get authority links from sites that want to cite you as a source. Eventually, this can increase and improve your domain authority, helping you rank higher.
So if your goal is to get your site to the top of Google, you should also consider ranking among Google News results.
Since the major news outlets will consistently get the best news results, you should adjust your goals to flag specific developments in your industry. This could be breaking news, recent updates on a hot topic, or in-depth interviews with people at the center of events.
13: Improve your social signals
Google does not consider social signals as a direct ranking factor. However, several studies have identified the correlation between a good social media presence and higher search engine rankings.
Cognitive SEO, for example, found that pages with higher search engine rankings tend to have a higher social media presence.
Image Source: Cognitive SEO
The study found a close correlation between higher rankings and increased social media activity.
This means that the number of likes, comments, and shares you receive on social media has some impact on your ranking. This is likely because more activity on social media improves visibility, which can further increase your traffic.
This means that if you want to get your website to the top of Google search results, you need to increase your social media presence. Engaging with your audience and sharing valuable content with them can help you rank your site higher.
You'll need to share relevant and timely posts to engage your followers at the right times. You should also engage with their feedback by answering their questions or generally thanking them for their feedback.
Also, you can take surveys, ask questions, etc. to make it more interactive and get more engagements.
14: Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Ranking higher in local search results is another crucial step to ranking at the top of Google's organic search results.
And the best way to improve your local ranking is by optimizing your Google business profile.foundthat Google Business signals played the biggest role in ranking your business in the local pack.
As you already know, the results in the local pack tend to be much more prominent than any other search result.
Image source: Google search results
Signals from your Google business profile also affect your local organic ranking as a whole, according to Moz's analysis. This makes optimizing your listing crucial if you want to rank higher in Google search results.
Here are some tips that can help you do it:
- Make sure you fill in all your business details correctly. This would include your business name, address, contact information, website URL, category, business hours, and description. Your business name must look exactly like it does in real life and all other information provided must be correct.
- Google now allows you to include a business description in your GMB listing. However, the description must not exceed 750 words. You can also optimize this description with relevant keywords in a natural flow.
- Please include images to accurately represent your business and make your listing more prominent and engaging.
- Create GMB posts to announce upcoming events, sales, or products to keep people up to date on your business.
Encourage your customers to leave reviews about your business, products, and services to make sure your listing stands out.
You can also check out some of Google's more detailed guidelines on how to accurately represent your business through GMB listings.
15: Have an effective PPC strategy
An effective paid advertising strategy may not necessarily affect your rankings directly. However, it is crucial for increasing brand awareness as it helps your website rank high among search results and social media feeds.
And the increased traffic that comes from increased visibility can add up over time to improve your site's rankings.
This makes creating an integrated SEO and PPC strategy crucial if you want your site to rise to the top of Google. The two strategies working together can significantly boost your website and increase your rankings twofold.
CoMarketingran a highly effective SEO campaign and then integrated it with an optimized PPC campaign. This drastically improved the results already achieved through SEO and also helped improve the performance of individual keywords.
Many of the tips we mentioned touch on marketing strategy. Getting your page to appear at the top of Google search results also depends on technical aspects. you can run aSEO auditto also cover bases in many abandoned places.
Here are some of the best ways to help you.improve your gradeand be ranked on the first page of Google. While some of these can directly affect your ranking, others have a more indirect impact.
But if you want to master how to get your site to the top of Google, you'll need to prioritize these tactics equally. You can't afford to ignore something just because it's a lower ranking factor.
Now, get to work using the tips above to improve your site's ranking and get it on the front page.
No, you cannot pay Google to rank higher. Neither can you pay Google for SEO.How do you become top Google search? ›
- Determine your keywords. First, determine which search queries you want Google to answer with your website pages. ...
- Tell Google what keywords you're using. ...
- Write for humans. ...
- Emphasize location. ...
- Optimize for mobile. ...
- Focus on user experience.
No, you cannot pay Google to rank higher. Neither can you pay Google for SEO.