How to Rank Higher on Google in 2021 – Simple Actionable Tips
You can’t win the online world if you are not ranking higher on Google.
So no wonder that you are looking for a guide that talks about: How to rank higher on Google.
Well, you are in the right place. You will find in this blog:
- A step-by-step guide to improving your Google’s rankings
- Simple, actionable tips on how to get higher rankings in Google
- Easy hacks to improve search rank for free
After reading this blog, you will know that you can also rank higher on Google without implementing any fishy tactic.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s begin!
Why Rank Higher on Google?
Now Google is a word in the dictionary. And do you know what it means? SEARCH!
This single fact is enough to prove the significance of Google in the world of search engines. Its game is way too strong.
With 3.5 billion searches per day, Google reigns the world of search engines.
Unfortunately, becoming a prominent member of this empire is not easy. You have to struggle to come in the good books of Google to mark the online success.
It’s a furious competition!
You are running in the race with countless businesses that all want to rank 1 on Google.
But here is a twist: the criteria to reach the finish line keep on changing, and you have to cope with this twist while still trying to win the race.
You don’t have any other choice. No one remembers the losers. People only talk about the winners.
Just ask yourself…
If you have a thing for sports, the probability is that you would have heard the name of Muhammad Ali – even if you don’t like boxing that much.
But do you know the name of Muhammad Ali’s opponents? Maybe you remember Ken Norton because he got to break the jaw of Ali in a match or Joe Frazier, who gave Ali his first loss.
What about others? It is hard to recall all of them because people only remember those who managed to stay on the top somehow.
The same is the case in Google’s world. Only 0.78% of searchers bother to consider searches on the 2nd page.
So if you are finding the answer to how to improve SEO ranking on Google, you are on the right track.
You need to win the race of SERP because that’s the only way to…
- Enhance your visibility
- Establish authority
- Get more organic traffic
- Increase your sales
Yes, ranking high on Google is equal to getting all the cherries of the cake – in fact, you can also own the cake. But how to do that?
You need to know five things here:
- First, there isn’t any secret way.
- Second, na, not even magic.
- Third, you have to do everything the right way.
- Fourth, it takes time, creativity, and patience.
- Fifth, it is not impossible.
Yes, SEO is a hard nut to crack, but your consistency and the right strategies can do the trick.
How to Rank Higher on Google – Safe and Sound Steps
Here I have come up with proven and tested strategies on how to rank higher on Google that will surely break the code for you.
STEP # 1: Sharpen Up Your On-Page SEO
On-page, or on-site, SEO is one of the essential SEO factors you should focus on to increase Google search rankings.
On-page SEO is all about working on the on-site factors of the website to optimize it. And it is an important factor to rank higher on Google.
According to Google’s on-page optimization guide: SEO practices based on website modification can improve SERP rankings.
Here are some of the on-page factors you should focus on:
Irrespective of the order of importance in SEO, you should work on all these factors with equal importance.
#1: Write a Descriptive URL
A URL is not only your website’s clickable link. It has a whole science behind it.
It has a root domain, i.e., globexoutreach.com, in the above case. The specifications of a page then follow it.
So a URL tells users two things:
- Where this page is from
- What is it about
You might be thinking:
Then where does the SEO factor come in?
Well, the way Google uses it.
- To crawl and index the content it is referring to.
- To refer users to it.
It is good to make your URL descriptive and add the main keyword in it so that Google can read and understand it clearly, and refer your prospects to it.
But avoid keyword stuffing – Google says:
Don’t make your URL look spammy like this:
Anyone can tell that you have tried to trick the search engines. And they don’t like it!
#2: Write High-Quality Title Tags
Creating high-quality title tags doesn’t cost you much, but it can bring a lot of benefits.
And Google also demands the same from you.
It goes without saying that a good title that tells users what you are offering increases the possibility of getting a click.
In fact, a good title tag can increase CTR between 20-100%.
And more CTR can help your site rank higher on google in 2021 because:
Google takes it as an indicator that people are finding your page relevant.
Though this description is for Ads, you can take it for pages as well as it gives a clear insight into how Google gives importance to relevance for ranking.
So what should you add to your title tag to increase CTR?
TIP # 1: Tell about the content.
Give a heads up to readers what they are going to get in the content.
Cut the guesswork and come to the point directly.
TIP # 2: Listicles are doing great; jump on the bandwagon
People like reading listicle blogs.
They don’t have much time to drive meanings from essay-like blogs.
So if you have written a listicle blog post (great idea!), tell readers how many tips, steps, or ideas they are going to get in the content.
TIP # 3: Add Years that readers can relate to.
Create timeliness in your content by adding years.
People don’t like to be left out of the game. Hit on this psychological factor!
Put relevant years into the title tag to make your readers feel inclined towards the content.
TIP # 4: Ask questions that attract readers’ attention.
Search engines are the go-to solution for our many fidgeting questions.
We love asking Google:
- How something happened
- Why something happened
- Where something happening
- When something happened
- What happened
- Who did something
This can become a great opportunity to rank higher on Google.
Tell visitors that you have the exact answer to their exact questions.
TIP # 5: Mention brand name to establish authority and credibility.
Let the searchers know that you are not a random jaywalker.
Inject authority and credibility into your words to inspire, influence, and trigger clicks.
Once you have selected the kind of title tag, you want to produce. Next, optimize it.
So: What else do all these examples of title tags reveal?
It is always good to add your target keyword in your title tag for SEO purposes.
Ahrefs finds a correlation between keywords in title tags and rankings.
But again… no keyword stuffing, please!
I am not the only one saying it. Google also wants you to avoid it:
#3: Don’t Miss Out on Meta-Descriptions
First, what are meta descriptions?
They are a sentence or paragraph that appears under the title tag in search results.
So meta-description gives a short description to users about your content basically.
It also tells them what they were looking for.
Can you see where we are going?
Yes, you should focus on increasing the click-through rate.
We need it to stay relevant in the eyes of Google.
#4: Choose Your Keywords Wisely
We know that keywords are an essential SEO factor.
In fact, it is one of those SEO factors that have been in the game since the inception of Google.
However, things have changed. The era of keyword stuffing has long gone.
But using keywords is still essential to add to anyhow to rank higher on Google guide. They help to appear in the search result of the searchers.
It means you need to use a particular keyword to tell Google you are suitable for a search query.
In fact, people new to the SEO world are advised to get started with keywords.
Now you might be asking how to rank for keywords?
Things start getting tricky here.
You are not the only one who is running this business.
Every 6 months, 1.1 million domains are registered on WordPress.
You can see how competitive things are getting online.
So ranking for a keyword is not easy.
Things get pretty tough, especially when you are after highly competitive keywords, i.e., keywords with a high volume of searches.
But you also can’t put irrelevant keywords or those with very little to no search intent.
Obviously, if you are selling shoes, you can’t target clothes.
So, where is the safe end?
Go for Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are highly specific keywords with lower competition.
But guess what?
These keywords are easy to rank on Google and have a 3-5% better click-through rate.
People’s search intent is getting specific. In fact, around 50% of searches contain 4 or more words.
It means that using long-tail keywords is not only safe, but that’s how your prospects are trying to search for you.
Instead of going head-on for competitive keywords, look out for keywords with a high conversion rate, which your prospects are using with a high conversion rate.
STEP#2: Create Awesome High-Quality Content
Everyone who has anything to do with the online world – say, SEO consultants, digital marketers, and content strategists – talks about high-quality content.
In fact, many of them consider content as one of the most important SEO factors.
High-quality content is having 85% contribution to the success of B2B marketers.
But what does high-quality content mean?
Google has a clear guideline about high-quality content creation.
- Always create well-written content, i.e., grammatically correct, well-structured, and finely tuned content.
- Well-formatted content, with proper sub-heading and paragraphs that enhance the readability of the content.
- 100% unique and original content with no copying or duplication.
#1: Write Super Engaging Content
But in the World of SEO, high-quality content is a lot more than creating grammatically on-point and well-formatted content.
Well-written and original content is useless if it doesn’t trigger readers to read it.
If readers don’t read it, they will click out.
If they click out, it will increase your bounce rate.
If your bounce rate increases, Google will take it as if your content doesn’t satisfy your visitors.
And if Google gets this notion, it will shove your website down in rankings.
See? That’s the reason why creating engaging content is not just an option but a necessity for you.
Around 72% of content creators prefer to create engaging content.
Now you may be asking how to create engaging content?
Well, it doesn’t require rocket science.
#2: Add Visual Elements to Your Content
Forget about visual elements; let’s make ALFREDO PASTA.
Combine both of them.
Is it ready now?
Hopefully, your answer is no.
If you are a pasta freak, you would know that we missed out on Alfredo sauce, the main ingredient.
As Alfredo pasta is incomplete without Alfredo sauce, the same goes for visual elements in creating engaging content.
Visual elements are Alfredo sauce for engaging content.
So what does it mean?
The whole flavor of engaging content gets missing if you don’t add visual elements. And people’s responses support it.
55% of people agree that they pay close attention to visual content.
People don’t like reading long logs of the content without any visual element.
But besides increasing people’s engagement and attraction, you can also use visual content to:
- Create a good impression on readers.
- Help readers understand the information effectively.
- Help readers pick up the required information quickly and easily.
- Enhance the information retention ability of readers.
See? Tweaking your content writing approach a bit can do good things for you on so many levels.
Create infographics. Add explanatory images. Put videos. Make CTA banners.
Do whatever goes with your overall feel of the content.
#3: Create In-Depth & Detailed Content
I have pretty good reasons to say that in-depth content is high-quality content.
To prove this, let’s do some mental exercise.
We know that Google ranks high-quality content.
And research shows that lengthy content is doing better on search engine rankings.
Here is the proof:
So if lengthy content ranks more, and Google ranks only high-quality content.
Isn’t it evident that well-written, in-depth content is also taken as high-quality content by Google?
Moreover, longer posts also manage to get more social shares.
You might be asking what social media shares has to do with SEO?
The answer is that search engines take social media shares as a sign of popularity and relevance.
And if a thing is relevant and popular among readers, it gets a boost.
A study conducted by Hootsuite supports it. In 2018, they tested the SEO results of articles that got social media shares, and that didn’t.
And what was the result? Well, content with social media shares got a 22% boost.
So instead of writing the usual 500-800 words post, go for longer blog posts.
It takes time, but ultimately, all the effort and time spent is worth it.
#4: Create Content with an Edge
Backlinks are an essential SEO factor.
In fact, it is one of the top-ranking factors that Google considers.
But why will people link to your site?
WordPress reveals that 70 million posts are published every month.
There are so many options online, so why should people choose your site over others?
For example, for ‘how to decorate bathroom shelves,’ there are around 14, 300, 000 search results.
And it is such a huge number to choose from.
Let’s forget about 14, 299, 092 results.
How do you decide which article is better than the other 8-10 articles appearing on the first page?
Obviously, your content has to be better than the others – it should have an edge.
If everyone is writing 15 tips articles, take your tips to 25 or more.
If everyone is writing on outdated techniques, try to give a new idea.
If others are discussing the same case studies, find out new case studies to stand out.
It demands dedication, focus, and a lot of research, but every link counts in defining the fate of your SERP ranking.
DO EVERY ‘GOOD THING’ TO SECURE A LINK!
STEP # 3: Pay Attention to People’s Search Intent
With the inception of RankBrain, things have changed the way Google analyzes a query.
Google has become a lot smarter in defining whether your content fits in a particular type of keyword query or not.
Now, when you learn about how to rank higher on search results, don’t forget about this concept.
Google now doesn’t push visitors to a SERP but also calculates how the dude interacted with the results on the page.
Nick Frost, Head of Google Brain Toronto/Canada, explains RankBrain as:
“Google is now integrating machine learning into that process. So then training models on when someone clicks on a page and stays on that page, when they go back or when they are trying to figure out exactly on that relationship.”
According to this, we can say that maybe RankBrain works like this…
It means that you should write and design your content in a way that increases dwell time.
We have already talked about the role of visual elements in increasing dwell time.
Here is what else you can do to increase dwell time on your page so that Google thinks that your content matches users’ intent.
#1: Follow Well-Organized Format
If your title tag ensures click, then your content’s structure makes visitors read your content.
So you should focus on a compelling format.
You can follow a few tried and tested formats that help you carve impactful content.
How can you make your readers read the content from starting till the end?
When the top content pushes the readers to read the middle content, and middle content pushes further to read the bottom.
That’s the idea behind the slippery slide content writing pattern.
Joseph Sugarman, the man behind this concept, says about slippery slide as:
“Your readers should be so compelled to read your copy that they cannot stop reading until they read all of it as if sliding down a slippery slide.”
So your job is to get the whole content read.
It can go like this:
#2: Increase Readability of Your Content
Readers don’t like to bang their heads with the walls of content.
They want content that has readability because your visitors are not always readers; some are skimmers.
In fact, skimming is becoming a new normal in the online world – and data supports it.
A 2008 study concluded that visitors only read about 20% of the content.
So what should you be doing? Increase readability.
Use Headings and Bullets
Break the wall of content with headings and subheadings.
Let your readers know what your content is talking about by giving them mini signs in the form of subheadings.
Bullets can further enhance the readability by highlighting essential points separately.
Break Content into Chunks
You can see throughout this blog that I haven’t written an enormous fat paragraph.
Because let’s be honest that dense paragraphs stuffed with words psychologically feel exhausting.
Your mind says: Eh! Do I have to read that much content?
So trick the brain of readers with small chunks of content.
Don’t let their brain stray or feel burdened.
Give them a notion that everything is easy-breezy, dude. Keep on reading!
So they will follow suit!
STEP # 4: Focus on E-A-T Because Google Does the Same
The reason why SEO’s world is so dynamic is that:
Google is always looking out for ways to make things easier and better for the searchers.
In context to Google’s this quest, E-A-T is in the market now.
If you are searching for how to rank higher on Google searches, you need to know about E-A-T as much as other popular improving google search ranking factors.
Now E-A-T (or Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) plays a part in deciding the SERP fate of a site.
If Google thinks that your E-A-T for a particular search query is good, it will rank your site higher. If not, your site will not get good rankings.
So why Google found it essential to consider E-A-T?
Part of the reason is that Google wants to combat false information:
The other reason is its connection with RankBrain – the third major signal for ranking.
The question is: how can you improve your E-A-T for Google?
Here is the answer:
#1: Expert Content Creators
Google wants people to disseminate right and trustworthy information.
A person giving medical advice on a medical website should be a doctor, not a graduate in business. That’s what Google wants from you.
In Google guide, it is clearly written that:
The reputation and E-A-T of the creators of the MC are extremely important when a website has different authors or content creators on different pages.
Though E-A-T varies depending on different types of websites, it is still important.
But how does Google determine if a person is an expert or not?
The best practice is to give each article byline and details about the creator.
You can see that this is an article related to the law, and the byline says that the content creator is an attorney.
Now click on the creator’s name.
The link takes you to another page with a detailed creator’s bio that tells about the creator’s expertise and experience. It gives an idea to Google that an expert has written the piece of content. So it is trustworthy to show on the top of search results.
# 2: Make Sure Your Content Follows E-A-T
Your content should be of high quality to fulfill the parameter of the E-A-T.
Being high quality here means that:
Make your website and content user-oriented that provide value and cover different dimensions of the topic.
In other words:
- Always write 100% original content that provides value. Never-ever copy or duplicate content, and avoid keyword stuffing.
- Be fair with Google as well as people.
- Always look out for ways to provide a fantastic user experience to both the visitors – Google and people.
- Don’t show Google and people what is not present on the page, be it in the form of cloaking, deceptive snippets, sneaky redirects, or keyword masking.
This point is one of the most significant factors in 2021 when you are considering points on how to rank higher on Google.
So don’t ignore it.
STEP # 5: Promote Your Content Insanely
After writing amazing content that:
- Has the right keywords
- Has the visual appeal
- Follows the user intent
- Has an edge
…your work doesn’t end.
You still have a long way to go because you have to promote your content as well.
Ask an expert about how to show up in Google search? And most of them will say one thing: get backlinks.
Yes, you still need backlinks to get a higher ranking, and for getting backlinks, people first need to know about your content.
That’s where promotions can help you.
And that struggle is not for new or small audience base blogs. Even big giants also have to undergo the struggle of promotions to gather some buzz.
Like Brian Dean in one of his blogs gives credit to promotion for the success of many of his blogs.
You can promote your blog through following ways:
#1: Tell Your Newsletter Subscribers
If you have newsletter subscribers, it means that they are interested in your content.
After all, no one has time to subscribe to your newsletter randomly.
See? Filling out a newsletter is not easy.
No one likes spending time giving out their personal information to random people.
Even if it just takes one minute, hardly, to write your name and email address and push the red button.
But if someone is doing it, it means that he/she is interested in that he/she is interested in you.
So reaching out to your subscribers can be a huge help in sharing your content with interested people.
#2: Do Guest Posting
People ask me many times: “Is guest posting still useful?”
And I always say: Yes! Because it is true.
Guest posting is still working great for link building if you are not doing shady practices, like link scheming, keyword stuffing, or buying links.
And the best thing about guest posting is that it is not only suitable for link building but also a fantastic source of promotion.
If you don’t know how to do it, hire a manual link building service or guest posting service for this purpose instead of messing up things (you need to know that a little mistake can really mess up things).
Just imagine how powerful an editorially placed link can become when it is all surrounded by high-quality and relevant content.
- It gives you authority and credibility…because being mentioned in a post of the high-authority site makes you credible for readers.
- It brings qualified traffic to your site…because guest posts are usually published on niche-relevant sites with a targeted audience.
So guest posting is a great way to promote your content among relevant audiences.
#3: Share Your Post on Social Media
If you have a social media handle, use it to promote your posts.
You don’t need thousands or millions of followers to get the best out of your social media promotions.
The key is to have interested and relevant followers.
Once you have them, even if they are just a couple of hundreds, they can become a great help for your content promotion.
People love sharing good things on their social media platforms because of their constant need to communicate and keep their profiles up-to-date.
In fact, a 2011 study found that around 27 million content is shared everyday.
It means people do share content.
Just make sure your content has ‘shareability’ value, which means it has elements that people find worth sharing with others.
STEP # 6: Go for Internal Link Building
Getting backlinks is one of the most important SEO factors. But internal link building also matters.
Simply: an internal link is a link that targets other pages present on the same website.
Usually, we link a page of a website with high authority to a page with less authority on the same website to transfer the first page’s link juice to the second.
Well, here is a visual representation to make things easier for you.
So how do internal links play their role in how to rank higher on Google guide?
These links are useful in three ways:
- They make navigation easy for users.
- They establish a site structure that is easily crawlable for Google’s spiders.
- They distribute link power (or link equity) throughout the website.
Google also wants you to have a simple website navigation hierarchy for users to find the content without any hassle.
Forget about good content and perfect keyword placement; if Google is not able to find and index your page, nothing will work.
Internal linking is also essential from SEO’s point of view. Google first has to index you to rank you. It is as simple as that!
Unlike backlink building, you can use keyword-rich anchor text for internal linking as it helps Google understand better that you are referring to which page.
But here is a thing:
Don’t create unnecessary links that are not helpful for the users and are likely to confuse them.
STEP # 7: Optimize For Voice Search
How to rank higher on Google?
If you are finding an answer to this question, you better start focusing on voice search.
The problem with running an online business is that you are not only running in a marathon of competition, you are also fighting against modern digital consumers.
And they want very easy life experiences.
So no wonder that voice search is becoming very popular.
People are using voice assistance to search for your products.
Sleeping on this important modern consumers’ consumption pattern means that you are dead.
If you want to appear in today’s consumers’ search results, it is time that you start working on optimizing your site for voice assistance.
Here are some simple ways to ride on the waves of voice search and rank your business in Google.
#1: Understand Your Searchers
There is a huge difference between the way we type a query and say it.
People use concise words and phrases while typing.
But their search behavior switches to more of a conversational mode while using voice assistance.
So first, you need to know:
- How your targeted audiences are searching
- What types of phrases are they using to address you
- Which voice-enabled devices are they using
This is your first step towards a successful voice search website optimization.
#2: Use Conversational Keywords
Change in consumption and search patterns means that you also need to work on your focus keywords.
Short keywords are important, but voice search demands focus on long-tail, conversational keywords that your searchers are using to find you.
Take the help of Google search assistance to find out what kind of phrases searchers are using.
#3: Answer All Possible Questions
It is time that you step aside from the traditional website content writing style.
Align it with the consumers’ behavior: make it conversational.
Instead of writing signature ‘we provide the best online services,’ tell users how you offer the best services.
- Cover all possible queries of the searchers
- Give detailed answers to queries
- Give clear and easy to understand answers
STEP # 8: Target Featured Snippet
Ranking high is good. But what if you can outrank the top-ranking search result? Isn’t it even better?
That’s where the featured snippet helps you.
Featured snippets are an all-time kill for your business because:
- You get to sit on the top of the first search result
- Your site gets visibility and distinct position than others
- You grab the limelight without paying Google
That’s how a featured snippet looks like:
Isn’t it amazing if you don’t have to work on how to get ranked on Google to the core of your bones, and still you win the race on SERPs like a boss?
Here is the trick to do that:
- Well-Structured: Create highly structured content that has clear headings and points
- Clarity: Write content in clear steps, tables, or points
- Images: Use high-quality, relevant images
- Valuable: Answer users’ questions in 8th-standard language
- Authority: Work on the authority and credibility of the page
- Right Keywords: Go with long-tail keywords
- SEO Factors: Work on your technical, on-page, and off-page SEO to boost the quality
Remember that mostly, featured snippets are taken from the content on the first page.
So you still have to grab a higher search engine ranking.
A featured snippet just makes your good ranking ‘the best.’
You have neither established your business to get lost in the pit of the search engines’ ranking pages nor do you deserve it.
You have every right to shine on the top of search rankings, just like your competitors.
Instead of looking at your competitors topping the rankings with a sigh, you should pull up your own SEO game.
But the key is to stick to only Google-approved SEO techniques to avoid getting into Google’s bad books.
The only way to cheat SEO ranking is by using the right cheat code, i.e., the right SEO practices.
Avoid shady practices, focus on link building, promote your content, and keep the awesome content coming, and you will soon start witnessing positive results.
In fact, you wouldn’t have to ask again how to rank 1 on Google because that’s what you would already be doing.
Just stay patient, focused, strategize things, and implement – and things will start falling into the bracket for you.
Now it is your turn. Let us know how this how to rank higher on Google guide has helped you to tweak your SEO game for better results.