DIGITAL MARKETING

How to Rank Higher on Google in 2020 – Simple Actionable Tips

How-to-rank

Bang! Now Google is a word in the dictionary, and it is a synonym of the word ‘search.’ It is enough to show that Google’s game in the world of search engines is way too strong.

With 3.5 billion searches per day, Google reigns the world of search engines, and businesses have to struggle to come in the good books of Google to mark their 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.

That’s why you also 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?

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.

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.

Sharpen Up Your On-Page SEO

On-page, or on-site, SEO is one of the essential SEO factors you need to increase Google search rank.

On-page SEO is all about working on the optimization of the on-page content.

The good thing is that it is not that hard.

 

A few tweaks on your website’s content can bring a lot of SEO perks for you.

 

But unfortunately, most people focus on off-page SEO more than on-page SEO.

 

And that’s why things don’t work for them because even if people have forgotten about on-page SEO, Google still remembers it and gives it high importance.

 

Google has written in its on-page optimization guide clearly that SEO practices can improve SERP rankings.

google onpage guide

So, what do people forget to add in their SEO recipe?

SEO recipe databox

Source: Databox

Irrespective of the order of importance in SEO, you should work on all these factors with equal importance.

  •  Write a Descriptive URL

A URL is not only your website’s clickable link. It has a whole science behind it.

website url

It has a root domain i.e., globexoutreach.com, in the above case. Specifications of a page then follow it.

So, a URL tells users where this page is from, and what is it about?

You might be asking, 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.

url usage by search engine

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:

avoid keyword stuffing

Don’t make your URL look spammy like this:

spammy url

Anyone can tell that you have tried to trick search engines. And they don’t like it!

  •  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.

 

page title

 

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 improve page rankings because Google takes it as an indicator that people are finding your page relevant.

improve page rankings

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 in your title tag to increase CTR?

Tell what your content is exactly about.

content is about

Listicles are doing great, jump on the bandwagon.

Listicles are doing great

Add dates that readers can relate to.

Add dates that readers can relate

Ask questions that attract readers’ attention.

Ask questions that attract readers’

Mention brand’s name to establish authority and credibility.

Mention brand name

Question: What else do all these examples of title tags reveal?

Answer: 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.

ahrefs keywords stuffing

But again… no keyword stuffing, please!

I am not the only one saying it. Google also wants you to avoid it:

avoid keyword stuffing google says

  • Don’t Miss Out on Meta-Descriptions

First, what are meta descriptions?

They are sentences or paragraphs that appear under the title tag in search results.

meta description

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?

It is leading us towards giving importance to increasing the click-through rate.

And we need it to stay relevant in the eyes of Google.

Choose Your Keywords Wisely

We all 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.

keyword stuffing

But using keywords is still essential 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.

databox keyword optimization

Now you might be asking how to rank for a keyword?

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 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 and have a 3-5% better click-through rate.

And…

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.

search demand by moz

Source: Moz

Instead of going head-on for competitive keywords, look out for keywords that your prospects are actually using with a high conversion rate.

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.

website ranking factor data box

Source: Databox

In fact, 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.

 

writing tip

Well-formatted content, with proper sub-heading and paragraphs that enhance the readability of the content.

content formating

100% unique and original content with no copying or duplication.

original content

But in the World of SEO, high-quality content is a lot more than creating grammatically on-point and well-formatted content.

  • Write Super Engaging Content

A 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? Why creating engaging content is not just an option but a necessity for you.

That’s why 72% of content creators prefer to create engaging content.

 

b2b content creator

 

Now you may be asking how to create engaging content?

Well, it doesn’t require rocket science.

Add visual elements into your content

Forget about visual elements; let’s make Alfredo Pasta.

So…

Boil pasta.

Cook chicken.

Add spices.

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 an 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% people agree that they pay close attention to visual content

content formatting

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. BUT DO IT.

  • 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.

To be more specific…

content length

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.

loger post social shares

Source: Backlinko

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.

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.

  • 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.

google serp

And it is such a huge number to choose from.

But wait… 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.

So…

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!

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.

Like, 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 and trying to figure out exactly on that relationship.”

According to this, we can say that maybe RankBrain works like this…

How_page_rank_works

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.

  • Follow Compelling Format

Your title tag ensures click, and your content’s structure makes visitors read your content.

So, you should focus on a compelling format.

But how to write impactful content?

You can follow a few tried and tested formats that help you carve an impactful content.

Slippery Slide

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.” (p. 49)

So, your job is to get the whole content read.

It can go like:

slide

  • Increase the 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 in Chunks:

You can see throughout this blog that I haven’t written a big fat paragraph.

Why?

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!

Focus on E-A-T Because Google Does the Same

The reason why SEO’s world is so dynamic is because 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.

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:

fals information

The other reason is its connection with RankBrain – the third major signal for ranking.

google algorithms

The question is: how can you improve your E-A-T for Google?

  •  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 written clearly that:

The reputation and E-A-T of the creators of the MC is extremely important when a website has different authors or content creators on different pages.

content creator

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.

tips of serp

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.

content creator bio

The link takes you to another page with a detailed creator’s bio that tells about the creator’s expertise and experience.

  • 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:

high quality content

Make your website and content user-oriented that provide values 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.

Promote Your Content Insanely

After writing an 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 you will get the answer: get backlinks.

Yes, you still need backlinks to get higher rankings, and for getting backlinks, people first need to know about your content.

That’s where promotions can help you.

And that struggle is not only 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.

promote your content

You can promote your blog through following ways:

  • 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.

subscribe

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 a few seconds 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 you.

So, reaching out to your subscribers can be a huge help in sharing your content to interested people.

  • 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.

links scheme

And the best thing about guest posting is that it is not only suitable for link building, but it is also a fantastic source of promotion.

Just imagine how powerful an editorially placed link can become when it is all surrounded by high-quality, 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 on 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.

  •  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.

content sharing

Source: Entrepreneur

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.

Go for Internal Link Building

Getting backlinks is one of the most important SEO factors. But internal link building also matters.

In an easy term, 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 link juice of the first page to the second.

Sounds complicated?

Well, here is a visual representation to make things easier for you.

internal linkbuilding

So, what do internal links do?

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.

website navigaiton best practice

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 to understand better that you are referring to which page.

anchor text usage

But here is a thing: Don’t create unnecessary links that are not helpful for the users, and are likely to confuse them.

excessively keyword filled

Conclusion

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 bad books of Google.

The only way to cheat SEO ranking is by using the right cheat code, i.e., 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, develop a robust strategy, and implement – things will start falling into the bracket for you.