The year is 2015. Google has just launched the Hummingbird algorithm. As soon as the algorithm comes into action, your website traffic starts to tank, and your rankings are dipping faster than ever. You're left wondering about the causes behind this collapse, but the damage is already done.
Most businesses and marketers go through this nightmare every time there’s a new Google algorithm update.
Why? It's because most players consider search engine optimization to be a one-and-done strategy. But in reality, you can reap the actual benefits of SEO only in the long run, focusing on delivering real value rather than creating content for the sake of rankings.
This guide will uncover seven actionable tips to produce long-term results and rank higher on Google. Let's get started!
7 proven steps to win higher google ranking
Organic search can be a game-changer for your content marketing strategy—49% of marketers agree and claim SEO brings the highest ROI for them. But acing every search query you target is no cakewalk. It’s a constant process of trial and error where you need a clear strategy to succeed.
So, let’s look at seven best practices to design a fail-proof SEO strategy for higher rankings on Google:
1. Focus on the user experience
Fact: 53% of visitors will leave your site if the loading time is more than 3 seconds.
The fact that so many visitors leave your website within a few seconds tells Google that your site’s user experience is poor. With the launch of Core Web Vitals, Google now considers the on-site user experience of any webpage as a critical ranking factor.
Here are a few key points to remember when optimizing your website UX and SEO:
- Meet the search intent: The RankBrain algorithm reviews every page for the search intent of a specific keyword and ranks them based on the content’s relevance to the search intent.
Jasper's Content Improver template can help you meet the search intent and boost your click through rate significantly. You only have to put the content into the template and choose the ideal tone of voice—the tool will work its magic to make the content better.
- Speed up your loading time: Page speed is a vital ranking parameter that directly impacts your SERP rank. Keep your loading speed <3 seconds to minimize the bounce rate.
- Remove unnecessary pop-ups: Too many pop-ups can badly hit your UX quality. Imagine landing on a website and closing ten different pop-ups before finding what you need. So, avoid adding useless pop-ups to your site.
- Enhance website security: Data security is a big concern among searchers. Google automatically flags an unsafe website, advising a user not to advance. This reduces your chances of ranking high.
- Simplify your navigational design: If a user gets lost on your website and finds it difficult to navigate, it creates a terrible user experience. Create a user-friendly navigation menu to give them the ease of browsing through the entire site.
User experience is more than a nice-to-have for your SEO strategy. With every upcoming Google update, the focus will shift increasingly towards UX signals to determine the pagerank.
2. Tap into low-volume keywords
High-volume keywords have always been a priority for SEO success. But what if there was another way to reach your target audience and get an edge over your competition? The good news: there is a way.
Low-volume keywords are the underdogs to unlock organic traffic and double down on the transactional intent especially if your website doesn’t have high domain authority. With low-volume keywords, you can:
- Reach a hyper-relevant audience base
- Move past all the competition and increase the ranking potential
- Generate interest around a particular set of ideas
- Diversify your strategy and maximize your search traffic
Here's a case in point. While EdgePoint Learning doesn't rank anywhere on the first results page for the high-volume keyword "learning management system," it ranks on the first page for the low-volume and niched keyword "learning management system for small business."
Put simply, underperforming keywords allow you to snag the top SERP results from bigger competitors and tap into a more commercial search intent. Remember to target specific, long-tail keywords relevant to your buyer personas and push your product or service.
3. Strategically categorize keywords
Keyword research is an invaluable part of your SEO strategy. But to get the best out of your keyword research, you need to strategically identify and classify all your keywords before you start creating content around them.
Let’s look at a few keyword categories you can consider:
- High business value: keywords with commercial intent and high volume to increase revenue
- High search volume: keywords with a high search volume to increase traffic
- Traffic generating: keywords that currently drive the most traffic to your site
- Low density score: keywords that are easier to rank for to achieve top SERP rankings
This detailed keyword classification can add the right direction to your content strategy roadmap. You'll also have a better chance to experiment with different keywords and use a combination of the best-performing lot.
4. Establish topical expertise with quality content
Keyword-specific content lies at the core of any SEO strategy. But there’s a lot more to SEO-rich content than just keywords.
Your content shows Google that you’re an industry expert with topical expertise over the target keywords. So, how can you create this high-quality content that proves your expertise and authority? Through three critical steps:
- Match Google’s quality benchmarks: Instead of churning out content for the sake of ranking higher, shift your attention to the quality of your content. Focus on meeting Google's quality standards and delivering on what the audience expects.
- Move past regurgitated content: One of the lesser-known hacks to establish your thought leadership on search engines is creating fresh and unique content. Google searches through all the pages to prioritize original insights over repetitive content.
- Aim for the featured snippet: Given the declining attention spans among users, it's more important than ever to deliver the correct information quickly. A featured snippet brings you greater visibility with 35% of clicks from all users on average.
The quality of your content demonstrates your subject matter expertise to win higher SERP ranks for any keyword. But the biggest challenge for most businesses can be finding the right strategists and writers to produce this original, in-depth, and brand-aligned content.
Jasper AI can do all the heavy lifting for you if you're struggling to create content at the right momentum. This AI-powered writing assistant can do everything—from brainstorming topics and creating outlines to producing content in 50 formats. So, creating quality content at scale is now easier than ever.
5. Identify and leverage gaps in top-ranking pages
Besides building a seamless user experience and identifying your best keywords, your SEO strategy should also analyze what your competitors are doing. Review what's already out there for every keyword and chalk out the best ways to create something better than the current results.
You can analyze your competition and gain an advantage in more than one way:
- Carefully review all the top results for a keyword and critically evaluate if you can outrank them. If the answer is a yes, pinpoint what’s missing and use this data to make your pages rank-ready.
- Find out your total addressable market (TAM)—the total market you can target realistically. Your TAM gives you a big-picture insight into the audience you can reach through your content. Refresh your keywords by broadening the list to your TAM.
- Focus on distribution just as much as content creation. Collect social shares and traffic from multiple sources to build social proof for your pieces. This can help bump up your pages for the Google search results.
Outranking existing pages is easy when you know how it’s done. Keep building your website authority and produce intent-driven content to match the readers’ expectations.
6. Go the extra mile for mobile optimization
It’s no surprise that nearly 75% of all online traffic will come from mobile devices by 2025. This statistic makes it even more critical to optimize your website for mobile browsing and win higher rankings.
Let’s look at a few proven strategies to make your website mobile-friendly:
- Create a responsive design to offer the ease of viewing your site on smaller screens
- Design your website layout with suitable title tags and CTA placement for a thumb-friendly interface
- Add an easily viewable and user-friendly navigation bar to remove any friction points and increase the CTR
- Separate your URLs for mobile to design a parallel site built only for mobile users
Mobile is becoming an increasingly crucial part of any SEO strategy. So, remember to optimize your site for mobile SEO to maximize the results. Monitor selected metrics on Google Analytics—like search visibility, dwell time, impressions, and rank position—to iterate your strategy as per the results.
Jasper helps you optimize your homepage with on-point titles and meta descriptions. You can put a one-line description of your brand and the keywords you want to target to get three great options to choose from.
7. Consistently build, clean, and fix your links
Links can make or break your SEO game. All your efforts can fall flat without an effective link-building strategy. A lot goes into link building. But you have to focus on three main aspects:
- Link cleaning: This will focus primarily on your site structure and indexing. Clean it up to offer ease of browsing through your website with the right combination of anchor texts. You should remove all bad links that badly impact your authority, like links from link farms and blog networks.
- Link fixing: Be sure to remove or fix any broken links for your website—both external and internal. This requires a link clean-up at regular intervals to correct the link placement and fix any errors to the redirecting page.
- Backlinking: Increase the number of domains referring to your website to improve domain authority (DA) and boost your chances of ranking higher. You can get good backlinks through guest posting on reputed industry sites, adding your business listing to known directories, solid PR efforts, and image SEO.
Don’t overlook the importance of building quality links for your SEO success. Conduct periodic audits and be on the lookout for poor links potentially harming your DA score.
Maximize your business’s SEO potential
Winning a higher search rank seems like too much work, but it doesn’t have to be. A well-informed strategy can skyrocket your results.
But there’s only one catch: instead of obsessing over ranking higher on Google, keep your eyes on building authority through a seamless user experience, quality content, user-friendly interface, and healthy links.
If you’re short on resources for the content production part, Jasper is at your service. Sign up on Jasper today and explore its feature-packed functionality for marketers and businesses to ace search engines.