7 Step Checklist to Rank Better on Google
Higher Google Rankings Fast!
In this blog I am going to talk about how to get higher google rankings FAST. I’m going to give you a checklist to go through to get higher google rankings
Step #1 Find and eliminate Zombie pages
I used to think that google rewarded sites that published lots and lots of unique content, but I was wrong. Google doesn’t want you to publish content just for the sake of publishing content. In fact, a Google employee recently stated that they prefer websites that publish fewer high quality pages. This quality over quantity approach will help your business rank better on Google! Make sure each and every post you do is awesome and high quality.
So what are Zombie pages you might wonder? Zombie pages are pages on your site that don’t provide any value.
- Old/Out date blog posts and press releases
- Category and tag pages
- Search result pages
- ECommerce product pages with zero sales
- Thin Content pages
- Pages with duplicate content
Fewer pages means fewer problems.
Step #2 Clean up technical SEO issues
There are literally hundreds of technical problems that can impact your SEO and fixing them is one of the fasts ways to get higher Google rankings. That being said here is a list of the most common technical issues I see when doing site audits;
- Duplicate or missing title tags
- Duplicate description tags
- Broken links
- Images with missing alt text
- Pages blocked by robots.txt
- 302 redirects that should be 301 redirects
How can you find these technical SEO issues on your site? I would recommend using the Raven tool site auditor or SEMrush’s site audit tool. They will crawl your site and let you know about technical problems that might be hurting your sites SEO.
Step #3 Basic and Advanced On-Page Optimization
Once you’ve fixed your Zombie pages and technical problems we should focus on optimizing your content. I probably don’t have to tell you that on-page SEO can make or break your sites rankings. That’s why I dedicate an entire step of my SEO checklist to on-page SEO.
You won’t be able to optimize every page if your website has thousands of pages, so focus on your most important pages. Some businesses might see their blog posts as most important or commercial pages.
Make sure you’ve done some keyword research and know what pages you want to rank for specific keywords. Add the keyword to the top of the page in the first couple of sentences. Why? Because Google puts more weight on words that appear in the beginning of your content, so it’s important that your keyword shows up there.
Next you should spread out some LSI keywords. LSI keywords are terms that are closely related to your target keyword. When you include these LSI keywords in your content you’ll get a rankings boost.
So how can you use LSI keywords to get higher rankings? Well let’s say you just wrote an article about coffee. LSI keywords for coffee would be things like mug, caffeine and starbucks. You want to make sure that you include those terms in your content.
Step #4 Boost organic Click-through-Rate (CTR)
To boost your CTR you’ll want to optimize your Title and description tag. CTR is a huge ranking factor right now. If someone is searching for a keyword and clicks on your result more than others, it tells Google that you’re the best result for that keyword and you’ll rank higher on Google.
In fact, a recently published Google research paper states that, “Click-through rate data has proben to be a critical resource for improving search ranking quality.” So, it’s clear that CTR is an important ranking signal for Google.
The question is, how can you optimize for it? Look at the adwords ads that are coming up when you search your specific keyword and other related keywords, as well as the top ranking pages.
Step #5 Improve Dwell Time
What is Dwell time and how can you optimize for it? When someone searches for a keyword and clicks on your result two things can happen. They could stay on your site for a long time or quickly click away.
The amount of time someone spends on your site is known as dwell time. The longer your dwell time in general, the higher your page will rank on Google. To improve dwell time make sure that you have your important content above the fold.
Don’t put giant images on top of your content. Your intro to your content is one of the most important things, when people come from Google it’s the main thing that will make them stay or leave usually. Make sure your into is compelling, interesting and easy to read.
Step #6 Improve Website Loading Speed
Can making your site faster really improve your Google rank? Definitely! If you check out Backlinkos Search ending ranking factor study found that faster loading pages tended to outrank slow pages. Visit Googles page speed insights to quickly evaluate and improve your sites loading speed.
Take note of what google is telling you and try to fix what you can. Next head over to GTMetrix which is similar to Googles page speed test. GTMetrixs will show you potential issues with your pages code as well as server hosting problems that can slow down your site. For example images that are not compressed will play a big part in your pages load speed.
Now that your site is optimized, error-free and fast it’s time for the last step!