Don’t have time to stick around and read the entire blog? Not to worry! Here is a quick summary of how to best improve Google search ranking organically.
Tip 1 – Having just an active website is not enough. You need to be active on at least a couple of social media channels as well. Having your website linked to active social media channels will improve Google search ranking.
Tip 2 – Use high-volume, relevant keywords and search terms as cornerstone pages on your website. The content on these pages should also include these relevant keywords and search terms. This will clearly spell out to Google what the website is really about and will rank it accordingly.
Tip 3 – Building on the second point above, there are a few additional tips and tricks you can implement to organically improve Google search ranking. Start including key search terms and keywords in things like – URLs, meta descriptions, and photo / video file names.
Tip 4 – Stay active on and update website pages regularly. A website that has received no updates over a period of time will be deemed as inactive by Google and its search ranking will be overtaken by other relevant and more active pages.
Tip 5 – Make sure your website page functionality is on-point. And by this we mean make sure that loading speed is below 2 seconds, all images and videos load correctly, all inbound and outbound links work, etc. Google will penalise websites that suffer from any of the above issues.
Tip 6 – Always remember to EAT! Google has outlined a three-step EAT guideline for gauging web page quality – Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness. Use these three steps as your guide when implementing SEO and organic search tactics.
What is the Holy Grail of SEO and Google search rankings for any business? Earning a place organically on Google search page 1! It is an incredibly competitive space and cannot be achieved overnight, but it should always be the goal.
Yes, paid ads will always take the top spot or two on most search pages. However, recent research has shown that internet users, particularly millennials and Gen Z, will bypass ads online in favour of the websites that have earned their way to the top page.
So how do you go about trying to reach that much coveted, but very difficult, page 1 ranking? Here we have outlined six inexpensive and very effective ways to improve Google search ranking organically.
To exemplify these tips, we will be using one of our clients, Granby Limited, as an example throughout to show their real life use.
1. Link Your Social Media Profiles To Your Website
Google will recognise and reward websites that show, and are linked to active social media profiles. It ultimately shows Google that you are a legitimate business and you are regularly posting new content and updates across several online touch points.
It is important to have several online touch points for your business, for a whole host of different reasons. People will also often use Google to find a social profile. For example, if you didn’t know or could not find Granby’s Instagram handle, you might Google “Granby Instagram”. And then ideally your search results will look a little something like…
Make sure you have your social media profiles visible and linked on your website. You can link as many profiles as you like, but our advice would be only link the ones you are very active on. Below is an example of the Granby website and the social media links we have chosen to put there.
The likelihood is if you have a website, you will have some form of social media presence, and vice versa. Link them up! It is a simple way to help you improve your Google search ranking. (You should also have your social profiles prominent when sending customer emails, which you can read all about here).
Aside from social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok, etc, Google will also reward you for having a completed and active Google Business Profile. They are very easy to set-up and will also clearly lay out all of your business’ key information. You can learn about how to set one up here.
2. Use High Volume Keywords & Terms On Your Website
Labelling the content on your website correctly is vitally important. By using specific keywords and terms as section headings and page headings on your website, you are telling Google to send people to these web pages.
Using our Granby example, the highest volume search terms related to the brand include things like – “Granby sausages”, “the history of Granby”, and “where can I buy Granby?”. After doing some research into these figures we then knew what keywords and terms we needed to include in order to increase organic Google traffic, and in turn, increase Google ranking.
So some of the pages on the website now look like this…
Study what people are asking about your brand online by using research tools like – SEMRush, Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest. Then, react accordingly and use this data to help you improve Google search ranking.
3. Utilise URLs, Meta Descriptions & File Names Correctly
Building on what we have just mentioned above, you can get a little more technical and clever with how you can improve your ranking and traffic.
Every page on your website has a URL. Make sure you are including high volume search terms and keywords in these URLs. On whatever platform the website was built, it should be very easy to edit the URLs to suit your search volume needs. For example, the URL of the web page that explains the history of the Granby brand looks like this – https://granbysausages.com/history-of-granby/.
The same applies for meta descriptions. Meta descriptions were designed to give you the opportunity to tell Google what a particular web page is about. Again, every page on your website will have the opportunity to fill out a meta description.
This might seem insignificant and irrelevant, but if you upload any image or video to your website, it will have a file name. Make sure these images and videos are given a name that uses certain keywords that align with the rest of the webpage. For example, on the Granby page that is detailing the information of their sausages, we made sure that all images uploaded were named “granby-sausages” or something similar. We did not leave the file names as “photo1”, etc.
Looking at editing one single URL, one single meta description or changing a file name or two might not seem like a worthwhile exercise. But think about every single web page on your website, all of the opportunities to describe what is on those pages and the amount of media uploaded to the site. Adding it all up, all of a sudden it is a very worthwhile exercise and one that can help improve Google search ranking over time.
It might be a little time consuming and tedious initially, but trust us, it is a worthwhile exercise!
4. Update Websites & Web Pages Regularly
All seems to be going well. Your website is up and running. You are getting good organic traffic. The keywords and phrases are on point. Your social media accounts are linked. This is great, but you cannot rest on your laurels!
Google rewards websites that are active. Essentially, no matter how good all of your other SEO parameters are performing, if Google deems your website as dormant, inactive or even just stale, your organic ranking will suffer.
So what can you do to avoid a stale website?
- Update and refresh the written content on the site.
- Replace or edit photos and videos on the site.
- Edit the layout of certain pages (change around the order of text and media).
- Add and remove products where relevant.
- Add in a blog section and include in your marketing strategy that you will upload a new blog post monthly or bi-monthly.
- Plug your Instagram account into the website so every time a new post is put on Instagram, it is then also visible on the site.
For Granby, we upload a new recipe to the website once a month (see below). In addition to the blog we do some general refreshing once a quarter by rewriting content, changing photos and moving media around.
5. Make Sure Your Website Is Fully Functional
This might seem a little too obvious, but again, it is the little things that can make all the difference when it comes to how to improve Google search ranking.
If your website has internal broken links or links to external pages that are not functioning, this will provide a red flag to Google. It tells Google that your site is unreliable and this can have a negative impact on your organic search ranking. These are just some of the things that you should be looking out for;
- Make sure all the pages on your site are fully functional and do not lead to error messages, bad gateways, etc.
- Make sure all links to external sites are fully functional and again, do not lead to error messages, etc.
- Where possible, only link to reputable external sites. You do not want to be penalised for sending people to “bad” or “dodgy” sites.
What is the best way to stay on top of this? As outlined in point number four, update your website regularly. If you are refreshing web pages on a monthly or bi-monthly basis you should be able to spot any functionality issues straight away.
6. Follow Google’s EAT Framework
Always remember to EAT!! Google has outlined their own framework as to how they go about ranking page quality. Now more than ever there are spam or fraudulent accounts looking to take advantage of internet users. You can read more about the EAT guidelines in-depth here.
But in a nutshell, the EAT framework is a combination of everything we have spoken about to this point;
Google wants to see evidence that you are an expert in your field. This can be shown by having relevant and up-to-date content. But it can also be seen by citing other reputable sources related to the topic. Prove to Google you know your stuff!
This can be most easily done by showing off what people are saying about your business or brand online. Have a 4.9 rating on Google? Show it off! Include it loudly and proudly on your site.
Some other reputable review sites that will demonstrate your authority to Google include – Google Reviews, Facebook reviews, Trustpilot, TripAdvisor, Glassdoor, etc.
Probably the most important of the three, people and search engines alike must know that they are able to trust your site.
This will come from having a fully functional site, having links to active social media accounts and profiles, having fresh and new content on your site, by ranking highly for relevant, high-volume keywords and phrases, and so on.
Of course having some high-performing Google ads is also very important and you can buy your way to the top of certain Google search pages. It is industry, business and budget dependent, but we would encourage you to invest in Google ads and have that as a key part of your marketing strategy.
However, we would also argue that it is even more important that you stay on top of your SEO and organic search ranking. Implementing the tips we have outlined here will go a long way in helping you climb the Google search rankings. The goal should be to get to page 1 on Google and once you get there, do everything in your power to stay there!!
To conclude in one simple line – do not overlook or underestimate the power of SEO and organic Google ranking!
Want to chat to us more about website SEO and how to improve Google search ranking? Do you feel that this is maybe an area your business is lacking in or could use some help with? Reach out to us today and we can organise a call!