Want to boost Google ranking? Of course, you do… well, let’s face it who wouldn’t want a top spot on Google with all the extra visibility and potential sales that comes with that?!
Ranking high in the organic search results has always been an important part of a digital marketing strategy. However, with Google’s constant updates to search algorithms, it’s becoming more and more challenging to get to the top and stay on top with a static SEO campaign.
There are thousands of SEO tactics that can be used in any search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy and you certainly need to have all the basic SEO elements nailed. This article focuses on some of the most effective and often overlooked SEO tactics that can really boost Google ranking results once you have a strong foundation in place. If you want some help getting that foundation in place download our free SEO Checklist here.
7 often overlooked SEO methods that can really boost Google ranking:
Understanding how to use customer reviews can get you the SEO boost that you’re looking for.
According to BrightLocal, 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking every day.
Reviews are important, not only for being a huge conversion factor but for ranking too. Online reviews are thought to make up over 9% of how Google decides to rank search results.
But it’s not just third party reviews that will benefit your ranking results…
A customer review feed on your website that is constantly updated by customers provides the perfect type of content for search engines. Google loves this type of relevant and fresh user-generated content and it has the added advantage of being influential for your future customers.
Having fresh customer reviews can positively impact review signals and also fresh and relevant content signals in your SEO strategy. It is no secret that Google favours highly rated sites and prefers unique content that is both relevant to the website and provides valuable information, so this is great tactic to boost Google ranking
2. Internal linking structure
Having a strategic internal linking structure can help to create powerful SEO results. In an internal link, both your source and your target domain are one and the same. This makes website navigation easier for the user and helps to define the structure and hierarchy of a website.
Internal linking provides a closely connected network of pages and posts and its influence lies in its ability to provide search engine spiders with a clear path, while also providing visitors with further relevant information, therefore increasing their visit time – both of which are good for SEO and will help boost Google ranking
Strategies for using internal linking properly include:
- Your website should have a good amount of high-quality content and use relevant anchor text.
- Link to deeper pages and not top-level pages on a website.
- Your links should be natural and provide value to the reader.
- Your internal linking should be relevant and connected.
- Follow links are known to build out the internal link structure in content marketing.
Good and consistent internal linking will boost your SEO and give your website’s visitors a better user experience.
Have you overlooked the benefits of internal links? This Ultimate Internal Linking Guide includes 10 great tactics to help you
3. Title tags
Meta tags are elements placed in the <head> section of a HTML document. There are two elements – the title tag, and the meta description tag.
Title tags tell search engines and website visitors what the pages on your site are about in a concise and accurate way, making them hugely important. The title tag can be pulled as anchor text when someone shares your page link on other websites or on social media platforms. It also stands out in blue on a search engine results page.
The title tags are the most visible element of your webpage on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and largely determines whether or not a searcher will visit your website. Title tags are believed to be a highly relevant on-page SEO element and it’s widely thought that the search engines compare the title tag to the keywords in your content to help determine search ranking – the closer the match, the more relevant the page appears and the higher the page ranking.
Here are some pointers to crafting an effective title tag to help boost Google ranking:
- Include the main keyword for which you want your page to rank
- Target just one keyword per page
- Write your title in a natural way – cut the spam and the keyword stuffing
- Google typically displays the first 50–60 characters of a title tag, so keep your titles under 60 characters
4. Meta Description
The meta description appears beneath your company URL and the title tag on a search engine results page. Like the title tag, it is added to the <head> section of your site HTML.
Meta descriptions in themselves are not a Google ranking factor, however, they do have a considerable impact on your click-through rate. Appealing and relevant meta descriptions will not only increase your click-through rate and therefore increase the number of satisfied visitors arriving at your site but will also increase your page’s relevancy score and are therefore very likely to boost Google ranking
Here are a few tips to craft an effective Description Meta Tag:
- Describe what the page is about and give readers a reason to WANT to click through to keep reading
- Weave in keywords, but always write in a natural way
- There’s no definitive maximum length for meta descriptions. But as a rule of thumb, aim for around 156 characters as anything longer is often truncated with ellipses (like this…)
5. Use of keyword in domain
If you are starting a new website, including a keyword in your domain name often helps your website to rank faster and better.
However, be aware that since Google’s EMD update in 2012, using an exact match domain can have a negative impact on your SEO ranking. To avoid this and instead reap the benefits blend a keyword with your brand name, this has the added advantage of helping users find you in a navigational search.
This practice will not have much of an impact on an already established website, however, it can help newly created websites to find their SEO footing. For best results, this should be combined with other good domain practices, such as using a reputable web hosting company in your region. Hostgator and Godaddy have great reputations in the United States, while in New Zealand, Discount Domains seem to be a good choice and in the UK Siteground are an excellent provider.
6. Schema mark-up
Schema mark-up is code that helps search engines to understand the data on your website better and returns more detailed and useful information for searchers.
Schema.org is the website for Schema mark-up and it was created by a collaboration between Google, Yahoo and Bing. When you include Schema mark-up in your website HTML, you are adding a set of code that has been agreed upon by the three major search engines and tells them exactly what they should do with the data on your website. Schema mark-up is available for all kinds of website content including products, book reviews, movies, software applications, events etc
Schema mark-up is used by only 0.3% of all websites and one study has shown that websites that use Schema mark-up rank an average of 4 positions higher than websites that ignore Schema mark-up.
If you don’t know where to start with Schema mark-up, take a look at this Beginner’s Guide to Structured Data and Schema made Easy
7. Quality Content will boost Google ranking
The quality of your content is crucial to your ranking. It is not often overlooked when planning SEO strategies, however, it belongs on this list because you cannot possibly talk about SEO without talking about content.
For content to be effective it needs to appeal to your audience and also solve a particular problem. It also needs to rank well in Google.
Google tells us that quality content is:
- Useful and informative – e.g. includes location, opening hours, contact information, prices, product or event details
- More valuable and useful than other sites – i.e. when compared to your competitors
- Credible – e.g. includes citations, links to original research, author biography, genuine reviews and testimonials
- High quality – e.g. includes unique, specific and relevant content that hasn’t been outsourced to other websites; free from spelling mistakes, typos and grammatical errors
- Engaging – e.g. features relevant, high-quality images, opportunities to comment, social media widgets and sharing options, updates, and links to related information
Here are some quick tips to help you create quality content:
- Focus on quality – generic content that can be found on any other website won’t help your website stand out, or make visitors stay on your page. Give something extra, something valuable that helps your audience. Create actionable and easy to follow content that solves peoples’ problems.
- Keyword research – Content creation starts by choosing the right keyword. If you want your content to be found by the very people that would benefit then doing keyword research will help your content to rank well and be discoverable.
- On-page optimisation – Each unique page should target one particular keyword, topic or phrase and this should be used consistently across all visible and metadata associated with that URL. Be sure to write in a natural way and avoid spam and keyword stuffing
- User experience – Creating unique and fresh content that’s valuable and optimised is key not only to a higher page rank but an overall improved user experience too. User experience is becoming one of the dominant SEO factors.
- Featured snippets – answer searchers’ queries in your content where possible as this will increase the likelihood of ranking at the top of the search engine results page. Featured snippets appear in 9.1968 percent of search queries, according to RankRanger. They appear right at the top of the search results page, above the normal search results. Ranking in position 0 with a featured snippet is a massive boost to that page’s visibility and organic traffic.
I’ve focused on a few often overlooked areas of SEO that I know will deliver big wins for any SEO strategy. If you have all the SEO basics covered and want to further boost Google ranking employ the tactics mentioned in this article with a focus on giving visitors a good user experience.
Want a copy of our Free SEO Checklist to get you started with your SEO?
Hit the link below and find out how to optimise your website for higher rankings in Google while also providing a good user experience for your customers
Please feel free to share any thoughts, feedback or tactics that work for you.
Hazel Jarrett, director of SEO at SEO+, is well-known in the SEO space, has won many awards during her 20-year career and has been published on various well-known sites. Through her services and training programs, her SEO strategies have generated 10s of millions of sales for her clients, earning her a big reputation for delivering the results that matter.
Want to follow Hazel on social media? You’ll find her via the icons below.