The higher up on the search rankings the more clicks you're going to get. If you appear lower than the top few results the fewer and fewer people are going to click on your site, and this is bad, we don't want this.
We need to get your posts as high as possible and ideally right at the top.
What I am going to do with this post is show you how you can boost your posts, the SEO tips you need to rank higher.
What is SEO?
SEO or search engine optimisation is the process of improving aspects of your sites to improve your ranking on search engines.
You could make the comparison with paid advertising. The difference is that in paid advertising you can pay to promote your content at the top of search rankings, whereas in an SEO optimised site this happens by itself or "organically". So what SEO does is make your content more attractive to search engines like Google so that they promote it higher up in search rankings.
There are dozens of factors that go into SEO and what's important, but there are things you can do to improve your rankings.
Unless you're going the advertising route, chances are organic growth is what you're looking for. With this strategy you're in it for the long game, if you want organic growth you need to improve the reputation of your site over time. You need people to read your content and share. You need backlinks
What a backlink basically is, is a link from someone else's website to yours. So lets say someone writes about your content and then writes a link to your website, that's a backlink.
What are Google's Ranking Factors?
So we know what SEO is but what about Ranking Factors?
These are the factors on your page that affect Google's search algorithm when serving search requests to its users'.
The goal is to get your site as high as possible on search engines and one of the ways they do this is with Ranking Factors.
There are hundreds of things that can have an impact on your websites' ranking on search engines each having their knock on effect. You want to have as many of these as possible as the more you have the higher you rank, and the higher you rank the more traffic you get.
In this guide I am going to tell you some of the more important Ranking Factors to get you higher conversions.
But first, if you haven't got a blog and would like to start one, check out my guide. Create A Money Making Blog.
Why Are They Important?
Google's Ranking Factors form a critical part of your online success.
Your sites' Ranking Factors form a critical part in gaining organic visitors to your site.
What do I mean by that? What I mean by that is people who come across your site naturally, through your reputation. In contrast we would say inorganic growth is essentially buying growth.
This article will only look at improving your organic growth. This is because we want to improve your reputation and get people to come to you because of your expertise.
Okay, so why are they important?
It might not surprise you to know that the higher you rank on search engines the more clicks you get.
This means more impressions, the more impressions you get the more clicks, the more clicks you get the more revenue you generate.
This is particularly apparent near to the top of search results.
You might not think that it really matters but when we're talking millions of people it can make a huge impact on your site.
This is why you'll see everyone talk about it and why most sites have already perfected their site rankings.
Top Search Engine Factors You Need For Your Site
Let's see what the top Ranking Factors you need for your site that will improve your Google Ranking.
Perhaps one of the most important factors in your sites search engine ranking.
You may have heard of Google's Core Web Vitals, these were introduced by Google and forms a significant part of your sites' ranking.
They break these down into 3 categories: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS).
Let's dive a little deeper into the Core Web Vitals.
LCP: This measures how fast your site loads. In Googles' eyes the faster the better but needs to be faster than 2.5 seconds. Too slow and people will click away and this is bad for your rankings. This is very easy to improve in reality, this could be installing performance optimisation plugins, reducing image file sizes, or reducing the number of complex elements on the screen.
FID: It's expected that users are able to interact with your site as fast as possible. It's expected that when a user first interacts with something. You'll want to make sure your website is up to date to make sure your site performs.
CLS: No one likes it when the site has loaded and suddenly a popup shifts the whole page or clicked on a link and suddenly the page moves and you click another link. Well that's what CLS measures. Like you Google does not like it when this happens, to make sure this doesn't happen to you, make sure all elements are the same size and you minimise assets.
All this boils down to your sites' performance. Making sure your site loads correctly and perform how your users and Google expects.
So how do you measure your sites' performance?
Probably the best way is using Googles Page Speed Insights. Simply enter your URL and get a whole host of information.
There are far more performance sites and I'd be cautious about using some as you can't really ensure they're accurate. Another really good one is GTmetrix.
Backlinks are essentially links on other websites that point to your website.
In order to increase the credibility of your website, Google and other search engines use backlinks to judge how popular and how credible your content is.
The short answer is the more backlinks you have the higher Google will rank your content.
The long answer. Although the more backlinks generally leads to better Ranking Factors. There are instances where it can actually hinder your credibility. So for example by buying backlinks to artificially improve your credibility is frowned upon by Google.
Backlinks can come from anywhere, they can come from guest posts, social media, other blogs. What research has found is that it's the number of sites linking to you that matters and not the pure number of backlinks. So the more a website links to you the less credible it becomes.
The top sites, the results at the top of search results will often have thousands of backlinks all pointing to their site so it can be really competitive when you get to that point.
In fact according to Backlinko, backlinks remain Google's key ranking factor.
How Do You Improve Your Backlinks
You may be wondering how you can boost the number of backlinks pointing to your website. The answer is simple, build a reputation for yourself.
By creating high quality, in-depth blog posts, and generally establishing yourself within your niche. As time goes on your credibility as a blogger in your niche goes up, this means more people share and promote your content.
Ideally blog articles should be at least 2000+ words, but possibly approaching up to 10,000 words for some types of content. They also need to be legible and in good English.
This graph shows the importance post length plays in Google's Search Ranking.
Guest blogging can be another great way of gaining backlinks. This is basically posting your content on similar blogs and using this to increase links back to your own website.
What About Outbound and Internal Links?
Backlinks aren't the only kind of links that matter we still have outbound links and internal links too. These definitely play a part in your sites' Ranking Factor albeit to a much lesser extent.
Outbound links are basically a link to someone else. This helps give you content context and helps Google place your content in the right space. They can also be helpful to your reader giving additional information that can be helpful.
Internal links are links to your other content. This helps Google by showing your website has structure and that your content fits in with each other. Here's a great article from ahrefs about internal links.
What Not To Do
There are certain things you definitely shouldn't do. The one thing you should never do is pay for backlinks, it's a complete waste of money and can actually hurt your websites' ranking on search engines. These people are often doing this with hundreds of other other people just chugging out links, they often have a terrible Domain Authority and won't help at all.
Another thing you shouldn't really do is "spam" links within your site. Any kind of link needs to be relevant and serve it's purpose. It's purpose shouldn't be to artificially increase your Ranking Factors. Too many links can hinder your growth and how likely you are to be recommended.
3. Focus on Mobile Optimisation
Mobile traffic accounts for over 50% of the worlds internet traffic. This means that it's more than likely that your users are accessing your site from a mobile devices, so your phones and tablets.
Users expect you site to load quickly, if your site loads too slowly, chances are they're going to go back and click on one of your competitor websites. This is your bounce rate, the number of people who leave before your site has even loaded.
If you want to see how fast your website loads, head on over to Google's Page Speed Insights for more information.
To make sure your rank highly in Google's search results you want to make sure your site is fast. This means images load quickly, and select a mobile responsive theme.
I would highly recommend avoiding the use of embedded videos, complex animations, pop-ups, and using multiple fonts. All of these can have a heavy impact on your sites' response times and potentially impact your Ranking Factors.
If you're using WordPress, installing an optimisation plugin or a caching plugin would greatly help improve performance here.
4. Creating Amazing Content
It should come as no surprise that creating awesome content is the key to getting people to read your content. Content should be detailed, in legible English, and well structured.
There's nothing worse than content that doesn't go into enough detail and it's something I think everyone has done before. You shouldn't rush articles to keep to a schedule if it means releasing poor quality content, at the same time it's important to release regularly and predictably to keep readers on your site.
Arguably it's one of the most important factors affecting your sites ranking on search engines. If your content doesn't go into enough detail or is simply poorly written then readers are far more likely to go to someone else, and this affects your ranking.
How Do You Create Amazing Content?
There are a few really good ways to make really good content that grabs your readers' attention.
It's important to create content people want. If there isn't demand for your content then there really isn't that much point creating it. You should create content that people want, that can help them in some way. This all starts out by researching what people are looking for in your niche. The easiest way of doing this is probably by looking at your competitors, what kind of content they create.
The more value your content holds to the reader the more likely they are to read other posts from you, but also trust you, and this is the kind of reputation you need to build.
5. Word Count
It's no secret that word count has a huge impact on the success of your blog posts. Not only do longer posts lead to more page views but also lead to more shares on social media.
This doesn't mean you should just rely on word count to make you magically rank higher. Your content needs to have value to the reader too, you still need high-quality content and to build your reputation.
What you should take from this is that you have to create in-depth, high quality articles that give the user all the information they are going to need about a topic. If you've created an article and you think you can expand upon what you wrote go right ahead that may help you in the long run, but don't waffle on just to boost the word count because this doesn't provide value to your readers.
As a minimum I generally aim for 2000 words per article. This should allow you to go into enough detail to help your users but I am also happy to go into much more detail if that is going to help the readers.
Does Google Actually Care?
You might be wondering if it actually matters to Google if your article is short or long.
And the answer to that is, Yes.
There are a few ways Google and other search engines use word length in their Ranking Factors. One of the ways longer articles can help is it allows Google to help determine what your content is about. It allows Google to look at your article, figure out what keywords you're using and match your content with keywords people type in on Google.
If you're article is too short or has few keywords Google can struggle to match your content with relevant search queries which could mean you're losing out on vital impressions.
6. Domain Authority
Your domain authority (DA) is a ranking that allows search engines to determine your priority on a search engines results page (SERP). These scores range from 0 to 100. With 100 being the best.
It's not directly used by Google in their search engine, however, it's still an important metric to use when evaluating your sites SEO.
You will want to build your domain authority by creating high quality content, creating a reputation, and building those backlinks organically. In general this will increase over time, so the older your blog the better.
Although it doesn't affect your rankings directly it's still and important factor you should be looking at. You need to become an authority figure in your niche, someone who produces reliable and high quality content and this does have an impact on Googles' search rankings.
Ideally you should aim for a score between 25 and 50. Although the most popular blogs can have scores approaching 100. Anything under 10 is not impressive.
SEO is an extremely important aspect for Googles' Ranking Factors. There are loads of different kinds of SEO these are:
I will be discussing the three main aspects to SEO these being technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO.
Technical SEO is any factor that affects Google and other search engines can search your site without any issues. Some of these include checking meta tags (Keywords, descriptions etc), Checking XML sitemaps, checking the robots.txt, and loading speeds.
To make sure your technical SEO is up to scratch you're going to want to do a few things.
The most important of these factors is to include meta descriptions on all posts and pages. These show on search results are critical for making sure Google shows your website.
You'll also want to make sure you use your key words in titles and meta description as this helps Google get more context from your content.
On-page SEO includes SEO to do with pages and posts.
Because it's specific to the page you'll want to make sure every page is optimised. The more optimised it being the higher it ranks.
Some tips for improving your on-page SEO.
Good page titles. Titles should be descriptive and contain information as to what your sites about.
Correct heading structure. Headings have a hierarchy. h1 being your main title, h2 being section titles etc. It's important to follow the correct structure to make sure Google bots can crawl your website easily.
Images formatted correctly. Images should be a reasonable size, have a descriptive title, and alt text.
Off-page SEO refers to marketing and any promotion you do. So anything that involves the techniques you use to promote your site to more people.
This includes backlink building. Backlinks are the cornerstone of your blogs' success and it forms part of the off-page SEO too. The more backlinks you have the more "trustworthy" your site is and the better your site is ranked.
Other parts of this include brand marketing, promotions, advertising. It's all picked up by Google and factored in to your Ranking Factors.