How to rank higher on Google: 11 Effective Strategies for 2021
Are you thinking about how to rank higher on Google?
Well, it’s the right thing to do if you run a site. In fact, there are around 1,7 billion websites. Of course, not all of them are operating in your industry. Yet, the number of your potential competitors is still huge.
So, how do you ensure you rank higher on Google?
Firstly, don’t get overwhelmed by the number of potential rivals. Secondly, be consistent in your site-optimization techniques.
In this article, we’ve gathered eleven effective strategies that will help you rank better on Google.
- High-quality content
- Search intent
- Load speed
- Domain authority
- Keywords optimization
- Site security
- User experience
- Several pages ranking
- On-page SEO
First of all, let’s figure out why Google ranks content at all. So, the goal is to provide people something useful and a solution for their query.
Also, Google defines pages as high and the highest quality ones. In fact, high-quality pages are pages that can cover various purposes, from giving information to making people laugh to expressing oneself artistically to purchasing goods or services online.
The highest quality of the main content means that you should provide additional characteristics to the high-quality pages. That may include:
- the highest level of E-A-T,
- enough high or higher quality main content,
- a significantly positive reputation of the main content creator.
The guidebook also defines quality for news, artistic, and informational content. This way,
- news content should be cited, precise, in-depth, and have original reporting,
- artistic content should be unique, distinctive, and skillful,
- informational content should be precise, in-depth, and original.
We shouldn’t forget that marketers may define content quality differently. Some take into account length, visual part, etc.
Yet, we advise checking the article about the quality content definition by the industry guru Larry Kim.
If you are thinking about how to rank on Google higher than rivals, you need to count backlinks.
Did you know that 55.24% of web pages have no backlinks?
And to get traffic to your website, you must have backlinks. So, your goal is to acquire diverse links using white hat link building strategies.
If you’d like your site to rank better, ensure that you:
- build links from authoritative sources (high-DA sites),
- get backlinks from sites relevant to your niche or industry,
- have in-content links,
- choose the right anchor text.
To build quality links, you need to start networking. Reach out to bloggers, online publications, and influencers that work in the same or similar industry.
The most effective way to get naturally looking backlinks is guest posting. As such, you combine all the points we’ve mentioned above and can rank higher.
Check our guide on how to build backlinks via guest posting to learn this tactic more precisely.
In the first point of this article, we’ve said that Google shows results that are helpful for users. So, strive to create content that is informative and useful.
Also, when writing content, always keep in mind search intent. That is the reason a user starts a query in the first place. For example, results for
- buying a cake,
- baking a cake.
will be completely different. A search engine most likely will return pages with nearby stores or online bakeries that sell cakes in the first option. In the second variant, you’ll notice different recipes or cooking books.
This way, your content type will vary depending on the user’s intent. If you understand it clearly, you can grow your rank.
Accordingly, create content that is useful, relevant, and in-depth (what Google actually values). That makes users stay on your page without making any additional queries. Also, make sure to interlink a page with helpful content within your site.
That signals Google that the page or your site is worth ranking for a certain query.
An average attention span has decreased from 12 to 8.5 seconds. The same source says that users may leave the page in just 10 to 20 seconds after opening it. So, if your page takes too long to load, users can even leave it without getting any information.
In fact, Google recommends page load speed to be less than three seconds.
Load speed, for sure, influences UX. It guarantees that customers are satisfied with the page browning experience. Also, this leads to a bounce rate decrease.
But except for making users’ journey seamless, the load speed is among Google ranking factors. Nowadays, the search engine takes into account both desktop and mobile versions when calculating the speed.
If you experience any problems with the load time, use special tools recommended by Google to detect your problems. They are:
- PageSpeed Insights,
After this, you can fix all the slow-loading elements for a better rank on Google.
From the previous point, you can see that mobile plays a very important role. From load speed to UX, you need to develop site and content with mobile in mind.
There are 4.32 billion mobile internet users, according to Statista. No wonder Google transited to mobile-first indexing in 2020. This way, mobile-friendliness nowadays is a must.
Remember that Google now uses your site’s mobile version to rank and index it. It’s also essential for your mobile content to be similar to the desktop one. All the headings should be precise and informative.
If you want to know how your mobile version is doing, use the Mobile-Friendly Test by Google.
So, to rank #1 on Google, don’t forget to optimize your site for smartphones.
Are you still thinking about how to get your website to rank higher on Google? Then work on your site’s domain authority (DA).
A few things you need to know about the DA:
- Moz has created this metric,
- this metric forecasts the likelihood of a website being ranked on SERP,
- this score varies from 0 to 100 (the more the score is, the more chances a site has to rank better).
Normally, sites that have a large number of top-quality backlinks tend to have a higher score.
So, how can you boost your DA?
- Of course, you need to work on your backlink profile.
- Get rid of bad links.
- Optimize your on-page SEO.
- Create useful, up-to-date, and original content.
These activities require time, but consistent work will surely bring results and grow your DA and, also, your ranks.
Of course, you won’t be able to rank without using relevant keywords.
Every user’s journey starts with a query that contains a keyword. To rank on SERP, you should optimize your content on a page for this keyword. But where do you get ideas on what keywords to use?
Use tools like Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, and others to find keywords relevant to the primary query you target. These services also show search volume, keyword difficulty, cost per click, etc.
All those search suggestions may help you create titles and content that will rank for the keyword.
As it’s beneficial to keep in mind a search intent, you can use ideas from “Related searches” and pre-filled suggestions.
If your competitors rank high on SERP, you can check what keywords they are using. Most SEO tools let you input the rival’s link and show precise information on it.
To optimize your on-page content, don’t forget to:
- add target keyword to the title tag,
- use keywords in headings,
- include keywords in the meta description,
- describe alt texts for images with keywords,
- use keyword in the URL.
Anyway, remember to be smart when using keywords and do not overstuff.
Google always has been a security standards evangelist. So, it’s logical that security is one of the indivisible parts of modern sites. Moreover, according to Hubspot research, 82% of users tend to leave a website if they see it’s not secure.
In such a way, Google started testing security aspects as a part of ranking factors in 2014. After multiple tests, the company decided to utilize a secured connection as a ranking signal.
Well, what’s so special about this connection?
When running a site, ensure you’ve purchased an SSL certificate. This transforms an HTTP into an HTTPS connection. This kind of connection provides safe communication in the network. Basically, this protocol is known as HTTP over TLS or HTTP over SSL.
Though this signal is not the most weighty one, we strongly recommend providing an HTTPS connection to your users. Google offers guidelines to explain and follow the process. And, of course, customers will feel safer when using your site.
User experience or UX is not only a popular term. Now it’s one of the most vital signals Google takes into consideration when ranking your site.
Mainly we can connect it with how Google evaluates the sites on SERP. In this article, we multiply mentioned that sites that provide helpful, up-to-date, and unique information are a priority for Google.
Thuswise, your site should be user-friendly and intuitive, with modern design and correctly working elements.
Now, let’s see how to rank high on Google search by fine-tuning your site’s UX. So, Google will use the Core Web Vitals to process the signals. There are three of them:
- Load speed or LCP. At the beginning of the article, we’ve stated that Google expects the load speed to be under three seconds.
- Responsiveness or FID. This metric shows the time between the first user’s interaction and when the browser can respond to this interaction.
- Visual stability or CLS. Google uses this metric to check any unexpected layer shifts. In other words, it looks at the text, links, and other site elements move.
Other metrics you should pay attention to are CTR, bounce rate, and dwell time. To have better chances to rank higher, try growing CTR and dwell time and decrease the bounce rate.
Several pages ranking
You do a lot of hard work to get high ranks for your pages. And if you’ve made one page rank well, you can do this to some more pages.
Well, this task might be tough if the keywords’ competition on the select page is too low.
What you can do is create a couple of pages around the central topic. After you create some page to support your main theme, you make some sort of a “topical relevance” network. Thanks to it, you can interlink the inner pages using relevant anchor text.
Altogether, this method increases your site’s relevance regarding the user’s query.
And last but not least, let’s revise on-page SEO. Are you still wondering how do I rank high on Google? Then on-page optimization is your answer.
It’s vital how you treat every element on your page.
Start from a title tag. Industry experts recommend using the keyword at or close to the beginning of the title tag. That’s because Google pays more attention to what appears in the title tag first.
The same rule applies to your meta description. Use the keyword close to its beginning.
Text length is what also may influence your positions. There are lots of arguments considering the articles’ length. Based on Brian Dean’s analysis, longer content gets higher rankings. So, aim at a minimum of 1,800-word content to rank better on SERP.
Also, don’t forget to use your primary keyword throughout your text. But modesty should be your guiding principle. Dilute content with keywords related to the topic.
In this article, we’ve offered tips on how to rank higher on Google.
Many of them are approved by industry gurus like Neil Patel, Brian Dean, Larry Kim, and others. We’ve gathered the most influential ones and those offering a non-standard approach.
You can try every single one of them - from building links to creating quality content or optimizing user experience. Plus, we’ve provided links to Google’s guidelines and documentation to ease the process for you.
You deserve to rank high and share your awesome content with others. So, apply these techniques to boost your rankings.
Tell us what tactics you prefer to use and which ones you’d like to try. We are waiting for you in the comment section!