Did you know that over a third of all Google search traffic goes to the first result on page one? You need your content to rank in the first few results if you want people to click on it — and you have to at least be in the top 10 results to even receive any significant traffic at all. So, how can you help your pages rank on the first page of results?
With search engine optimization (SEO), of course! SEO refers to a wide array of tactics used to boost your position in rankings, but it’s not always the simplest thing to figure out. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to improve SEO and get more traffic.
Below, we’ll look at eight simple SEO hacks that can drive results for your business. Read on to learn more, and then subscribe to Revenue Weekly for more digital marketing tips from the agency with over 1,020 client testimonials! Clutch has personally interviewed more than 250 WebFX clients to discuss their experience partnering with us.
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8 top-of-the-line Google ranking hacks
SEO is made up of many tactics and tools, but a few stand out from the rest for their combination of simplicity and effectiveness.
Here are eight simple SEO hacks to give your rankings a boost.
1. Target long-tail keywords
A good SEO campaign starts with keyword integration. To have a good shot at ranking for any Google searches, you must target specific keywords that people search for and include those keywords in your written content. It’s important that you choose the right keywords.
Long-tail keywords are keywords that are several words long, rather than just a single word. These are the best keywords to target because they have a specific search intent, so when users search them, you know what they’re seeking. You can find long-tail keywords by plugging relevant shorter keywords into a tool like KeywordsFX and selecting from among the results it gives you!
2. Write evergreen content and update old pieces
Another easy way to improve SEO is to create evergreen content as often as you can. Just as evergreen trees are trees that remain fresh and green when the others turn brown, evergreen content is content that stays useful and relevant when other content becomes outdated. The idea is to write content that will still be relevant several years down the road.
That means avoiding any brief, current trends that will date your content later. Of course, you can’t perfectly predict the future, and some things will still become outdated. When that happens, be sure to go back and update it so it still drives traffic.
3. Focus on user search intent
Keywords are a valuable tool for improving your rankings but shoving them into your content doesn’t automatically drive results. To rank on page one, you have to craft content that addresses user search intent — that is, why users search for the keywords you’re targeting. So, if you write a piece of content that targets “Wilmington lawn service,” you have to make sure your content actually provides what users are seeking.
You can find out what the user search intent is by looking at the results that are currently ranking at the top.
4. Optimize images
The text on your website isn’t the only thing you need to optimize to improve SEO. You should also take the time to optimize your images. The first way to optimize images on your site is to compress them.
When image files are too large, they slow down your page load speed, which will make many users hit the back button rather than wait. That behavior, in turn, tells Google that your site isn’t relevant to search results. You can also use alt tags for your images, which are essentially short, descriptive text blurbs you attach to your images.
Google can’t read an image of an apple, but it can read an alt tag that says “shiny red apple” — and that means the image can contribute to your page’s relevancy, which can help improve rankings in search results.
5. Earn high-quality backlinks
One of the most effective Google ranking hacks is to use backlinks — in fact, link building is the most important ranking factor on Google. Backlinks are where external websites link to your content. You should aim to earn a few high-quality backlinks for each piece of content you create on your site.
When Google sees that a reputable site has linked to you, it views you as reputable as well, and you go up in rankings. To earn backlinks, you can simply reach out to reputable third-party websites in your industry. The best way to do this is to find broken links in their existing content and recommend links they can replace them with, some of which can be to your own content.
When suggest to them update their links, these websites will be grateful to you, making them happy to link to you!
6. Craft compelling titles and meta descriptions
Part of the reason you want to rank higher is to get more traffic, but it works both ways — when a page receives a lot of traffic, it goes up in rankings. For that reason, you must ensure that your content attracts users when it appears in search results, and titles are a great start. When you make your title tag sound juicy and compelling, you make users more likely to click on it.
You can do this by using numbers and enticing adjectives (“6 Amazing Reasons to…”) to draw users to your site. Keep these title tags under 60 characters and include your core keyword. For your meta description, which is the small blurb beneath the title tag, you should provide a summary of the page.
Keep meta descriptions under 160 characters, and — again — include your core keyword.
7. Practice responsive design
One of the most crucial Google ranking hacks to implement is responsive design. In fact, it’s not just a hack — it’s an essential. Responsive design is where you optimize your website for a mobile format as well as a desktop one, so it displays properly on phones, tablets, and computers.
The reason responsive design is so critical is that Google ranks sites based on their mobile format. Even with the most flawless web design in the world for desktop, you won’t rank if your website doesn’t work as well on mobile phones.
8. Set up Google Business Profile
Most of your SEO tactics should focus on optimizing your website content, but there’s another way to appear organically in search results as well. When you set up a profile for your company in Google Business Profile, you can more easily appear in local search results. GBP lets you share information such as your location, contact information, and hours.
Google will display this information in local search results when people search for a business like yours in their area. By claiming your local listing, you can drive more local leads for your business. Over 90% of WebFX clients continue partnering with us into year 2 of their campaign.
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Improve your SEO with help from WebFX
Now that you know all these simple SEO hacks, you can set to work on giving your online marketing a boost.
But if you still need help working everything out, don’t worry — WebFX can help. We’ve been optimizing digital marketing campaigns for over 25 years, and we’d love to do the same for you. When you partner with us for our SEO services, you’ll get help with all the hacks listed above, and your SEO will begin to drive more results than ever before.