Every SEO expert believes that ranking on the top of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) is the pinnacle of SEO success. Being on the front page will naturally drive more organic traffic, more clicks, and lead to more conversions.
The formula to ride the wave is simple though: you get yourself on top of the SERPs, you maintain the position, and you don’t get penalized by Google.
The question is, how to rank higher on Google?
Many business owners struggle to unlock the secret behind ranking higher on Google.
What they don’t usually get is that websites can climb to the top of search results by following some key steps. There isn’t any magical recipe behind it.
The goal of this guide is to walk you through those crucial steps and help you achieve better rankings in SERPs. You’ll learn that these steps are quite easy to follow and, with a bit of planning and focused effort, your SEO can soar like never before!
But, first off, let’s explore a few essential concepts around page rankings.
What is Google Page Ranking?
While you are trying to rank to a better position, it’s crucial to know how Google ranks web pages. Google PageRank, the algorithm Google uses to rank pages, is what determines the positioning of your website in SERPs.
Google’s PageRank algorithm simply evaluates the quality of your web pages. It includes checking the quality of links coming to your pages from other websites, the quality of content, and other important on-page elements.
Simply put, if your web page is highly relevant to the user’s search intent, and the user is getting all the necessary information (in comparison to other, less useful sites), Google will think that your website is benefiting the user, and ultimately, it will consider ranking your website higher.
Tools To Check Google Page Ranking
Curious where your website currently ranks? Here are a few tools you should keep handy:
Tool no. 1: PageRank Checker by DNS Checker
Tool no. 2: PageRank Checker by SmallSEOTools
Tool no. 3: PageRank Checker by DupliChecker
How does Google Rank Web Pages?
Google bots analyze a bunch of factors to rank a website at a certain position in SERPs. For instance, Google focuses on content quality, page performance, user experience, backlinks, page responsiveness, and other factors to rank websites.
Your website content does not appear in search results directly after being published. It passes through three stages.
Crawling: Google spiders or crawlers search for web pages on the Internet and find new pages and links.
Indexing: Once a new page is found and the content on the web page is crawled, Google organizes and stores the information in its huge database.
Serving the Searcher: After that, Google displays the relevant website page to its users, matching their search intent.
Okay. That should do for a quick context. Now, back to the knotty question:
How to Rank a Site on Google?
Lots of work goes into this process. However, it’s always helpful to prioritize your efforts to work on what makes a greater impact on your website’s SEO. Outlined below are some proven steps you can rely on to give you a strong kickstart!
Step 1. Know Which Google Algorithm Updates Can Affect Your Website
Google continuously changes its algorithms for page ranking for improved user experience. According to Moz, there are approximately 500-600 algorithm changes that happen every year.
Among those updates, the most important ones are announced publicly on Google’s official platforms. Other, less important updates need some vigilance on your part because you won’t find them on Google’s official pages.
As we are a few weeks into 2024, here are some major Google updates relevant to website ranking.
Core Update: This is one of those algorithm updates where Google asks you to do nothing. It can happen not because something is inherently wrong with your website or content, but because Google is introducing changes that are about improving how their systems assess content overall.
Page Experience Update: This update was to measure the overall user experience on web pages with a specific set of metrics called Core Web Vitals. According to this update, Google will derank those pages with poor user experience.
Mobile-first Update: This update prioritizes ranking websites that work well on smartphones.
Hummingbird Update: This update was solely for understanding the user’s search intent instead of just providing results from the words in the search bar.
In short, Google aims to deliver the best experience to its users by rolling out necessary algorithm updates. To be in Google’s good books, familiarize yourself with Google’s major ranking algorithms and fine-tune your website according to the search engine’s standards. One way or another, these important updates influence page rankings and determine how your website is positioned on search engine results pages.
Wait, you might be wondering how one should keep track of all these updates as Google isn’t going to stop rolling fresh updates every now and then.
There’s good news that Moz offers an extensive database of Google Algorithm Update History to everyone out there.
This database has all the updates organized chronologically so that users can read and know more about them.
Step 2. Evaluate Your Existing Search Ranking
The next step is to evaluate your existing search engine rankings. Here’s how you can do it.
Is Your Site Indexed or Not?
While you’re trying to rank your site in Google, it’s important to find out if your website is indexed in the first place.
Search your targeted keyword in Google and see if your website appears on the first page. If not, move to the next page and keep scrolling to find out.
Still nothing? Try searching it with your business name or website URL. If you’re not appearing on Google’s search pages, there might be some reasons:
- If your website is new, chances are that Google crawlers haven’t crawled your web pages yet. Give it some more time.
- Your Google Search Console setup might not be correct, stopping Google crawlers from making a timely visit to your site.
- There might be some bot-blocking codes on your website. Check your Robots.txt file.
Find Your Website’s Traffic and Keyword Ranking
Ubersuggest will help you check the traffic as well as keyword ranking if your web page is targeting any particular keyword.
Log in to your Ubersuggest account; on the side panel, use the ‘’Traffic Overview’’ option to analyze the daily, weekly, monthly, or even annual traffic of your website.
Now, scroll down to the ‘’SEO Keyword’’ chart. This will give you a report on the main keywords your website ranks for.
Step 3. Monitor and Analyze Relevant SEO Metrics
When it comes to website monitoring, the following aspects are important and you need to keep a close eye on them:
Website Traffic and Conversions
Mainly, the traffic on your website is of two types.
Organic Search Traffic: If visitors are landing on your site via an organically ranked keyword on SERPs, it’s the organic traffic source.
Paid Search Traffic: If visitors are coming from paid ads on search engines or social media, the source is the paid traffic.
Google Analytics tool can help you analyze the traffic coming from different channels. You can create an account on Google Analytics and check the ‘’Acquisition Channel’’ report tracking where visitors are coming from and how they are interacting with your site.
Apart from monitoring your website traffic, it’s essential to focus on the keywords driving that traffic. Google Search Console offers a comprehensive list of keywords responsible for your site’s traffic. Additionally, you can analyze the number of impressions, clicks, and CTR associated with specific queries. This data proves invaluable for enhancing keyword optimization across all web pages.
Effective keyword optimization contributes to increased impressions and clicks on your website, ultimately improving your site’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Website Ranking for Commercial Keywords
Commercial keywords, often termed transactional keywords, play a pivotal role, especially in the realm of e-commerce. The assertion holds that effectively ranking for transactional keywords can significantly boost revenue.
Regrettably, a common trend among SEO experts is the exclusive focus on informational keywords, neglecting their transactional counterparts. While this approach may attract organic traffic to your site, the potential for conversion is limited.
Why is this the case?
When your On-page SEO predominantly targets informational queries like:
- How to set up CMS?
- How to convert a PNG file into a JPG?
- Top 10 places to visit in France?
It’s crucial to recognize that these visitors are primarily seeking information and may not be in a purchasing mindset. For websites offering products, it’s imperative to also target transactional keywords such as
- Best products for weight loss
- Best web hosting
- Furniture shops in London
By incorporating transactional keywords, you not only enhance your search engine ranking but also increase the likelihood of generating revenue from a more targeted audience.
Step 4. Confirm the Mobile-friendliness of Your Website
Given the significant share of traffic originating from mobile devices, it’s imperative that your website ensures optimal performance for mobile users.
A challenging navigation experience or cluttered interface hindering users from finding what they need directly impacts user experience, leading to an increased bounce rate. This is why Google employs Mobile-first Indexing, evaluating a website’s mobile-friendliness to determine its ranking.
Thankfully, assessing your site’s mobile-friendliness is a straightforward process. Utilizing the Google Mobile-friendly Test, you can gauge your website’s performance on mobile devices effortlessly.
Simply input your website’s URL and click ‘Run Test’ to receive a report indicating ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ accompanied by guidelines for mobile optimization.
Key Points To Make Your Site Mobile-friendly
To cater to the vast population of approximately 6.8 billion smartphone users globally consider these key points:
- Ensure your website is mobile-responsive, adapting layout and content to different screens.
- Minimize unnecessary pop-ups to avoid user frustration, utilizing them strategically for improved conversions.
- Optimize heavy images or videos to reduce website load time.
- Choose mobile-friendly themes and keep your website updated with the latest versions.
- Ensure readable font styles and sizes for improved user experience.
- If your site includes buttons or call-to-actions, make them prominent and easily clickable.
Step 5. Conduct Keyword Research To Elevate Google Rankings
Effective keyword research serves as a cornerstone for enhancing your website’s ranking. Primarily, it aids in optimizing On-page SEO by strategically placing targeted keywords. Additionally, it empowers you to craft diverse and compelling content, positioning you favorably against competitors.
Improve Content with Keyword Analysis
A thorough keyword analysis provides invaluable insights into the predominant queries users input into search bars. Take the example of the primary keyword ‘Gaming Software.’ A simple Google search unveils a plethora of relevant keywords users frequently explore. These serve as a goldmine of ideas for crafting in-depth content around long-tail keywords, attracting and engaging your audience effectively.
Now, the challenge lies in determining the ideal keyword placement within your content. While there’s no fixed optimal ratio, adjusting it based on your keywords and content type is key. The keyword analysis process proves instrumental in guiding this adjustment.
Key focus areas in your keyword analysis:
- Uncover your competitor’s keywords.
- Identify the most popular keywords.
- Explore Google’s ‘People Also Ask’ and ‘Related Sources’ at the page bottom.
Armed with this comprehensive data, you’re well-equipped to create compelling On-page content that resonates with your target audience. Address their pain points and desires, driving them to your website. The incorporation of relevant keywords sends positive signals to Google, contributing to higher rankings in SERPs.
Optimize URLs and Title Tags
Enhancing the performance of your website involves crucial steps, and optimizing your URLs stands out as a significant factor.
Ensure your URLs are distinct, concise, and comprehensible to Google crawlers. Avoid repetitive use of keywords and duplicate tags. Opt for hyphens (-) to separate words, and maintain lowercase for consistency.
When it comes to titles, be mindful of length, as Google typically displays around 60 characters. While retaining relevance to your content, craft titles that entice users to click.
Lastly, maximize the impact of your meta descriptions by incorporating keywords relevant to your target audience. This not only boosts your website’s click-through rates but also influences user engagement.
Search Your Competitor’s Keywords
Spying on competitor keywords is a strategic move to outperform them in search engine rankings. Leverage tools like Google Keyword Planner to obtain a comprehensive list of SEO keywords specific to a website.
Utilizing this tool provides you with additional insights crucial for comprehending and implementing effective strategies to outshine your competitors in search engine rankings.
The tool furnishes information on:
- The competition level associated with the keyword.
- Total estimated visits attributed to a specific keyword.
- The monthly volume of searches for that keyword.
Understanding these facets, encompassing both keyword research and placement is pivotal for efficiently elevating your site’s ranking on Google.
Step 6. Optimize Your On-page SEO
Now that you’ve mastered the process of keyword research analysis, let’s delve into another crucial step to enhance your site’s ranking – On-page SEO. This facet involves optimizing various on-page elements, and employing effective strategies can significantly elevate your online presence over the long term.
Enhance Your Internal Link Profile
An integral factor for Google site ranking in terms of On-page SEO is optimizing your website’s internal link profile. Here are key points to execute this effectively:
- Conduct an audit to identify and rectify broken, spam, or irrelevant links on your website.
- Analyze your anchor text and prioritize the most relevant ones for an improved understanding by search engines and readers.
- Integrate internal links naturally within your web pages, avoiding excessive use.
- Structure your internal linking profile thoughtfully, serving as a user’s guide to discover relevant information aligned with their queries
Use Schema Markup
Schema serves as a powerful tool to enhance Google crawlers’ understanding of your content, ultimately driving more traffic to your site. It constitutes a form of structured data in HTML code, primarily designed for search engine bots rather than users. When strategically implemented, Schema can positively influence your Google ranking and boost Click-Through Rates (CTRs).
This markup can be applied to various types of information on your website, enabling search engine crawlers to better comprehend the contextual meaning and present it prominently on SERPs. Schema markup is applicable to diverse content types, including articles, events, local businesses, FAQs, recipes, products, and more.
To seamlessly integrate schema markup, utilize a Schema Markup Generator to generate the necessary code and implement it on your site. This strategic move may result in featured snippets, elevating specific sections of your content on SERPs.
[Also Read: What is Schema Markup? A Brief Beginners Guide]
Featured snippets are remarkable for catapulting you to the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), even if your overall Google ranking isn’t at the pinnacle.
If you type a query on Google and find a concise answer, usually spanning 2-6 lines at the top of the results, you’ve encountered a featured snippet. Leverage this powerful tool to not only enhance your search engine rankings but also to boost click-through rates (CTRs).
Consider addressing common industry-related questions that users frequently search for, such as ‘Difference between On-page and Off-page SEO?’ or ‘What is brand awareness?’
By providing comprehensive answers to these inquiries on your website, you significantly increase your visibility and ranking on SERPs whenever users explore these topics on Google.
Step 7. Develop Compelling Content Using Targeted Keywords
With over 200 million active websites consistently churning out vast amounts of content, the challenge lies in preventing your content from getting lost in the expansive online landscape. The solution? Employ a strategic approach to incorporating keywords in your content.
A common mistake made by many writers and website owners is the overuse of target keywords, often at the expense of delivering genuine value to the user.
In essence, they prioritize writing for Google bots rather than human readers, solely focused on achieving higher rankings. However, it’s essential to recognize that, with updated Google algorithms, simply “adding more keywords” to your content is no longer the primary ranking factor. Quality content that adds value to the user experience takes precedence.
So, what next?
Come Up with Crispy Titles
Readers aren’t drawn to boring titles. They click on titles that captivate or address their pain points. Consider these examples:
- “7 Fruits Diabetic Patients Should Avoid”
- “9 Secret Kitchen Ingredients for Korean-Glass Skin”
- “Best Foods to Boost Your Cat’s Immunity”
These titles are attention-grabbing, targeting the pain points and desires of the audience. Including numbers in titles can enhance their appeal. Your title should be unique, specific, useful, and instill a sense of urgency.
Craft headlines using the FoMO Principle (Fear of Missing Out) to drive reader clicks, creating a sense that something crucial might be missed.
Engage Your Audience with Storytelling
Tired of minimal consumer engagement in your content? Utilize storytelling techniques to convey valuable information with maximum engagement.
Stories evoke emotions and establish a connection with your audience, making them feel like part of a direct conversation. This fosters frequent visits to your website and improved conversions.
Tips for Effective Storytelling:
- Start with something unique to pique curiosity and encourage readers to stick around.
- Share personal experiences to connect with your audience.
- Conclude your story thoughtfully, avoiding abrupt endings.
- Include a clear call-to-action at the end of your blog.
Natural Keyword Usage
After learning how to attract and engage your audience, let’s briefly discuss keyword placement in your content.
Incorporate primary keywords, long-tail keywords, and semantic words naturally. Ensure that your readers don’t perceive them as unnecessary additions. Excessive keyword stuffing may impact the reader’s experience.
Diversify Your Content Portfolio
Avoid limiting yourself to conventional blogs with lengthy text and few images. Your content should cater to various preferences, recognizing that people have different inclinations when it comes to the content on your website. Some prefer comprehensible infographics to grasp a topic, while others favor clicking on videos or tuning into podcasts.
The solution is clear: to meet the diverse needs of your audience, incorporate a variety of content formats on your site. This approach is certain to enhance your Google rankings.
Here, we’ve outlined several forms of content that you can leverage to elevate user engagement on your site.
Step 8. Implement Effective Link-building Strategies
Lastly, focus on implementing effective link-building strategies for your website. Links play a significant role in Google’s ranking factors, influencing your position on search result pages and improving visibility.
Explore the following successful link-building practices to enhance your ranking:
Utilize internal links strategically, targeting primary keywords. By effectively incorporating them into your content, you can link to essential pages on your website. For instance, if your website offers digital marketing and SEO services and your primary keyword is “best SEO services,” consider linking this keyword to your service page. Ensure that your internal linking feels natural and seamless.
Editorial links, also known as earned links, are among the most valuable inbound links a website can obtain. Unlike other types of links, these cannot be acquired simply by requesting or paying. Editorial links are typically earned through highly informative guides or exceptionally useful tools. To attract these valuable links, focus on creating informative content on your website and enhancing the utility of your existing content.
By incorporating these link-building strategies, you can positively impact your website’s ranking and visibility in search engine results.
Scale-up Your Link-building Strategy
Strategizing your link-building approach is crucial, emphasizing the importance of acquiring links from authoritative sites. It’s essential to ensure that the links directing to your site are not from high spam score websites, as these are perilously close to Google’s penalty radar. Any association with such spam websites can negatively impact your ranking and potentially lead to penalties.
In addition to vigilant link-building, several practices contribute to higher rankings on search result pages. These include maintaining a robust social media presence, optimizing your Google business profile, incorporating industry-relevant FAQs, and prioritizing an exceptional user experience.
To summarize our discussion on achieving higher Google rankings, we’ve explored powerful and effective strategies to secure top positions on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Follow these key steps to enhance your Google ranking while avoiding practices that may attract penalties. Keep in mind the following aspects:
- Ranking on Google is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistent effort and patience are crucial throughout this journey.
- Continuously create high-quality content that delivers value to users. A memorable and informative website attracts user preference over competitors.
- Prioritize your SEO strategies, focusing on building quality links and promoting your content effectively.
Embrace these key steps, trust the process, and witness your website gradually dominate search results.