There’s nothing worse than trying to searching for your company on Google (using keywords related to your business) and realizing that you don’t show up anywhere near the first page results.
It may seem like things are hopeless, but search engines DO want to help the best websites and businesses rank up above the rest.
So, if your site has awesome content and answers questions that people are asking, then let’s get your site on the first page! There are reasons why you aren’t at the top, and there are ways to improve your rank!
Expert marketers have a quick process to rank higher on Google, and it requires some knowledge of SEO (search engine optimization) and ranking signals for search engines. However, before you can get to that point, it’s important to understand how ranking on Google’s SERP (search engine results page) works.
Once you have that understanding, there are fundamental steps that any SEO specialist worth their salt will take to improve keyword rank.
It may seem confusing at first, but with organic search taking up over half of all website traffic, it’s worth taking the time to understand it.
Once you have at least a basic understanding of how SEO works, you’ll be ready to get to work with a digital agency to help improve those keyword rankings.
Figure Out Why You Have a Lower Position Rank
Your search engine rank position is determined through several ranking signals considered by Google and other search engines. These signals determine whether you will rank higher or lower, depending on whether the crawler believes your website is the best answer for the search query.
These signals often include:
- Quality of content
- Page authority
- Overall website authority
- Searcher intent
- Meaning of query
- Backlinks or the number of links from referring domains
Google wants to provide the most trustworthy results for the search query. Their business models rely on showing the results that matter most to the searcher. You can analyze your website by content type, format and tone.
For example, if a searcher asks for “a list of holiday pie recipes,” you know that the intent is to find multiple recipes for different pies. For seasonal searches (like the one just mentioned), you may also want to include certain types of keywords related to that season.
There is a catch-all metric that agencies and businesses also use to bring all of these components together, and that is the domain rating. It takes all of these factors into consideration and creates a numeric score out of 100. It’s extremely simple to understand – the higher you score, the more trust you have with search engines like Google.
Once you understand the content type, format and tone, then you can audit your content to match what you believe your audience is intending to find. This is your searcher’s intent, and if you get it right, then your search engine rank position should rise.
How The SEO Specialist Conducts SEO
Now that you have an understanding of how Google determines where it places sites on its SERP, it’s time to learn how an SEO specialist at a digital agency creates their strategy (and executes it).
1.) Find the Keywords You Already Rank For and Improve Them
Most SEO marketers say to start with the keywords that you rank for and improve upon those as much as you can. See what keywords you can optimize and get more of a lift to push you to the first page.
However, it’s difficult to lift a ranking by 10 spots.
There are several industry-standard tools that SEO specialists use to create an “organic keywords” report for a website. With these reports, you can filter to show only the keywords within the top 10 or first 50 spots which show how much search volume those terms get each month, as well as how difficult it is to rank and compete for a better position.
This type of report is helpful if you want to learn more about low-to-medium volume keywords you want to rank for. If you have a niche product within your industry, you may also want to rank up in keywords for product pages that you believe would sell more if they appeared higher in search results.
When looking at these keyword reports, specialists check for the following characteristics to determine if you can improve its ranking:
- Does the keyword already drive decent traffic?
- You want to optimize for keywords that drive the most traffic with your audience.
- What’s the volume count on the keyword?
- You want to rank for keywords that are searched for often, but they don’t have to be high in search volume. If a keyword is very high in search volume due to corporate competitors, you may be wasting your time (and money) trying to rank for highly competitive keywords or phrases. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have this content on your site, but you’ll need to pay attention to keywords that are variations on popular high volume keywords to get more traffic.
- How do you use keyword difficulty scores?
- Keyword research tools often rank a keyword in how hard it would be to rank up. This scale goes from 0 to 100 with 100 being the most difficult. When you look at reports, you should find keywords that are less difficult to begin with.
- What keywords provide the most business value?
- You should know what keywords bring you the most traffic and revenue (because you don’t want to rank for any keyword that won’t bring you business or do something beneficial for your ROI).
2.) Conducting Competitor Research
It’s important when doing SEO that you’re not also just looking internally at your own keywords and rankings, but at the competition, too. Who’s ranking better than you? Are they pulling up for keywords that you hadn’t even thought of?
Agencies and specialists use the tools previously mentioned for internal research and to create a competitor analysis report.
With this report, you’ll be able to see all the keywords your competitors are ranking for, how they rank against you and what search terms that they rank for but you don’t (and vice versa).
In these reports, it may also come to light that you have competitors you didn’t originally believe were competitors (but because of what keywords they rank for, they are).
From that insight, a specialist can also ask additional questions:
- What sites are getting a featured snippet?
- A featured snippet is located in position zero or at the very top of the SERP, and it’s a coveted position. It’s important to study this content and keyword placement since Google values this content more than any other for the keyword’s intent.
- What’s the content like on these sites?
- Are they well-informed, quality pieces? Does the site have a lot of high-quality video or images that are retaining people on the site for longer times?
- What keyword opportunities are there?
- Are there keywords that a competitor is ranking for that is wouldn’t be difficult to outrank them on?
- Is the competition conducting an SEO strategy?
- When pulling reports, it’s important to be aware of signals that indicate the competition has just implemented their own SEO.
All of these reasons are why it’s critical that you understand who your competitors are on the SERP and what they’re doing that you may or may not be.
3.) Build Better Content and Get Quality Backlinks
Make sure that you’re out-ranking your competitors by auditing their content and creating better pages. When you create new content, include keywords that are hyperlinked to other pages on your website. In addition, you should include hyperlinks to authoritative and informative exterior links, such as .gov and .edu links.
As you build up your content, you should share it as much as possible through social media and affiliate bloggers. Building up the number of backlinks pointing to these sites will help improve the ranking of keywords that you’re trying to target. This will also send you more traffic while also tapping into different audiences who will share and link your content, too.
Not only that, but this will also improve the site’s domain rating, which translates to greater trust with search engines. That will then improve your keyword rankings.
Getting Started with Improving Your Rank
SEO isn’t something you’re going to magically understand the first go-around, but hopefully, by reading this blog, you’ve at least managed to grasp a basic understanding of what goes into your rank on Google (and steps that many specialists employ).
While there may be certain aspects of SEO that can be done without the help of an agency, the process can quickly become time-consuming and hinder your ability to do your job within your business.
That’s why it’s important to hire a team that understands what truly goes into improving Google rankings and how to go about it. With SEO, it’s critical to work quickly or else you risk falling behind the competition.
Contact iSynergy today and schedule a consultation so we can get started on helping you, your website and your business!