How to Improve Your Google Ranking: Part 1
It’s been a while since I last wrote an article on SEO and how to improve your Google ranking. In the last couple of posts, I’ve spoken predominantly about Facebook (which is a passion of mine in terms of marketing). I mean with 800 million+ users on Facebook now, if you’re not getting at least 1% of that traffic then you are definitely missing out. Anyway I digress. Today I wanted to share about some super useful tips and tricks about on page SEO optimization tips that I use to rank all my websites to the first page of Google.
If you’re new to SEO I will quickly give you a run down on the basics of SEO. SEO consists of two main areas – on page optimization and off page optimization. In this post, I’ll talk about the first part which is on page optimization. This is where you optimize your web page that you want to rank whilst off page optimzation (which I will cover in another post) is all about backlinking and more recently (after Google’s Panda update) social media signals (which I will also cover in a later post).
Let’s take a step by step look into on page optimization.
The very first thing you have to do is update your meta tags of your web page. If you’re using WordPress to create your website, I highly recommend a plugin called All In One SEO pack which can be found here. Next you have to make sure that the exact keyword phrase you are trying to rank for is in your title, description and keywords. This is the very basics of SEO.
Keyword In Your Content
Next, the second most important tip is to sprinkle your keyword phrase throughout the content. Make sure it is readable though to users and not forced into the content making it hard to read. It’s a fine balance between writing for Google and also making sure that the reader can easily read it. A lot of SEO specialists recommend repeating your keyword phrase about 4-5% of the total number of keywords for that page. I don’t follow this purely because you don’t want to SEO your web page in such a tight knit formula because Google is a super smart search algorithm and may penalize you. You want to sprinkle it so it seems natural.
Another tip is make sure you mention your keyword phrase in the first sentence of your content and also the last sentence. This is super important! Also, try to at least bold or make it italic at least once in the content.
Alternative Text for Images
If you have images in your content, make sure that the first image has what is known as an alternative text (e.g. alt=”social media tips”) with your keyword phrase as this alternative text. Only do this for the first image and not more than that because once again, we don’t want to appear to Google as trying to game it. We are merely making our web page appear natural. We don’t want to appear to Google as trying to over optimize our web page.
Make sure in your content you have some outbound links to other websites that are related to your niche or topic area. For example, in the area of “social media tips” I could add a hyperlink to websites such as Mashable. This is really important as Google want to give the user the best user experience from using its search engine. By doing so, more and more people will continue using Google, and hence they can continue making money through their biggest money earner – Google Adwords. I would say aim for around 6 or less outbound links.
It’s also a good idea to link to some internal pages of your website.
Try to have at least your exact keyword phrase mentioned in either your H1 or H3 tags. I would aim to go for the H1 tag if possible. This highlights once again to Google that your web page is all about your keyword phrase.
Keyword In Your URLs
Google places a high emphasis on ranking websites if your keyword is in your URL. So for example, if you’re trying to rank for the keyword phrase “social media tips” then your URL should read like this http://www.yoursite.com/social-media-tips. If you’re using WordPress you can change these settings in the permalinks section and under “custom structure”. In there, make sure you change it to %category%/%postname%/
Well there you have it, some on page SEO tips that will improve your Google ranking.
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Hey Doug! Thanks for the great article! Just wondering, do inbound links carry the same amount of weight in SEO as outbound links? As you are in control of how many outbound links to put in, what are some strategies to increase the number of inbound links to your site?
@Leighsan You are most welcome! Great comment Leigh. Definitely inbound links have more SEO value than outbound links. There are lots of different strategies for getting more inbound links. The biggest one is just write great content. People will naturally link to you as long as you do a bit of syndication as well.
Thanks for your awesome tips Douglas. Always a good thing to stay on top of your SEO. Just got a small question to ask. Is it a bad thing to repeat one main ke.yword throughout your pages that you are pretty sure most people with use in google to get to your website (e.g. "Gold Coast web design")
@Coolwebs You're most welcome. Thanks for your comment. Yeah that should be fine if you sprinkle that keyword (around 2-3 times) throughout as long as the rest of the content surrounding that keyword matches the same topic or theme. With the latest Google Panda and Penguin updates, Google are slapping those websites that are over optimizing especially on page SEO. But I would focus on one main keyword on your main home page. You'll be fine to repeat it as long as you don't overdo it.