With time, search engines are getting smarter as they are getting more powerful at analyzing multi-millions of web pages with new tools and technology.
Google, accounting for more than 90% of global organic search traffic, is smart enough to weed out the more exceptional pieces of work from the more mediocre ones splayed throughout the web.
It does this by using precise algorithms such as the Google BERT algorithm that came out last year—an algorithm that is related to natural language processing and helps an AI understand the contextual meaning of the words in a sentence—that checks content for relevant phrases, sentences, and organization before ranking it.
With over 5 million web pages published per day, this means that it is difficult to rise to the top of Google ranking without following Googles' rules to the T even if you are publishing high-quality content.
By making small changes to your website content, you can improve your website's chances of ranking higher.
So, whether you're looking to increase your audience, land more hits on your webpage, or revitalize your content, as a marketing agency that is heavily involved with overhauling multitudes of websites, we've got you covered.
"What is on-site SEO"?
On-site SEO is the practice of optimizing web pages; to improve their search engine rankings and to earn more traffic. It considers keywords, title tags, meta descriptions, and the content used on a web page.
On-site SEO is important because it helps search engines understand the content present on your website and helps them identify data relevant to search queries easily.
It is also one of the easiest and quickest ways to improve your Google rankings. The most important feature to target while improving on-site SEO are keywords.
Understanding what keywords are best for your audience and content type can help you reach higher rankings.
Stuffing your content full of keywords every other sentence can make Google flag your content as spam.
To avoid this from happening, your content should maintain a natural flow between keywords and everyday language.
Keywords should come up sparingly and should be positioned in strategic places with the maximum impact, such as in headlines, at the start of sentences, or questions.
You can research keywords by using tools like Google AdWords, SEMrush, or Keyword Explorer.
A title tag tells search engines and visitors what a web page is about.
A poorly written title tag can increase bounce rates, which could pull down website rankings; in contrast, better title tags contribute to higher click-through-rates, which can increase rankings.
Always include the keywords at the starting of the title to be ranked higher by Google.
The optimal length for a title tag is usually 50 to 60 characters, largely due to Google's decision to cut off anything larger. Short is the way to go, as illustrated by an Etsy study conducted in 2016 in which the company shortened the title tags of hundreds of URLs and studied the impact of this shearing.
They concluded that shorter title tags perform better than longer ones with higher click-through-rates, higher traffic, and improved Google rankings.
Meta descriptions are concise and to-the-point summaries of the contents of web pages. They are usually used on SERPs to show preview snippets of a web page.
Meta descriptions should be descriptive, attractive, and provide a summary of the webpage.
You can create a 'good' meta description by using concise vocabulary, compelling language, and keywords related to the topic.
An optimal length for meta descriptions is between 140-160 characters long.
Recently, a trend in several analyses of higher-ranked content on Google suggested that a large word count is usually correlated with higher Google rankings.
The reason why longer content has been linked to higher rankings is that longer content has more backlinks, social shares, organic traffic, and a higher SERP ranking due to the large click-through-rate.
A recent analysis of the first ten web pages on Google showed that the webpages had an average word count of 2297 words.
But having longer content doesn't mean that it has no virtue besides being… long.
Long content should discuss a variety of related topics and should contain material relevant to the main topic.
In other words, it should be very high quality and professionally researched. Keywords should be present in the subheadings, paragraphs, titles, alt tags, and meta descriptions of the content.
To create meaningful content, you have to focus on using both types of keywords fluidly in your writing, keywords linked to the topic you've chosen and long-tail keywords.
You should also keep your content readable and straightforward.
If Google thinks that the user experience was low, later the webpage will be lowered in rank.
So: what are backlinks?
A backlink is a link on a page from another website that links to a page on yours.
Backlinks contribute to improved ranking for webpages because they are authoritative and relevant to the topic being discussed on the actual webpage.
Backlinks reassure Google that the site they have been linked to is good quality with relevant and trustworthy information. It is like a vote of confidence.
Internal backlinks connect pages on the same website. These links increase the number of pages viewed on the website by the consumers and decrease the bounce rate, so websites are ranked higher.
Google doesn't give much value to internal backlinks; rather, it assigns value to external backlinks that come from high authority resources.
To get high-quality external backlinks, you have to create high-quality content and then market it to the right people.
It takes time to establish your credibility until you finally start to get backlinks from similar websites or in the same industry as yours.
Google My Business is a tool that helps you manage your Business Profile on Google.
Many people create a business profile on Google Maps and then can't figure out how to make it work. To make it work, you have to have a separate account on Google My Business to allow you to manage your business profile.
With the help of Google my Business, customers can interact with you and ask you questions.
You can highlight your local business by using the local code on your phone number and zip code on your adresse.
This way, you can move your business to the top most recommended businesses around the area and onto higher Google rankings.
You can incorporate keywords into the text and help you rank better in local results.
Use keywords in your business profile description, your response to reviews, and the posts you publish.
To have a business profile on Google, you need to add your business to Google Maps.
After creating your business and claiming it, you should add your working hours, address, phone number, website, and pictures.
Add photos because maps without photos are less appealing and may not rank as high as maps with photos.
Always be consistent with your business name, address, and contact number across all platforms so people can find you easily and so Google doesn't discredit you for being a scammer.
Research has shown that Google Maps is the preferred navigation app for 67% of all consumers.
With consumers very rarely looking past the first few results, it is important to make sure your Google Maps listing will show up in relevant searches because the more information a listing contains, the higher it will rank on Google Maps, and the more people will see it.
Most of the time, the main reason to optimize website content is either due to out-of-date content, low-click-through-rate, high bouncing rate, low word count, low traffic, or a low number of backlinks.
Low performing content can be rewritten to make it more appealing or recent.
You can redesign the whole page to reflect current SEO trends. You can add more backlinks to the text to increase its credibility.
You can add more content to low word count web pages or overhaul them and rewrite them with a new perspective.
You can overhaul the entire website and construct it according to the specifications of newer Google algorithms like the Page Experience algorithm that might launch in May 2021.
There are many ways to enhance your older content, update it, or replace it with new content; one way is to update older articles with LSI keywords to get more leads on Google.
LSI keywords are words that are closely related to your target word. Their purpose is to help search engines better understand the content of the page. You can use LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords to add variety to your content and increase your ranking.
They also confirm to Google that your content is actually about the topic you chose. You can use Google AutoComplete, Google Keyword Planner, and Ubersuggest to find out LSI keywords.
Usually, technical SEO doesn't have a large impact on your ranking, but with the increasing smartphone usage since the past decade, mobiles contribute more than half of all web traffic on all sites.
Research conducted by Statista in 2020 showed that there were 3.5 billion smartphone users last year, with the number predicted to grow over 3.8 billion in 2021.
The study also found that China, India, and the United States have the largest numbers of smartphone users, with over 100 million users in each country.
So, any website that isn't mobile-optimized will lose a share of its traffic. This meant that mobile versions of websites should be up and running.
Make sure your website is mobile-optimized because more than half the websites receive traffic from smartphones.
You can use the Google Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool to check if your website is optimized for mobiles.
Recently, Google analyzed 11 million mobile ads' landing pages to get a better sense of visitor bouncing.
They discovered that as page load time increases from 1 to 10 seconds, the likelihood of bouncing increases by 123%. The study concluded that when it took more than 3 seconds for a page to load: 53% of the visitors immediately left the site.
A lot of bouncing prompts the RankBrain—a Google machine learning system that helps Google rank pages in search results—to remove websites from the search result. But if visitors click on a result and scroll through the site for a time, the website will be moved by the RankBrain to a higher ranking.
Thus, we should aim to make our websites faster, so they take no more than 1.5 to 2.5 seconds to load.
Overuse of unoptimized images leads to websites getting slower; they lose traffic over time as the pages take longer and longer to load.
To deal with this problem, check your webpage in Google's PageSpeed Insights tool.
To improve page speed, reduce any unnecessary HTML code so your website can run smoothly, and compress image sizes using an image compressor to make the image take less space on the website.
Current trends all across the globe show that video consumption is the highest it has ever been before.
Internet video consumption grew 32% annually between 2013 and 2018. YouTube has over 2 billion monthly users.
85% of consumers within the U.S consume content through online videos and increasing video services such as Netflix, Disney+, Viki, etc.
Watching video content is an easier way to consume large amounts of information without feeling overloaded instantly.
Analyses show that viewers stay engaged longer while watching videos rather than reading a book and note that viewers are likely to turn into customers after watching videos due to newly established emotional connections.
You can include videos on your website to make your webpages more optimized and have an increased presence on Google's search engine results page.
You can use keywords in the video title or description to attract traffic. You can connect to your audience personally and start to build trust between your audience and yourself.
Customers are also more likely to remember you and trust you because of your video content. You can also stand out from your competition and use video platforms to reach a new, wider, or different customer base.
You can create video tutorials for people who are visual learners by creating vivid graphics and interesting narration. You can also create instruction videos explaining your particular industry and some of its processes, for example, explaining social media marketing.
There are many great ways to rank your website higher on Google in 2021.
Some of the easiest are on-site SEO, checking your technical SEO, and Optimizing Google My Business.
But there is no quick fix or trick for getting on the first page of Google rankings instantly.
It takes time, commitment, and work to gain the expertise and authority needed to reach your goals.
But if you don't know where to start, or you can't write content, or SEO doesn't interest you: digital marketing firms can assess your website, SEO quality, and can personalize a social media strategy specific to your business needs.