Ranking higher on Google is the dream of every website owner. Let’s face it, every business wants to hold that top spot on search results pages. With Google accounting for around 92% of the search engine market share, this is no surprise. A high-ranking website not only drives traffic to your site but also builds your online presence and increases your brand’s credibility.
Google’s ranking metrics are created to organise billions of web pages to meet search intent by offering the most useful results to searchers. As SEO experts, we know that there are recommended steps to follow in order to reach the beloved page 1 of Google. And this starts before you even launch your new website.
Choosing the Right Domain Name
Selecting the right domain name for your company is super important as this is ultimately how your target audience will find you. A customised domain name will help your website stand out and even boost your search engine optimisation.
It’s recommended that you use a .com extension as it’s the most trusted, but other popular options include .org and .net depending on the type of business you run. Keeping your domain name short and simple will assist people to find you easily, whereas a longer domain can be difficult to remember. So when choosing a domain it’s crucial to make it easy to spell, stay on brand and ensure it’s memorable.
Understanding Google Ranking Factors
Ranking factors are used by Google to evaluate how well your website content matches a specific online search query.
Google’s ranking algorithm involves particular factors that play a key role in determining search results. There are over 200 ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, but here are five important ones:
- High-quality content – fresh, useful content for users will rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Backlinks – also known as inbound links coming from another web page and these have a huge impact on Google’s ranking algorithm if they are high quality.
- Search intent and content relevancy – by matching your content with a user’s search intent, you can answer questions and create content that people are looking for.
- Website loading speed – Google wants your website to load quickly to provide a great user experience for your visitors.
- Mobile friendliness – ensure that your website is responsive to any screen size, especially mobile devices as Google uses the mobile version for indexing and ranking.
Conducting Comprehensive Keyword Research
While your new website is being built, don’t forget about content and keywords. This is the ideal time to undergo in-depth keyword research. This will help you shape your website content, your pages, products and services and include jargon and terms that your potential clients will search for. Keyword research also forms the basis for good SEO practices. So including relevant keywords and terms that your target audience is searching for will help your website to rank higher.
There are tons of keyword research tools to identify what’s reasonable for you to rank for. Our favourite is Surfer’s Keyword Research Tool – it analyses loads of data to also identify the most influential content ideas, plus, it’s free! Remember that you want to strike a balance between high competition and low competition keywords to optimise your website for targeted traffic, improved rankings and ultimately, drive desirable results for your business.
Choosing the Right Platform to Develop Your Website
It’s essential that you choose the right platform for your website because everything that follows including the look, functionality, user experience and maintenance will depend on this choice. With such a wide range of Content Management Systems (CMS) out there, it can be tough to make a decision. First you’ll have to decide what type of website you require.
For instance, if you sell products, you might want to establish an ecommerce website. Popular ecommerce platforms include WooCommerce and Shopify. For other corporate websites, WordPress.org is a great option. It’s one of the best CMS platforms and the world’s most popular CMS software, powering around 43% of all websites on the internet.
Creating and Promoting Engaging Content
Creating content that is engaging, informative and shareable will work wonders for attracting organic traffic and improving your website’s ranking on Google. Blog posts give you the opportunity to write content that is tailored to your buyer personas, has internal links and includes keywords you want to rank for.
Writing to your buyer personas won’t magically increase search traffic, but it does boost the chances that your content will be shared on other websites and social media. With each share, your content increases in value and receives more references and inbound links. And these components are key to higher search rankings. So be sure to have a few blogs ready to post when your site goes live! Thereafter, you’ll need to continue publishing good quality content on a regular basis.
On Page Optimisation Techniques
On page SEO optimisation consists of a few vital tags including meta tags. Using the right meta tags in the right way is all about communicating with search engines – telling them what your page is about, how to read it and who should see it. The title tag is a clickable headline that shows up in the SERPs, social media platforms and browsers. This is usually the page’s title and will be the first thing a searcher sees, meaning a well-written one may increase the number of clicks and traffic.
A meta description is also sometimes displayed in a SERP snippet and while it’s not directly related to your Google ranking, it presents an opportunity to increase your click-through-rate. In order to optimise these tags, you should include your most significant keywords without keyword stuffing. Give each page a unique meta description that clearly indicates what value the page offers.
Install Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Setting up Google Analytics will help you to monitor website traffic and user behaviour. It’s also a powerful tool for your business to use paid advertising, SEO, social and connect to various other Google products. Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is better equipped to measure data across multiple platforms including websites and apps, offers more privacy protection and uses artificial intelligence (AI) insights to create predicative audiences.
You will also want to connect to Google Search Console for tracking your website’s performance. This tool will help you diagnose any technical SEO issues, help you understand your most popular pages, see where you are ranking and assist you to increase organic traffic. And good news, both Google Analytics and Google Search Console are completely free!
Create and Submit a Sitemap
A sitemap is a file in which you provide information about your web pages, videos and other files on your site as well as the links between them. Search engines then use this file to more efficiently crawl your website. XML is the most widely used sitemap format and here are a few steps on how to go about creating and submitting one on Google.
Note: you might want to elicit the help of your web development team for this one:
- Gather all of your site’s URLs
- Code the URLs in an XML format
- Sign into Google Search Console and select “Sitemaps”
- Add the URL of your sitemap where it says “Add a new sitemap”
- Click submit and Google will crawl your newly created sitemap
Building a Strong Backlink Profile
SEO backlinks are links from other websites to your website. High quality backlinks can increase your ranking on search engines and improve visibility in search, leading to more traffic coming to your website. There are a few strategies you can use to attract high quality backlinks once your website is live:
- Create engaging visual content – almost 41% of marketers said original graphics help them to achieve their marketing goals.
- Publish original research – a study found that 94% of respondents consider how the information they share will be useful to their followers.
- Create step-by-step guides – current knowledge that is easy to implement draws consumers to want to learn more and writers may refer to one of your points in an article.
- Leverage public relations – the more you share useful, relevant and industry-related information, the more you establish your business as an authoritative thought leader.
- Reach out to experts – ask others for insights around a certain topic to create an interesting and shareable blog post.
Setting Up Google Business Profile (if applicable)
If you’re a local business, you will definitely benefit from setting up a Google Business Profile. Most people search for businesses online and their search engine of choice is usually Google. So it’s super important to ensure that your local business listing can be found easily on Google and Google Maps. With a Business Profile, you can create a great listing in a matter of minutes and it’s totally free!
Staying Updated with SEO Trends
Due to the dynamic nature of SEO, your new website will require constant updating, optimising and adapting to the evolving needs and requirements of your audience and search engines. In a market that’s constantly changing, where trends, competitors and algorithms can shift in an instant, you need to keep your SEO content updated and relevant to stay ahead of the game.
Google regularly refines its algorithms to enhance the user experience and provide more accurate search results. And these updates reward high quality, user-based content while penalising tactics that manipulate search results.
Boost your Google rankings with us
In today’s competitive market, standing out is tough. At Cariad, we recognise the challenges businesses face, and that’s why we offer a free SEO audit. This audit is designed to help you understand exactly where your website stands compared to its competitors. Our experts go beyond the basics, providing you with a detailed report on all the changes and improvements you can make to rank higher on Google.
Ready to elevate your online presence? Our commitment extends beyond assessments. Explore the impact of our professional SEO services, where our team is dedicated to implementing effective strategies tailored to your unique needs. Moreover, we understand the significance of budget-friendly solutions. Inquire about our affordable SEO packages, designed to make quality SEO accessible to businesses of all sizes.
Contact us today, and let’s embark on a journey to make your website stand out in the digital landscape.