It’s not great when you work so hard writing a blog post and can’t find it anywhere on the first page of Google. It affects your overall traffic and conversion. Well, the good news is, you don’t have to hire any experts to get you to the top. In this quick tutorial, I’ll show you how to get high ranking on Google by making some changes to your post and using some great tools.
First, What’s Your Page Ranking Like?
To improve your page or post ranking, you must first know the current ranking for the keywords that you are targeting. If you haven’t been doing proper keyword research, it’s high time you start because that will give the article a focus point and as you elaborate around the topic, it will indirectly generate other relevant keywords that can contribute to the overall indexing and ranking process.
There are a few online tools that you can use to check for page ranking such as Google Webmaster and SERPs, but my favorite one is Jaaxy because it doesn’t require any interpretation in terms of graphs or other complicated data.
I wrote a post about making money with Amazon some time ago and according to Jaaxy, that article was sitting at the far end of Page 2. So obviously, it needs a little more push to get into Page 1.
Let’s Get To Work
Before we get started, we’ll have to prepare a checklist of the things that we want to fix. For this, I would recommend that you use Google Spreadsheets because it’s free and has a great auto-saving mode. We are going to call this sheet ‘Post SEO Audit’.
How to Get High Ranking on Google
Audit #1 – What’re The Targeted Keywords
As mentioned previously, you should have one targeted keywords per article and ideally, they should make human sense, descriptive, and minimally competitive. Your content is going to revolve around this keyword so learning the proper method of research is very important.
This keyword will sit in the first column of the spreadsheet, followed by other elements that we are going to change shortly.
Audit #2 – What’s in the URL?
This is also known as the permalink. It is a web address that leads to an article so whenever someone search for example “Learn Affiliate Marketing” (the targeted keywords), the URL should contain these words so that Google can identify and returned that particular page to the users.
What if the targeted keywords are VERY different from those in the URL? Well, you have two options here;
- Just stick with the original permalink and improved on your blog content (which I’ll show you in the following steps).
- Change the permalink using a 301 redirect plugin.
Audit #3 – Check Current Ranking
In the third column, you want to key in the current page ranking (for example; Position 101, Page 11) so that you’ll know how many positions you have moved after completing the SEO audit. When you come back to check on the page in a few weeks, key in the new ranking in the fourth column.
Audit #4 – Add Page Title and Meta Description
Whenever Google crawls a web page, it will try to capture a snippet of the article by ‘reading’ the page title and meta description to see if the article is relevant to the user’s query. In case you don’t know what this is, here’s what a search preview looks like for an indexed web page.
As you can see, it displays the keywords (bold) on the page title, the URL as well as a unique meta description. I call it unique because you can see that the webmaster had taken the time to briefly described what the page is all about, instead of relying on Google to randomly select snippets from the page content.
When you have a well-designed meta description, you will earn a better ranking on Google for providing helpful information for the users.
If you are using WordPress for your website (which is my recommendation), you can fill out this information using SEO plugins such as All in One SEO or Yoast.
Audit #5 – Keywords In the First Paragraph
Say you are just starting a conversation with your audience; would you jump straight into the main discussion or do a little brief introduction first? I think you would agree that the latter is a better approach.
The first paragraph of your content is like an introduction and more often than not, it gives the readers a reason to stay on (or to leave) your page. The factor boils down to how you use the targeted keywords to create a strong impression so do learn to sprinkle them a bit in the first paragraph.
Audit #6 – Optimize Alt Text and Image Title Attribute
Alt Text aka ‘alternative information’ was originally used to describe images for users who disabled them on their browsers. Although most people hardly do this anymore in this time and era, it still serves as a function to inform Google what an image is all about.
By adding relevant pictures, you are also helping the readers understand the content better and Google will know this by reading the Alt Text.
You should also consider doing the same thing for the Image Title Attribute as well because it serves as an ‘additional information’ on top of the Alt Text. As long as you describe the image as accurately as possible using your targeted keywords, Google will do its best in ranking that page.
If you are wondering where to source for images, I highly recommend that you check out Photopin (they are free to use!).
Ok, let’s take a break. You are still with me, right? 🙂
In the previous six audits, we discuss why and where you should include keywords to get better page ranking. Now, we are going to talk about other SEO techniques that do not focus on keywords.
Audit #7 – Create Internal and External Link
After writing a few articles, you’ll find that some information will overlap with one another. This is a good thing because it creates an anchor for you to connect two or three (or more) articles through internal (within your website) and external (to other websites) link. Although links can potentially take readers away from a certain page, it also guides Google Spider to check out other important pages and pass the link juice aka ranking power to those URLs.
However, you don’t want to always be using the exact keywords in the post title as the anchor text as this can be seen as spam by the search algorithm. Try to diversify the words and let them read naturally.
Audit #8 – Add a Video
Who doesn’t like watching videos these days, right? The fact that they are engaging and informative can potentially influence readers to stay longer on your page.
If you can create and publish your videos, coming up with a well-designed video description (sprinkled with targeted keywords) will send ranking signals similar to blogs with meta descriptions.
Even if you are merely embedding other people’s video (with permission, of course), this can make your content more interesting to read and indirectly boost the page ranking as a result of social shares and comments. Great places to source for shareable videos are YouTube and Vimeo.
Audit #9 – Get Blog Comments
One thing that I look forward to every day is to receive notifications of comments for my blog. I love hearing opinions, questions and sometimes, constructive criticism from my readers because I think it keeps the discussion area healthy and makes me a more well-rounded writer. As it turns out, Google loves this kind of engagement too.
If your blog isn’t getting enough good quality comments, I would recommend that you check out SiteComments, a blogging platform that helps niche bloggers boost comment engagement and social shares for their site.
For example, within days of publishing a post, I received 10 great comments (and more to come) from other bloggers. Of course, I reciprocated with my comments on their sites as well.
With so much engagement, I am very sure that this post will rank in the top position in a few more weeks to come 🙂
Audit #10 – Social Share The Post
After getting comments on the post, make an effort to share it across your favorite social networks. The more it gets passed around, the more it would be read by other people. Make sure that you optimize the social settings in your SEO plugin as well.
I personally like Pinterest and Google Plus because they have more visual appeal and I find that the communities in these networks are more genuine with their interaction.
Audit #11 – Resubmit Your Sitemap
At this point, you have given your posts, a big website overhaul. With all the changes, it’s best to resubmit your sitemap to refresh Google’s crawl to your website, and hopefully, some of the page rankings will start to pick up soon.
Audit #12 – Date Stamp
Last, but not least, you should put a date stamp when you have completed the SEO audit for one targeted keywords so that you can come back in a week or two to compare the position ranking.
Audit #13 (Optional)
It may be wise to add column for personal notes such as ‘Add more images’, ‘Create a video’, or if you are up for the challenge, ‘Rewrite the entire post’. Anything you think can help to improve on the content, but might take a little longer to fix, is worth writing down as a reminder.
So, Did My Ranking Improve?
After I performed all the 12 audits, here’s the current ranking for my Amazon post.
Wow! Position one Page one! Now, isn’t that worth all the effort? 🙂
You Can Do It Too!
SEO audit is nothing more than optimizing your pages for better user experience. Google is just merely guiding you in the right direction. So don’t do it for Google. Do it for your readers and your posts will get a lot of Google love as a result of that.
Do you have any suggestions or questions about this topic? Please leave your comment below and I’ll get back to you.