SEO with Google – The Ultimate Guide To Rank High
The new craze is about SEO. Why so? Let’s guess. There’s a high chance that you may have recently launched a website if you are reading this article. It may be for a business purpose or a personal blog or related to something else. Upon searching for your website on Google, it does not show up in the results. And you would probably be wondering why. That is the question of every other person who launches a website. That is where SEO with Google comes into play.
Don’t worry. That is quite common with the launch of every new website. But the main question here would be; why is your website not showing up in the search results of Google? The answer isn’t a difficult one. An analogy to make the concept easier to understand is that search engines like Google have their own language. Your website needs to speak that language for the search engine to understand and discover that your website exists.
How do you try to understand and speak that language? The answer is SEO.
Table of contents
- What Exactly Is SEO?
- What Makes SEO Essential?
- How SEO with Google Works
- Google Algorithm for SEO
- How to Achieve SEO Optimization with Google
- 2. On-Site SEO Optimization with Google
- 2.1. Keyword Research
- Keyword Difficulty
- · What Is the Search Volume
- · What Is the Relevancy of the Selected Keywords
- 2.2. Selecting the Exact Keywords You Want To Use
- 2.3. Avoiding Keyword Stuffing
- 2.4. How to Optimize Your Title Tag
- Optimal Number of Characters in Title
- Make the Title Tag Appealing
- 2.5. How to Optimize Meta Description for better SEO
- 2.6. How Important Is the Content Body & Website Design
- Word Count
- Uniqueness & Relevancy
- Experience Metrics
- 2.7. Alt Attributes for Image SEO with Google
- 2.8. Using Internal Links & Proper Website Structure
- 3. Off-Site SEO Optimization with Google
- · Black hat Link Building
- · Whitehat Link Building
- · Organic Link Building
- 3.1. Tips on Building Quality Links
- 3.2. Avoid Aggressive and Manipulative Tactics for Link Building
- 4. Keep Checking Your SEO Techniques and Google Rankings
- · Ahrefs
- · Google Analytics
What Exactly Is SEO?
SEO or ‘Search Engine Optimization in simpler terms is a complicated process through which a search engine recognizes your website and its content and then shows them in the search results whenever the users search for the relevant content through that search engine.
SEO is a practice that revolves around optimizing a website’s content so that it ranks higher on a search engine like Google. It improves and increases the visibility of your website for all of the relevant searches. Our focus here would be on Google because it’s the most commonly used search engine in the world.
A general misconception is that SEO is mostly related to website rankings only. No, that’s NOT the case. SEO plays a vital role in digital marketing as well. Web development, content marketing, branding, public relations, and so many other things are directly related to SEO.
What Makes SEO Essential?
Google conducts over 3.5 billion searches every day. The number breaks down to over 40k searches PER SECOND. Sounds crazy, right? People are hungry for more information. It could be about the products, or services, or even general.
The website traffic from the search results is probably a good source of traffic for every website. Other channels also exist for marketing, but the traffic from search results always makes up a big chunk of the total traffic coming on a website A good SEO drives a website higher in search results of Google rankings. That increases your site traffic as a result. Consequently, an increase in traffic would mean more leads and potentially more customers for the business or more readers of your blogs.
How SEO with Google Works
The internet is like a web. A digital web. Google collects information from different pages from all over the internet when a search is initiated. It uses bots to ‘crawl’ those pages or websites on the internet. Those bots go from one website to another to collect the information and add them to an index. The algorithms used by Google then evaluate the information in the index. They determine the order of those pages or websites on the SERP (search engine results page).
Google Algorithm for SEO
The algorithms used by Google take many factors into account to rank the websites or pages. Those factors include site authority, quality backlinks, content quality, keywords, etc. Google’s algorithms are designed to provide relevant search results and enhance the search experience of the users.
Hence, optimization of such factors can help you rank higher in the search results and can improve your website visitors to a great extent. You have to work on SEO because there is no shortcut to achieving better rankings on Google.
You cannot pay it to rank your website higher. SEO with Google is the only way.
How to Achieve SEO Optimization with Google
SEO is vital to bring more organic traffic to your website. If you have taken care of all the points efficiently, it would be pretty easy for Google to rank your website higher in the search results.
But failing to do so may get your website pushed way down the line where people don’t even bother checking the website to gain the information they need even if it’s relevant. Because nobody bothers going to page 20 of Google search results to check out a random website to answer their questions.
Here’s how you can go for optimization.
1. Content Creation & Content Marketing
Creating and updating content on your website is crucial to your website rankings. The content you update on your website is not some regular content. It is properly and thoroughly optimized to rank on Google as per the keywords that you choose to write the content on.
Good content is the KEY to better SEO. Also make sure to keep publishing the content regularly, because according to Hubspot, websites, where the content is regularly updated and published, received 350% more traffic than those that don’t. Google has confirmed it. They say that content is very important and is even among the top 3 ranking factors of Google.
What people don’t understand is that content marketing is a great way to increase organic traffic. You have to regularly publish the content that has been optimized to rank on Google. The more content you will have, the more visitors your website will get, and the more time they will spend on it if your content is engaging enough.
Advantages of Good Content
Make sure that the content on your website is of great quality. Such content can include so many different things like blogs, videos, podcasts, tutorials, etc.
- Creating good quality content for your website is a hectic and time-consuming task but the Google algorithms love it and so would your visitors. Hence, Google will start ranking your website better.
- Good content can even prompt the visitors to share your content on their own social media pages which can result in an even higher number of people visiting your website.
Content marketing is a type of marketing that provides free content to the visitors and just needs their time and attention in return. And it strongly supports your website’s SEO to rank better on Google.
It is different from traditional marketing. Traditional marketing is used to forcefully grab the attention of users without asking them or wanting it. For example, you are shown a TV ad without you requiring any info about the product in that ad during your TV shows. You cannot avoid watching that ad. This kind of marketing does not provide any reason for people to view those ads. Additionally, traditional marketing is much more expensive than content marketing. And relevant content can help you rank higher on Google.
Content marketing is about the information that the users require. The content creation includes blogs, podcasts, infographics, YouTube videos, etc.
Advantages of Content Marketing
There are numerous advantages of content marketing over traditional methods. That includes a better ranking on Google. Let’s mention a few.
- Content marketing provides value to the visitors and educates them about the thing they are looking for. Traditional marketing mostly wastes the time and attention span of the people.
- Content marketing does not require you to spend to show ads. It is inexpensive.
- Content that you create gets shared on social platforms or other websites.
- Regular content creation helps you get ranked higher and gain much more organic traffic. That’s because you’ll use more keywords with every new content.
- New content types like videos and podcasts on a blogging website engage more users as they get new media and more info. This, in turn, helps in getting a better SEO ranking with Google.
2. On-Site SEO Optimization with Google
Search Engine Optimization is majorly related to the content on your website. It requires you to optimize your site so that Google can easily find it. Here are some of the tips and techniques you should be taking care of to rank your website higher in Google’s search results.
2.1. Keyword Research
The very basics of SEO with Google start with keywords. Keywords are the words that the users use to search for any specific content on Google.
The best time for you to do your keyword research thoroughly is before you start creating your content. By doing this, you’ll get to know what the users actually search for and which keywords you should exactly be focusing on during your content creation. However, this task is not as simple as it sounds.
You have to take care of a few things first that are directly related to the keywords research and SEO optimization.
· How High Is the Competition
SEO for Google is a kind of competition. Whoever wins gets to rank higher. For SEO optimization, the first thing you should consider is the competition and chances of the ranking of any specific keywords.
You need to know and understand your target audience and what they are searching for. Start by getting to know about their interests, the problems they have, the languages they use, and what the solutions they are looking for are.
Once you gather all such information, you will have a long list of keywords. Those keywords would be relevant to your business or content that you are trying to rank.
Getting to know about the keyword competition is a tough and difficult task. You need to understand about:
- The popularity of the initial websites and pages that appear in the search results of the keywords that you have chosen and their relative website authority. The quality and relevance of those websites.
- How good is the keyword itself? Does it accurately answer the questions the users are asking?
There is a specific difficulty score assigned to each keyword. The higher the difficulty score of a keyword, the tougher it is to rank the content using that keyword. There are more than a few websites where you can find the difficulty level of your selected keywords.
Go through these tools, check the difficulty of your keywords and choose accordingly.
· What Is the Search Volume
Once you have a list of keywords, check out how many people are using those words in their searches. Greater the number of people using the keywords you have enlisted, the higher the chances of getting more traffic to your website. Similarly, if there are a few searches for a keyword that you have chosen, there will be much less traffic guided towards your website.
Hence, the keywords you choose should have a higher search volume. Your efforts would only then be fruitful for getting organic traffic.
· What Is the Relevancy of the Selected Keywords
Make sure that the keywords you choose reflect the relevancy of your business or content website. For example, if you have a website related to computer antivirus solutions, you should not be using any keywords that are related to irrelevant searches like ‘remote working software solution’ or ‘graphic designing Software’ because such terms would not be related to your website or content in any way.
Google does NOT rank those websites that use irrelevant keywords and content. SEO optimization is all about high-quality content. Google considers high-quality content as relevant when it is appropriately related to your website.
2.2. Selecting the Exact Keywords You Want To Use
Once you have thoroughly done your research regarding your keywords, you would have several keywords to choose from.
- As a suggestion, choose the keywords with a high search volume and low difficulty score. You’ll be able to rank higher on Google quickly using those keywords. You have to decide yourself as to how you want to balance the difficulty and search volume of the keywords.
- If your website is related to blogs and general information, go with keywords having an informational intent. If it is commercial, go with keywords having a commercial intent.
- Sometimes, some keywords with very high search volumes have pretty low domain authority on your competitors’ websites. Choose those keywords. Your website authority will increase with time and that will help you rank better.
2.3. Avoiding Keyword Stuffing
It goes by the saying that “excess of everything is bad”. The same is the case with SEO with Google. Do not overdo the optimization of your website. Google’s algorithm recognizes those websites that are overstuffed with keywords. Such websites may be pushed down the rankings. So you have to keep it simple and not overdo the use of keywords.
Generally, just use 4-6 keywords on each page of your website. That would be enough.
2.4. How to Optimize Your Title Tag
The title of your web page is probably the first thing the search engine looks for. It enables Google to know what the page content is all about.
For some people, your title tag or headline is even more important than the actual content on a webpage. Of all the people who see your title in the SERP, only about 20% will visit your web page to go through the article or content.
Your website will start ranking higher if it is getting more and more visitors.
Optimal Number of Characters in Title
To optimize your title for SEO, make sure that the number of characters in the title should be less than 70. Your title should also include your brand name or the topic on which you have created your content. It should also include the specific keywords that are related to that web page. 50-60 characters in a title tag are the optimal range.
Make the Title Tag Appealing
Work on your focal keyword in the title and make it more compelling by using some strong and emotional phrases. That is because your title tag is what a user will see in the Google search results. So you would want to make it more clickable.
Here are a few tips to make your title tags more appealing.
- Use numbers and digits in your title. It attracts and mesmerizes the readers. Couple them with some emotional and strong words. For example, ‘5 reasons to avoid this…’, ‘10 awesome tricks to do that…’ etc.
- Explain what your content is about. ‘How to do this…’, ‘what to check…’ etc.
- Words portraying distrust can compel people to visit web pages more often than not. ‘5 lies about this product’, ‘how damaging doing this is for you…’ etc.
- Use the 5 Ws. Who, when, what, where, why.
- Ask questions. ‘Do you know how to do this?’, ‘Why is this so harmful?’, etc.
2.5. How to Optimize Meta Description for better SEO
Although the meta description of any page on your website does not directly affect your SERP rankings, it still helps in attracting traffic.
Users are shown the meta description of your website in the search results along with the title tag. Hence, they can get to know a very concise summary of what your page content is all about. If they consider that your page’s meta description is relevant to what information they need, they will visit your website to know more. And that is your ultimate goal.
Hence, an increase in the CTR (click-through rate) will help you increase your rank on Google. So make sure to write a concise but attractive and catchy meta description to compel the readers to visit your website.
Additionally, include your brand name and the relevant keyword(s) in the meta description. This helps your web page stand out in the results when they search for those keywords.
If you are using WordPress, creating optimized title tags and meta descriptions would be easier for you if you are using free SEO optimization plugins like Yoast SEO.
2.6. How Important Is the Content Body & Website Design
There is no doubt that the actual content of your web page is one of the most important factors in SEO with Google. However, Google’s algorithms do lookout for a few key factors while scrutinizing the content of your web pages for ranking purposes.
Google does not have a set word count for which it favors or penalizes the content for ranking on search pages. But the optimal range of word count is considered to be 1800-2000 words for each web page.
Just make sure that your content is not extremely short (100-200 words). A large number of blogs with short content on your website may get Google to notice it and lower your rankings. That is because the value and the informational purpose of the content decrease when the content is not detailed enough.
Uniqueness & Relevancy
The content should be free of plagiarism and relevant to the keywords and the searches. Google never ranks the content that is irrelevant and does not answer the questions of the users.
Give value to your content. Google simply excludes those websites with low-value content.
Make sure that your content exactly answers the questions that the users search for. Google has started to weigh the engagement and experience of the users more now.
Your content should be engaging. It should compel the users to stay on your web page for longer periods.
Moreover, your website should be designed in such a way that the content loads quickly and does not have any website design issues. Scale your images and reduce image sizes to lessen the website loading time.
2.7. Alt Attributes for Image SEO with Google
An alt attribute is a programming language element that allows a user to know what an image on a web page is about if it does not load properly on the user’s end. It provides written information on the image.
A useful description of an image can be an important factor in enhancing the user experience. Alt attributes include the keywords as well and can help drive traffic towards your webpage and relevant content by appearing in the “Image Search” for the related keywords.
It is recommended to not skip the alt attribute for your images. Just keep the image description natural and do not stuff the alt attributes with keywords that you are using in your content.
Images that are properly SEO optimized to appear in the image search help in ranking your website better in the SERP results.
2.8. Using Internal Links & Proper Website Structure
Organizing the content on your website and interlinking it properly can be a tedious and intellectual task. But the way you do it can impact how your website’s content ranks in the Google searches.
Google uses bots to crawl web pages. If your website has pages that are properly linked to each other internally, it would help Google to understand quickly what your website is about. Website crawling would be easier and more recognizable for Google on your web pages. This would make your content more relevant and trustable, hence improving your SEO and Google rankings.
Google also looks at the anchor text that you are using to link other pages on your website. If any of your pages have been internally linked more than others, it would recognize that those specific pages are more important and have the most impact to help other less-internally linked pages rank as well.
Hence, strategic internal linking is important to increase the trust of Google in your website.
3. Off-Site SEO Optimization with Google
Off-site SEO of a website is related to a process called ‘link building’. Link building is to have other high-authority websites to link your content or website. Link building can be analogous to getting confirmation and votes from other websites that the content on your website is relevant and of high quality. It ensures that your website richly deserves to rank higher in Google results.
Link building is absolutely important to have your website ranked. If your website isn’t trusted by other websites (no one is referring to your site for any purpose), Google may push you down the order in the rankings.
To rank for a specific keyword, build your links with anchor text that contains that keyword.
There are a few ways to go for link building.
· Black hat Link Building
Blackhat linking is related to building the links with the help of low-quality or spam websites. Numerous websites in the world are used for this purpose.
However, blackhat link building is not effective and Google ultimately ignores such websites that are involved in that practice. That’s because the backlinks are not provided by any high-quality websites.
· Whitehat Link Building
White hat link building is what you should aim for. It involves having high-quality websites linked to yours. Google recognizes this as authentic and trusts your website to have original and authentic content with whitehat linking.
· Organic Link Building
Organic link building involves other websites linking to yours without you requesting them to do so. This shows that others trust and recognize your work as authentic. Organic linking helps a lot in SEO with Google. It can even help you build links with other high-authority and recognized websites.
3.1. Tips on Building Quality Links
Building organic links is not easy. It takes a lot of time. You have to create high-quality content, then wait for Google to rank it and others to see it, and then wait for other websites to refer to it without you asking for it.
But you can still work on getting some quick attention to your website by following these techniques:
- Create profiles on different social media platforms. Google’s algorithm also takes into account the social media mentions of your website’s links (tweets, Facebook shares, Pinterest pins, etc.).
This can also help attract the attention of people who run other high-authority websites. They may mention your website link’s on any of their pages if your content is relevant. Hence, more traffic and more organic link building.
- Ask the related businesses to link your website. You can link their websites as well in return because they would be relevant to your website’s niche.
- The content on your website should be of high quality. If you have created any high-quality graphics or images, other websites may use your images and link your website as a reference. This is a great way to build links.
3.2. Avoid Aggressive and Manipulative Tactics for Link Building
Never use any aggressive tactics for link building. Many methods could help you climb up the ranking but that would only be for a short time.
Manipulating the linking techniques by using thousands of spam websites to build the linking will ultimately get your website to disappear from the rankings.
That is because, firstly, Google can recognize the low-quality backlinks very soon. Secondly, the algorithm Google uses to rank is changing constantly and your manipulative backlinks may disappear altogether if they do not fit the new criteria.
4. Keep Checking Your SEO Techniques and Google Rankings
Once you have done all you can to improve your SEO with Google, it is time that you monitor your progress.
It is crucial to keep checking your SEO techniques and the results that they are showing so that you could further optimize your website if necessary.
Monitoring your rankings is also important because Google updates its ranking algorithm regularly and you would want to keep up with any new changes and incorporate them effectively in your SEO.
There are a few tools that you can use to keep up with your progress.
Ahrefs shows you almost everything. From the number of organic visits to the total keywords that your website is ranking for. You can know exactly where your website ranks for which keyword.
It also shows you the number of backlinks and the website authority. With such detailed information, you can target whichever area you want to work on for SEO with Google.
· Google Analytics
Google Analytics shows you what keywords the people are using on Google for which your website shows in the search results. This will help you target keywords with more search volumes and further optimize your website to draw even more traffic.
Just keep in mind that you can’t achieve perfection in every single aspect of SEO. But you should keep working on improving it more and more.
Prioritize your area of focus. For example, if you are good at creating high-quality content, choose the target keywords and focus on the content. If you are running a business, try to go more for link building to increase your traffic and site authority.
All of your efforts should ultimately be targeted towards getting more website traffic and getting the users to perform the actions that you want.
Never jump to conclusions. Always research what you are planning to do. Decide what’s best for you to optimize your SEO with Google. Going for anything based just on the recommendations of others may prove to be more harmful than beneficial if you haven’t done your research thoroughly.
No stopping for you here. SEO- The useful tactic you need to know