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How to Rank on Google: A Guide on Important Ranking Factors With a Focus on Content

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How Google Ranking Involves More than SEO

Every savvy marketer knows that if you want your business website to do well, you need a top ranking on Google. Millions of people access the world’s most popular search engine daily, generally finding the information they want within seconds. A top Google ranking involves appearing on the first page of search results, preferably as one of the first five listings. Getting your website to rank high takes work and involves several different factors. Google changes its algorithm frequently so that certain factors could be more important than others during any given month or year. However, you should always pay attention to a few very important content elements that are consistently part of the mix.


Why Your Website Needs to Rank on Google

The answer is easy. A high Google ranking means potential customers will be able to find you. This, in turn, means higher website traffic and higher profits. You’ll always find the following factors as part of the Google algorithm.

  • Relevant and Well-Researched Keywords
  • A decade or so ago, most websites contained text so packed with keywords that content was often awkward. Google eventually moved away from keyword stuffing and now favors keywords that have a decided meaning for your purposes.

  • Match Content to User Intent
  • Although you have a purpose in mind, the No. 1 priority should be your audience. Ask yourself what your audience wants or needs to know, and write content accordingly.

  • Develop Unique Content
  • Creating unique content goes hand in hand with keeping your audience’s needs in mind. The goal should be to provide information that your audience can’t find anywhere else. This practice, along with properly selected keywords, can bring your webpage to the top of search engine results.

  • Content Characteristics
  • Your audience wants to see relevant and recent content, not something that is five years old. After all, that information may be outdated. Google favors fresh content and ranks pages higher even when only some of the content is new. Don’t create content that’s full of filler. Instead, write content that’s not only relevant but also holistic and meaningful. Answer your audience’s questions on a given topic, nothing more and nothing less.

  • Create a Clear Structure
  • A clear structure makes content easy to read as well as scannable for search engines. Make sure you have headlines, subheadlines, lists, enumerations and other visual cues that will allow readers to find the information they desire. Including keywords in headlines and subheads can improve your search results.

  • Language Characteristics
  • Use natural and clear language. While you may incorporate SEO strategies, don’t write for search engines. Instead, write for your audience in words they’ll understand. Use active voice whenever possible, as this structure will add impact to your text. Active voice also results in shorter sentences, which are easier to read.

    SEO vs Content Optimization

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    Which is better: SEO, also known as search engine optimization, or content optimization? The answer is neither because you need both to rank well on Google. SEO is all about content optimization and vice versa, but they are not the same. However, they do overlap.

    To distinguish the two terms, SEO is narrower and more technical while content marketing is broader and more holistic. The two overlap when you apply SEO’s technical specifications into content optimization. Conversely, content optimization requires SEO for proper implementation. Think of SEO and content optimization as a conversation between two people. SEO makes demands while content optimization fulfills them.

    SEO is more than about keywords. It also includes something called LSI, or latent semantic indexing keywords. These are the terms that are a type of word association that help Google ranking for your website by determining what results to show. For example, you may include keywords such as “home remodelers near me” and “New York City home remodelers” in your text. Both keywords target the same thing but may yield different results. That’s why you need both in your content. Keep in mind that as people tend to search more and more through voice commands, LSI keywords will trend toward a natural way of speaking. Thus, it’s important to include keywords in a way that sounds natural to optimize your content.

    A negative SEO factor that you should remain aware of is never to publish duplicate content, even if it’s new to your website. If Google sees that you publish duplicate content repeatedly, it will hit you with what is known as a Google penalty. This action results in a big drop in search results, often accompanied by a severe reduction in website traffic.

    Your Business Absolutely Needs to Rank on Google

    If you’re a business owner, agency partner, or manager responsible for eCommerce, online marketing, or affiliate content, it makes sense to hire writers who can create copy that will improve your ranking on Google. Even though you may have decent writing skills, you probably don’t know how to apply them to get the most out of your content. Not only that, you may spend too much time figuring out how to do so. That’s time that would be better spent running other aspects of your business.

    By hiring Textbroker writers who know how to write for Google rankings, you’ll get copy that can increase your business credibility, improve company sales, and attract qualified leads and traffic to your website. Well-crafted text with all the proper elements has the potential to improve Google rankings from good to great.

    Optimizing Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions

    Many people don’t think about meta titles and meta descriptions, or they deem them to be unnecessary. However, both are important for attaining high Google rankings. To understand why you need to understand what each is.

    At its simplest, a meta title is a name tag for a web page. It’s distinctly different from the headline on the page. You’ll find the meta title on the browser tab, which identifies the name of the page you are on. Search engine robots read meta titles, which is why it’s important to create a strong title that the search engine will find but also makes sense to people surfing the web. The key to writing good meta titles is to make them natural and incorporate good keyword usage.

    A meta description is a little easier to understand. It’s the information that someone looking for information will see when they click on a Google results page, also known as a search engine results page (SERP). The best meta descriptions are 155 characters or less and succinctly summarize the contents of a web page. Their basic job is to entice someone looking for information to click through to your page. Well written meta descriptions will not only include a keyword but also lead someone to your website for the product or information they desire.

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    Best Practices for Ranking on Google

    To rank higher on Google, make sure that you follow these practices when crafting content for your website.


    Use internal linking
    Random links won’t do the trick. Inbound and outbound links should add value to the information provided. All internal links should focus on keyword-rich anchor text that will increase traffic and give you a better Google ranking.


    Improve your site’s SEO.
    Boosting your SEO takes thought as well as work. Incorporating the suggestions in this article will go a long way toward helping you appear on the first page of SERP results

    Don’t underestimate small details.
    Are you thinking that spelling, punctuation and grammar don’t mean much? Think again because your audience will.


    You need to understand mobile first.
    This concept is still a bit confusing for some people, but mobile-first indexing is exactly what it sounds like. It means that Google primarily uses the mobile version of your webpage for ranking and indexing purposes. To get a better idea of what mobile indexing is all about, view Barry Schwartz Digital Marketing League Video on how mobile-first indexing affects rank on Google.


    How to choose the right keywords for an article

    Today’s search engines are more intelligent than ever. This means they can detect and penalize unnatural-sounding keyword placement in your text. Performing essential keywordresearch is essential to ensuring that you get the most out of SEO and content optimization to improve your Google rank.

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    Refreshing Content Will Help Improve Your Google Ranking

    Every website has evergreen content. That content could be in the form of a blog, a landing page, a category page or a product page. These types of pages don’t require complete replacement, but you should consider refreshing their content occasionally to keep search engines happy and retain a high Google ranking. Consider the following when writing content to improve Google ranking.

    Outline major talking points.
    This method is a great way to create new content in your own words. Providing detailed outlines for writers helps make your content unique as well as personalized.


    Edit and re-read content multiple times.
    This is a point that we can’t talk enough about. Publishing something on the first go often isn’t right. Let your content sit for a day or so, and go back to it. Looking at content with fresh eyes allows you to see mistakes, typos or points upon which you want to improve.


    Re-fresh your ideas.
    Evergreen content has a purpose. Revisit your content every 12 months or so by reviewing your keywords and your text. Update older ideas and determine if you need to add content. Google will thank you with a higher ranking.


    Pay attention to more than punctuation, spelling, and grammar.
    Sure, these elements are important, but they aren’t the only points that should be addressed. Listen to that nagging little voice in your head about what you need and communicate it to your writer. Pay attention to the structure of sentences and synonymous words to ensure that content is well written.


    Beware of paraphrasing.

    This point is difficult for many to understand, especially when trying to refresh content. Avoid switching out or changing around a few words or failing to acknowledge your source. Both are examples of ineffective paraphrasing, neither of which will help your Google rank efforts.

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