How to Rank #1 on Google

Nothing could be more disappointing than your website not ranking on Google, despite your continued efforts to rank high. With a vast amount of content available on the internet, finding out the accurate answer on how to rank on Google would be close to impossible. Google has a few ranking factors, but it makes these ranking factors up of not just one, but a wide variety of algorithms. To help your website rank on Google, we have come up with a few solutions.

In this article on how to rank on Google, we will be discussing the top 7 ranking factors to improve your website traffic:

  1. Choose Relevant Keywords
  2. Write High-quality Content
  3. Optimize On-page SEO
  4. Optimize Website Level Factors
  5. Gain Links to your Site
  6. Improve Site Structure
  7. Leverage Social Media Platforms

Let’s get started with our first ranking factor i.e., choosing relevant keywords

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Choose Relevant Keywords

The aim of ranking websites on search engines is a dream of every marketer. But, to accomplish the task, we require a lot of effort.

However, targeting the right keywords and audience is the major tip to improve your website ranking. Along with that, creating well-optimized content will give a good boost to your website ranking. 

Your website can reach on top much sooner than you think, but only if you follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Pick out a list of keywords that are relevant to your subject
  • Identify the keywords that your competitors are ranking for
  • Use third-party tools like Google keyword planner to choose keywords with less competition and more search volume for your website
  • Brainstorm your ideas and identify LSI keywords on Google
  • Get active in communities (such as Reddit, Quora), where the audiences ask questions on specific topics 
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest updates of industry news, as it will help you learn new jargons (without even doing the keyword research)

Moving further, let's discuss how creating high-quality content can help your website rank #1 on Google.

Stated below is an example of a Machine Learning video ranking #1 on YouTube search result.

Primary keyword: Machine learning

Secondary keyword: What is Machine learning

1-million

Next comes creating high-quality content

Create High-Quality Content

So what is high-quality content? If you ask us, we can explain it to you in simple words. 

Quality content accomplishes its marketing goal. 

Marketing goals include increasing brand awareness, improving click-through rates, gaining leads, and gaining maximum social shares of a website.

Content Marketing Institute confirms that 88% of B2B companies give priority to content marketing. 

Content marketing involves a wide variety of content-type such as blog posts, newsletters, webinars, videos, and so on, to attract the target audience.

Below we have listed down some of the useful tips to consider while creating high-quality content:

  • Perform research on your chosen keywords
  • Create content that completes users' requirements 
  • Make your content readable to your audience. 
  • Ensure that the content flow is organized
  • Include resources from reputed sites in your post to increase the credibility of the content
  • Opt for white hat techniques, as it helps with ranking

Note: White hat techniques is a technique used to improve search ranking on SERP. It follows search engine rules and policies

  • Prefer different forms of content
  • Feature infographics in your post
  • Include videos and images in your post
  • Review your content thoroughly

Note: When a reader stays on your web page for a longer time, Google will favorably rank your website. To increase user attention/dwell-time, always create comprehensive, long, and engaging content.

Some of the steps to create high-quality content are:

  • Begin with a comprehensive introduction
  • Ensure the content is relevant to the chosen keyword 
  • Create a click-worthy title and include LSI keywords in your content
  • Make sure the heading and subheadings have keywords and variants
  • Shorten your sentences and paragraphs, or you can list down the answers in bullet points
  • Build a comprehensive internal linking structure of web pages
  • Add suitable images with descriptive alt text
  • Incorporate callout boxes
  • Update your content regularly
  • Finalize your CTA.

In the video format, showcased below is an example of high-quality content for the keyword: what is machine learning?

videos

Moving onto the next technique, let's see how to Optimize on-page SEO.

Optimize On-page SEO

On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing web page elements. On-page SEO includes:

  • Title tag
  • Meta description 
  • Header tags

Optimizing on-page SEO is easier than you might think. What follows is some practical advice.

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Title tag 

The title tag is the web page title that appears on the search engine results page.

Let us discuss some of the ways to optimize on-page SEO:

  • First, watch the title tag. Ensure the description is between 50 - 60 characters
  • Avoid stuffing keywords in your title tag
  • Give every page a unique title
  • Place important keywords first
  • Write for your readers

Meta Description

It is a summary of the content of your web page. 

Let us discuss some of the ways to optimize on-page SEO:

  • First, ensure the description is between 50 - 300 characters
  • Avoid stuffing keywords in your meta description
  • Use targeted keywords in your meta descriptions.
  • Impress readers to click by giving them a concise description of your content 
  • Write call-to-actions in the description, such as "click on this result"

Header Tags

The header tag provides structure to your site by identifying headings and subheadings of your web page. 

Optimize your tags by:

  • Including keywords in your Header Tags
  • Ensure only one H1 tag in your content
  • Make sure that the header tags are in sync with the content
  • Maintain the hierarchical structure of tags
  • Do not repeat the same h1 tags on other web pages of your website
  • Do not include header tags as hidden text
  • Keyword stuffing your header tags should be avoided
  • Ensure the length of the tags are between 20-70 characters

Below is an example of a well-optimized web page in terms of on-page SEO. The keyword used here is: Digital marketing certificate

DM-certificate

So far, we have discussed 3 ranking factors on how to rank on Google. Next, we will look at how to optimize website level factors to improve website ranking.

Optimize Website Level Factors

Website level factors include a sitemap, security, and page speed. Optimizing these three elements will improve your rankings and traffic.

Sitemap

A sitemap is one of the important ways to enhance your website's ranking by providing information about the pages. 

Some of the crucial ways to improve sitemaps are:

  • Prioritize high-quality web pages in your sitemap
  • Include your canonical versions of URLs in the sitemap
  • Opt to create dynamic URLs sitemaps for large websites
  • Ensure to design a smaller sitemap
  • Avoid adding noindex URLs in your sitemap

According to EDGY, "Using sitemaps for SEO can increase your website's visibility and help get it indexed." 

Security

Sites with HTTPS server boost in website rankings, whereas Google calls HTTPS as a ranking signal.

Some of the ways to improve site security are:

  • Scan your site for vulnerability
  • Secure your domain using DNSSEC protocol
  • Use SSL certificates 
  • Use HSTS as it includes an extra layer of security over HTTPS

Page Speed 

It is one of the most important ranking factors on Google. It is the time taken to load the content on a web page. 

Page speed with poor performance results in a high bounce rate and low average time spent on the web page.

Below are the ways to optimize page speed:

  • First, optimize images that are larger than 150 bytes
  • Next, choose a simple website design
  • Leverage browser caching for files
  • Upgrade server response time
  • Minimize redirects and optimize code

Note: Page speed with poor performance results in a high bounce rate and low average time spent on the web page. 

For example, Neil Patel had confirmed that Walmart experienced a decline in conversions when the page speed increased from one to four seconds.

walmart-new

Gain Links to Your Site

In this article How to rank #1 on Google, acquiring backlinks from other websites is one of the important ranking factors.

Neil Patel says, "75% of people will never scroll past the first page on a Google search." which indicates the ranking your website on the second, third, or fourth page of Google will not improve your website ranking.

In that case, building external links to your website can increase your organic search ranking.

Some of the benefits of link building are:

  • Improved search engine rankings
  • Increases brand visibility
  • Increases the domain authority
  • Increases referral traffic
  • Improves the credibility and trust of your website

Now, you might be wondering: ‘What is a high-quality link, exactly? And how do I build them?’ That's what we are going to cover now.

Let us tell you a few essential techniques that could help in building links:

  • Opt for guest blogging 
  • List your website in reputable and trustworthy directories
  • Opt for testimonial link building; it helps build trust and authority to your website
  • Constantly promote content on social media 
  • Use resource links from reputed sites
  • Leverage the broken links strategy

Note: Backlinko has confirmed that pages with more backlinks tend to rank higher than web pages with fewer backlinks

For example, the web page below has a high number of backlinks.

simplilearn

The below screenshot is taken from Ahref tool:

ahref

Improve Site Structure

According to Neil Patel, "A good site structure provides your site with site links."

Having many web pages on your website is no longer important. Still, it is essential to have a website appropriately grouped into categories so that based on the search query, Google can know what content to display on the search engine results page.

A well-defined website architecture helps in ranking. This way, bots can effortlessly access and index the content, which results in improved indexing and a higher probability of website ranking.

Following are the important techniques used to improve your website structure:

  • Improve the website by creating a logical hierarchy structure
  • Balance the number of categories and subcategories
  • Use CSS or HTML language to code for your site navigation
  • Build a comprehensive structure of internal linking
  • Review the links in the website footer
  • Create a URL structure that follows your site's navigation hierarchy
  • Create breadcrumb navigation as it will enhance a site's internal linking structure

Keywords are still important for rankings, but subject relevance is equally important, and one of the ways to accomplish this is through a good website architecture.

Below is an example of a strong logical site structure, where individual sub-pages are connected to one another.

simplilearn-tool

So far we have discussed six website ranking factors. Now, only one ranking factor has to be discussed in the article “How to rank on google”, the last ranking factor is social media platforms.

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Leverage Social Media Platforms

Off-site engagement aims to boost the value of your content by the practice of earning links from other authoritative websites. The impact of link building on SEO is high. A website owner needs to develop an effective and long-term approach to link building rather than earning links through non-authoritative websites.

Attaining backlinks from multiple domains is crucial, as they help in bringing referral traffic to your website.

Some of the off-site engagements are:

  • Bookmark your webpage on popular bookmarking sites (like stumbleupon.com)
  • Participate in forum discussions (like Reddit, Flickr, etc.)
  • Join high PR Q&A sites and post answers to your business's questions (like Quora, EHow, etc.)
  • Promote your content on LinkedIn
    • LinkedIn has over 610 million members, wherein 63 million of those are decision-makers 
    • Approximately 50% of corporate website referral traffic comes from LinkedIn, proving that it is a powerful distribution platform to receive quality leads
  • Engage with target audience via the Twitter social media platform
    • 22% of the American population is on Twitter
    • 36% of B2B marketers gain leads through Twitter
    • Twitter has noticed a 2.5x increase in customer service conversation in the year 2015 and 2016
    • Twitter has 145 million active users getting engaged in various topics. It would be a success to promote content on Twitter 
  • Promote your content on Facebook
    • Approximately 5 billion videos are being watched per day, and this may help you gain traffic to your content
    • 59% of B2B marketers make use of the YouTube platform for content distribution
    • 76% of marketers noticed an increase in sales due to video content 
    • 73% of marketers have confirmed that video marketing improved their ROI
    • 99% of marketers will continue to use video in their marketing strategy
  • Experiment with new content formats
    • Audiences pay attention to the content paired up with images, videos, and customer reviews from brands (Search Engine People)
    • Infographics play a major role in improving web traffic by up to 12%.
    • 6 out of 10 audiences prefer online videos rather than watching TV
    • 64% of purchases are influenced by video marketing

The below example has a high number of views within a period of 1 month:

be open

And with that, we have come to the end of this article on ‘How to rank on Google’.

Conclusion

In this article titled ‘how to rank on Google’, we discussed the top 7 techniques that could rank our websites well on search engines. If you focus on these techniques alone, you’ll drive more organic traffic to your website and improve your search rankings without risking a Google penalty.

Whether you’re an experienced Digital marketer, or you’re aspiring to break into this exciting industry, enrolling in our Digital Marketing Master’s program will help you with all levels of experience master Digital Marketing techniques and strategies. 

To learn more, watch the following tutorial video.

About the Author

Sana AfreenSana Afreen

Sana Afreen is a Senior Research Analyst at Simplilearn and works on several latest technologies. She holds a degree in B. Tech Computer Science. She has also achieved certification in Advanced SEO. Sana likes to explore new places for their cultures, traditions, and cuisines.

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