How to Boost Your Google Rankings: A Comprehensive SEO Guide for Business Owners
Have you ever found yourself puzzled, staring at Google Analytics, wondering why your site isn't ranking higher? You're not alone, and you've landed in the right place to find answers. Welcome to our deep dive into the 9 Pillars of SEO Success!
Whether you're a local family-run shop or a global enterprise, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the toolbelt you need to climb up Google's seemingly insurmountable search rankings. We've dissected the complex world of SEO into nine actionable pillars—covering everything from high-quality content and backlinks to mobile-friendliness and website security.
Ready to roll up your sleeves? Let's give your Google rankings a serious boost, and make sure you don't miss the gems scattered throughout. Let's go!
How to Boost Your Google Rankings: A Comprehensive SEO Guide for Business Owners
If you’re like me (Ste 👋), then you’re always on the lookout for how to increase visits to your website. I created a short blog on what I call the nine pillars of SEO success, the areas you need to work on, plus some actionable items you can start implementing straight away!
So, if you're looking to elevate your Google search rankings, you've landed on the right article. Whether you're a local business or an international giant, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the name of the game. So, let's dig into the nine essential pillars that will give you the edge.
Why It Matters: Quality over quantity is the goal here. Google's algorithm loves content that provides value, solves problems, and engages the audience. So, here’s me giving you value for you website SEO now;
- Research your target audience and find out what questions they're asking.I use tools like https://www.semrush.com/, https://ahrefs.com/ and https://moz.com/. Semrush is great for keyword research, ahrefs is the best tool for back link analysis and Moz is a great allrounder to dip your toes in SEO research.
- Write in-depth articles, blog posts, or whitepapers that answer these questions comprehensively. Give value! It’s the most important part that google and other search engines look for.
- Use various formats like videos, infographics, and podcasts to diversify your content. Writing a blog is good, adding a video to help explain is great, including infographics is amazing and a podcast, well you'll be teaching me a thing or two then.
Why It Matters: Think of backlinks as votes of confidence from other websites. The more high-quality sites link to you, the better you'll rank.
- Create a list of high-authority sites in your industry.
- Reach out for guest-posting opportunities or collaborations.
- Monitor your backlinks using tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs mentioned above.
- When you’ve done all of the above, try The Hoth (https://www.thehoth.com/) where you can pay to build and grow faster.
Search Intent and Content Relevancy
Why It Matters: Google aims to provide users with the most relevant and valuable content. Understanding the intent behind search queries helps in creating content that 'clicks.'
- Use tools like Google Trends or AnswerThePublic for keyword research.
- Group keywords by intent—informational, transactional, etc.
- Tailor your content to match the search intent of these keywords.
Website Loading Speed
Why It Matters: Slow websites are a big no-no. A delay of even one second can decrease customer satisfaction by 16%.
- Optimise images and videos. (Make them smaller relevant to the size of where they are used on the website. There's no point having a 4k image in a small thumbnail for example.
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This means storing copies of your website on multiple servers around the world. This speeds up how quickly your site loads for people, no matter where they are. (Sign up for our newsletter here and I will explain how to do this in our next mailer).
- Minimise code, and use browser caching.
- Having a well-built and responsive website is the foundation of a fast website. This is where NPK Media excels, our websites are lighting fast scoring 100% in speed scores.
Why It Matters: Over 55% of global website traffic comes from mobile. If your site isn't mobile-friendly, you're missing out on a huge audience.
- Implement a responsive design.
- Optimise for touch-screen navigation.
- Test your site using Google's Mobile-Friendly Test tool (https://pagespeed.web.dev/)
Why It Matters: A high Domain Authority (DA) signals that your website is trustworthy and has quality content, helping you rank higher.
- Get high-quality backlinks (This happens when other good websites have links to your website)
- Regularly update your content. (This means writing more blogs and updating your site in general).
- Ensure on-page SEO elements are optimised. (This is your title tags, H1’s, and Meta descriptions).
Why It Matters: Keywords are the phrases that potential customers type into Google. Including these in your content can significantly boost your visibility.
- Use primary and secondary keywords
- Don't forget long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific search phrases that people use in search engines. Instead of searching for "shoes," someone might use a long-tail keyword like "best running shoes for flat feet." These specific phrases are usually easier to rank for and attract more relevant traffic.
- Place keywords in titles, headers, and meta descriptions.
Why It Matters: A well-structured site helps Google crawl and index your content more efficiently, improving your rankings.
- Use a clean URL structure.
- Implement an XML sitemap.
- Use internal linking wisely.
Why It Matters: Google gives preference to secure websites. A secure site not only ranks better but also wins customer trust.
- Switch to HTTPS. (Sign up for our 'The View' newsletter where I will be explaining this in more detail
- If you use plugins (A potential security threat themselves), make sure they are fully up-to-date. The way we build a website is to custom code all the features you want/need so they don’t need updating and there are no security risks.
- Regularly update website software.
Why It Matters: A seamless on-page experience reduces bounce rates and encourages visitors to spend more time on your site.
- Improve site navigation (Give your visitors what they want, when they want it)
- Use calls-to-action (Sign up here, purchase today, etc.)
- Optimise page layout and design (Create a nice user journey around your website)
Now that was a lot of information to take in and digest, so I want to give you the number one area I would spend my time if I had to pick just one thing to do.
If you could only do one thing to improve your website's SEO and Google ranking, I'd say to focus on high-quality content that answers the questions or solves the problems your target audience is searching for.
Here's Why: Google's algorithms are increasingly sophisticated, aiming to prioritise content that is most relevant and useful to users. They look at elements like how long visitors stay on your page (dwell time), how quickly they leave (bounce rate), and the depth of their interaction. Quality content can positively influence all of these factors.
- Long-form Articles: More comprehensive content often ranks better (1000 words plus)
- Keyword Research: Use natural keywords that people are actually searching for.
- Up-to-date Info: Outdated info can lead to a drop in rankings.
Opinion: While there are many technical aspects of SEO that can also drive results, such as site speed and backlinking, the "Content is King" mantra still holds. It’s the backbone that supports all other SEO efforts. So, if you had to choose one thing, make it good content.
The main message!
SEO isn't a one-off task but a long-term commitment. Regularly monitoring and updating your strategy according to industry trends and algorithm changes is key. So, roll up your sleeves and make your climb up the Google ladder. The view from the top is totally worth it!
I hope this helped explain some of the basics of website SEO and gave you a better understanding of what you can implement yourself to help get you higher on those Google rankings.
If you would like some expert help, our team of website designers and developers in Liverpool are happy to help you build and design your new website. Just use the contact form below.
We look forward to hearing from you in the future!