Let’s face it, most of us have a love-hate relationship with Google. We use it every day and it’s amazing. But trying to figure out what you need to do on your website so that your content gets found on Google? Just a tad overwhelming…
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a science of its own and it can be a bit complex. But just doing a few simple things can already help you get better results on Google.
#1 Use Keywords
The smartest way to grow your traffic with SEO is to target specific keywords that you want to rank for.
A keyword is a word or phrase that you use on your page or in your blog post.
Now, what you need to be aware of, is that of course most people do this. So even if you use yoga retreat as a key word all over on your page, it isn’t going to get you on the first page on Google.
That’s because “yoga retreats” is obviously a very competitive key word. There are lots of pages using it.
And Google uses more factors to determine who shows up in the search results. There are things like how old your URL is, the older and more established the better, how many other well-established sites are linking to you, how fast your website is and if it’s optimized for smartphones and many other factors.
Words like yoga, yoga retreat, yoga holiday, kundalini yoga, meditation, mindfulness, you won’t get anywhere when you optimize your website with these keywords.
Instead, use longer keywords, so called “Long-tail“ keywords. “Long-tail“ keywords refer to keywords that consist of several words. For example instead of “retreat“ your long-tail keyword could be “luxury yoga retreat in Costa Rica in November“.
Once you select your keywords for a page or post, there are several places where you want to use your keyword in order to pump up your SEO, for example your page title, your headlines, your copy and your image alt tags.
#2 Improve Your Titles and Descriptions
When your website shows up on the results page on Google, do your page title and description invite people to click and visit your page?
Improving your titles and descriptions will not only help you get more clicks directly; it will also improve your Google ranking.
That’s because Google ranks websites higher that have a better click-through-rate on Google search results. If more people who see your page on the results page actually click on your link, you will not only get those clicks, you also might rank better in the future. Double win!
Use a short, concise title that includes your keyword. Your description should also include your keyword.
Titles using phrases like “step-by-step” or “how-to” usually have greater appeal than the mere mention of how to do something.
#3 Create Internal Links
Internal links are links within your website. So you’re linking from one blog post or page on your site to another one. They are useful because not only do they allow your website visitors to navigate your content, but they’ll also add link juice (Google ranking power).
You should include links that are helpful to your readers and that fit in naturally within your content.
For example, when you’re writing a blog post about yin yoga, you could add a link to an older post with a yin yoga play list. When your readers see an informative link like this that truly matches the context of the content, they are likely to click on that link. This provides real value and improves your user engagement.
#4 Fix Broken Links
Broken links are links that aren’t working, instead you get a 404-error message when you click on it, and they signal Google two things: your site is poorly maintained, and Google’s users are more likely to bump into broken pages.
As a result, Google assumes your website is simply not being maintained to a high standard, and users would be better served by another site which has high quality content.
Thankfully broken links are easily fixed, so such problems should be avoided.
When you have outdated content that you want to delete, for example for a yoga retreat that’s expired, implement a redirect that will make sure that all search traffic that comes for the old page gets redirected to your new page.
This could be the next year yoga retreat or the retreat category page. I use the free plugin “Redirection” on my WordPress to manage redirections, keep track of broken links, and generally tidy up any loose ends.
If you haven’t done so yet, sign up for the Google Webmaster Tools right now too. Google Webmaster Tools is a free toolset provided by Google that helps you understand what’s going on with your website.
You’ll get an overview of everything from what keywords you are ranking for to how much traffic you are getting from Google. In addition, you’ll see if the Google bot is experiencing any errors when going through your website, the number of sites linking to yours, and how many pages Google has indexed.
#5 Be Consistent in Your Topics
Search engines want to recommend content from people who know what they are talking about, so they’ll look for content on your site about similar topics.
Staying consistent and in your niche is important for a lot of reasons, but it’s especially helpful for boosting your SEO.
If you have a clear niche, you’re going to write about similar topics over and over again, and that’s going to help you stand out and improve your ranking on Google.
For example, if you are known for pre-natal yoga, don’t blog about vegan recipes but choose topics related to that niche.
This way you get the chance to stand out as an expert in YOUR topic and become the go-to site for information on this topic.
So, there you have it, these are 5 things you can do to improve your Google ranking.