Ranking in Google can be a frustrating, pride swallowing siege!
There are limitless topics on the subject, YouTube videos, and entire websites devoted to the subject. You could literally spend hours researching and sifting through articles just to find one or two strategies that may, kinda-sorta, probably not really, bring you more traffic to your site.
Quite often, we are told to make sure we have great content that is relevant, update said content frequently and incorporate a number of keywords that we want to rank for within the content of our site. No question that these are important points and act as a foundation that we can build on to increase rank over time.
But getting a good rank in Google requires a multi-pronged approach.
Some of these strategies are more complex than others but there are simple strategies as well that don’t require hours of work or years of research, testing, and experience.
Sound too good to be true?
Well, here are a few very simple steps that can be completed in under 5 minutes using Google Analytics. A tool any responsible website owner should be at least somewhat familiar with.
Summary of steps to improve your Google ranking…
• Log in to your Google Analytics account
• Find keywords and phrases that you almost rank high for
• Make small changes to our site to optimize for these phrases
• Come back to Google Analytics to verify that our changes worked
Taken together, these steps should take only 5 to 10 minutes to complete from start to finish.
Step 1: Identify keywords and phrases in Google Analytics
The first thing we want to do is simply log in to our Google Analytics account and find the phrases that we almost rank high for and wish to improve.
In the left-hand menu, browse to the Acquisition category and click on the Search Console menu item and then click on Queries.
*Note: If you don’t have Google Search Console linked to your Analytics account, you can simply log in to your Google Search Console account and find the same data under Search Traffic > Search Analytics.
This report shows you all the phrases that you currently rank for, the number of times your site was displayed for each phrase, the number of clicks that you received and most importantly for this exercise, the average position.
Step 2: Identify the keyword that you want to improve Google ranking
From here, you simply need to identify a phrase that you rank pretty well for but want to improve. In the screen shot here, we are working with a startup company who has been struggling to get organic traffic.
I typically filter these results using the advanced filter option to identify keywords that rank anywhere higher than 10 as Google search results typically have 10 organic results per page.
We will use the second phrase in the list as it is receiving an average position of 36, it is a phrase that is very relevant to the client’s site, and it is a search phrase that should generate a pretty good amount of traffic based on what we saw in Google Keyword Planner.
Step 3: Perform a Google search on our keyword and confirm we rank
What we’ll want to do next is actually perform a search in Google on the term we’ve selected to try and verify that our website is ranking for that term.
Once you have found your link in the Google search results, take a close look at your title and meta description. Do they contain your keyword? If not, you have an opportunity right there to make a change to your title and meta description to incorporate your keyword, which will be an important update to help you rank.
Step 4: Make changes to improve Google ranking
Click your link and browse the webpage and take a look at your content. Does your keyword appear anywhere on the page? No matter the answer here, you will want to make a few changes to help optimize the page for your keyword. Below are a few basic but important changes you can make:
• Make sure to update your page title and meta description to include your phrase.
• Add your phrase in a heading tag such as the H1 tag.
• Ensure your phrase is mentioned in the 1st paragraph of content on the page
• Read your content and where you use the keyword, make sure you do so naturally and do not simply “stuff” the keyword unnecessarily. A little bit will go a long way here.
• Locate another page on your site and link back to this page. So you would have your keyword mentioned in the content on another page of your site and linking back to the page you are trying to rank higher.
After making these basic changes, give Google about a week to update and check your results in your Google Analytics or Search Console account.
From start to finish, you can complete these basic steps in approximately 5 to 10 minutes and obtain significant results.
SEO is a deep and complicated subject but these simple steps will get you well on your way to ranking higher.