42 Tactics To Improve SEO Ranking On Google (White Hat)

How to improve SEO ranking on Google (White Hat) Image

 

Can you imagine seeing your website rank on the 1st page of Google when you performed a search?

website on 1st page of Google

 

“It’s like the heaven is opening, trumpets start blaring, and choirs are singing.”

 

To make that happen:

You have to know how to improve SEO for your website.

 

If you often use Google search, you’ll found that the first page of Google search results was flooded by the big brands, top authority sites, and influencers…

…And you feel that getting your website to the top of google seems like an impossible mission.

mission impossible picture

But the good news is…

…You can rank on the first page of Google as well..!

It’s all about SEO.

But..

..How do you improve SEO for your website?

Let’s find out.

 

What is the meaning of SEO?

SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s an approach of trying to rank higher in search engines like…

…You make changes to your website to make it easier for search engines to find and understand your contents for higher ranking.

Besides, it also means getting links from other websites.

 

Disclosure: Some of the links are referral links, for which we’ll receive a small compensation if you buy from the link, at no additional cost to you.

 

How To Improve Website’s Ranking On Google

In this post, I’m going to show you the ways to drastically improve your site’s ranking on Google.

Follow these tactics to improve SEO and get your website to the top of google search results.

 

1. Keyword Research

Keywords are words or phrases that describe the main purpose of your post for search engines and users.

For example,

Keyword “How to increase website traffic” indicates the post is about improving the traffic to website.

To choose your focus keyword, take a moment and think about what kind of keywords your target audience will be using to search for your topic.

All keywords are not equal.

So, take the time to do your keyword research to find the best focus keyword for your post.

Need more ideas?

Simply go and ask your family members and friends what they would type into Google if they’re looking for “_______”.

You may found some unexpected killer keyword.

If you prefer low-hanging fruit, go for lower competition keywords.

Just make sure it’s specific to your topic.

Create a free Google AdWords account to use the Google Keyword Planner for your keyword research.

1.keyword planner

Enter your keywords and click “Get ideas” for a list of keywords with their estimated monthly traffic.

 

2. Use LSI Keywords

LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. It’s a method Google use to determine words or phrases that are used in the same contexts tend to have similar meanings based on user search patterns.

In a nutshell, these are keywords related to the keyword a user are searching for.

For example,

If your focus keyword is “How to increase website traffic”, some of the LSI keywords would be “How to get more readers for your website” and “How to increase your website traffic fast”.

Optimize every post on your website for a single focus keyword only and use LSI keywords to support your main keyword.

To find LSI keywords, search for your keyword in Google and scroll down to the “Searches related to” section, sprinkle some of the keywords naturally throughout your post.

2.how to find LSI keywords with Google

 

Alternatively, you can use LSIGraph.com to generates a list of LSI keywords with your focus keyword.

 

3. Use Long-tail Keyword

Long-tail keywords are longer sentences that are more specific, easier to rank for, and bring highly targeted traffic.

For example,

If your keyword is “how to increase traffic”, the long-tail keyword could be “how to increase traffic to your travel blog”.

The longer version of keyword target specifically to bloggers who run a travel blog.

I love to call them – less stress keyword.

It’s more stressful to rank and maintain a high competitive short-tail keyword than a long-tail keyword.

Besides, 50% of search queries are four words or longer

…It means users are asking a more specific question in search engines rather than just type in the keyword.

Think about what kind of questions your target audience will be asking and target those the long-tail keyword.

Make use of Google’s “Searches related to” feature to find your long-tail keywords.

Alternatively, you may use tools like LongTail Pro and Market Samurai.

 

4. Optimize Your URL Structure

Use SEO-Friendly URLs for all your pages, keep it short and concise. It’s not only good for search engines, but provide a better user experience too.

For example,

Use this:

http://tcmastery.com/how-to-improve-seo

Instead of this:

http://tcmastery.com/seo/01/01/2017/learn-how-to-improve-seo-for-your-blog-effectively

And this:

http://tcmastery.com/p=3

Includes your focus keyword or long-tail keyword in your URLs to make it accurately describe the page’s content.

If you’re using WordPress, change your permalinks structure to “/sample-post/”.

4.update permalink

 

5. Optimize Your Title Tag

A title tag is the title of each page in the search engine results pages (SERPs). It can be the same or difference from your page title.

5.title tag picture

The title tag is important because it’s the first thing searchers will see on the search engines. And, it also tells users and Google what the page is about.

Put your focus keyword towards the beginning of your title for more impact on search engines.

Also, includes a benefit to attract searchers to check out your page.

Keep your title tag short and compelling in less than 65 characters to ensure full title show in Google search engine without truncate.

 

6. Use H1 Tag For Your Page Title

The <h1> tag is used to define the most important heading on your page (usually your title). It gives users a clear idea of what the page’s content is about.

Use the H1 tag to help search engines to index your content better and improve SEO ranking on Google.

Note: Don’t use H1 tag for the purpose of increase text size and make sure you only have one H1 tag per page which contain your focus keyword.

If fact, most CMS like WordPress will automatically wrap your page title with H1 tag.

To double confirm, right click your page and select “View page source”.

6. view page source

Search for “<h1”.

6.h1 title

Perfect!

 

7. Use Modifiers For Your Title

Add modifiers to your title to increase the chance of getting ranked for both long-tail keywords and LSI keywords for more organic traffic to your site.

Some of the good modifiers are:

  • Tips
  • Easy
  • Free
  • Best
  • Fast
  • 2017
  • Guide
  • Simple
  • Tactics
  • Review
  • How to
  • Cheat sheet
  • Step-by-step

These modifiers also tend to improve your site’s click-through-rate on search engine results pages.

 

8. Use Subheadings

Nobody likes to read a wall of text.

Use subheadings to break up your content into sections that are easier to read to help readers navigate the content.

Include some benefit in subheadings to engage readers and increase their time on site.

Proper use of subheading helps improve the user experience of your website significantly and send a good signal to search engines.

As rule of thumb, give your readers a good idea of the entire post by just reading the subheadings.

For instance, if your article is about how to use Microsoft Excel, your subheading could be:

subheading

Subheadings like above will give your audiences a good idea about your content (but they don’t get the whole picture and details).

 

9. Use H2 Tag For Your Subheadings

Proper use of header tags helps search engine to understand your content hierarchy and index your content better.

Use <h2> tag for your major subheadings and include your focus keyword at least once in the subheadings.

It’s easy to insert header tags in WordPress to improve your page’s SEO ranking and user experience, just highlights your subheading and select the right header.

9.subheading

 

10. Include LSI Keywords In Your H2 Subheadings

Put in some LSI keywords in your subheadings with H2 tag whenever appropriate.

By including relevant terms in your H2 subheadings, you can boost the SEO ranking against those keywords…

…As search engines put more weight on header tags to understand the priorities of your site’s content.

important of header tags

 

11. Use SEO-friendly Meta Description

Optimize your meta description to make your page stand out in the search results. It’s the description shown beneath your title tag and URL in SERPs.

11.meta description screenshot picture

In a nutshell, meta description tells what the page is about in 70 -160 characters.

Use short and succinct sentences to encourage users to check out your page. And, include your focus keyword in the meta description.

Include a call to action in your description to improve click through rate. Some of the CTA are “Learn it now”, “Read more on..”, and “Order with discount today”.

If you’re using WordPress, SEO plugin like Yoast allows you to write customize meta description for each page.

 

12. Consider User Intent

One of the important elements in SEO is about clarifying user’s intent.

All internet users go to search engines with an intent…

…Whether they are looking for information (Informational), want to buy something (Transactional), or looking for a website (Navigational).

Think about user intent when choosing your focus keyword (long-tail, and LSI keywords) and writing your content.

For example,

Use “How to drive traffic to website” for users with Informational intent, and “Buy website traffic” for users with transactional intent.

Optimize your keywords and match your content to your target audience’s intent to:

  • Reduce bounce rate – Users may leave your site immediately if intent unmatched
  • Improve search results relevancy – Good signal for search engines ranking
  • Boost user experience – Your content is exactly what they’re searching for

It’s confirmed that Google uses RankBrain as one of the important ranking signals.

RankBrain is a Google’s AI system designed to help better interpret search queries and effectively translate them to find the most relevant results for its users.

By understanding your audience’s intent and query, you can better serve them while improving your page’s ranking.

After all, you don’t want to attract a user that are looking to buy something while your content is purely information and vice versa.

 

13. Use Your Keyword Early

Drop your focus keyword early in the beginning of your post.

This helps Google understand what’s important in your page.

Don’t start your post with a long intro that is not relevant to your focus keyword.

 

14. Optimize Body Text For Your Keyword

Include your focus keyword in the body of your article.

But don’t use it on every possible spot, instead, mix with your long-tail and LSI keywords.

Note: Limit the amounts of keywords used to avoid your site being flagged as “keyword-stuffing”.

keyword stuffing

As rule of thumb, use it only when appropriate for user experience.

 

15. Use Alt Tags

The alt tag is an attribute used to describe an image on the page as search engines are not good at understanding images.

Use a concise description for alt text to accurately describe what is shown in the image for search engines to understand what’s it about.

For instance,

 

15.example of description

Make sure the alt tags are related to your content and include your keywords if relevant.

You also want to give descriptive filenames to your images on top of image alt text.

For instance:

A filename like “how-to-improve-seo.jpg” is more informative than “IMG01102.jpg”.

This allows search engine to figure out what the image is about and increase your chance to rank in Google Image Search (bonus).

Besides, proper image attributions also make your site more user-friendly for those who have vision impaired and unable to load images (due to browser setting or internet speed).

 

16. Utilize Different Multimedia

Use images, videos, slideshows, diagrams, charts, infographic, and audios in your post to enrich the user experience and drive engagement.

Using right multimedia to deliver information will keep your visitors to stay longer on your site and reduce the site bounce rate, which benefits to SEO.

Besides, there are more benefits in using visuals to help your readers consume your content:

1. Stick in Long-Term Memory

  • Visuals help people make sense out of the content and direct attention

2. Transmit Messages Faster

  • Human beings process visual information more efficiently than text

3. Improve Comprehension

  • Enhance learning and enabling your audiences to process the information faster

4. Trigger Emotions

  • Help your audiences engage with the content

5. Motivate Learners

  • Around 40 percent of learners respond better to visual information than text alone.

Note: Don’t use it for the sack of using it as incorrect use can also deter learners and negatively impact learning.

Also, a content rich in both information and multimedia has a higher chance to attract links due to higher perceived value.

 

17. Include Outbound Links

Outbound links are external links to other websites.

Link out to related pages helps Google understand your content better and enhance your page’s SEO.

Use 1-2 outbound links for every 500 words (when appropriate).

For technical and in-depth post, you may include more outbound links, but don’t go crazy on it.

Caution: Never link to spam and garbage sites as this will ruin your visitor’s experience and hurt your site’s reputation.

Always link to quality and relevant resources that benefit your visitors…

…This not only makes your page a more valuable resource, but also improve your site’s reputation and ultimately your site’s ranking.

Link to pages which:

  • Add value to your topic and cover the topic further.
  • Explain the technical term in your post.
  • Provide data to support your points.

With quality content and a nice selection of outbound links, you can cover a much wider and deeper topic of interest…

…And eventually, attract more bookmarks and backlinks from readers.

 

18. Use Internal Links

Internal links are links pointing to other pages within your website. They indicate to search engines (and readers) which pages of content are related to one another.

Use internal link to:

  • Cross-reference (link to your other pages for relevant information)
  • Increase visitors time on site (provides audience with further reading options)
  • Helps Google to crawl and index your pages more efficiently
  • Spread link juice (ranking power) to other pages within your website

Includes 2-5 internal links in every post.

Use strong and logical internal linking to enhance user engagement and make visitors stay on your site longer.

For SEO purpose, use internal link strategically for the page you want to rank.

Again, don’t overdo it (unless you’re Wikipedia).

 

19. Encourage Comments

Use open question to encourage visitors to leave a comment on your blog or website.

sample comment screenshot

The number of high quality and relevant comments in your page will improve the overall ranking of your content.

At the same time, don’t feel bad to delete or reject low quality and irrelevant comments on your page to avoid damage on ranking.

 

20. Don’t Use Flash

It’s a disaster to rank a page or site with Flash content on search engines because search spiders are having difficulty in crawling the content from Flash.

Here’re some reasons you want to avoid Flash:

  • You can’t have proper linking for pages.
  • Uncertain crawlability from search engine.
  • A lot of Flash is not crawlable.
  • It might slow down your site.

You hardly find any website built on Flash content ranked on 1st page of search engine.

If you’re using a Flash-based website, I will highly recommend you to change to WordPress to greatly increase your search engine rankings.

 

21. Use Anchor Text

Anchor text is clickable text which redirects users to another page, either within or outside your site.

Use anchor text to help users navigate your website’s content effectively.

It also helps to improve page’s ranking by including the keyword in relevant anchor text.

For example:

Use anchor text like “How to improve SEO ranking on Google” to link to your page that talked about the how to improve website’s SEO to rank higher on Google. – This sends a clear signal to Google that the page is regarding improving SEO.

Note: Don’t overuse the same anchor text to avoid penalized by Google.

For instance,

If you want to link to your main site, you may use different anchor texts like:

  • http://tcmastery.com
  • tcmastery.com
  • TC Mastery
  • tcmastery
  • My website

Keep your anchor text diversified.

 

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22. Use Structured Data Markup

Structured data markup is a text-based organization of data that uses the schema.org vocabulary.

It’s a great way to help search engines understand your site’s content structure, as well as enhance search visibility and CTR through different snippets…

…Which can indirectly impact your search rankings.

Basically, structured data markup describes things on the web along with their properties.

For example:

If you have a review site, you could use markup to describes the properties such as product image, URL to the sales page, and its average review rating.

After you provide the structured data markup to Google, your content will eligible for 2 Google Search features – Rich results and Knowledge Graph cards.

To markup your content, use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.

Next, tells Google what your page is about and enter your URL link.

22. Structured data types

Start highlight and tag each part of your content to let Google know the correct data items such as title, author, images, body text, and etc.

22.markup structured data

Once done, click the “Create HTML” button.

You can either implement the changes to your page manually or just download the HTML file and upload to your site.

 

23. Use Sitemaps

A sitemap is a page that listed and linked to all the other pages in your website. It tells search engine and user the whole structure and hierarchy of your website.

Sitemap is the map of your site, use it to guide search spiders and users to locate your pages easily and quickly.

There are 2 types of sitemap that you want to use, XML sitemap for search engines, and HTML sitemap for users.

To submit your XML sitemap to Google,

  1. Go to Webmaster tool -> Crawl -> Sitemaps
  2. Select “ADD/TEST SITEMAP” on the top right
  3. Enter your sitemap URL (usually sitemap.xml or sitemap_index.xml)
  4. Submit

A sitemap is crucial to optimize your website for search engine spiders, if you yet to have one…

…You may use sitemap generating plugins like Yoast and WP Sitemap Page (for WordPress), or  Sitemap Generator (for others).

 

24. Use robots.txt

Robots.txt file (The Robots Exclusion Protocol) is used to give instructions to web robots for your site. It’s designed to work with search engines.

Before a web robot visits your site, it will first check the robots file at http://yourdomain.com/robots.txt.

Here’s how a robots.txt looks like,

User-agent: *
Disallow: /

You can use robots.txt to instruct web robots not to visit and crawl certain pages.

Use “Disallow: /” to tells web robot not to visit the page. “User-agent: *” means applicable to all robots.

For example:

“Disallow: /this-page” will block robots to visit http://yourdomain.com/this-page.

This is important especially for bigger sites with few thousand URLs or with auto-generate pages based on certain parameters.

By using robots.txt, you can allow web robots to crawl your site more effectively by avoid them wasting time on crawling unimportant or low-value pages.

It’s better to show search engines 10 high-quality pages then showing another 100 low-value pages which may negatively impact your site ranking.

Note: Robots.txt file is a publicly available file, that means anyone can see what’s inside your robots file. So don’t try to use robots.txt to hide any information.

If your site yet to have the robots.txt file, just create one using notepad and upload to your root server.

 

25. Use Canonical Link

Search engine like Google hates duplicate contents.

Sometimes, you’ll have the same content on multiple URLs. And if you’re doing content syndication, it’s also common to have duplicated content on different URLs.

To avoid this issue, use rel=”canonical” element to tells search engine the “preferred” version of URL.

It’s introduced to helps webmasters prevent duplicate content issues and improve the link and ranking signals for the same content on multiple URLs.

For example:

You have 2 URLs with the same content:

  • http://yourdomain.com/seo-tool/
  • http://yourdomain.com/tool/seo

And your preferred URL is “http://yourdomain.com/seo-tool/”.

To set canonical URL:

1. Go to the <head> section of the page with URL: “http://yourdomain.com/tool/seo

2. Add below code to set the canonical link.

<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://yourdomain.com/seo-tool/”>

3. Done.

 

26. Use Noindex

The “noindex” meta tag tells search engines not to add the page into their search index, even though they can crawl the page.

Most of the time, you want search engines to index your pages, except for page like thank you page (which only show after the person opted-in to your list).

While in SEO perspective, one common reason to use noindex is to prevent duplicate content, such as your archive pages.

You also want to use noindex on any page that is highly duplicate content of other pages if a canonical tag cannot be used.

To apply noindex for archive pages, add the below code to the page’s <head> section.

<meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”>

noindex

Alternatively, just use a SEO plugin to do the job for you.

 

27. Proper Layout And Formatting

To improve SEO ranking on Google, your website has to provide good user experience – to boost user-interaction signals such as time on site and bounce rate.

You don’t want visitors to escape from your site once they reached.

You want your readers to comfortably stay on your site longer and consume the information.

Use clean and user-friendly layout with proper formatting to drastically improve user experience and make your content easy to read and digest.

Don’t use full-width to display your content, it’s hard to read on the computer screen. Limit your content width to 50% or less of your screen with center or left align.

Don’t put flashy banners on your sidebar.

Use achromatic colors for your site background, white and gray are preferred.

color

Also, use fonts that are easy to read on a computer screen and mobile phone.

Some of the good typography for body text are Open Sans, Georgia, Lato and Droid Sans.

If you want something different for headlines, fonts like Helvetica Neue, Oswald, and Gravitas One are good choice to consider.

Need a fancy font for personal message? Use Stalemate.

stalemate

As rule of thumb, never use more than 2 or 3 different font types on your site.

For font size, use at least 14px. If you prefer larger size, go for 16px or 18px.

Here’re more ideas to improve your site’s user experience:

  • Use short paragraphs with ample line spacing to improve readability.
  • Use subheadings, images, and white spaces to break up your content into sections for easy digest.
  • Use bold and italic sparingly to emphasize important messages.
  • Use numbered and bulleted list to describe points for clarity.

 

28. Improve Readability

Don’t use technical or complex words to make your content looks professional – It doesn’t anyway! 😉

complicated words

Instead, use simple words and small paragraph to make your content easy to consume and digest for users.

You don’t want your audience to leave your site due to difficulty in reading your content.

Unless you’re publishing a super technical scientific thesis – Which I guessed – You’re not.

Still remember the main focus of Google? It’s user experience.

So, if you want your website to rank higher on Google, make your content easy to read and simple to understand.

And, minimize grammar errors to ensure smooth reading. You may use tool like Grammarly to assist you.

Here’re some tools to check your content’s readability:

 

29. Optimize Your Site Architecture

Use simple architecture to enhance site navigation experience for visitors and helps them in finding what they want on your site.

By making your contents easier to find, visitors are more likely to spend a longer time on your site.

A thin site’s layers also improve SEO ranking by making all your important pages easier to reach and crawl by search engines.

Make sure all your pages are reachable in 3 layers.

For example:

Site architecture (Small)

You can also include links to important pages in your homepage sidebar.

In short, make your pages closer to your homepage for better ranking.

 

30. Maximize Organic CTR

While this may or may not directly affect your SEO…

…But one thing for sure, there’s no harm to improve your CTR (click-through-rate), isn’t?

What’s the reason you want to rank your website?

You want traffic right?

Higher CTR means more visitors and exposures – a higher chance of getting a backlink.

It also sends important signal to Google that your page is relevant.

It’s not a good sign if Google showed your website but nobody clicks.

There’re few ways you can improve your site’s CTR, such as:

1. Use power words for title & description to skyrocket your CTR.

Here’re some good examples:

Power-words-to-improve-ctr

2. Use sentence case and includes numbers in your title to drive higher CTR.

For instance,

  • 10 Ways To Increase Your Website’s Search Ranking (sentence case with number)

Is better than non-number:

  • How To Increase Your Website’s Search Ranking
  • Ways You Need To Increase Your Website’s Search Ranking

And non-sentence case:

  • 10 ways to increase your website’s search ranking (lower case)
  • 10 WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR WEBSITE’S SEARCH RANKING (capitals)

3. Use [bracket] for clarification to boost your CTR rate.

For example:

  • How To Improve SEO Ranking On Google [Infographic]
  • How To Rank In 1st Page of Google [Interview]
  • 10 Ways To Boost Search Engine Ranking [Podcast]

According to a study of over 3.3 million headlines, headlines with this type of clarification performed 38% better than headlines without clarification.

Need more ideas? Use this method:

1. Go to Google and type in some commercial keyword (eg: SEO services)

30.type in seo services in google

2. Look for Adwords ads (what words they are using in title & description)

30. Check Adword Ads

3. Include words & phrases from Adwords ads in your title and description tag

 

Those advertisers spent tons of money in advertising… And their objective? – Get clicks.

By modeling their language, you can expect a good CTR for your site.

Whenever you changed your title or description, submit to Google to speed up the indexing:

1. Go to Google’s Search Console -> Crawl -> Fetch as Google

30.Page crawl - fetch as Google

2. Enter your page’s URL and click “Fetch and Render”

3. Click “Request Indexing” and select “Crawl this URL and its direct links”

30.Request indexing

 

31. Use Prominent Social Share Buttons

Social shares increase your site’s exposure and attract more links to your site via quality contents…

…Which indirectly improve your SEO ranking on Google.

Use floating social share button to capture every moment your readers feel like to share.

31.Social sharing button left

More shares equal to more free links to your website.

 

32. Use HTTPS

HTTPS (Hyper Text Transport Protocol Secure) is the secure connection protocol for HTTP. It uses encrypted connection between the browser and the web server to ensures the data transmitted is safe and protected from middle-man.

Google use HTTPS as a ranking signal to encourage webmasters to adopt secure connection for internet users.

Besides, there’re few instances that you want to use HTTPS connection:

  • You’re running eCommerce website with transactional data
  • Your site collect any type of sensitive information

Use HTTPS to increase your site trustworthiness, especially if you are collecting sensitive data for password and credit card information.

 

33. Enhance Your Site Security

Security is a top priority for Google. Same for you – as a website’s owner.

Hacked and malware-infected website not only harm search engine ranking, but also hurt your website’s reputation.

You-Have-Been-Hacked

The survey conducted by Wordfence show that sites that are hacked and penalized by Google suffer a long-term penalty on their rankings.

In fact, securing a website is a complex process, and HTTPS does not prevent your website or web server from being hacked, brute forced or DDOS attacked by attackers.

The best way is to engaged a security company like Sucuri to protect your website.

“Prevention is better than cure.”

You don’t want any intruders to take away your business (or livelihood) right?

 

34. Includes Contact Information

The main focus of search engines is user experience.

Therefore, a trusted and high-quality site is more likely to rank higher.

Includes sufficient contact information on your website not only allow users to find you, but also makes your site more trustworthy…

…By letting the users know who are the site’s owner.

contact-us

Put ‘Contact Us’ and ‘About’ pages on your homepage to boost your site’s credibility, this is important especially for local SEO.

 

35. Boost Your Site Speed

As per Google, site speed is one of the signals in their search ranking algorithms.

With that being said, if you want to stay on the 1st page of Google search engine result pages, make sure your site is really fast.

Aside from better SEO ranking, speeding up your website is also important for user experience…

…as visitors are more happy to spend their time on faster sites compared to slow one.

Sometimes, even few seconds delay will make them leave your site.

But how fast it should be?

According to the survey, 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less, and they tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 seconds.

website load speed

So, if your site is slower than 3 seconds, you have to seriously pick up your site’s speed.

The most effective way is to use a premium hosting like Liquidweb for a tremendous speed boost.

From SEO and conversion standpoint, the ROI of premium hosting can’t match (it’s one of the best investment you can make for your business).

If your site is targeting international users, use a CDN service to accelerate content delivery and boost your site’s speed significantly.

Here’re few more ways you can implement to speed up your site:

  • Use fast and responsive web design theme
  • Reduce HTTP requests (by limit the number of files that load)
  • Limit the use of unnecessary plugins
  • Use plugins with less query to database and server
  • Optimize and compress your site images
  • Use caching plugins (to enable browser caching and minify resources such as images, HTML, Javascript, and CSS)

You can check your site’s loading speed using tools like Pingdom, GTMetrix, WebPageTest, or Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

For benchmark purpose, aim for a score of 85 or above with Google’s speed test and site loading speed of 3 seconds or lower with the rest speed test tools.

 

36. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly

More and more people are using their mobile device to find information, read article, and do research…

…if your site is not optimized for mobile, it’s going to affects the user experience and cost you some serious traffic.

Use responsive design is the first step to make your site mobile-friendly and improve mobile SEO.

Next, check your site with your smartphone to ensure the title, text, images, and videos are display properly.

Avoid using videos that require Flash Player to function, as it’s not broadly supported on the mobile phone. Read here for more common mistakes for mobile site.

video not support

It’s recommended to optimize your content using short sentences and paragraphs to improve readability on mobile devices.

And, test and make sure your mobile pages are loading fast.

 

37. Content Syndication

Content syndication is the process of republishing your blog or site content on third-party sites, either as a snippet or full article.

For snippet, just syndicate your post headline, the first paragraph, and a link back to your original content. Social media is a great platform for this.

For article, don’t just copy and paste, but repurpose it to fit the new platform.

Here’re some other good platforms:

  • Slideshare (best with slideshow version)
  • Medium
  • Linkedin
  • Sub-reddit
  • Pinterest

By syndicating your content on different channels, you’re able to reach out new audiences, develop your visibility, and make the most of your efforts.

Best part? You don’t need to start from zero to create new content.

Worry about the duplicate issue?

In below video, Matt Cutts from Google said it’s okay and normal to have duplicated contents as long as it’s not excessively copying in a manipulative manner.

 

But bear in mind, Google also warned that not to use content syndication (or other distribution method) in large-scale article campaigns with the main intents to build links.

Here’re the factors (when taken to an extreme) indicate when an article is in violation of Google’s guidelines:

content syndicate warning

As best practise, use content syndication with the main intent to inform users, educate another site’s audience or bring awareness to your website or blog…

…And attract backlinks naturally through your quality content.

Also, before you start any content syndication, make sure you submit your original content to Google’s Search Console and get indexed first.

 

38. Build Quality Backlinks

One of the key ranking factors in Google’s algorithm is the number of quality backlinks – incoming links from another site to your page.

A study found out that 99.2% of websites in top 50 Google search results had at least one external link, and most had significantly more links.

Make sure you build your backlinks profile naturally from quality sources and don’t participate in any kind of links scheme or paid links.

A great way to build quality backlinks is to share your content to the bloggers or marketers in your niche.

Then, reach out to them through their blog, email, or social media profile to share your content.

If they like your content, you may hit some quality backlinks from them – which improve your page’s ranking significantly.

 

39. Keep Your Content Updated

Update your content regularly to keep it fresh and stay relevant.

The market is changing and new things are coming out from time to time.

It’s not a good experience for users if your content is outdated…

…Imagine if your readers follow the recommendation in your post but ended up the resources are no longer exist.

404 errors

So, make sure you do a routine check and update your contents for the best user experience.

 

40. Post Long Quality Content

The key points here are long and quality.

You can’t impress a reader with 3,000 words of nonsenses…

…And 300 words of quality content may not enough to cover enough details to deliver solid value.

Strive for the optimum length of at least 2,000 words and packed with great content.

A study showed that the average content length of each of the top 10 results on Google was more than 2,000 words.

40. content-length affect SEO

Longer content not only ranks higher in Google search results, but also tends to attract more social share and backlinks which boost your site ranking significantly.

Besides, long and useful content make visitors stay longer on your site to consume the information – another good signal for search engine.

As a bonus, long form content does increase the chances to rank for more long-tail keywords – more traffic to your site.

To get top-ranked result, you’ll have to create top-notch content which is comprehensive, deep, and details.

 

41. Develop Topical Depth

In SEO perspective, it’s better to develop topical depth for your site through relevant contents on the same topic and become the authority on the topic.

“Having relevant articles on the same topic establish an authority around the topic.”

For example:

If you wrote a post about “How to start a blog”, why not publish a few more relevant posts such as “Blogging case study”, “Example of successful blogger”, “Blogging tools” and “Top 10 blogger networks”.

By doing that, you tell search engines that your site’s content is related to topic “blogging”, which gives you a higher score when comes to topical relevancy.

To rank higher for a target keyword, one of the ways is publish more contents related to the keyword you’re targeting.

So, instead of having one post for one target keyword…

…Write a few more topically relevant post targeting more long tail variations to boost your site’s topical authority.

Based on the survey, 72% of marketers say the single most effective SEO tactic is relevant content creation.

relevant content creation

To build topical authority, you need to go for “depth of expertise”.

Pick a topic, and write everything related to the topic to develop topical depth for your site.

If you want to beat authoritative sites in search ranking, go for a niche site that is more topically relevant.

 

42. Aim for Featured Snippet

This is the bonus. Technically, featured snippet doesn’t really improve your site ranking, but it does the trick by placing your website on the top spot of Google’s search result page.

With the introduction of featured snippet, it’s now the best position on the first page of Google that you want to grab.

Featured snippet is a special block appear at the top of the search result page which includes a preview of answer extracted from a webpage.

Here’s how a featured snippet looks like:

42.featured snippet

But to get this, you’ll have to reach top 10 search result first, and use featured snippet to get 2 positions in Google (eg: No.1 & No.9).

To ranks in featured snippet, first, you need to think about what kind of questions will the users ask.

Quora is a good place to harvest frequently asked questions.

Once you know the common search query, answer them in your content.

Here’re few ways to increase your odds for the featured snippet.

  1. Make sure your content provide answer accurately to the user’s question
  2. Write answer that begins logically
  3. Write answer in 54 to 58 words
  4. Wrap the search query in a header tag (h2-h6)
  5. Wrap your answer in a <p> tag directly below the header mentioned above

Sit back and check if your pages get rank on feature snippet.

 

I also prepared a checklist for you to download and print out for easy reference.

SEO Checklist

Checklist_(custom)_(2)


Enter your name and email address to receive the checklist.

I hate spam! Your privacy is highly protected. Powered by ConvertKit

 

Once you’ve done the above tactics and optimizations, it’s time to keep track on your site’s ranking to see the improvement.

While this is optional, but I think it’s encouraging to see your site’s progression right?

 

How To check website ranking on Google

To keep track on your page’s ranking on search engines, you may either go to Google, enter your target keyword and search for your page’s position manually.

Or, simply use a rank tracker like Proranktracker to do the job. It allows you to track for multiple keywords for multiple pages automatically.

Best part? You don’t even need to login to their site as they’ll send you daily report via email.

To track your page’s ranking:

1. Sign up Proranktracker

2. Login and go to “URLS & TERMS” -> “Add URLs & Terms” -> “Add (Desktop)”

how to check ranking 1

Enter the page’s URL and keywords you want to track, select “Google” as search engine and hit “save”.

3. Next, go to “REPORTS” -> “Reports” -> “Automated Reports”, click “+ Add New Automated Report”, select your preferred settings and click “save”.

Done. Now you can read your daily or weekly ranking report from your mailbox.

 

5 Myths About SEO

Myth #1: More backlinks equals higher rank

This used to be true in the past, but NOT now and future. With Google constantly rolling out new ranking animals such as Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird to fight link spam and black hat SEO, the quality of backlink is much more important than the quantity.

Thus, instead of building thousands of backlinks from low-quality sites and put your site in risk of getting penalized by Google, start focusing on getting backlinks from the high-quality site.

 

Myth #2: SEO is all about publishing contents on your site

So you should turn yourself into writing machine mode and focus on producing contents?

The answer is NO. Search engines are more towards high quality-content, same for users.

Instead of producing 100 pieces of so-so 300 words post, go for 10 super-quality posts.

Next question…

Should you just publish contents and wait for Google to ranks?

I also hope it’s that easy, but the answer is NO, again.

To rank higher and faster, you have to get out from your comfort blog and promote your contents to the world.

That’s no way you can build backlinks without getting your content in front of people – especially webmasters and influencers in your niches.

So, once you published a high-quality content, promote it heavily!

 

Myth # 3: Broken links can negatively impact your SEO ranking on Google

This is not true.

According to Google, it’s perfectly normal to have 404s (Not found), it won’t hurt your site’s ranking, and it’s better to let it 404.

 

However, if a 404 URL is receiving a significant amount of traffic, you may want to use 301 redirect to capture the intended traffic from that link.

 

Myth #4: SEO is not reliable, you’re putting your hope in Google’s hand

In the first place, if you know Google’s top priority is user experience and you do the right thing by providing great user experience to people, that’s nothing you need to worry about.

If done right, SEO is a lucrative traffic source for your site.

 

Myth #5: SEO is the game of big brand and company

So you think there is no way for an individual to compete?

Not really. While big company does have more resources in producing contents and do marketing, you have a unique brain that nobody else has. Right?

So, make use of your super brain to produce super content and rule your SEO game.

 

Conclusion

Lots of people think that rank on 1st page on Google is out of their sight.

It’s almost impossible to do that.

In reality, it’s achievable for everyone.

The magic formula is SEO – what’s need to be done to improve your search ranking.

I found that it doesn’t have to be complicated and exhausted.

The process can be much simpler than you thought.

It’s about how you do it.

And these 42 tactics will give you some clear ideas on how to improve SEO ranking on Google.

Be able to rank your website on 1st page of Google is satisfying and rewarding…

…Not just the organic traffic your website will get, but also increase your site’s exposure and branding.

If you really take time and follow the above tactics to optimize your site’s SEO, you’ll see your pages ranking on the first page of Google sooner than you think.

 

What’s your favorite strategy to improve your site ranking?

 

May you do me a favor in helping more people to learn how to improve SEO?

Share this post to your Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and readers. Thanks!

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22 Responses to “42 Tactics To Improve SEO Ranking On Google (White Hat)

  • Great stuff GS!

    I thought On-Page SEO is just about keywords optimization, but it seems that there are much more I can work on it.

    I never consider about site speed before, but I think your point is right, I will upgrade to better hosting soon.

    Looking for more great post from you!

    • Thanks Adney, yes there are, and most of them are simple to implement.

      That’s a good move!

  • Thanks. GS, really happy for getting it. I’m currently studying about seo. Hope this can help me. One question… Will this work for blog at wordpress.com. Thanks for the replying.
    -David Oleo

    • Hi David, there’re a lot of limitation with WordPress.com’s website. I’d highly recommend you to go for self-hosted wordpress.org.

  • Big thanks to you. Learned a lot of new stuffs today..Will start implement them one by one.. Btw, the SEO checklist just come in handy.. I printed out and refer it for every of my new post..Siti

  • Hey,
    I have question regarding the content syndication on slideshare. Can I just paste my post to word and save to pdf and upload?

    Kind regards,
    Ash

    • Hi, yes you can. But I found out that presentation slides with nice graphics tend to work the best.

  • Hi,
    This is really a good article. SEO becomes very traffic after google’s algorithms updates. We have to do many thing for getting good result. On-page SEO is most important thing and must be done before starting seo processes.

    • Thanks, Komal. It seems many things to do in the beginning, but once you get used to it, everything become simple.

      It’s all about users (their experience with your site) and search engines (consider they are robots and need to be taken care differently).

      On-page SEO is the first thing we can do, and it’s the start of SEO process.

      Also, Off-page SEO wouldn’t be effective without a well-optimized site with great content (On-page SEO).

      A good starting point is essential to ensure the overall success of the SEO campaign.

  • First of all I want to thank you for such an interesting and useful post. You mentioned all thing with images and explain all very well. Helpful for beginners.

  • Hey GS, this is absolutely fabulous post! I came across many blogs that just post a little few ideas, and without any proof or examples.… I even bought some ebook with outdated and crappy info.. Keep up the good work my friend! I just subscribed to you too!

  • My website’s loading speed was like 6 seconds+… seems like I have to do something now..

    Great post btw. Thank you!

  • Very well documented article.
    Nice work.
    Would love to share it.

  • It’s the best strategy for full-time bloggers to get organic traffic with or without SEO. I actually don’t concentrate that much on SEO other than catchy titles, giving attention to sections of quality content, and maybe it includes a header or two in the blog post itself.

    All you need to notice from this kind of articles is what I & most of the others newbies focusing on the SEO link-building. Internal page structure, internal SEO, link building activities like commenting, blog post, social sharing counts or bookmarking are the essential part of the better SEO techniques. I have seen many bloggers spending time on different ways of SEO link building instead of providing the value to the content and its social promotions. You may call it ignoring the Google, but we all know that the Google bot doesn’t ignore anchored dofollow or nofollow backlinks to calculate your PageRank.

    With my experience, about 65% of my traffic comes from search engines, & the rest is from social sites that include referrals & direct traffic. So I don’t entirely rely on Google as I make comments on really useful blogs that have good content. It’s just like going to relevant sites comes under the micro niche site to you and ultimately making you get the direct quality traffic to you. Anyhow, it will then affect our keyword ranking and PageRank according to the Google guidelines. We don’t need to mention it, the Google taking care of these things it just like a default way for Google particularly.

    To get higher search rankings, you need not only focus on SEO but other factors to make you drive more attention of readers online. Thanks for this page, that will help to me a lot and for other newbies too…

  • I blog quite often and I seriously thank you for your information.
    Your article has truly peaked my interest.
    I’m going to bookmark your blog and keep checking for new information about
    once per week. I opted in for your Feed too.

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