Ranking on search engines is one of the top priorities for any website because it delivers organic (free) traffic. As you, most probably, already know a website without traffic is pretty much useless! If you have no visitors no one will ready your content, see your products, or buy anything from you! We’re here to talk exclusively about how to rank with keywords and on page optimization.
If you search online for how to rank you will mostly get sponsored results for premium SEO products. You may come across some link building services too. We will not be discussing link building here. So if that’s what you are interested in, this article is not for you, sorry!
The Importance Of Learning How To Rank With Keywords
When search engine ranking first started everyone focused on “on-page” optimization. Many people started spamming keywords in their articles brainlessly. So much so that blog articles stopped making linguistic sense, yet filled the search results. So search engines began to focus more on “off-page” optimization. This comes in the form of building “back-links” from higher authority sites sending you some of their authority.
Unfortunately now everyone is spamming back-links left, right, and center. This kind of abuse has led search engines to shift their focus to a more balanced evaluation of your website. Moreover, they learned from their mistakes the first time round. Today search engines have advanced artificial intelligence systems and sophisticated algorithms. They are now able to determine whether your content makes sense linguistically or not, to a certain extent.
The balanced approach I mentioned earlier is based on a combination of both back-links and on page optimization. Together these two primary elements determine whether you appear on search engines all together. It also determines how far up or down you would appear in their search results, i.e. your rank.
Well as we discussed earlier everyone today even the SEO experts have shifted their focus to back-links. This made competition so tight in that area. However, it also opened the door for an opportunity. While others neglect on page SEO, the ones who pay attention to it get a better ranking score.
Imagine this scenario, so you and 10 other websites have the same number of back-links. You all receive similar authority. Which do you think will rank better if you were the only one with SEO optimized content?
This is part of where the importance of keywords comes from. The other part is possibly even more important. What do you think happens if you put in a keyword in your free or paid SEO tool. If your content isn’t optimized for that word, how will search engines rank you for it? Even if you have a million back-links from high authority sites what good will they do you? If your content is about beaches when your focus keyword is about WordPress websites you won’t rank!
How To Rank With Keywords – Content
With keywords content is 95% of the work. You need to have content that would keep your audience captivated and interested. There is nothing more concerning to search engines than a page with a high and quick bounce rate.
Remember how we said search engines now have very sophisticated systems? Well this is one of their functions. A page with 2000 words where people leave after 5 seconds of landing there, it will not rank. Search Engines will immediately assume the content is either irrelevant or so bad that people don’t want to see it.
Let’s think about it from their point of view.
Why do people use search engines? They use them to find things out! Whether it is a product they want to buy or an answer to a question they need answered. Let’s imagine something for a second. Someone uses google and every search result they get is not what they are looking for. Would they use google again or turn to one of their competitors? They are just ensuring that they provide a high quality service to their users. This is why they take this stuff so seriously.
You need to remember search engines rank pages, not websites. So if you have a blog, you can have one article ranked as the top search engine result. Another post might rank somewhere in the middle, and a third might not rank at all. Though the higher the overall authority of your domain gives your pages higher credibility. This in turn encourages search engines to rank them higher.
We are going to discuss some things over the coming few sections. Whatever we mention here you will need to do with moderation, though! If you don’t and do too little of it, you won’t rank. On the other extreme if you go over the top with it you will get banned for abuse. Either way you can forget about any business coming from that site.
So what do search engines look for in terms of content?
How To Rank By Using HTML Tags
If you don’t know what these do, look at the tab where you have this page open. See where it says the title of this article on the tab itself? This is exactly what a title tag tells your browser to put and what search engines look for.
Search engine bots crawl your page which is fancy words for when search engines analyze your page. As this happens, they need to see the core keyword you are trying to rank for. This is your first line of attack when ranking for a particular keyword. What you don’t want to do is be spammy. If you overuse the word, the algorithms will simply flag the page and lower its rank.
The Use Of Headings
You have a few heading tags at your disposal when creating your content. From H1 all the way up to H5. I usually use from 1 to 3 I don’t find the rest necessary. They also just over complicate the task. However, by all means you can, and it helps a little if you use them.
You should use the H1 tag only once. It should either have in it exactly what is in the title tag or a more detailed variation. Like if you had to cut down on words in the title area for aesthetic purposes. In other words you want to have your core keyword in the primary heading of your page. You would also need to try and get it as close to the start of the heading as possible.
The other headings serve the purpose of demonstrating the content’s structure to the search engine crawlers. They in turn tell them what sections are on your page. This allows them to check further if the content is relevant and/or related to the keywords it’s ranking you for.
It doesn’t have to be something too insane. Look at my sections here. The larger headings after the main one are H2 and the smaller (sub-section) headings are H3.
Using Body Text To Rank With Keywords
Your best friends while creating body content on your page are bold, italics, underline, bullet points, and numbered lists. These tell the search engine that this content is probably important. This makes them pay attention to it. Once they pay attention to that section they start to analyze the content around it. If it makes sense and is really relevant they will allow it to affect your ranking score.
Again, another demonstration of how spamming keywords no longer helps. What you want to do here is try to use these tools to your advantage. Remember, in moderation, bold points that you want to stress on, etc.
This is one of the most overlooked and underlined seo tools by many webmasters. It is either completely neglected or over saturated by keywords in an attempt to impress search engines. What you want to be doing with these is use your focus keyword while relating it to the photo’s contents.
Imagine you have a photo of someone celebrating in front of a computer. Yet your keyword is about succeeding in business. You’ll want to set the tag something along the lines of “succeeding in business right from your computer” for example.
It also goes without saying that you should choose related images to your content. Otherwise matching it with your keyword will only get harder while optimizing.
Writing High Quality Articles To Rank In Search Engines
So you’ve done all your tags right and understand the importance of content. How do you write quality content that ranks?
For your content to qualify as quality content it would need to inform, entertain, convince, and convert. To do that it would have to pass on the message in a manner that makes sense concisely and clearly. So how do you do that?
Provide your audience with useful resources and practical tips. Ones that they can easily apply to make it as informative and captivating as possible for your readers.
Welcome discussion and engage with your audience. Let them comment on the article and discuss with them, this greatly helps in ranking!
Make it personal.
Talk about stories from your own life and experience. This helps the readers stay longer on your articles and builds a sense of rapport and them knowing you better. As the relationship between you and your readers grows you will build a sense of trust. The result is, you will more likely get repeat visits.
Remember to always share your sources and reference articles when discussing facts. The last thing anyone wants is reading an informative article with stats that the writer made up on the fly. Sharing such resources will multiply your credibility. It shows you put in the effort to collect the correct information. Moreover, you didn’t just invent fake information from your imagination to speed up the writing process.
Your content should be up-to-date and relevant to the time it’s been written in.
For example, you are writing about marketing with Instagram. You shouldn’t use a screenshot/video recording with their old logo, or an obsolete version of their platform. If you have an old video or screenshot it won’t take you too long to create a new one. Ensure your content looks up to date, it inspires confidence.
Believe me it makes a huge difference! If the examples and visuals you use are old or outdated, they will assume that so is the information. In turn, ditching your content, and just look for their information needs elsewhere.
What Qualifies As Bad Content?
We’ve discussed high quality content. However, this section wouldn’t be complete without warning you about the pitfalls? At least the ones that lower the content’s quality in the eyes of search engines the most!
If you are linking to other sites. Like in situations when you are marketing affiliate products. You need to be very careful of which links you are sending authority to. You need to choose either links to sites/domains that already have a good reputation with search engines. Or give yourself the peace of mind and use a link cloaking service/plugin. It will allow you to cloak/hide links using your own sub domain or domain. These have the added benefits of giving you analytics on which links where clicked. As well as when, how often, and from which countries, etc.
You can take advantage of “no-follow” plugins and settings to avoid giving away your authority more effectively too.
You don’t want to repeat over and over again. Repetitive text will both lower your rank and bore your readers. So much so, that they might feel your content is empty and look for the information elsewhere.
Never go overboard with the pitch!
I’ve mentioned this in other articles. No one ever enjoys feeling that they are constantly being bombarded with a sales pitch ever few lines. I’m not saying “ditch the pitch” all together here, but maybe focus on really helping your reader make a decision. Talk about the product’s features and benefits, rather than force a desire to buy, why not create it?
Let them decide for themselves that this product or service is exactly what they have been looking for and need. Maybe at the end of the article once or so. You can mention that if they “would like to get the product they can get it from here”. Then just embed your link in the text or put a buy now button, etc.
Spamming your content with links will not do you any good. If the useful content to linked content ratio is extremely leaning towards linked content it will be frowned upon. Both search engines and google Adsense don’t like that. Plus if your focus is on the links your content quality and coherence will not be top-notch.
The idea here is to build content for the benefit of the reader. This should be your core focus, the sale will come naturally if you do that.
Make sure you proofread your content. Alternatively, you could use a tool to ensure your content doesn’t have any spelling or grammatical mistakes. These lower rankings too!
Bonus: Side Tips To Help With Your Rankings
I thought I would drop these in to help you further improve your rankings even further:
- Avoid iFrames at all costs and/or if possible.
- Have your social pages linked to the website and use social share as well as follow buttons.
- Site loading speed is important so optimize images, use cache and CDN, etc. for faster performance.
- Make sure Facebook open graph protocols are working properly on your website.
- Use your force SSL option to secure your website, chrome gives warnings before entering sites without SSL (HTTPS) certificates.
- Use seo tools to tell search engines what keywords you are trying to optimize and rank for.
- Get a free SEO audit from one of the many services online often to know where you stand.
Now You Know How To Rank With Keywords & Other On Page Optimization Tweaks!
So that’s it for me today folks! Hope you have found this article useful in your efforts to optimize your content and rank on search engines. There will be more articles to help you improve your search engine rankings in the near future. In them we’ll cover the effective and correct use of back-links and so many other cool things. So make sure to drop in often and check out our new articles.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas, and questions in the comments. Feel free to drop them here and let’s engage in a productive discussion on the topic.
Evolve Your Wealth,