From having the highest quality content to how many (or how few) keywords you have in which places, this guide will walk you through what you can do on your site pages to rank higher on Google in 2022.
1. Put a Keyword in Title Tag
The "title tag" is the HTML code tag that gives a web page a title.
2. Title Tag starts with a Keyword
Put your most important keywords first. Title tags that start with a keyword perform better than title tags where the keyword appears at the end of the tag.
3. Keyword in Description Tag
Your description tag directly impacts click-through rate, a significant key ranking factor.
4. Keyword in H1 Tag
H1 tags (Heading 1 Tag) are secondary title tags. If you haven't guessed, Google loves keywords.
5. Content (and its length)
Notice how this article is roughly 1,400 words? Smaller articles, blogs, and other content have a severe disadvantage to rankings. Semrush conducted a study on 15 Content Optimization Practices that showcases the importance of length and quality.
6. Topics In-Depth
Hitting the above-mentioned extensive word count should come much easier as you cover your topics in depth.
7. Duplicate Content
Having similar content on the same site (even slightly modified) can negatively impact a website's search engine ranking (or even make it invisible to the public).
8. Content Recency
Google rewards recently published or updated content, especially for searches happening right now. What's more, Google shows the exact date of a page's last update.
9. Keyword Prominence
Having a keyword appear in the first 100 words of a page's content correlates to first page Google rankings.
10. Grammar and Spelling
Not only does Google take proper grammar and spelling into account, but users notice it as well. In making your pages user-friendly, you'll find that accurate grammar and spelling go a long way.
11. Stolen Content
Don't steal work. Google can recognize when you copy and paste from other websites; it's indexed.
12. Reading Levels
Google, in the past, has displayed a page's reading level. Despite not showing it anymore, experts suggest a lower reading level is more appealing to the masses. You know your audience, so catering to them is vital.
13. References and Sources
Citing references and sources, as research papers do, is a sign of quality. Using references signals to Google that you are doing research and builds trust with your users.
14. Numbered Lists
Hey! We are doing this one right now as well! Numbered lists break up your content for users, leading to more interactions with content and boosting your rankings.
15. Table of Contents
Google better understands the content of your pages when you table it as such.
16. Page Loading Speed
Google uses page load speed as a measurement to decide site rankings. Google uses Chrome user data to evaluate loading speed.
17. SSL Certificate
According to Cloudfare, "an SSL certificate displays important information for verifying the owner of a website and encrypting web traffic with SSL/TLS, including the public key, the issuer of the certificate, and the associated subdomains." It's a free and straightforward process that affects your Google ranking tenfold.
The name, alt text, title, description, and caption of an image on a webpage are almost as important as ensuring that all your photos look pixel-perfect to the user.
19. Content Updates
The significance and size of edits and changes matter! Adding or removing sections of a webpage impacts rankings more severely than just "fixing" certain areas.
20. Page Updates.
Be sure to consistently update the pages of your site so that it is viewed as a more recent and adequate answer to any search happening on Google. Being most recent/frequent directly affects your page ranks.
21. Outbound Link Quality
A recent industry study suggests that linking out to authority sites helps send trust signals to Google.
Page optimization of any kind is excellent, but optimization for mobile is a different ball game. Prioritizing mobile optimization first for a site lessens the chance the ever-increasing mobile use will be subpar.
23. Mobile Use
Be ahead of the curve with web pages and websites that mobile users can easily use. From buttons to "call now!" or opening up the site navigation menu, be sure to have a mobile site users don't mind using.
24. Mobile Users Deserve to See!
Don't hide anything on mobile! Content that is hidden on mobile devices may not get indexed. However, fully visible content from mobile to desktop and back will!
Any form of multimedia (images, videos, audio) needs to be clear and easy to load. Videos can do wonders for your page ranking, but a bad quality or irrelevant one can do more harm than good.
26. Check Your Links
The Google Rater Guidelines uses broken links as one was to assess a homepage's quality. Broken links on a page are often a sign to Google that your page is abandoned or unmanaged.
27. Coding Errors
Doing anything sloppy is terrible, but when the fabric of your site is poorly woven, it can lead to worse issues. Experts in SEO suggest that a well-coded page is used as a quality signal to Google.
28. URL Length
Excessively long URLs may hurt a page's search engine visibility. Several industry studies have found that short URLs tend to edge Google's search results slightly.
29. Priority of Page
The priority that a page is given in the sitemap.xml files will influence the google ranking. Higher priority often correlates to higher page rank.
30. Page Age
An older page that's regularly maintained and updated can outperform a newer page even though Google prefers fresh content,
31. User Friendly
This should go without saying but, we are saying it anyway. If users can't properly navigate a webpage, they will leave and go somewhere else, which is highly damaging to your ranking.
32. Parking on Domain Names
A Google update decreased search visibility of parked domains. Parking on a site domain is registering a domain name without it being associated with any services (i.e., email or a website.)
33. Does Your Content Answer User Questions?
We can talk about keywords, images, domains, and all the technical hoopla you can imagine, but more important than all of those is this:
Does your webpage, business, and employees alike answer the questions your consumers have?
If you are constantly asked, "why does x cost so much more than x?" does your site answer it? Structure your business and its marketing efforts to respond and anticipate any questions an individual can ask.
Our recommendation to you is to keep a list (preferably easily accessed by all customer-facing employees) of all the questions you have been asked by users, leads, or existing customers. One that can continuously be updated so that you can prioritize what content goes first.
Check back soon for more things to consider for your Google Rankings.
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