Ranking Higher on Google: Key SEO Strategies

Ranking higher on Google has become the holy grail for businesses and marketers, especially with how much tougher it’s getting to navigate around Google’s SGE prioritization. The quest for the top spot on Google’s search results page is not just about bragging rights – it’s about visibility, credibility and, ultimately, driving more traffic to your website.

And because marketers are having to tighten their belts and find new ways to help their website(s) rank, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to dig in a little further to find out what it takes to play Google’s game.

Ok, that’s slightly tongue in cheek, but the truest way to Google’s heart isn’t by placating its algorithm. It’s by providing actually useful content to the people who use Google. In this guide, we’ll look at the essential strategies for improving your Google rankings.

Jacqueline Foster
Demand Generation Marketing, Lever.co

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Understanding the Importance of SEO

Search engine optimization is the backbone of any effective organic digital marketing strategy. It involves optimizing your website and content to appear more prominently in the SERPs.

With billions of searches conducted on Google every day, securing a top position can significantly increase your website’s visibility, attract more traffic, and enhance your brand’s authority. Why? Because the first page of Google captures as much as 71.3% of search traffic clicks.

Think about the strategic placement of eggs and milk in a supermarket. These staple grocery items are often located at the back of the market. Wouldn’t it make more sense to put these items together near the front of the store? Considering that 78% of grocery shoppers buy milk or eggs when they shop, they’re forcing three quarters of their customers to walk through the entire store – which means encountering numerous other products along the way.

This clever placement increases the chances of impulse buys, boosting the store’s average order value. Similarly, in digital media, it’s crucial to not only attract visitors to your website, but also engage them with relevant offers and content to enhance their value over time.

Key Strategies for Ranking Higher on Google

So, what are some of the best ways to rank on Google? Great question.

We’ve dedicated whole guides on each of the following topics alone, but here’s a quick peek at each of the leading methods that still prove effective in improving SEO:

  • Quality Content and User Experience: Google’s algorithms prioritize websites that offer valuable content and a superior user experience. Ensuring that your website is informative, easy to navigate and quick to load can significantly improve your rankings. Regularly updating your site with fresh, relevant content also signals to Google that your website is a valuable resource for users.

10X Content good for ranking higher on Google

  • Mobile Optimization: With the majority of internet users accessing the web via mobile devices, Google places a strong emphasis on mobile-friendliness. Websites and advertisements optimized for mobile devices rank higher in search results, making it essential that your site be responsive and offer a seamless experience across all devices.
  • Keyword Research: Understanding the terms and phrases your target audience uses to search for products or services like yours is crucial. Incorporating and tracking these keywords in your content can help improve your visibility on Google. However, keyword stuffing, or overusing keywords, can negatively impact your rankings, so make sure you strive for a balanced approach.
  • Link Building: High-quality backlinks from reputable websites signal to Google that your content is valuable and trustworthy. Engaging in ethical link-building practices, such as guest blogging and creating shareable content, can enhance your website’s authority and rankings.
  • Technical SEO: Technical aspects of SEO, such as site structure, URL optimization and the use of schema markup, play a significant role in how Google indexes and ranks your website. Regular audits can identify and rectify any technical issues that may hinder your website’s performance.

Event schema markup in the SERPs good for ranking higher on Google

The Impact of SEO Beyond Traffic

Ranking high on Google brings numerous benefits beyond just increased traffic. It enhances brand visibility, establishes credibility and can lead to higher conversion rates. Not only that, but SEO offers a high return on investment compared to paid advertising, as the traffic continues to flow even after SEO efforts are paused.

One all-too-often overlooked aspect of SEO is competitive analysis. Understanding what your competitors are doing right can provide valuable insights into your own strategy.

"Organic Competitors" table in Organic Research tool - keyword research for programmatic SEO

Through analyzing competitors’ keywords, backlinks and content strategy, you can triangulate what’s worked for them and identify opportunities to improve your rankings and outperform them in search results by doing what they do – only better!

And, if you want a super-advanced pro tip, you should throw your own domain through this same process to see how your site checks out when competitors are analyzing you. If you anticipate areas of weakness in your own content and address it, you’ll be able to head off your competition at the pass and keep your rankings higher for longer.

Leveraging AI and Programmatic SEO

The rise of AI and programmatic SEO offer new opportunities for marketers to enhance their SEO efforts. Tools that suggest related keywords (Semrush, Ahrefs) or automatically optimize content (SurferSEO, Clearscope) can give businesses a competitive edge.

At its core, pSEO involves using software to automatically generate pages that are optimized for specific keywords or phrases:

Keyword ideas for pSEO

This approach is especially useful for websites with vast amounts of data or products, allowing them to cover more search queries than would be feasible manually.

Overall, the point of programmatic SEO is to create pages that match long-tail queries and niche topics, thus capturing more targeted traffic:

Long-Tail Keywords good for ranking higher on Google

Here’s a quick overview of how we implemented pSEO for our site:

  • Data Analysis and Keyword Research: The first step is to dive deep into keyword research, focusing on long-tail keywords that your target audience is searching for. Tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs can provide insights into search volumes and competition levels. Your goal is to identify patterns or common questions that can be translated into content.

Chart comparing traditional SEO vs programmatic SEO

  • Template Creation: Based on your keyword research, create templates for pages that can be dynamically filled with content. These templates should include placeholders for titles, meta descriptions, headings and body content, which can be automatically populated based on your dataset.
  • Automation and Scaling: Use software to scale the creation of these pages. For instance, if you run an e-commerce site with thousands of products, you can create a program that generates unique product pages optimized for searches related to each product. The automation should also extend to updating these pages as your data changes or grows.

Keyword research for pSEO

  • Optimization and Testing: Even with automation, ongoing optimization is crucial. Implement A/B testing to refine page layouts, content presentation and call-to-action placements to improve user engagement and conversion rates. Monitor page performance closely, using analytics to understand user behavior and search engine rankings.
  • Adaptation to SEO Best Practices: Stay updated with Google’s algorithm updates and SEO best practices to make sure your programmatic pages meet current standards. This includes ensuring fast load times, mobile optimization, and relevant, high-quality content that provides value to your users.

Here’s a look at our results. We launched our programmatic SEO strategy with zero impressions/clicks related to pSEO and six months later we got 9.18M impressions and 12.1K clicks out of this pSEO initiative for one category.

GSC SG for pSEO - ranking higher on Google!

Of course, one of the challenges with programmatic SEO is maintaining high content quality. This is why it’s of the utmost importance to monitor the generated pages regularly to make sure they meet your brand’s standards and provide real value to visitors.

And, on top of that, you should be vigilant about creating unique content for each page to avoid penalties from search engines for duplicate content.

Final Thoughts on Ranking Higher on Google

Climbing up the Google rankings is no simple feat — it’s an ongoing adventure that demands a smart, flexible strategy. Keeping your focus on creating top-notch content, improving the user experience, making sure your site plays nice on mobile, and sticking to the straight and narrow with your link-building is key.

These efforts can really bump up your SEO game and help you snag one of those enviable top spots on Google’s search results page. But don’t stop there — keeping a keen eye on your competition and getting savvy with the latest SEO tools can give your strategy an extra edge, making sure your business doesn’t just blend in with everybody else.

If you’re ready to rank higher on Google, Single Grain’s SEO experts can help!👇

Help Me Boost Rankings (and Revenue)

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