Hence we’ve come up with a guide on how to rank higher on Google in 2021.
Google’s algorithm goes through updates at consistent intervals. So it becomes pretty difficult to utilize the same SEO strategies. You’ll always have to look for something new to constantly generate steady traffic. This can become a farce and affect your content quality.
Here are some of the things you can do to rank higher on the search engine result page.
1. Employ Proper On-Page SEO
One of the easiest and fastest ways to optimize the content for Google search is using an On-Page SEO strategy. If you know a tad bit about SEO, you might already have an idea of what is on-page SEO. To put it in simple terms, it is a strategy where users can optimize their website by using on-page elements.
One of the best examples of it is optimization of the main keyword by its proper inclusion in the content. Though, keep in mind that you need to insert it only a few times. For other fronts, you can use LSI keywords.
LSI keywords aren’t necessarily main keywords and act as the secondary keyword. You can use them in multiple numbers like the main one. You need to employ their proper distribution so that the SEO of your page and website becomes much smoother.
Apart from keywords, you need to do the same for Meta descriptions. If you already don’t know, Meta description is a little excerpt that you see below the title on the search engine result page. As for the Meta description, you need to tick some checkmarks.
You have a limited space to write Meta Description, so make sure to utilize it wisely. Furthermore, ensure that you’re including at least the main keyword in it. This SEO strategy will lead to even better optimization on search engines and fetch you better results.
After Meta description, you need to focus on the meta title which is also the part of on-page SEO strategy. For Meta Descriptions, they’re a couple of sentences narrative that appears below the title. And the title that appears on a search engine is what we call a meta title.
Now, meta title does a similar job as meta description which is assisting the search intent of the website. Google’s search engine tries to match the search intent of users across all the websites. And if your website matches up, you’ll get ranked. Hence you must prioritize meta titles.
Lastly, make sure that you’re structuring content for optimization. For instance, you need to break it down into small paragraphs, bullets, etc to make it diverse and easy for the eyes. You also need to take care of Flesch reading score and ensure it remains high.
On-page SEO isn’t only about applying proper keywords but also wisely utilizing the content space. It is perhaps the most important step when you start search engine optimization for your website.
Btw, if you are looking on how to rank on Bing in 2021 then here is our guide on Bing SEO.
2. Employ Proper Off-Page SEO
Contrary to on-page SEO, Off-Page SEO strategy relies on factors that occur outside of the website and produce a notable effect on the ranking. Over the recent years, it has found its prominence and even takes precedence over on-page SEO tactics in some cases.
There’s a belief among users that off-page SEO deals with linking. While it’s true for the most part, there are other elements of it that you can introduce in your plan. Also inline on-page, off-page inclusions remain intact and keep increasing the potential of the webpage.
SEO-goers have now started giving this aspect importance in 2021. And rightly so because the results have shown their effects. If you succeed in combining both the on and off elements of SEO, your site will surely rise to renown.
We mentioned that off-page SEO isn’t all about link building, however, it’s a primary step in moving forward. You need to build strong backlinks for the website to ensure that it gathers traffic from everywhere. But obviously, this needs much more development and planning.
You should take advantage of social media marketing in this regard which has become a hot trend these days. Everything is connected and if you have a substantial presence on social media, you’ll get outstanding traffic directed on the website.
Like many people, you can advertise your website on some popular pages. Or if you want to cut some budget, create your page and start promoting your content. Many users don’t choose this path since it takes a lot of time. But if you want to start from zero, you can opt for this route.
There’s also a method of guest blogging to increase your online presence and diversify the traffic. However, for this, you’ll need some good contacts in the industry. You can look up some people online and ask them for guest blogging on their website.
Create a good portfolio and you’ll have no problems in finding people who will allow guest blogging. But you need to ensure that the content you deliver reeks of quality. And for a long-lasting relationship, make sure that you are consistent with whatever you put out.
Lastly, there’s an aspect of influencer marketing. In this strategy, you can ask prominent social media influencers to promote your online venture. Of course, it will cause you some monetary splash. But it’s an adequate method for accumulating significant traffic in a short space.
3. Technical SEO
In the broader perspective, technical SEO covers many underlying factors that contribute to the ranking of the site on Google. Though it’s not to the extent of on-page or off-page SEO, it does carry some weight around.
In simple terms, it deals with the technical aspects of the website. One of the key elements of it is page speed. Now, page speed has a direct influence over page experience score which is directly associated with SERP. Hence, by improving the page speed, you can influence SERP as well.
To check page speed, you can use various tools online. One of the best out there is PageSpeed Insights. It scans your website and presents the information regarding loading times. It will also tell you what are optimum speeds and how much the site is deviating from the ideal situation.
The tool can also provide you solutions to how you can improve the page speed. These are simple solutions and fixes that don’t take much of your time. Also concerning page speed, you need to make sure that every aspect of it is optimized for the site to remain fairly functional.
You don’t necessarily need to prioritize the page speed all time but it’s a good practice to improve ranking. Furthermore, with the advent of tools, it has become fairly easy to deal with it and it doesn’t take much time. Though, there’s one other thing that shouldn’t escape your attention concerning technical SEO.
Mobile optimization is something that you need to prioritize on a primary basis. The use of the internet on mobile phones has increased fairly over the recent years. So you need to ensure that your website is properly functioning on handheld devices.
In many cases, you’ll find problems in sync between the desktop and mobile versions of the website. But this problem shouldn’t be overlooked at any rate. Whenever you draft content, make sure that it supports cross-platform devices with no missing elements. This will ensure that traffic from all places concentrates on your webpage.
If you don’t want to go through the intricacies of mobile optimization, you can directly engage the tools for the same purpose. They will check whether the site is compatible with mobile and offer troubleshooting solutions to improve the same. By opting for these little elements, you can ensure that the site achieves the best possible ranking.
4. Prioritize Search Intent
Search intent largely differs from conventional SEO strategies. It is a more practical method and requires some trial and error as well as immense research. To put it into perspective, it has a lot to do with Google’s algorithm and its recognition for the content you post on the website.
Now, Google doesn’t rank the web pages alone based on and off-page practices. It also accounts for the quality of material that you’ve injected on the website. How does Google recognize it? Well, it has its algorithm, and search intent from the netizens also assists in this cause.
You might’ve noticed sometimes that your post performs well for a few days and directly falls to oblivion. This happens because Google takes some time to match the relevancy of your content concerning the search intent.
When visitants visit your website, they assess whether what they’re looking for is found on the page. If they do end up finding their solutions, it will aid you in skyrocketing the rankings. However, if the website doesn’t fulfill its demand, Google will pull down the rankings.
So depending on the search engine, the ranking of the web pages can rise rapidly or fall immediately. To tackle this situation, you need to ensure that your main keyphrase matches up well with the content you’re trying to deliver.
For instance, if I’m curating a guide to use a digital watch, the best type of content would be to start by describing the digital watch, its features, and then how to guide with simple sentences. This is what people would expect.
People don’t want complexities by engulfing themselves in technical jargon. They want easy solutions. And that’s where your focus should be. Whatever you post, the ultimate aim should be to satisfy the needs of the visitor.
But we understand that it doesn’t always work like that. To consistently match up with search intent, you can search for the keyword you’re writing and see what kind of web pages are ranking on the first page. This will give you a sufficient idea of what you need to include in your content to rank even higher in search engines.
It is always a good strategy to see what your competitors are doing and then adding an upgrade to your content to rank higher than them. This is a proven strategy and will surely assist you in the long run.
5. Session Time
So in terms of SEO, session time refers to how much time a user spends once he clicks on one of the web pages to when he navigates to another one. Mind you this is an important aspect and Google’s search algorithm uses it to recognize the credibility of the website.
It’s a pretty simple thing to understand. You search for something, you click on the first site, and surprise, the site doesn’t have what you need. So you go back and then switch to another side. Now, this instant enter and exit can prove costly if it keeps occurring frequently.
The term is called bounce rate which means the times users visit the site and immediately bounce back to the search engine result page. And this has a huge impact on how Google perceives your website. If it’s too high then there’s going to be huge consequences.
Now for this scenario, you can play with the search intent. You need to follow the guidelines concerning the search engine that we’ve mentioned above. Apart from that, there are some other factors that you need to improve for reducing the bounce rate.
Firstly, you need to make your website look attractive. If you’re using WordPress, you can use existing templates or purchase a new one to design the website. Your ultimate goal should be to ensure that site looks attractive.
So even if visitors don’t find the content they’re looking for, they’ll certainly get mesmerized by the design and who knows maybe spend more time navigating within tabs. So apart from a search engine, you can try to modify the design layout and make sure that visitors spend significant time.
Apart from that, you can include visual media in the content to make it even more appealing. The use of attractive images and videos is highly recommended since they can suck in users. Furthermore, you should focus on the very first paragraph in such a way that it immediately gathers visitors’ attention.
Lastly, you can ensure proper division of the content. For ease of navigation within the webpage, try to add a table of contents. Many times, visitors just look for specific sections even within the content. So adding something like a table of contents surely helps. Try to use all these aspects and include them in your webpage to improve the bounce rate.
6. Curate Quality Content
Quality is a benchmark in any industry. But if you would’ve asked SEO practitioners some years ago about curating quality content to rank higher, they might have given you different answers. Back in the day, many users abused Google’s algorithm by including keywords in great numbers to rank up the webpage.
However, thanks to the updated Google’s search algorithm, that thing is long gone and dead. Now if you don’t curate high-quality content, you won’t get a steady ranking for the website. But what exactly is high-quality content? How do we define it?
In a simple sense, the basic principle is that whatever you include in your website needs to be simple enough to understand. This is applicable if you want to attract most of the traffic. However, if you’re targeting only a certain section of the audience, this strategy may not be necessary.
Back to the quality content, you need to check all the boxes as far as writing goes. Use short paragraphs, adequate subheadings, engaging media, and a pretty concise structure of the content. In addition to all this, there’s also a huge weight of backlinks.
Creating useful backlinks has always been a worry for many users. But, if you do produce high-quality content, it will directly assist you in getting more backlinks. You can ask yourselves, which outbound link you’d most likely include in your blog? You’ll get the answers.
But if you don’t want to go through the hassle of curating high-quality content, you can stick to a certain section. For instance, creating a blog that contains large amounts of data can create a healthy backlink. People who want to find information related to that particular niche will link it regardless of the quality.
In addition to this, you can also try to create content with huge numbers. The reports have indicated that web pages with large volumes of words generally rank higher than low volumes of words. This has some other supporting factors but is still something you should think of.
Lastly, you need to keep a decent balance between text and visual media employed in the webpage. In 2021, we would highly recommend you include as much media as possible. Pictorial presentation is easy to understand and many visitors dig it more than text form. So if you do that, you’ll likely get more backlinks than usual and hence an uptick in organic traffic.
7. Maintain Adequate Click-Through Rate (CTR)
You must keep the click-through rate as high as possible. The term is generally used in Google advertising where it means a division of the number of people who viewed the post and people who clicked on it.
It is a pretty handy metric that gives clarity about whether your content is meeting the requirements of the visitors. We’ve mentioned bounce rate earlier and CTR is interconnected to it. Mind you that both of these terms are different and carry different significance.
Many factors influence the organic CTR. The quality of your content, its engaging potential, media uses, and the organic traffic it gathers. All of them are equally important in determining the click-through rate.
On your end, you need to ensure that it remains as high as possible. Firstly, you need to find out the existing CTR to find whether it needs improvement or not. For that, you can use some tools that will provide you with numbers.
The best tool in this situation is Google Search Console which also offers some additional privileges. The search console will list down the current CTR which will give you an idea about what you should do next. In most cases, you’ll need to increase it.
Now the quick solution is to recheck your content and determine the reason why it’s not meeting the visitor’s expectations. You can try to look for similar blogs and see what they’ve done right and where you’ve slipped away.
Apart from that, you can try using heat maps to find where visitors are spending their most time. You can develop the area where they spend less time by adding media or something interesting but relevant. You can’t just engage the visitor in every aspect of the content, hence you’ll have to focus on where they’re interested.
The basic SEO strategy comes into effect whenever your CTR goes down. You just need to follow the primary terms, structure your content accordingly. And then, you’ll see a steady but meaningful rise in the click-through rate.
Metrics like CTR shouldn’t be underestimated as they have a huge effect on where your website ranks. But this step should generally come after content curation and a few days after the publishing of the post. When you spend enough time online, you’ll get a better picture of reality.
8. Ensure Proper Security
Visitors are a bit skeptical about visiting less known sites these days. And why shouldn’t they? After all, we are seeing a rise in the reports of phishing and hacking attempts. To make your website look trustworthy enough to fetch a click, you must secure it properly.
Now, one of the primary methods of doing it is employing HTTPS for the website. You might’ve noticed that Google identifies websites without HTTPS as not secure. While Google labels then as such, it might not be necessarily true.
If you’ve stumbled across such sites then you’ll know they just lack HTTPS and the site is safe. However, in the eyes of the general public, they’re red flags. Such warnings from search engines create doubt in visitors’ minds and make them not click on the site.
So the solution, in this case, is pretty simple. Just get HTTPS for your websites and get rid of this worry. Once you get it, you’ll see a padlock symbol in the search bar which indicates the site is secure. Hence, the visitors will have no second doubts about browsing through the contents of the page.
In addition to that, HTTPS sites will rank generally higher than the ones without it. This is also another reason why you should secure it. Once you’ve crossed the bridge of HTTPS, you can do additional things to ensure people feel unharmed on the site.
If you’re using Google ads, try to lessen their numbers and also if possible disable pop-ups. Yes, it will reduce your profits but for better traffic generation, it is a necessary step. You don’t completely need to reduce it but just keep them low in numbers.
Apart from that, you can tweak your UI design a bit to make it look more professional. Sometimes, users do pay attention to these little factors, hence you need to take care of them. This will probably enhance CTR and reduce the bounce rate.
Fixing broken links and errors can also ensure the stability of the website and hence more trust of visitors. You should do that more often and keep looking for any inconsistencies present on the website from the point of security.
9. Diversify The Content
We don’t recommend this to new users, but for those who have had significant experience with search engine optimization, expand your horizons. This is a necessary step to increase organic traffic by tenfold and make a mark on international space.
Now by diversifying, we don’t mean changing niches or adding different niches. You just need to add enough content to the same niche that can cater to an international audience. Not necessarily all the countries but enough to be considered on a global scale.
The first thing you need to change is the way you write. Up until now, you might be writing in a way that suits your local region to boost your local SEO. However, when you switch to international, you have to consider that aspect as well.
You need to make it simpler than what you’re writing right now. Not all people understand English to its core, hence you need to adapt easy writing techniques. Use short sentences and don’t use technical jargon if not necessary.
There’s also an aspect of research and traditions that you must consider. One thing that can be famous in one country won’t be the same in another one. Hence, you need to decide on where you’re going to prioritize.
If you’re in the e-commerce business, you need to develop shipment contacts in the respective countries. Establishing international relations is most beneficial for e-commerce businesses. Once you start the string of customers, it will just keep on increasing at a rapid rate.
Apart from that, for immense traffic generation, setting an international stage is necessary. No matter how much effort you put into it, if you focus only on one region, the traffic will be limited. But when you focus on other regions, you’ll see a significant rise in organic traffic.
That’s why, for best results, you should focus on a niche such as art, fitness, food, health, lifestyle, etc because they have a global presence. For e-commerce services, there’s no limit but make sure that there’s a need for those products in countries.
For services businesses, it is even more effective as long as they’re online-based. There’s a huge pool of international markets if you get into a service venture and create a website for it. However, you might need much bigger capital and will have to spend more time than usual.
10. Focus on Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals has recently emerged and found huge success as far as ranking on search engine result pages applies. They’re metrics that define the page experience score of the visitors and how Google perceives the website.
For Core Web Vitals, three elements are LCP (Largest Contentful Paint), FID (First Input Delay), and CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift). All these factors are associated with loading interactivity and visual stability of the webpage.
LCP is related to the loading time that the webpage takes to fully load all the contents of it. A good LCP will result in a much better user experience. Even though it occurs in a few seconds it makes a huge impact on how people view your website.
FID deals with the interaction aspect of the websites. It indicates the amount of time it takes for visitors to interact with the functions of the website. As an example, when you click on any of the tabs of the website, you see there’s a delay in receiving the interaction. This delay is what we call FID and it needs to be reduced.
CLS is associated with the time it takes for visual media to load. It includes images, videos, and all other types of media and delays in their time to load. This is similar to LCP in the sense that it also deals with the loading times. However, the difference lies in which form it occurs.
Core Web Vitals play a major role in bringing up the rank in Google search engine result page. You should focus on improving all of them equally. A good score of Core Web Vitals will enhance page experience score which will, in turn, affect the SERP.
Now let’s talk about ideal numbers for these metrics. For LCP, you need to keep it around 2 to 2.5 seconds maximum. FID needs to be comparatively less and it should be about 100 milliseconds. Lastly, CLS needs to be around 0.1 or less.
As for the tools, the best one to measure Core Web Vitals is the Chrome User Experience Report. It scans the website in real-time and gives you numbers of LCP, FID, and CLS. By assessing these numbers, you can move forward and look to improve them.
11. Track Your Results
With the inclusion of all these steps, you should now see a good ranking for the keywords of your website. But it’s not the end, the journey to becoming a professional SEO practitioner just starts here. There’s a much bigger picture ahead and you constantly need to look for ways to improve existing content.
For that, you need to measure current factors that are affecting the search engine result page ranking. Now, you can’t manually check on regular intervals about the performance of the webpage. To track all elements, you need some type of tool.
Google Analytics is a great tool to keep the track of organic traffic present on your website. It is fairly easy to use and free of cost. The tool provides you traffic gathered at your website at different times on different days.
Google Search Console is yet another tool that goes more into depth and provides distribution of traffic types. It offers a clear distinction between the number of impressions the post has gathered along the number of clicks produced.
You might be thinking that ranking should get more emphasis compared to traffic. However, that’s not the case. It’s all about the organic traffic and it will always be about that. Ask anyone what they’d prefer, 1st ranking on search engines and significant organic traffic. They’ll choose the latter.
All the SEO strategies that you carry out have the same purpose; increase in traffic. So when you increase the traffic it increases CTR and thus reduces bounce rate. Add the improvement of the Page Experience score and you get a good ranking on the result page.
Note that everything is interlinked with organic traffic. You may try to use some shortcuts to bring the site to the top for a short period. But it is the traffic and its numbers that will determine the fate of the webpage. Hence you must keep the track of performance at regular intervals.
You may find that top-ranking web pages may not get most of the traffic. And that happens because of various reasons. However, you don’t always need to grab the top spot. Your purpose should be to hog as many visitors as possible and make the most out of your website.
Lastly, keep updating your posts with the new additions. It will not always remain in the top rank, hence you should keep tweaking things to keep the SERP intact. Do all these things and you’ll consistently achieve a better ranking.
So these are some of the factors you should check-in for ranking higher in Google’s search engine. Each of them is equally important and carries some weight with regards to traffic generation and SERP. If you do follow this SEO strategy, it won’t take much time in achieving top ranking on the search result page.