How To Improve SEO Rankings Today - Iceberg Web Design

How To Improve SEO Rankings Today

How to improve your rankings today with these three simple, proven SEO tips.

I am always telling anyone who will listen, that there are now shortcuts with search engine optimization that will boost your search position in Google or improve your organic website traffic.

One thing I’ve learned working with websites over the last 10 years is that there are always little quick and simple ways to increase your organic traffic and Google rankings.

Although, cutting corners is never a good idea, there are a few simple fixes to boost your rankings in Google with Search Engine Optimization. They will increase your organic traffic to your website.

I know this post may seem a little contradictory but bear with me and I promise there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Compared to traditional PPC and internet advertising, well-thought out SEO can give you a 5-10x better ROI than PPC.

Lately, I’ve learned several important, but tedious things you can do to your website to have huge effects, potentially within only a few hours!

Before we go full-throttle, it’s crucial to understand what influences a website’s ranking and how we get sites ranked.

I know you’re excited to learn about what you should do to increase your rankings, but before we begin, it’s important that you understand the gist of how a site’s rankings are influenced and how we have been able to rank our websites and our clients.

Your website and every website out there has what’s called an optimal ranking and adjusted ranking

The most simple way to explain an optimal ranking is what position a website should be ranking. Factors that affect optimal rankings include quality and authority of its back links. Read more about backlinks from MOZ, a website considered to be an authority when it comes to SEO.

Your adjusted ranking is your actual rank found in Google’s search results, also known as SERPS. Page speed, high quality (or low quality) content, clean code, and the freshness of your website (how often you update it), are all variables that affect your adjusted rankings.

In other words, Google hears about your site (It finds links – trust factors – pointing to you) and goes and takes a look. As Google (spiders and bots) crawl your site, it evaluates the sign posts (links) along the way.

To put simply, Google finds your website, looks at your backlinks, figures out your optimal ranking and then based on your adjusted ranking factors, it will adjust your rank to what it feels your deserved ranking is.

So, for example, let’s say your “backlink score” is a 70% out of 100%. When Google looks at your website, it then starts taking away points based on adjusted rank.

For example -15 points for a high bounce rate (user leaving website right away). -1 point for keyword stuffing.

Now, while it’s true that it does take time to establish your optimal ranking, you can literally increase your rankings within hours by taking care of what you can control on your website. Such as the adjusted ranking factors like page load speed, keyword stuffing, etc.

Some of these results can happen in real time.

Now that you understand why adjusted rankings are the exception to long-term SEO results, let’s talk about what to do to get improved rankings overnight.

Use these 3 tips to get new traffic and increased rankings.

1. Thin Content: Improve, Remove or De-Index

What exactly is thin content? To put it simply, it’s text that is not unique information on your website. Should I remove it, just de-index it, or go for the gold and improve it?


Thin Content Includes:

  • Scraped product descriptions from other sites or feeds
  • Category pages
  • Image galleries with little or no descriptions
  • Duplicate pages
  • E-commerce listings with bare minimum or no descriptions
  • Product descriptions scraped from other websites
  • Using photo galleries without using descriptions, captions, etc.

All thin content, like mentioned above, is DEFINITELY causing you lost traffic. Just one page of thin content can have dramatic impacts on your entire websites rankings.

Remember that page you created that lists all your category’s and tags but completely forgot about until now? Those pages that no one ever uses could be costing you 50% of your organic traffic.

Do yourself a huge favor, delete and de-index any thin content ASAP! It will make a world of difference with your rankings, I promise.

In short, you need to either de-index thin content by using Google Webmaster Tools and modifying your robots.txt using the no index command. Or you can simply remove the page that has thin content.

As stated by Google itself “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

2. Contextual Links: Create Outbound Authority Links

Make sure to add outbound links to your current content by just adding a link to your text that points your reader to a well-respected authority site in your industry. For example, when it comes to digital marketing, an awesome website to link out to a blog post on digitalmarketer.com

While writing new copy, or modifying additional copy on your websites key pages and articles, you need to add some in-text (contextual) links out to authority websites. Make sure your new contextual links are specific, and internal URL’s on well-established sites…and not just at the end, make sure they are in the middle of the rest of the article.

Do your best to not use Wikipedia, as these links are not considering authority links to Google. If you do need to use them, make sure they are no follow links.

Use links that a visitor to your website would consider relevant and an authority in the niche you are writing about. Remember, always focus on quality over quantity.

You may think that linking out to other websites will have a negative effect by taking users off your site. That is definitely a possibility but, that doesn’t make it bad. By linking to important resources, you have the opportunity to help your user find the information they are looking for which can, in turn, increase the trust levels between you and your visitors. In the end, this leads to more visits per user to your website, a higher number of referrals, recommendations and ultimately, more traffic and closed business.

Make sure to have a good reason for linking out using contextual backlinks. Google does actually check the content that the link is placed on for relevance. For more info what to do and not to do when linking out to other sites, check out this article by Niche Hacks.

Remember, the main point is to become a trusted source to your website visitors and Google. Once you’ve built up a lot of trust, eventually you will become an authority in Google’s eyes, which in turn means you will be reaping all the rewards of top position Google rankings.

 

If you’re looking to make significant increases in rankings in a matter of days, then take the time to create some new, high-quality contextual backlinks. It only takes but a minute or two for each one you add, and the more you do it, the faster you will get at it.

3. Title and Description Tags: Increase Click Through Rates

 

One of the fastest and easiest ways to increase your organic traffic Click Through Rates (CTR) is to make sure your title and description tags are compelling. They need to actually make people want to click on your link once you show up in Googles organic rankings.

How does this affect your rankings? Simply put, if visitors are not enticed enough to click on your links and stay on your page, your rankings will drop.

Bounce rate, page load speed, time-on-site, as well as other user experience factors, will definitely affect your rankings. However, none of them are as important as click-through-rate.

So what the heck is CTR? To put it simply, CTR is what percentage of people actually click on your websites link in Google’s search results, ad’s or anywhere else your website link is shown.

Naturally, this is important to Google because if real people are clicking on your link in the search results, that means more traffic on your website and in return higher rankings. This can have IMMEDIATE effects on your organic rankings.

So in reality, the more, real people who click on your organic rankings listings, the more traffic you will get and the higher you will be able to rank. Which means, nearly overnight Google will increase your rankings (or decrease if done poorly).

Google Analytics SEO Rankings

 

It’s normal for us to see CTR improvements anywhere from position 1-20+ right away after making these changes.

How can I increase my Click Through Ratio?

One of the most overlooked, and number one ways to increase your CTR is through the use of compelling Title Tags and Meta Descriptions.

These are the content of Google’s Search Engine results and they are all your prospect sees when they search.

When you create a new ad, you want to make sure you have an awesome compelling headline that draws in your target market, just like an ad, your organic search results need attention getting headlines as well.

Not only will you get a better click-through rate that will help your rankings, but you will also get an increase in your traffic instantly! People are actually clicking on Google search results, to your website!

This isn’t exactly revolutionary information, but it’s amazing how tunnel focused we can get when we’re too involved in our own business or marketing campaigns.

Struggling to come up with a headline because you don’t have a P.H.D. in journalism? Follow the link below to use a tool I use on a daily basis.

Blog Headline Analyzer

Blog Post Headline Analyzer

 

Now that you have the tools and knowledge you need, go out and take action to start increasing your rankings today!

If you need help implementing a new SEO strategy or have any questions, please comment below or get in contact with me today!

About the author

Jessi Gurr is the Master Penguin at Iceberg Web Design. She is an entrepreneur at heart, and loves all aspects of business growth, branding, and team building. Jessi frequently speaks at WordCamps throughout the US and internationally, and holds positions on the board at the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce and Montessori Renaissance Academy, both in Anoka, MN. In her spare time, she enjoys vegan cooking, organic gardening, and spending time with her two young boys.

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