How to Improve and Maintain Search Rankings? (SEO)

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Search engines aim to provide internet users with the most relevant web content based on their search terms. To enhance your website’s ranking, it’s crucial to comprehend how customers search for your products and services and understand the criteria search engines use to determine relevance. 

To align your business requirement and the online atmosphere on search engines, a common practice has been around for a while, bringing excellent results—Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is a dynamic strategy designed to assist major search engines, including Google and Bing. The primary goals are to facilitate the discovery of the information published on your website (web content) and to secure a competitive ranking against similar websites. 

By taking deliberate steps you can significantly improve your website’s SEO and increase its prominence in search engine results. This blog will provide detailed insights and actionable tips to assist you in navigating the inner workings of SEO and achieve sustainable improvements in search rankings of your targeted webpage.

How Long Does It Take To Improve Google Rankings?

Before talking about the strategies, let’s be clear: it is important to set some realistic expectations from your SEO efforts and a part of it starts from understanding that improving Google rankings is not an overnight process. The time it takes depends on factors like how competitive your industry is, your website’s current condition, and the strategies you use. Quick improvements may happen, but some changes might take weeks or months to fully show results. 

How to rank higher on Google:

To make every SEO strategy successful, you need a robust foundation. Begin your journey towards improved Google rankings by conducting a point-by-point technical SEO audit. 

Conduct a Technical SEO Audit:

A technical SEO audit involves a comprehensive review of your website’s backend elements. Identify and fix issues that may hinder search engine crawlers from indexing your site, such as site speed, mobile optimization, crawl errors, structured data markup, and sitemap submission. The goal is to ensure that the intention of your website and the underlying business niche is easily understandable for search engines. 

During the audit, pay attention to the following key areas: 

  • Site Speed: Optimize your website’s loading speed for authentic user experience and improved search rankings.
  • Mobile Optimization: Your site should be mobile-friendly, as Google prioritizes mobile-first indexing. If the website is difficult to use on a smartphone, it is advisable to customize it for the same purpose.  
  • Crawl Errors: Identify and fix any crawl errors on every webpage that might impede search engine bots from exploring your site.
  • Structured Data Markup: Implement structured data markup to for hinting quick context to search engines about your content. 
  • Sitemap Submission: Submit an XML sitemap to search engines to make crawling and indexing more efficient. This helps indicate the priority order for search engines, specifying which websites to crawl first at defined intervals.

Addressing these technical aspects lays the groundwork for subsequent optimization efforts, setting the stage for improved Google rankings. 

Ensure a Great Page Experience:

Google places keeps user experience on a higher pedestal, and a positive page experience is crucial for higher search rankings. Focus on Core Web Vitals, file size optimization, browser caching, script handling, mobile-friendliness, HTTPS implementation, and avoiding intrusive interstitials. Let’s explore the distinct elements that contribute to a stellar page experience. 

1. Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals assesses how users interact with your website. Google takes into account three main factors: 

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Focuses on loading performance and should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading. 
  • First Input Delay (FID): Evaluates interactivity and responsiveness, aiming for an FID of less than 100 milliseconds. 
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Assesses visual stability and should maintain a CLS score of less than 0.1. 

Prioritize optimizing these core vitals to ensure a seamless and engaging user experience. 

2. File Size

Large files can adversely affect search engine rankings and user experience by drastically slowing down your website. Compress images, shortening CSS and JavaScript files, and leverage browser caching to reduce file sizes and enhance page loading speed. 

3. Browser Caching

Implement browser caching to store static files on a visitor’s device. This reduces load times for returning users, providing a smoother and faster browsing experience. 

4. Script Handling

Efficiently manage and optimize scripts to prevent them from causing delays in page loading. Consider asynchronous loading for non-essential scripts to enhance overall performance. 

5. Mobile Friendly

Google gives high preference to websites that are mobile-friendly due to the growing population of mobile users. Make sure your website is optimized for various screen sizes and is responsive.   

6. HTTPS

Security is a critical factor for both users and search engines. Switch to HTTPS to encrypt data transmitted between users and your website, positively influencing your search rankings. 

7. No Intrusive Interstitials

Avoid intrusive interstitials, such as pop-ups that obstruct the main content. Google penalizes sites with intrusive interstitials, impacting user experience and search rankings negatively. 

By focusing on these elements, you not only enhance your website’s user experience but also contribute to improved search rankings on Google. 

Optimize Your Pages:

Enhancing your website’s visibility begins with optimizing individual pages for Google’s algorithms. Integrate relevant keywords, keep titles concise, ensure uniqueness in titles and meta descriptions, use specific internal anchor text, and optimize for search intent. Let’s delve into key strategies to make your pages more search-engine-friendly. 

  • Tell Google What Your Pages Are About: Integrate relevant keywords naturally into your content, particularly in titles, headings, and throughout the body. This informs Google about the topic and purpose of your pages. 
  • Keep Your Titles Short: Craft titles that are both concise and compelling. Avoid excessively long titles, as they may get truncated in search results, impacting click-through rates. 
  • Uniqueness Matters: Each page should have a distinct title and meta description. Unique metadata not only aids in search engine understanding but also improves user engagement. 
  • Be Specific In Your Internal Anchor Text: When creating internal links, use anchor text that precisely describes the destination page. This helps both users and search engines understand the context and relevance of the linked content. 

By implementing these page-specific optimizations, you not only enhance your site’s visibility but also contribute to a more user-friendly and informative online experience. 

Optimize For Search Intent:

Understanding and aligning with user search intent is fundamental to success in Local SEO Services. Recognize different search intent types (informational, navigational, transactional), align content with search intent, optimize keywords, analyze SERP features, and regularly review and adjust content based on user feedback. Google’s algorithms have evolved to prioritize delivering results that best match the intent behind a user’s query. Here’s how you can optimize for search intent:

1. Recognize Different Search Intent Types

  • Informational Intent: Users seek information. Optimize content to answer common questions related to your industry or niche.
  • Navigational Intent: Users want to go to a specific website. Ensure your site is easily accessible and provides a smooth navigation experience.
  • Transactional Intent: People are browsing websites because they are prepared to buy something. Make sure that product pages are optimized, calls to action are obvious, and the checkout process is quick.

2. Align Content with Search Intent

  • Content Relevance: Check that the intent of the user is reflected in your content. Relevant, high-quality content has a better chance of ranking well.
  • Diversify Content Types: Use a mix of formats, including articles, videos, and infographics, to cater to various user preferences.

3. Keyword Optimization for Intent

  • Long-Tail Keywords: Incorporate long-tail keywords that align with specific search intent. These keywords often capture more targeted traffic.

4. Analyze SERP Features

  • Featured Snippets: Optimize content to appear in featured snippets, addressing user queries directly on the search results page.
  • Other SERP Features: Identify and understand other SERP features (e.g., knowledge graph, local pack) relevant to your industry.
  • Regular Review: Periodically assess your content’s performance and adapt to changes in user behavior and search engine algorithms.
  • User Feedback: Pay attention to user feedback and adjust your content based on user needs and preferences.

Optimizing for search intent ensures that your content not only attracts visitors but also engages them, leading to improved user satisfaction and, consequently, enhanced search rankings. 

Optimize Internal Links:

Establish a logical link structure, use descriptive anchor text, fix broken links and duplicates, implement 301 redirects, and reclaim unlinked brand mentions. The way your website is interconnected plays a vital role in how search engines understand and rank your content. Optimizing internal links can significantly impact your Google rankings. 

1. Link Architecture

  • Logical Hierarchy: Establish a logical and hierarchical link structure for your website. This helps both users and search engines navigate through your content seamlessly. 
  • Use Descriptive Anchor Text: Utilize descriptive anchor text that provides context about the linked page’s content. This helps search engines understand the relevance of the linked content.

2. Fix Broken Links & Duplicates

  • Crawl Error Prevention: Regularly audit your website for broken links and duplicates. These issues can negatively impact user experience and search engine crawlability. 
  • 301 Redirects: If you encounter broken links, implement 301 redirects to ensure a smooth user experience and to retain link equity.

3. Reclaim Your Site Mentions

  • Brand Mentions: Monitor online platforms for unlinked brand mentions. Reclaiming these mentions with proper links can contribute positively to your backlink profile. 
  • Linkless Mentions: Even without a link, brand mentions contribute to your online presence. Engage with the platforms mentioning your brand and seek opportunities for link inclusion. 

Optimizing internal links not only enhances the user experience but also provides a clear roadmap for search engines to crawl and index your content effectively.

Final thoughts

Improving and maintaining search rankings on Google requires a holistic approach that combines technical optimization, user-centric design, content relevance, and strategic link building. By adhering to these proven strategies, you can not only elevate your website’s visibility but also establish a solid foundation for long-term success. As you implement these tactics, please note that SEO marketing is an ongoing process, and staying updated about industry trends and algorithm changes is necessary to stay ahead within your competitive circles. If you’re having difficulty maintaining or enhancing your website’s search rankings, you can count on Savit Interactive’s Local SEO Services. Reach out to us today to start a consultation.

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