8 Steps to Getting Your Blog Ranked

Top rankings can determine the success of a business.

Infront Webworks states that the first page of Google receives 95% of web traffic, with subsequent pages receiving 5% or less of total traffic. Business owners spend countless hours trying to unlock the secrets of how to improve Google ranking and performance without incurring penalties. The truth is, there’s no magic button to press that ranks your site in the #1 spot.

Creating a successful blog takes resourcefulness (starting by reading up on the steps to starting a WordPress blog from scratch), dedication, persistence, and creativity. While there’s no magic involved, there are steps you can take to soar to the top of a search engine’s results page.

Step #1: Get to Know the Google Ranking Algorithm

Google executives like Gary Illyes and John Mueller confirm that Google is constantly changing their algorithm, even though most of these changes aren’t publicly announced or described. Knowing the algorithm is important and keeping up on it is just as important.

Step #2: Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly

I am sure you have heard this before, but it is so important that it needs to be said again. It’s estimated that up to 60% of searches take place on a mobile device, and this number continues to grow each year. This makes it extremely important that you incorporate mobile-specific popups into your site to increase mobile conversions and a great mobile-add I found will help is on Optinmonster. With their technology, they allow you to create targeted popups purely directed to your mobile audience.

It is also recommended that your Google My Business profile is up-to-date and as comprehensive as possible. These profiles can be a make-or-break for someone who’s searching in your area, so claim and update your business listing as soon as possible if you haven’t already. This also goes for other local listing sites, like Yelp, Facebook, Better Business Bureau, and more. See HubSpot’s local business listings and directories list for a comprehensive look.

Step #3: Assess Your Current Search Ranking

In order to improve your ranking, you’ll need to know where you stand now. This is true even for new sites. Thankfully, there are several tools and resources that can help you. Use SERPs.com to check your site’s keyword rank. If you’ve been targeting specific keywords in your page content, use SERPs.com to assess the ranking of them. Type in your keyword and your site URL. You also have other options like looking at Yahoo results, choosing between desktop or mobile, and drilling down on local rankings by city or zip code.

Step #4: Track and Measure the Right Metrics

Here are the most important metrics to assess.

Organic Traffic

It’s important to know how many visitors find your site via Google. A study from BrightEdge showed that organic search drove 51% of B2B and B2C website visitors, crushing non-organic channels like paid search and social media, which drove 10% and 5%. The study also showed that organic search was the highest source of revenue for every industry except media and entertainment, where email, display, and referrals led by a small margin. To find out how many visitors reach your site, log in to your Google Analytics account and check out the acquisition channels report. This helpful Google Analytics video tutorial will guide you.

Organic Traffic Conversions

As well as analyzing your search traffic, it’s worth paying attention to the keywords that generate traffic for your site. One way to find out these keywords is to use a simple tool called SERP Scan. Many bloggers and business owners have been using it to identify the keywords that convert organically for their websites for a long time.

SERP Scan will show you the keywords that have sent organic traffic to your site within the last 12 months. It includes an on-page search engine optimization (SEO) keyword performance chart. This tool makes it easy to get the data that you need from Google Analytics and to understand the broad picture relating to keywords on your site.

Step #5: Diagnose and Fix Your Current Penalties

Now that you understand your search ranking and have set up tracking for the most important metrics, it’s time to examine your site in detail to see if there are any penalties in effect. Recent Google updates have changed the search algorithm patterns to make sure that the link schemes don’t work anymore.

Regardless of on-page SEO, bad links do hurt you. Use them and you’ll incur a penalty rather than your intended goal of working to improve Google rankings. That’s exactly why it’s essential to think about how you generate links to your site. It’s also important to know which links are harmful to your site so that you can remove them. Google Penguin 2.0 made it much easier to identify low-quality links. Those are links that:

  • Come from PR-n/a or PR0 websites
  • Are mostly sitewide links
  • Are from referring domain names with little traffic
  • Come from sites on the same IP class address
  • Come from web pages with a lot of external links

Step #6: Improving SEO With Keyword Research

When you have gotten rid of unnatural links, it’s time to improve on-page SEO the right way. One essential element of an effective inbound marketing strategy is keyword research. You won’t get far in your online business without understanding how it works.

Step #7: On-Page SEO

Now that you know which keywords you want to target, or at least the ones you should be targeting, to maximize your performance, you’re equipped to make meaningful on-page SEO changes. Backlinko has an excellent infographic that breaks down 16 on-page SEO factors that will earn you big points with Google and your visitors.

Step #8: Use Your Keywords to Create Great Content

Although I’ve touched a bit on keyword placement, in this section, we’ll look more at going after the keywords that you’ve researched. Even before Google rolled out their first Google Panda update in February 2011, the best search marketers knew that quality, valuable, and useful content should target a particular group of people.

Optimize for informational keywords and improve your search ranking by writing resourceful and detailed content while supplementing it with descriptive meta description and title tags. This process attracts raving fans, gets your content shared on social media platforms, and garners relevant and high-authority links naturally.

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