How to improve your website’s Google rankings

In our increasingly connected world, ranking highly on Google has never been more important for your business’ success. In this article, Marc Swann, search director at Glass Digital, shares his top tips for giving your website the boost it needs.

If you’re looking to ensure the continued success of your business’ products and services, there’s one thing that you need to do well: Google rankings.

Google rankings

To truly appreciate why this should be one of your priorities, you need to look at the numbers ⁠— 93% of all site traffic is driven by search engines (seotribunal) and Google has a 92% share of the global search market (statcounter). Put simply, if you want to thrive online, the front page of Google is where you need to be.

While it isn’t easy to achieve a top ten ranking on Google for those competitive searches, it’s not impossible. Follow my top tips below and you can give your website a much better chance at reaching that promised land.

Improve your onsite content

When it comes to Google rankings, content really is king. Search engines always look to find the web pages that will solve a user’s query in the quickest and best way possible. So, Google’s algorithms place real value in quality content that delivers exactly what the user wants. This means that your website’s content should be clear, up-to-date, and focused on providing what it promises.

There are a few things you can do to improve your onsite content straight away:

  • Start by reviewing your existing content to make sure it meets the quality standards required. Is it clearly and concisely written? Has it been updated recently? Does it provide the answer or result a searcher will be looking for?
  • Include the right keywords within your content — these are the words and phrases that users are searching for the most. If you’re not sure how to find the right ones for your site, Hubspot has a great beginner’s guide to keyword research you can follow.
  • Make sure your content includes internal links to relevant pages on your website. This is how Google gets an idea of how your site is structured and, along with the keywords you’ve used, works out what pages it should be displaying first for certain queries. Take a look at Yoast’s advice for an internal linking strategy to get started.

Build links to improve authority and traffic

We’ve already mentioned that you need to have plenty of internal links pointing to the right places on your own site, but it’s also important to build up some external links from other domains.

When assessing a page for quality, Google looks at both the quantity and quality of other domains that are linking to it to see how authoritative it is. Aim to build links from a healthy balance of well-respected websites, rather than trying to get as many as possible from anywhere — fewer links from quality sites is always superior to a huge volume from low-authority domains. You’ll also get an extra boost in traffic if you can build links on popular websites, as more people will click through to your page.

The best and most sustainable way to build links to your business’ site is to produce the relevant and high-quality content we mentioned previously to boost your Google rankings. In theory, if the content is good enough, people should discover it and link to it organically.

If you’ve got content you’re particularly proud of, you can also contact other sites to see if they’ll link to it — this is a process called link building, which websites have been using for decades. Moz has a link building guide that will give you a crash course if you want to give it a go for your own business.

Use Google’s local search rankings well

Though ranking highly on Google will aid e-commerce in your business, it can also help to promote your in-person conversions if you have physical locations: 76% of people who carry out a local search visit a related business on the same day, while 28% of these searches result in a purchase (Google).

To ensure that you don’t miss out on the opportunities of local search, you need to make sure that Google has as much up-to-date information about your locations. And, you can do this by ensuring your Google My Business listing is as informative and accurate as possible. The search engine finds it much easier to match companies who have complete details when someone is looking for results nearby, so you need to provide your address, phone number, and category at a minimum.

You should also make sure that you:

  • Verify your location for Google services.
  • Enter your business hours and keep them updated (including special opening hours).
  • Respond to any Google reviews of your business.
  • Add photos to your listings.

Google has guidelines on how to improve your local ranking that is well worth reading as a starting point for your business.

Stay up to date with Google’s guidelines

While you can start getting results straight away with some of the advice I’ve shared above, Google is always working on new ways to deliver the best results to users, and the search engine giant certainly isn’t afraid to change things or trial brand new features. So, it’s vital that you keep up with its guidelines to ensure your website continues to perform well in the long term.

Also, remember that Google isn’t always the most forthcoming with new guidance, and it’s not uncommon to find out about updates or algorithm changes through the SEO press before they’re announced officially, so it’s a good idea to regularly keep up to speed with the latest goings on. I recommend Moz’s blog for advice and insight and Search Engine Journal for industry news.

Follow my advice and you’ll be able to make a start on improving your business’ Google rankings right away. Be sure to keep what search engines and your customers want in mind when you’re improving your website and you won’t go far wrong.