So you might be asking the question: “How can I rank higher on Google?”
Today I’ll teach you an excellent method to help you rank higher on Google search results. This method involves a few steps to keep things simple and effective when writing your blogs, allowing crawlers to pick up better and more accurate information, increasing your Google ranking.
For years, I struggled to get my content to rank highly, but after a lot of training, trial and error and many challenging experiences, I’m ranking very well for everything I need to rank for.
The techniques I will cover here are pretty easy, and will help your blogs rank higher, and with more accuracy and effectiveness.
The key technique is to think about Google and other search engines not as search engines, but rather as children. Computer understanding and machine learning is getting close to the understanding and learning of a person, but it is not there yet. So we have to keep things simple so we can easily be understood when our websites are crawled. This all comes down to a thing called Natural Language Processing.
Natural Language Processing or NLP algorithms are not as effective as they will be one day because it is very complicated for a computer to understand human language.
Even the English language is a challenge for computers to completely understand, and though technology is advancing rapidly and moving forwards at an exceptional rate it can pay to simplify content in order for search engines to understand it.
One of the problems I have as a blogger is that I write very complicated things and like annoying words like incontrovertible, magnanimous and verisimilitude. I mess around a little, joke to keep people interested, and try to be human in my blogs, and this has a negative effect on their natural rank. The flowery and verbose language of most bloggers can actually have a crippling effect on your SEO. It can make an article more fun to read, and keep audiences hooked, but at the end of the day, if the article cannot be found and you’ve not got a strong social media presence… What’s the point of writing?
There is an old phrase that fits quite well: “Keep it simple, stupid.” or KISS which was used within the American Navy in 1960. The KISS principle states that the majority of systems function best if you keep them simple, rather than adding unnecessary complications. This principle applies well to SEO.
If you keep your writing simple, search engines will reward you for it.
So how do we write effectively to ensure we are picked up on search engines?
We keep our writing simple and easy to understand and we add a few other techniques.
Question – Response
Let’s look at what we were talking about earlier when I mentioned ranking on Google. This applies to multiple search engines, not just Google. Google is probably the most advanced search engine and therefore it’s NLP algorithms will be superior to others, so in all cases, this technique will help. Example:
“How Can I Increase My Search Engine Ranking?”
You might be thinking “What’s a good way to increase my search engine ranking?”
Your search engine ranking can be increased if you ask a question and then respond to it in your article. By doing this, you are asking the question for Google, as a person would, then you are giving a response to that question. A search engine will pick this information up and then it will be able to see that you are asking and answering the question for the topic it is covering. It will cross reference the information you have put with the information other people have covered the topic with and will reward you for giving a good answer.
When it comes to writing blogs, you should ask the question and answer it as simply as possible, without using complicated language. This will allow the engine to easily understand what you are saying, and ensure that you are giving the correct information based upon what else it’s ranking in this category.
“Can I Use Subsections to Increase My Search Engine Ranking?”
You can use subsections to increase your search engine ranking by answering a question relating to your subsection. When search engines rank your site, they are looking to answer questions, and by answering the questions to related topics within your articles, you are providing reliable and related information.
Keeping the questions and answers simple and efficient will ensure that the topic you are covering is read and understood easily by the search engines NLP algorithm.
“Will Using a Large Word Count Increase My Search Engine Ranking?”
Having a large word count will increase the chances that search engines will be able to pick your content up. This can be for several reasons.
- Having more words in your article will help spread out your keywords and make the article read as ‘less spammy’ You will notice that I talk a lot about “how to rank online” in this article and I name everyone’s favorite search engine a lot. If the keyword density of that particular word is too high compared to other words, the search engine will disregard the article as it is clearly just a keyword spam. By using more words in the article, you are reducing the over saturation of certain keywords.
- Search engines love in depth articles. A deep dive into any topic, like the dive we are doing here into trying to get our sites to rank higher will allow the search engine to know that this is a fleshed out article. Not just a hastily written and shoddy article that is not worth reading.
- A large word count can allow you to cover related topics in your blogs and articles such as I have been doing here. My previous topics are not just information, but they are examples of how to get your content to rank online. In “How can I increase my search engine ranking” (There’s that keyword again!) I also used the subsection on subsections being used to increase Google rankings, and here in this very bullet point, I am covering why I have done this, increasing my word count in a relevant topic.
There are a few other reasons to have a larger word count, but you can still rank with lower word counts if you keep your articles high quality, easy to understand, to fit in with the NLP algorithms and cover the topic well.
“Can Having a Higher Word Count Damage My Ability To Rank?”
Having a higher word count can damage your ability to rank on search engines for several reasons.
- You may be adding irrelevant information to your article. This reduces its ability to rank because there is less clarity on what your article is about.
- You may be making the article less easy to read. This will affect not only the search engine’s ability to crawl your site and understand the article, but also the people reading it. This will reduce the amount of time they spend on your article when you do get a reader.
- You may be adding too much padding. This can make articles feel slow, overextended and sluggish, which will lose people fast. This is not what your readers want. People like instant gratification, so you should be as direct as possible when writing your articles. I am keeping all my answers as direct as possible to ensure the article is fast, even though it’s massive.
“How Many Words Should I Write In My Blogs?”
I recommend writing content that is at least 1000 words. It is getting harder to rank these days, and having a solid word count can be effective – however it can depend on what your goal is:
- If you are a small business, competing locally against people who do not write articles and blogs, you can make do with around 500-700 words in articles if you wish to rank locally. These blogs should ideally contain your company name somewhere, information on goods and services you provide and information relevant to your website.
- If you are a small to medium sized business competing against other people who also blog. I recommend 1000-1250 words. Look at their blogs and see what they blog about, and provide better, higher quality blogs than they do on similar topics, covering the topics they cover as subsections as you can see me doing here.
- If you are a large business and you are working on a global scale, I’d recommend looking at Neil Patel’s blogs. He sometimes goes higher than 6,500 words in a blog. I have a little under half that in this article. Yes, I know, that’s a tenth of a novel. You can look through Neil’s blogs and see how he writes, and you will notice a lot of the techniques I am teaching you here are covered by him. I am much cheaper to hire though! (More on that later!)
There is a technique called microblogging that can help you if you are looking to use social media to get people onto your website, through social media advertising. This is not recommended for SEO purposes, but it can be helpful if you want to get a LOT of content out quickly and have something your business can always post.
“How Can I Get People To Look At My Blogs?”
To get people to look at your blogs, you need to think about how they appear on social media and in SERPS (search engine results pages). On social media, the first thing your reader will notice is the picture. It can be helpful to have a colourful picture if you want people to look at your blogs. A colourful picture will stand out online and the first bite is with the eye.
You can also get people to look at your blogs with an eye catching headline. For example. “How to rank higher in Google” is rather dull, so I jazzed it up a little as you can see, to make it a little more eye catching. “10 Guaranteed Ways To Write Killer Marketing Content” would be a great one if I’m going for social media. We have a list and people love lists – they’re guaranteed – which is a buzzword and KILLER makes it sound dangerous. It brings the reader in (I bet your eyes drifted back to killer didn’t they?) I don’t like this technique and refuse to use it unless my customers are using social media to promote. Clickbait titles will always work better. I hate it, but it’s true.
On search engines, an eye catching headline will work as well, however I prefer to be as direct and simple as possible in order to ensure that the search engine can understand my content. If the search engine cannot read my content or it’s jumbled, it is not going to rank me highly.
“Can I use Internal Anchor Text To Rank Better In Search Results?”
You can use internal anchor text to rank better in Google and on other search engines. Internal anchors help crawlers going through websites know what topics are pointing where. So for example, in the following anchor link examples, you will see links to internal anchors on Sect News. In order to understand how using these internal anchors works, we first have to understand the types of internal anchor links.
- Sect News is the website this article is going on. The link in this example is a Brand anchor. Brand anchors are a link where the website name “Sect News” in this case, is linked to internally. This helps to show that the article is about Sect News, and the link is referential within the topic.
- https://sect.news/blogging-in-the-bath/ Is a URL anchor. In this blog I talked about my technique of Blogging in the Bath which I use to write rough blogs before I tidy them up later. The URL anchor is similar to Brand anchor in functionality, because it’s referential, it’s just not as aesthetically pleasing.
- Target Anchors for the same article would look like this: Blogging in the Bath A little tidier and more trendy.
- Misc. Anchors which I used to use a lot and are now a lot less ineffective look like this: To see my CV: click here! These have an issue because they are a lot more directionless than if I was to use a target anchor to show you my CV. (That’s an external link and they can help increase your SEO too, just don’t use them too frequently as you want to keep people on your content!)
- Topical Anchors fit the category of several topics. So for the category this blog will be in we are looking for SEO or Marketing. On Sect News we have anchors leading to many of our categories in our menu.
“How Can I Use Anchor Links To Increase My SEO?”
Using anchor links to increase your SEO is pretty simple actually. Anchor links need to be relevant to the topic, in this case, I am a marketer teaching about SEO and demonstrating a series of techniques to show how you can increase your SEO, therefore my links going out are relevant to the topic I am discussing.
In my article: Microblogging – Can it still be useful? I talk about a form of blogging that is not really useful for SEO compared to the techniques within this article, however, the blog itself is relevant and useful information for businesses not using these techniques who want quick and easy content. The article is still useful for business owners and marketers alike as it allows them different options to get seen online.
In a previous blog, Learn SEO in a Few Hours, I taught people how to learn some of the basics to give them the edge over their competition when it comes to getting ranked on Google. This is an article designed to be shared on social media, more than to rank itself, but it is still valid and relevant content to the article.
Notice, I’m still keeping things simple, using subheadings with a question response theme and I occasionally throw a pretty picture in. Let’s talk about that!
“Can you rank Higher on Search Engines using Pictures?”
You can definitely use pictures to rank higher in SERPS! In fact some of your traffic may well come from images. I’ve been using several pictures throughout this article for this very reason! – Though I don’t like oversaturating content with images, they can still be useful in getting click throughs to your content where possible.
- Pictures should be original where possible. Try taking your own, or editing a picture that you have the rights to use for commercial use. There are lots of great images for free on Pexels. I should know, I make some of them! I have over 50 Million views on my images and my restaurant pictures have been used on over 400 websites. The images used in this blog have not been edited by me as it goes against my business policies to edit other people’s content.
- Pictures should be in a good format. PNG and JPG are two of the most common, with PNG being lossless and having a larger file size and JPG being smaller and loading quickly. There are newer formats such as WebP which can be better, however I generally use JPGs for their fast loading speed and low file size. For internet based content, they suffice.
- Make sure that your images have alt-text. This helps the visually impaired see what the images are about. It can be useful to add a keyword in the image alt-text and title where relevant.
- Image captions can be useful to add, because they help with the image’s SEO. By adding captions, you are adding more information on what the image is about, which helps the crawlers figure out what the image is.
- Keep images contextual. It’s pointless in having a picture of a cute cat in an SEO blog unless you’re talking about how cute cats can be used for SEO. These pictures do not belong in a blog unless they are relevant.
- Try to keep image file sizes small for fast loading. A page that loads fast is part of the ease-of-access that Google and several other search engines prefer.
Google has a whole guide dedicated to making sure you get the best out of your images. It’s worth reading as a nice trickle of my traffic comes in through images, and it can work for you as well! This information is better than anything I can tell you, and they keep it up to date regularly so anything I’ve missed or that changes, will always be here to help!
“Can I Link To My Articles in FAQ Schema?”
You can definitely link to your articles and your website in FAQ schema using a variety of easy techniques. I am going to give you a useful tool you can use to increase the power of your website and use Schema. First we need to understand what FAQ schema is all about.
Schema is basically microdata that tells search engines what a website is about, and about the content on specific websites. Schema is helpful in ensuring that you rank highly, and makes a huge difference as it allows search engine crawlers to understand information quickly and efficiently when going through your site.
FAQ Schema will allow your website to start showing in google results as answers to questions.
You can use Saijo George’s Schema Generator to create information that can be pasted into your post’s header. Once this information is added, you can then go to Google Search Console and request indexing of the page if you want to appear in results more quickly.
To avoid competing with other pages on your website, you should only use the FAQ schema on your most important pages. You should add the schema into a header based script. There are plugins for header and footer scripts available for wordpress.
“What Are The Advantages of Optimising My Site for Search Engines?”
The advantages of ensuring your site is properly SEO optimised are:
- Higher, more accurate traffic with a better level of quality. More people will see your content and you will be more trustworthy as you are recommended more highly by search engines.
- More sales from your goods and services. More advertising revenue and affiliate money if you’re a blogger like me.
- Improves brand awareness – great for large and small businesses. You want to overshadow your competition where possible too!
- Less time wasted making content no one can find.
If you follow all these steps, you will be on the way to being an SEO expert in no time. It’s a lot of information to take on board, but I hope that it helps you. Failing that, you can always hire me.