SEO Checklist: 7 Steps to Improve Google Ranking

Rank Me Up Session #1

So exactly how do we improve Google ranking? In this post, I will share with you the 7 Step Checklist that we go through with each of our client’s websites. Try some of these tactics on your own website and sit back, relax, and watch your rank go up.

Step 1) Remove “zombie pages”

Zombie pages are pages on your site that do not provide any value for the reader. This includes outdated pages with irrelevant information, or combining a set of pages together which have high relevancy. Removing these pages will prevent Google from penalizing your website’s quality score with irrelevant and outdated content. You should be going through your website and observing user behavior with tools like Google Analytics to see which of your pages that aren’t receiving any traffic.

Step 2) Clean up technical SEO issues

Cleaning up technical SEO issues is a common issue among most businesses who aren’t fluent in SEO. Some of the most common technical issues that we come across on our client’s websites are:
  • Duplicate or missing title tags
  • Duplicate Description tags
  • Broken links
  • Images with missing alt text
  • Pages blocked by robots.txt
  • 302 redirects that should be 301
Remember, fewer pages = fewer problems. More content is not always better. It is much better and effective if you have valuable, relevant content on your site that the readers can benefit from. Another common issue that we see a lot is duplicate tags. Having the same target keyword in all of your tags will actually hurt you more than do any good because Google will see this as keyword stuffing. Duplicate description tags and broken links are also a big problem. Make sure you aren’t linking any pages with 404 Page Not Found errors and make sure all of your links are working properly.

Step 3) Basic & Advanced Optimization

Include target keywords in the beginning of your website
Include LSI keywords (keywords related to your target keyword)
Including your target keywords in the beginning of your website as I have done in this blog helps your website get ranked for those specific keywords. Google puts an emphasis on the hierarchy of tags such as H1, H2, and H3 tags (in order of importance). It is important to produce content while utilizing these tools that Google has available for you. Including your LSI keywords in your H1 tags can be a good start for your business, and more often than not most websites will include their target keyword in their title and description tags as well.

Step 4) Boost Organic Click-Through-Rate 

Critical resource for improving ranking is optimizing for your CTR (click-through-rate). This may mean changing your image on your ad, or tweaking your ad text a bit to make it more captivating. Small tactics such as A/B testing and split testing different variations of ads can be another great way to maximize your budget and efforts while increasing your CTR.
Optimizing for CTR Tricks: Changing certain keywords in the title / description, changing ad text, changing image (color, shade, illustrations, etc.)

Step 5) Improve Dwell Time

The amount of time someone spends on your website. This is a pretty good measure on how well users are engaging on your site. Without a decent dwell time on your converting pages, you will rarely see sales on your site especially if you’re in e-commerce. One of the reasons some of the landing pages for some of these products offers are so long is to engage the user with the product’s value, benefit, or service.
The Golden Rule: Longer your dwell time -> higher your ranking
1) To improve dwell time, move your important content up. Catch the reader’s eye with the first impression they get when they land. A good homepage is key for improving your dwell time on your site.
2) Cut out unnecessary text and make content easier to digest.
3) Add images if your website is too text-based, it could become very boring for the reader. (Especially in 2018 during the age of social media where everything is fed to you in bits and pieces.)

Step 6) Improving Page Load Speed

Tools You Can Use:
Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool – Gives you a rundown on how fast your website loads along with potential issues and fixes.
GTMetrix – shows potential issues with your pages code and hosting/server issues.
Improving your page load speed can have a drastic effect not only in the user experience but on Google’s algorithms as well. Google will actually penalize sites which have large images that take long to load, or other content that isn’t compressed properly.  Take a look into caching software for your images and files to make sure your website is loading up as fast as possible.

Step 7) Publish Content using the SkyScraper technique

The SkyScraper technique is where we take the best content in your industry (by best we mean highest ranked on Google’s search engine) and create a better optimized version of that exact content. This term I believe was coined by SEO expert, Neil Patel who is probably the leading industry expert when it comes to getting your ranking up. Check out his website when you have time. There is some really awesome content on there. Anyways, the SkyScraper technique can really help new websites get noticed by Google’s search engines. As long as your following basic guidelines like having word counts of at least 1500, and making sure you’re using the right keywords, you should be fine. That’s it for today’s Rank Me Up session. See you guys next time.
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