Updated: Aug 1, 2019
How to rank for keywords in Google? This is a very often searched phrase that needs to be addressed properly.
Creating quality content isnt a guarantee that you would rank high on google for your preferred keyword except you are Wikipedia or Forbes. But that still doesn't mean you can't rank high for keywords in Google.
Knowing the keywords that really works and drive results has been a core factor in SEO. So when creating that quality content of yours, it's important you have the right keywords in them that would eventually drive quality traffic to your content.
But how then can you know the right keywords and how to rank for those keywords in Google search?
Well, we would highlight ways for you to rank your keywords in Google.
10 Ways to Rank for Keywords in Google.
Step 1: Audit Your Website and Content
This is more of a preparation for the overall keywords ranking. Try to perform a little audit first on your website, this involves ensuring your website loads fast just like other websites that are already ranking for your targeted keyword.
Also ensure you have related blog post you can link to from your current content, i mean internal related blog post. And if you don't, it's fine with time you would have, you can also link externally.
Ensure your content is either solving a problem or adding value.
Step 2: Research Your Keyword
This is the first step to ranking for keywords in Google - Research Your Keywords!
You may think you know exactly what keyword you want to rank for.
Hey Slow down!
Before jumping into conclusion about the keyword you want to rank for, there are steps you need to take to ensure you choosing the right keywords. Here are some of the factors you need to put into consideration.
This is the amount of search volume (trafffic) a keywords brings monthly. When chossing your keyword you won't want to go for a relatively low search volume or a very high search volume and difficulty. Rather you would go for keywords that have medium search volume something not too low of a search volume and something not too high of a search volume and difficult to rank for because they are very competitive keywords.
So your keywords should have reasonable search volume let say from 1k - 10k search volume is a good way to start with. You can make use of Google Keyword Planner as your research tool.
You can use the tool Google Keyword Planner to perform your keyword research.
When researching keywords to rank for, its very important you go for long-tail keywords rather than short-tail keywords. Why so?
Because short-tail keywords are competitive keywords and are difficult to rank for especially if you are just starting out.
What then is a long-tail keyword? Long-tail keywords are keywords that contains more than 3 keywords e.g "How to register a passport easily" unlike a short-tail keyword which contains between 1 - 3 words e.g. "passport registration"
When you optimize your content for long tail keywords, you tend to rank easily than when you are targeting short-tail keyword. Although for some long-tail keywords, they are also competitive that's why the keyword volume research is very important to determine the long tail keywords that have moderate search volume.
The keywords you plan on ranking for should be one that is relevant to your content (blog post), product or service page. And why is this so?
Because, Google wants to serve the best content to its users, so its uses keyword intent as a factor in ranking content on its search engine. So it's important your keyword(s) is relevant to your site or business.
Step 3: Research Your Competitors
You have finally done your keyword research, now before you proceed to create your content, you need to research your competitors to understand how they use these keywords in their own content.
Some of the ways to research your competitors are:
Look at their URL
Are your competitors using the keywords in their URLs? If so, then you have to replicate that and if they don't have their keywords in their URL then you have to insert your keyword in your URL. It helps boost your keyword ranking in some ways, so let's say you want to rank for the keyword - 10 ways to host a party at the beach, your URL could be https://wwww.yourdomain.com/ways-to-host-party-at-the-beach
Look at their title
Did your competitors include their keywords in their title and titile tag? If so, replicate that but make your sure yours are more cachy to the eyes.
Are the sites ranking very authoritative
This involves the "Domain Authority (DA)" and "Page Authority (PA)" of the top 10 sites for the keyword(s) you plan on ranking. Are they all authoritative sites ranking for that particular keyword?
You can check this by using MOZ Chrome Extension. If majority of the sites have a DA of 50 above then there might be a little problem ranking for that keyword.
Keyword density involves the number of times a keyword is used. Research the top 10 sites to find out the density for that particular keyword you are trying to rank for. For example, you want to rank for the keyword "host a party at the beach" and after your research, you find out that the lowest amount of time the keyword was used was twice (2 times) and the highest (5 times).
If the highest number of times the keyword is used is 5 times then it's recommended that you go for either 4 - 6 times keyword placement in your content. Although, sometimes you can go a little over the highest number of keyword density especially if you are writing a longer form of content than your competitors.
Step 4: Determine the Content Volume
When trying to rank for keywords, it is very important to determine the content volume of the keyword's content you are trying to rank in google. How can you do that?
Make sure you are writing an engaging long form content. You can do so by researching your top 10 competitors who are already ranking for that keyword, determine their content volume i.e. number of words their cotent contains. So let's say the highest word a competitor wrote is 1300 content word, then you should be writing between 2000 words and above.
You can determine the number of words (content) of your competitors easily using this tool. Just insert their URL and you would get their content volume.
Note, Google uses content volume also as a ranking factor but that does not guarantee your rankings above your competitors as there are other factors that comes into place such as your competitor’s domain authority. However, there is a high chance for you to rank on the first page if your content volume is high and most importantly don’t just increase your content volume, make sure it adds value.
Step 5: Create Content Around That Keyword
You must have done your keyword research and you have also determined the content volume. Now, the next step is to create content around that keyword.
Just as we have discussed in Step 3 and 4 be sure that when you create this page that you use the keyword in the URL and Title so that Google search engine can read your title tag and URL tag and pull the page for the results. And be sure that you include keyword in the most important places not only in the title tags and URL, but also in your H1 tag and H2 tag.
Remember to create long form content, 1000 content words above and sprinkle your keywords around your content not also forgetting the keyword density as discussed in Step 3 meaning do not do keyword stuffing.
Step 6: Internal Linking
You have concluded your research and have written your content. The next step is to perform internal linking, internal linking is a way of linking to another webpage on your own website. So, within your previous content link to your current content provided it’s a relevant link and its going to be helpful to your reader.
For example, you have written a blog post before on “Types of food to take along to the beach” within that content you can link to your current content you are trying to rank for, that talks about “How to host a party at the beach”.
Also try to make sure the word you are using to link to your current content or vice versa has the keyword in it. A real example is this, am going to link to my previous blog post “benefits of local SEO”.
You notice how I link to my previous blog in this my current blog that I am trying to rank for. I would also do same by linking this blog post from other related previous blog post of ours. It helps google search engine to navigate and understand your page more based on structure and relevance which results in a boost in your rankings.
Also note how I use the phrase that I want to rank for in my previous blog as the keyword – “benefits of local SEO”
Step 7: Create Awareness
Your content is almost done. The next step is to create awareness about your content. If your content is a blog post, create awareness with your audience about your upcoming blog post, this would help in marketing your blog content. You can also apply it to your product/service page but it works best with blog posts.
Step 8: Build Powerful Links
You have finally created your content and possibly created an awareness for your content. Just after you have published your content the next step is to build quality powerful links to your content. This acts as a keyword ranking factor for ranking your website/webpage high on Google.
Links tell Google that other websites are talking about your blog post or product/service page, which then automatically makes google to rank your content high on the search results page.
But what are the kind of powerful links you should be building?
These are links from Web2.0s links (WordPress blog, Blogger, Tumblr etc.) and also Websites link related to your niche i.e. related to your blog post or product/service page.
Once you try this, you would begin to see an increase in your keyword rankings.
Step 9: Promote Content
This is yet another step after publishing your content and building links to your content. Promote your content! Some of the ways you can do that is
Sharing your content through your business social accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn. Ask friends to share them and if possible, share them on your personal account.
Allow for sharing widgets. These are buttons on your sites that allows for sharing your content. So, make it easy for your viewers to be able to share your content easily.
Run Ads. Another way, although it isn’t compulsory but if you have a very little fraction of budget to spare, use it to run ads on Facebook & LinkedIn for your content which gives more reach and awareness to your content and it signals to google that people visits this content.
Step 10: Keep on Promoting
After you have done the 9 steps, the final step is to keep on promoting and build links to your content till you achieve your keyword rankings.
Why do we say so?
This is because just as you are promoting and building links, so is someone who wants to rank for that particular keyword is doing same or your competitors who are in the top 10 for your target keyword are also promoting their content.
So make a goal on how you would promote your content for the next 3 months or more as highlighted above as this would help you attain your keyword rankings on google.
If you need us to improve your website rankings, kindly contact us today to see how we can achieve your digital marketing services.