Wednesday, 9 December 2015

How to Rank Higher in Search Engine Results


As a blogger, we all want to see our posts rank higher in the Google search results. However, only a few bloggers manage to optimize their blog posts for search engines. If you are also finding it difficult to improve search engine ranking of your blog post, you must read this article. I am sure this article will help you to optimize your blog pages to rank higher in the search results.

There are several factors that influence the ranking of your blog post in the research results.  To show up higher in the search engines results it is important that you must take into consideration the following factors.


optimize blog content
How my blog posts rank higher in Google search results


Tips for ranking higher in search engine results


1.      Content


 You would have read the term ‘content is king’ several times over the internet. There is no doubt in the business of blogging content is the real king.  Quality content not only helps you engage your audience but also helps you gain better page ranking in the search results.

However, your content must be unique and useful to achieve high page ranking. To know how to create unique and useful content you can read my article how to create unique and useful blog content.

Search engines index content on the basis of the search terms that the users want to find on the web. The Keywords, Meta tags, and Meta descriptions all play an important role in increasing ranking of your post in the  search results. However, search engines prefer unique content over the other things because they keep on looking for the most relevant information. And, if the information is already available on other websites or blogs the search engines will keep older posts higher in the ranking.

By creating unique content, you can increase chances of getting a higher position in the search results. If you want to optimize your content for the search engines, you should also take into consideration several other factors related to content optimization. 
blog content optimization


1.1   Age of blog content: Content is like wine it gets better with age. The older is your post, the higher it will show up in the search results. Why? Older post rank higher in the research results because over the course of time the pageviews of your post increases. Moreover, it gets reshared on social media sites resulting in more page views and likes by the readers. Such activities help search engines determine the quality of your blog content.

However, more likes may not directly result in higher page ranking but it definitely influences the ranking of your post indirectly. How? The number of likes shows that people are spending more time on your post which in turn increases the average time your audience spends on your blog. Since the amount of time, your audience spends in reading your blog positively influence your blog ranking. Hence, the page ranking improves with time.

So the age of your post is one of the most critical factors in improving the ranking of your post in the search results. However, it is also important that you should update your old blog content from time to time for better search engine ranking.

1.2   Updated content: Older post alone would not help you much to rank higher in the research results. At the same time, it is important that you should also update your content on regular basis. Like human beings search engines love updated contents.

Therefore, always make sure to update your content from time to time. It will help you in two ways. First, your readers will not have to search for additional information in other places resulting in an increase in average amount of time your audience spends on your blog. Second, search engines will always keep your content higher in the search results.

1.3   Unique headlines will help you distinguish your post from already available headlines on a given topic. For example, when you search something on the web, you will get several results with the same title. However, if your title is unique your chances of showing up higher in the search results increases many folds.

If your title is not unique you can still make it unique by adding adjective with it. An adjective can do wonder to make your blog post unique. For example, if you want to write an article about blog content you can add adjective with it such as unique, useful, amazing or user-friendly.

A unique title could be something like this: How to create blog content people actually read. Furthermore, you can optimize this headline for keywords that you want to add to your article. Such tips and tricks will make your post title attractive and users are most likely to click them to read the content.

1.4   Readability: ease of reading an article not only helps readers understand your blog content easily but also helps in improving the ranking of your post. The SEO tools like Yoast also considers readability one of the factors for better page ranking in Google search results. There are several factors that influence the readability of your content such as short sentences, easy words, white spaces, structure etc.

If you want to improve the readability of your article you can check out my article 3 ingredients of an article that audience loves. Moreover, apps like Hummingbird can help you measure the readability of your blog content. You can rewrite your sentences to make them reader-friendly.

1.5   Post length is another critical factor in ranking a post higher in the search results. A couple of years ago this was not one of the criteria for the ranking. However, the recent research studies show the science behind the relationship between long post and page ranking.

One of the most important factors that help a post rank higher in the search results is the keywords that come with it. Longer a blog post, higher will be its chances of ranking high in the search results. Furthermore, comments increase the content of the blog which in turn helps search engines index your post for long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are the words that help search engines to index a wide variety of keywords that the users use to search on the web.

Long posts can help you land on the first page of the organic search engine results. You stand a better chance of getting more organic traffic if you can rank your post among the top three organic search results. According to Hubspot (Search Engine Optimization Stats), the Business2Community trends show that 60% of the people click on the first three organic search results.

2.      Search engine optimization (SEO) 

      How to optimize a blog post for the search engines is a question that haunts us all as a blogger. Optimization of a blog post is critical for ranking a post higher in the search results. The term SEO is very vast in its meaning and includes a large number of activities such as on-page optimization and off-page optimization
    
    The first step that you need to do to optimize your post is to add relevant keywords. It is also important that you should be familiar with different types of keywords. I am sure most of you would be familiar with the term keyword. Keywords are of three types short tail, medium tail and long tail, for example:

                           I.          Keyword (short tail): search engine
                         II.          Keywords (medium tail): search engine ranking
                        III.          Keyword phrases (Longtail): higher search engine ranking optimization

Normally keywords consist of 3 to 5 words. However, long tail keywords are increasingly gaining popularity and a large number of long tail keywords significantly improve your chances of appearing higher in the search results.

There are several online tools that you can use to identify the keywords people use to search things on the web. Some of the best free tools that you can use to identify relevant keywords are Google Adword Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Keywordspy.

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While searching for relevant keywords, it is important that you should know what your targeted audience is looking for and what keywords they are likely to use to search information on the internet. 

For example, if a person is looking for how to improve the ranking of a post in the search results, he or she is most likely to type “how to improve search engine ranking” or “how to get higher search engine ranking” or “how to appear higher in Google search engine ranking.”

Other may use different keywords to search the same information. For example, search engine ranking optimization or better search engine ranking. So users use different keywords to search same information over the internet.  A slight variation in the wording of the search phrases can significantly change the search results.The keywords analysis tools help you identify the most relevant keywords or keyword phrases people use to search information on the search engines.

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 However, you must keep in mind that the keyword, keywords or keyword phrases must come naturally in your article rather than artificially stuffing your article with a large number of keywords. When keywords come naturally in an article it shows that your article is related to the keyword that you have used to optimized your post.

On the other hand, when you use keywords in the article intentionally or irrationally sooner or later search engines identify that the keywords have been used intentionally in the post. Consequently, your post does not rank higher in the search results.

How search engines do it is still a mystery. However, logic says that when your keywords do not match with your content users are most likely to stop clicking on your post or they will not spend more time reading your post. Consequently, it will impact social sharing; social media likes and page views which in turn impact the ranking of your post in the research results.

Apart from adding relevant keywords, you need to optimize the images as well in you post to gain higher ranking in the search engine results. You must name your image appropriately and use alt keys to make your images, graphs and charts search engine friendly.

Meta description that you write for your post must be unique. You must never make the mistake of using content from your post for Meta description. Meta description must be a short summary of your post so that search engines can rank your post in line with the information it contains. Meta descriptions help search engines to understand the content of the post.

Meta tags, permalinks, search descriptions, robots txt, and robot tags are other important components that make your post search engine friendly. Moreover, your blog templates and layout must be user-friendly and easy to load so that user can navigate your site easily.

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3.      Building backlinks 

     It is one of the most difficult parts of search engine optimization. Search engines rank post higher in the research results if your post has several quality backlinks. Search engines use backlinks to determine the quality of your post which in turn improves search engine ranking.

 Therefore, it is extremely important that you should create a large number of backlinks. Now you might ask how to create quality backlinks. One of the most effective methods of creating quality back links is guest posting. If you can post your article on high ranking blogs or website it will help you get some quality links to your blog. However, it is not that simple. It will require you to create several quality posts so that websites, where you intend to post your articles, can accept your post.

 As a beginner blogger, it might not be possible for you to get your posts accepted by the leading bloggers. Most of the times better connection and ability to write unique and useful post significantly help in getting success in guest posting. 

However, as a beginner blogger, if you are increasingly finding it difficult to get your post being accepted by leading website, you can make use of several other ways to build backlinks.

Social media sites are the best places to get backlinks for your blog. You can create your profile on these sites and link back to your blog. Moreover, you can create a page, communities or group on these sites to get more back links.  Some of the best sites that you can use to get quality back links for your blog include Google, LinkedIn, Reddit, Stumbleupon, Youtube. All of these sites provide you do follow links that you can link back to your blog.

In fact, all the social media sites help you directly or indirectly rank higher in the search results. Therefore, rather than identifying do follow or no follow social media sites you should better focus on increasing your presence across the web. Moreover, if you work as a freelancer in any of the leading freelance websites, do not forget to add you blog address in your profile. It will not only enhance the value of your portfolio but also help in getting more traffic.

There are several other websites and discussion boards where you can get backlinks but always ensure how effective it would be for you. Moreover, there are several other methods to create quality back links, important among them include: commenting on do follow blogs, starting threads on leading forums and linking back to your posts, participating in leading discussion boards and linking back to your blog post.

Posting your link in directories is no longer as effective as used to be a couple of years ago. However, after the Google Penguin update in 2012, only links in the reputed directories can help you achieve higher rank in search results. 

Similarly, internal links also play an important role in ranking a post high in the search results. When you interlink your posts within your blog, it helps search engine to identify the content of your blog. Internal linking is a search engine friendly practice which in turn improves the ranking of your blog post in search results.


Conclusion

As we all know that people use various types of search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing to search thing on the web. The search engines show almost same results with a slight variation. The difference will be mostly in terms of ranking of the sites rather than the results itself. Search engines rank some sites higher than the others.

Why does a post rank higher for certain keyword searches whereas it does not rank higher for others might be a mystery to most of us? However, it is true that as your post gets older it shows up higher in different types of search results resulting in more generic traffic.

Google provides all the posts equal opportunity to show up higher in the search results depending on how they perform on other social media platforms. However, even if your post is extremely good it may still fail to show up high in all the research results. It would be unrealistic on your part to expect such a thing. The ranking of your blog post changes over the course of time. If you find that your post is ranking lower over the course of time, it means you need to update your post for better search engine ranking.


You cannot expect to show up high in the research results for each and every search terms or keywords. However, you can significantly improve the chances of showing up high in the research results by incorporating the above guidelines in your SEO strategy. It is easier to rank higher in the search keywords where competition in low while it is extremely difficult to do so in highly competitive keywords searches. 

what other SEO practices do you follow for better search engine optimization, please feel free to share your experience with us. If you liked this article, please share it with others. Look forwarding to hearing from you. Keep reading, keep sharing!

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