- What is Google’s ranking system?
- How to get your blog to appear in the top ten results on Google
- On-page and technical SEO optimisation
- Benefits of using the AIDA model
Entering the top ten search results on Google is the pinnacle of success for online businesses, and with a bit of time and an effective strategy, this could become a reality for you.
Improving your position in SERPs could see your site receive thousands of organic visitors each day. However, to reach these numbers, you’re going to need to rank your blog in Google’s top ten search engine results pages (SERPs).
What is Google’s ranking system?
Google’s ranking system is designed to sort through the billions of web pages in its index and rank them in order of relevance to deliver and present the most valuable results based on a user’s search query.
The ranking system comprises a series of algorithms that take multiple factors into account, including location, the search query’s context, pages’ usability, and the freshness of content.
The fundamental goal for any online business should be to appear on the first page of SERPs, which according to Moz, captures a massive 71% of search traffic clicks, rising to as high as 92% in recent years.
Meanwhile, web pages listed on page two of Google capture just 6% of search traffic clicks, with the figure declining for each sequential page.
So, ranking in the top ten Google SERPs is essential where lead generation and conversion is concerned, as that’s where all the traffic is focused.
How to get your blog to rank in Google’s top 10
If you want to capture valuable traffic and point them in the direction of resources on your site, you’ll need to build a solid strategy and keep up with algorithm updates to update your plan accordingly.
Ranking in Google’s top ten is no easy feat as your competitors are also striving to achieve the same, but the reward for your efforts could help your website generate enough traffic to help you achieve your business goals.
If you want to rank well on Google, consistency is key, which means putting together a game plan and sticking to it to ensure you become a reliable source of value for web users.
Research and determine the keywords you want to rank for
The content you publish needs to be focused on your area of expertise and align with your audience interests if you want your site to be perceived as a credible, trustworthy source.
Too many companies are doomed to fail before they get off the ground as they fail to focus on relevant keywords and try to rank for broad or competitive keywords.
Gain a competitive edge by using tools such as Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest that specialise in generating keyword ideas and can help you understand the type of information your target audience is looking for.
For example, enter “corporate hospitality” in Ubersuggest. It will produce other keywords that people are searching for, such as “what is corporate hospitality”, “corporate hospitality events”, and “corporate hospitality Twickenham.”
Once you’ve conducted your research and created a list of relevant keywords, check out your competition by typing keywords into Google or the tools mentioned above to help you discover what has made them successful.
When assessing the competition, consider factors such as:
- The length of content they publish
- The types of topics they discuss
- The domain they use
- The marketing channels they use to promote their blogs
- Whether their site is optimised for mobile
Google’s search algorithm is a rigorous process that consists of both live testing and checks from trained Search Quality Raters, so looking at the aspects that make your competitors successful could help you identify growth opportunities for your blogs.
On-Page SEO optimisation
Now that you’ve done your keyword research and compared your content against competitors, it’s time to optimise your blog to boost its chances of ranking in Google’s top 10.
It’s just as important to convey your blogs’ value to Google as it is to the reader. However, as Google isn’t human, it doesn’t interpret content in the same way humans do, and so you’ll need to optimise your content to help crawl bots understand the information on your page.
Suppose you want to rank for a particular keyword in SERPs, then you’ve got to demonstrate to Google that the word is central to your content, which you can achieve by including it in the following:
- alt text
- body of text
- image titles
However, avoid getting too carried away with keywords as Google could interpret this as keyword stuffing, negatively affecting your rankings.
While on-page SEO is essential, you must also construct your content in a way that feels natural to readers. A significant part of on-page SEO optimisation includes creating a clean and fast user experience, so ensure you avoid:
- content without subheadings
- keyword stuffing
- thin content
- unoptimised images
On-page SEO helps search engines analyse your website and gauge whether your content is relevant to user’s seeking information about a particular topic.
Technical SEO optimisation
A good SEO strategy will also cover technical SEO elements to ensure that search engines crawl and index your website without issue.
Technical SEO optimisation can also help improve the user experience (UX) by identifying any common UX errors such as slow page loading times, poor mobile performance, 404 errors and broken links.
What are your pet peeves when it comes to engaging with content on websites?
Google won’t recommend websites that could annoy users, so it monitors a handful of metrics, including page load speed, to determine whether to ensure your blogs are performing for the readers.
There are several tools available to help you monitor the technical performance of your site, including:
- SEM Rush
- Google Search Console
- Google Lighthouse
- Screaming Frog
While these tools may seem intimidating, they will be beneficial once you familiarise yourself with the software.
Backlinks are important as they inform Google that another site finds the content on your website valuable enough to link to their own blogs.
Google analyses your link profile to determine whether it’s trustworthy, with links from authoritative sources informing search engines that the website contains content worthy of listing in the top SERPs.
Backlinks represent a vote of confidence from one site to another, and these recommendations hold a lot of weight with search engines. The more people you have backing your content and the more authoritative those other sites are, the more Google will trust the information on your site.
However, to ensure your backlink profile remains clean, keep abreast of your link building behaviour and remove any spam-like or bad backlinks to avoid being punished by Google’s algorithm.
If you’ve come across bad backlinks, you can use Google’s Disavow Tool to prevent link-based penalties. Read our easy guide on How to Use Google’s Disavow Tool if you need further guidance.
Publish informative, helpful content
It’s important to publish valuable content to generate interest in your business, generate leads and drive conversion.
Blogs offer value to the reader for different reasons by either addressing pain points, educating readers, persuading them to purchase a product or service, or entertaining or combining all four.
Producing valuable content means knowing and understanding your target audience – their wants, needs and desires. Great content will improve your engagement levels and your brand image by positively influencing potential customers’ perspectives of your business.
Google rewards high levels of engagement, hence the reason why it’s essential to produce lengthy pieces of content that solve your reader’s problems. So, if you’re going to go through the effort of creating content for your site and you want it to rank highly on Google, make sure you go the extra mile so that you can secure a spot in the top ten listings.
Here are some practices you should follow to create engaging content:
- Ensure your blogs are original and unique – don’t just rehash old ideas.
- Include powerful, eye-catching headlines that will attract readers.
- Ensure you offer readers actionable content.
- Provide solutions that answer search queries.
- Be accurate and use reputable sources when quoting information.
- Ensure your content is thought-provoking – does it challenge readers or encourage them to think?
- Incorporate images and video to make your content more appealing.
- Don’t waffle – you’ll bore or annoy your readers.
- Update your blogs regularly so that they stay up-to-date.
Create an editorial calendar to plan, manage and schedule content to help you remain consistent.
Use the AIDA Model
The AIDA model recognises the cognitive process individuals go through when purchasing a product or service and can help businesses nurture leads into sales.
AIDA, which stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action, is commonly used in digital marketing strategies and public relations (PR) campaigns and can be utilised to help structure your content.
The first step in marketing is to consider how you can attract an audience’s attention, which is the same for blog writing. How could you do this with content? By constructing powerful, grabbing headlines and including visual elements in the body of the text.
After you’ve grabbed your user’s attention, you must now work to increase their interest level. Ensure your early paragraphs are polished and concise to prevent low engagement levels.
Ok, so now your reader is interested, how do you cultivate that into desire?
To move their mindset from “I’m interested” to “I want it”, you need to talk about the benefits of your topic and how it can help answer their search query. For example, this article concerns itself with how to rank on the first page of Google and highlights the steps you can take to achieve that result.
The ultimate goal of AIDA is to initiate an action. Has your content made the readers explore other areas of the site or make a purchase?
Frequently Asked Questions: How to improve a blog’s rank on Google
Blogging is a great way to develop brand awareness, build traffic and acquire new customers, but unless your articles perform well in SERPs, you’ll make slow progress. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about improving blog performance in Google search results.
How do I optimise my blog?
Make sure you plan your content and perform thorough keyword research to help boost the quality of your blog. Although keyword research is not enough by itself anymore, it remains a vital element of SEO for blogs.
There are several free resources available to those who need to learn or refresh their SEO skills. However, if you’re entirely new to SEO and don’t have the time to learn, consider hiring a digital marketing agency that can take care of that element for you.
What’s the perfect length for a blog?
Blog posts should be at least 300 words; however, if you want to improve your chances of appearing in Google’s top ten search listings, you should aim for 2,000 – 2,500 words.
When is the best time to post blog articles?
According to recent research, the best time to post a blog is Sunday for less competition and early Monday morning for maximum traffic.