Google ranking can be a daunting task! Aside from the fact that it is time-consuming and requires much effort, it can be a bit challenging especially for newbie and those who have little or no knowledge of SEO. I could remember when I had my first site; I was basically writing content and hoping that someone would come across it on Google but unfortunately no one did.
Things became really hard because my content was nowhere near page 1. I continued posting and kept getting no result till I found some simple white hat SEO techniques that I have been implementing since.
Nowadays, I can somewhat rank my content on page 1 without much hassle and even sometimes even in the first position. And I’m willing to share those tactics with you right here.
1. Optimize Your Page Titles and Descriptions
One of the most searched on-page SEO factors on one’s website is the page Meta titles and Meta descriptions. These tags are one of the first things Google sees when checking out a website. It’s the perfect place to include keywords to the mix.
There should be a unique purpose for creating every page on your website. For example, a dentist home page should include a title coupled with the fact that it is a local business and what the business is all about.
You will be shocked at the number of businesses that do label their home page title as the default ‘Home’. This gives a little impression or zero confidence to search engines that this indeed is a site for a local dentist.
A better page title or description might be “Colorado Springs Best Dentist | Acme Dentist Services”. A much more descriptive title for your page can actually capitalize on search results for terms such as:
- Colorado Springs dentist
- Best dentist Colorado Springs
- Acme Dental Services (For those who search by brand)
- Colorado Springs Best Dentist
These are better terms than ‘Home’. A word not too approved by SEO!
A major tweak to this is to also include the listed modifiers below to your Meta title:
- Numerical digits e.g. 5 Items, 6 Tricks, 17 Ways
- The Year: 2018, 2019
- the words: Free, Guide, Simple, Step-by-Step
By adding this Meta title hacks, you will undoubtedly increase your CTR, which will be rewarded well by Google latest Rankbrain algorithm update.
Thus, this doesn’t matter as much as page titles when it comes to rankings; the concept of the Meta description is just for visitors to click on your listing over the other 9 results that pop up on the page. It is also known as click through rate, you surely do want your description (normally should be up to 320 characters) to generate as many clicks to the site as possible.
What differentiates you from your competition, and how do you stand out?
First, you really want to be as honest as possible about what your website entails. Don’t try to ever present your listing in a grey light. Doing this will lead to mistrust among users and they will have to go back to the search results causing them to bounce (Pogo sticking).
High bounce rates indicate to Google that your site doesn’t deserve the results and with the introduction of Rank brain, an AI search bot, Google will follow the leads and devalue your website as a result of that action.
Your site description should be a brief and well-structured summary of what your page is all about. The piece should be attention-catching and promotional i.e. should address what the person is looking for.
It is also a great place to add keywords that people do find you with. The searcher’s mind is made up already and he knows what he wants based on the keyword they input into Google. Your description should be in line with it.
How to get the inspiration for Meta titles and Meta descriptions
One of the best Places to find ideas for your Google Meta info is on the Ads displayed at the top of search results. These Ads have been proven beyond doubts for the best conversions; so, it’s okay to integrate some of these words into your Meta descriptions and titles.
2. Have Short URLs
Permalinks basically refer to how the URL reads for a post or page in the browser’s address bar.
This is the perfect place to add keywords into the mix and this is no doubt something Google’s web crawlers look at to aid your ranking.
Studies have shown that shorter URLs have a higher probability of ranking better than lengthy URLs.
Below are some of the items to remember when you are creating your webpage URL’s:
- Keep them clean and short
- Incorporate keywords
- Only use hyphens “-“ to separate words (even though it’s better not to separate words)
Examples of good URL structures:
You understand the idea!
The concept is to incorporate keyword rich “telling” terms of what the website encompasses and is about.
On the norms, about 3-4 words max should do the tweak which means (the URL of this page is /white-hat-seo-techniques)
In order to change your permalink on WordPress, go to Settings, and click on Permalinks.
3. Use HTML Headers Properly
Basically, the headers that I am making reference to are the html code; H1, H2 etc that often come first off paragraphs in content. Google values this a lot; so also you should.
H1’s rules are simple. These stress, just like the other headers, the main ‘point of the page’, and Google takes action appropriately.
You should only use one H1 tag per page as this is the major header. And because it may put search engine in confusion if more are used, this will devalue your rankings.
H2’s should be more like H1’s. It is a good place for keywords, but mainly a good practice to base this on sub-subjects for the page.
For example, if your page is all about a dentist, then the H2 tag can be about one of the services that a Dentist provides such as (Cavity cleaning) and followed by content in respect to the H2 tags.
Pro tip for the WordPress WYSIWYG editor: You can choose the words that you want to use an H2 tag on and then press ctrl+alt+2 to make them into H2.
This is more like H2’s but not as important. It should be used as headline inside H2 tags but are not always needed.
By putting these tags into your web pages, you are adding value to what your website is all about.
4. Speed up Your Website using a CDN
One of the major benefits of speeding up a website is not just about speeding up its ranking, but it will also improve your user experience (UX).
There are a lot of things you can do to help you improve your website speed. These include:
- Upgrading your hosting
- A need to compress your images so they can serve better.
- Minimize the number of images on a single page
- Make use of a CDN (content delivery network) to serve websites faster across the globe.
5. Connect To Other Articles (Internal Linking and External Linking)
By linking pages on a website with the use of keywords as the anchor text, you are potentially creating backlinks internally to your site pages. This will enable users and search engines same way by linking up the topics of your websites together.
During the process of using keywords to connect pages, you are telling Google what the link page is majorly about. This sends link juice to that page, thereby increasing the page authority. It is just like a page is recommending another page and making good reference of the content found there.
A few things to keep in mind! You really want to push these internal links to those pages you want to rank for. If you don’t want to rank your “Contact Us” page, then don’t force a load of internal links there. Instead, push links in those pages you want to rank for such as the home page or an important promotions page.
Outbound links should also be included to authoritative websites such as Wikipedia.
6. Optimize Your Images
Image optimization is a process that involves using images to achieve rankings.
Of course, there is even a different search engine that is majorly for images, but there are some items that we can address with images that will help with Google’s standard and that of other major search engines as well.
There exists a separate search engine that is strictly for images, however there are some items we can address with images that will help with Google’s standard and those of other search engines as well.
Once again, your image should be good and tailored in such a way that it will increase page speed, but more also, you should always name your image file making use of keywords for your site.
Don’t try naming your image as 268767sdfsd.jpg or image1.png.
This won’t notify Google about the image and will leave a zero impression. But instead, try coming up with a keyword rich caption or name. For example, if you have a Dentist’s website, then renaming it to an image file with the name Chicago-dentist.jpg will serve you better.
On top of this, it is always a nice idea to introduce keywords into the alt tag of an image.
The alt tag was basically designed to give those that are visually impaired or having vision challenges and idea of what pictures are all about. If Google is of the opinion that you are trying to make a page that is accessible for all, then there is every probability that they are going to rank up your website. Keywords are also important here.
7. Use Google Search Console (GSC)
I can take away your whole time talking about Google Search Console. This tool is powerful and comes with amazing features; it is a must for all website owners, most especially those that are flying up SEO white hat in their head.
This is where you can tell Google in exact terms how you want your search results to appear for your website; which version of the website to leverage, Google will even notify you of how people come across your website and the keywords they used and most importantly, if there is an issue that warrants urgent action or attention.
This is undoubtedly the only means you get to know if your website has been hacked or compromised. Google won’t send you any mail to notify you about it unless you go there.
Search console also enables you to submit sitemaps to let Google be aware of what and where your pages are located. If you understand anything that will make your site better, you have to do it because it will ultimately increase rankings. Below are other SEO resources you can use.
8. Submit a Sitemap to Google
Having earlier mentioned this above, let’s see why it is important.
A sitemap, forwarded to Google’s search is a powerful thing; it allows Google to index your site and give it leads about where the site is. It means you don’t have to wait until Google finds you (which sometimes may be months or never).
It also gives them access and roadmap to every page and the ability needed to improve or downgrade a page’s importance.
There is no disadvantage in having a sitemap and they are so important on sites that do create dynamic pages. If you use few external links pointing to your site, such as, a new site, you’ll have a huge site with multiple pages.
One of the quickest and easiest ways to submit a sitemap to Google is by installing the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin and following their XML sitemap instructions.
9. Create Long-Form Content
Google cherishes good quality content, so its users do. If you are hoping to rank number 1 on Google, then you should contemplate on creating blog posts that cover topics that are in-depth.
From what you can see below, word count does have an impact in the SERPS; boasting of about 1900 words will help you rank among the top results.
One of the best ways to engage a visitor on your site is spending quality time and reducing the bounce rate. It also includes various keyword variations, which naturally is by writing lengthy blog posts. All this strategies will contribute to a healthy white hat SEO profile.
Add LSI keywords
LSI keywords are majorly related to the keywords you are looking to rank for.
For example, when you are creating a post about ‘home improvements’ you can include words such as ‘Home DIY projects’ or ‘Fix your home’. These will also improve your ranking for long-tail keywords.
The above listed points are those 9 simple white hat SEO tips you can implement right away to help make your website ranking better in Google and other search engines.
White hat SEO is all about creating a big picture for search engines using these little steps.
What it means is that you are telling a complete story with every little effort you put forth.
First and foremost, either you are a beginner or an expert SEO, you need to realize that there is no tweak to getting to the top of SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Positions). But be rest assured that some useful SEO tips can help.