Looking for ways to up your Google rankings? Look no further! Behold, the cure for what ails you! This checklist will ensure your site ends up where it deserves to be; on the first page.
Google Search Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools
Google provides a free service called Google Search Tools which aids you in monitoring, maintaining, and troubleshooting your site’s presence in Google Search results. There’s no need to sign up for Search Console but it can aid you in understanding and improving the way in which Google perceives your site if you do so.
Why use Google Search Tools?
As an online marketer, Search Console will assist you in monitoring your website traffic, optimizing your ranking, and making educated decisions about the appearance of your site’s search results.
In conjunction with other Google tools such as Analytics, Google Trends, and Google Ads, you can use the information in Search Console to influence technical decisions for the website and conduct sophisticated marketing analysis.
Another great tool to get on the search result radar is Bing Webmaster Tools(Bing WMT) which is a free service offered by Microsoft which allows users to add their sites to the Bing crawler in order for them to show up in the search results.
It also aids in the monitoring and maintenance of a site’s presence.
Bing Webmaster Tools is for the Bing search engine’s equivalent of Google Search Console.
Why use Bing Webmaster Tools?
Bing Webmaster Tools helps you monitor the overall health of your website and view how it is perceived by your customers. With the help of tools and reports, you can identify the keywords traffic is driven by as well as the clicks and impressions associated with those terms, and identify websites that are linked to you. It also aids you in
- Keeping track of your site’s performance and the keywords for which it ranks.
- Viewing at how Bing crawls and indexes your website.
- Submitting your website or new pages for crawling.
- Removing any content that you do not want to be indexed.
- Disavowing links.
- Be the lookout for and resolve any potential malware or spam issues.
These vital tools enable you to view the search terms and keywords for which users are finding your site on the SERPs, submit sitemaps, identify crawl errors, and much more.
If you want to make the best decisions, you need the right data.
Get Google Analytics, an analytics tool offered by Google which helps you see and gain some insight on how many people visit your site, who they are, and how they interact with it. What’s more, is it’s free!
Why use Google Analytics?
Google Analytics insights are also extremely useful for informing your SEO strategy. The platform provides answers to a variety of questions about how users discover and interact with your website like
- How much search traffic is being received by your website?
- Which of your landing pages has the most visitors?
- What search terms are being used by visitors to find your website?
- What is the bounce rate of your site for visitors who’ve come from various sources?
In SEO, as in many other areas, knowledge is power. The more information you have on your site visitors and target audience, the better. Google Analytics is a data platform that provides a wealth of information. You can increase the ROI you see from your SEO efforts by accessing and analyzing the right reports
SEO plugins (If you use WordPress)
If you use WordPress as your CMS (Content Management System) which you should, given that it now powers 35% of the web, you should definitely install and configure an SEO plugin to provide the functionality and features you need to properly optimize your site.
Two main plugins to install among others Yoast SEO and Rank Math.
Please keep in mind that a plugin will not optimize your site for you; it will simply make it easier for you to do so and adhere to best practices.
To install a plugin on WordPress, log in to the admin panel and navigate to the Plugins > Add new page on the left-hand menu: Plugins > Add new.
Once you’re there, look for the plugin you want to install and click the ‘install now’ button.
If you are using a CMS other than WordPress, check if you need to install a dedicated SEO plugin or module or if the features you require are included out of the box by consulting your developer.
A Robots.txt File
Your site’s robots.txt file tells search engine crawlers which pages and files they can and cannot request from your site.
It is most commonly used to protect certain sections of your site from being crawled and is not intended to be used to de-index a webpage and prevent it from appearing on Google.
You can find your site’s robots.txt file at https://www.domain.com/robots.txt.
Check whether you already have one in place.
If you don’t, and you don’t think you need to at the moment, create one to prevent any web pages from being crawled.
Several WordPress SEO plugins aid users in creating and editing their robots.txt file, but if you are using a different CMS, you may just have to manually create the file using a text editor and upload it to the root of your domain.
Know Thy Enemy
Finding the terms that are working for your competitors is one of the quickest ways to get started with keyword research.
No time spent on studying competitors goes in vain.
Run your own domain (as well as the domains of your key competitors) through the Semrush Domain Overview tool to quickly identify those competitors who are competing in the same space as you and how your visibility compares.
Show Me The Money!
If you didn’t already know, your primary keywords are where the money’s at as they drive you leads, sales, and conversions.
These are also referred to as head terms and pillar page keywords. In general, these are the high volume, high competition keywords that best summarize what you have to offer, either at the topic or category level. Take, for example, the term “Denim Jeans” — FYI, that is considered a head term.
The Keyword Overview tool can be used to do some keyword research and identify your key terms for your products and services.
Orientate Content With Intent
You must ensure that the content of your page corresponds to the searcher’s intent.
This entails spending time analyzing the pages that rank for your target terms and ensuring that your content is consistent.
In the event that the SERPs return local results when you identify a high search volume and a reasonable keyword difficulty with the intention of targeting a term on a national scale, you won’t be able to rank prominently.
You won’t be able to ensure that your content aligns with Google’s if you don’t understand the intent of the content that Google is ranking.
Ascertain The Questions
Being aware of the questions your audience is asking can help you better answer them through the content on your website. Keep in mind that search engines are now referred to by many people as “answer engines.”
In the keyword overview tool, you will find a list of questions related to any entered keyword, as well as the monthly search volume for these.
This is a great place to start and can provide a lot of inspiration, especially if you start with more specific keywords.
To find additional ideas and questions to answer with your content, you could use a tool like AlsoAsked.com, which scrapes and returns ‘People Also Asked’ results.
It Doesn’t Come Easy
It’s going to take some time and effort for a brand new website to rank for competitive keywords. It has to build up authority first.
So, you need to understand how difficult it will be where you want, ranking for your target keywords.
Go to the keyword overview tool, enter your target keywords, and you’ll see the keyword difficulty; this is how difficult it will be for a new website to rank on the first page.
HTTPS has been a ranking factor since 2014. There is no excuse for not encrypting your website with HTTPS, and if you are still using HTTP, it is time to modernize and adapt!
By looking at your browser’s URL bar, you can quickly confirm whether or not your site is using HTTPS. You are using HTTPS if you see a padlock. You are not if you do not.
Secure Yourself From Imposters
It is critical that Google only indexes only one version of your site.
These are different versions of your website that should all point to the same one.
Whether you want to use a non-www or www version is up to you, but https://www.domain.com is the most common.
All other versions should 301 redirect to the primary one, which you can test by typing each variant into your browser’s address bar.
Implement redirects as soon as possible if you discover that you can access different versions, implement redirects as soon as possible otherwise there are no issues if you redirect.
So, good luck with your ascension to the front page!