How to Increase the Google Ranking of Your Blog Posts
It may not be the only objective, but there's no doubt that getting your blog posts to rank high on Google is a critical metric that your marketing team is chasing.
However, climbing the SEO ladder isn’t an overnight process – and this isn’t simply because Google imposes a “slow and steady wins the race” approach (apparently when the rest of the world was reading business books, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were reading Aesop’s Fables).
Your Competition Is Chasing Google Rankings As Well
Keep in mind that your competition is blogging as well. And while some of them are probably doing a lousy job, there’s bound to be at least a handful – if not more – that are making Google happy. And so you may have some catching up to do before SEO results (at least from a ranking perspective) start to show up.
But don’t let any of this curb your enthusiasm – or trigger your anxiety. It’s certainly possible, over time, to get your blog posts to rank higher on Google, and use this channel as a VERY cost effective way to generate traffic and leads.
Below, we highlight 3 things you should keep in mind -- and that we certainly do when managing our clients’ blogs.
3 Ways to Rank Higher on Google
1. Keyword Strategy & Placement are Big Factors
Long before any blog content is crafted, it’s vital to identify the right keywords – which could be specific words or phrases, or more along the lines of themes that relate to your marketplace, offerings, the problems you solve, the questions your target customers have, and so on.
These keywords need to be placed in certain areas of your blog posts – such as your title, and throughout the blog as appropriate. It’s extremely important to avoid “stuffing” a blog post with too many keywords, because that sets off some alarm bells at Google and can convince them that you aren’t writing meaningful, quality blog posts. Rather, you’re just trying to game their algorithm.
Unfortunately, businesses that get whacked by the Google stick for these kinds of “black hat SEO” infractions – even if they were unintentional – can spend years climbing out of the doghouse. In fact, some punished businesses give up SEO entirely, and focus their efforts on Pay-Per-Click ads.
2. Quality and Quantity Both Matter
Google’s fundamental reason for being (other than to take over the universe, of course), is a bit of a non-intuitive story that is hard to grasp but makes sense once you break it down.
It goes like this: Google rakes in nearly $40 billion dollars a year from businesses that advertise on its platform. And so based on this, you’d think that Google bends over backwards to make businesses -- i.e. the group that shells out that $40 billion a year -- happy, right? I mean, if someone was paying us $40 billion a year, we’d be naming our kids after them (although one can have only so many “Google Jr.s” in the family).
But Google doesn’t see things that way. Google’s focus is on web searchers, and that’s why the company is obsessive about providing search results that are RELEVANT. Why? Because if Google starts giving searchers useless or bad search results (read: crap), then eventually they’ll go to Bing or Yahoo! or some search engine that doesn’t even exist yet. Of course, this won’t happen overnight – but it’ll happen. History is full of monoliths that lost their edge and eventually tanked.
The point is that your blog content needs to meet Google’s criterion for relevance. That means each post has to meet length and quality conditions, and the overall publishing schedule has to be done with regular frequency.
Breaking Down Google's Criteria:
“High quality” means that it your blog posts have to be professionally written, informative, topical and NOT an advertisement. Basically, it has to be an article that lives on your blog.
“Long enough” means that your blog posts have to be at least 400 words long. Anything shorter than this is not going to capture Google’s attention, and it won’t register as good content. The era of “micro blogging” is over (basically, it was taken over by Twitter).
And “with regular frequency”, we mean blogging 5 times a week, though 3 times a week may be acceptable when working with smaller budgets.
And before leaving this aspect, strategically using internal links also sends signals to Google that a blog post is relevant. Why? Because internal links give readers (which as we noted, are the only people that Google cares about!) the option to click a link to learn more about a topic or subject or check out a reference, etc.
In other words, Google rewards blog posts -- and hence, the businesses that publish them -- when internal links are well chosen and thoughtfully implemented, because they are deemed to enhance the reader experience.
3. Get Social
Google gives a great deal of SEO weight to off-page factors, such as links from social media accounts and other websites that backlink to (sometimes called track back) to the original blog post.
Why is Google so gaga over off-page factors? Because Google wants to make it hard (though not impossible) for businesses to control their own SEO ranking. And so it looks to off-page elements – backlinks being chief among them – to see what the world thinks. Think of these backlinks like votes with a twist.
The twist part is that not all votes are created equal (so much for democracy!). Google looks to see where the votes are coming from, and assigns a weight based on credibility factors. Simply put: the more credible a vote (back link), the more it will boost SEO rankings.
The Bottom Line
To learn more about how to get your blog posts to rank higher on Google, contact the inbound marketing and SEO experts at Leap Clixx today. We’ll analyze your competitive position and create a content marketing strategy that turns your company blog into a powerful, profit-generating asset.