The Ultimate Google SEO Guide will help you with 11 steps to rank in Google’s search.
Google has invested billions of dollars to make sure that search results are relevant and high-quality. Google’s algorithm for Google SEO incorporates over 200 ranking factors, including backlinks, domain reputation, keywords used in the content, quality of links pointing to a page or site, etc.
Google does not disclose all the details about how it ranks pages on Google Search; however, there are many techniques you can use to optimize your website for Google SEO!
The Google SEO Guide will serve as an ultimate guide to help you with Google SEO – from understanding what it is and why it matters, all the way through 11 steps you can take today with our free checklist!
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization, or Google SEO, is the process of optimizing your website to rank better on Google for Google SEO.
Google has invested billions of dollars to ensure its results are relevant and high-quality.
Google’s algorithm incorporates over 200 ranking factors, including backlinks, domain reputation, use of keywords in content, and quality of links pointing to a page or site.
Google does not disclose all the details about how they rank pages on Google Search; however, there are many techniques you can use to optimize your website for Google SEO!
The Google SEO Guide to Keyword Research
First of all, Google does NOT decide on search engine rankings for Google SEO based on how many times you use a keyword in Google Search.
Google will know that you use Google keywords when there is a high frequency of searches for them, but they’re not going to rank your website higher just because you’re using the Google keyword 5 times in Google Search.
A Google keyword must be used in Google Search with great frequency and the most appropriate intent if it will significantly impact Google SEO. So, what’s “great frequency?”
That is a hard question, but most general estimates say around 50-60% of general population usage.
To do keyword research for Google SEO, start by looking at a few things: what are the top ranking websites in Google Search?
What type of language are they using? How can I create content that provides value but also includes my Google SEO Keywords?
If you have lots of time on your hands, there’s an awesome tool called Moz Open Site Explorer.
You just need to put in one URL from one website as a seed, and then it’ll give you information such as how many times those keywords were used per page and links pointing back to that site. Need help with your ranking? Check our proven SEO Services.
One of the Google SEO factors Google uses in their algorithm is how often your site appears on Google Search.
If people are constantly searching for a certain keyword and you show up as one of the top results, then Google knows that page has some relevance to those keywords and it will rank better because there’s more demand for those words.
That means if you optimize your website properly (link building, quality content), you can get into Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
To increase search engine rankings with Google SEO, start by using relevant keywords throughout your website.
Keyword stuffing doesn’t work; however, ensuring they’re used appropriately does! Don’t use irrelevant or Google SEO spam Google keywords. Google is smart enough to determine if you’re trying to game the system, and it will only hurt your Google rankings in the end!
Google SEO Guide to Quality Content
Many things can go into creating quality content for Google SERP, but here are some of our favorites:
- Keep your blog posts short & sweet – less than 500 words works best, so people don’t get bored quickly.
- Use lots of images or videos when appropriate because they attract attention on social media networks like Pinterest or Facebook, which helps drive more traffic through Google searches! Video can also help Google understand more about your content by using Google’s full-text API.
- Break up the text with many subheadings or bullet points for easier skimming/reading on Google Search! Google loves to rank websites that are easy on the eyes AND provide great value, so make it as easy as possible for them to see why you’re awesome.
Google SEO Guide to Link Building
One of the most important things when optimizing a website is link building. Google values links because they show proof that others think your site is relevant and high quality.
This means if someone else says something positive about your business, they’ll likely pass some authority onto you through their link! You can build backlinks in many ways, including Google SEO guest blogging and Google Authorship.
To get the best analytics from your website traffic, you have to set up Google Analytics.
Google puts a lot of weight into how many visitors go onto a page or bounce off quickly.
So users must find what they’re looking for on your site! If people are going deep into your website while spending lots of time there, then you’ve done something right regarding WordPress plugins.
It also shows Google that you have valuable content because if no one finds value in what you create/promote, why would anyone link back?
That is an easy way for Google Search to understand more about quality content – ranking websites higher.
Google SEO Guide to Google Authorship
Google Authorship is a way for Google Search users to find out who wrote the content they’re looking at.
This helps Google determine the trustworthiness and authority of authors, which you can set up very easily on your website! You simply link all your social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook) through WordPress plugins.
Once everything has been linked, Google will show an “Author” section under each blog post, letting readers know where the information came from.
Optimize Content for Google SEO
When Google crawls your site, Google might see much duplicate content. Google doesn’t favor pages that are duplicated. Google notifies Google Crawlers that the original content is preferred by alerting Google Crawlers that the page is “canonicalized”.
Therefore, it’s important to have a canonical version of your article to rank better on the Google search engine. It’s also important to include or splinter links in your articles, so Google knows where to find them in case they need to revisit them for indexing purposes.
Also, when writing new content for SEO purposes, you may want to consider including words in your headlines and tags so Google can find your content in their search engines. Write unique headlines and tags for Google SEO.
For example, you can submit a sitemap or by using Google Webmaster Tools, which gives Google access to your site’s data and lets them know when changes need to take effect for Google bots to find it again!
This helps with indexing content and updating website errors, so you don’t lose traffic from non-working links or other problems like 404 pages showing up instead of working webpages because they were moved or deleted.
You should also include keywords throughout blog posts so Google knows what words describe your topic best – but don’t do this much since over-optimization might hurt Google rankings, or Google might penalize you for it.
Google SEO Tools and Software
The Google indexing system comprises Google Crawlers, Google Bots, Google Bouncers, and Google Alerts.
Google Crawlers are the low-tech way of crawling the web to find pages, but they’re not efficient because it allows for duplicate content to be crawled.
Google Bots are Google’s low-tech crawlers that do the same job but are much more efficient at finding duplicate content or broken links.
Google Bouncers allow Google to blacklist dangerous websites like malware sites or phishing sites to ensure Google searchers don’t get caught there.
Google Alerts help you monitor your site’s performance on Google rankings in search engines by emailing you when certain keywords show up on Google or Google News.
Google SEO is important because it helps with your page rank, which impacts the amount of traffic you get on Google search engines like Google and Bing.
It also helps Google find your archived and new content more efficiently!
Optimize content for Google SEO to increase website rankings so visitors can easily find what they’re looking for when searching online.
11 steps of the Google SEO Guide
Step One: Google SEO Keyword Research
Who are your target customers? What words do they use to search for a product or service like yours? Google keyword research is the first step in Google SEO.
It will help you understand what keywords people may be interested in purchasing from you, searching on Google.
You can find out which of your keywords and phrases generate the highest Google search volume, and which Google AdWords or PPC ads show your key terms in bold text at the top of Google Search results. At WordStream, we have a free Google keyword research tool to help you get started!
Step Two: Content Optimization for Google SEO
Great content is what builds traffic to your website over time. However, having great content isn’t enough; it also needs optimization for Google SEO to succeed.
On average, web pages that rank on page one of Google is more than twice as large as those ranked on page two or higher (source). This means you need high-quality content optimized with your target keywords throughout if you want to be seen by searchers who are most likely to convert.
At Google, they want the best answers to a user’s search query as quickly as possible. Google has created a set of rules or guidelines for webmasters and content creators on how Google ranks pages – these are called Google SEO guidelines!
The primary goal is that every webpage should be accessible to all types of Google users (mobile phone vs. desktop), load fast, and provide high-quality information about your product/service.
Most importantly: do not mislead Google users by manipulating them into clicking on specific ads or landing pages! If you follow their Google SEO Guidelines, we guarantee there will be no problems indexing your site by Google Search.
Step Three: Site Structure & Internal Link Building
Once you have Google SEO content and a Google-friendly site structure, it’s time to build internal links. Google crawls your website for Google SEO data.
However, Google uses the number of quality backlinks as a strong indicator of how relevant or valuable other webmasters find your content (source). So make sure you create great Google-friendly content that is useful to visitors and link out from those pages!
We recommend using comprehensive anchor text distribution throughout all linking campaigns: no more than 30% percent should use branded terms (like “WordStream” in this post!), and 70% should use exact match keywords like “SEM & PPC.” Don’t forget about international audiences too.
Step Four: Google Analytics for Tracking & Optimizing Google Search Traffic
How do you measure the impact of Google SEO on Google search traffic? By using Google analytics.
When someone searches on Google, they are looking for a specific answer to their question or problem.
Suppose your website ranks above the fold (visible without scrolling down). In that case, there is more opportunity to convince that person to click through to one of your pages and convert by buying from you or signing up/subscribing to you! Use Google Analytics goals and events tracking features to see which pages receive high click-through rates.
These are often called “Google value propositions” because searchers find them valuable enough to visit your Google SEO-optimized page!
Step Five: Google Webmaster Tools for Google Search Console and Google Analytics Integration
Google webmaster tools are another great Google tool you can use to track the performance of your website in organic search.
Once you have created a free Google account, add all your websites or properties relevant to your business.
You will get an overview of all pages indexed by google (including how many times they were viewed!), individual keyword reports on their rankings and whether there are any problems indexing them such as crawl errors, duplicate content issues, etc.
This report also displays links back from other domains which link to yours – if this number is low it may be worth trying out some guest campaigns!
Step Six: Keyword Research & Analysis (understanding with the Google SEO Guide)
The more keywords your website ranks organically, the higher Google will rank it in their search results. But how do we know which keyword phrases our target audience uses when searching on Google?
How do we make sure we’re ranking highly for those valuable searches that drive maximum exposure and revenue? There is a little bit of detective work involved here with some very important steps if you want to build an effective strategy around optimizing your site content so it converts into clicks from Google SERPs. The first step is simple – just look at what people are already searching for on Google.
If you have a Google SEO blog, Google Analytics, and Google Webmaster tools set up already, your analytics will give you insights into this! Do you also want to think about what problems do people face in the niche which your website content can help with? What are their questions as they search on Google?
Step Seven: Competitor Research & Analysis (understanding Google)
Once we have an idea of who our target audience is and how they talk about themselves or describe their pains when searching for information online, it’s time to look at our competitor websites and see how well they rank against us.
First, be sure not to view rankings from paid ads only; check out organic ranking reports, as Google shows more of these for various reasons – some good, and some bad.
Google SEO is the best result on Google organic search results pages which means showing up above paid ads and other websites! You want to look at how many keywords your competitors rank for organically and what they rank for.
Step Eight: Create Content That Converts & Optimize it For Google Search Results
Once you have conducted keyword research and analyzed competitor content, its time to create new high-quality content that does two things:
Boosts traffic from Google search by targeting keywords with low competition/high-interest rates about your website’s topic or niche. Solves problems faced by users who naturally need to Google the information you are trying to provide
This is an important step that helps Google understand what your website content should rank for – Google loves websites that answer questions people search on.
If you want Google SEO success, make sure your website provides value through high-quality content and offers solutions to users’ problems via research or other means! It’s also worth mentioning that Google strongly focuses on social media signals regarding ranking results.
If this is relevant to your business, I will take advantage of Google posts and Pinterest Pins (although these two platforms only benefit big brands now).
Link building was Google SEO’s bread and butter back in the day.
But Google recently made a drastic change to how it ranks results on Google organic search – it’s now much more about content quality than quantity of links.
Google is emphasizing user experience, which means that having too many ads or low-quality imported web content can result in your site being penalized for ranking highly (or removed entirely if you’re unlucky).
The good news with Google changing things up is that you don’t need as many high-authority backlinks anymore; just make sure they are natural!
Step Ten: Optimize Your Website For Mobile & Get More Google Traffic From Smartphone Users (Google SEO Guide)
As mobile internet usage surpasses desktop use by increasing year after year, Google SEO is focusing more and more on mobile results.
Google has recently started using page speed as a ranking factor – which means you want to ensure your website loads quickly regardless of what device users are browsing from.
Google also uses desktop (and tablet) user location when returning local search results; this can be hugely beneficial if there’s an opportunity for customers in your area or country to find out about your brand online via Google!
Step Eleven: Optimize Your Website For Voice Search, Google Home & Amazon Alexa Devices
The last step in our ultimate guide to Google SEO will focus on the future of search engines – voice assistants such as Siri, Cortana, and even smart home devices like Google Home or Amazon Alexa can potentially change Google SEO forever shortly.
Google already looks at mobile-friendliness when ranking results. Still, it is expected that they will start using voice search friendliness as a major factor too – which means optimizing for keyword variations people speak into their devices (rather than type) could be the next big thing!
Conclusion on the Google SEO Guide
Google SEO Guide is packed to provide you with easy-to-implement tactics.
This Google SEO Guide will serve as an ultimate guide to help you with Google SEO – from understanding what it is and why it matters, all the way through 11 steps you can take today!
If the Google SEO Guide doesn’t go far enough or you need further assistance, please let us know at +1 303-351-1645.
General FAQs and Google SEO Guide
What Google SEO ranking factors are there?
Google SEO ranking factors come from a variety of sources. Google makes its updates to rank individual pages based on content quality, keywords’ relevance, and more using several Google ranking factors. How Google ranks pages is a mystery to most people. Luckily, there are a few Google ranking factors that you can monitor fairly easily for your page placements by getting the basics right.
How do you work with Google ads and Google maps?
The Google ads and maps interface is fairly straightforward, assuming you have a Google Chrome browser. To get started using Google ads and maps, open up the Google sidebar by clicking on the three horizontal lines at the top right corner of your screen.
What is Google’s search engine algorithm called?
Google’s search engine algorithm is called PageRank. Google’s more sophisticated parts of Google Search ranking are not disclosed. Still, Google’s 2004 paper that first laid out Google PageRank had three main points: (1) Pages that link to other pages rise in the rankings by each link they generate; (2) A page with lots of links to it probably so-called “important”; and (3) Page rank changes over time as Google continuously crawls and interprets more links.
How do you rank for local search?
There are many Google ranking factors. Local Google rank is one of the Google ranking factors with a lot of Google rankings. The first Google ranking on Google is Local Google Rankings. Google rankings first Google rank for local Google search on Google.