As someone new to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) it can be hard to get your head around it so I wanted to put together a super simple quick fire guide to ranking on Google.

super-simple-seo-ranking-guide

Backlinks Matter

Getting backlinks to your site matters. This is not an easy thing to do however and not all backlinks are equal. Some backlinks even contain a rel=”nofollow” tag which means they don’t pass over any Google Juice (as it was once called by a former boss).

Best Practice: I would say that one of the best starting points is to be active in your blogging niche. Actively engage with readers and other bloggers, this is the best route to building relationships. From here, and with good high quality content, you will start attracting links to your website. It is a long term plan, as there are no easy wins with backlink building. Sorry!

Backlink Diversity

A site that have more diverse ranges of backlinks will rank better. So, when you are starting on the process of building backlinks then it is worth considering all relevant sites that could link to you, not just sites from the niche you are in. It could be news sites, other blogs, etc.

Best Practice: Backlink building is tricky, to be fair, let alone building a diverse range of backlinks that’s why it’s so important that you do it. I would suggest that you look beyond your niche to find any sites or blogs that are contextually relevant to your site. It’s not a case of any site will do, but finding sites where there is potential for an organic backlink to your site.

That Pesky Anchor Text

Anchor text are the words within a hyperlink so the phrase Pecking Order’s money making blog is the anchor text for this link Pecking Order’s money making blog. The keyword phrase in an anchor text matters when you get a backlink to your site. In my example above, the keyword phrase money making blog is useful for my site.

Best Practice: When you get backlinks, you can contact the website creator to see if they will edit the anchor text to be more suitable for your website. Alternatively, when you are striking up a conversation about backlinking then you can suggest an anchor text.

Get Your Site Secured

A site using HTTPS with a SSL Certificate installed is more likely that not to rank better than an identical site using only HTTP with no SSL Certificate. Having a secure, safe and encrypted sites is a priority for Google – as they only want the most relevant, trusted and safe sites for their searchers.

Best Starting Point: Depending on your blog setup, there are a variety of ways you can get an SSL Certificate installed. Prices range from £0 to £1000+. A free SSL certificate from a trusted source is all a basic blog will need.

Keep Page Titles Short

A shorter page title is more likely to rank well so make sure you don’t over do it. If all else fails, KISS – keep it simple stupid!

Best Practice: Keep those page titles short. The sweet spot is around 8 words in length.

Keyword in the Page Title

If you are targeting a keyword, make sure it is in your page title. There is a correlation between page titles that contain a keyword, and ranking on Google.

Best Practice: Include your target keyword in your page title.

Keep Page URL Short

A shorter page URL is more likely to rank well so make sure you don’t over do it. If all else fails, KISS – keep it simple stupid!

Best Practice: Keep those page URLs short. The sweet spot is averaging 59 characters in length.

Keyword in the URL

Making sure you target your keyword in your URL will help with ranking on Google. Don’t over do it, don’t make it look spammy, but keep it clean, simple, and relevant to the content you are writing.

Best Practice: If you are writing an article about the Best Food Restaurants in London, then your URL could be /best-food-restaurantslondon/. Keep it clean, simple, and relevant.

Quality, Long Form, Relevant Content

Writing content is important when you are trying to rank on Google. What is quality content? Quality content is all about asking yourself a simple question, does this content offer value to the reader? If not, then it probably isn’t going to be of a significant quality. What is long form content? Well, that’s easy, long form is any content over 750 words, but as a rule of thumb I’d say between 750-2500 words is long form.  What is relevant content? This is content that is associated to the general themes of your site.

Best Practice: For this type of content I would say write between 750-2500 words. Make sure that you think it offers something of value to the reader. Finally, keep it within the general themes of your site. That seems to be a sweet spot for quality, long form, relevant content.

The advice above is a quick overview. There is a lot more to SEO and it is a constantly changing environment.

In this guide, I have used data analysis collected from a few sources to back up my own SEO experience. This includes data from a study of 1 million pages.