One of the key metrics for the success of any SEO effort is the keyword ranking of target keywords in Google SERP (Search Engine Result Page). Isn’t it? All Search engine optimisers are trying to get as many keywords on the first page as possible to get more traffic on their website from organic searches. So, why should you be behind? To begin with, you need to get your target keywords in the top 5 positions of search engine results page and then work towards moving your results to a better ranking like ‘0’ or Zero position (also called rich text box results) in Google SERP.
So, let’s dive into some of the top SEO tools and hacks that help in enhancing the keyword ranking in Google.
1. Keyword Selection
It is the most important part of any SEO process as these are the words or phrases you need for your business to be visible to people in Google and other search engines. One must be very careful while selecting these keywords. The best approach towards this is to take a mix of exact, long tail, and query-based keywords in consideration and keep a mix of low, medium, and high competition keywords as well. Try to opt for high search volume keywords and avoid keywords with searches less than 500 until you have a very uncommon niche.
Below are the best tools to find keywords for optimising your website’s SEO:
Google Planner: This is the official keyword finder tool by Google, which is ideally designed to get data for paid campaigns to run in Google search result pages. This tool helps to find search volume and competitions on the basis of paid searches.
Keywords.io: This a paid tool which is really credible for finding both, long tail and query-based keywords. Also, it can find search volume on mobile and YouTube separately. Amazing, right?
ATP (Answer The Public): It is an amazing tool to figure out query-based keywords or titles to target for SEO. The tool is also very helpful in getting blog ideas as it gives you the right phrases to help you frame tons of questions.
Google Trends: This is an old yet very effective tool from Google, which lets you check how a specific keyword is trending in the past few days, weeks, and years. This helps you understand the keyword that you are targeting in terms of how much it has been searched by people in your country, state or city so you can choose the right one accordingly.
LSI Keywords: That is again one of the common SEO methods to get new or relative keywords in terms of what you are already looking to target and you must already be using this knowingly or unknowingly. Once you enter your main keyword in Google, it shows you many other related queries which people have searched for.
2. Keyword Mapping
Keyword mapping is essentially assigning and mapping keywords on different pages of the website based on your keyword research. The whole idea is to assign the relevant keywords to the pages you want to rank. So, you can begin this process by asking a very basic question “If I have XYZ keyword, which page on the website is most revalant to it?” And do this for every page that you have identified for keyword mapping. For example, a website that publishes blogs might be interested in mapping informational keywords, while an e-commerce website might be interested in mapping transactional keywords.
Either way, keep in mind that you may map multiple keywords on a single page but it’s not advised to map a single keyword on multiple pages. And since this is the foundation for ranking the pages on top of the search results, it makes sense to make a spreadsheet of all the relevant keywords against all the keywords you are planning to map before you begin.
3. Keyword Competition
To stay ahead of your competition, it’s important to always keep a check on keywords that your competitors are using and the ones in those website results coming above yours in Google search. Find the top 10 keywords you want to rank for in search engines. Now, if your result is on some position on the first page, then check what the rest of the sites doing differently, what their content is, and what are the backlinks their webpages have.
If you are not on the first page, then check all the 10 results on the first page to see what they are doing differently than you for a better ranking. Once you have done that, try to create backlinks and fill the content gaps. Spend some time weekly or monthly and try to look from the perspective of what might be useful for your website and incorporate those in your SEO strategy.
4. Keyword Placement
Just like keyword selection, the placement of all the keywords has to be right too. If you are placing all your target keywords in one place, such as at the beginning of a webpage, towards the end or just anywhere in between, then your betting too high. This practice simply won’t work and is not advised to follow. Keywords need to be well spread across the body of the site and should not be inserted in every line as you go.
5. Keyword Density
Next major factor that most people don’t get right is keyword stuffing. If you are just adding more and more keywords so that you can target more number of keywords on a single page, then, unfortunately, you won’t be able to fool Google. Ideally, keyword density should not cross 3% of every 100 words. So, since Google is getting smarter by the day, you need to keep up too! Suppose “Inbound Marketing” is your core keyword you want to rank for and you are using this in almost every other line. In that case, Google will definitely improve your page ranking. But don't celebrate just yet! With the speed your page went up in top rankings, it will fall with double that speed once Google tracks your stuffed keywords and might even de-index your web page completely. Now, that’s not what you want, right?
6. Long Tail Keywords
While selecting keywords, you should also choose long tail keywords for best SEO practices as these are mostly query-based and users tend to search them more. It is also easier to target long tail keywords with the right interlinking and can be easily used in blogs. For SEO, long tail keywords work better than exact keywords as search competition is very high on the latter and it gets very hard to rank for them. Additionally, with the help of blogs and good backlinks, you can push long tail keywords faster for higher rankings and once these are in place, you can start pushing for the exact match keywords too.
7. Keyword Interlinking
When you have done everything right with the keywords and SEO, keywords interlinking is the next big factor to boost your website SEO. After the correct placements of all keywords, you need to hyperlink these to other pages of your website which are related to that particular keyword. For example, you have “Inbound Meaning” placed somewhere on the service page of your main website. This keyword should be linked to a blog talking about inbound marketing for better understanding of prospects and vice versa. This will help in getting better positions in SERP and give power to both, the blog and the main website.
Moreover, the homepage of your website should be linked to all internal pages or at least to all categories if your website is big. Internal pages should also be referring to the homepage and any other page they can be linked to for higher search volume.
All of the above are top criteria one must follow to get target keywords in ranking quickly and also stay a step ahead of competitors. You must target keywords in meta titles and descriptions, apart from that also use them in H1 and Img alt tags for a higher SEO boost. Creating backlinks using target keywords as anchor text will be much helpful to get those keywords in better Google rankings. Be focused with your target keyword from start, check for which locations you are getting search volumes. try to take not more than 10 keywords to target for each page as more the no. higher is complexity to use and get all of them in rankings.