It’s long been said that Google has over 200 search ranking factors. Google does acknowledge that there are many ranking factors, but won’t say exactly how many there are.
Since the beginning of search engine optimization, the focus was always on keywords. Keywords are search terms that also appear in your content.
In the early days of SEO, if your content was an exact match for a search term, the keyword search ranking would be high.
Keyword placement has evolved over the years. Some SEO pros say it’s no longer the main factor to get a good Google ranking.
Keywords still matter and you need to improve your keyword ranking in order to get traffic from search engines.
Read on to find out more about keyword search ranking and how to improve it.
What Is Keyword Search Ranking?
The keyword search ranking is where your site ranks in search results for specific keywords.
Your keywords match how your customers look for information about your business online. Sites that rank in the top three for keywords would receive the most clicks.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a form that you fill out to tell search engines what your chosen keywords are. They scan your content and decide.
How can a search engine figure out what keywords you should rank for? There are several places on a web page that tell search engines what your content is about.
The title of the page is the starting point. This is one of the main places your keyword should appear.
LSI is called latent semantic indexing. Think of it as other ways to say the same keyword. You’re writing an article about workouts for beginners.
There are other ways to say workouts for beginners. You could say beginner’s workouts, novice workouts, beginner workouts for the gym, or how to start working out.
These are all related and give your content more context for search engines. They can determine that your content is geared towards beginners looking for a workout plan. Your content can appear in searches for all of these search queries.
Page headings are another place a keyword should get placed. A heading is good for readability because it breaks up your content. It’s also another signal for search engines to find the context of the article.
Frequency matters, but this is where webmasters get tripped up. In the old days of SEO, you could stuff keywords into articles dozens of times.
Search engines got wise to this tactic and penalized sites that took the spammy approach. The keywords should appear a few times, but they have to be natural.
How to Find Your Google Ranking
There are dozens of search tools available that help you determine your search rankings. The main one is Search Console. It’s a free tool by Google.
Search Console tells you how many impressions and click-throughs go to your site. You also find out how many keywords your site ranks for and the average rank for each keyword.
SEMRush, Ahrefs, and AccuRanker are other tools that you can use to track your rankings.
Tips to Improve Keyword Ranking
The purpose of SEO is to improve your keyword search ranking for the right keywords. If you want to improve your keyword ranking, check your current ranking as a baseline measurement.
Check the keywords to make sure you’re ranking for the right ones. For instance, if you have a landscaping business, you don’t want to rank for landscaping.
It’s what your business is about, but you’ll end up getting the wrong kind of traffic. You could get people looking for landscaping ideas, DIY projects, or general information about landscaping.
They’re not looking for your services. Use long-tail keywords to get more specific and get the right kind of traffic that converts.
Be sure to choose keywords that have enough search volume. Avoid using keywords that get few searches because you won’t get traffic from them.
There are keyword search tools such as Ubersuggest, SEMRush, and Ahrefs that tell you how many searches a keyword gets each month.
Go through your content to make sure the chosen keywords appear throughout your website.
Other Search Factors
Keywords are a large part of the SEO puzzle, but there are many other factors that determine keyword search rankings.
The search user’s location is one of them. It’s important to have your business address and contact information on your website.
There are technical aspects of your website that impact rankings. The site needs to be fast, and you can check that by using Google’s site speed tool.
You’ll get an understanding of your Core Web Vitals and get tips to make your site faster.
Security is another issue. Install an SSL certificate on your site if you haven’t done so already. Hosting companies offer these for free through Let’s Encrypt.
The site’s content is the most important ranking factor. Google has thousands of people called Quality Raters that look at websites to make sure the algorithm delivers the right results.
They rank a site according to page quality and if the site meets the needs of search users.
The raters also look at the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EAT) of a site. EAT isn’t a ranking factor, but it does influence changes to the algorithm. Focus on creating high-quality content that helps readers, and you’ll be fine.
Making Sense of Your Keyword Search Ranking
SEO is one of the best ways to drive traffic to your site. To give yourself a chance to get some of this traffic, you have to know your keyword search ranking and improve it.
You’ll get quality traffic that’s ready to buy. Head over to the Technology section of this site for more digital marketing tips for your business.