What Can Boost Your SEO Ranking? A Guide for Students

It’s finally happening – you’ve launched your website for the world to see. But there’s a piece of not-so-great news. Your pages don’t seem to manage to rank at the top of the search results.

It’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty of search engine optimization, then. Be warned, though: boosting your SEO ranking is a long and tedious process. First, some techniques take a while to execute. Second, you’ll need to wait until a Google bot reindexes your page again for it to take into account all the changes made on it.

So, prepare for a long and continuous battle. Make time for it if you need to – that’s what services like WritePaper are here for. And then, use these five methods that can help you secure that sweet #1 spot.

boost seo ranking

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1. Improving Your Loading Speed

Most likely, your loading speed is fine. But it never hurts to check. After all, according to Neil Patel himself, high-ranking pages consistently show faster loading speeds than their counterparts at the bottom of the search results.

To improve your loading speed, first, you need to test it. You can do it using Google’s own PageSpeed Insights. But if you need more information on what exactly slows down your website, head to WebPageTest.org.

What if the tests show your website is too slow to load? In this case, use these four ways to boost your loading speed:

    • Get rid of third-party plugins and scripts;
    • Find a better hosting provider;
    • Plug your website into a CDN (content delivery network);
    • Take stock of the media assets on the page and compress them if they are a lot.
    seo analytics

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    2. Optimizing Your Existing Content

    You must already have some content on your website. But if it doesn’t rank high, you have to wonder: maybe, the problem lies in it?

    The answer is, “it might.” So, take stock of your content and follow this nine-part checklist to optimize it for search engines – and your readers, too:

    • Make sure each page targets one keyword to avoid cannibalization;
    • Add this keyword to the beginning of the title and several times throughout the text;
    • Pepper LSI (contextual) keywords throughout the page, too;
    • Make sure the page isn’t out-of-date and update it if necessary;
    • Structure your texts well: add lists, headings, and a table of contents;
    • Add internal links to your other pages;
    • Change your URLs to short descriptive ones if you haven’t yet;
    • Come up with a compelling meta description – and include your keyword there;
    • Use alt text for the images in your content.
    3. Creating Great (Linkable) Content

    Links from other websites matter a great deal. Google treats all websites it crawls like researchers treat studies. The more frequently people refer to one, the more trustworthy it must be.

    So, you need others to refer to your pages. Of course, you can negotiate backlinks with other website owners (more on that later). But the domain’s authority also matters in Google’s algorithm. A link from the likes of the New York Times will do more for your ranking than one from a blog with a couple of thousands of monthly visitors.

    Creating one-of-a-kind content is the way to get high-authority backlinks. The point is to get them to want to refer to your page simply because it’s so good (or because there are no alternatives).

    But how do you achieve that? Here are four types of content that have more chances to get you organic links:

    • Original data-driven content (statistics, studies, etc.);
    • Unique visuals and infographics;
    • Content tied to the recent news or trends;
    • Posts that can be mined for quotes and insights by reporters.
    4. Negotiating Backlinks

    If the previous method seems out of the ballpark for you now, you can start building links through targeted efforts. There are many ways you can get another website to refer to your page.

    The most commonly used ones are:

    • Guest posting: you write a blog post for another website with a link to your page;
    • Content partnerships: you exchange links and/or guest posts with another website;
    • Broken link building: you find an article with a relevant broken link and offer to replace it with yours;
    • The skyscraper technique: you try to convince the website owner that your page is a better source than the one they linked to initially;
    • Brand mention scouting: your website has been mentioned somewhere else, so you ask to add a link where the mention is.

    Be warned, though: none of your efforts will bear fruit if your content isn’t good enough. Here, “good enough” is a subjective term, of course. It’ll be up to other website owners to decide if it is or not. But in general, they expect original, easy-to-read, well-structured posts that hook you.

    5. Matching User Intent

    What’s user intent, you might wonder? In a nutshell, it’s what type of content a user expects to see when they search for this or that keyword. Here’s a straightforward example: when a person types in “mojito recipe” and hits the search button, they expect to see a how-to article.

    Your content has to match that user intent. Otherwise, people won’t stick around on your page. How do you know what your users want? Take a look at the top-ranking pages for your keywords – what do they have in common? Are they all “ultimate guides,” for example?

    To help you figure out the user intent in your particular case, here’s how Backlinko classified its types:

    • Informational, like figuring out a way to solve a problem;
    • Navigational, like searching for a website or a contact;
    • Commercial, like looking for an item to buy;
    • Transactional, like finding services online.
    In Conclusion

    At the end of the day, your content’s quality – and how well it matches what users want to see – matter the most. That’s how you get organic authority backlinks and have people dwell on your website longer. It’s also how you get more successful in negotiating with other website owners.

    That said, don’t overlook more intricate SEO methods, like the right keyword positioning or adding LSI keywords. They’ll give your already-great content the necessary boost in the rankings. When they work, they’re unnoticeable, but when they don’t – you’ll see your ranking will plummet.

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