14 SEO Hacks to Increase Search Rankings

14 SEO Hacks to Increase Search Rankings


If you would like extra folks to go to your web site from engines like google, you might want to rank among the many high outcomes when folks seek for your enterprise.

We’ve put collectively 14 actionable search engine optimisation hacks to assist increase your search visibility and get extra visitors. Even in the event you don’t have numerous time or assets.

1. Establish Lengthy-Tail Key phrases

Long-tail keywords are particular search queries that always have decrease search volumes however clearly outlined intents. 

Focusing on them as a substitute of broad “head” phrases is an efficient technique to compete with established manufacturers in natural search outcomes.

Take the key phrase “canine toys,” which has excessive search quantity and key phrase issue. You may suppose it’s an apparent major keyword alternative in the event you promote pet toys. 

But it surely’s a troublesome one to rank extremely for in opposition to big-name manufacturers like Pets at House and Amazon.

Keyword Overview results for "dog toys" show a search volume of 40.5K and keyword difficulty 77%

Creating content material round long-tail key phrases provides you a greater likelihood of getting your web site observed among the many large rivals.

For instance:

Seek for “canine toys for teething labrador pet” and also you’ll see small, area of interest web sites outranking well-known manufacturers.

Google search results for “dog toys for teething labrador puppy”

Higher nonetheless, these particular phrases match a extremely particular search intent. So, you’ll be able to meet the wants of potential clients. And doubtlessly get extra conversions.

To seek out long-tail key phrases, kind a broad “seed key phrase” into Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool and hit “Search.”

A seed key phrase is a phrase or phrase you should utilize to kickstart your key phrase analysis. It needs to be carefully associated to your enterprise.

"dog toys" entered into the Keyword Magic Tool search bar

The Key phrase Magic Software returns an inventory of broad-match key phrases. Prime outcomes have a excessive search quantity and key phrase issue (KD).

Keyword Magic Tool broad-match results for "dog toys"

To slender your search to indicate solely easy-to-rank key phrases, click on on the “KD” drop-down and choose “Straightforward.”

"KD" filter set to "Easy" in Keyword Magic Tool

Now, you get an inventory of long-tail key phrases.

Assessment the checklist for key phrases which might be most related to your enterprise and core product.

Keyword Magic Tool results for "dog toys" with keyword difficulty set to "easy"

Goal these related phrases in your web site content material to spice up search visibility.

Additional studying: Long-Tail Keywords: What They Are and How to Use Them in 2023

2. Place Key phrases in Web page Titles, Descriptions, and Headers

Together with keywords in web page titles and headers helps Google decide what your web page is about.

The higher Google understands your content material, the extra doubtless it’s to seem when a possible buyer varieties your key phrases into the search bar.

Place your goal key phrase at the least as soon as in your title tag and meta description.

Word: Meta descriptions should not a direct rating issue, however they generate helpful snippets that encourage searchers to click on. Google additionally tends to daring the search question: 

Semrush blog result for "seo competitor analysis" on Google SERP

Place your goal key phrase in your URL slug:

"semrush.com/blog/hoe-to-do-seo-competitive-analysis" URL

Lastly, place your goal key phrase in web page headers and early in your content material, together with variations of your fundamental key phrase:

"How to DO an SEO Competitor Analysis" Semrush blog page

Along with these parts, add your fundamental key phrase to picture alt tags (extra on this quickly). And place associated key phrases naturally (not shoehorned in) all through your content material.

Additional studying: Wish to study extra about key phrase analysis and finest practices? Learn our 6 Keyword Optimization Tips for SEO.

Optimizing for Google Voice Search can put your content material in entrance of an enormous viewers who use “Hey, Google” to start their search by way of Google Assistant.

Use questions folks ask in on a regular basis dialog to achieve your target market.

The Key phrase Magic Software will show you how to discover what search customers need to know.

As soon as once more, kind your seed key phrase into the software and hit “Search.” Choose the “Questions” tab and preserve the “KD” filter set to “Straightforward.”

Keyword Magic Tool results filtered by "questions" and "KD-easy"

Assessment the checklist for related inquiries to reply in your content material.

For instance:

Google Voice Search reads the under reply by PrideBites for the query “Why is my canine immediately connected to a toy?”

PrideBites's results on a SERP for “why is my dog suddenly attached to a toy”

Google options PrideBites’ reply within the featured snippet in search outcomes (extra on snippets in hack #9). But it surely comes from a part of an extended weblog publish on why canines get connected to toys.

PrideBites’ article section "The toy has a significant memory attached to it"

Quick (however full) keyword-friendly solutions inside your content material provides you a superb likelihood of securing the voice search spot. And getting extra visitors from natural search outcomes.

Additional studying: Wish to study extra methods to optimize for voice queries? Read our guide on Google Voice Search 101.

4. Run an search engine optimisation Audit to Repair Technical Points

Technical SEO errors can negatively have an effect on your search rankings and natural visitors.

These embrace:

  • Gradual page speed
  • Sitemap points
  • Duplicate content material
  • Damaged hyperlinks
  • Web site safety issues
  • Webpages that Google can’t crawl or index

To flag points and make the required fixes, run your web site by Semrush’s Site Audit software.

Kind in your area and hit “Begin Audit.”

"nationalgeographic.com" entered into the Site Audit search bar

Within the pop-up, it provides you elective steps to configure your audit. After making use of the required settings, click on “Begin Web site Audit.”

"Site Audit Settings" page

When the audit is prepared, click on in your challenge to see the outcomes.

The Web site Audit dashboard reveals you the problems the software discovered in your web site.

"Errors" and "Warnings" section highlighted in Site Audit dashboard

Click on on the quantity within the “Errors” or “Warnings” field to view the total checklist.

Then, hit “Why and easy methods to repair it” subsequent to any subject to see detailed data and what you are able to do to make it proper.

“Why and how to fix it” pop-up window in Site Audit

Run audits periodically (and everytime you make adjustments to your web site) to maintain it technically sound.

Additional studying: How to Perform a Complete SEO Audit

5. Refresh Outdated or Outdated Content material

Search rankings are transient. In some unspecified time in the future, your content material will change into much less related and one thing more energizing will change it.

So, you might want to periodically refresh it to retain worth and keep visibility.

Our 2023 State of Content Marketing Report reveals that 53% of entrepreneurs say updating their content material helped enhance engagement. And 49% noticed a lift in visitors and/or rankings.

An infographic by Semrush showing the answers to "which results did you achieve after updating your content?"

You’ll find content material in want of an replace with Google Search Console.

Log in and click on “Efficiency” to view your search efficiency report.

Google Search Console performance report

Click on “Date.” Then, set the date vary to “Examine” and “Examine final 6 months to earlier interval.” To verify, hit “Apply.”

"Date range" pop-up window with “Compare last 6 months to previous period” option selected

Within the efficiency report desk, click on the “Pages” tab. Take a look at “Clicks Distinction” to seek out declining pages.

“Clicks Difference” column highlighted in the "Pages" table

Refresh any pages the place guests would anticipate up-to-date data. 

You need to:

  • Refresh outdated suggestions
  • Replace outdated or damaged hyperlinks
  • Change dates to present
  • Format content material so it’s simple to learn on cell gadgets

Professional tip: Run your web site by Semrush’s On Page SEO Checker to get optimization concepts to your high touchdown pages.

6. Compress Pictures to Enhance Web page Pace

Massive picture information negatively have an effect on page speed, which makes for a poor person expertise. This harms your search efficiency.

To keep away from this, compress pictures earlier than importing them to your web site.

Use a software like TinyPNG or Optimizilla to scale back picture file measurement with out compromising high quality.

Or, in the event you’re a WordPress person, strive the WPSmush plugin.

WPSmush plugin

Picture Supply: WPSmush

To test if pictures have an effect on web site pace, kind a web page URL into Google’s PageSpeed Insights software.

Underneath “Alternatives” within the “Diagnose efficiency points” part, search for a discover to “Correctly measurement pictures.”

“Diagnose performance issues” section in PageSpeed Insights tool

Picture Supply: WPSmush

Resize any pictures Google flags to enhance web page efficiency and increase search rankings.

7. Use Alt Textual content to Describe Pictures

Including alt text (or different textual content) to your pictures, GIFs, and infographics will increase your possibilities of rating properly in Google Pictures.


It describes to Google what the picture comprises.

For all its ingenuity, Google can’t interpret visible content material. So, it depends on alt textual content descriptions to know context and decide easy methods to rank your web page. 

For instance:

This inventory picture on Pexels describes the picture as “Canine with ball in mouth leaping over a fallen tree trunk:”

Pexels's dog stock image

The extra descriptive and keyword-friendly your alt textual content, the extra doubtless Google Picture searches will rank it extremely.

However alt textual content doesn’t simply assist with search visibility.

Alt textual content improves web site accessibility for guests who use display studying software program. Not solely does this assist create a greater person expertise (which Google likes), some countries legally require it.

For those who use a web site builder like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or Shopify, you’ll be able to add alt textual content whenever you add a picture.

Observe these finest practices to put in writing efficient alt descriptions:

  • Describe what the picture reveals
  • Persist with 125 characters or much less to keep away from truncation on display readers
  • Embody related key phrases

Additional studying: Image SEO and Alt Tags: 10 Image Optimization Tips

8. Declare and Optimize Your Google Enterprise Profile

For those who serve clients in a selected space, a Google Business Profile (GBP) is the easiest way to extend visibility on Google.

GBP is a free enterprise itemizing that helps customers discover and find out about your enterprise.
Right here’s what a profile appears to be like like:

H&A Queens Plumbing's Google Business Profile

Google makes use of these listings to serve probably the most related outcomes for geographic searches (e.g. “plumber Queens, New York” or “plumber close to me”) in an area pack (or Google 3-Pack):

Google "Businesses" results for “plumber Queens, New York” search

With a well-optimized profile that features appropriate enterprise data, photographs, providers, and critiques, you stand a superb likelihood of showing in an area pack.

The end result?

Extra visibility and extra clicks.

Analysis by SOCi discovered that listings within the Google 3-Pack earn 126% extra search visitors and 93% extra conversion-oriented actions (calls, clicks, and driving instructions) than companies ranked 4-10.

Additional studying: Able to arrange and optimize your GBP? Observe the steps in our Google My Business guide.

A featured snippet is a brief excerpt of textual content that solutions a person’s question and seems on the high of the SERP (search engine outcomes web page).

Google pulls the knowledge from content material that ranks within the high 10 and locations it on the high of the primary web page of search outcomes, or place #0.

Right here’s the featured snippet that Google serves up for the question “easy methods to begin a dialog:”

A featured snippet for "how to start a conversation” search on Google

Google consists of featured snippets as a part of its mission to offer customers the very best search expertise.

It’s additionally a shortcut to the highest of the SERP.


Win the featured snippet, and also you’ll get extra eyes (and ears by way of Google Voice Search) in your content material.

You additionally get a credibility increase. If Google chooses your content material because the featured snippet, it’s a superb signal that it’s invaluable to readers.

To earn featured snippets, reply the questions your viewers asks.

Our analysis reveals key phrases that set off snippets are principally longer (six phrases and over) questions that begin with “why,” “can,” “do,” “are,” and “how.”

"Length of search keywords triggering featured snippets" graph by Semrush

For those who already optimize for voice search, you’re midway there.

To seek out new alternatives for featured snippets, use Semrush’s Position Tracking software.

Kind in your area and hit “Arrange monitoring.”

"seoquake.com" entered into Position Tracking search bar

To configure your monitoring, set your concentrating on (search engine, machine, location, and so forth.) and key phrases. Our Position Tracking setup guide walks you thru the steps.

If you’re achieved, hit “Begin Monitoring.”

"Keywords" window in Position Tracking settings

Click on the “Featured Snippets” tab to see what number of of your goal key phrases have featured snippets.

“Featured Snippets” tab in Position Tracking

Use the “Alternatives” tab within the “Featured Snippets” desk to see key phrases which have featured snippets.

It kinds outcomes by the distinction in natural positions between your area and the URL that presently holds the featured snippet.

Search for any key phrases the place you outrank or come near the competitors. Goal these key phrases in your content material and FAQ sections to earn the featured snippet.

To extend your probabilities, have a look at how snippets seem in search outcomes.

Click on on a quantity within the “You” column. Then, hit “View SERP” to see the end result web page for the goal key phrase.

“View SERP” button highlighted in the "Featured Snippets" table

This gives you an concept of easy methods to format your content material to finest meet search intent.

Additional studying: What Are the Different Types of Featured Snippets?

HARO (Assist a Reporter Out) is a web site that gives nice alternatives to get backlinks (or exterior hyperlinks) from media retailers.

It connects journalists {and professional} bloggers to sources who can present professional perception.

If a journalist makes use of your reply in a chunk of content material, they cite you because the supply. And also you get a hyperlink to your web site.

As these hyperlinks are from trusted sources, Google views them as votes of recognition and confidence.

So, numerous high quality HARO citations can enhance your search rankings and increase your credibility.

Right here’s the way it works:

Enroll as a supply on HARO and select which industries you need to subscribe to. HARO sends you journalist pitches by way of e mail thrice a day, Monday to Friday.

They appear to be this instance from The Content Factory:

The Content Factory's email example

If a pitch is related, reply with a complete reply. Use your personal expertise of a subject to supply an unique take.

Saying one thing unique will increase the probability a journalist will select your reply.

In the event that they do select your quote, they’ll characteristic you when the story goes dwell:

An example of ConsumerSafety.com's mention in the story

You gained’t at all times achieve success together with your solutions. However responding persistently might help you construct high-quality backlinks.

Additional studying: HARO is considered one of a number of link-building techniques to spice up search engine optimisation. Try our information on How to Get Backlinks for extra.

11. Use search engine optimisation Writing Assistant to Enhance E-E-A-T

E-E-A-T stands for “Expertise, Experience, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.” These 4 qualities are the hallmarks of high-quality content material.

E-E-A-T isn’t a direct rating issue, however Google’s Search High quality Raters use it. These are actual individuals who assess the standard of search outcomes and assist Google enhance its algorithm.

Primarily, Google needs you to create with E-E-A-T in mind so it might current “useful, dependable, people-first content material” to customers.

Draft your content material in Semrush’s SEO Writing Assistant to get readability, originality, search engine optimisation, and tone of voice ideas based mostly on the highest 10 rating pages to your key phrases.

SEO Writing Assistant editor with the scores on the right side

The software provides your content material an total rating out of 10. And makes it simple to enhance textual content in order that guests discover it invaluable.

Click on on a metric within the desk to study extra and see easy methods to enhance your rating.

"Tone of voice" metric selected on the right side

Then, observe the tricks to make your writing extra useful.

Professional tip: Connect SEO Writing Assistant to Google Docs, Microsoft Phrase, or WordPress to get suggestions as you’re employed.

12. Enhance Inner Linking to Increase Web page Authority

Inner hyperlinks level to different pages in your web site. In doing so, they ship authority to that web page. Get them proper and so they might help increase your Google rankings.

For instance, say we need to give our local SEO guide a lift. We are able to discover a high-authority web page on Semrush and add an inner hyperlink.

Our information to Google My Enterprise has a excessive Authority Score and is related to our native search engine optimisation content material.

Authority Score metric section for Semrush's blog on Google My Business shows a score of 76

So, we are able to add a pure inner hyperlink from the Google My Enterprise information to the Native search engine optimisation information that features the key phrase “Google My Enterprise” within the anchor textual content. It will assist increase authority for the Native search engine optimisation information.

"Optimize Your Google Business Profile" H2 with “Google My Business” highlighted in the anchor text

To seek out inner linking alternatives, use Semrush’s Backlink Analytics.

Enter your area and hit “Analyze.”

"worldwildlife.org" entered into the Backlink Analytics search bar

Click on the “Listed Pages” tab to see your pages so as of variety of referring domains. 

“Indexed Pages” table in Backlink Analytics

Hyperlink from a top-performing web page to a different web page that wants an authority increase. Rinse and repeat to spice up your rankings.

Additional studying: Inner linking additionally helps Google and guests navigate your web site. Discover ways to construct your internal linking strategy in our newbie’s information.

13. Add Schema Markup to Your Web site for Wealthy Outcomes

Schema markup (additionally known as structured knowledge) is web site code that offers engines like google extra details about your web page.

It’s one other method to assist Google perceive your content material so it may give customers probably the most related outcomes.

If Google acknowledges the schema markup in your web page, it supplies wealthy outcomes that give customers greater than only a web page title and meta description.

Right here’s what Google serves up for Walmart:

Walmart result on Google's SERP

The additional hyperlinks assist information customers. However even when a person doesn’t discover them related, the search field lets them discover what they want and work together with Walmart’s web site that method.

The wealthy outcomes additionally give Walmart extra SERP actual property. It’s the one hyperlink seen earlier than the scroll. This might help enhance click-through price.

You should utilize schema markup for:

  • Sitelinks
  • Enterprise data
  • Opinions
  • Product particulars
  • And extra

Don’t fear in the event you don’t know easy methods to write HTML code, free instruments like Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper make it simple to generate and add schema to your web site.

Additional studying: What Is Schema Markup and How to Implement Structured Data

14. Examine and Be taught from Your Opponents

If you wish to outrank the competitors, do what they do however higher.

Examine your rivals to study which key phrases they aim and how much content material they create. Then, replicate successful methods and capitalize on weaknesses to outperform them.

Semrush has search engine optimisation instruments to assist.

To seek out your rivals, head over to Organic Research

Kind in your area, then click on the “Opponents” tab.

“Competitors” tab in Organic Research tool

To study extra about every competitor, click on on the competitor’s area within the checklist under the positioning map.

Within the competitor’s “Overview” tab you’ll be able to see what number of key phrases they rank for, how a lot visitors they get, and their high key phrases.

Organic Research's overview tab for "chewy.com"

Click on the “Positions” tab to see which key phrases your competitor ranks for. Establish any related key phrases that you just also needs to goal.

“Positions” tab in Organic Research

Search for key phrases with excessive search place and visitors, however a low key phrase issue. These are your finest alternatives to outrank a rival.

For extra alternatives, use the Keyword Gap software to seek out key phrases that rivals rank for that you just’re lacking out on.

Additional studying: How to Do an SEO Competitor Analysis

Maintain Training search engine optimisation

You possibly can full these search engine optimisation hacks with out an excessive amount of effort and time. Particularly in the event you use the featured instruments to handle the heavy lifting.

Tick off all 14 hacks, and also you’ll see a carry in your search efficiency.

However like some other facet of digital advertising and marketing, search engine optimisation is just not a one-and-done factor. You could preserve performing these duties. And monitoring your outcomes.

Observe search engine optimisation finest practices persistently and you’ll obtain long-term success.

Wish to continue learning search engine optimisation? Brush up on the fundamentals with Greg Gifford’s SEO Fundamentals Course.


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