How to rank better on Google

How to rank better on Google

Updated 13 December 2022

A simple checklist to help your site and content for better ranking on Google.

There are a few simple ways to improve how Google perceives your website. These strategies will help improve some of the signals that are responsible for ranking. Try these quick wins to rank better on Google.

Step 1. Audit old content – noindex, delete, update or redirect

Google’s Helpful Update Content clearly states that even a small percentage of outdated content on your site could affect the ranking of the entire site. If the articles on your site are largely underperforming (not ranking highly because users don’t find them very helpful), it shrinks the percentage of seemingly useful content. This is an important ratio to bear in mind – a healthy signal is to maintain a larger chunk of useful content on your site.

Therefore, performing an audit and cleaning up old, outdated or unhelpful content is probably the smartest first step you could take. We created a guide on how to de-index articles on your website that you should probably read first. Plus, there’s also an extremely handy WordPress plugin that will allow you to bulk de-index old articles which we coded in-house.

After auditing and either de-indexing or updating old articles, you’ll likely need to wait a few weeks for the changes to take effect.

Step 2. Optimise site speed and performance

If you use WordPress, it’s very likely that you’re also running a third-party theme that uses WP Bakery or Elementor. These page builders allow you to quickly spin up beautiful pages but they tend to add bloat and slow down your site.

Perform a PageSpeed Insights test to get an idea of how Google is perceiving your site performance. Most importantly, your site should pass the Core Web Vitals Assessment. If you’re seeing red across the board, then take a look at the recommendations on the page to get an idea on what the issues might be. Moving the needle could be as simple as deferring Javascript or serving WebP images.

pagespeed insights core web vitals assessment

A couple of useful free plugins you could try include WP-Optimize for caching and deferring Javascript, and Imagify for converting images to WebP.

Site speed is one of, if not the most important ranking factors. If your site takes too long to load and the user jumps off because nothing is appearing on the screen, that sends a signal to Google about the poor user experience. 

honest fox pagespeed insights performance

As important as site speed is, it’s actually quite an easy win. You could either install a caching plugin (or WP-Optimized, as mentioned above) if you run WordPress, or utilise a service like Cloudflare that basically re-routes all traffic to their servers. A good rule of thumb is to set the expiry time to just under your publication frequency so your users always see the latest published content, e.g. if you publish one article a day, then set the cache to expire after 12 hours. If you publish more frequently, then your cache expiry needs to be shorter.

Step 3. Publish high-quality, pointed, useful content that matches search intent

Broadly speaking, short and targeted articles have a place on your site. Not every blog post needs to match Tolstoy’s War and Peace. In other words, skyscraping every article isn’t the wisest strategy you could be taking. Instead, take the user’s intent into consideration.

If the user is searching for an explanation for a very specific issue, then fulfil that user’s intent by providing succinct, well-written content without going on a tangent.

Shorter articles are easier to research and write, and by publishing more frequently, you’ll also increase your content velocity and expand your keyword profile quicker than you would compared to skyscraping.

There’s more to it

If you haven’t already gathered, this isn’t an exhaustive list. Rather, think of this as a good starting point. Once your strategy is aligned to provide value to the reader without compromising on user experience, then you’ll be in a good place for growth.

Need help with improving the ranking of your site? Get in touch.

Written by

Jackson Chung

Jackson spent the last 8 years specialising in SEO i.e. competition and keyword research, technical SEO, on-page optimisation, backlink gap analysis; Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Tag Manager, Ahref, SEMrush, and Screaming Frog. He also has 14 years of experience in the field of online publishing and content creation.