Looking for SEO tips to rank higher on Google search in the coming year of 2021? Then read on.
Most of the SEO guides and articles on the internet dish out generic advice such as “write better content”, or “improve loading speed”, which almost everyone learning SEO probably already knows by now.
If that is all it takes to rank higher on Google search, you won’t need to read this right now.
What I’m going to share with you here are 5 clear actionable steps that you can take to bring your SEO game to another level fairly quickly, especially if you’re a small business with a clearly defined niche market.
Excited? Alright, let’s go!
Create 1,000 word content pages
Despite all the noise about voice search and other innovative ways of getting Google to rank your site, Google search is still first and foremost (for the foreseeable future) a text-based and text-driven search engine.
So if you want to rank high on Google, you need to have enough words on your website pages to let Google read them and understand what your website is about.
There are exceptions of course, but by and large, if you scan across all niches and interests, webpages that appear on the first page of Google search results tend to have 1,000 words or more.
An easy way to create this amount of content without causing your head to spin is to break it down into smaller parts.
Typically, I would advise that you have your page structured with similar smaller sections as follows:
- What is this about?
- Why should you care about this?
- Where can you learn more about this?
- Where can you buy this?
For each of the sections, write about 150 to 200 words and you would hit 1,000 words in no time!
If you’re very clear about what you want to write about, you can easily get a draft out in 2 hours or so.
Include keywords in your content subheadings
Most people practicing SEO would surely know by now that it is critical to include your target keywords in the title tag of the website, as well as on its main heading, the H1 tag.
However, as they continue to develop the rest of the content, most of them conveniently forgot about adding those keywords into the subheadings (the H2 and H3 tags) as well.
Adding your target keyword – and variations of it – in your subheadings help give Google a better idea of the topic that your content is structured around, and this increases the chance of Google acknowledging your page as a relevant resource for said topic, thus ranking you higher for the related keywords.
Add a FAQ section to the end of your content
Ultimately, people perform searches on Google to find answers to their questions.
So all that the Google search algorithm is doing every single time, is to comb through the billions of pages on the World Wide Web, to find webpages with the most relevant answers to the users’ questions.
As such, adding a FAQ section to the end of your content is a simple, easy “bribe” to Google to increase the chances of your website getting picked up for higher rank positions on search results.
Some technical sculpting in terms of setting up the proper content structure is involved here.
I would recommend that each of the questions in your FAQ section be styled as a H3 heading, and your answers in separate paragraph (P) tags.
Optimize the main image on your content page
Most people know that having images on a webpage helps improve the aesthetics of the page, and elevate the user experience at the same time as well.
However, where most people fall short is on the technical optimization of the images.
And if you’re really pressed for time, just make sure that you do the necessary for at least one image on the content page, usually the main image banner at the start of the page.
Don’t worry, it is not as difficult or challenging as it sounds. So here I’m going to highlight the key things to deal with that will give you the most bang for buck with regards to your SEO optimisation.
Compress the size of the image as much as possible
One of the biggest factors that affects the SEO speed optimisation of your webpages is the total filesize of all the images that appear on your webpage.
And usually the main culprit is the main banner image. Any image that is 400kb and above in filesize is going to sink your webpage loading speed pretty darn fast.
What you really want to do is to get the filesize of the image under 200kb, or 150kb if possible.
A great tool that you can use to compress your images is TinyPNG.
It’s image compression algorithm is surprisingly good; you can run the compression twice (which I recommend) on the image and the quality is still highly comparable to the original.
Most of the time, you can’t even tell the difference between the original image and the compressed one.
Include your keyword in the filename of the image
This is an easy one and it’s probably one of those SEO tips that you already know. But as it is quite important, it is worth mentioning here as a reminder.
Bear in mind though that the Google search algorithm has become more and more sophisticated over the years.
So simply just whacking your keyword into the filename of your image can run the risk of Google thinking that you’re trying too hard to stuff keywords into your webpage. And that would not be a good thing.
So for including keywords into your image filename, I generally recommend that you add a modifier word to it.
E.g. if I’m trying to rank for “SEO tips”, I would probably name my main image as “proven-SEO-tips.png” with the word “proven” added as a modifier to the original keyword.
Also, as you can see from the example above, the words in the image filename should be separated by a dash (“-“) character, so that Google clearly understands the context and relationship of the words.
Include your keyword in the Alt text of the image
While yet another simple and easy SEO trick to implement, it is also one that many people – including professional SEO practitioners – tend to forget and overlook.
The Alt text is a non-visible attribute of your image tag that gets picked up by the Google algorithm to determine the nature of that image and its context, especially in relation to the webpage that it is on.
Most website content management systems – such as WordPress or Magento – have built-in editors that can automatically identify image tags and give you an easy interface to configure the alt text of your selected image.
Similar to the tip for adding keywords into the filename of your images, you want to do it in a natural and contextually logical manner that does not amount to keyword stuffing.
The best way to do it is to set it up as a short phrase.
Using the same example as above, if I’m trying to rank for “SEO tips”, then the alt text for my image could be “Best SEO tips to check out for 2021”.
“Steal” your competitors’ ranked content
Calm your horses; I’m not suggesting that you do anything unethical or illegal.
Hear me out.
As we have said many times before, Google ranks webpages on the singular basis of whether the content on those webpages is most relevant to the search intention of the user performing the search.
By this logic, it means that those webpages that appear on the first page of Google search for your target keywords have content deemed by Google to be most relevant to your keywords.
If that is the case, then for your webpage to be ranked high, and get onto the first page, you need to make sure your content is highly similar in context and quality as compared to those that are already ranking on the first page.
So the easiest way to do that, is to “steal” the content from those ranked webpages, and incorporate them into your own content.
Of course, you can’t and must not copy wholesale; that will really land you in trouble.
More importantly, for the purpose of search engine optimization, Google frowns intensely on plagiarized content and won’t hesitate to demote your rank positions for it.
So what you want to do is to take the content and restructure, rephrase, and rearrange it such that the final output is your original version.
A great tool to check if your content still contains elements of plagiarism is this here.
Onpage SEO tips to rank higher in 2021
There are probably a thousand and one things that you can do to improve your SEO rankings on Google.
But not all actions have the same impact, and quite a majority of those so-called SEO tips and tricks downright don’t work, wasting your precious time, money and effort.
What you want is to take the actionable steps that deliver the highest possible impact on your search engine optimisation performance to advance your business goals.
If you prefer a professional and results-driven SEO expert to help you with your SEO process, drop us a note. We are a top-ranked SEO agency in Singapore and have produced results for global brands, national corporations and small medium-sized businesses alike.
Nevertheless, putting into action these 5 proven SEO tips will definitely help you achieve your SEO ranking goals faster.