How to improve your ranking in 2018 without relying solely on search engine optimisation

Businesswoman writing on a laptop

It’s what every website owner wants: the highest possible search engine ranking. If you want to improve your ranking, search engine optimisation (SEO) is not automatically the be-all and end-all.

This is because your ranking results from the interaction of man and machine... These tips will help you satisfy both and improve your ranking.

Use the right keyword density

Repeating a certain keyword and countless of its synonyms is old hat. Too high a keyword density can even have a detrimental effect on the search engine ranking.

Users won’t be particularly impressed with an unnaturally high number of keywords either and may leave your site quickly. Why?

Because people are not search engines and because they put value on completely different criteria.

However, you should by no means avoid keywords altogether: a search engine requires certain input in order to classify your website correctly. What’s your page about? For which search queries does your website offer optimal solutions?

It is important to use the words that your target audience actually enter into the search engine. After all, every user is looking for something in their own way. If you are not sure, use keyword research to help you.

Focus on who your target group are, what they are looking for and what solutions you offer for the requirements of your customers.

Harness the power of headlines, layouts and titles

Take advantage of titles, subtitles or headlines. Here, a mixture of keywords, brand names, special product features and sales arguments usually brings the greatest success.

The title and headline of a text will be its hallmark for the search results of search engines. Formulate your headline in such a way that it encourages the user to click and have a look, which is helpful because the number of clicks is included in the ranking of search engines. A large number of clicks will see your site climb ever higher.

Accordingly, meeting the search engine’s criteria for displaying search results is not a headline’s only function. Your customer plays a decisive role, because it is the customer that you need to appeal to with your wording so that he or she visits your site.

What good is it to be at the top of the search results, but hardly attracting visitors to your website because your headline deters all potentially interested parties?

Offer your customers the information they are looking for

How detailed or concise the description of your products or services should be depends on what you are offering. For some products, a long text is required, in which every detail is explained. For other products, a few sentences are sufficient.

Just make sure that your texts contain all the information that is relevant to your customer and, above all, match your headlines and keywords. After all, your content should also correspond to your customer’s search query, which is what led him to your site in the first place. Otherwise he won’t stay long.

And when your customer leaves your site immediately, it sends certain signals to the search engine.

  • Your customer did not find what he was looking for on your site.
  • Your site must not match the search terms your customer entered into the search engine very well.
  • Other sites may offer something closer to what your customer is looking for.

And why should a search engine continue to rank your website highly for a particular search query when your customer obviously didn’t find what he was looking for on your site? The result: your website drops in the ranking and other sites overtake it.

Please note, however, that it is impossible to generalise exactly how a search engine evaluates a very short website visit. The individual factors that play a role in the search engine ranking vary depending on the search engine. And most providers do not disclose more precise information about their ranking criteria and their weighting.

After all, it could equally be the case that your customer only stays on your website for a very short time because he or she finds the relevant information at a single glance – and that’s not a bad thing.

Rise above the competition with unique content

If you want to improve your ranking, you should refrain from copying product descriptions and using other copied texts. Search engines such as Google recognise this and react by giving you a worse ranking. Therefore, make sure that your texts are unique in order to keep the search engines happy.

In addition, make sure that your content is of benefit to those who visit your website: it’s true that search engines help your customers find your site, but as soon as they have found it, the search engine no longer matters.

Then it’s up to you to convince potential customers with your content.

Decide on a writing style and predefine the lengths, structure and tone of your texts. In this way you create order and clarity, which is particularly appealing to people and keeps them on your side – and at the same time you strengthen the uniform appearance of your brand.

The same goes for your SEO translations, which will strengthen your international presence.

One more tip: don’t write as though you are addressing just anyone. Use personal forms of address and emotional language to truly reach your customers.

Take advantage of Google Image Search

Who likes to buy a pig in a poke? High-resolution images can sometimes say more than long texts. They are among the most important sales arguments, especially in online retail.

Ideally, upload multiple images of each product so that your customer can view the product from different perspectives. Keep in mind that while detailed, high-resolution images do look beautiful, they will extend the loading times of your website.

Nowadays we are spoiled to a certain extent: even if we only have to wait a few seconds until a website has completely loaded, this can sometimes test our patience. We just go ahead and look somewhere else. One click and we’re gone.

Make sure that you find a good balance: your images should be high-resolution enough to show important details, but not necessarily oversized.

Keywords in the filename, image caption and page title of the website make it easier for search engines to find your product and even display it in Google Images. Amazon, for instance, displays the first product image in Google search results. So you can be found this way too.

Take the test!

If you want to improve your ranking, therefore, your texts must satisfy not only the search engines, but above all the human visitors to your website.

The free text analysis tool from Wortliga can give you an estimate on the quality of your content. As a basis for the evaluation, the tool uses the Hamburg comprehensibility concept and evaluates text content in terms of simplicity, conciseness, structure and stimulation.

Go ahead and try it now!