How to Rank Higher on Google in 2019
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Today I have brought Squarespace SEO expert Charlotte O'Hara of charlotteohara.ca back for another video. We already did another video all about How to Get Started with Squarespace SEO so definitely check that one out if you haven't already!
In today's video we are going to take it a step further and talk about how you can rank higher on Google in 2019.
*all text is Charlotte unless specified
Louise: We're assuming that you have already filled in all of the base Squarespace SEO settings. So now this is how you can take your SEO efforts to the next level and start getting that higher rank in Google. Charlotte is going to share all the good stuff with us!
First, Submit Your Website to Google Search Console
As Louise said, we're going to assume that you have filled out the basic SEO settings, but one that you might not have done, which is super important (if you really want to rank high with Google) is to submit your Squarespace website to Google Search Console.
This is a technical integration but it's not hard. If you haven't already done that, make sure that that's the very first thing you do.
Once that's done, there are two really important things that we're going to be talking about now to rank your website higher on Google in 2019.
1. Create really high quality valuable content that speaks directly to readers or people that are searching for terms within your niche.
When we're talking about high-quality content, it means webpages or products or blog posts - any kind of content that exists on your website. Of course, we're going to be doing things like formatting it correctly, but we're going to take it a lot further and start using things called keywords or key phrases. These are going to be used strategically throughout the content of your website.
Louise: Once you start doing this properly, you will get all of these people coming to your website that are directly interested in whatever it is that you do. Once I started taking advantage of it and stopped being intimidated by it, I realized how effective it can be.
Yes, exactly. Intimidated is the perfect word. People are like, oh my gosh, like keywords, key phrases, I don't know what that means… and then they just don't do it. But it's pretty simple. Like, think about keywords as, ‘what is somebody searching for?’ If you're using real life language, what are they typing in that will take them to your website? It could be something super simple.
Here's a couple of examples:
Miami based interior designer
New York City child psychologist
Online fashion blogger for curvy women
So really, it doesn't have to be just one single word. We're not talking about like “shoes.” Oh my God, no. We are talking about like a general string of words that make up the keyword or key phrase.
Louise: Okay, awesome. So how would people know like what people are searching? Is there a tool that is your favorite? Do you use Google Keyword Planner? What would you recommend people use?
Totally. You can definitely use a tool like Google Keyword Planner. You can also see what people are already searching by going into the analytics tab of your Squarespace website. Here you can see what people are searching for that's already taken them to your website.
But specifically, if you're trying to create really valuable content that’s targeting certain keywords, then it's up to you to create the content for your website that will bring in those keyword searches.
Let's go back to our example of New York City child psychologist. If that's what your business is and you're trying to attract people based on those keywords, it's up to you to go back to your website, into your blog and create a lot of amazing content around that keyword or those keywords.
So, you would go in and create multiple blog posts and then that way Google sees that you're an authority on that keyword because you're creating lots of amazing high-quality content and they are going to reward you by ranking you higher and higher in the search results for those keywords.
Louise Yeah, I love that it's not just ranking one keyword or keyword phrase for one blog post. I think what is really great about your strategy is that it's more holistic. It's about showing Google in multiple different ways in multiple different times that you're an expert or that you should be found for that specific keyword.
2. Prove Your an Authority in Your Niche
That actually leads really well into the second point that I wanted to talk about if you really want to start ranking higher on Google. One of the best ways to do it is to prove that you're an authority website in your niche.
One of the best ways to do that is to get more backlinks or inbound links (depending on who's saying it for which marketing term). But either way, it means another website is linking back to your website. And this is really important for a couple of reasons.
First, Google is like, oh wow - something is going on because there are other websites linking to your website. This is especially effective if Google sees that the other websites linking to yours have a high domain authority (for example, a respectable publication or university or another major website). Imagine if the New York Times links to you or something. Right? You're going to get some major SEO juice from that!
Here's another example - if you're a mommy blogger and you get linked to by another mommy blogger or by the Toys R’ Us website or a local newspaper - all of those inbound links or backlinks back to your website are going to have an SEO reward.
So, when you're trying to grow your website and appear higher up in Google, you have to get creative about how you can get these links. It could be as simple as just, writing to another website and saying, ‘hey, can you feature me or can you include me?’
But more often than not, you're going to have to get a bit more creative. This could mean doing a guest post for another website or writing an article for an online publication so that you get that link in the byline. You could also use the tool HARO, which stands for Help a Reporter Out. This means that you can get featured in various news publications online - you can pitch yourself to be featured by journalists and writers.
There are lots of different ways that you can get backlinks and you just have to be creative and really persistent about it! You can't be afraid to pitch, so get creative and see what are the different ways you can get featured by good websites either in your niche or that have a high domain authority.
Louise: And it actually ends up, you know, kind of being fun, like trying to figure out how you’re going to get those backlinks. And you know, all of those activities like guest posts will show your authority and expose you to a new audience, getting media - all of this is going to benefit your business in so many different ways. So there's just this awesome side benefit that it's also going to improve your SEO so much.
Exactly. That's such a good point. Yet people are like, oh my gosh, link building blah blah blah. It's so hard. I'm like, it does take time and effort but it's not necessarily like the hardest thing out there!
You have a good website and good offerings - it makes sense for people to align with it.
Louise: Yeah. It's really not as difficult as it seems. I think it's just, you know, one of those things that requires putting yourself out there. It's pitching so it seems like, oh it's going to be so difficult. But once I started doing it, I was like, oh this is not that challenging at all. And it's mutually beneficial because you also you have a website so you can offer a link to their website. So you can also look at it that way - look at it as more of a partnership and come up with creative ideas of how two businesses around similar topics can help one another - similar to what we’re doing right now ;)
Exactly. We're sharing links so that's only going to benefit both of us and our websites. So if anyone out there is watching and they're like oh my goodness, how can I get more links? Reach out to someone, pitch that you guys collaborate or maybe get featured on their website somehow. There are lots of different ways. Be forward about it and have a good time!
Louise: Yes! You can totally be creative with it. One of the ways that I have the most backlinks to my site is that I offered free stock photos on my website. Now I have so many different blogs linking back to it because it's a free resource for people.
Totally. Exactly. That's such a good example.
Those are some really solid tips about how you can rank higher in Google.
Thank you Charlotte for coming again on my channel! I definitely want you to learn even more about Squarespace from Charlotte, so make sure that you download her Squarespace SEO checklist and check out her website charlotteohara.ca.
And if your website needs some help, sign up for a free trial of my course where you can build your actual site and then optimize it with everything that Charlotte teaches you.
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That’s it for today's video. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below!