Search Engine Positioning Guide

Search Engine Positioning Guide
Article by Bisera Stankovska
Last Updated: March 20, 2023

If you’re not showing on the first page of Google, it’s time to reconsider your search engine positioning improvement strategies.    

It takes more than optimizing and tweaking content on your site to boost search engine performance. Consistency, customer nurturing, reputation management and purpose-driven efforts are just as important.    

We’ll share everything you need to know about search engine placement—from the way it works to search engine positioning tips, so you can start attracting more traffic. 

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What Is Search Engine Positioning?

Search engine positioning is the continuous cycle of optimizing your website pages so that they appear among the highest search results for specific keywords.

In contrast to optimizing your website as a whole, search engine positioning refers specifically to the optimization of individual pages.

5 Best Practices To Maximize Your Search Engine Positioning

Outrank the competition and drive greater website traffic. Follow these fundamental search engine positioning tips. 

  1. Select The Right Keywords
  2. Use Keyword Phrases In Your Meta Descriptions & Title Tags
  3. Optimize Your Loading Speed
  4. Send Your XML Sitemaps To Google And Bing
  5. Check Your Internal Links

1. Select The Right Keywords

Choosing the right keywords helps search engines understand the content of your pages. This increases your chances of moving to a front position.

To choose your keywords:

  • Research the keywords to target and monitor their performance over several weeks
  • Check the companies showing on Google’s first page for the keyword you want to target

If the keyword you plan to target is used by competitors that are well-known brands or corporations, consider using a less competitive term or long-tail keywords

2. Use Keyword Phrases In Your Meta Descriptions & Title Tags

Updating your meta descriptions and title tags can be a great way to target specific keywords and improve ranking.

These details are the first thing a user sees when checking the results of their search efforts.

If your title tags and meta descriptions do not provide relevant information, your user will move to another website. This will hurt your click-through rate and your chances to rank in high positions.

  • Check your title tags and meta descriptions for relevance
  • Find the best-performing keyword phrases on Google Search Console
  • Reoptimize your meta description and title tag using these high-performing keyword phrases at the beginning of your title tags and meta descriptions

3. Optimize Your Loading Speed

Did you know that only 26% of mobile internet users will wait more than five seconds for a website to load on their device?

If your website doesn’t load quickly, there’s a high chance you’re missing out on leads.

Google knows that consumers are reluctant to waste their time on waiting. This is one of the reasons why your website loading speed is considered an important factor in SERP positioning.

  • Experts say that your pages should load in 1-2 seconds to reduce bounce.
  • Use tools such as GTmetrix, Uptime, and Dareboost to improve your website loading speed.
  • Optimize Your Website Content
  • Optimize your pages frequently according to the latest SEO companies' best practices.

Don’t forget about the pages that already rank high — if your website is considered relevant for a specific keyword by the search engine, improvements to the page can ensure an even higher position.

To optimize your website content:

  • Replace outdated stats with new information
  • Implement additional headers and sub-headers to include your keywords and break your content into easy-to-read sections
  • If your headers contain questions, answer them in the first sentence immediately after the header
  • Make sure your content is clear and to-the point

4. Send Your XML Sitemaps To Google And Bing

As well as submitting your website to search engines, make sure to submit your XML sitemaps to Google and Bing once or twice per month.

This gives search engines information about the content of your pages and how to find them, and is especially important when you add content or new pages.

Compared to the time it takes for Google and Bing to crawl your website and look for changes, submission of your XML sitemaps is much faster.

5. Check Your Internal Links

Use internal linking to provide context between the pages on your website.

For example, let’s say you’re in the hunting equipment business and you are writing a post about the various types of hunting. You mention backpack hunting and include a link to a page talking specifically about its characteristics.

From the user’s perspective, you provide relevant information at the exact time they may need it.

When linking internally:

  • Use an SEO tool such as Ahrefs to identify your highest authority pages
  • Add internal links on these pages that link to the pages where you want to achieve higher positioning
  • Use keyword-rich anchor text (meaning you include your target keyword within the text of the link) for your links to show Google your target keywords and what your page is about
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4 Benefits Of Search Engine Positioning

You’re likely aware that ranking in top positions on search engines means higher website traffic and improved click-through rate (CTR), but let’s look at the benefits in more detail.

Search engine positioning benefits:

  1. Increases Visibility
  2. Helps You Beat Your Competition
  3. Increases Your Organic Traffic
  4. Improves Brand Awareness

1. Increases Visibility

The first result on Google receives 31.7% of the total number of clicks, while only 0.78% of searchers click a link from the second page. The organic results for the top three positions amount to 75% of clicks.

Simply put, if you rank first, your brand is more visible!

2. Helps You Beat Your Competition

Being listed before your competitors increases the chance that potential consumers will visit your website and explore your products and services.

Meeting your users’ search intent will increase the likeliness that they’ll consider your business and forget about your competitors.

3. Increases Your Organic Traffic

The goal behind search engine placement is to rank your pages among the highest results on Google or other search engines.

Appearing among the top results on search pages ensures an increased number of monthly clicks for your business.

Once you achieve this, your organic traffic increases. That in turn means more leads, conversions and revenue.

4. Improves Brand Awareness

Users pay attention if a specific website continuously provides relevant information to their searches. Once they know you are a trustworthy source, they will choose to interact with your pages in the future.

Search engine positioning can establish your company as an industry leader, boost credibility and promote your brand. Search engine placement can also increase your visibility and organic traffic.

Search Engine Positioning vs. SEO

Though the two terms are often used synonymously, search engine positioning is actually part of search engine optimization (SEO) and the two terms have several key differences:

  1. Search engine placement follows the creation and implementation of a SEO plan
  2. Search engine positioning focuses on the ranking of individual pages, while SEO focuses on the entire website optimization.
  3. In addition to the optimization of the individual website pages, SEO focuses on domain-level improvements, such as the domain’s response time and age, along with the number of links to that domain

Pro tip: If you’re looking for more information on SEO, explore our articles on how to fix your SEO and how SEO automation can help you achieve your goals faster!

How Does Search Engine Positioning Work?

Search engines use their own algorithms and website crawling to analyze the content and structure of your website, then determine its positioning.

Similar to listing books in a library, Google organizes the information of all websites. This organization of information is known as indexing and aims at ensuing high speed when responding to queries.

Search engines generate relevant pages using the keywords or questions entered into the search bar.

Search engines base their choice of positioning on multiple factors, such as:

  • Trustworthiness of a website
  • Users’ search histories
  • Use of keywords and keyword density
  • Related topics and keyword synonyms
  • Mobile friendliness and loading speed
  • Backlinks from other sites

Each of these items receives a numerical score assigned by the search engine, which then dictates the pages to be displayed in the highest positions.

Search engines base your website positioning on a number of factors, such as keywords, related topics and trustworthiness of the website and content.

How Can You Check The Search Engine Placement Of A Page?

To check your Google search positioning, visit the Google Search Console page.

The reports and tools of this free service by Google provide information about how Google sees your site, as well as insights into performance, traffic and click-through rate. These reports and tools also help you maintain and troubleshoot your search results presence.

A useful tip: Google Search Console tells you both the keywords you are ranking for and the exact pages where Google encountered spam, indexing or other issues. This information can help with your optimization process.

Since search engines continuously index new pages, your ranking may change. Monitor your performance to know where to focus your efforts.

For a more detailed analysis of your performance and placement, use software tools such as Ahrefs and SEMrush.

Key Takeaways On Website Search Engine Positioning

Search engine positioning is the process of optimizing your website pages so they appear in the top positions on search engines.

Search engine positioning:

  • Increases visibility
  • Increases your organic traffic
  • Promotes your brand
  • Beats your competition

To maximize your SEO positioning:

  • Select the right keywords for each individual page
  • Use the keyword phrases in your title tag and meta description
  • Optimize your website content
  • Optimize your page loading speed
  • Check your internal links
  • Send your XML sitemap to Google and Bing

Outsourcing the services of some of the best SEO agencies and specialized digital marketing companies can help you with this.

We’ll find qualified SEO agencies for your project, for free.
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