April 4, 2020
How to Get Higher Google Rankings in 2019 [New Checklist]

How to Get Higher Google Rankings in 2019 [New Checklist]

– In this video I’m gonna show you how to get higher Google rankings fast. In fact, one of my readers
recently used the checklist from this video to increase
his organic traffic by 88.3%. I’m Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko. The place where marketers turn for higher rankings and more traffic. In this video, you’re
gonna see the checklist that I use for all of my SEO clients. You’ll also learn why
you might want to delete, yes delete, half the
pages on your website. And a simple trick you can use to improve your Google rankings fast. Keep watching. (soft electronic music) A few months ago, I sent out a newsletter to my email subscribers. This email listed out some of my all-time favorite traffic hacks. Out of the blue, the
founder of Proven.com, Sean Falconer, replied to that email. He said, “Dude, I’ve tried all
of these techniques before, “and they helped us get more traffic.” When I looked at Sean’s
site, I saw that he was doing a solid job with his
content marketing and SEO. But, I also noticed a few mistakes that were holding him back
from Google’s first page. That’s when I sent him this message. A few hours later, Sean got back to me. After executing the checklist
that I’m about to show you, Sean’s organic traffic shot
up by nearly 50% in 21 days. And once the checklist
had time to kick in, Proven’s traffic increased
by a whopping 88.3% three weeks after that. With that, let’s dive in to the checklist that Sean used to get
higher Google rankings. Your first step is to find and eliminate what I call zombie pages. I used to think that Google rewarded sites that publish lots and
lots of unique content. But I was wrong. Today, I know the truth. The truth is that Google doesn’t want you to publish content just for
the sake of publishing content. In fact, a Google employee recently stated that they prefer websites
that publish fewer high quality pages. This quality over quantity approach is one of the secrets
behind my blog’s success. In fact, Backlinko gets over 150,000 unique visitors per month. Unlike most blogs, I only
publish every four to six weeks. But when I do, I make sure
each and every post is awesome. In fact, at the time
of shooting this video, Backlinko only has 37 total blog posts. Fortunately, Sean only
published high quality content on his blog. So, that wasn’t an issue. The problem was his site
had lots of zombie pages. So, what are zombie pages? Zombie pages are pages on your site that don’t provide any value. For example, zombie
pages are pages like old and outdated blog posts
and press releases, category and tag pages,
search results pages, eCommerce product pages
that don’t get any sales, thin content pages, and
pages with duplicate content. In theory, Proven.com
shouldn’t have a ton of pages. After all, Proven is an online job board where job postings come and go. Despite that, they had nearly 50,000 pages indexed in Google. That’s a lot. As it turned out, Proven
didn’t automatically delete their old job postings. So, these pages stuck
around even though the job had been filled years ago. To make matters worse, Google was indexing their search result pages
which are classic zombie pages. So, I recommended that they
delete their old job postings and add the no index tag
to their search results. Sean quickly took action. Thanks to these changes,
Proven now only has around 4,000 pages indexed. Which is 40,000 less than they had before. Step number two is to fix
any technical SEO issues that your site has. There are literally hundreds
of technical problems that can impact your SEO. Fixing them is one of the fastest ways to get higher Google rankings. That said, here are some of the
most common technical issues that I see during SEO site audits. How can you find these technical
SEO issues on your site? I recommend using the
Raven tool Site Auditor or SEMrush’s Site Audit tool. They’ll crawl your site and let you know about technical problems that might be hurting your site’s SEO. Fortunately, Proven didn’t have too many technical SEO issues. That’s mostly due to
the fact that we deleted so many zombie pages. Fewer pages equals fewer problems. The only problems I could
find were some missing ALT text on images and a
handful of duplicate titles. Not a big deal but worth fixing. As expected Sean quickly took care of all these technical SEO problems. Now that we’ve fixed
Proven.com’s technical problems, it was time to optimize their content. I probably don’t need to
tell you that on-page SEO can make or break your site’s rankings. That’s why I dedicate an entire step of my SEO checklist to on-page SEO. Because Proven had thousands of pages, I knew I couldn’t
optimize every single one. So, Sean sent me his top
10 most important pages. Now, some of Sean’s most important pages were blog posts and others
were commercial pages that sold his services. So, let’s look at a
quick example of a page that I optimized for Sean. A blog post called Best
Questions to Ask References, The Complete List. Sean’s target keyword for this post was questions to ask references. So, I added that keyword
to the top of the page. Why? Because Google puts more weight on words that appear in the
beginning of your content. So, it’s important that
your keyword shows up there. I also sprinkled in a few LSI
keywords like business tips. LSI keywords are terms
that are closely related to your target keyword. When you include these LSI keywords in your content, you’ll
get a rankings boost. In fact, my recent analysis
of one million Google search results found that LSI
keyword-rich content tended to outrank content that
didn’t contain LSI keywords. So, how can you use LSI
keywords to get higher rankings? Well, let’s say you just
wrote an article about coffee. LSI keywords for coffee
would be things like mug, caffeine, and Starbucks. So, you want to make sure that you include those terms in your content. Our fourth step is to optimize your title and description tag
for click-through rate. You probably already know that CTR is a huge ranking factor right now. Think about it, if people
searching for a keyword click on your result more than others, it tells Google that
you’re the best result for that keyword and you’ll
rank higher in Google. In fact, a recently published
Google research paper states that, “Click-through
read data has proven “to be a critical resource for improving “search ranking quality.” So, it’s clear that CTR is
an important ranking signal. The question is, how
can you optimize for it? Let me walk you through
a real life example. One of Sean’s best blog posts
was a huge list of job boards. Considering how epic this content was, it should’ve been
ranking in the top three. But, Sean’s page was
stuck in the fifth spot. And I had a feeling that the
page’s title and description was hurting it’s CTR and rankings. Here’s what I did to turn things around. First, I looked at the ad words ad that showed up when I
searched for best job boards and other related keywords. I noticed that almost every
ad used a specific number. And none of the ads used
the term niche talent. So, I changed Sean’s title tag to this and his description tag to this. These changes boosted that pages organic click-through rate by 64.1%. And Sean currently ranks in the top three for his target keyword. Now that I improved
Sean’s click-through rate, it was time to optimize his site around another important
ranking factor, dwell time. That’s what step number five is all about. So, what is dwell time? And how can you optimize for it? When someone searches for a keyword and clicks in a result,
two things can happen. They can stay in your site for a long time or they quickly click away. The amount of time someone
spends on your site is known as dwell time. As you might expect, the
longer your dwell time, in general, the higher your
page will rank in Google. Here’s what I did to quickly
improve Sean’s dwell time. First, I moved Sean’s
content up so it appeared at the top of the page. You see, Proven used to have huge gaps that pushed their content
below the fold like this. So, I cut this gap down by about 50%. Sean’s post also had giant images that pushed their content down even more. I made these images smaller
so they took up less room. Next, I made Sean’s
introductions more sticky. Here’s the deal. When someone comes to
your site from Google, your intro makes them
stick around or click away. In fact, intros are so important that I spend more time on
my intros than my headlines. In Sean’s case, I noticed
that his introductions weren’t formatted in
a reader-friendly way. See how all that text
is squished together? That’s really hard to read. So I formatted his intro so there was only one sentence per paragraph. I also cut out a few lines of text that weren’t compelling or interesting. Overall, these tweaks boosted that page’s dwell time by 12.23%. Not too shabby. Okay, so our second to
last step is to improve your site’s loading speed. Can making your site faster really improve your Google rankings? Definitely. In fact, our search engine
ranking factor study found that faster loading pages tended to outrank slow pages. Here’s how to quickly evaluate and improve your site’s loading speed. First, head over to
Google PageSpeed Insights. Just enter your site into the tool and fix the problems
that it tells you about. Next, check out GTMetrix. Just like Google’s tool,
GTMetrix will show you potential issues with your pages code. But, it also let’s you know
about server hosting problems that can slow down your site. For example, in Sean’s case,
his images weren’t compressed. So, they took forever to load. And this single fix made a huge
impact on his loading speed. Now that Sean’s site was optimized, error-free, and fast, it
was time for the last step. Which is to publish a piece of content using the skyscraper technique. You probably already heard
about the skyscraper technique. If you haven’t, here’s the deal. The skyscraper technique is where you find the best content in your industry and then create something way better. So, I sent an email to Sean and asked him, “Have you noticed any
content that’s ranking “in Google, but isn’t even that good?” He said, “Actually, everything I’ve seen “written about job
descriptions is pretty weak.” Sean was right. Most of the content out
there about job descriptions were simple lists of links
to different examples of job descriptions. For whatever reason,
they all used the same lame stock photos. So, I worked with Sean to
create something way better than what was out there. How? First, instead of a list
to links to other pages, we listed each job
description on a single page. Next, Sean added helpful
information about each job like the average salary
and education requirements. Finally, he used quality images instead of lame stock photos. Sean’s post did great. It got a short-term surge in
traffic after it went live. Today, Sean’s skyscraper
content currently ranks in the top five for his target keyword. And thanks to this content
and the other techniques from this checklist,
Sean’s organic traffic increased by 88.39%. There you have it, my seven step checklist to improve your Google rankings. If you like this video,
make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel right now. That way, you won’t miss
out on other actionable SEO videos like this one. Just click on the subscribe
button below this video. Also, if you want exclusive SEO tips that I only share with subscribers, head over to Backlinko.com and
sign up for the newsletter. It’s free. Now, I want to turn it over to you. Which tip from this video
are you gonna try first? Are you gonna work on your dwell time? Or do you want to delete zombie pages? Let me know by leaving a
comment below right now. Fifth spot. Did I say that right? What’s up? I do that a lot. All right, yeah, I did. Oh, but it’s okay. Man, my acting skills. Okay, that’s a tough one. How are we doing, shine? (laughing)

100 thoughts on “How to Get Higher Google Rankings in 2019 [New Checklist]

  1. Wow, you nailed it so here you go i have pushed that subscribe button πŸ™‚ Also, i am a freelancer so i'll definitely look forward to your videos and yes i will use the Basic and Advanced on Page SEO technique…. πŸ™‚ You are doing a good job i must say.

  2. I followed your advice Brian and it boosts my site performance (based on GTmetrix) from C to B and now I got an A score. After watching this video, I learned that increasing traffic or ranking top on Google isn't about quantity of posts but the quality. My A score is a proof your checklist works. Thank you so much! πŸ˜€

  3. Is there any way to decrease a page rank as far lowering down the rank of a page when it comes to mugshots, negative reviews, and negative blog posts?

  4. Hi Brian! New subscriber here. Love your vids! Speaking of commonly searched topics with poor results, I just wanted to say that it's REALLY hard to find youtube channels that are dedicated to "news" in SEO/SMM. I start my mornings by reading news relevant to my industry, but I really wish there was a channel I could throw on while I get my day started. Most of the Youtube videos I find are smart, excellent people covering the same information with a slightly different spin. If I could find a channel that briefly covers recent changes in SEO/SMM, from a professional who can give their opinion on the changes, I'd probably watch that every morning. It's probably too much work though to edit and release the videos. Any suggestions of a good podcast or channel out there that can keep me up to date without tying up my hands?

  5. Hi Bro, could you please check my blog @t how is my blog and is there something to improve? esp, to apply for Adsense. I have learned much from your videos.

  6. "Just click on the sus-cribe buh-in for more impor-int tips and please leave a commen below." Jeez, people have gotten so lazy they can't enunciate words anymore.

  7. Great tips. I have one for you, for your YouTube videos. YouTube provides approximately 2 lines of text in the Description before the words: SHOW MORE, right? When we leave a comment, our eyes might wander up there but if there's no link inviting me to click to your website or landing page or, as in your case at the bottom of your description, your Twitter and YT links, people might not go further. What if you put your most preferred link at the beginning of the Description instead? People leaving a comment might hit it after they hit "Comment." Thoughts?

  8. Thanks a lot, Brian. I'm a beginner, I just started learning digital marketing tactics. I'm planning to build a website to implement what I'm learning. Is a single blog post enough for that, or should I write frequently for practising SEO and all ??

  9. Thank you for the video but what is the best way to delete the zombie pages from the site and are deleted directly from the sites and delete from the catalogs of Google please explain the correct way

  10. Published On Jan 23 2018 πŸ€” Did you just changed the title description etc πŸ€”. Whatever, πŸ˜‡ Your content is awesome 😎 πŸ‘

  11. I like that you changed this to "2019", I remember doing that early this year for each of my 2018 mentions earlier this year..

  12. When deleting or removing pages from your website what is the best action to take for the new 404 pages that will be generated when deleting existing pages? Should you redirect or let them be flagged as 404?

  13. Thank you so much for these Brain, I have recently launch my site and will definitely try these, as I have no organic traffic at all. Thanks a lot once again

  14. These small improvements can have remarkable impacts in SERP.

    The other day, I updated content on "The Complete Social Media Marketing Guide [2019]" with additional keywords & requested re indexing from Google Search Console.

    Result, from 48th position, it shot up to 8th position for search "social media marketing guide"

  15. Amazing content, easy to follow and subbedπŸ‘
    I have a local business and on my website I have a service area page with over 45 clickable suburbs that each say the same speel about services etc like a landing page for every suburb . Should I scrap the links and just list the suburbs? I thought that a customer searching "repairs in suburb X" would show up that suburb page as a landing page but sounds as though that's wrong for a few reasons.

  16. I love your videos! You mentioned Zombie pages…what is a good strategy to use. I have built out several pages that are geo-targeted but now I'm thinking maybe I should combine them into one page instead to beef up the content on a given page. What is the best strategy to do that OR do I need to just start over with a new page? Can I just combine all the content and then make a redirect for the pages that I combined?

  17. At 11:06 between Jun 9 and Jun 13 kinda went back to bad.. so why was that? Does this only improves in the beginning?

    Your the only youtuber that teach techniques and guide for youtube i can fully understand.. I love and appreciate your work..keep it up and godbless!! 😊

  19. This is true i have applied this on my jobboard website i deleted the zombies pages before that i had 20 000 visitors now i have 50 000 visitors per month thanks backlinko you tell the true

  20. I just came here to know that before making my first serious site. AND THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THAT TIPS <3

  21. Don't Worry Brother, I Am A Method Actor & Screenwriter. I performed in many projects and watched years and hours of movie and I Am about to watch a movie now with my son. I Am saying this to let You know don't worry, You were Awesomely Clear and had a powerful verbal bullet-point presentation. If I would Rank Your Presentation, you would Rank In The Top 5. So Relax and FEEL Good, you Rocked The Video. Even that little talking at the end of your video was a cool unintended – unique – refreshing touch the drinking water was a subconscious cool down activity that you were not aware of but was very powerful. In Plain language, You Kicked Ass Big Time My Cool-Ass Brother!!!! FEEEEEEL GOOOOD BRO, YOU ROCKED THAT VIDEO!!!!

  22. A Rang The Bell and gave you the Thumps up! You are The Steve Macqueen Of Videos Brother!!! This should hold until the next video!!!!

  23. 1:26 Identify and delete "zombie pages"
    3:31 Clean up any technical SEO issues
    4:31 Basic & advanced on-page optimization
    6:04 Boost organic click-through-rate (CTR)
    7:28 Improve dwell time
    9:06 Improve page speed
    9:55 Publish a skyscraper technique post

  24. Your speech cadence should be changed, you do many cuts with few seconds sentences that start higher pitch and always end low and this start to get annoying, not too much; the value of informations I think is good, and you are a good actor as well you are funny, I like the short intro music and your overall style.

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