How to Improve Your Google Search Ranking in 5 Simple Steps

How to Improve Your Google Search Ranking in 5 Simple Steps

How to Improve Your Google Search Ranking in 5 Simple Steps

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Search engine optimization is an essential aspect of helping your business grow. On average, the first five results on Google receive 67 percent of clicks, so it’s tough to get website traffic when you’re sitting way back on page five. You want your site to be one of the first results a potential customer sees when they perform a search looking for a solution to their problem. Here are five ways to improve your Google search ranking and boost your business growth.

How to Improve Your Google Search Ranking

1. Utilize Tools to Track Your Site Activity

Google has helpful tools that will provide you with insight into how your site is performing. Google Search Console and Google Analytics (don’t miss the brand new GA4) collect your website activity to give you data you can use to improve your SEO. You want to know how many visitors you are bringing in, who they are, and how they engage with your site to determine how to attract more of those visitors and get them to stick around and convert.

There are other tools available that will help you track your site’s progress against your competitors. Find the ones that will work best for you and keep an eye on your site’s performance. We recommend Uber Suggest and SEMRush (both have free tools). If you notice that your site is not performing as well as you’d like, you can use these tools to start troubleshooting possible SEO problems.

2. Check Your Site’s Structure

There are certain links you should look for in your website’s structure. Double-check that all pages on your website are in HTTPS. Search engines prefer HTTPS pages over HTTP for security reasons, and if you are still using the latter, it could cause you to fall out of Google’s good graces.

You’ll also need to find and fix any crawl errors — you can use some of the tools we mentioned above to help identify these. Crawl errors occur when a search engine’s bot cannot access a page. Ensure that all of the links on your site lead to actual pages and make sure to have a customized 404 page that will still send visitors where you want them to go if they stumble onto a bad link.

Once you have ensured that all of the pages on your site are active and available, you can create a sitemap. A sitemap is essentially a list of the pages on your site. You can submit it to Google to improve your search engine ranking.

3. Create Good Content

While there are ways to improve your SEO without changing your content, a surefire method is creating high quality content. Create content for actual humans with a search engine in mind, not the other way around. 

You should know what your audience is looking for so you can answer the questions they are asking. Are they looking for a certain product or service? Do they need assistance with an issue? Whatever it is they are looking to find, you want to provide it for them — just like we wrote this article for you. 

Content naturally will become out of date as time passes. Stay on top of your content to increase your site’s traffic. Search engines prefer accurate and timely information, and they could pass up your site in favor of one with more current content.

Along with updating information, you should also remove anything that does not add value. Perform a content audit and get rid of any irrelevant content that you find. You want your audience to enjoy visiting and interacting with your site, and part of that is ensuring that your content is worthwhile. Google is incredibly smart and learns what your site is about so it can recommend it to others. If you have irrelevant content that could prevent Google from figuring out what topic your company is an expert in, they won’t recommend you.

4. Utilize Keywords & Incorporate Them Into Your Page Titles and Descriptions

Keywords are an essential part of SEO. When searching for specific terms, engines will match sites with those same keywords. With the right keywords, you can make sure that users find your site as a straightforward and clear solution to the problem  they are searching to solve.

Identify your key terms. These are your most searched keywords, and their use can help your site rank highly. Additionally, you want to find your long-tail keywords. They deliver a higher conversion rate, but they can be more challenging to work into your site’s content as they are not searched as often.

An effective way to look at where you can improve your keywords is by creating a keyword map. It can help you find where you need to add, optimize, or change content to fit more keywords.

5. Check Your Site’s Performance

There are a few different aspects of performance you should check to make sure your website is functioning properly and meeting Google’s standards. 

  • Ensure that Google Search Console has indexed your site (you should already have this tool from back in step 1). If not, it will not show up as a result at all, meaning no amount of SEO improvement will help because Google doesn’t recognize you. You can also check for site duplicates. If more than one version of your site is indexed, your data can become split across them.
  • Check your site’s speed. Pages that do not load within a few seconds are usually abandoned, and Google will track when users leave your site quickly. Keep visitors on your site by ensuring it has a fast loading speed.
  • Make sure that your site is mobile-friendly. Nowadays, Google factors in how your site looks and feels on mobile when considering site ranking. Even if they did not, you want visitors to be able to access your site on different devices.
  • Review your Google Analytics data often. Monitoring your goal completions, traffic, and more popular pages will help you understand what kind of content is performing well and what you should adjust, remove, or add.

Final Thoughts

Search engine optimization is an important part of driving traffic to your business’s website. The higher you rank, the more visitors will be able to find you With these five tips, you can easily improve your Google search ranking, enhance your SEO, and bring in more customers. 

Data is one of the key components to optimizing your website for Google, and there are an infinite number of dashboards, programs, and tools to help you sift through and interpret data. With the right strategies and tools, you can transform into actionable insights that serve as your marketing roadmap. Download our Business Intelligence eBook to learn more about this process and how it can help you grow your business.

About Dexter Burgess

Marketing Manager Dexter Burgess takes the lead on implementing new tactics and promoting change through data-driven strategies. Dex works hard at client relations through consistent communication and positive feedback, never settling until the customer is understood and happy.

About &Marketing

&Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.

What You Need to Know About the New Google Analytics 4

What You Need to Know About the New Google Analytics 4

What You Need to Know About the New Google Analytics 4

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Google recently released Google Analytics 4 (GA4), the next iteration of Google’s powerful analytics and measurement tool. GA4 adds machine learning capabilities, tracks users across devices, and provides more granular data controls. These adjustments are sure to empower users with the ability to gather more audience based data so they can make more informed and strategic business and marketing decisions.

What is Google Analytics 4?

The latest iteration of Google’s web analytics platform, previously known as Google Web & app and now dubbed Google Analytics 4, is now available for anyone to start using— for free! The new property type includes expanded predictive insights, deeper integration with Google Ads, cross-device measurement capabilities and more granular data controls.

Key Features

       A lot is new in Google Analytics 4, but we’ve highlighted a few of the key features that will benefit your brand and your marketing the most as you plan your strategy for the new year.

    • More granular data by way of “events.” These events can now be identified by actions as scroll starts and stops as well as clicks and conversions. You can also segment these events even further by audience, device, location, etc.
    • Codeless event tracking. In the past, Event tracking setup required custom code to be set on pages, with buttons that required a web developer to apply. Now you can open your website within Google’s window and tag events directly.
    • Deeper audiences integration with Google Ads. Get you more insights into who is interacting with your ads.Reports on actions from YouTube. Views and engagement that occur in-app as well as on the web version of YouTube are now able to be reported through GA4.
    • Customer lifecycle-framed reporting. This will allow you to see all aspects of the customer journey, such as what channels are driving new customers and how overall engagement and retention is performing.
    • More connection. Connect your mobile and web application data alongside your website data.

    Why Google Analytics 4 is important for your business

    Google Analytics 4 will be the default option when you set up a new property within your analytics. The previous iteration, Universal Analytics, will continue to remain available, but Google recommends site owners set up both property types and run them in parallel. New feature development will be focused on GA4.

    The new Google Analytics 4 property provides a more complete cross-channel view of the customer lifecycle, allowing you to see which channels work together to help you meet your goals and puts that information to use through predictive marketing features. This equips marketers with more information and efficient ways to act on those insights. The more detailed reporting on scrolls and clicks on pages will help businesses of all sizes easily identify weak points in their website so they know where to focus their efforts first to test new ideas and improve conversion rates and performance.

    Companies that have apps, those who do not have an on-site or on-demand contractor who is a web developer, and eCommerce businesses are among those who will benefit most from Google Analytics 4. But if you use analytics (hint: you all should be!) and are wondering when you should switch over to GA4, the answer is now. If you haven’t been collecting data in your website, it’s just like the best time to plant a tree. You should have done it 20 years ago, but there’s no time like the present to get started.

    How to Set Up Google Analytics 4

    Setup is relatively easy. Simply go to your site’s current Analytics and click on the “gear” icon in the lower left hand corner of the page. This will open the Admin panel. In the middle view, under “Property” you’ll see an option to “Upgrade to GA4.” Click that and follow the prompts in the setup wizard provides. Please note that you’ll be required to add a bit of code to your site, similar to Google Tag Manager.

    google analytics 4 upgrade

    Long story short, Google Analytics 4 will provide you with more data and information about how your audience is interacting on your site or app, which is crucial to have in order to experience real growth. Though we are probably still two years away from full integration of GA4, it’s important to set up your property so you can begin generating data that can further your strategy and decision making in ways that the traditional Google Analytics just can’t do.

    Got a question about GA4 or need help in setting it up? We’d love to help! Just fill out the form below.

    Using data will truly transform your marketing results. Want to learn exactly how? Download our eBook, “5 Ways Business Intelligence & Analytics Will Revolutionize Your Marketing Strategy.”

    About Paul Ferguson

    As a Marketing Director at &Marketing, Paul Ferguson uses his 16 years of B2B marketing experience to help clients develop fully integrated marketing solutions that make impressions and drive results. Whether it be design-oriented campaigns or digital market execution, Paul skillfully creates strategies backed by data, to effectively reach client’s desired audiences. 

    About Dexter Burgess

    Marketing Manager Dexter Burgess takes the lead on implementing new tactics and promoting change through data-driven strategies. Dex works hard at client relations through consistent communication and positive feedback, never settling until the customer is understood and happy.

    About &Marketing

    &Marketing provides the robust outsourced marketing department growing companies need without the high overhead costs of big agencies or full-time employees. Our variable model empowers businesses to reach their growth goals through access to the guidance and expertise of senior level strategists and a flexible execution team.

    Are you facing challenges of your own in generating leads and meeting your business’ growth goals?

    We’d love to learn more about your challenges and how a coordinated marketing approach might help take your organization to the next level.

    Understanding and Utilizing Google Analytics Goals

    Understanding and Utilizing Google Analytics Goals

    Understanding and Utilizing Google Analytics Goals

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    Are you tracking the actions taken on your brand’s website? Google Analytics is a free tool that provides baseline metrics for your site and, when utilized correctly, can help you further determine how people interact with it. Through Google Analytics Goals, any organizations can set up customizable actions across a website. Setting up goals for the primary actions users will take on your site is pivotal for segmenting analytics data based on those actions, which gives you insight into what’s attracting and converting customers and what’s not.

    Some Google Goals can be set up with ease, while others require custom code and a web developer. However, with proper setup, goals will help you strategize your approach to marketing your website. Here are four examples of goals you should make a priority to track through Google and why these goals are important for your business.

    Contact Us & Submission Pages (and Visits)

    Unless your website was designed in 1982, chances are you have a Contact Us page where visitors are able to input their information, reach out to someone at your company, and expect to receive a response. Similarly, many websites also utilize landing pages to feature relevant and specific sales messaging in hopes to get users to sign up for the product or service by providing their contact details. With Google Goals, you are able to track how you acquired the contact information from people who took action on these pages.

    Why It’s Important

    This goal allows you to see which acquisition channels are driving the most submissions, which is essential to gathering intel on the types of landing pages that are triggering more interactions with customers, so you can focus marketing efforts on the methods you know are working. Here are the steps to take for tracking submission page goals:

    How to Set It Up for a Submission Landing Page

    1. Create “Thank You” page for visitors to land on after successful form submission

    2. Identify URL of “Thank You” page (everything after domain name)

      • ex)

        • You will be using /thank-you

    3. Create Google Goal within Analytics

      1. Click “New Goal” and select “Contact Us” in the first step

      2. Name your goal and select the destination

        • ex) Contact Us Submissions

      3. Enter your URL slug identified previously

        • Make destination is set to “Exactly”

        • Verify your goal to confirm it’s working

      4. Save

    You can also create a goal to track the amount of contact page hits you receive so that you can review that against the number of submissions you generate. A bad hit to submission rate would suggest that you need to simplify your form. Simply follow step 3 and make sure the destination is just the URL for your contact page.

    Content Views

    If you have ongoing content on your website— which you should to further educate your audience and for SEO purposes— there is a good chance it is all grouped up under a similar URL structure. Most commonly, websites will use or A Google Analytics Goal set to track these URL links as a whole will help you identify how many times your content was viewed and how you acquired those individuals.

    Why It’s Important

    This Google Goal helps you group content together to determine how many people viewed content and how these viewers found your content. Tracking content traffic allows you to make decisions based on the kind of content users are responding in order to best leverage that interest. Below are the steps to take for tracking content goals:

    1. Identify the URLs of your blogs, case studies, downloads

    2. Create Google Goal within analytics

      1. Click “New Goal” and select “Contact Us” in the first step

      2. Name your goal and select destination

        • ex) Case Study Views

      3. Enter your URL slug

        • ex) /blog/ or /case-study

        • Make sure the Destination is set to “begins with”

        • Verify your goal to confirm it’s working

        • Save

    eCommerce Goals

    For eCommerce companies, enabling eCommerce goals and tracking for analytics provides an abundance of insightful data on how an action is taken across the site. This intel includes cart abandonments, average order value, and total transactions across any time period. eCommerce is not difficult to enable for your site, but the details depend on what platform your eCommerce is hosted on.

    If you already have Google Analytics installed, most eCommerce platforms either automatically provide the data or come equipped with plugins. This includes:

    • Woocommerce / WordPress

    • Shopify

    • Squarespace

    Why It’s Important

    eCommerce goals with Google Analytics provides in-depth product and cart behavior, including how much people bought and the average order value of all purchases. This intel allows you to make decisions on what marketing tactics to execute for more orders on your site in addition to insights on cart abandonment that can help you course correct any path to purchase issues. Below are the steps to take for tracking eCommerce goals:

    1. Install Google Analytics eCommerce tracking code on the website

      • See how to here:

    2. Enable Plugins (as needed)

    3. Enable eCommerce and enhanced eCommerce reporting

      • Enhanced eCommerce reporting gives you access to more insights, including funnel steps taken by users, and only requires that you have the newest version of Google Analytics installed on your website.

    If you are still having trouble accessing this data, custom code may need to be implemented to force the data through the system. Let &Marketing know if you are experiencing this, and we’ll be happy to help you set it up.

    Event Tracking

    Google Event tracking is an advanced way to gather insights on actions taken across your website. Through implementing a custom code, event tracking gives you the ability to specifically view actions taken on buttons and links, even if they are located within a PDF download on your website. Event tracking is a useful tool for tracking these actions and more:

    • Downloads

    • Phone calls

    • Videos

    • Clicks to external links

    Why It’s Important

    Event tracking lets you track actions on the website that require extra code and provides acquisition insights on individuals who performed the website actions. You can learn what elements are gaining the most traction on your site to better inform your decisions on how to structure your pages to create the most conversions. Here are the steps to take for Event tracking goals:

    1. Understand the custom code and assign values manually.

      1. You must assign a value to ‘Event Category’ and ‘Event Action’. Below is a description for each value option:

        • Event Category: Typically the object that was interacted with (example: “video”). This is mandatory.

        • Event Action: The type of interaction (example: “play”). This is mandatory.

        • Event Label: Useful for categorizing events (example: “summer campaign”)

        • Event Value: A numeric value, often monetary, associated with the event (example: “42”)

      2. Create the custom piece of code in-line

        • ga(‘send’, ‘event’, [eventCategory], [eventAction], [eventLabel], [eventValue]);

    2. Add the custom code to the website page

      • You may need to consult web developer or your marketing agency for assistance

    3. Create new goal in Google Analytics

      • Select “Custom” in the first step

      • Name your goal and select event

        1. ex) White Paper Download Views

      • Input the same values as assigned in step 1

      • Verify your goal to confirm it’s working

      • Save

    Google Analytics Goals provide you with information to make informed decisions on how your audience and marketing tactics engage with your site. Goals can be quickly set up and provide valuable insight for your organization’s marketing strategy. The team at &Marketing has installed all of the goals above and more, and utilize the data provided by these goals to determine where to focus our marketing efforts in order to build growth for our client partners.

    If you are looking to install Google Analytics Goals and don’t know where to start, we’re here to help! Contact us today to learn more.

    About the Author

    Add Dexter’s info

    About &Marketing

    In today’s fast paced world, many growing businesses are struggling to modernize their marketing approaches because either they don’t have the expertise or the bandwidth to do it themselves.

    &Marketing provides seasoned marketing strategy professionals and a nimble execution team to help our clients achieve their goals. Our unique partnership model allows us to augment our client’s existing teams or outsource the entire marketing function in an affordable, flexible, and transparent way.