How to Improve Search Engine Ranking and Beat Out Competitors

If you could get the world’s most popular websites to advertise for you — for free — just by making some tweaks to your blog posts, would you?

Most bloggers would in a heart beat. But the truth is, the most popular websites are search engines.

And the instant you start researching how to improve search engine ranking, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. With so many rules and tips out there, it’s tough to know where to start, let alone how to outrank your competitors.

So, here’s a quick guide to help you win the ranking battle without any unnecessary stress.

Outsmart your competition with keywords

One of the easiest ways to outrank your competitors in search results is to optimize for less popular, long-tail keywords rather than the generic phrases that everyone else tries to rank on. Additionally, focus your optimization on blog posts rather than single website pages.

This cuts down on the cutthroat competition of ranking for the all-too-common keywords that most people go for and makes it a lot easier to rank higher on Google.

The reasoning behind this approach is threefold:

  1. You go after keywords with less competition, so you’re more likely to rank higher.
  2. By focusing on blog posts, you can focus on the helpfulness of content. Search engines are concerned about the words on the page, but they’re also concerned about how much time a person spends on your site. If people are staying on your site longer (to consume your helpful content), you’ll get rewarded with higher search engine rankings.
  3. You get to have hyper-targeted content focused toward the exact people you want to attract. When you use a tool such as Answer the Public to find keywords, you get the exact phrases people are using to get the kind of answers you can provide. By choosing wisely, you get to focus on the exact audience you want to reach with the exact type of problems you want to help solve. This is great for gaining readers and customers, as well as long-term fans, and it’s something you can’t do as well with generic keywords or main website pages.

Here is a more in-depth guide on the how and why behind this SEO strategy. It also talks about how to get in the top slots of search engines in a stress-free way.

Use WordPress tools to optimize your pages

After your content is written, optimize the pages on your WordPress.com Business site with WordPress SEO tools to make sure the search engines have as much opportunity as possible to rank your page higher.

Use the custom post meta description to present your keyword and any relevant information about each individual post for search engines and potential readers.

WordPress.com custom post meta description

Use custom title formats to re-order how the keywords appear in your individual blog post URLs. This helps you feed the most important keywords to the search engines first.

WordPress.com custom title format editor

Use search and social previews to see what your post will look like on search engines and social media before you publish. This will help you see it through a “human” eye and decide if you need to do something to get more clicks, increasing search engine rankings over time.

WordPress.com search and social preview example

Rank higher and see success

Getting higher rankings in the search engines takes time, but that doesn’t mean it has to be hard.

Once you know how to improve search engine ranking, you’ll start to hear that people “found you on Google,” or that they googled a topic, found a post on your blog that helped them, and have been a loyal reader ever since.

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