How to Improve Your Google Rank: 2023 Best Practices Guide | Clearscope (2023)

If you’ve noticed a decline in your page rankings, or you’ve been struggling to achieve the coveted #1-3 rank positions, follow the steps covered below to improve your Google rank.

Note: Our content optimization software has features to audit, re-optimize, and monitor site content so you can achieve first page rankings (and stay there).Schedule a demo with our teamto see how Clearscope supports your workflows.

1. Perform a technical SEO audit to determine if back-end issues are hindering website performance

Before you dive intoauditing individual site pages, you want toinspect website crawlability and indexability(to ensure that Google can access, index, and rank your site content).

Some quick definitions: Crawlability is the ability of Google (or another search engine) to access your site’s web pages and review your site map. Indexability is the ability to analyze page content, including page copy, media, internal and external links, etc. Google needs to be able to crawl and index your site to show it in search results.

A technical site audit can help you identify issues with your site or URL structure, meta tags, robot.txt, internal links, redirects, your website server, and more. Then, you can address off-page SEO issues and make sure your site has an opportunity to break through the top 1-10 search positions.

How to Improve Your Google Rank: 2023 Best Practices Guide | Clearscope (1)

Popular SEO solutions likeSemrushhave technical SEO tools that can guide this process; you canlearn more about technical audits here. (You can also useScreaming Frog, a free SEO tool, to perform technical audits.) Be advised with both solutions: you’ll need an expert with a background in technical SEO to understand report recommendations and implement changes on the site.

Pro Tip:You can alsoadd schema markup to your siteto help Google understand your site content.

We recommend using Google Search Consoleto stay on top of site performance; you can monitor core web vitals, perform mobile-friendly tests, and check page speeds to evaluate usability on desktop and mobile devices and improve the user experience.

2. Determine which pages need attention & begin auditing page content

This step is broken into many smaller steps, so we’ll walk through the process and explain how to:

  1. Identify posts and landing pages that need updating.

  2. Re-optimize page content for target keywords.

  3. Implementon-page SEO strategiesto put you in the best position to rank highly in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Use a rank tracking tool to identify low-ranking pages

Google Search Console provides data on search engine rankings, but you can also use otherdigital marketing tools(like Semrush orAhrefs) to monitor page rankings and determine which posts need attention.

How to Improve Your Google Rank: 2023 Best Practices Guide | Clearscope (2)

Look for:

  • Pages that used to rank well but have since declined.

  • Pages that have always sat low in rankings.

  • Pages in positions #7-9 that you can push higher on page one.

  • Pages in positions #10-20 that you can begin moving to top ranking positions.

  • Pages that aren’t in top positions, but already drive organic traffic and conversions, and could perform better for you.

Then, you can build a schedule to refresh these web pages and begin updates.

Note:If you’re working with old site pages you no longer wish to have or care to update, you can strategically redirect the posts to newer ones with more current info. But use redirects sparingly — adding too many can negatively impact site performance.

Review page content & refresh with updated copy, media, and links

Now, you want to audit page content and determine how to re-optimize — and this is where our solution comes in.

Clearscope’s content optimization tools let you:

  • Run SEO reports for target keywords.

  • Paste your existing page content in the report. (We also have integrations with Google Docs and WordPress to access reports in native tools.)

  • Update content with guided recommendations — we show you suggested headings, recommended terms and topics to discuss, themes to cover, FAQs to answer, and linking opportunities.

How to Improve Your Google Rank: 2023 Best Practices Guide | Clearscope (3)

Our reportsstreamline content updatesbecause they allow you to easily re-optimize posts at the same time you review and edit content — you can see what’s important to add and brainstorm ways to incorporate those talking points, then remove or update outdated information (and you can use the Highlights feature to avoid deleting any relevant details).

Plus, we design our reports with readability in mind: recommendations aren’t super rigid, so you can use variations of terms and phrases to avoid keyword stuffing and unnatural phrasing as you work through report suggestions. This lets you maintain content quality throughout the process.

As you edit content, we recommendupdating internal linksand in-line media (like infographics) to ensure all supporting resources are current.

Implement additional on-page strategies to improve page performance

Before you wrap up your updates, you should also:

Check your on-page title, SEO title tags, and meta descriptions.

Do they all incorporate the target keyword? Using the exact keyword, or a close variation, in titles and meta descriptions can boost rankings. You should also use atitle and meta description checkerto meet length requirements.

Link out to related (credible) sites.

Adding strategic external links tells Google that you reference authoritative research and sites in your content, which can increase the value of your content in Google’s eyes.

Before adding external links in your content, use an SEO tool like Ahrefs to check the domain rating of the site you want to link out to; you should only link to sites with high domain authority.

Use clear, descriptive anchor text for all internal and external links.

Including links in content is beneficial… but only when done thoughtfully.You shouldn’t just add links with any anchor for the sake of dropping a link.

Anchor text should give readers an indication of where the link is taking them (so they don’t get there and then click away because it wasn’t what they were interested in), and you should try to include target keywords in anchors.

Look at some of the internal links in our post — we use variations of links, but each anchor is intended to tell the reader and Google what the linked page talks about.

When done properly, internal links can keep readers engaged on your site and reduce bounce rates.

Use alt text with in-line media.

Alt text is descriptive text that appears below in-line media to tell Google’s crawler what the image is. There are a few benefits of alt text:

  1. You can use related keywords in alt text to improve the chances of ranking for variations of the target keyword.

  2. It can improve content accessibility by telling users who use screen readers (or other assistive tech) what is included on the page.

  3. This text can serve as a placeholder in cases where the image doesn’t load.

Include FAQs to cover common reader questions and fully satisfy search intent.

Adding a section for FAQs can be helpful when trying to promote rankings in search engines because it gives you an opportunity to answer related questions about the search query and target long-tail keywords. Even more beneficial — itincreases your likelihood of being pulled as a snippet answer.

Clearscope provides a list of suggested FAQs in every SEO report, but you can also gather ideas for these by looking at “People Also Ask” on the search engine results page for the target keyword.

Check content readability.

Now this might be an obvious one, but even high-quality content can use tweaks to keep readers interested.

First and foremost, you want content to flow well and logically transition from topic to topic. If you’re bouncing between ideas trying to include every SEO recommendation, you’ll lose reader interest, and they’ll leave the page.Again, Clearscope can aid in the natural writing process, so you canoptimize content without foregoing quality.

Then, you want to consider how content appears (on both desktop and mobile).

  • Long bodies of text can overwhelm readers, so you shouldbreak up large paragraphsso sections are three to five lines. You can also use bullet points to clearly explain complex ideas or processes and break up long thoughts.

  • It’s also good tobold significant pointsso readers can easily scan the post and pick up on the important details.

  • You should alsoadd a table of contentsat the top of your content — especially for long blog articles — so readers can see what the content covers and find what interests them.

You can read more about these steps here:

3. Build backlinks to site content

Building strong backlinks to site content can also improve your Google rank — but just as we warned with external links, you also want to be strategic with link building and only seek links from credible sites with strong domain authorities.

“Backlinking” is when another website links back to your content from their web page; you can review your backlink profile and see which sites link to you inAhrefs. We recommend disavowing broken and “harmful” backlinks (from sites with poor DA ratings) because they could negatively impact site performance.

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There are severalstrategies to source high-quality backlinks— you can:

  1. Promote your contentto relevant publications and well-known names in your industry.

  2. Ask partners or collaborators to build links between sites.

  3. Write “viral” content (about popular topics or current events, for example) or publish original research that is relevant and easily linkable.

  4. Ask to write a guest post on another site.

  5. Find broken links on popular sites and contact the webmasters to propose linking your content there, instead.

You can also use a link building service to manage backlinks and facilitate relationships with other sites.

4. Update, and stay on top of, your Google Business Listing

Another way to improve your site’s (overall) performance in search engines is to update your Google Business listing with information about your brand; for example, add contact info and photos, give searchers background about who you are, and answer user questions.

If Google recognizes your business — and sees that you actively update your business listing — it may start to see your brand as more reliable and credible. Then, Google is more likely to rank your site for keywords related to your industry and expertise.

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As we mentioned, it helps to post regular updates to your listing: you can promote new content, events, products, etc., and use these updates as a chance to optimize your listing for industry- or location-specific keywords. This can help build brand awareness (more on that below) and improve rankings in local search results.

5. Build brand awareness & establish Google E-E-A-T

Continuing our last point… trusted, household names are, by default, viewed as more authoritative (by both Google and searchers).

Think about it — if you’re researching the best eye creams, you expect to see names like Allure or Vogue, but if you look up workout supplements, you’d expect Healthline or Sports Illustrated. Building your brand name and becoming an authoritative voice in your industry can improve your Google search visibility.

There are countless strategies to build brand awareness — so we won’t get into the weeds here — but staying on top of your Google Business listing is a great start. Another tactic is to get active on social media and engage with target audiences on the platforms they use in their day-to-day. Growing your social media presence, and sharing your content on social channels, has a double benefit because you can introduce your brand to more people and improve website rankings.

Another route to boost site credibility is to focus on E-E-A-T (which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness).Content that shows high E-E-A-T is considered more valuable and worthy of ranking.

Google determines E-E-A-Tby evaluating the credibility of your website, page content,andcontent creator. So not only does your website and page content need to be authoritative and trustworthy, but you also want tosource and cite writers who are experts in their fields.It also helps to verify authors by linking to their professional websites, LinkedIn pages, or other social platforms.

Read more: Topical Authority: The What, Why, and How (Don't Ignore It)

Monitor page rankings to report on the success of your efforts

After updating page content, use the reporting tools discussed above tomeasure how updates impact page rankings.You can see which pages benefitted the most from your efforts, and revisit pages that still need attention.

This also helps determine which SEO strategies are most effective at improving page rank, and which web pages perform well, so that you can see greater success from future content creation and website projects.

Clearscope also has a Content Inventory feature to track published content and optimization scores for target keywords — this allows you to get ahead of updates andavoid “outdated” contenttomaintain page rankings.

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Learn more aboutbuilding a content inventory to monitor and preserve content quality.

FAQs about improving Google page rank

What are the most important Google ranking factors?

Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, but here are ten key criteria it considers:

  • Page content

  • On-page optimization

  • Internal links

  • External links

  • Backlinks

  • Page speeds

  • Mobile usability

  • Page experience

  • Domain age, URL, and authority

  • Site security

Can I increase my Google rank with ads?

No, PPC ads like Google ads do not impact or improve organic search results. However, some marketers run PPC campaigns to target valuable keywords while they work on building content to achieve page one rankings organically.

For example, if you work for an online mattress company, you might run a Google ad targeting the keyword “best online memory foam mattress” to appear at the top of the search results for that phrase. At the same time, you could write a blog post targeting the keyword and implement strategies to get your blog content at the top of organic results. Once you achieve high organic rankings for important keywords, you can shift ad focus to other opportunities.

How long does it take to rank in Google?

There’s no definitive answer — website health, topical authority, content quality, competitors, and keyword difficulty (among other factors) are all at play here. The safe answer isbetween six and twelve months.But we wrote a whole guide on this questionyou can find here.

Clearscope’s SEO reports empower one of the most critical steps in improving page rank:optimizing page content. We show you how content compares to what’s already ranking and provide targeted recommendations, so you can: make updates with clear direction, check important ranking criteria, and compete with top-ranking results.

Learn more aboutour packagesorschedule a free demo with our team.


How do I rank higher on Google 2023? ›

How to Rank Higher On Google In 2023
  1. Step #1: Improve Your On-Site SEO.
  2. Step #2: Add LSI Keywords To Your Page.
  3. Step #3: Monitor Your Technical SEO.
  4. Step #4: Match Your Content to Search Intent.
  5. Step #5: Reduce Your Bounce Rate.
  6. Step #6: Find Even Keywords to Target.
  7. Step #7: Publish Insanely High-Quality Content.
Mar 27, 2023

How can I improve my Google ranking fast? ›

How to rank highest on Google
  1. Get backlinks. A backlink is a link to your page from another website, and these are a heavily weighted ranking factor. ...
  2. Mine your search queries. ...
  3. Target how-to and tutorial keywords with videos. ...
  4. Target pages already ranking. ...
  5. Do a SERP analysis. ...
  6. Add Schema markup. ...
  7. Check your technical SEO.
Jul 6, 2022

How can I improve my Google ranking for free? ›

Here are 10 free ways to improve your Google search rank.
  1. Improve your website's user experience. ...
  2. Write great content optimized for SEO. ...
  3. Get more backlinks. ...
  4. Improve your page speed. ...
  5. Fix broken links. ...
  6. Optimize your images. ...
  7. Use H1 and H2 header tags. ...
  8. Optimize for local search.
Aug 5, 2022

How long does it take to improve Google ranking? ›

According to, it can take anywhere from three to six months to rank on the first page of Google, assuming that you're writing good content and optimizing your website for search engines. If there's high competition or you haven't optimized your website, it may take six to 12 months to see results.

How can I improve my SEO ranking in 2023? ›

Eight SEO Best Practices To Increase Organic Site Traffic In 2023
  1. Identify the right keywords. Keywords are super important for SEO. ...
  2. Create relevant content. ...
  3. Optimize page titles and descriptions. ...
  4. Optimize images. ...
  5. Use internal links. ...
  6. Optimize URLs. ...
  7. Reduce website load time. ...
  8. Build quality backlinks.
Feb 22, 2023

Can I pay to rank higher on Google? ›

The simple answer is, no. Paying for Google Search ads may put you at the top of the page, but that doesn't improve your organic search rankings. Google's search rankings are determined by many factors, from website health and number of backlinks to geographic location.

How do you get ranked #1 on Google? ›

How to use your website to get on the first page of Google
  1. Determine your keywords. First, determine which search queries you want Google to answer with your website pages. ...
  2. Tell Google what keywords you're using. ...
  3. Write for humans. ...
  4. Emphasize location. ...
  5. Optimize for mobile. ...
  6. Focus on user experience.
Aug 19, 2020

Why am I ranking low on Google? ›

Many factors can cause your rankings to drop in Google. Most frequently, we see drops because of changes that were made to the website, but they can also be caused by an algorithm update, technical issues, improvements competitors made, SERP lay-out changes or a Google penalty.

What factors affect Google ranking? ›

What Are the Most Important Google Ranking Factors?
  • High-quality Content.
  • Backlinks.
  • Search Intent and Content Relevancy.
  • Website Loading Speed.
  • Mobile Friendliness.
  • Domain Authority.
  • Keyword Optimization.
  • Website Structure.
Jan 2, 2023

How can I improve my Google search skills? ›

How to Search Google Effectively
  1. Use quotes to get an "EXACT" match. ...
  2. Search within a specific site with site: ...
  3. Exclude a term from search results with - ...
  4. Search images of a particular size with imagesize: ...
  5. Search for a particular filetype with filetype: ...
  6. Use wildcard * to make searches. ...
  7. Combine searches with OR , AND logic.
Aug 12, 2022

How do I improve my organic Google ranking? ›

1. Understand how Google's ranking algorithm works
  1. Create a backlink strategy. ...
  2. Create unique and original website content. ...
  3. Have a mobile-friendly site. ...
  4. Create a relevant keyword list. ...
  5. Write content around those keywords. ...
  6. Create meta descriptions that boost clicks. ...
  7. Create longer cornerstone content.

How many Google reviews do I need to increase? ›

What Is A Good Star Rating On Google? So having at least 20 reviews is a good number to engage customers, and the star rating generated from a business' customer reviews is just as important for boosting general appeal.

Does speed affect Google ranking? ›

Google is said to prioritize speed when it comes to ranking search results, giving fast sites an advantage over sites that take longer to load.

How many reviews does it take to go up a star on Google? ›

For text ads and shopping ads to show star ratings, sellers are typically required to have at least 100 reviews in the last twelve months.

Is SEO worth it in 2023? ›

Now, these are enough reasons why SEO is worth the investment in 2023. Not only does it help businesses rank higher in search engine results but it allows them to target users across multiple channels, such as voice search, mobile devices and social media.

How do you get your name at the top of a Google search? ›

You can create your presence on Google Search by creating a people card. You need to submit a people card with your relevant info. People will then be able to search for you and discover your card on Google Search results.

How much does it cost to rank #1 on Google? ›

How much does it cost to rank #1 on Google? While you could use Google ads to appear at the top of search pages, you can't pay to rank on the first page of Google organic results.

Do companies pay Google for first result? ›

The short answer is "no." The longer answer appears to be "no, but ...." The search engine goliath has been a longtime holdout of paid inclusion, a method other search engines have used to sell companies a guarantee they will be included in search results, although not necessarily ranked well (ranking is still decided ...

How do I get found on Google? ›

Basic checklist for appearing in Google Search results
  1. Is your website showing up on Google? ...
  2. Do you serve high-quality content to users? ...
  3. Is your local business showing up on Google? ...
  4. Is your content fast and easy to access on all devices? ...
  5. Is your website secure? ...
  6. Do you need additional help?

Does social media affect Google rankings? ›

Social media interactions can also have a meaningful impact on your search engine rankings on Google. As people engage with your content on social sites, that can increase its reach and help you climb up in rankings for search engine results. You can also use social media cues to inform your SEO strategy.

Why do our search rankings drop on weekends? ›

In that case, traffic may drop on weekends – mainly because the volume of search queries drops as people aren't working. That often happens when a publisher thinks their rankings change on the weekends when they actually look at their analytics incorrectly.

Does Google Ads help Google ranking? ›

Do Google Ads help with SEO? When used properly, SEO and Google Ads can work well together. Brands that accurately track their rankings and organic traffic can strategically use Ads to increase visibility for important keywords, driving paid traffic where they do not have the organic ranking to get on Page 1.

What are the top three ranking signals? ›

Google's Andrey Lipattsev reveals links, content and RankBrain are the top three ranking signals in Google's search algorithm.

Which keywords are best to target? ›

If you want to boost your website in Google search results, here are seven types of keywords you should target in your SEO campaign.
  • Generic Keywords. ...
  • Long-tail Keywords. ...
  • Short-tail Keywords. ...
  • Exact Match Keywords. ...
  • Topic-Based Keywords. ...
  • Evergreen Keywords. ...
  • Location Keywords. ...
  • Conclusion.
Nov 15, 2022

What is the most searched question on Google? ›

What are the 10 most Googled questions?
  • What to watch?
  • What time is it?
  • How many ounces in a cup?
  • Where am I?
  • Where my refund?
  • How many ounces in a gallon?
  • How many weeks in a year?
  • When is Easter?
Jan 31, 2023

Which skill is best for Google? ›

A broad, interdisciplinary background, with a strong understanding of computer science, is the key to any job in software engineering, at Google or elsewhere. Our Guide to Technical Development offers resources to help you develop your technical skills.

What are the must have skills at Google? ›

If you hope to land a job at Google someday, then here are some skills you need to develop.
  • Algorithmic Thinking. In the tech industry, algorithmic thinking is an essential ability to have. ...
  • Cognitive Ability. Memorial Sloan Kettering. ...
  • Teamwork. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Clarity of Vision. ...
  • Humility.
Jan 7, 2022

How can I improve my search engine ranking? ›

Improve your search engine rankings
  1. Understand your online customers.
  2. Use keywords on your website.
  3. Refresh your page content often.
  4. Gain referrals from other websites.
  5. Use meta tags in your content.
  6. Stay up to date on the latest SEO techniques.
Mar 7, 2023

Can I remove a 1 star rating on Google? ›

To ask Google to remove or delete an inappropriate review from your Business Profile, report the review. Google can remove reviews that violate Google's policies.

How do I remove a bad Google rating? ›

How to Remove Google Reviews
  1. Removing Inappropriate Google Reviews. ...
  2. Ask a Customer to Edit or Delete a Negative Google Review of Your Business. ...
  3. Tweet to @GoogleSmallBiz About Removing the Negative Review of Your Business. ...
  4. File a Legal Removal Request for the Bad Review of Your Business.

Can you leave fake Google reviews? ›

Buying fake google reviews can result in legal action. The federal trade commission forbids the use of fake reviews.

How many 5 star reviews to offset 1 star? ›

Your company or product rating (typically out of five stars) reflects an overall average of good and bad reviews. So if your goal is to maintain an overall rating of four stars, you'll need four five-star reviews to make up for every one-star review.

How often does Google update rankings? ›

Here's the truth: There isn't an exact answer. While we can't give you an exact answer, websites can see rank changes in as little as 30 seconds or as long as a few weeks. It depends on how quickly your updates are noticed and processed by Google.

Why am I not ranking higher on Google? ›

You're not ranking because your site has technical issues

Your website needs to meet certain technical benchmarks if you're going to rank on Google! Loading speed, or how quickly your pages load, is an important factor. Security is important too, and that's not all.

How do I rank higher on Google News? ›

Ranking in Google News is determined algorithmically by these factors:
  1. Relevance of content.
  2. Prominence.
  3. Authoritativeness.
  4. Freshness.
  5. Location.
  6. Language.

How do you get to the top of Google search? ›

  1. Let Google see your page the same way a user does.
  2. Create unique, accurate page titles.
  3. Influencing your title links and snippets in search results.
  4. Use the meta description tag.
  5. Use heading tags to emphasize important text.
  6. Add structured data markup.

What is most important for Google ranking? ›

What Are the Most Important Google Ranking Factors?
  • High-quality Content.
  • Backlinks.
  • Search Intent and Content Relevancy.
  • Website Loading Speed.
  • Mobile Friendliness.
  • Domain Authority.
  • Keyword Optimization.
  • Website Structure.
Jan 2, 2023

What influences Google ranking? ›

To give you the most useful information, Search algorithms look at many factors and signals, including the words of your query, relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and your location and settings. The weight applied to each factor varies depending on the nature of your query.

Can I do SEO on my own? ›

Search engine optimization does not require a professional. Companies with small-to-medium websites and an SEO-friendly content management system or ecommerce platform can do much of the work in-house. Here are my top 10 do-it-yourself SEO tips.

How to do advanced Google search? ›

Do an Advanced Search
  1. On your computer, go to Advanced Search:
  2. Under “Find pages with,” choose the query field/s to: ...
  3. Enter the words that you want to include or remove from your results. ...
  4. Under "Then narrow your results by," choose the filters you want to use. ...
  5. Click Advanced Search.

What are the 4 types of SEO? ›

Explore the four types of SEO and learn how to optimize your site.
  • On-page SEO. Our Beginners Guide to SEO outlines the basics of search engine optimization, and on-page SEO is one of the easiest and most common ways to boost site visibility. ...
  • Off-page SEO. ...
  • Local SEO. ...
  • Technical SEO.
Jan 5, 2023


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