Search Engine Optimization has become an integral part of content marketing today. After all, it is the key to enhancing the visibility of your website on Google SERP. In recent years, many organizations have spent a considerable amount of time and resources in optimizing their websites for Google.
However, with the ever-changing algorithms of Google, it's extremely important to stay up-to-date with the latest SEO techniques. Now, a very common question asked by most website owners is how long does it take to rank in Google?
In this post, we will not only answer this million-dollar question but also take you through some key strategies that will help improve your rank quickly.
How long does it take to rank in Google?
It depends on a variety of factors, such as the competitiveness of your keywords, the quality and relevance of your content, the strength of your backlink profile, and how optimized are your website’s technical components.
But it is found that it typically takes anywhere from 3 to 6 months to rank at the top of Google’s search pages, provided all the above factors have been taken care of. However, if there is a high competition or you haven’t optimized for any of the above factors, it can take even a year or more to rank on the first page.
Whatever the case, you must understand that ranking on Google involves a long-term SEO strategy and requires consistent effort and monitoring of key metrics to see sustainable results.
Factors that affect Google’s rankings
With so many websites and content available online, it's not easy to stand out from the crowd. This is where understanding the various factors that affect Google rankings becomes essential. These are the factors that Google's algorithms use to prioritize search results.
By analyzing these ranking factors and tailoring your website and content accordingly, you can improve your chances of being found by your potential customers or readers. Here are 6 such factors that have a profound impact on your website’s ranking position in Google -
The quality of content on your website has a great impact on rankings. The content you create should be absolutely relevant to the topic you want the particular web page to rank for. Google’s algorithm smartly identifies whether the content is relevant to the keyword you are targeting. You must also ensure the content is unique and original.
Plagiarism is greatly frowned upon by Google and will push your website’ rank down if it's crawlers find duplicate content. The content you create should also be in-depth and comprehensive. It must encourage user engagement in likes and shares. Lastly, the content should be easy to read and understand. You must use concise language and avoid unnecessary jargon.
Topical authority refers to the degree to which a website is considered an authoritative source of a topic. This is another key factor used by Google to determine your website’s rank. Generally, you are considered an expert on a topic if you generate high quality, in-depth content consistently.
You are also considered an authority if you have inbound links from many high-quality websites in your industry.
To improve your topical authority, you must also promote user engagement, as it signals to Google that your content is valuable and relevant to the target audience. Lastly, if your website has been around for a long time, it is likely to have established itself as a topical authority in the particular industry or niche.
Learn more about topical authority in our guide, ‘How Topical Authority Is A Way Forward For Keyword Research.’
Search intent is nothing but the reason why a user is performing a search query on Google. In other words, you must understand the context behind every search query and create content that addresses it.
For instance, if a person searches for “best restaurants in Mumbai,” then their search intent is to find some of the best restaurants in the city that offer great experience and food. You must understand this, and your website should offer a comprehensive list of all highly-rated restaurants in the city.
Similarly, the content format should also match the search intent. For instance, if someone is searching for a step-by-step tutorial, you must not offer them a 10-page essay. You must also optimize your content for all the relevant keywords to ensure that your website is appearing on the SERPs for all the right types of queries.
There are basically four types of search intent:
- Informational: The user is looking for information about a specific topic. For example, "How to cook noodles."
- Navigational: The user is looking for a specific website. For example, “Facebook.”
- Transactional: The user is looking to complete a specific action or transaction. For example, "sign up for Netflix."
- Commercial: The user is researching a product or service. For example, "best laptop for gaming."
Want more information about search intent? Check out our comprehensive guide, ‘Search intent: What is it and why does it matter? (A complete guide).’
User experience (UX)
Google wants all its users to have a good experience right from when they enter the query in the search box until they visit the websites highlighted on Google SERPs and get the solution they are looking for.
To ensure this happens seamlessly, it ranks all those websites with a good UX at the top of search results. Here, “good UX” encompasses clear navigation, fast loading time, and a responsive and consistent design.
For instance, websites that load quickly and have clear navigation will help users find answers quickly, positively impacting their experience. Google prefers such websites over those with slow load times and bad navigation, which leads to frustration, poor experience, and higher bounces and exits.
Similarly, your website must be responsive. In other words, it must be accessible on mobile devices. Google understands that most of its users are accessing the search engine from their smartphones. The last thing it wants is for its users to visit a website with a broken UI on their mobile devices, hampering their experience.
On-page SEO is all about optimizing individual web pages with the aim of driving more relevant organic traffic from Google. Besides creating quality and relevant content, you must also focus on including all the relevant keywords in your page titles, header tags, meta descriptions, and the content body.
Additionally, don’t forget to pay attention to the URL structure. Use descriptive and keyword-rich URLs to help Google understand the context of your web page. You must also ensure that your content is broken into different sections under header tags (H1, H2, etc.). This will make it easier for both users and Google to go through the content.
Lastly, interlink your content within your website. This will help in distributing link equity and improve the overall authority of your website.
Learn more about SEO in our guide, ‘NLP SEO: What Is It And How To Use It For Content Optimization.’
Backlinks are also known as inbound links and incoming links. As the term suggests, these links are from other websites pointing to your website. The more quality backlinks you have to your website, the higher the chances of securing a good rank on Google SERPs.
This is because Google considers the number of backlinks as a measure of the popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority of the website. When multiple websites are ready to redirect their users to your website for further information, it implies that your content is solid and accessible to all users.
However, the quality of the backlink and its relevance is extremely important. For instance, a link coming from an industry leader’s website (with a higher domain authority) will have a higher value than a new blogging website.
You must focus on securing a diverse range of backlinks from different websites, as that, too, will have a considerable impact on your website’s ranking.
How to increase your chances of ranking on Google SERP?
Now that you understand the factors that impact Google’s ranking process, it’s time for some action. In this section, we will look at some of the key strategies that you need to adopt to achieve a higher ranking on Google SERPs. This will automatically help in driving more traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, and boost sales and readership for your website.
Target high volume but lower competition keywords
High volume, low competition keywords are those search terms that typically have higher monthly searches, but not many competitive brands are using them on their website. You must target these keywords because they offer a great opportunity to rank well without having to compete with other similar brands.
For instance, “best laptops” could be a high search volume and high competition keyword. When you target such high competitive keywords, it will take a lot of time to rank on Google because there is already sufficient content on the internet about it. On the other hand, “best Lenovo laptops under Rs. 40,000” is a low search volume and low competition keyword.
When you create relevant and good content on this target keyword, you will gain better visibility and ranking on search results. You can use tools like Scalenut, Ahrefs, and SEMRush for keyword research.
Learn more about such keywords in our guide, ‘10 Smart Ways To Find Long Tail Keywords With Low Competition.’
Understand and master search intent
We have previously seen what search intent is. Understanding and mastering search intent is the next step you must take to improve your website's ranking in search results. Start by researching keywords and phrases related to your industry.
Visit your competition’s website to understand the keywords they are using. Once you have the list of keywords, try to understand the intent behind each keyword. For instance, is the searcher looking for a particular piece of information, or are they looking to make a purchase?
When you understand the user’s end goal, you will be able to create content that satisfies that search intent. For instance, if the search intent is informational, you must create educational and informative content on that topic. If the search intent is transactional, you can go ahead and create product pages with detailed descriptions and images.
Create high-quality content using E-E-A-T
Google uses the EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) formula to evaluate the quality of web pages and ensure that they provide valuable and trustworthy information to users. Websites that demonstrate high levels of EEAT are more likely to rank better in search engine results.
Every piece of content you create must show your experience and expertise in that domain. Write about topics only if you have a deep understanding and can offer valuable insights to users. Perform thorough research and gather information from credible sources while crafting such content.
You must also establish yourself as an authority in your niche and build trustworthiness. For this, you must create content that is accurate and free of any errors. More importantly, you must create such content consistently to offer value to users. Lastly, be transparent about your methods and sources. Only then will readers trust you and come back to you for more content.
Build content on related topics (use topic cluster model)
When you create content on related topics, you can target multiple relevant keywords around a specific topic. This will automatically improve the relevance of your website and, therefore, rank.
Organize your content into an interconnected group of related pieces. Every piece must link back to a pillar content piece. This is also known as the topic cluster model and is a key strategy adopted by content marketers to improve website ranking.
Also, when you link these content pieces, you distribute the link equity and improve the visibility and page rank of the pillar content piece.
Lastly, topic clusters also improve the user experience by offering a more organized and structured set of information. This is extremely useful for users to navigate your content and assimilate information about the topic.
Create an internal link building strategy
An effective internal link-building strategy can help build a clear structure for your website, distribute link equity, and improve the overall UX of your website.
Start by auditing your existing links. Find out if there are any broken or missing links. Fixing them can make it easier for Google to crawl your website. Then determine how pages will be linked together. Create a hierarchy of categories and sub-categories, linking to related content within each page.
It is also important to use descriptive anchor text that accurately describes the context of the link. Do not use generic text like “click here.” Lastly, don’t forget to create pillar pages that are comprehensive and cover a broad spectrum of topics related to your niche. Link these pillar pages with other pages on your website to reinforce their significance.
Optimize websites for mobile search
You must also optimize your website for mobile search to improve your Google rankings. Always adopt a responsive web design that automatically adjusts to the screen size of the device. This ensures your website is device-agnostic.
It is also important to make sure that your site is easily navigable. The menu should be clear, with buttons that are extremely easy to tap. Use an appropriate font size that can be read easily on mobile devices. Avoid small font sizes, which can be quite difficult to read on smaller screens.
You must also optimize your images for mobile devices by compressing them into smaller sizes. This will ensure that the images load quickly on smartphones. Lastly, regularly test your website on different mobile devices to ensure that there aren’t any issues.
Seek out backlink opportunities
The last strategy is seeking backlinks from other websites. One way to seek backlinks is by producing valuable content that other websites want to link to. The other option is to write guest posts on relevant websites. You must look out for websites in your niche that accepts guest posts and, in return, offer a backlink.
You can also try reaching out to websites that mention your website in their content but don’t link you. Contact those website owners and politely ask them if they would be willing to add a link to your website.
Lastly, participate in relevant online communities related to your niche. This is a great way to build relationships that can potentially lead to more backlink opportunities.
Focus on content distribution
Besides following the above strategies, you must also distribute the content to reach a wider audience. This will also have an impact on improving your rank. Here are three main content distribution strategies -
Share on social media
Sharing your website content on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can not only increase its visibility but also improve its SERP rankings.
Google uses social signals such as likes, shares, and comments to gauge the quality and popularity of the content. The more engagement you generate, the better your rank. Also, when you share your content on social media, others will share it, which can create backlinks to your site. This is, again, quite useful for improving your rankings.
While sharing your content, don’t forget to use relevant hashtags. It is also important to post frequently and respond to user comments. Lastly, post your content when your audience is most active, as this can maximize its reach.
Run ads to your content
It’s quite simple - when you run ads to your content, it can help drive traffic to your site. The more traffic your website receives, the more authoritative and reliable it appears to Google. This, in turn, can push your website to the first page of Google search results.
Also, running ads can help improve brand awareness, which, again, improves the reputation of your website in the eyes of Google. However, it is important to tailor your ad to the right audience using relevant keywords. This will ensure that only the intended people see your ads. And always track the performance of your ads so that you can make adjustments as and when needed.
Use email marketing to share your content
Like social media and ads, you can also employ email marketing to share your content. Email marketing enables you to communicate directly with your audience in a personalized way.
You can segment your email list and send targeted emails based on the interests and behaviors of your subscribers. For instance, you can send a newsletter containing curated content and updates from your company. Similarly, whenever you publish a content piece, you can send an email to your subscribers to let them know about it.
The key is to craft your emails in such a way that it leads to higher click-through rates and more page views. Personalize your emails by using the recipient’s name and every other information you have about them. This will increase the likelihood of them taking action. It is also important to make your subject line attention-grabbing and relevant.
Lastly, make sure to include clear calls to action, such as clicking a link to learn more or purchasing a product. It is also important to ensure that the CTAs stand out visually.
Conclusion - how long does it take to rank in Google with proper SEO?
As you have seen in this post, the time it takes to rank in Google depends on a variety of factors. As a website owner, you must optimize your website for all these factors to improve your Google ranking.
Don’t forget to follow the tips highlighted in this post to achieve your ranking goals. Remember, SEO is a marathon and not a sprint. It requires a lot of patience and commitment to ongoing improvement.
This is where Scalenut helps. It is an AI-enabled SEO and content marketing platform that can fully automate your SEO strategies. It comes equipped with features like:
- Topics Cluster: Builds comprehensive content strategy with relevant blog post ideas in minutes.
- SERP Ideas: Generates comprehensive research reports of the top 30 ranking URLs around your primary keyword
- NLP Words: Automatically identifies key semantic terms that must be integrated into your content to boost its ranking.
Such features help in crafting content that Google will love and, in return, will reward you with a higher rank on its SERPs. To know more about Scalenut and how it can automate your SEO strategies, sign up for a free trial now.