9 Effective Tips To Boost Your Website’s Organic Search Rankings And Traffic

Being in the number 1 spot on Google’s SERP results can make a massive difference to your site’s organic traffic, with up to 33% (and sometimes more!) of the traffic for a given search term going to the #1 result. That number falls rapidly as the position falls too, meaning it’s essential to get your website ranking as high as possible.

For example, a site ranking #1 for a keyword generating 1000 searches a month might get around 333 visitors, compared to the 250 and 190 visitors that positions 2 and 3 respectively might get you. Multiply this out by hundreds or even thousands of keywords, and the difference can be significant to say the least.

Your site might already be ranking well, taking a firm place on the first 3 pages of the search results and getting a good number of clicks. But the closer you get to the top, the more clicks you’re going to get. Especially if you’re taking the right steps to make your pages, content and meta data appealing and relevant.

Well, we’re going to help you get there. In this article, we’ve put together a collection of powerful tips to give you the guidance to bump up your rankings. But firstly, let’s take a deeper look at why a high organic SERP ranking is so incredibly important for you and your website…


Why does a high organic SERP ranking matter?

In short, a higher organic ranking typically means more visibility, more awareness, more clicks, and ultimately more revenue. These days, people want their queries addressed quickly and efficiently, and they’re significantly less likely to wade through page after page of results to find what they’re looking for. This means that being at the top (or as close to it as possible) is more important than ever.

A high organic ranking is also important when it comes to building trust. Because organic rankings are targeted (meaning they apply to people searching for specific keywords through search engines), a high ranking implies that a page is more relevant to their query. As well as relevancy, your page and website also come across as more trustworthy, as why else would Google place said page so high in the results? From a revenue point of view, this psychologically means that organic visitors are more likely to convert and purchase from you too.

The reasons above mean that optimising your pages for high SERP rankings and organic traffic are just as important (if not more so) than paid advertising and other channels. So, let’s look at how you can begin to optimise your own site for higher organic search result rankings:

1. Check where your pages are currently ranking

Knowing where your pages are currently ranking is the first step on your journey to the top spot. There’s a couple of ways that you can do this:

  • Manually searching for search terms and keywords you’ve been targeting across your website through searching in the search engines, and going through the results pages until you find your site (make sure you use the local search engine, e.g. google.co.uk, and do it in incognito mode to make the searches less personalised!)
  • Using sites and services such as SERPs.com or SEMrush – this involves inputting a list of your target keywords along with your domain, any targeting preferences (region, desktop or mobile results etc) and then the platforms will track the keywords for you.

For smaller websites or where you’re only interested in tracking a half-dozen or so of your site’s keywords, checking manually is fine, but for anything more than this we’d definitely recommend investing in a keyword tracker-unless you enjoy spending all day googling your site’s keywords just to find out where they are!

Both of the above suggestions rely on the fact that you have an awareness of the keywords targeted through the content on your website. If you haven’t actively started to target keywords in your content, or you’re not sure what you could be ranking for, you could try searching for keywords that relate to your site’s industry, products, or blog topics. However, the next step can help solve your keyword situation…

[showmodule id=”3238″]

2. Create and/or refine your website’s keyword list

As we mentioned in the last step, keywords are incredibly important. They are the main way people will find your site through organic search, and if their importance is ignored then your rankings will likely suffer. With proper attention to the keywords you use across your site and content, you can ensure that your pages rank for the correct keywords and search terms, as well as dramatically improve your relevancy to users. Creating a keyword list is important for all of your content, but how do you do it?

Well, firstly you need to establish keywords that are relevant to you and your business/website. For example, if your business specialises in garden fences, you’ll want to focus on terms relating to this (which may be informational as well as for product pages) You want to ensure that the keywords you use are relevant, and are going to reflect what users searching are going to get from your site and any particular page. When it comes to building your list, you should consider the following:

  • What keywords are people going to be using in their searches for the products/services your site offers?
  • Can you create relevant content that relates to/incorporates your keywords?
  • Can you group your keywords into relevant central topics?
  • Are your keywords going to accurately reflect a user’s search intent?

One thing you shouldn’t do is rely on your own brain power to build your list. Whilst it might seem like you have a good list built up just from sitting down and thinking about it logically, you want to ensure that the keywords you’ve chosen are actually going to be useful. This means analysing your choices using a variety of different methods and platforms, as well as using those same methods to give you solid keyword inspiration. The following tips will help you refine your list into one that provides only your most desired keywords:

  • If you have a basic list of keywords but no data to back up their desirability (search volume for example), you could start by typing potential search queries and keywords into Google to see what other suggested queries arise.
  • As with the above, searching for certain things may often bring up special SERP features (Featured Snippets, People Also Ask etc.) which can provide a vast range of keyword and content ideas – it’s worth paying plenty of attention to these features, and we’ll cover why later.
  • Make use of Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner
  • Use platforms such as Answer The Public and other keyword research tools to craft content and keyword ideas based on what users are actively searching for
  • Use browser extensions such as Keyword Surfer to discover potential search volumes for queries you type into search engines

In all honesty, the list of potential ways to inspire your keyword research could go on and on. As a general rule, you should build your list around your audience, what they’re searching for, and aim to diversify your content and keywords to target a variety of relevant sources. You should also check what’s working for your competitors that do currently rank organically on the first page for certain keywords and search terms – it can give you a lot of insight into what sorts of pages and content are appearing for certain queries (informational vs commercial etc.).

3. Produce content that incorporates your keywords – but be relevant, original, and make sure it reads well!

Once you have your keyword list in order, it’s a good idea to start checking your existing content and pages that could potentially benefit from your freshly crafted/refreshed keyword list. One mistake that a lot of websites make is stuffing keywords into their content as much as possible. Going back a good few years this might have been effective, but these days it’s detrimental (and definitely frowned upon in the wider search community).

Keywords Research COMMUNICATION research, on-page optimization, seo

Creating content that stands a good chance of ranking well organically needs to read naturally. Stuffing keywords in left right and centre is probably going to have the opposite effect. From an SEO point of view, Google’s crawlers can now read content much like humans do, and if it appears nonsensical then the results probably aren’t going to be that great.

One way to ensure that your content reads well is to think about your audience’s persona (or buyer personas). Whether it’s a blog, a product or category page, or any other form of content, you should aim to write it in a style that fits and engages with the user’s typical personality. You want to be conversational with your visitors, and encourage them to connect with your content. This not only helps conversions, but can also go a long way towards people sharing your content and gaining you some all-important backlinks-which are an excellent way to improve your organic search result rankings.

You should also think about search intent. Commercial keywords and informational keywords should be used appropriately. If a user is looking for information (such as the ‘best way to improve organic search results’ for example), they are potentially more likely to steer away from commercial pages in most cases. In this case, informational long-tail and exact-match keywords used in blog articles are going to be much more relevant to a user’s search intent than a product page that uses the same keywords.

One more point to consider is quality and originality. You’re likely going to be competing with a multitude of other websites for almost any keyword. One thing that both search engines and users value the most is original content and information that they might not find elsewhere. Take product pages for example – a lot of retailers selling branded products tend to regurgitate product descriptions from the manufacturer.

This offers very little value for a page in itself. Creating content with original ideas and the ability to provide new information that’s not available elsewhere (such as expanded sections on specific features) is a great way to improve rankings. It also displays your expertise to users which is crucial for building trust.

All in all, there are a lot of considerations to make when making use of your keyword list. For more information on writing content, head on over to our article on how to write quality content.

4. Aim to target those special SERP features

Particularly with regards to informational search intent, many keywords and queries bring about a variety of special SERP features that provide users with rapid access to whatever it is they’re looking for. Featured snippets for example provide a direct response to a user’s search query directly from the results page. The snippet also provides a link to the page that the information was taken from, and almost always appears right at the top of search results. That means that optimising content to target featured snippets is extremely beneficial for informational content.

There are a variety of other features too. On Google, the ‘People Also Ask’ section works in a similar fashion to featured snippets. PAA is a valuable tool for providing you with actual content ideas too, and it’s a great feature to target with your content to address a variety of relevant and related search terms for certain keywords. PAA doesn’t always appear right at the top of results, but it’s generally on the first page, making it a valuable option for informational content and FAQs.

There are a bunch of different SERP features that provide websites of all kinds a wealth of organic benefits. It’s definitely worth spending some time going through your keyword list, seeing what features appear for those keywords, and optimising your content to target them. Bear in mind though, that some search features can be a negative as well (for example, the ‘instant answer’ box will in most cases answer the user’s query immediately within the search results themselves, leaving little scope for you to add value with your own pages)

5. Be direct and diverse with your anchor text

It goes without saying that you should be linking to relevant pages within your content. Links should read and occur naturally, and shouldn’t just be shoe-horned in. This includes the ‘anchor text’ you use for the link.


Essentially, anchor text is the visible text that users and search engines can see on a hyperlink. It’s used to help determine what exactly a link is going to lead to when clicked. Many people make the mistake of simply using ‘click here’ and other variations for their links, but this is a waste of an SEO opportunity. Your anchor text should consist of quality keywords that directly relate to the link’s destination. Let’s take a look at a comparison:

If you’d like to learn more about increasing your ecommerce revenue, click here.


Read our article to learn how to increase your ecommerce revenue.

By using keywords in the anchor text that directly relate to the link’s destination, it provides search engines and users with significantly more information about the link. It’s also a great way to enhance your linking profile structure. Using variations instead of exact-match keywords is a good practise to use too – it helps to broaden the keywords that your pages can effectively rank for.

6. Eliminate keyword cannibalisation and create cornerstone pages

With any site that revolves around one particular industry, the chances are that there will be multiple pages and areas that pretty much revolve around the same topics. This can mean keyword competition between the pages of your own website. When this happens, it can sometimes cause search engines to find difficulty in deciding which page is going to be the most relevant for certain search queries. This is known as keyword cannibalisation, and if you target the same keywords across multiple pages you can drastically hurt your chances of ranking well organically on SERPs.

Keyword cannibalisation can actively reduce the authority of your page and dilute your link and anchor text efforts. You’re essentially allowing crawlers to process and index pages that may be less relevant, which can dramatically devalue your most relevant page. This can have a huge knock-on effect to the page that you should be focusing on, as well as conversions.

To begin eliminating the chances of cannibalisation, you could create a spreadsheet with your most important URLs and the keywords associated with them. You can also use a keyword mapping tool to do this for more accurate results. If you notice any duplicates, then it may mean that your site could be suffering.

One way to begin tackling the problem is with a bit of a re-structure. You can create cornerstone pages – these essentially take your most authoritative page on a topic and turn it into a landing page. If you’re missing an important page for a specific group of keywords, you can simply create a new page to use as a cornerstone page for that particular set.

However, if you don’t feel that a landing page is the right solution, but you still want to bring a collection of content into one place, simply consolidate the content onto a single page. This can provide a solid boost to your page authority, as well as tackling any potential ‘thin content’ problems. As a last resort, you can also choose to use 301 re-directs to ensure that any of your less relevant pages link through to your most authoritative page.

[showmodule id=”3238″]

7. Optimise your images and utilise a multitude of media

We live in a world where multimedia experiences have become the norm, with media such as images, videos and audio expected by users now, and it’s more important than ever to meet and exceed those expectations. Aside from the keyword implementation that you carry out in your content, you should also consider a more diverse selection of content across your site.

You’ve probably heard the saying ‘a picture paints a thousand words’, right? Well, it’s still true. Images and infographics alone can dramatically improve conversions and engagement, adding significant value to your written content alone. However, it’s also important for SEO. Google’s investment in image search means that their algorithm can actually improve your organic search results if you implement well-optimised imagery in your content. To ensure that your images are optimised, you should pay attention to proper tagging (for example through ALT tags) captions, formatting (for a variety of devices) and image compression. You should also be mindful of copyright, for both SEO and legal reasons.


It’s also a great idea to experiment with other forms of content. Videos and podcasts have become the go-to-source for consumers and users all over the world and providing these forms of content can have a dramatic impact on your organic SERP rankings. They’re an excellent way to build backlinks (which we’ll talk about soon) as they’re the most shared types of media online.

People also tend to engage with these types of content more effectively, whilst simultaneously being a great way to build brand trust and display your expertise (both of which can improve conversions). They add personality to your brand image and can be used to highlight specific aspects of your business or website to great effect. Videos in particular also provide the ability to target video carousels (another special SERP feature) which often appear at the top of results pages. Just be sure to accompany any video or audio content with a written article, combined with CTAs and other relevant content.

8. Optimise your title tags and meta descriptions

Getting the title tag right for your page is incredibly important. It’s one of the most valuable pieces of meta data that search engines use to process your site. For a start, duplicate title tags are a big no-no (unless it’s a special situation, like having product variants on an ecommerce site). No two title tags should be identical in most circumstances.

It’s also best to keep them under 70 characters (including spaces) and ensure that your most relevant keywords are towards the beginning of the title. Essentially, your title tag needs to accurately reflect what’s on your page. It’s also a good idea to include your brand, business or website name for enhancing authority (and to handle any potential searches for your brand keyword).

Another important piece of meta data you should optimise is your meta descriptions. These don’t have a direct impact on your rankings, but they are extremely important all the same. The reason is, meta descriptions are designed to improve the click through rate from users themselves, and it pays to get them right. A meta description is basically the snippet of text under a search result title, and it essentially acts as an organic version of ad copy.

Just like title tags, your meta descriptions should be unique for every page, they should contain some relevant keywords, and they should remain below 160 characters (including spaces). It’s important to implement a CTA in your meta description copy, and ensure that the entire thing is clear, to-the-point, and of the highest quality possible.

9. Embrace a backlinking/link building strategy

The final tip we’re going to talk about is backlinking (or link building). This is basically a strategy that involves acquiring links from external websites to your own site. Doing so can boost your own site’s authority and improve your organic search rankings.

There are a few ways in which you can generate links:

  • Actively creating quality content that people share of their own will (and with a little influence from your CTAs)
  • Guest blogging on other high-authority sites (be sure to check the rules for guest blogging with certain sites, there may be limitations on what you can post or how many links you can use, if any)
  • Asking webmasters from other high-authority sites to link back to your site (again, check for rules and be polite)

When building links, particularly when other websites are involved, it’s important to aim for high-authority domains – the higher their authority, the bigger the benefit to your ranking. You can use tools such as a Majestic, or Moz, to ensure that you’re only choosing suitable domains. One reason to avoid low authority sites is that they’re more likely to be spam websites, where you could end up losing your site’s authority if your site is linked to from these domains – Google may be under the impression that your site is associated with them, or that your site itself is also a spam site. It pays to be careful when building links.

[showmodule id=”3238″]

If you’d like more information on improving your organic search results, give our Foundations of SEO article series a read. Alternatively, if you’d like to take advantage of our SEO expertise for your own website or business, get in touch with us today.

Let's work together