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Improving your Google search ranking begins with making small, intentional changes. — Getty Images/Delmaine Donson

Your Google search ranking impacts your visibility to your audience and how much engagement you receive. The higher you rank, the higher your chances are of being seen by consumers.

In the modern world of online advertising, however, many brands forgo an organic search strategy in favor of paid ads. But money alone can't improve your website's search rank.

These seven tips — along with time, planning and dedication — can help you improve your Google search ranking:

Conduct an audit

The first step to improving your ranking is to conduct an audit and learn about your site’s usage. Use a keyword rank checker to assess your rank on Google. Knowing where you rank allows you and your team to set realistic goals for how to increase your search results. Check your website analytics as well to gauge your audience and their patterns and evaluate where you’d like to improve.

Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, which could also affect your site’s ranking. Poor website structure and information architecture can cause your website to get lost in search results. It also makes it difficult for users to find and use your site. Perform an SEO audit to make sure your site is functioning on every level. Evaluate your site crawl, domain names, KPI, duplicate content and metadata to gain insight on page errors, on-site factors and more to act as a blueprint for your audit.

[Read: A Guide to Driving Traffic to Your Website]

Optimize for mobile

The majority of search engine searches take place on mobile devices. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile use, you’ll be missing out on a huge section of your audience. Be sure that users can perform any task on the mobile version that they could on the desktop version so that the user experience is seamless. Monitor loading times and performances, too. If your site takes too long to load, users will get bored and switch to a different site.

Optimize for speed

One of the factors that Google uses to rank your website is site speed. Having a slow site speed can affect your Google ranking and drive customers away, affecting your bottom line. You can check the speed of your website through various free online tools. If your site is lagging, you can improve its performance by compressing image files, streamlining page content and evaluating the website’s host.

[Read: 10 Free Marketing Tools for Your Small Business]

There is a strong correlation between Google search ranks and the usage of header tags in the body of your content.

Increase the number of backlinks

One of the most heavily weighted Google ranking factors is the number of backlinks your site has. Backlinks are links from other sites to yours. Sites with a high authority that links to yours increases your site’s credibility, brings in traffic and improves your search ranking.

Use header tags

Header tags help break up your content and make it more readable by increasing the size and boldness of the section header. There is a strong correlation between Google search ranks and the usage of header tags in the body of your content. They also keep your audience more engaged and on the page as the content is more organized and easier to read.

[Read: A Beginner's Guide to SEO]

Optimize for local search

The best way to grow your business is by doing it on a local level. Claim your business through Google’s My Business listing and provide relevant content in Google Posts to have your business appear in local searches and directories.

Optimize for voice search

People search for answers by asking their smartphone or virtual assistant device questions through voice company. Don’t miss out on getting these hits because your site isn’t optimized for voice searches. Incorporate key vocal search phrases by using full sentences phrased in a natural conversational style rather than single keywords.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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