If you look up SEO tips, you’re bound to see a lot of the same suggestions regurgitated over and over again. Use the keyword in an image alt text. Use it in a heading. Include it in the title and URL. These are all good suggestions (and ones you should follow), but after publishing many thousands of pieces of content online, there are three SEO tips I’ve picked up that I feel like don’t get nearly enough attention.

Psst! I’ve got a YouTube video on this, too.

3 SEO Tips to Improve Your Google Rankings

1. Write for the Reader First, the Algorithms Second

Don’t focus solely on satisfying Google. Prioritize satisfying the reader, and you’ll make Google happy as a byproduct.

Here’s why.

Google’s #1 concern is the user experience. Therefore, when you make the user happy, you make Google happy.

Now, does this mean that things like keyword research and optimization don’t matter? Absolutely not. These are additional steps we take to make Google stop and look at us, and to help Google determine how it should rank our pages.

However, the point is this: If you’re not focused on providing an excellent user experience — which comes from high-quality, high-value content — you won’t rank well. Period.

This brings us to our next point.

2. Always Satisfy User Intent

This is an extension of the first point but deserves and needs its own moment to shine.

When you write a blog, are you giving your readers exactly what they want? Are you providing the information that they’re actively searching for? If they click on your blog, are they going to find what they need?

This needs to happen, or you won’t rank well.

But how do you know exactly what your readers want? Simple. Look at what’s already ranking on page one. It’s there for a reason. Let’s go over an example.

Pretend you’re writing a blog about the origins of certain wedding traditions. What you should do is search for this on Google, visit the pages ranking on page one, and see how they’ve covered the topic.

search results for origins of wedding traditions

Remember, Google put them on page one for a reason, and it’s because those pages give readers what they wanted. So, you need to do something similar to what they’ve done, but better.

I know that there’s sometimes the inclination to do something completely different so that you stand out, and you certainly can use that approach. But if you want to outrank competing pages, see what they did and find ways to improve it. (Note: Don’t copy. Copying is for losers.)

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Google flat-out tells you what’s satisfying user intent. Pay attention.

3. Collaborate With Other Websites to Get Exposure

One of the healthiest, most beneficial things that you can do for your website is get other people to talk about it and link to it.

A popular way of doing this is with guest blogging. You collaborate with another website to create a guest post for them that you receive credit for, as well a link back to your site. And because it’s always nice to return the favor, you can publish a post on your blog that they create for you too.

Guest blogging is something I’ve been spending a lot of time on lately, and it’s paying off. I have new articles published on Thrive Global and a few more coming up.

thrive global article

The purpose of this post isn’t to go into the details of guest blogging, but I encourage you to spend more time looking into it. You want to be sure you work with high-quality, reputable websites. It’s essential to do your due diligence.

But I hope this will at least plant the seed and encourage you to delve further into guest blogging because it’s one of the best SEO tips that I can offer. Getting other people to mention and link to you will work wonders for your reputation in Google’s eyes. It tells the search engine that you’re authoritative, trustworthy, and reliable.

Follow standard SEO tips, yes, but remember that it’s about a lot more than following those step-by-step guidelines. Really think about your readers — who they are and want they want. Focus on giving them the best experience possible, and Google will reward you for it.