The Ultimate Ranking Plan in 2024 & Beyond

How to Rank Higher in Google

Updated on April 12, 2023

To rank higher in Google you need three things:

  • Great well-optimized (SurferSEO) content.
  • High-quality and/or topically relevant backlinks.
  • User experience plays a significant role as well.

When it comes to content I assume you did your keyword research, don’t go after keywords you know you won’t be able to rank for.

In this guide we will focus on content and backlinks, especially backlinks because that’s what we specialize in.

Let’s start with content

Before you start writing I highly recommend you sign up for SurferSEO or similar.

These tools allows you to analyze the other pages that are ranking on the first page.

It will calculate the average word count for the competing pages which can be used as guidance.

As well as all the keywords your competitors are targeting, and it suggests NLP, semantic, topically relevant keywords.

The only thing it doesn’t do is provide guidance when it comes to rich snippets.

But there are FAQ schema plugins that can help you with that.

That’s it already, sure it will take you some time but this is how you create stellar content!

If you are a non-native English speaker that’s struggling, consider using ChatGPT4.0 to rewrite your content but make sure it’s unique.

On that note, we don’t use ChatGPT4.0 or other AI generators for our link building content.

The reason being, it’s all so fresh, there is a chance Google won’t be mild on people using it, and making AI generated content human takes just as much time as writing it from scratch.

Now let’s talk about backlinks

When building links you always want to keep a few things in mind, your links should either be:

  • Natural (social links, press releases, local citations).
  • Be topically relevant (blog comments, forum posts, niche edits).
  • Have strength (guest posts, HARO links, rented links).

Below we’ll discuss all these links briefly, in order of strength/value:

Social links

If your site is brand new you want to start by setting up some social profiles such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, TikTok, and so forth.

Press releases

I would strongly advise to go for one of the higher priced press release services to end up on sites such as Bloomberg, Business Insider, Yahoo Finance, Google News, just to name a few.

Local citations

There are hundreds of thousands of services out there that will do this for you, but once again, it’s better to pay a little bit more per citation so that they get your NAP (Name, Address, Place) right, as many cheap services use bots that don’t look out for that.

Blog comments

Do not use tools for this and don’t buy them at cheap marketplaces such as Fiverr. Instead, find the authority sites in your niche (you can use Ahrefs/Semrush/SerpStat) to locate them based on DR and traffic.

Leave a thougtful comment that has a good chance of getting approved and don’t worry about nofollow or dofollow. Your goal is to get links from authorative topically relevant sites or pages.

Forum posts

The downside of forums is that you need to create an account and at many forums they have rules in place to protect themselves from mass spam, for instance you need to have at least xx posts before they allow you to drop a link in a post.

You can still drop a link in your profile but such links carry very little weight. A link in an actual succesful thread is valueable and should not be ignored so I do think it’s worth the time to engage on forums if your niche is suitable for that. Google has never said a bad word about forum links.

Niche edits

Others call them link insertions, these links are rather valueable because you can choose the most topically relevant post yourself where you want your link to appear.

Site owners usually don’t accept them in posts that have been published recently and they might not be too happy if you choose a post with a ton of traffic or incoming links but it doesn’t hurt to try right?

The website you want your niche edit to appear on doesn’t even have to be hyper relevant to your site because you target specific posts, you need this to increase the number of incoming links from unique domains (ref. domains) as Google weighs heavily on that.

Guest posts (on sites that invite contributors)

Did you know there are plenty of sites that accept guest posts without asking for anything in return?

Usually they carry footprints such as ‘write for us / become a contributor’, some people are very much against that but I see nothing wrong with it.

There is a but, sites that are easy with their acceptance (as in approve everyone) usually don’t reward you with a dofollow link, and yet other sites abuse those footprints to be found easier and will ask for money, so when you hunt for those sites make sure you only go for the best ones your niche has to offer.

ThemeCircle compiled a list of 5,000+ of such sites that you can access here, and most of these sites aren’t in it to make a quick buck.

Guest posts (on all the other sites out there)

Time to plug our service here, at SERPTrust we built a compact database of 850 high-quality websites while rejecting 15,000+ others. If you register today we’ll add $25 to your balance (you don’t even have to ask for it). I’m not trying to push you here but I have no idea how long this promo will last so it’s an excellent opportunity to try our service at cost price.

How to land guest posts other than buying them from us? Through outreach!

I wrote a guide on how we do outreach and you can easily follow that and do it yourself. I highly recommend you read it.

Sure, you need a few tools to pull this off but most of these tools are inexpensive or carry a one-time fee.

Before you start reaching out think about what you have to offer them in return, an incentive.

A few things that pop up in my mind are:

  • Offer them a mention on your social profiles.
  • Perhaps you have a newsletter you can mention them in?
  • Think of a threeway link exchange where you give them a link from another site.
  • Create custom graphics for them, for example an infographic.
  • Offer them cash.

Only offering them a guest post, eg free content, won’t cut it. Website owners spend more time rejecting content than accepting it so no one will respond in an excited way if there is nothing more in it for them.

HARO links

Help A Reporter offers the most valuable links one can acquire.

It’s not easy to find someone to do this job for you so if you have a bit of time on your hands I highly recommend you do it yourself.

Unfortunately it has turned into a bit of a cesspool of scams with fake DR boasted sites pretending to be the authority in their niche so be careful and don’t pay anyone.

Especially when it comes to services that charge $250-500 for a HARO link, most will just get you published on DR 50-60+ guest post farms that others sell links on for $50, just to name something.

Rented homepage links

Once again, it’s hard to find a quality service out there and we don’t offer this as a service either.

The reason being that I strongly believe that expired domains loose their strength within 12-24 months max.

An acceptable way of doing it is to find a domain that is relevant to your niche and restoring it with the help from the Wayback Machine (archive.org). This way Google might cut you some slack.

In the past there were countless services that offered you 20 homepage links for $100-200/month.

The problem with such services is that they place the same 20 clients on the same 20 sites, which results in massive footprints and as the result of that the domains all get deindexed in max 6-12 months and you risk penalizing your website.

Upcoming service???

We are thinking about launching a web2.0 service powered with PBN links, to keep your site safe because the web2.0 will function as a buffer and you can always login to the web2.0 to delete the link in case you become anxious for whatever reason.

The reason we haven’t started building it yet is due to my firm believe that a PBN loses it’s power within a year or two, which means we would have to replace the entire network each year which is not something I look forward to so this idea stays on the shelves for now.

In conclusion

I’ve covered 10 different link types in this post of which nine are save and pretty much approved by Google.

Surely, social links, press releases, blog comments, forum posts, and local citations don’t pack a punch they do provide a solid foundation.

On which you expand with niche edits, public guest posts, more private guest posts, HARO links, and potentially your own private network.

No one said it’s easy to rank and you probably need hundreds of links if you want to truly dominate your niche so I’m not trying to discourage you here, after all we are trying to sell you links, but it won’t be an overnight success.

Then again, once you rank, and you focus on quality only, your rankings will be there for years to stay so you will definitely have a positive return on your investment.

When it comes to it, you’ll never go wrong by buying links from us as I’m truly obsessed with high-quality link building and won’t let any dubious sites be part of our database.