All business owners want their site to rank high on the first page of Google search results. Ranking high on Google ensures that people find your website easily, which brings more traffic to your site and increased sales.
However, with over 200 ranking factors in existence, you might find it quite difficult to optimize the site by following all of them. As much as the ranking factors are manifold, there are those that are far more important than others.
These are the ones you should concentrate on first to improve your SERP ranking:
Create Awesome Long-Form Content
If your site has poor content, other ranking factors won’t help you much. This is why you should first focus on this ranking criterion. Write long, high-quality content because Google tends to prioritize articles of 1,000 words and above. In fact, the average content length of the first-page result will contain 1,890 words.
Google covets long length because it’s thorough and tends to cover everything in a single search query. Moreover, since the introduction of the RankBrain algorithm, it’s faster for Google to link great and in-depth content to search queries. So, make it easier for RankBrain to find yours by making it long-form.
Besides, long-form content can also help you hit two birds with one stone by taking care of other important ranking factors. For example, click-through rate (CTR) will be higher since people will be eager to click through to your site and view the content. Another critical factor is the bounce rate. If you provide your customers with top-notch content, they will spend more time on your site, lowering the bounce rate.
How To Create Long Informative Content
Below, you’ll find a few useful tips on creating long and informative content:
1. Do a keyword search to find topics that users frequently search, and then match your content to those keywords. You can use BuzzSumo, AnswerThePublic, Google keyword planner, Ahrefs, Moz, and UberSuggest to come up with long-tail keywords.
2. Include LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords in your content. These are words and phrases that are substantially related to your topic. For example, if we were to use this article’s main topic (SEO), some of your LSI keywords would be ‘website optimization techniques,’ ‘web page optimization,’ and ‘site optimization.’ You can use the LSI graph or keyword planner, among other tools, to find these keywords.
3. Add helpful links to your content. These should come from reputable websites to give your content more authority.
4. Use images and videos in your content too. Mixed media makes your article more appealing to read and can cause readers to spend more time on your page. In fact, 97% of pages that rank high on page one of search results contain at least one image.
Having backlinks from authoritative sites can not only increase your ranking on search engines, but can also drive much needed traffic to your website. Backlinks are essential ranking factors because they show Google that your site is both trustworthy and reputable, since people will only link to content that they like or find helpful.
Backlinks are currently as important as ever. According to the most recent SEO stats and trends, backlinks are even considered the most influential influential search ranking factor. For people to know about your great content and generate backlinks for your site, you need to spread the word about yourself by using these two methods:
- Reach out to influencers in your niche and get them to share your content with their massive following. One of the best ways to find influencers is through using BuzzSumo’s influencer tab. This will generate a list of influencers in your industry, but only choose those who usually share other people’s content.
- Capitalize on guest blogging. Sharing your content on other websites with a high following or huge readership can expose you and your business to people who can link back to your content if they like it. Moreover, guest blogging sites allow you to include a link back to your website. This way, you’ll get more traffic to your site.
Create A Mobile-Friendly Website
According to Google, you need to make your site mobile-friendly, or else you’ll be left out of search results. In March 2018, Google rolled out a mobile-first indexing algorithm. This means, from now on, your mobile site is more important as a ranking factor than the desktop site.
Seeing that 58% of searches today take place on mobile devices, this move by Google was not a surprise.
To create a mobile-friendly version of your website, you should do the following:
- Make sure all the content that is on your desktop site is also present on the mobile site. If something is excluded on the mobile version, Google will ignore it and the site might be downgraded in search results.
- Make sure you have a responsive web design that adapts to the device it’s being viewed on to make it easy for users to navigate it and read the content.
Increase Your Website’s Speed
Google uses site speed as one of the ranking factors because it helps determine user experience. If a page takes too long to load, most users will leave it and thus increase the website’s bounce rate. High bounce rate is a negative signal for Google since it tells it that visitors left your site due to its failure to provide the information they were looking for.
Therefore, to have a satisfactory user experience, your site should load within 2 seconds or less. In fact, the average speed of the top ranking page is 1,900ms, which is about 17% faster than the load speed of a site ranked 10th.
Checking Your Website’s Speed
How To Improve Website’s Speed
- Optimize images
Large images slow down the site. You need to compress them to speed up the load time
- Enable browser caching
By allowing your browser to cache information, returning visitors will quickly access information without having the browser reload the entire page
- Limit redirects
Every time you redirect visitors to another page, they have to spend extra time waiting. Limit your links to a 2-3 click depth so your visitors don’t get lost in your web pages.
Before you do any serious ranking factor evaluation, consider perfecting the four, above mentioned seo ranking factors. When that’s done, you can move on to others. Remember, it’s always better to utilize a few optimization techniques than to spread yourself thin trying to master all the 200+ ranking factors.
About the Author: Oleh Koropenko
An avid learner, Oleh’s curiosity is a never-ending source of inspiration that drives him to research, revise and apply new things. He is an experienced digital marketing and digital commerce blogger, but also is a passionate traveler with a great sense of humor, who cannot leave any stone unturned in the pursuit for greater knowledge and understanding. Reach him @DMGeekcom.