Choose the highest impacting Google Ranking Factors to gain mileage in SEO
If you try to keep up with search algorithms for staying tuned to all the ranking factors that Google uses, it could become a futile exercise. It is not possible to know every factor that contributes to search rankings and nor is it required. Some say there are more than 200 ranking factors, and so be it. Instead of trying to know what these factors are and how it affects search rankings, it is more important to focus on some of the main ranking factors for very practical reasons. Some would argue that new ranking factors always keep surfacing as Google keeps updating its search algorithm, which is true, so how does focusing on just a few could be good for SEO?
It is essential to keep track of any new search-ranking factor that comes into play, but if you observe it closely, you will discover an interesting aspect. Whatever new trends you see are offshoots of the main ranking factors. Therefore, it is worthwhile to know about it and make suitable adjustments in the SEO campaign, but for driving the campaign in the right direction, you have to concentrate of the time-tested ranking factors that remain the pillars of search algorithms. Some of the age-old ranking factors that find a place in this article would lend clarity to the way forward in search engine optimization.
Make the content relevant
Content is one of the pillars of SEO that influences search rankings. If the content is not relevant to the audience, it can never be useful to them and would face audience resentment. Creating relevant content that is unique too, is essential for earning good ranks in search results. As Google tries to serve the perfect answer to search queries, it looks for content that serves its purpose and attaches utmost importance to the relevance of content about search queries. That relevance of content is highly essential for Google becomes evident from the emphasis it places on semantically based searches. Semantic keywords are now the buzzword in SEO, and you have to shift focus from using keywords sporadically and turn to keyword groups that relate to user intention. Creating content around these keywords would automatically make the content relevant.
Segmentation of keywords
Keyword research throws up a long list of keywords and keyword phrases that are quite diverse. Instead of randomly choosing keywords, group keywords according to user intent and its semantics. Once you have segregated the keywords into small groups, it becomes easy to create content around each group of keywords based on semantics.
Anticipate users’ questions
For keeping the content relevant to users, one has to anticipate the questions that crowd the minds of users. When users find some content that has answers to their queries they would happily click on it. This aspect is gaining more important today as voice searches grow in popularity. People are using well-structured questions in voice searches to locate the most relevant content. Create blogs, social media posts, and FAQs by studying the questions for which users are seeking answers. Google’s ‘People also ask’ box is a treasure trove of questions that users keep raising through searches.
Backlinks are still important
It will be a mistake to think that backlinks have lost some of its sheens and no more have ranking powers. Backlinks remain as crucial as before for rankings. Link quality is now the most critical factor to ascertain its value and Google considers only valuable links for determining search ranks. The authoritativeness of links is now more important than the number of links you gather. Search engines still depend on backlinks to know about the quality and relevance of web pages.
Take measures in acquiring backlinks organically by creating comprehensive and high-quality content and share it extensively to gain high visibility for attracting the attention of other good websites. Quality backlinks would automatically start flowing in.
Analyze the competitors’ backlinks to gather leads to links that could work well for you. Audit the backlink repository periodically to get rid of broken links and poor-quality links.
Look into the technical aspects of SEO
Having done with optimizing content, you must now focus on optimizing the website features so that viewing content becomes a pleasure. Some technical aspects of the website that contribute to its performance need careful scrutiny to identify the areas of improvement. The Page Speed and mobile friendliness of sites are factors that need special attention.
People love fast loading websites, so does Google. Sites that take a longer time to load frustrate users who lose no time in deserting it. Users expect websites to load under 2 seconds and if it were beyond the limit, they would not mind quitting the site. To reduce bounce rates and to make your website a high performing one, you have to ensure that web pages open speedily. Besides some on-page optimization measures that can increase website speed take up with the hosting service for improving website speed by reducing server response time.
Mobile friendly website
Use of responsive web design has become almost mandatory, as Google has expressed its desire to back websites that are friendly to mobile devices. Your site has to display well on all mobile devices, and it is now a basic requirement. Now that Google is moving towards mobile first indexing, you just cannot afford to carry on with age-old websites that are not fit for mobile devices.
Pay heed to user signals
Google is committed to providing users with the best experience in searching. Google is continuously evaluating user responses by analyzing huge data that it collects from various sources to measure the satisfaction level. This data together with the inputs received from Machine Learning methods and analysis of user intention forms the basis of judging the relevance of content. Focus on click-through rates and social signals too as these influence search ranking albeit indirectly.
Stick to the traditional ranking factors that have the powers of driving your SEO campaign in the right direction.