Search engine optimization has become a process that is as much art as it is science. We have a basic idea of what can help us rank better, but the search engines guard their ranking factors quite closely. Google, for example, will tell us that high-quality content is necessary to improve the page rank. When it comes to the exact keyword percentages, though, Google is close-lipped.
Search engines do this to make it harder for spammy websites to manipulate the system. Their reluctance to share more information is understandable, but that doesn’t help legitimate businesses trying to get the best SERP. As a result, SEO is something of a trial and error process – you learn as you go along.
Now, there is a lot of information online, but not all of it is reputable. That’s why we recommend this awesome infographic for getting more data on how to rank in 2019!
The infographic has been well-researched and will give you a basic understanding of SEO and how it has evolved. You’ll get a grounding in the topic, along with actionable tips on what works for modern SEO and what doesn’t.
In this post, we look at the ranking factors that we know about and how to hack those to get the best results for your site. Are you ready to learn more?
Google has been open about the fact that fast-loading sites get preference in terms of SERP, especially on mobile devices. However, it doesn’t tell us how fast our sites should load. According to HubSpot, 47% of visitors expect a site to load within two seconds or less, and one second delay could reduce page views by as much as 11%.
How do you improve load times? By keeping your site’s file size as small as possible. That fancily animated banner might look cool, but it could do more harm than good if it takes too long to load. Images and videos on the site can also bulk it up considerably.
Check the file size of each image. You can reduce this considerably by saving the photo at a lower resolution or by making its dimensions smaller. Experiment with different sizes and resolutions so that you get the best balance between size and the quality of the image.
Longer form content indicates to search engines that a post is more informative. It also keeps readers on your site for longer, which, incidentally, is another the ranking factors. Aim to impress your readers with content by making it valuable to them and crafting it perfectly.
High-quality content helps to establish your company as an expert in the field, so this is an investment worth making on many different levels.
A few years ago, if you wanted to boost your ranking, you would make efforts get as many sites to link to yours as possible. Things have changed a lot since then. Search engines now also judge the quality of the sites linking to your site.
The problem with this is that if a spammy, low-quality site links to your site, the association will penalize you. That is why it is essential to be more careful when building backlinks. Whenever it’s possible, build backlinks with authority sites.
It’s also good practice to check which sites have linked to yours regularly. If you find a spammy site linking through to your site, then you should ask your Webmaster to remove the link.
We’ve discussed this a little when we were talking about the content on your site and your page speed. The site content is not the only factor that determines the bounce rate, though. The bounce rate refers to how long someone stays on your site.
If they click through and then immediately click away, the search engine will assume that the site was less credible. The algorithm assumes that the click-away was either a result of poor site quality or that the short description in the results was inaccurate.
Either way, the result is the same — your site will rank lower. Reduce the chances of this happening by using great content and always making sure that any snippets displayed in results are an accurate reflection of the page.
You should also spend time simplifying the layout of your pages. Make sure that they look clean and uncluttered and that text is broken up into subheadings.
Another thing that search engines use to determine how relevant results are is the click-through rate. If people are not clicking through to your site from the results, it is seen as an indication that the site was not relevant to the search.
That’s why you need to ensure that you work well on any snippets that might be displayed. Make sure that they are interesting, well-written, and accurate.
The first impression is the last impression. When it comes to how impressive your site is at first glance, images play a vital role. Choose great images that will capture the attention of visitors, but make sure that the file size is as small as possible.
Use Long-Tailed Keywords
With voice search starting to take off, the value of using single keywords has begun to lessen. People are more likely to use full phrases when conducting a voice search. Also, since search engines have become more adept at understanding the context of queries, the importance of individual keywords has diminished.
Work out some phrases that people might use when looking for your product and start incorporating those into your site.
Improving your search engine ranking is more difficult than it used to be. Search engines can more easily work out which sites have high-value content and which do not. Your best long-term strategy, therefore, should be to create a site and content that is high-quality.