Every year since 2014, some new element that seems to affect the way sites are ranked has surfaced in the world of Google’s ranking factors. From HTTPS back in the day, right down to “Mobile Page Speed” in 2019, more than one billion websites compete for the highest-ranking spots available. The good news, however, is that we can predict that the future of ranking lies in improving the experience of online users. In this post, we will be explaining seven of the most important ranking factors for your Search Engine Optimisation strategy.
- Create valuable content
This cannot be emphasized enough. As long as you share information that your readers consider to be of importance to them, you will rise through the ranks.
Tips for creating valuable content include tailoring your article to the most popular search words people type into search engines. However, these days, searches are not limited to typing keywords alone, as an increasing number of people now use voice search. Google reported that as much as 72% of people who own a voice-activated speaker often use their devices as a vital part of their daily routine. The use of digital assistants like Alexa and Siri will see this number grow in the future.
You could also look up the search volume of your competition to see the number of their articles that get clicks and adapt your articles to match them.
Understanding how Google algorithms and ranking tools work could also help you create content that gets picked up in SERPs. Important tools you can use to determine your audience’s search intent include Site Search or search analytics reports.
If you can master the art of producing rich, valuable content, then your page will enjoy a low bounce rate and you will keep your audience as loyal visitors for a long time to come.
- Your page must be compliant with mobile devices
Different kinds of mobile website creation techniques are used in creating mobile-friendly websites, but they all enjoy the same advantage. A responsive website design reduces the chances of your website’s desktop version being flagged differently from its mobile version by Google’s algorithms. As insignificant as this appears, it can be the difference between improved SEO rankings or being confined to the lower ranks.
- Ensure your page is secure for visitors
Every person that surfs the web is wary of sites that are not secure. Since Google started flagging non-secure sites in its Chrome Browser URL bar in 2017, about 30% of the websites on page 1 search results have been using HTTPS. If we make the connection between this and user behaviour, non-secure sites might begin to see a rise in bounce rates in the long run. As user education increases, it will be difficult for non-secure sites to get ranked over time.
- Make your page attractive and navigable
This is very important for reducing the bounce rate and getting your audience to read your articles long enough until they get to the point where they engage with your call to action. Interestingly, some reports show that an unattractive and non-navigable site will lose you 38% of viewership, and for any blogger seeking to grow their reach, that’s too much of a loss to incur. Your website design should always make it easy for users to find what they are looking for in 3 or 4 clicks, tops. When you do this, you will improve your SEO and reduce the bounce rate.
- Optimize your page for fast loads
This one is very simple: online surfers rarely wait for a slow page to load before going to find a faster one. Each second lost costs Amazon as much as $1.6 billion in sales yearly, so why not make your page faster, if you can help sales? Google has made it one of the elements of ranking as they seek to improve user experience. There are tools to help with this and they are not complicated. To give your visitors a better user experience, and raise your rankings, you should make your page as fast as possible.
- Improve your optimisation “on-page”
At the heart of your on-page optimization is improving user experience and making it easier for them to find your website. You can do this by optimizing to allow Google to easily search through your article to make summaries of your copy. What this does is ensure that web surfers can easily look through and determine what is most relevant to their search, irrespective of how obscure your page might be. You can do this by using metadata and optimizing for Schema and so on.
- Add reputable links into your articles
Ignoring the power of a link building service is tantamount to glossing over a key part of your digital marketing strategy. If you can, why not do it? Through the use of well-expressed infographics, case studies, surveys, and many more, you can link your articles to respected and widely-accepted websites. Your audience is more trusting of your content when there is a clear connection with more popular bloggers.
Profiting from higher ranking requires more of an all-encompassing approach, using a combination of some or all of the above-mentioned factors. We recommend developing a strategy and sticking to it, prioritizing long-term results over short-lived ones.