If your site ranks high in the first page of results, you will definitely get more visitors clicking on it than if you were on the second or third page. How can you get yours on the first one? This is done using Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It is a process of optimizing a website such that it becomes popular online and ranks high in the search engine results. This process is executed using a strategy. Here are 8 important elements of a successful SEO strategy.
Everyone is curious about what is new coming in 2018, 2019, 2020 and more for SEO. In this post, we will be discussing the 8 important things that every SEO should start implementing to stay ahead in the SEO strategy.
1. High quality content
One of the characteristics of a website that can weather changes in the search engine algorithm is high quality content. It does not matter which algorithm is applied, a website with good content will still rank high in the results. As a matter of fact, these algorithms and rules of SEO are changed so as to eliminate any websites that have badly written content. Ensure that yours is of high value to the consumers. Apply the content marketing method of SEO to the best of your ability. Solve the problems of the consumers with authoritative, valuable material. You can find out if your content is winning by using some free applications such as Buzzsumo. They will show you the pages in your website that are gaining the most shares. From there, you can build up some high quality content for your website.
2. Content length
The length of your content is very important. Many studies have proved that the longer your content is, the better it will rank in Google. Needless to say, your content has to be useful.
When it comes to content length, there are different opinions. One thing is certain, the days when 500 words articles were enough are long gone.
SerpIQ has analyzed the top 10 results, and their content length and the results speak for themselves:
3. Content relevance
Google ultimately became the dominant search engine because it is adept at displaying, on the first page of search results, the most relevant content that matches a keyword query. Eventually, users came to assume the search engine only shows the most relevant results first,
Content relevance is often assumed or overlooked in studies of ranking factors, but it’s still the most important factor.
Relevance is often presumed to be “on” or “off,” so content is either relevant or irrelevant to a query. “But that’s not really the right view in my opinion,” Enge says. “You can’t assume that relevance is a binary factor, where you assign a zero score if it’s not relevant and a 1 score if it is relevant. True relevance scoring would be on a sliding scale, ranging from 0 to 1, with any possible value in-between. The content with the lower score would need to score somewhat higher on other metrics to outrank the [higher score].”
4. Content updates
Google looks at how often you are publishing new content on your website and if you are updating old content. They use this metric to determine if your website is still alive and give a lot of credit to sites that frequently publish articles.
Google started to highlight dates in search results, especially for searches where dates matter.
5. High Quality Backlinks
For more than ten years, backlinks have been the most important ranking factor in Google.
There have been a lot of debates that backlinks will lose their value, and other factors will become more important. However, the truth is that it’s impossible to rank a website for a competitive term without having backlinks.
Matt Cutts stated that over time, backlinks will become a little less important, as Google is looking for new ways to evaluate websites. Nevertheless, for the time being, backlinks still carry the most value.
Here’s Matt Cutts answer to the question “Will backlinks lose their importance in rankings?”
6. Backlinks relevancy and authority
It’s not just about the number of backlinks you have. It’s more about how relevant are the websites that are linking to you. Google analyzes your backlinks to determine if they’re coming from websites related to yours.
Backlinks are your ticket to heaven or hell. If your website has a clean backlinks profile with a lot of quality and relevant backlinks, you will have a lot to gain, in the long run. However, if you have low-quality backlinks from unrelated websites, a penalty is on the verge of happening.
7. Backlinks IP location & TLD
A very important factor to consider, especially if you are doing SEO for a local business.
For example, websites from UK should have the majority of backlinks coming from other sites located in UK.
It would make no sense to get tons of links from Russian, China or other parts of the world.
8. Website loading speed
All major search engines give more credit to websites that load faster. It comes to no one’s surprise, considering most users expect a website to load in no more than two seconds.
At the time of writing this post, Google is testing a snippet that labels websites that have a bad loading time
9. Internal linking
Links to your content have a lot of value and can also help you increase your visitors average time per visit. A good internal linking structure can decrease the bounce rate and improve the overall user experience.
10. The Mobile First Indexing
Mobile-first indexing is the latest development by Google to make the web more mobile friendly. A recent study by BrightEdge found that 57% of web traffic comes from mobile devices, which means most people love to search on their mobile devices. But Google’s current ranking system was typically based around the desktop version of the page’s content and shows the same content to mobile and desktop users. This can cause issues with mobile pages as the current algorithms are not evaluating its relevance to the mobile user, and to make the results more relevant according to search query, Google now focused on Mobile-first indexing.
Simple steps to help you prepare for a Mobile First Indexing
Your content should be consistent across desktop and mobile
With the mobile-first index, Google will first see the mobile content instead of looking at your desktop content. This is the reason you should prepare your site for the mobile-first index. If your mobile site has less content on a mobile page than the desktop site, then Google will probably consider the mobile version with less content in Mobile First Indexing. This is why you want to display the same amount of the content for your desktop version and mobile version.
Let me explain that:
The content that is hidden in tabs, accordions, and expandable boxes is not given the full ranking weight. However, with mobile-first index, Google will give full weight to these types of content if implemented to enhance the user experience.
11. Google RankBrain
RankBrain is one of the most important ranking signals in Google’s search algorithm and in 2018; it is going to be even more important.
Now the question is, what exactly RankBrain is? And How to optimize for Google’s RankBrain?
RankBrain is a machine learning, artificial intelligence system that helps Google sort their search results out. Google RankBrain has already changed the whole search space and Google is showing the organic search results with Answer Boxes, Ads, Carousels, featured snippets, Quick Answers sections, and more for a personalized experience.
What is machine learning?
Machine learning is where a computer teaches itself how to do something, rather than being taught by humans or following detailed programming.
What is artificial intelligence?
True artificial intelligence, or AI for short, is where a computer can be as smart as a human being, at least in the sense of acquiring knowledge both from being taught and from building on what it knows and making new connections.
RankBrain mainly refine queries according to user searches and then measure how user interact with the search results and ranks the pages accordingly.
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