Google Ranking Factors – Get Onboard To Do What You Can Do

AI, Rankbrain, BERT, Content Creation, and others are all parts of the list of Google Algorithms that determine the placement of websites in search.  Many of these algorithms are so complex that little or nothing can be done to directly optimize for the algorithm.  There are, however, a few general tactics that can be done to optimize your site for Google search.  I have listed and explained a few of these in this post.  I know, sounds boring, but the results you will achieve from understanding and following these guidelines will likely be worth it.

Unique Content And Search Intent

It is not enough anymore to create unique content around a keyword that you wish to rank in search.  You must also analyze the “intent” of the search query for that keyword.  Does someone searching for “Best SEO Company” want a sales statement about how your firm is the best, or are they looking for case studies, examples of success, positive customer reviews and at least a hint at what tactics are used to gain placement for your clients?   I think that the latter outline is what most searching for that term have in mind, and that is the information that one should provide.

There are four types of search queries according to Google:

  1. Informational queries (e.g., how do you do SEO?)
  2. Navigational queries (e.g., SEO firm near me)
  3. Comparison queries (e.g., SEO v. Paid Ads)
  4. Commercial queries (e.g., SEO Pricing)

Page Content and Code

The best indicator of what needs to be on your page to move up in rankings is to review what Google has on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for your search terms.  If there are images in the search results, then images with optimized alt tags are important.  Featured Snippets on the SERP?  Be sure to use the proper schema data to highlight your content.  If you are in local search, your Google My Business listing is critical.  Optimize with posts, photos and correct NAP (name, address, phone number) info.

Increase Page Speed

Page speed is an important factor of the User Experience (UX) of your site.  It is also a ranking factor.  You may assess your load speed by using Google’s Pagespeed Insights for load speed and Google Search Console to identify mobile and desktop usage issues and 404s (broken links) and other site structure issues.  Google is using mobile first indexing almost universally now, so page load speed and UX are key to gaining rankings.

E-A-T factors

E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. It is difficult to say if optimizing this is going to improve rankings, but it should improve conversion knowing that the person or people behind the ideas being presented in the website are experts in their field.  Be sure that you have contact info on your site, and that you have a profile page explaining who you are and outlining your experience and training. 

Backlinks That Help You Find Information

The most important things about backlinks (links to your site from other sites) is that you want them to be from a variety of sites and that they be links that a human being would actually follow.  Ahrefs.com and SEM Rush both have link building tools that will help to identify sites that link to competitors or have information relevant to your site.

Conclusion

There are so many things in SEO that are outside of our control   The factors that we can influence are vulnerable to constant change.  It is important to focus on strategies that are able to be improved, and trust that creating a website that has unique, relevant and valuable content that is presented in a fashion that allows a user to gain the answers to the questions they ask (keyword searches) will be valued not only by those who visit, but by Google Algorithms.  The above list represents a few improvements that can be made to help a site to rank in SERP.  

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