In the world of content creation and writing, everybody wants to come out on top. It is really important for blogs and websites to factor high up in the search engine rankings, preferably near the top of the first page of results. Achieving this can be fairly straightforward, since popular search engines like Google have several factors that they use to rank webpages. Some of these are more important than others, but all of them are key if you really want to achieve a high ranking.
Google has a lot of factors that they use to rank. Below are some of the absolute essentials you will need in order to appear high up on those searches.
1. Website Security
Very recently, Google has allocated a small ranking benefit to sites that use HTTPS instead of HTTP. This is currently only a small boost, but Google has said that they “may decide to strengthen” the benefit of having HTTPS because of an aim to keep everyone safe online.
Based on recent tests, Google has said that the HTTPS signal has shown positive results for relevancy and ranking in search results. However, in order to make sure traffic stays up when switching from HTTP to HTTPS, make sure to alert Google that you have moved your site, and ensure that crawling bots can still navigate your site.
This is specially important for websites in which there is money transactions like shops or sites selling paid suscriptions.
2. Content Length
When ranking different sites, Google looks for authoritative and informative content that is valuable to users. After all, people aren’t satisfied with basic, minimal information. Longer content, therefore, is desired when ranking in the search engines. However, make sure that the content is still of a high quality and avoid rambling. Invaluable content may be penalised by Google, but don’t be afraid to write long pieces if they are of a high standard. Here you have a guide to create a SEO-optimized content.
Any SEO writer worth his salt will know that keywords are vital in search engine optimization. Of course, keywords are the basis upon which search results rely. And if you know about SEO, you know that keyword stuffing is something to avoid at all costs. That said, there are a few important places that you should definitely include keywords.
The title meta tag is one of the strongest signals for a search engine. Definitely include a keyword in the title tag, as well as the meta description tag. As long as these are included, it is fairly easy to sprinkle keywords naturally throughout the remainder of the text without keyword stuffing, and still achieve a high search engine ranking.
4. User Experience
User experience is extremely important in rankings. Users should be encouraged to stay on the site and not leave after a few seconds. Website engagement (i.e. comments, shares, etc.) is vital for rankings, so you should attempt to get users to interact a little with the site.
Creating a sitemap so that your content is all navigable is a really good idea. Not only does this improve user experience, but it also makes it easier for crawlers to access all pages of the site. Because of this, more of your pages will appear in the search engines, which will certainly improve rankings.
Additionally, the number of domains that link back to your site is an important ranking factor. Google trusts pages with a larger network of links, which means it might be worth looking into guest posting. Besides, Bing has confirmed they take into consideration website’s name mentions in other sites, even when they are not into a link. And if Bing does it, it is very likely that Google too.
6. Click-Through Rate
Search results will change if a user frequently clicks on the same site, making it a handy indirect ranking factor. Google uses CTR to validate the quality of search results, so increasing CTR can be a good method to improve rankings marginally. Make sure to have good metadescriptions that make users enter your site when you appear in SERPs.
7. Mobile Friendliness
Just less than half of searches are conducted on mobile. Having a mobile-optimised site is an easy way to increase search engine rankings and direct more traffic to your site, because it improves user experience and lets Google know that your site is valuable.
Although these aren’t the only ranking factors out there, they are all important and should be helpful tools in getting you started.