In the earlier days, Google previously used about 200 ranking factors to determine the SERPs. A scenery has changed a lot in the past 10 years. But what one thing hasn’t? You don’t need sweat regarding every ranking factor now.
Some variables carry more value than others. If you just concentrate on the essentials, you can still cruise afloat in 2019. This post delves into what those factors are and what is needed to optimize for each.
Google officially started flashing out its mobile-first index in March. Smart marketers have taken a mobile-first approach long before the official launch.
Google’s Danny Sullivan states:
“Neither mobile-friendliness nor a mobile-responsive layout is the requirements for mobile-first indexing. Pages missing out on mobile versions still work on mobile, and are usable for indexing. Which means, it’s time to move from desktop-only and embraces mobile.”
Here are some basics to help you in turning your site mobile-friendly:
- Your site should be adaptive to any device; be it desktop, mobile or tablet.
- Scaling your images while using a responsive design, especially for mobile users should not be avoided.
- Try using short meta titles. They are much easier to read on mobile devices.
- Avoid pop-ups that hide your content and stop visitors from getting a glimpse of what your content is all about.
- Less can mean more on mobile. In the mobile-first world, long-form content doesn’t necessarily result in more traffic and better rankings.
- Mobile use should not be an excuse for cloaking. Users and spiders should see the same content.
Many find the idea of performing technical SEO to be intimidating. Luckily many are SEO tools available, due to which an SEO audit is no longer a daunting task. All you need to do is to know how you can interpret the data provided and what is to be done with it.
This is how you can check it:
- Make sure your site qualifies as being mobile-friendly.
- Inspect for status code errors and correct them.
- Scan the robot.txt for errors. Optimize them if needed.
- Checking your site indexing via Google Search Console will also help. Examine and fix any issues discovered in the process.
- Fixing duplicate title tags and duplicate meta descriptions are essential.
- Always audit your website content. Keep checking the traffic stats in Google Analytics. Consider improving or pruning underperforming contents.
- Fix all the broken links. They are an enemy of the user experience – and potentially harm your
- Submitting your XML sitemap to Google via Google Search Console should be remembered.
- Website Speed
Page speed affects both traffic and conversions directly. Slow page speed gives birth to poor user experience, thus Google takes page speed into consideration as an important ranking factor.
Best ways to optimize page speed are:
- Minimizing HTTP requests for the different parts of the page, like scripts, images, and CSS.
- Reducing the file size by compressing them and combine common files to reduce requests.
- Reducing DNS lookup time.
- Improving server response time.
- Using an appropriate hosting solution.
- Leveraging browser caching.
- Minimizing image sizes.
- Using a CDN.
- Keeping plugins to a minimum.
- Keeping redirects to a minimum.
- User Intent
Creating “great content,” optimizing it, and getting it trusted links is now just the start for ranking a keyword optimally. As machine learning and artificial intelligence evolve more, each of them will carry more value in Google’s core algorithm.
The ultimate goal for Google is understanding the context and serving the results based on the searcher’s intent. This is an advanced level keyword research and here your selection more important than ever. For beginners, you need to recognize that there are a few keywords and queries that are going to be impossible to rank for.
A keyword’s contextual relevance must be in alignment with a search query. Before you spend time and resources trying to rank for a phrase, you should have a look at the current ranking websites and phrases. Only if your website and landing page are similar to what is ranking, chances are it will not happen.
As there is still a chance left to rank in Google maps, it’s still worthwhile pursuing this phrase. If not, for that opportunity it would be a wastage of your time. Google has already concluded that searcher intent is to find a series of relevant results, not just one.
- Content Marketing
The projection is that by 2020, 44 zettabytes of data will be released every day. Putting this in perspective, that’s the equal to that of 8.48 trillion songs or 1,440 years of HD video every day. The challenge is to break through the clutter. This will become exponentially more difficult as time passes.
This is how you can make it happen:
- Creating a content hub in the form of a resource center.
- Filling your resource hub with a combination of useful, informative, and entertaining content.
- Writing spoken pieces related to your resource hub and interlink.
- Writing news articles related to your resource and interlink.
- Spreading the word – promote your news articles on social channels.
- Hijack ing trending topics related to your content – promote on social media.
- Using your smartphone camera. Images and videos can convert better than text alone.
- Updating the stale and low trafficked content.
Once schema Markup is added, it creates a rich snippet- an enhanced description which appears in the search results. All the leading search engines, including Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Yandex, are supporting the use of microdata. The real value in the schema is that it is able to give contexts to a webpage and improve its search experience. There is no evidence which says adding schema will have any influence on SERPs.
Areas of Schema usage:
- Businesses and organizations
If you are thinking that adding schema to a page would be intimidating, you shouldn’t. The schema is actually pretty simple to implement. If you own a WordPress site, there are a number of plugins that will help to do this for you.
- User Experience
User experience (UX) is based uponthe gaining insight into users, their needs, their values, abilities, and limitations. UX also looks into business goals and objectives. Best UX practices stress on improving the quality of the user experience.
These are the factors that influence UX :
- Useful: Your content has to be unique and satisfy a need.
- Usable: Your website should be easy to use and navigate.
- Desirable: Your design elements and brand ought to evoke emotion and appreciation.
- Findable: You should integrate design and navigation elements to make it easier for users to find what they need.
- Accessible: Content must be to be accessible to everyone – including 10 percent of the population with disabilities.
- Credible: Your site should be trustworthy in order for users to believe you.
- Valuable: Your site should focus on providing value to the user in terms of experience and to the company in terms of positive ROI.
The amount of information and disinformation which is served up daily in various marketing feeds might seem overwhelming. If you aren’t careful it might lead to analysis paralysis and nothing will get done. Keeping this in mind, if you only focus on these eight essentials you will probably set yourself up for success in 2019 and beyond. All the best.