Most companies now know the importance of SEO, but SEO is changing all the time and ranking factors change continuously. What was once effective no longer is, and some tactics can even be damaging.
If you want to focus on the tactics that work, there are a number of areas where you should be making your efforts. Here are some of the most important search engine ranking factors today to build your brand.
This is one of the simplest but perhaps the most important factor when it comes to ranking your website at the moment.
Mobile search has come on a long way in recent years. People are using their mobile devices to search the web more than ever, but the problem is that they often end up on websites that are not optimized for the mobile experience.
It was for this reason that Google made a large algorithm update in April 2015 that focused on improving the mobile search experience. Now, websites that have been optimized for mobiles have a better chance of ranking in mobile search. Quite simply, if you have not yet made your website mobile friendly, you could be missing out on traffic and business, so this is the first thing you should do.
Build High-Quality Links
This tactic has not changed in years, and it is still just as relevant today as it was years ago. On this chart from Moz about ranking factors in 2015, domain-level and page-level link features are right at the top of the list. What this shows is that you therefore need to devise a link strategy.
This topic is so big that books have been written about it. You may want to use specialist SEO reseller services to help you get started because it can be a time-consuming practice, but it really is essential to your SEO success.
To build links from high-ranking authority websites and blogs, most of it comes down to making sure your site is worth linking to. And that means creating valuable content.
Publish Authority Content
Content has always been at the heart of SEO, and it remains so today. Thought leadership content is the sort of high-value content that other websites want to link to and refer to. This type of content takes time to create, but it is the way to get results.
Publish it on your website, then spread the word. Encourage more people to link back to your page, and this will improve your rankings. Of course, the content genuinely has to be valuable. Creating amazing content consistently over time takes effort, but after a while the links will start to come in naturally, and this is when you will start to see real results.
This is basic SEO strategy that remains highly relevant to this day. Ensure all of your web pages have meta titles that utilize a keyword. These are the titles that show up in the search engines, so you want to make sure they are compelling as well as keyword optimized. It is a simple step to take, but it can have a big effect on your rankings.
The URL and meta description are also places to use your keywords naturally to send signals to the search engine spiders about what these pages are about.
The design of your site will also influences its rankings. The code should be clean and the the speed should be fast. A slow site will affect your SEO because it affects the user experience. This is something that you should get your designer to work on for you, so ensure you are not losing out on rankings because of minor problems that can be easily fixed.
Social media activity has an effect on your rankings. Focus on social signals by engaging your target audience with high-value content to build a following. Over time, this will start to generate links. Encourage people to check out your recent blog posts, launch competitions and surveys, and stay active. The more social activity you have, the more this will impact positively on your SEO.
Avoid Black Hat Tactics
All of the above are tactics that you can focus on to improve your rankings. The truth is that Google’s latest algorithm updates have focused on reducing the impact of black-hat tactics on rankings, so now it is more important than ever to avoid trying to cut corners.
Building low-quality links, buying links, and similar artificial techniques are frowned upon, and these can harm your rankings and your business. So focus instead on the factors that improve your rankings, and you should see significant results within a year.
John Warfield is in digital marketing with a penchant for social media and search engine optimization. He enjoys keeping up with the latest developments in website marketing and his posts mainly appear on digital marketing related blogs.