There are so many factors that go into determining your website’s position on a search engine result page (SERP.) It can be hard to know what to focus on. On top of this, Google is constantly updating and changing their algorithm to improve it, which can either help or hurt you, depending on the current state of your SEO.
Overall, your SEO strategy should focus on knowing how Google’s algorithm works and what Google’s goal is for its searchers. This is necessary to improve your website based on the variables that impact your ranking the most. So what is Google’s goal? They want to show the people using their search engine a ranked list of the best and most relevant pages for their search terms.
Here are the top 3 SEO ranking variables that you should focus your strategy on so Google will rank you higher:
When Google updates its algorithm, its goal is to improve its ability to show its searchers the most relevant content based on their search. Since this plays a large role in SEO, great content is considered to be the best way to improve your website’s SERP rankings.
This will happen when the content is more relevant to the search query and if the site has a lower bounce rate. Having a lower bounce rate and relevant content that keeps users on the website for longer will increase your site’s domain authority (including many other factors).
If people enjoy your content and stay on the website to read your articles and watch your videos, then Google will rank you higher in the SERP. This tells Google that your content must be excellent and relevant to what the visitor searched. With great content, your SEO variables, such as bounce rate, will improve and help rank your website higher in the SERP.
Although content has been confirmed as one of the top variables in SEO ranking, backlinks also play an essential role.
As discussed, an important factor in SEO is backlinks. Googles algorithm uses backlinks as trust signals to determine how much authority your site has over others. If your page has many backlinks from other websites, Google will rank your site higher.
The algorithm will also rank these backlinks based on the domain authority of the site linking to your page. The higher the domain authority of the site, the higher the ranking of that backlink to your page will be, and the more trust Google has in your website. For example, if The New York Times links to one of your pages in an article they published, this would be considered a high authority backlink. These kinds of backlinks are valued much more than those from a less established website, although extremely difficult to obtain.
Google has made it more difficult to trick their algorithm with black-hat SEO techniques. This is why it’s vital to improve your on-page SEO. It will increase the likelihood that the algorithm will rank your website higher in the SERP. On-page optimization gives both Google and the searcher more context and information about the page they may be sent to.
How can you use this knowledge to improve your SEO strategy? Consider these factors: bounce rate, keywords, conversion rate and organic click-through-rate.
To change these factors (that will ultimately enhance your SEO), you will need to strengthen smaller on-page variables. This includes meta tags, URL optimization and heading hierarchies. Although these variables might seem minor; combined they can improve more critical factors in your SEO, including organic click-through-rate and bounce rate. For example, your meta title and meta description are shown in the SERP; having these optimized will help increase both your ranking for keywords as well as click-through-rate.
It’s important to note that although these are important factors, they all have smaller variables that must be considered when developing your SEO strategy. SEO is more of an art than a science where there isn’t always one definitive answer. Test things out, analyze the results, and make adjustments as needed. Overall if you focus on improving the three factors listed above, your SERP ranking will drastically improve.