Back to Basics: 5 Tips to Improve Your Search Rankings
SEO continues to have a major impact on your sales and brand awareness online. Without SEO, people won’t be able to find your site in search. Well-optimized websites get more traffic, which generates more leads and boosts product or service sales. The biggest concern is Google and its constant algorithm change and keeping up with SEO requirements. If you are looking for top positions it’s a must to follow the latest developments and implement them on time.
There is no single marketing strategy or tool that produce constant results, instead, it’s a combination of things that help to raise rankings. However, there is always one parameter which receives more attention from Google than others. Search Engine Journal lists several factors that dictated new tendencies from year to year:
- 2014: Strong HTTPS as default encryption
- 2015: Mobile-friendliness in mobile search
- 2016: RankBrain algorithm helping users to find the best fit to their search query
- 2017: Secure Socket Layer (SSL) for establishing an encrypted connection between a client and a server
- 2018: Mobile page speed as a ranking signal, how performance affects a user’s experience
Can you guess what is the next high-ranking trend? Here are some statistics, facts and must-do things to understand this year’s trend to improve your website’s visibility and rankings.
1. Think mobile
If you think your potential customers are not using mobile devices, you’re completely wrong. Recent studies show that 48% of buyers use their smartphones to search for a product or service with a search engine. Mobile is becoming the dominant platform, so much so that Google released an official statement about using mobile-friendly sites as the main ranking signal in all languages worldwide.
Must-do: Create a mobile-friendly site and run it through the mobile-friendly testing tool created by Google to meet the set of official criteria.
2. Improve content
You might think that if you post content as quickly as possible or engage in click-bait, it will lead you to the top page in search ranking. However, this doesn’t help in the long run since Google is all about quality over quantity, meaning it’s better to publish less frequent, but well-crafted, content that keeps your potential customer engaged. It’s not only about text – HubSpot statistics highlight that organic traffic from search results can increase by 157% when integrating video in a post. In 2019, 81% of marketers say the video has helped them generate leads. It becomes impossible to ignore the fact that video is a king in marketing content.
Must-do: Start creating videos for your social media pages, websites, and email newsletters. You can always save on production costs and earn some time for other marketing strategy planning activities with the help of online video maker tools.
There was a time when backlink building was on the rise and search engine rankings only depended on the number of backlinks you got. Today, there are more important aspects to rely on for search rankings, but backlinks should not be forgotten. Google loves backlinks, but you have to keep in mind the quality aspect. The old method of “more backlinks, higher ranking” doesn’t work anymore. Instead, get people to talk about your brand and refer to your website by letting them reshare the great content you provide.
Must-do: Add links pointing to your website to social media posts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), redirect email reader to your site, write articles and post them on popular news portals and websites, comment on blog posts and leave traffic links.
4. Optimize your page speed
Slow website download speed makes you customers dissatisfied, as a result, you lose on sales and traffic. This is related to both desktop and mobile sites. According to 2018 research by Google, 53% of mobile users leave a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. However, there is a contradiction as the average mobile site takes up to 15 seconds to load. Thankfully, it’s not a difficult problem to solve.
Must-do: One of the easiest ways how to speed up your website is to compress images. There are many free tools available online to help you out. Additionally, make sure you use the smallest amount of 301 redirects.
5. Voice search
No doubt voice search has arrived and is here to stay in 2019 as a trend in ranking. It’s a challenge for online marketers as they understand that the voice search matters and its importance continues to grow. As of January 2018, there were an estimated one billion searches per month and by 2020, 50% of all searches will be carried out via voice. Voice search is growing so fast because searching with voice is 3.7 times faster than typing, and far more convenient for mobile users (nearly 60% of mobile searchers use voice search at least some of the time).
Must-do: Create an account on Google My Business to allow individuals to find your company on Google Maps and other search engine results. Work with conversational keywords as there is a big difference in how people search when typing and by voice.
SEO has to be an important part of your marketing strategy along with your content marketing, because user experience and search engine optimization has a lot in common. In order to rank well now and in the future, it’s wise to implement as many SEO strategies as possible, including yearly announcements from Google. Stay focused on the quality, keep your users engaged, create backlinks, improve site speed and work on keywords for voice search.