I just read an article by MarketingProfs called, "The Most Important Google Search Rank Factors." They talked about what factors are involved in how one is ranked on Google. To me, there are 2 extremely important parts in having your business grow and they are the following:
1. Website - Good content that speaks to the needs of your visitors is extremely important as it definitely has an effect on the next factor.
2. Ranking - This is pretty much ever-changing, but it probably as important as #1 in that the website does you no good unless it is found on the 1st page of the search results. I've seen some crazy good real estate websites of LinkedIn connections, but have had to jump through hoops to find them on Google.
So I am always studying the process of ranking and as I said, it changes as much as Facebook changes which is A LOT and OFTEN. The article I referenced was based on an analysis conducted in 2016 of Google search results for 10,000 keywords.
The really important message or takeaway was this:
"Except for important technical standards, there are no longer any specific factors or benchmark values that are universally valid for all online marketers and SEOs. Instead, there are different ranking factors for every single industry or even every single search query. And these now change continuously."
Here's the infographic itself that speaks to the specific factors involved in ranking, but I'm going to break it down as much as I can for you.
Let's start with CONTENT. It is becoming more about relevance. What I mean by that is say I search "Homes for sale in Winter Park, Florida" and I pull up NicoleMickle.com "Homes for sale in Winter Park, Florida." Those are keywords, but relevance is what I find when I click over to her site and see that it speaks to the subject matter and it is not just in the title. This also plays into user behavior which will be our next subject.
So now we study the USER SIGNALS through their actions such as their CTR (click through rate), time on site and bounce rate. Why? If the user clicks through and is on the site for a period of time then Google says that was a good search result. If they click through and they "bounce" right out then we know it was not a good result and that can bode badly for Google. This is why Google places so much stock into their strategy of providing a good user experience and it is why they are #1 in what they do.
"The presence of a few TECHNICAL requirements, such as H1 tags and HTTPS encryption, help pages rank well across almost all keywords, the analysis found." I thought this part was very interesting. SEMrush has a great Site Audit Tool which will help you check the technical side of your website ranking along with other factors. I use it myself.
This portion of the graph points to the USER EXPERIENCE in that it factors into account how easy it is to follow the content. The size of the font is important as readers want to easily scan the document. The number of images are a new measure of importance and so on. Remember that Google is all about meeting the needs of the searcher.
According to their data research, SOCIAL SIGNALS are down all the way around and so don't count on them to improve your ranking.
This is a bit confusing because I had read from other reports that BACKLINKS were not in major focus anymore, but according to this they are still playing a part.
I'm not a google ranking expert, but I do try to keep up with it. I'm sure there are others who are experts on this subject and I welcome their input.
My bottom line is that I use keyword research to discover what my clients' target market is interested in and then I plan content around that subject. I now know a lot more than I did before and I plan on utilizing it. I hope this helps others as well.
This week's featured client is Gwen Daubenmeyer of The Integrity Team in Rochester, Michigan.