There are hundreds of ranking factors that are used to determine the competitive placement of websites and by aiming to perform in as many categories as possible your site will perform more competitively in more search queries. Focus your attention on the major ranking factors to see the most drastic increases in ranking that lead to increases in traffic.
Satisfy Search Intent
Search intent has been an ongoing topic since search engines began reading and understanding the contextual meaning of content. The priority for all engines is user experience because at the end of the day the results provided in a search listing need to meet the demands of the user in order for them to continue using their browser. Websites that are displayed in top positions are basically being endorsed as the best answer for that particular query.
Improve on-site metrics that measure the engagement
On-site metrics are used to measure the level of engagement and can affect the ranking of a website. The bounce rate of a website indicates the percentage of users that land on a site and then leave without clicking further. When search engines see a lack of engagement demonstrated by a low bounce rate the website will be reduced in ranking for the keyword that was used to land on the site.
Another factor that contributes to the ranking is dwell time. This is a measure of the average time a person spends on a website. The results for dwell time are measures against the industry average in order to determine the level of engagement. If a user is spending double the time on one website over all others in a search result, then it’s obvious the user has found content that has piqued their interest.
Build content for a specific audience
Creating pages that satisfy search intent and boost onsite metrics requires effective keyword research. It has become a requirement to include as many issues that can be related to your keyword topic in order to create the most complete page. Keyword research is about learning what your ideal audience is experiencing in order for you to connect with them on a deeper level. Providing content that solves problems and answers questions will get the best response from your readers.
The developments in how search engines extract contextual meaning has given companies more incentive to be comprehensive in coverage of a specific topic in order to enhance the optimization of their site. It’s now possible to detect and assess how well a solution or topic is covered in its entirety. This also means that search engines can pick up on how relevant your content is to the query being made. If your page is extensive in detail there will be a lot of content that can trigger more frequent appearances in related searches.
Traditional on-page optimization
Of course, there are still technical elements that need to be addressed. Examples of optimizing your page are including your keyword in the title, URL as well as keyword synonyms and LSI keywords in your subtitles and body of content.
Optimize your images
Images should also be optimized since search engines don’t assign meaning without the use of alternative description tags. Best practices recommend images to have a filename that includes the keyword or adequately describes the image. It’s also recommended the title and captions be filled in to provide the most information possible.
Include structured data
Structured data markup will contribute to making the information on your page easily accessible and understood by search engines. Structured data will also increase the likelihood of being featured in a rich snippet.
A website’s backlink profile is officially one of the top three ranking signals that Google uses to determine the competitive placement of websites in its index. The policies that are now enforced have effectively cut down the appearance of low-quality sites on the first page of results. These same policies have also made link building much closer to being what Google has described as the recommended link building strategy that links should occur naturally.
There is no argument against being proactive in regards to link building as it is the only way to get results in a shorter amount of time. If we were all to do as Google stated, we would be waiting for years to build a decent amount of links to our sites. Using tactics and strategies that are accepted as white hat linking is the safest method of increasing the domain authority and ranking of your site.
Publish articles as a guest
Writing articles as a guest of credible blog sites in your niche is an accepted and scalable method of link building. Although the process in acquiring links relies heavily on the quality of your writing as well as which blogs you’re writing to be published on, there are enough blogs that accept guest posts that make this method of link building viable and effective for acquiring high-quality backlinks.
There’s no shame in asking for help. It’s common practice to contact other bloggers in the same industry or niche to tell them about the content you have on your site. There’s no magic formula for making someone want to link to your site but if you make the effort to build relationships, being genuine may lead to better results with who links to your site. It helps to have something to offer such as a link from your site, but a link exchange is a violation of Googles rules so any obvious exchanged links could do damage to your ranking as opposed to helping it.
Make a list of the authors and bloggers that would give your website the most exposure with a link from their site. Make it a point to link an article they’ve written in one of your guest posts. That way when an article is published and you’ve linked to their site from a quality third-party site. You can let them know their content has helped you and casually mention how you linked to their site to win some brownie points.
Focus your efforts on producing content that is written specifically for an audience who will benefit from your products and services. By connecting your thoughts and processes to creating value and enjoyable experience for your readers you are able to create content with many of the technical elements of optimization built into your pages. Good quality linking is all that’s needed to get the needle moving when ranking your site so think before you link and choose your link building sources wisely.