SEO dynamics and requirements are rapidly evolving, and businesses are struggling to stay abreast with the pace of innovations. All websites aim to secure the highest position on Google’s search rankings. However, securing a position on top of the list is not an easy endeavor.
Websites that rank higher enjoy steady and ever-growing website traffic, stemming from their extensive optimization, keyword research, and market-relevance. Naturally, high-ranking websites enjoy greater popularity and authority, alongside generating high-quality leads and sales.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial undertaking to build relevance and connect your website with a target audience. In 2021, SEO is a sheer necessity because Google algorithms and crawlers are increasingly sophisticated and complex. These crawlers and bots rely on keywords, quality backlinks, and other SEO metrics to determine website rankings and overall authority.
Let’s take a closer look at the top SEO ranking factors to consider for a high-ranking and popular website.
Authority Determines Search Rankings
How you ensure that your website gets recognized as an authoritative and informative resource worthy of citation? Google and other search engines deploy sophisticated technologies to identify websites that command authority and popularity. Have you ever noticed how popular and prominent brands always secure top search engine rankings?
Their position does not stem from unlimited marketing spending or pay-per-click ads. Contrary to what most people believe, these popular brands deploy a wide array of techniques to build authority. This endeavor requires a multitude of SEO basics and advanced strategies. Brands must invest in link-building techniques and acquire high-quality backlinks to boost their SEO success.
High-quality backlinks originating from popular and authoritative websites will help your website secure Google’s approval. Multiple backlinks from prominent websites with an enormous social following will expand your audience and website visibility. Google is more likely to allocate higher rankings to websites cited by influential and authoritative websites.
Keywords Determine Search Relevance
How does Google skim through billions of web pages to find search results most relevant to user-generated queries? Google relies on highly-sophisticated search bots, which are automated software termed as “spiders.” These search bots crawl the world wide web and visit web pages to identify the most relevant results?
But how? These spiders rely on keywords and phrases in the search query to offer relevant results. Well-optimized websites that curate content with a wealth of specific keywords enjoy higher rankings and greater audience exposure. Keywords connect content, websites, and businesses with their target audiences. Google relies on search terms to find the most relevant web pages out of trillions of pages logged in its index. Isn’t that stupendous?
The only way your website can stand out and rise above its competitors is by prioritizing keyword research. It’s wise to utilize free tools or invest in advanced keyword research tools to add value to your content. Articles, blogs, images, and even videos hold little purpose without keywords connecting them with a specific audience.
Prioritizing On-Page & Off-Page SEO
On-page and Off-page SEO are popular marketing buzzwords that are thrown around in online and offline conversations. However, what do they signify and aim to achieve? On-page and off-page are powerful SEO ranking factors that can boost visibility and search rankings when done right.
On-page SEO refers to your website and the elements you can optimize to improve user experience. You can optimize and improve the content, layout, website code and design, and overall navigation.
And off-page SEO refers to the external actions that help build authority. Social marketing, backlinks, and social collaborations create a trustworthy and credible website image. Both on-page and off-page SEO tactics are equally indispensable as they determine the overall ranking of a website.
Marketing Espionage: Competitors’ Analysis
While corporate espionage is a serious crime, marketing espionage is a clever tactic to stay competitive and relevant. Competitors’ analysis is a vital undertaking to improve your SEO rankings or stay competitive with rival brands. The idea is to regularly review and analyze the SEO tactics adopted by your competitors.
Be sure to subscribe to their website notifications, social media networks, and email subscription lists. This way, you can receive alerts for all new updates, blogs, product lines, and other campaigns. Observing your competitors’ content strategy, link-building techniques, and user experience will offer a wealth of inspiration.
You can imitate the strategy that seems to work for your competitors or advance the strategy to reap more gains. Learning from your successful competitors is far more realistic than imitating the strategy of large corporations.
Engaging User Experience
Did you know that Google’s bots and spiders keep a close eye on user engagement and experience? That’s right. If a user quits your website after a few minutes or seconds, Google will note this activity. Suppose a large audience of users starts quitting your website minutes after arriving at a web page. In the long-run, users leaving your website will cast a negative impact on your search engine rankings.
Search engines closely observe the time users spend browsing and navigating a website. Google closely observes websites featuring videos or podcasts as users spend more time on such web pages. It’s wise to incorporate a multitude of content to entertain users and compel them to stay longer.
Page loading speed is another crucial SEO ranking factor that most marketers tend to neglect. Users are likely to leave websites that take time to load or fail to show images on smartphones. Google examines page loading speed, and websites that load within seconds enjoy greater popularity with users and search engines.
All this talk about tech-savvy spiders and sophisticated bots compels marketers to forget they’re curating content for humans. It’s essential to maintain a healthy balance. Be sure to appease bots and algorithms with technical strategies. Your content and creativity should always focus on humans who require emotional cues and information to inspire buying decisions.