Every Marketer and SEO experts’ ultimate goal is to rank amongst the top 10 searches on the SERP page. As many are aware, Google always rewards websites with good content and websites with higher ad or search relevancy. Many look for shortcuts, but the truth of the matter is SEO is more of a long game and there is very little scope for short cuts.
Having said that, there isn’t a definitive answer to describe how long SEO takes; however, there are various factors that play a significant role in the SEO rankings. Here are a few must-do things to improve your chances of ranking higher.
- Factor 1 – Outdated Content – If you’ve been in the SEO industry long enough, you know that Google always prefers fresh content, which doesn’t mean you crank out content every day. Instead, make use of Google search console, check all the pieces of content you’ve put up in the past year and compare your website traffic, how your website is performing now as to how it performed a year ago. Work on pages that aren’t doing well and refresh that content with something new by adding recent facts and figures- this will tell the Big G that you are constantly updating content, and it will help in ranking your website.
- Factor 2 – Short-form Content – Gone are those days where 500-word content was considered as long-form content. In modern times, pages that don’t go above and beyond with in-depth information don’t tend to do well. Google considers content as one of the major factors for ranking. Websites that don’t meet its content requirement more often than not struggle to rank higher. Go to all pages that offer little to no value, and either update them with in-depth information or redirect them to pages that are in-depth and offer a much better user experience. Make use of Google Analytics to compare how the page was performing before updating content and post updating content. Check for bounce rates, and the time spent on the site as these will indicate if your page is good or needs updating.
- Factor 3 – Automatically Generating Content – Google’s focus is on delivering an amazing user experience, so it updates its algorithms regularly. Generating content through automated tools isn’t going to deliver a better user experience. Although you put in the best efforts to customize and personalize the content, it is still not going to do well. Always keep in mind to create content that provides the best user experience, ensure you create content that is not only liked by Google but also liked by users by doing this you can come with better content and ideas than your competitors.
- Factor 4 – Irrelevant Internal Linking – Internal linking can be rewarding, but excessive internal linking can backfire. It is going to lose value and harm your SEO. You have to do it only when necessary and if it’s best for users. Never do it if it doesn’t help users, so make sure you choose internal links that are relevant to the content and the pages people are going to read. Don’t just add rich anchor texts, do what’s best for the users.
- Factor 5 – Irrelevant Ads – When you put excessive or irrelevant ads on your websites, it is going to affect the site load time. This will affect your SEO since there are a lot of external resources that need to be loaded. Ads usually give people bad user experience, and websites with excessive ads tend to have high bounce rates. This sends wrong signals to Google, thereby affecting your rankings. Another key aspect to consider is to provide better user experience to mobile devices since most searches take place in mobile devices. If your ads hinder user experience, then you are going to lose tons of traffic and people are going to leave your website. It’s not bad to have ads but make sure it blends in and it shouldn’t distract users.
- Factor 6- Spammy Backlinks – Backlinks are a key factor in driving a lot of traffic to your website. But if you link to spammy websites, you can get caught up in what Google calls link scheming. In simple terms, any links that intend to manipulate page rank are called link schemes. This is a violation of Google’s guidelines. It is also wise to try and avoid reciprocal linking as much as possible, this practice is going to hurt your rankings in the long run. Use backlinks only if you feel that it’s going to add value to your users.
- Factor 7- Avoid Duplicate Content – Avoid using Duplicate content. true that Google doesn’t penalize you for using duplicate content, as you know Google will never rank duplicate content over original content. Your content should be fresh and unique- this doesn’t mean that you can’t use stats, use quotes from other people or cite sources and give them credit, it’s just that content has to be new for you to rank higher.
If you manage to address these issues, then you’re surely going to rank higher on the SERP page.
The Author is CEO Neil Patel Digital & Stan Ventures