Google’s assaults continue in 2019 to revive the user experience giving a tough time to businesses and digital marketing professionals. For many of the businesses and webmasters who are yet to overcome the repercussions of Google’s Medic Updates (August 2018) and the subsequent algorithmic updates aimed at putting a clamp on YMYL websites, the recent drop in the performance score of their website is no less than a rude shock.
Here is a round-up of top 10 SEO ranking factors that can make a difference and help you restore your lost shine or put your first step in the World Wide Web firmly.
#1. Optimize the page speed
Google or any other search engines would love your website and consider it more appropriate for its users if your pages load fast on a desktop, laptop, mobile or any other end-user device. You may check the page speed of your website with the Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Use the PageSpeed suggestions to reduce the page load time and make your website faster.
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#2.Switch to Google Public DNS
Mitigate DNS (Domain Name System) security threats including Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks and spoofing attacks responsible for DNS cache poisoning. The attacker sends a victim DNS server queries using a forged source IP address to steal the user’s information or chock their networks remotely. If you run a business, it’s essential for you to enhance the DNS settings to help your audience safely use your website.
The recently introduced Google Public DNS can elevate the security of your website, provided implemented intelligently. Ask your digital experts to do it for you, or contact a reliable digital marketing agency.
#3.Improve the mobile performance
“If your business isn’t designed for mobile and if your customers can’t easily shop from your online store through their smartphones, you could lose half of your potential customers,” claims Digital Sprout.
The Holiday Recap 2018 study released by Adobe in December 2018 supports the claim well. The performance of a website on mobile significantly affects the SEO ranking not just on mobile but also on desktops and other devices as Google has already highlighted in its mobile-first indexing principle.
Don’t blame Google, because your audience may use multiple devices to buy a service or product from you, and mobile has to be one of them.
#4.Focus on on-page optimization
It’s good to have other websites talking about you, business directories listing your products or services, and influencer marketers endorsing you, but it’s critical to ensure your website has the charm, valuable content and structure that can deliver the WOW experience to your visitors.
Hence, invest more on your website in comparison to putting your money in 3rd party link building or paid influencer marketing. Make your website so authentic and useful that users love to spend time on it and share it with others. Their engagement and social actions will ultimately win for you the organic links that Google considers as an SEO ranking factor.
#5.Go for HTTPS
A close analysis of the Google Search Result Page (SERP) reveals that most of the websites appearing in top 10 ranking positions use HTTPS. If you haven’t made a switch, it’s time to act.
Do you pay attention to the “padlock” icon when you do online banking? Everyone does because everyone cares about the security of their personal information.
Google Chrome or other browsers often flags a few web URLs as “Not Secure” in the address bar. What does the flag mean? It indicates that the communication between the browser and that the website user is connecting or connected to is not secure. Here comes the importance of HTTP to HTTPS migration.
#6. Improve your user experience (UX)
A lot has been said about the importance of user experience, but not many business owners take it seriously. Search engine optimization isn’t just about an impressive website, article, directory or blog submission, and using keywords in your content alone. It’s time to listen to the audience and learn from their challenges and expectations and create your website’s user interface and experience dynamic and intuitive enough to respond to their demands.
UX is a dynamic factor, and it changes as per the audience cohort you are targeting at. Accordingly, the web layout, navigation, usability, and performance should help your brand to connect with your audience seamlessly.
#7. Optimize your website for Voice Search
It’s common to see kids and adults using voice search to find out information, listen to their favorite music tracks or do more. Use of Siri, Alexa, and Cortona, to name a few has grown exponentially in the last few years. To cope with the development, Google has significantly upgraded its search algorithm. Optimize your website’s structure and content strategy to work with the voice search.
Rating and personalization make a lot of difference to click-through-rate and then conversion, and now experts have started accepting them as an SEO ranking factor. Rich snippets use schema to mark up your text and data. Though Google hasn’t revealed much about its implementation, you can take clues from its featured snippets guideline.
#9.Search-intent based content strategy
It’s crucial for SEO agencies to align their content development strategy in the line of the intent of users. For a close analogy, let’s see the blog title “Top 10 SEO Ranking Factors 2019 That You Need to Know” I have used. So what can be the possible intent of the users, when they use it as a keyword or phrase? They are looking for a remedy to their dropped SEO ranking; they want to increase organic click-through-rate and generate more leads, and so on. They might not be necessarily looking for an SEO company.
The crux is the content should answer the user’s intent in the best possible manner. Yes, try to have only high-quality content.
#10. Keyword research
Last but it’s not the least. Keyword research was, is, and will always remain one of the top SEO ranking factors. It serves as the roadmap for the content creation. If yours is a new website, it’s important first to do a competitor analysis to understand what keywords they have. However, a multi-tiered keyword research strategy is required. You have to bucket your keywords as primary, secondary and tertiary and should use them in a way that sounds natural. The game is tough, but it pays off significantly.