In 2007, SEO was just soo much easier than today. This is the time before our lives got consumed with iPhones and Androids, and ranking on Google was way less complicated than it is today. Even back then, search engines were using “over 200 signals” for ranking, and now those ranking signals are probably in the thousands.
Of course, Google will not tell us each of the factors that affect rankings, and even though we don’t know each one, we look at some ranking factors that if you can focus on, so you can start seeing results for SEO.
Keywords and your content– the pages that you create on your website must be relevant for the query, and even more importantly, they have to address the searchers pain points. They have to address the intent of the user, and if those factors are missing, you will find it hard to rank. And with content, start with what you have, start by optimising what’s already there and optimise each piece of content that you get through your content marketing efforts.
Dwell time– How long a user stays on your page is a crucial factor, as Google looks at that when they rank pages. You have to look at how you can get your page make someone want to stay longer. Write content that is engaging, addresses the user pain points and answer the search query as fully as you can.
Do you have verified real-world business info – do not underestimate the local pack that is found on Google maps/Google My Business. Users rely on this information to get your details correctly, so make sure you have accurate information on your profiles. This information needs to stay consistent all the different platforms that you use for your business.
Your website has to be a responsive design and/or mobile friendly– This is definitely one of the most important factors when it comes to rankings. Brands and businesses that do not have a mobile friendly website will definitely lose a lot of money in the long term, if they don’t get their sites mobile friendly, as most people own smart phones now and prefer to do searches with them
Uniqueness of content in your site – Make your content unique. Google loves unique content, and SEO is really abut making Google happy so they can give some love to your site. More than just having unique content, make sure that you create content that is detailed, answering the search queries in a way that is satisfactory to the person making the query. Improve your current pages by including all the scenarios that the user may be looking for
Page load speed – The fastest page is definitely in line to win the Google war. No one ever wants to wait forever for a page to load, and if you take into account just how busy people are today, you should make sure that your website loads quickly, to avoid the searcher going to another website.
Relative CTR from Google SERPs to the page for the keyword – The CTR is important, so make sure that you optimise your meta titles and descriptions. With the right CTR, a position 6 can get better quality traffic that someone on position one, just because the meta titles and descriptions are optimised better. So do not ignore what people see on your page results when they search for what you offer.
Links – We simply cannot ignore links, and we know that they are one of the biggest factors when it comes to rankings. Having said that, acquiring links is not easy, and for people to even consider linking to you, you have to have content that is really good, content that is worth linking to. And as you may know, Google does not like webmasters buying links, so perhaps focus on the other SEO factors while you figure out how to do this one properly, to Google’s satisfaction.
Length of content: The days of writing short 250 word articles have since passed. We are still lucky in South Africa, as I can still see pages without much content rank. You can use this to your advantage, to beat the competition by having longer better content on your website.
HTTPS: one of the things I would encourage you to do in 2018 is to get an SSL certificate for your website. It tells users that your website can be trusted, among the many that are out there. and now, Google is showing more love to sites with SSL certificates than those without.
I hope this will help you to get some results from your SEO efforts in 2018. Here at epyk.co.za, we love working with small and medium businesses and seeing them succeed. We offer local seo, reputation management, seo, web development and social media.
Get in touch with us for a free audit.