Making sure that your company’s online presence demands search engines attention is key to success. When it comes to SEO optimization, the Google search is still king.
Although Google’s algorithm changes continually, following its trends when it comes to search rankings is one way to maximize the potential of your site. Based on a variety of studies analyzing this year’s projected trends and trends so far, the top five most influential factors are:
You’ve heard the saying location, location, location as it applies to real estate. When it comes to a Google search, the priority is content, content, content. Search Engine Journal credits Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, with verifying what the data is suggesting. Higher quality content that is more relevant to the user, not just full of keywords, is the goal of the Google search engine. And although sometimes longer form content ranks higher than shorter content, the quality holds the ultimate value.
Although some sources cite evidence that backlinks are declining in importance, sites rich in links to authoritative domains still seem to have an advantage over those with poor quality links, or none at all. Build your link network, but monitor them for quality to rank well in this category.
As 85% of websites are now considered mobile-friendly by Google, it is important not just to meet these minimum criteria, but to aim toward a mobile-first approach. Mobile-first indexing is a clear shift for Google, so maintaining content that is available on all mobile platforms is crucial to maximizing SEO.
Another indicator of Google’s emphasis on user experience is the increasing importance of page speed as a ranking factor. Loading speeds of two seconds for mobile sites and three seconds for desktop sites are the current thresholds for a positive user experience.
Other Technical Factors
More difficult to delineate individually, there a few other technical factors that remain important or seem to be gaining importance such as HTTPS encryption, exact-match anchor texts, and source code including H1 or H2 headings. Awareness of these various factors can give you a competitive edge in your market.
An ever-moving target, a higher hit in the Google search is a goal which will only increase your brand’s reach and raise your site’s exposure.