2022? You read that correctly! As we prepare for the final few months of 2021, it's not too early to consider what new strategies you'd like to incorporate into your content marketing strategy for the coming year. One of the most critical aspects to consider? Google ranking factors
SEO best practices change and evolve in the same way that web design trends do. Google is constantly assessing which factors indicate a high-quality website for its users. If you want to stay at the top of search engine rankings pages, you must keep up with these ranking factors (SERPs).
Nobody (except perhaps Google) has a crystal ball that can predict what these ranking factors will be in 2022. However, we can still evaluate available data, examine current trends, and use official Google advice as a guide.
It's important to understand that Google uses around 200 ranking factor to determine where sites will be ranked. But what about creating content that is optimized for all 200 of these factors? Impossible. Fortunately, not all of these factors are equally important, and you can tailor your content to focus on the factors that have the most sway.
Let's take a look at the ten ranking factors that most SEO experts agree are the most important for content marketers to focus on.
- Google prioritizes content that is high-quality, valuable, and relevant.
- Although keyword best practices have evolved, they continue to be an important SEO Google ranking factor.
- A good user experience is critical for organic search rankings.
- The importance of mobile optimization is growing as more people use mobile and voice search.
- High-quality backlinks are still important in Google's ranking algorithm.
Keywords are still important — you must include relevant keywords in your content if you want to appear in the top search results for that specific keyword. However, Google's algorithms are becoming much more sophisticated at determining whether your content is truly covering a topic in a relevant way or simply stuffing in a few keywords.
The most valuable aspect of RankBrain is that it removes keyword-stuffed content from top SERP results. Instead, it ranks the content that is most relevant, high-quality, and valuable for that specific query. As a result, there is no tried and true method for optimizing for RankBrian.
As you know, there is no single way to optimize for RankBrain. Instead, it's about understanding what's most important to your target audience and creating authentic, high-value content that meets their needs. Keywords and other ranking factors are still important, but RankBrain will not push your content to the top of any SERP if it lacks quality and relevance.
Backlinks are arguably the most important factor that has a direct impact on your rankings. They serve as the foundation for Page Rank, which is central to Google's ranking algorithm. While Page Rank hasn't been updated in several years, Google has confirmed that they still use it years after the last update.
Backlinks assist Google in determining your authority and also assist other web users in finding your content. You must have a well-thought-out link-building strategy in place in addition to creating high-quality content.
Quality continues to take precedence over quantity. While it is true that the more links you have, the better, your priority should be to build links from high-quality, high-authority websites.
With so much of the discussion focusing on why brands should stop keyword stuffing (which is true!) and focus more on quality, it's easy to get the wrong message that keywords are no longer important.
This is completely false. When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, it's true that keywords are no longer the be-all and end-all that they once were. But they're still very important. In reality, what has changed is not the importance of keywords, but the strategy for using them.
We know from Google's messaging about RankBrain and other factors that the AI behind Google's algorithms is getting smarter. And they expect more from content creators than keyword-heavy content devoid of real value.
You can now use keyword analysis to develop your content strategy and identify topics that are relevant to your audience. You can also use keywords in your titles, headings, and text body to boost your rankings. However, you cannot rely solely on keywords.
In fact, if you feel like you're squeezing a keyword into a specific spot in your content, you probably are. When it comes to keyword placement, quality comes first. In order to achieve better ranking results, the two must collaborate.
Google uses human agents to evaluate the quality of SERPs and the pages that comprise the first page of results for various searches. It publishes guidelines for these search raters to follow when rating the quality and relevance of these pages.
These guidelines confirm that expertise, authority, and trustworthiness — also known as your EAT rating — are important factors in ranking pages, particularly those classified as "your money or your life" (generally sites that offer health or legal advice or process financial transactions).
As a result, it's critical to demonstrate your authority in your niche to both Google and your audience. This may be something you can do right away by publishing author bios with relevant qualifications or experience. Or it may be something you build up over time by publishing excellent content and establishing yourself as an authoritative source.
Site Structure and UX
Publishing high-quality web content will have no impact if your site is difficult to navigate for users and Google site crawlers. As a result, you must ensure that your site is built with a clear hierarchical structure and focuses on the user experience.
A good user experience means that searchers are more likely to stay on your site. And explore it for a longer period of time. This indicates to Google that your site is useful and should be rewarded with a high ranking.
By going back to basics, you can ensure an SEO-friendly site structure: keep your URLs short and include your keywords, implement intuitive and simple navigation, eliminate duplicate content pages on your site, and include a sitemap.
Google now uses mobile-first indexing, which means that the mobile version of many websites is regarded as more important and useful than the desktop version. This makes sense given that mobile devices generate more than half of all web traffic. And Google has a 96 percent share of search engine queries.
This means it's time to move beyond the mobile-friendly strategies we've learned in the past and concentrate on full-fledged mobile optimization and responsive design. In summary:
- Mobile-friendly websites are functional for mobile users but were designed for desktop users.
- Mobile-optimized websites are built with mobile search in mind and are formatted accordingly.
- Mobile-responsive (or responsive design) websites adapt to the user's device, reformatting and restructuring to accommodate the device and screen size.
You can use Google's mobile usability test tool. To better understand how your website compares to mobile design standards and where it needs to improve.
Have you ever clicked on a Google result, waited a few seconds for it to load, and then clicked on another result that loads instantly? You're not by yourself. Web users today are impatient!
This is primarily due to the changing ways in which we use search engines. People are increasingly using search engines to find quick answers to their questions throughout the day, even (and especially) when they are on the go, as mobile and voice search rates have risen.
As a result, it's critical that you optimize your site to load as quickly as possible. Even a few microseconds saved on your site's load time can have a significant impact on your ranking.
If you're planning a site refresh for 2022, make sure speed is near the top of your list of development priorities. Otherwise, there are numerous other things you can do to speed up your current website, such as compressing images and using a CDN.
You can also use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to see how quickly your site loads and get tips on how to make it faster.
If you haven't already switched from HTTP to HTTPS, now is the time to do so. Your domain security is related to your trustworthiness, which is one of the primary contributors to EAT rating. And one of the top factors Google uses to rank your content. Google does not want to send its users to a site that may not protect their data or may be harmful in other ways.
SSL certificate is required for e-commerce sites. But it is no longer optional for more general sites that collect any type of user data. At least those who want to be ranked.
While we're at it, why not add some extra domain security from your domain provider? DDoS and CDN protection, as well as tools to detect SMTP anomalies, are excellent ideas.
We've already discussed RankBrain and how it uses the amount of time spent on a page. To determine its relevance and quality to each searcher. RankBrain considers another factor as well: clickthrough rate.
The number of searchers who click through to your site after seeing the results of their search is referred to as the clickthrough rate. This has nothing to do with the quality of your website because they haven't even seen it yet. However, it is determined by how relevant your content is to their search and how appealing your link is.
What exactly does this mean? It is critical to creating eye-catching headlines and meta descriptions. Remember that even if you create the best content in the world, it will go nowhere if no one sees it.
Local SEO has grown in importance in recent years. As mobile searches continue to dominate, any business with a physical presence must prioritize local SEO for better national and global results.
A successful SEO strategy includes many components. But one of the most important and straightforward is ensuring that your Google My Business listing is set up and optimized. And that your business information is correctly listed in relevant local directories.
This information is used by Google to determine which businesses will appear in the Google 3-pack – the three local businesses that appear as featured results at the top of a local search. Business directories will also drive more traffic to your site and increase the number of incoming links.
Featured snippets are short excerpts that appear at the top of a Google SERP to answer a user's query quickly. They receive approximately 8% of all clicks related to a given search query.
There is no one way to get the coveted featured snippet. But making sure your content is high-quality and relevant. Checking it on Google Search Console, and remaining consistent with your content publishing will help you increase your chances. Patience is also required as your brand gains authority and rises in the search rankings.
You can expect to see a significant increase in visibility, brand authority, and organic traffic if you get a featured snippet.
Optimize Content According to Ranking Factors
It's not easy to optimize your content for Google Ranking Factors! There is a lot of information available, and it changes frequently. IGlobe Solutions has writers and SEO teams that can create optimized content for you.
To learn more, check out our Content Marketing Services or schedule a free consultation today!