In 2009, Google is said to use about 200 ranking factors to determine SERPs.
A lot has changed in the last 11 years.
But one thing is not?
You do not need to work hard for every ranking factor.
Some ranking factors carry a much larger weight than others.
If you focus only on the essentials, you can still achieve good results in 2021. This post will dive into what those factors are and what is relevant to optimize for each element.
1. Priority on mobile devices
Google officially launched the Mobile First Index in March. Smart marketers have taken an optimal priority approach for mobile long before the official deployment.
According to Google’s Daniel Sullivan:
Not mobile-friendly or mobile responsive layouts are the requirements for indexing mobile devices. Pages without a mobile version still work on mobile devices and can be used for indexing. That said, it’s time to move from just desktop and embrace mobile devices 🙂
Here are some basic things to make your website mobile friendly:
- Adapt your website to any device; be it desktop, mobile or tablet.
- Always scale your images when using responsive design, especially for mobile users.
- Use short meta titles. They are easier to read on mobile devices.
- Avoid pop-ups that block your content and prevent visitors from having a glimpse of your content.
- May be more on mobile. In a mobile-preferred world, long form content doesn’t necessarily equate to more traffic and better rankings.
- Do not use your cell phone as an excuse to hide. Users and bots need to see the same content.
2. Technical SEO
Some find the idea of performing SEO techniques to be scary.
Thanks to the many SEO tools available, SEO audits are no longer a difficult task.
However, the key is knowing how to interpret the data provided and what to do with it.
To get started, you should check the following:
- Make sure your website qualifies as mobile friendly.
- Check status code errors, 4xx, 3xx, 5xx and fix them.
- Check for robots.txt errors. Optimize if needed.
- Check your website indexing through Google Search Console. Check and fix any detected problems.
- Fix duplicate Title tags and duplicate meta descriptions.
- Check the content of your website. Check traffic statistics in Google Analytics. Consider improving or trimming poor quality content (thin content).
- Fix broken links. This is an enemy of user experience – and affects rankings.
- Submit your XML sitemap to Google through Google Search Console.
3. Website speed
Page speed has a direct impact on both traffic and conversions.
According to Google, the average time to load the landing page on mobile is 22 seconds, but 53% of mobile site visitors leave the page taking more than three seconds to load.
Slow page speed creates a poor user experience, which is why Google considers page speed to be a ranking factor.
Best practices for optimizing page speed include:
- Minimize HTTP requests for different parts of the page, such as scripts, images, and CSS.
- Reduce file sizes by compressing them and combining popular files to reduce requirements.
- Reduce DNS lookup time.
- Improve server response time.
- Use an appropriate storage solution.
- Take advantage of browser caching.
- Minimize image size.
- Using CDN.
- Keep the plugin to a minimum.
- Keep redirecting to a minimum.
4. User intent
Writing great content, Optimizing content, and getting reliable links is now just a beginning to rank a keyword.
As machine learning and artificial intelligence continue to evolve, each will carry more weight in Google’s core algorithm.
Google’s ultimate goal is to understand the context and serve the results based on the intent of the searcher.
This makes research and high-level keyword selection more important than ever.
For starters, you need to realize there are some keywords and queries that won’t rank.
Contextual relevance of a keyword must match the search query.
Before you spend time and resources trying to rank for a term, you need to see the current ranking sites and phrases.
5. Content marketing
It is expected that by 2020, 44 zettabytes of data will be produced every day.
To put this in perspective, that’s the equivalent of 8.48 trillion songs or 1,440 years of HD video every day.
The challenge of overcoming the clutter will become exponentially more difficult as time goes by.
To do that:
- Create a content center (Content Hub) as a resource center (resource center).
- Fill your resource center with a combination of useful, informative and entertaining content.
- Write content related to Hub Resource and use internal links.
- Writing articles related to resources and internal links.
- Spread the word – promote your news article on social channels.
- Trends in organizing Topic Content related to your content – promoting on social media.
- Use your smartphone camera. Images and videos often convert better than text alone.
- Updating poor quality old content
Schema markup, once added to a web page, will create a featured snippet of Google – a featured description that appears on search results.
All leading search engines, including Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yandex, support the use of microdata.
The real value in the schema is that it can provide context for the site and improve the search experience.
There is no evidence that adding a schema has any effect on SERPs.
What is the schema used for?
- Business and Organization
- Recipes: Recipes
- Reviews: Comments
If you find the idea of adding a schema to a scary site, you shouldn’t.
Schema is actually quite simple to implement.
If you have a WordPress website, there are a number of plugins that will do this for you.
7. User experience
User experience (UX) focuses on better understanding users, their needs, their values, their capabilities and their limitations.
UX also considers business goals and objectives.
Best UX practices focus on improving the quality of user experience.
According to Peter Morville, factors that affect UX include:
- Useful: Your content needs to be unique and responsive.
- Usability: Your website needs to be easy to use and navigate.
- Desire: Your design elements and branding should evoke emotion and appreciation.
- Findable: Integrates design and navigation elements to help users easily find what they need.
- Accessible: Everyone needs to be able to access content – including 10% of the population with a disability.
- Trustworthy: Your website needs trustworthiness in order for users to trust you.
- Valuable: Your website needs to provide value to its users in terms of experience and to the company about positive ROI.
8. Link building
Links have been one of the top-ranking factors for quite some time.
In 2021, what I think will change is that Google will become more adept at identifying and reducing the value of spam links.
That being the case, quality will continue to trump.
The best link building strategy for 2021
- Use resource pages (also called link bait techniques or sky craft skyscrapers).
- Fix broken links.
- Guest Post (not a spam type).
- Mining backlink.
- Improve Links.
- Request links from external sites mentioning your brand.
The amount of information provided daily in various marketing feeds can be overwhelming.
If you are not careful, it can lead to paralysis analysis and nothing is done.
That said, if you just focus on these eight essentials, you will set yourself up for success in 2021 and beyond.
BizzVn wish you success!
Reference source: SEJ