SEO has evolved rapidly in recent years, and those who use search engines report higher rates of satisfaction than ever before; great pages appear near the top, and users spend less time looking for information. For those performing SEO work, however, the task has never been harder, and the secretive nature of ranking algorithms makes the task even more difficult. However, researchers have noticed some changes in recent years, and SEO experts can use this information to perform better work.
One of the most prominent trends in recent years has been the greater emphasis placed on onsite factors, and a few relatively changes can help your website rank better. Instead of focusing on classic SEO techniques, website operators can instead look toward their websites and tweak them to look better to both customers and ranking algorithms. Here are five surprising onsite SEO factors that can influence rankings.
Search engine ranking algorithms still depend on keywords, and using the right density and placement can lead to significantly better results. While backlinks can inform the algorithm about the content on a particular page, backlinks are not valued as highly as they once were, and they won’t provide the same value. As a result, it is important to ensure that keywords are used in the right places.
Surprisingly, whether a keyword is in the domain name or not seems to have only a minimal impact on how websites rank if there is any impact at all. This is partially due to the fact that keyword-based domain names where often used by those who hosted poor websites with great names that used to climb the rankings quickly. Instead of focusing on the domain name, SEO service provides will want to ensure that the target keywords appear in the title and in the introductory text. As always, keyword stuffing will lead to poor results.
Text content is the key for achieving great onsite scores from search engine algorithms, but text itself is not enough to score well. Studies have consistently shown that text is the backbone of highly rated sites, but it must be supplemented by other content. Images, in particular, seem to improve sites’ ranking when used appropriately. Video is another option more websites are utilizing, and a video or two can improve visitor engagement and lead to better search engine results.
However, images and videos should be used judiciously. Too many images can be distracting, and they may cause visitors to look elsewhere if the information they seek is buried under other content. In addition, there appears to be a threshold beyond which a website is deemed to have enough images or videos, and placing more on the website will not lead to better rankings. Before placing more images on a website, ensure that the text is as good as possible, and take steps to ensure that images render well on mobile devices.
SEO researchers have long suspected than more recognizable brands tend to rank higher than those will little popularity, and their research seems to support this notion. When they account for other factors, brand recognition stills has a significant impact, and they can find no other explanation for why these sites rank so well. Those who perform SEO work, unfortunately, may have few options to make up for poor brand recognition. Brand recognition takes time, and SEO experts may not have years to wait.
However, there may be some ways to achieve better rankings. Focusing on social media might lead to better results; having your brand name in the “Trending” category on Twitter can have a significant impact. Running a few CPM banner advertising campaigns might be able to help as well. Delivering great branding on the website itself, however, might be the most effective tactic. Using logos consistently can give the website a more coherent look, and using the brand name itself as a keyword can lead to more searches for it, which can improve brand recognition. Still, the process will be long, but every little bit helps with SEO.
Today, all websites must look as good on mobile devices as they do on desktops and laptops. The number of people using mobile devices continues to rise, and being able to target them can have a profound impact on how well sites rank. However, the SEO ramifications of this development are difficult to overstate, and websites that utilize responsive design paradigms will rank well regardless of what type of device is performing the searches.
Another related factor is website performance. Many website operators are unaware that their performance can raise or lower their position on search engines; simply being sufficient is not longer enough. When comparing hosting providers, it is important to find one that offers top-notch speed and reliability. While these providers might charge a bit more, the performance gains they provide might be enough to push a website to the front page or even to the coveted top position. While shared hosting is far more affordable than dedicated hosting, it also leads to inconsistent performance. Upgrading your hosting plan will likely pay for itself if you focus on SEO to deliver traffic.
Integrating Facebook and Twitter information has long been viewed as an effective way to encourage visitor interactions and to reach out to more people on these platforms, but experts are recognizing that they can lead to better SEO performance as well. Instead of viewing integration as important for achieving more interaction, view it as a way to perform better in the search engines.
Some of the benefit is due to the fact that they bring new content to the page on a regular basis, but part of it is due to other factors as well. Social media integration also provides a means of placing valuable keywords in your social media feeds that can help your social media performance in addition to your SEO performance. They also indicate to search engines algorithms that those running the website are proactive and create new information on a regular basis. It’s also worth pointing out that Google Plus links can be powerful backlinks, so those who have avoided the platform may wish to begin using it.
SEO is always changing. If search engine algorithms fail to change, people will exploit them and drive poor websites to the top; slow change in the past has led to poor search engine performance, and providers are unlikely to make this mistake again. Fortunately, recent changes have had the effect of promoting great content, and website operators who focus on delivering great content will find their websites perform well. Still, other factors need to be considered as well.
Not long ago, the content on a website had little effect on how it ranked. The latest search engine algorithm tweaks, however, have made onsite factors more important than ever before. While this can present a challenge to website operators, it also provides a tremendous opportunity. Instead of focusing on building backlinks and relying on classic SEO techniques, operators can instead revamp their websites, which provides a better experience for visitors and leads to better search engine performance.