No matter how hard your company tries to get a top search engine ranking, your efforts may all be for naught if you do not constantly remain up to date on Google’s algorithm changes.
Although the search engine giant is not likely to reveal the secrets behind each of their algorithms at any point in the foreseeable future, you can gain some insight by carefully considering the findings of companies that focus a lot of time and attention on solving the Google ranking puzzle.
For example, Searchmetrics has just released their annual list of the top five ranking factors, and this data could become a critical component of your online marketing strategy.
What Did Searchmetrics Discover?
Every year, the team at Searchmetrics conducts an in-depth analysis into the key factors that appear to have the biggest impact on every website’s Google search engine ranking. In the past, keywords and a large quantity of back-links were one of the best ways to get a site into the top spots, but Google’s approach has been changing for a long time.
The 2015 top ranking factors highlight just how far things have come since the days when keyword stuffing and poorly written content were all the rage. Fortunately, there are five key takeaways from Searchmetrics’ work that can help every company’s site achieve a higher ranking during the next 12 months.
1. Content is Truly King
Is the content on your site well-written, relevant and long enough to give your visitors the ability to find out the answers to their most pressing questions? If not, it is definitely time to change your content strategy. In fact, Google is now favoring sites that have longer and highly readable content.
2. Mobile Friendly is a Must
Google has been penalizing websites that are not mobile friendly. This means that it may be best to switch to the responsive design, and you definitely need to double-check the appearance and accessibility of your site on a variety of mobile devices. If anything is not rendering properly on smartphones or tablets, you could end up with a lower ranking.
3. Keywords are Losing Their Impact
Some of the highest ranked sites across the entire Internet have begun abandoning the traditional keyword approach. Shockingly, these websites are even steering clear of using the keywords that correspond to their URL within the description and body of their pages. For now, keywords can still be vital for smaller sites, but this practice just might be obsolete in the future.
4. The Importance of Back-links is Dwindling
The old school way of acquiring back-links has definitely fallen out of favor. Interestingly, even the correlation between quality back-links and search engine rankings has been slowly declining over the past few years.
5. Social Media is a Necessity
It is not yet possible to conclusively determine exactly how much social media is helping boost website rankings, but it is clear that this should be part of any organic approach. Over the next few years, it is expected that each social media share will be an integral piece of attaining a high ranking.
Putting these five tools to use is a great way to take control of your website’s Google ranking, but it is also important to learn from the numerous other statistics that Searchmetrics has compiled. After all, Google has proven time and again that there is no simple formula that can give you consistently high rankings, but putting all of the 2015 data to use is virtually certain to have a positive impact on your site.