2017 has already come and we invite you to look upon the most important Google ranking factors which are relevant to SEO this year. In comparison to 2016 which didn’t hurry up with search engine updates, new year is certain to bring changes into your SEO strategy.
In today’s online world it is essential to be a good writer. What we mean is that the number of articles being published these days is hitting the ceiling and your content should be really great to go viral. That’s why you must strive toward a high-quality, high-grade content. That should be the main objective of any SEO strategy now.
Content is a number one ranking factor in 2017
Do your very best while creating your content, especially focus on its relevance, make sure that it’s compelling and gripping enough to kindle users’ interest. When your content is useful for people, in most cases they want to share it, leave comments for discussion, may be ask you some questions or just say thank you. And when they share it, you receive natural backlinks. So, everyone gets what he needs: users receive valuable information they’re looking for and you obtain desired incoming links and a higher page rank on search engine. Think about what information can be valuable to people and just give it to them. And don’t forget about visual content, as its reach has a tendency to be better on social media.
Makeover your best posts and remember you’re writing for people
Our next advice is not to misjudge the importance of nice-looking and user friendly website, and if you believe that you need to deliver fresh content every day, that might be a wrong strategy. What you actually need is a makeover of the formerly published content. Go over your best posts or pages and work it up. Remember that your audience is people, not robots. That doesn’t mean you should stop using keywords, just don’t over-optimize your content, because that can bring back penalties from Google’s system and make your website drastically sink in the search engine results page.
What’s most common SEO mistake from Matt Cutts?
New webmaster video: "What's most common SEO mistake?" https://t.co/yqfboTdGfc
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) June 4, 2014
One main keyword per page is enough
As we mentioned content, let’s examine the situation with keywords. The topic about the best number of keywords one should use per page has been wrangled over for a long period of time. One keyword per page or multiple keywords per page? This question needed some investigation. We have found out that both strategies have their advantages and disadvantages, but to tell the truth, you really don’t need a load of articles that focus on the one and the same keyword.
When you concentrate on a single keyword per page, your content will look natural, which is, of course, a significant benefit. Content that focuses on one keyword is more relevant to the topic of the article and better corresponds to the users’ search intents. What is more, Google will see that your content is designed for consumers and user experience is also very likely to improve.
Keyword domains are still at stake
Keyword domains have been a weighty factor for search results. The reason for that is quite obvious – when people type a particular word into a search engine, a website which has that word in its domain name is more likely to contain relevant information that people are looking for. But, unfortunately, this method of getting a higher ranking became too widespread, which made Google rethink the weight of keyword domain names. Still it doesn’t mean they have completely lost influence and became useless. It shouldn’t be considered as all or nothing, but should just be asked how much Google lowered the impact of keyword domains on site’s ranking.
In order to clarify the situation, a research on this topic has been made by a SEO software company CanIRank, which proved that keyword domain names still positively influence SEO.
Anchor text diversity is now among SEO ranking factors
Still can’t get ahead to the first Google page? May be it is over-optimization of the anchor text you should blame. Its worthiness has recently changed and it seems now that Google is estimating anchor text and root words up and down. It is better not to use long keywords as anchor text too often, only one time or two. Try diversifying it, don’t use the same root words and make sure they are unique and look natural. We are convinced that in 2016 Google will focus more on anchor text.
Conclusion: Content relevance and quality matter a lot now. It’s worth focusing on what people, not robots, want to hear from you. Don’t over-optimize your content, too much keywords won’t make you win. One main keyword per page is pretty enough to reach heights. Keyword domain names are not out of the game yet and still have positive impact on SEO.
User metrics are taking the leading role among SEO ranking factors. These changes in Google’s algorithm have already been anticipated in 2015. Now it’s almost all about your content. How well and deep you cover the topic, does it draw users’ attention, how much time is spent on a page, how many shares it gets – all these questions have come to the foreground, as all of them can affect the Google’s keyword rankings.
CTR – the first user metric you should consider
Before going into the matter let us give a brief overview of CTR function. CTR, or click-through rate, calculates the number of users who click on a link in proportion to the number of people who view it on a search engine results page. For example, if 10% of users who view the search engine results page follow your link on it, then your CTR is also 10%. Higher CTR usually stands for higher keyword ranking. So again, it is an important indicator for Google which shows that users find your content valuable and relevant.
Of course, images and graphics draw users’ attention, they colour and brighten the bleak straight text, but what they also can do is to slow down your website. Page speed is one of the factors which Google’s algorithm uses to rank pages.
Load time is important to user experience, which is evidenced by lower average time spent on pages with longer page speed and by higher bounce rate. Our advice is to store the images as progressive JPEG. Why progressive JPEGs instead of baseline ones? Because they are better optimized and have smaller output size and, consequently, can be more quickly displayed. You can use such services as Pingdom Tools, GTmetrix or other to test your page speed.
Forget about quantity, now it’s all about relevance
Backlinks are still among important factors that influence the site’s ranking, but the approach to the issue has changed lately. Google has reconsidered the way links affect website’s rank. “The more backlinks the better” no more works, so maybe you need to rethink your SEO strategy. The truth is that a website with 50 backlinks can easily outrank the website with 100 backlinks, because now all that matters are quality and relevance. Today relevance has excelled quantity in becoming a major ranking factor. Trust us, you will not regret focusing on websites which concern the same area of interest as your business. You can use Ahrefs or other backlink checker tool to track down authority sites by examining their domain authority and Alexa ranking, and see what sites to target.
So, if your search ranking is falling down, do not haste to build more backlinks, because when they look unnatural, your keyword ranking won’t stop dropping. May be try drawing attention to other SEO techniques.
Find more friends
We all know how important friendship is in real life, and when you are involved in online business, don’t underestimate online friends. Stop viewing everyone as a competitor and be open to new friendships in your industry. You won’t regret having some online friends when you need a guest post or some backlinks. Why not just help each other to succeed?
Social media is also not falling behind, but, on the contrary, goes into full swing as one of the key ranking factors. In spite of the Matt Cutts’s statement, that social signals no more affect website’s search engine ranking, social media still has some significant levers of influence.
Nowadays search engines as Google, Bing or Yahoo are not the only way to surf the Internet, since people has started actively using social media platforms to look for anything they need. If you are active on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube or Pinterest, there is a high chance that users will find your profile while looking for any related content. Your task is to make your business profile easily recognizable and eye-catching, so that visitors can clearly see what services you provide. Being exposed in social media can help you gain more natural backlinks.
SEO doesn’t remain on one place, it is constantly changing. Moreover, Google doesn’t open all of his secrets and doesn’t tell us clearly what he uses to rank the websites. That’s why we advise you to make your own investigations and try different things. Never stay still. Good luck!