Keeping up with Google and trying to get a good ranking for those desired keywords is not a simple task. There is not only an estimate of more than 200 ranking factors (or ranking signals) used in the ranking algorithms, but you also need to keep track of the news regarding the numerous updates during the year. And most updates don’t even make it to the news.
So it’s quite normal to do one thing and then suddenly realise it is not relevant anymore and thus continuing doing it becomes useless.
Very confusing and tiresome! Well, we can relate to that, and thus we’ve looked through the latest studies and news releases and summed up a shortlist for you of those ranking factors that are more important as of the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020.
Today we are going to talk about content-related factors and on the next article we’ll talk about all the other ones, so let’s get started!
1. Page title. It is still one of the most important signals regarding the topic of the page. Make sure you insert your main keyword as early in the page title as possible. As for the page description, and contrary to what most people think, Google does not take into consideration the keywords placed there. However, this does not mean the page description is not important. It is actually your one chance to stand out on the search results page and convince the user to click on your link rather than on that of your competition.
2. Keywords in content. Make sure you include your keywords in strategic places of your content: h2 and h3 tags and within the first 100 words of your article. Include synonyms in the text as well, but do not overthink it – a human being should not find its reading strange. And finally, avoid keyword stuffing as well.
3. Keywords in URL. Google has confirmed that including your keywords in the page’s URL is a ranking factor, but a small one, so no need to force it.
4. Content length. The logic is simple: the more USEFUL the content, the happier the user. Also, by having a large amount of content, you will naturally include lots of keyword combinations, which will reinforce the topic of the page. On average, pages ranking in the top ten results have around 1500-2000 words, so aim for that amount of content on the most important pages. Also, avoid thin or duplicated content on all pages and try to have at least 350 words per page.
5. User experience and dwell time. Google wants a user to be happy and to keep coming back to Google for good search results. So, keep the user happy and Google will rank you well. It’s that simple! How does Google understand if the user is happy? One of the many signals is the dwell time. If a user clicks on your website in the search and then quickly comes back and continues searching for the same thing, it means the user didn’t find your content useful, so Google, with time, will start ranking it lower. Make sure your website is user-friendly, your content is useful, answers all the doubts and questions, and, where appropriate, include some infographics and videos.
Next time (in January 2020) we will continue to talk about Google-ranking factors, covering the more technical part of it. So, stay tuned!
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