At one point in time, keywords were the quintessential element of search engine optimization. Your search engine rankings hinged on using the right keywords in the right frequency. Though keywords definitely still matter today, there are other factors that affect your search engine rankings. Read on to learn more about these elements and how to use them to your advantage.
Keywords Matter, But…
SEO strategies have begun to change as users refine their search engine habits. More people are using tech like voice search to find what they’re looking for. So instead of searching for “Mexican restaurants in Philadelphia,” users may ask their digital assistant “What should I eat tonight?” Optimizing your content for these kinds of searches may mean a few changes in your SEO strategy, but it’s important to stay relevant by considering the following factors.
- Content – your content is still key, however, there’s less focus on keywords, and more focus on content that flows in a natural, informative way. Although it’s still necessary to include keywords in your text, focus less on the density of the keywords and more on creating informative, easy to read content.
- Link structure – backlinks are important as long as they’re from a relevant and trusted source. Google has learned to pick the bad links out from the good and will rank you in part based on that. Keep track of how many links you have in your content and the quality of the links. Remove links that are spammy or poor quality.
- Page structure – the latest SEO trends point towards higher rankings when you use the “topic cluster” model. Topic clusters center around a pillar page, which highlights a high-level topic, and then each of the linked topic cluster pages delves into an aspect of the pillar page.
- Mobile-friendly layout – around half of web traffic is viewed on mobile, so it’s absolutely essential to have your site optimized for different devices. If your website isn’t optimized, it’s going to be hard to view on anything other than a regular monitor so Google will rank your site lower.
- Reviews – reviews are an important factor in search engine rankings. Not having any is nearly as damaging as having bad reviews, so encourage customers to leave reviews of your business or service on sites like Yelp, Facebook, or Google.
- Other factors – alt tags, heading tags, images, anchor text and site encryption are also elements you should consider. If you’ve tried all of the other suggestions on this list and still aren’t seeing results, it’s time to look at the back end of your site and adjust the above elements.