As the world moves into a new era, one thing remains unchanged: Google still dominates the search engine sector. Nobody ever says “Let me Yandex that” …
This means it’s important to stay on the right side of Google’s mysterious algorithms. Here are some practical tips on how to butter up those search bots:
Polish Your Reputation
It might seem scary, but Google can actually airbrush websites out of search engine results. It’s a last-ditch move, but reputation research by Google quality raters checks out what other websites are saying. That’s why smart marketers include reputation checks in their SEO audit processes.
Explore Google Discover
Breaking away from traditional SEO traffic patterns based on keywords, Google Discover leans heavily on social media sharing. Although optimizing for Google Discover might take a little extra time and effort, it can be well worthwhile for building traffic to blogs and articles exploring topics that are currently hot news.
Check Core Web Vitals
Released in 2021, Google’s Core Web Vitals – performance, responsiveness, and visual stability – are the key webpage factors rated as crucial for positive user experiences. Sites scoring low for all three are looking at upgrades, focused particularly on the first input delay, cumulative layout shift, and the largest content-full paint. That’s because fast sites rank higher – yup, speed really counts!
Save on AMP
No longer a ranking factor for top stories, Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) may be on the way out, despite its possible speed benefits. Maintaining different website versions used to make sense, just to get those ranking boosts. But nowadays, it’s easier to work with just one platform, with lower overhead, less stress, and streamlined metrics.
Check GBP Categories
It takes only a few minutes, but a quick check of your Google My Business profile can do wonders for traffic. More specifically, check out the primary and secondary categories under which your business is classified. This is a major factor that can influence your rankings, as it steers the way that Google understands and presents your company.
Brighten up Favicons
More than 50% of search results are displayed on small mobile screens, where a well-designed favicon is an instant attention-grabber. In just a few pixels, these tiny logos make businesses stand out on even the busiest SERP, and can boost your click-through conversion rate by one or even two percent. That’s an excellent reason to optimize these miniature visiting cards.
Rolled out in October 2020, the GA34 iteration of Google Analytics is here to stay. With its main focus split between data visualization and machine learning, GA4 offers more graphs, charts, and insights, with additional predictive analytics. The intention behind all this aggregated data is to understand user journeys through platforms in greater depth, offering businesses a clearer view of their online presence and its overall value.
Build High ROI Links
Every link naturally has a cost, and every cost necessarily has an ROI. However, not all ROIs are equal, in terms of investment. Expensive tools tend to have high ROIs – but so do statistics pages, which are far cheaper to create. Blog posts, ebooks, white papers – once you know the real ROI, it’s easy to prioritize high-value elements.
Use Deep Linking
A great strategy for drawing visitors deep into websites, deep linking sends clear messages to search engines about specific page areas and their content. This is an increasingly relevant factor, as Google’s passage ranking approach deep-dives into long-form content on webpages. The trick here is to use keyword-rich headings for each section, while keeping posts updated with fresh stats, additional data, and new links.
Optimize Internal Links
External links are vital, of course. But internal links are also crucial, steering searchbots through your website structure and establishing a site hierarchy that assigns higher value to the most important pages and posts. A well-designed internal linking strategy is a low-cost but effective way of upgrading SEO results.
Analyze Title Rewrites
Studies have shown that Google may be rewriting up to 80% of website titles. Although irritating, this is also a great learning opportunity. A quick analysis of what’s triggering the algorithms may offer valuable insights. Are important keywords missing? Too many words, too much fluff? In general, titles should be no longer than 60 characters, with the keywords right at the start.
Always A/B Test
The great thing about SEO is its flexibility. That old decision –> implementation –> done path now is now extended by a steady stream of metrics –> assessments –> corrections and possibly even cancellations. Over the past few years, a flurry of new testing tools has stirred up the market, undermining old-fashioned ideas of best practices being cast in stone, and keeping pace with increasingly complex SEO strategies.
Be the Yes! Click
No matter which search engine they use, when somebody looks at a list of results, they’re trying to find something they want or need. That’s why it’s important to provide visitors with unforgettable user experiences, giving them exactly what they want, quickly and clearly. It’s also a great way of boosting traffic through returning visitors.
Stay on Point
This final tip is perhaps the most important of all, as markets get more competitive, consumers become more discerning, and algorithms are more sophisticated. High-value content is king, underscoring the importance of relevance and accuracy. In other words: Nuke the fluff!
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