Today let’s discuss the 3 main SEO ranking factors you should focus on to boost your organic traffic.
Featured artist – illustration above by Akiko of Akrdesignstudio.com
3 SEO Ranking Factors To Boost Your Organic Traffic
by guest writer Enstine Muki
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s everything you do to get traffic from search engines.
There are basically two things that must take place before any search engine (Google.com for instance) can start sending you traffic.
1 – Indexing
It simply takes place when a Search Engine discovers and stores your site or pages in its database. It’s the first thing that must happen before any ranking takes place.
You’ll have to submit your site to Google for quick indexing. But I have had some of my sites indexed without going through the submission process.
This doesn’t happen always though. That’s why I encourage you follow these steps to tell Google your blog exists.
To find out of your site (or article on your blog) is indexed by Google, simply run this search query: site:http://domainname/url
First, enter the site search operator. This will limit results to those from a specific website or url.
Second, you must use the column sign to tell Google the site is a command.
The final and third element in the query is the website/url you want to locate in Google index.
If you want to find out the number of URLs indexed on a specific website, you have to enter just the root domain.
But if you’re trying to find out if a blog post or url on a website is indexed, the blog post should be correctly entered like demonstrated in the image.
If the url/website is indexed, you are going to see it displayed on SERP (point 4 in the image). But if that doesn’t happen, you’ve got some work to do.
Learn the fundamentals of SEO today, step by step. Enroll free!
2 – Ranking
This is the tougher part of the SEO game.
Once you find your site showing up after running the site operator, don’t celebrate yet. That’s just the foundation. You are just at the inception of what looks like a tough journey.
Ranking is all about moving your entries from one result page to the other.
Generally, everyone seeks for a better ranking position. You want your entry to move from page 10 (for instance) to page 1. That brings you closer to getting more organic traffic.
So how do you get this top ranking for more search traffic?
Top 3 SEO Ranking Factors To Boost Your Search Traffic
The list of ranking factors is long. Experts have mentioned 200 of these.
But the main three are:
While RankBrain is listed as the third ranking factor, Content and Links are disputing the first two positions according to this source.
In any case, this isn’t what matters at the moment. Let’s briefly examine these three and see how it helps improve your search exposure.
SEO Ranking Factors – #1 Content
Google and other search engines are all about Quality Content. That’s why in my opinion, this ought to be the first ranking factor.
Great content is what the engines seek to display to their users. Great content is content that responds to the intent of the searcher.
Generally, people think great content is long-form content. I believe that’s incorrect.
My idea of great is in-depth. The length of an in-depth content is relative. In some topics, in-depth could mean 1500 words. In some others, 2000 words may simply mean scratching the surface.
However, the longer your content, the more your changes to build in many different related keywords and rank for many more search queries.
Yes. One element of SEO content is keywords. This is what helps Google know what you are writing about.
Proper keyword research and on-page optimization are a requirement to create SEO friendly content.
There are generally three types of keywords to optimize your content:
- Seed keywords
- LSI (Latin Semantic Indexing) Keywords
- Long tail Keywords
The seed keyword is the main keyword you want your article to rank for. LSI and related keywords that help Google with much more understanding of your subject.
Long tail keywords are sometimes referred to as a key phrase. Your seed keyword could also be a Long tail keyword.
The longer the keyword, the more likely you are going to rank for. Let’s consider a few examples of the keyword “SEO”:
- SEO for small businesses
- SEO for beginners
- SEO for bloggers
- Local SEO agencies
- SEO services in Mexico
But Semantic SEO or Keywords are a different phase of the keyword game.
In our example, these are other keywords that are often used in the SEO industry (not necessarily with the SEO word in them). Some Semantic examples of the SEO keyword could be:
- Other search engines
- Search rankings
- Content marketing strategy
- Natural traffic
- Matt Cutts
You noticed these are industry terms often used and mentioned in related content.
When you write on SEO and use more of these semantic references, it helps Google understand how much your content response to the intent of searchers.
I have a post on Semantic SEO on my blog here you may want to check out.
SEO Ranking Factors – #2 – Links
There are three types of links that help your ranking:
- Internal links: These are links connecting your pages on the same domain together. Building a successful internal linking structure helps search engines know which pages on your blog have more weight than others. This avoids competing against yourself and reduces your domain spam score.
- Backlinks (inbound links): These are links pointing to your pages from other domains or IPs. We will dwell on this a little more below.
- External (outbound) Links: These are links on your blog pointing to external resources. They have a huge impact on your overall SEO profile.
There are always two properties that come to mind each time we talk about links. These are:
- Nofollow: Meaning search engines should count the links but ignore transferring any voting power or what we call link juice.
- Dofollow: This means the link should be counted and link juice transferred.
Backlinks and how to build them
I have always seen building backlinks to be different from earning backlinks.
In my opinion, you earn a backlink when someone deliberately links to your content without you asking for it. That is generally what Google wants.
On the other hand, creating/building backlinks is your conscious action to get those links to your blog. While this is approved, it has to be done with a lot of caution. Here are some ways to build or earn those links:
- Create thought-provoking, useful, result-driven and link-worthy content.
- Build relationships with other bloggers who may link back to your content.
- Link out to your friends selflessly. Many would always link back
- Comment on related blogs (This still has some results)
- Guest post on related blogs.
Guest posting for links is a big subject these days. I also see the activity gaining more and more attention with link building agencies.
However, there is some debate on hiring a guest posting agency for backlinks. While some of them deliver a clean service, others are risky and can completely mess up your backlink profile.
Here are some bullet points to pay attention to while approving backlinks to your website:
- DA of the linking domain should be 20+ (that’s my personal preference for an authoritative backlink )
- The domain should have a good Trust Flow
- Domain should be active with fresh content
- Balance up Dofollow and Nofollow links
- Avoid keyword-rich backlinks
- Domain to link from should be indexed and not penalized
- Domain to link from should not be in a Private Blog Network (PBN)
- Linking domain should not be involved in massive link distribution
SEO Ranking Factors – #3 – Rankbrain
Rankbrain is Google’s ranking Artificial Intelligence. It’s mainly about how searchers and readers respond to your blog.
Each reader on your blog sends actions to Google. These actions tell whether or not the reader is satisfied.
These include dwell time, pogo-sticking, SERP Click Through Rate, etc.
You can manipulate rankings through black-hat link building to find your entry on top of SERPs. But if readers react negatively to it, Google will strike back negatively.
RankBrain is Google’s thinking and decision making capacity without the direct influence of human coders.
To help RankBrain work well for you, I recommend you pay attention to the following points:
- Use attractive and relevant article titles and meta description. This should be attractive, not misleading. Attractive Titles increases CTR. Misleading Titles may lead to pogo-sticking.
- Properly introduce your articles to keep the readers reading. Use proper formatting. Avoid lots of popups and annoying elements on your blog.
3 SEO Ranking Factors To Boost Your Organic Traffic – Conclusion
These 3 SEO ranking factors should be taken into consideration as you develop your organic traffic profile.
I hope this helps with some useful information on mastering the search engine game. Thanks for reading as I look forward to seeing you on my blog.
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