1. Google Values Content more than ANYTHING
The common misconception about Google’s ranking process by the majority of webmasters and bloggers lies in the false assumption that links are everything. Maybe five years ago, this was the case; however, things have changed drastically. Research shows that Content takes up 60% of the weight in Google’s current ranking algorithm, far outweighing the importance of link quantity. Simply writing mass content will not necessarily boost your ranking as writing controlled, measured pieces will. For each article you write, focus on a specific keyword that you want to rank for. In the piece, keep up a keyword density of 2 to 4% because this rate looks completely natural, and will keep you from getting banned for keyword stuffing.
This rate does not always need to be mathematically calculated into your work if you can simply create the content freely and naturally. Content pages should have at least 300 words, because it appears that Google will not index anything less. Besides increasing your site’s significance in the ranking algorithm, quality content can drive natural visitors to the site. As long as your writing is intriguing and fun to read, traffic will be gained and Google will take notice of the rise in popularity.
2. Use Relevant Tags for Images
Simple things like tags and alternate texts generally go unnoticed by most bloggers and website operators. These seemingly insignificant aspects of image uploading help Google determine what the image is about. Alternate texts, descriptions, and titles are factored in to the ranking algorithm enough to make a noticeable difference in the search results.
All pages should have images for user friendliness as well as for Google’s crawlers to analyze and index. A site that just displays a massive block of text will almost force visitors to shy away from the site. When creating the alt text for the image, make sure your word count is between 5 to 10 words. Also, remember to place your main keyword in the image description so Google’s crawlers index it into the algorithm.
3. Build Social Shares
Google claims that social shares have no effect on the rankings given to sites. This statement, whether true or not, should not discourage you from building as many social shares as possible. Just for the sake of explanation, let us assume that Google is being completely honest about this. Assuming shares do not directly influence the ranking algorithm, what blogger or webmaster in their right mind would not want a social presence on the web?! Social shares on mediums like Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, LinkedIn, Reddit, and Stumbleupon help your site or blog reach all different corners of the web. Whether they directly work in to the ranking algorithm or not, having social shares means your site is gaining notoriety and being talked about. This acquisition of shares will drive more and more natural traffic to your site, in turn increasing your ranking.
4. Build Links at a Steady Rate
Link building still plays a heavy role in Google’s ranking algorithm, even though content has taken on a larger role. The creation of links at a certain rate is referred to as link velocity, and Google looks at a site’s link velocity to determine if the links are being built naturally. Many blogs and sites buy backlinks in large quantities, thinking that it will lead directly to a huge increase in ranking. This process is extremely risky and detrimental in the long run. Even if you managed to evade Google’s bans on unnatural link building, Google might see your massive increase in links and expect this rate to increase constantly. After you bought the links, and no more are coming in, Google could lower your ranking drastically because your site would seem to have lost all popularity.
As cliché as it sounds, quality over quantity is everything in link building. Google does not care if you have 100 spam links, but if you have 10 quality, authoritative links your site will see a ranking boost. In order to gain these quality links, all you need is solid, interesting content. This content will either gain links naturally from other sites linking to yours based out of interest, or can gain links by posting content as guest blog posts. There are several different strategies to link building, but that is a subject for another post. Just remember that building natural, quality links consistently over time will give you a greater payout in the long run.
5. Google Webmaster Tools & Analytics
Staying on top of your site’s ranking statistics will help you avoid catastrophe, and keep you in control if your site sees fluctuations in results. Google analytics can check your keyword rankings, helping you plan ahead to what words you need to work on. It also keeps records on your site traffic, helping you establish correlation between rankings and visits. These are Google’s own authorized tools, so the information you receive is definitely correct. These analytics tools are important for all webmasters because they allow you to stay on top of your site, and prevent decreases in rankings before they even start. Webmaster tools also play a big role in helping your SEO prowess, as they can give you some specific SEO and HTML tips that you would usually never learn.
This guest post comes from Connor Accurso, a content specialist and Orlando SEO Consultant at RankExecutives.com