Have you ever wondered what the most important ranking factors for Google are?
I know you have, I know that because here you are, tapping your feet on the ground, taping and waiting ,and still waiting.
Don’t be so nervous- it’s coming and fast, and these ranking factors aren’t going anywhere.
I am not going to tell you about all 200 ranking factors or about just the most important one(Hey what is it? Tell me, do tell me now- I will- below 🙂
Instead, this article will explain what the crucial three ranking factors are(for Google but for the most part also Bing/Yahoo).
If you can learn and implement these, I guarantee you’ll see some sweet results, and quickly.
- 1. Content- One Thing to Rule Them All
- 2. Backlinks- Be Wise When Dealing With Them
- 3. RankBrain
1. Content- One Thing to Rule Them All
Writing is both a skill and an art.
Luckily, you don’t need to be a word wizard to craft a compelling copy. Web writing is not the same as writing novels or poetry, phew.
Now that you know you can write for the web, let’s see what makes content rock sold:
- A Great Headline
- Deep topic understanding(hint: it’s research)
- Well Formated
a) Articles Start With a Headline, And so Shall We
David Ogilvy once said,”On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar“.
True then» true now.
However, he said it at a time when written word was considered to be semi-sacred.
You generally needed less convincing headlines for a person to open a newspaper and start to read.
Perusin newspapers in those days- it was a thing of prestige.
Nowadays, an average American is inundated with news from around the globe and is exposed to 247 commercials
every day, and it’s the same for most people in the civilised world.
My point is:
We are so bombarded with information that we’ve developed a short attention span as a defense mechanism against it.
By not focusing, by filtering out so many irrelevant things we are able to function somewhat normal.
Quick question– Can you drive and read at the same time? No? I hope so?
The goal for you as a marketer is to understand the “marketing noise” and try to connect with the potential reader on a more personal level. This is done through writing clever headlines
But it’s not that simple as just planting your butt on the chair and typing away.
I’m sure you already know that writing persuasive copy take a lot of practice and effort.
What makes you think with headlines things are different?
Ahh, You hoped for it to be true. Sorry but no such luck.
Here’s the next best thing for you:
It isn’t that hard and I’ll help you right away with some proven tactics.
I’m confident that if you invest some time and practice a lot, you too can master this short-form but extremly rewarding type of content.
Here are some general tips to get you started right away:
- Be clear, concise and target a specific pain point
- Promise a quick solution- a clear benefit with little effort
- Use numbers if applicable- these kind of headlines get clicked on like crazy
- Make your headline a two-parter- the second should part boost and strengthen the overall message
- Use negative words- your article will appear more honest
- Use words that empower and inspire the reader
Testing time– My headline for this post is: “Google Search Engine Ranking Factors- Know these 3 and Stick Your Pole on the Hilltop that is Google’s Page One”.
Tell me (in the comment area) how many tips I used when crafting this article title?
Hint: I will never use all of them and neither should you.
Writing headlines isn’t easy. There are so many variables to think of, and so much research went into figuring out the magic formula that works ever time.
And you know what they’ve discovered? There is none. A superb headline here can flop there and vice versa.
However, with the said, those tips from the above are proven to work most of the time and by testing things out you
will find your own magic formula.
Test Test Test- see what works Best(just please don’t rhyme in your headlines, or test it first) 🙂
b) Research, Then Write
You should never publish a 100% opinionated article.
Yes, it is good to have an opinion and to express it freely.
Yes, it doesn’t have to be in concord with everyone elses.
In fact, it can be a complete opposite(and like that generate quite a buzz), but:
Everything you write must be backed up by data, by research.
If you look around you’ll see that this post has plenty of external links. That is because I researched a lot before writing.
Gathering data is crucial, for the success of any article and for you your credibity as an author. If you had to take just one wriitng tip from this post- let it be this one.
Think about it:
Who am I for you to listen to me?
How do you know I’m not just blowing hot air?
If you met me on the street and I said: “planet Mars has the highest mountain in the solar system. It’s called “Olympus”.
Would you believe me, if I hadn’t followed it with “according to NASA’s report”?
No, you wouldn’t. The same is with content. Research well, so that you get a sound sleep at night.
When guarded by trustworthy external links, who wouldn’t sleep tight, right?
c) Be Thorough so You Can Truly Help
Now, this is something I see people still stubbornly stick to. Writing 500-word posts.
When all the data clearly shows that Google favours in-depth content (2000+ words).
But you shouldn’t be writing long-form articles for Google, that’d be wrong in so many ways, Instead, do it for the reader.
Tell me, what is the basis for any keyword?
Almost always- it is a question. And what is a question?
It is a problem.
So, your reader is worried with something and you claim (with your article) to have a solution.
Let’s say they click on your result in the SERP’s(you had a catchy headline- it promised the world), land on your page and find what?
A 5oo word blurb on a serious problem for them.
What’s more, the article is very rich with… affiliate links.
Meaning, you already “know” the cure for their problems but couldn’t be bothered to research, to listen and try to understand them better. Take a look at the picture on the right.
That person carries an umbrella, it’s raining. so you offer him a better umbrella(and it’s cheap).
That is fine, that’s dandy, but you don’t see that he doesn’t need another umbrella.
It is extremely cold outside, cold wind is blowing and he is half frozen. No, another umbrella won’t do.
What he really needs is a warm electronic blanket and a cup of steaming cocoa.
And I would go that extra mile and provide him with marshmallows- but that is optional.
If they see you understand their pain, they’ll understand your desire to convert them.
If they see you don’t care they’ll leave for good and label you as a huge time waster.
d) Simplicty- Format Your Copy to Promote Good Flow
Focus on keeping things simple to read and understand.
This means having:
- Shorter paragraphs, 3 to 5 sentences at most.
- Short and concise sentences.
- Using common language and niche-specific wordage(that everyone in the niche can understand)
- Plenty of images, videos and other media
- Lots of interesting subheadings that clearly divide the article
- Use boldface strategically
Ther isn’t much to formating than this. At least at the beginner level when we aren’t really focused on increasing conversions.
Focus on improving readability and construct your pages so that they lead from: A»B»C»CTA(call to action). Because when you do, people will read and people will buy from you
Before stamping the seal of approval on anything, read your article again. But this time try to look at it from an outsiders perspective.
Try to gauge “the feel” of it.
Or get a friend’s opinion.
Backlinks are a huge factor(though fading in importance) and you need to do something about them.
There are two very diffrent approaches to link building:
You as a webmaster write excellent content and then reach out to other webmasters asking for a link.
This is totally feasible and a fast way to get powerful links- if you know what you are doing. And that is a huge IF.
Often, this type of link building doesn’t work at all. People either email all the wrong people or their content is mediocre.
This gets them little return on their investment and leaves them disappointed, having wasted a lot of time and sometimes money
If you ‘re a newbie blogger:
This is not for you!
Usually, your content will not be the best “of its class” and you’ll never earn links with sub par posts.
I find that people who are successful with link building are those that have years of previous experience with writing for the web. And the content they produce is of insane quality.
You shouldn’t give up on backlinks completely. There is a way to naturally get them.
b) Earn Your Links
Yes, links can be earned. As people at Google put it “all quality content naturally gets links”.
My advice. Focus on the writing part of content marketing. Then the links will come on their own.
Let’s quickly recap what quality content is:
- Well researched
- Well formatted
- Includes a story, a fresh perspective, (your perspective is unique to only you- that’s what make your opinion so valuable)
- Has a decent headline
Above all- Worthy content always focuses on helping the reader.
When you are focused on your visitors needs your content will naturally be of high quality and this will attract those links you want.
What Do You Mean “Naturaly Good”?
Writing for the web isn’t about the quality of writing per se, it is all about intent.
if you’re honest in trying to help, it shows on a subconscious level in your writing( this is a combination of your words/sentences, enthusiasm/tone). And your readers naturally pick this up. And feel good about it.
Have you ever read an interesting and intriguing article, and felt an inexplicable feeling of joy?
Like you were happy about something but couldn’t exactly pinpoint it.
It’s not that it piqued your interest so much.
It’s not that you learned an incredible much.
No, it was something different.
Well that “different” is the writer’s passion for the subject and his desire to instil that passion to you,so you can gain new knowledge, so you can use it to better your life.
It is also about the user intent. They didn’t come to read poetry on your site, but to solve a problem.
That’s why I mentioned you should write thorough and helpful pieces. That way you get to help, get spotted and eventually someone links to you.
That is one worthy backlink but it’s also only one post. What’ll happen when you’ve written a hundred posts? Or two hundred?
Writing worthy content is the best the best way for a newbie blogger to earn links.
It removes a huge roadblock of manually reaching out to strangers. And it lets you focus on writing quality stuff.
Ther is a way to reach out to people and not spam them.
Use external links in abundance. When you link to the another website their webmaster notices and feels obliged to return the favour.
This is because you linking helps them rank, but more so because it boosts their ego quite a bit.
It means you value their work and praise them; and I tell you now:
Everybody loves to be praised- even people who know that they love it. 🙂
What is it?
It is the newest major addition to the Googles search algorithm. RankBrain is an artificial intelligence that “learns” from the searches people perform every day.
It observes the keywords used, the SERP’s listings and the choices we as users make ever day.
Then, it records the data and imports its findings as an add-on to the main algorithm.
I am not an engineer and Google keeps this as a secret. but… here goes nothing:
When you type in a long-stringed query like:
“Can I lose belly fat if I drink two beers ever day”, normal Google algorithm tries to give the exact match answer or the proximate second best .
And when a person clicks on the result that best matches the query, RankBrain remembers the choice and computes “adds” it into the main algorithm.
Then when someone else types “Can I lose belly fat if I drink two beers ever day” the results shown will be different, now influenced by the RankBrain and what it had “learned”.
I hope that made sense.
It is complicated stuff and not something you should concern yourself with
It is impossible to optimise for RankBrain. Ther’s simply nothing to be done about it.
Just know that it exists and that when you don’t get ranked for something you expected to it might be the RankBrain thinking too hard for your good. 🙂
My Advice- Focus on creating high-quality content. I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record but this is crucial.
It is the key to lasting success in the SERPs.
Google now cares less about keywords.
No, now it wants every article to be the ” THE” answer to the keyword it represents. That is a huge chance for you.
Deliver thorough content that focuses on helping. Do it at a time when your competitors are still writing 500- word posts. Be better than them.
Remember, RankBrain is all about user intent. By writing extensively you will cover more ground and like a spider’s web every good piece you write will catch many “intents” and you’ll get your fair share of rankings for it.
Simply put- exhaust the keyword and have your reader exhausted by the time he/she reaches the end.
Trust me they will be grateful for making them work so hard. 😀
Ther you go, friend.
As you can see, SEO doesn’t have to be that complicated. When you take away the minor ranking factors you are left only with the big fish the you should focus on.
Dig deeper and you see that one factor is irrelevant to you, and another two can be bundled into one.
To finish this article I will say it:
Content is the most important ranking factor for Google/Bing/Yahoo.
Thank you for reading. Please share if you learned something new, and also, if you how any questions don’t hesitate to pose them in the comment area.
I think you’re awesome,
And I, Nikola, am signing out 😎