The technology behind search engines has grown and improved more than anyone could have ever expected. Google can now finish your sentences and recommend exactly what you are looking for. Search inquiries have become far more conversational than they were five years ago. Content is being produced much faster than the people of the world can read it. Not all of that content, however, is read by the public. In order to get your content optimized for Google ranking, it important to understand how search engines work. Search engines operate in these three ways:
Crawlers scan the web for terms that match what the user searched for. The content is then indexed according to relevancy, so that outdated content can’t make it to the top. The best matches with the most relevant information are then shown to the user.
How To Come Out On The Top
There are some simple tricks and tips you can use with your content in order to improve your ranking.
The first tip is to create evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that doesn’t become dated. Certain types of content, such as how-to guides, beginner guides, tips, definitions, and case studies are considered evergreen content. Content that is date and time specific, such as news, statistics, and fashion trends will only rank highly while they are “trending.” Evergreen content is content that is always of interest to readers, despite the season, year, or time passed. Having evergreen pieces on your website can help keep you in the rankings.
The next strategy is to optimize your content around keywords. Keyword stuffing is not recommended, as you are writing for people, not computers! Be sure to include your keywords a few times in the article as naturally as possible. Also, place keywords in the title, as well as the H2, H3, and H4 headers. You can also use Latent Semantic Indexing keywords. Simply search for your topic, and look at the related search suggestions at the bottom of the page. These words can be used to key your blog posts.
Write Longer Articles
One of the best ways to get to the top is to write longer content. It may seem counter-intuitive to write long pieces, since many people prefer short reads, but Google will reward long-form content. Aim for your articles to be about 1,000-2,000 words.
Keep in mind that your content should still be easy to read. By breaking your article down with headings and subheadings, you ensure that your readers can easily get the information they are looking for, and will have more optimized articles. A great way to check the readability of your article is to use the Hemingway App.
Update, Update, Update
It’s 2018 and information seems to be changing at a never before seen rate. Information that was relevant one day is now obsolete the next. Google wants to provide its users with the most up to date information. This means that the most recent content will have a better shot at ranking higher. By consistently going in and updating your articles, you make the search engine think that it is the most recent content available.
Make Your URL Readable
Many people seem to overlook this small detail, but having a readable URL can also drastically improve ranking and website traffic. Not only can bots find keywords in your custom URL, but people will most likely click on what looks more relevant. Also, be sure to include a meta description. This serves as the “sales pitch” to get people to click on your article.
Images, Anchor Text, and Mobile Friendliness
Another great way to optimize your content is through your images. By adding keywords into the file name of the images and providing alt text, you give the search engine one more good reason to push you to the top.
Anchor text, as seen throughout this article, is simply a set of words used to cover up a “naked” URL. Not only does anchor text make the article more readable, it is a great place to add keywords. Writing unique anchor text instead of using terms such as “this page” or “click” can boost your ranking.
Lastly, you must ensure that your website is mobile friendly! Much of the information available today is being accessed on mobile devices, not desktops. Even if the desktop version of your site works beautifully, a website that isn’t mobile friendly isn’t going to rank very highly.
Search engine optimization is not easy, algorithms are changing as fast as the information available. By employing these “evergreen” tactics, you can ensure that your blog will rank highly and garner the attention it deserves.