Every year one of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions is to lose some extra pounds and get into shape. Despite the promises of quick-fix miracle pills and diets, the best way to achieve and maintain our health and fitness goals is to regularly practice healthy lifestyle habits.
Well, a quality Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign is very much like a lifestyle fitness plan. As search engine ranking algorithms have evolved, those who resort to shortcuts and gimmicky tactics may achieve some temporary gains, but those who best serve their audience are positioning themselves for long-term success.
In addition to many of the traditionally recognized on-site and off-site SEO ranking factors, search engines today are favoring websites that provide a better audience experience by consistently producing fresh, quality content that their audience finds engaging and shares with others.
Search Engine Land published an excellent Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors that illustrates how almost everything you do with your website can influence your SEO results.
The Periodic Table is broken down into different sections, each highlighted by a different color. The first six sections are all Positive Factors.
- Content (Bright green): Ensure that you are creating in-depth, timely, well-written content with substance for your audience. Research popular and relevant keywords to include in your content. Make sure you include images, video or other media to break up text and enhance your content pieces.
- Architecture (Dark green): This covers most of the technical SEO that is to be done across your site and content. Make sure your site is easily searchable and crawlable by search engines. Optimize your site for smartphones and tablets. Other important items include quick load time, secure connection (HTTPS) and proper URL structures and redirects.
- HTML (Aqua Blue): This section covers the remaining technical SEO for your site. This includes things like properly fleshed out meta tags, using Schema markup, proper use of H1 and H2 tags, and utilizing AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), if applicable, for mobile devices.
- Trust (Lavender): This section is about gaining authority. You can do this by getting high quality links from other reputable sites and shares on social platforms. Having engaging content that keeps visitors on your site longer and interacting with your material.
- Links (Purple): This covers both external and internal linking strategies. Make sure you are getting links from quality, trusted sites. Anchors that link to other internal pages should use similar keywords.
- User Experience (Magenta): Optimize your site for the best user experience possible.
Toxins (Orange): These are the Negative Factors – the things that you want to avoid in regards to your website. Cloaking (showing search engines different pages than your searchers), buying links, spammy blogs, keyword stuffing are just a few of the factors that can negatively affect your site and its SEO.
A new section in the Periodic Table is highlighted in yellow – Emerging Verticals. This covers new factors that may play a factor in SEO campaigns in the future. This includes vocal search from home devices like Alexa and Google Nest, local business listings, and image and video optimization.
Your ranking results are relative to how well your competitors are doing at these same factors. Use Search Engine Land’s chart to find opportunities to build more muscle with positive ranking factors, and trim the fat by reducing the number of negative ranking factors that are undermining your results.
Like any good fitness plan, start by evaluating where you are now, set goals, and develop a plan that applies the resources necessary to achieve them. By consistently working toward your SEO goals from a more holistic approach of how to best serve your audience, you’ll improve your SEO results and your business too. If your business needs help with developing a plan for this year and beyond, get in touch with us today.