There are endless SEO guides out there telling you to use keywords and headlines and more keywords… And well that’s what SEO is all about, isn’t it — like, many keywords but not too many and densely but not too densely located.
SEO is so much more and surely once you start actually digging deep into the field you’ll discover a whole lot more to it. There are actually quite a lot of tips and secrets that you might have never even heard about yet and that might slip your attention even after you do deep research on the web.
There’s a lot to pay attention to and if failing to do that might end up critical for your rankings.
Let’s talk about some secret SEO tricks your website can benefit from greatly:
Optimize your content for Google’s top 3 ranking factors
Google is complicated and hard to please. There an example — it’s got a list of 200 ranking factors to pay attention to when it comes to your website ranking. And then there’s also the fact that they constantly change the algorithms and update them, hence keeping track becomes very very difficult.
Luckily enough for you, though, one sure thing is known – the exact shortlist of the three most vital ranking factors of Google. And if you know them – you know what to pay attention to in the first place.
Ok, ready to hear the names of the top ranking factors? There you go – links, content and Rankbrain those are.
Well, for the links and content it’s more or less understandable as to what those are and we’ll still discuss them later on in the article.
But things are not that obvious with Rankbrain. Rankbrain, to put it in simple terms, is the machine-learning artificial intelligence way Google uses to decide on the pages that correspond to the query the best.
But, how do you optimize your website for Rankbrain?
Basically, the trick is in usuality and your ability to write in a conversational language. If you go all-traditional-SEO and start writing for the machine and only your writing is most likely going to be a pile of confusing sentences and words that don’t really make a lot of sense. On the other hand, if you write in a natural language that your readers can easily make sense of — you can proudly consider your content well-optimized for Rankbrain.
This article explains how Rankbrain works in more detail.
Create content for people who can give you links
As we already mentioned above, content that attracts links is highly important from the SEO perspective. Not only are those links direct traffic to your website but search engines also really do care about the links you get, because it makes your content “worthy of the links.”
That is why you should start developing and adopting a strategy for attracting links.
However, not all links are equal. The thing is that the reputability of the website that links to you is highly important too. About 24% of the ranking algorithm Google uses is based on the trustworthiness of your link sources. And, consequently, the higher their reputation – the more it adds up to your own vitality and weight.
Yet, when it comes to creating content that qualifies for gaining links, moreover, from reputable websites, is not all that easy. Then there’s also the outreach procedure which takes tons of time and effort, while not guaranteeing final success.
The good news in this despair is that eventually all websites need strong sources and citations to base their points and content on. Which gives the option of specifically creating source-content.
What I am trying to say is that you can do the following:
- Primarily plan on the websites that you would like to gain links from (yet stay realistic because gaining a link from Techcrunch isn’t all that possible if you have just started your website and have 4 readers overall).
- Once you have the list of the websites it is important that you carry out an investigation on topics in order to create the list of topics that might serve them well as a source.
- Then, of course, it is important to create high-quality content that the website would like to link to. This is not simple. In fact, it’s the trickiest part. You’ll need to do deep and throughout research and study past examples and choose your style/wording/etc. It takes a while and a number of failed attempts at creating the content they need.
- The rest is a bit of outreach and engagement; voila — you might get linked to.
- The best part is that once you get cited by a website with high reputation once – you’re much more likely to start gaining links from other authoritative sites too.
Google at the moment aims at providing complete answers directly on the search results page is that the person who sent the request no longer needs to click on the website and go read pages of information. That’s exactly what featured snippets are about.
Briefly put, featured snippets are the format in with Google delivers the answer directly on the search results page.
Well, though, we have a conflict here. A lot of website owners and specialists believe, that since the answer to the question appears on the screen immediately – the users are more likely to read it there and hence restrain from clicking on the website. Which would mean that featured snippets make you lose your organic traffic.
However, experience shows, that getting featured snippets benefits your website traffic greatly – by 20 or 30 percent possibly.
Of course, the process of optimizing for featured snippets isn’t the easiest one. There are several things you should consider, such as:
- Make sure to choose questions with intricate or long answers when you’re optimizing for featured snippets. That is in order to assure that your answer isn’t just a sentence or two that will be fully revealed in the search results page leaving no meaning for the reader to click on your website.
- Pay attention to the trending pages and the topics that you have the highest chances of getting featured snippets on. You might consider DIY, finance, and health in particular.
- Feel free to read more about optimizing your website content for Google featured snippets.
Use LSI Keywords
Okay, so what on earth are LSI keywords even?
Latent Semantic Indexing or the so-called LSI keywords are keywords which are semantically related to your main keyword. Those include keywords which are contextually synonymous to the main one you’re using as well as other keywords which are likely to be found together with your main keyword due to referring to the same narrow topic.
Turns out, that Google nowadays pays more attention to discovering LSI keywords rather than calculating the density of the keywords you’ve used. Which leads us to conclude that LSI keywords are critically important in terms of your website ranking.
Let’s discuss a few reasons why you might consider using LSI keywords in your content more:
- Once you surpass your limits of using the main keyword from the perspective of the overall permitted keyword density – LSI keywords will come to your help. Instead of repeating the main keyword suspiciously many times you can start using LSI keywords as healthy replacements.
- Being related to your main keyword — LSI keywords are highly likely to increase your ranking “twice” – as the main keyword and as an alternative as well.
- Google no longer cares for keyword density as much as it cares for the overall context of your content. Which basically means due to LSI keywords you can actually help Google understand the context of your page easier.
If you’re not meeting user intent, you won’t get top rankings
Well, as trivial as this might sound, we can’t actually skip this point. This is one of Feedster’s top 5 SEO tips. And the truth is that still a lot of websites out there keep on writing for the machine purely.
The reality is that ranking is cool but you have to know what you’re ranking for. If you SEO optimize your website for the engine to a point that you crawl up to the top positions, but your content ends up being trash from the point of view of the users – you’re guaranteed to fail.
So, suppose your SEO optimized content does not answer the question of the users appropriately or at all, and hence does not meet their expectations. Not meeting the user intent means your content will not receive the necessary “reaction” of the users.
Browsing your page for a while resultlessly, the user will get tired and realize that you are not going to answer their questions; they will simply drop your page in search of better and more insightful content.
What happens when your webpage is abandoned numerous times? True — your bounce rate climbs higher and higher while the time spent on your webpage drops lower. Google, who is not stupid at all will soon figure out that something is wrong and sensing that your content does not satisfy your readers’ interest — will bring your ranking down.
Sad ending, hah?
Well, there is a great way of avoiding this situation. Wanna know the secret?
Write for the users! As amazing and important as SEO is, please always bear in mind that your final readers and those who are actually going to evaluate you are your readers. So make sure to write for them – on the topics they care about and in ways they want you to and try your best to provide the precise and informative answers to their questions.
SEO optimization is a complex and intricate process and the more time you spend on exploring its secrets – the higher your future content is likely to rank. A few points to keep in mind are:
- Writing for the users as well, not purely for the machine.
- Optimizing for Google Rankbrain.
- Writing quality content for obtaining links.
- Using LSI keywords.
- Trying to gain featured snippets.
One more thing I’d love to add before you go exploring the world of SEO if for you to check out the complete SEO solution that 10Web offers.
And do not forget to share other SEO secrets you might know of in the comments section below.
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