Search Engine Optimization (SEO) doesn’t merely intend to help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). That’s its primary goal, by all means, but it also lays some golden rules for ranking your new content faster. Coupled with updating and repurposing old content, the two can provide a massive boost to your website’s traffic. Whether your website is new or old, enhancing your new content’s reach can yield both short-term and long-term benefits. Thus, since SEO updates are constantly emerging, our goals remain the same; let us devote this article to exploring the matter in due depth.
Ranking on Google, and Why It Matters
First and foremost, let us define how Google measures ranking and why it is vital to have such insights. For that matter, it is equally crucial to note why most such articles focus exclusively, or strongly, on Google.
According to Statista, Google held a search engine market share of 88.14% as of October 2020. 53 percent of the world’s population or over 3 billion people were already using the internet by 2019, and that trend continues to increase. What’s more, the vast majority of them use search engines regularly. That’s an indisputably massive, enormous potential audience for any marketer, so it stands to reason that it would inform SEO efforts. Furthermore, most other search engines, such as Bing and Baidu, also share a similar philosophy for their algorithms. As such, there are three easy conclusions one can already draw;
It should be clear why Google is central to all SEO discussions and why it’s the proverbial battleground for ranking. Thus, all the golden rules for ranking your new content faster, which we’ll delve into, will hinge on Google’s criteria.
How Does Google Determine Ranking?
Having established Google’s dominance, let us try to define how Google determines the content ranking.
Google uses a complex, evolving set of over 200 criteria to determine rankings. This has changed substantially since 2002, with the most notable update arguably being 2013’s Hummingbird. Following the path that Panda, Penguin, and similar contemporary updates had set, Hummingbird focused on search intent, as Moz notes. Combined with 2015’s RankBrain, SEO refocused on the user experience and semantic intent, throttling many prominent black hat tactics.
As of 2020, many marketers agree that Google prioritizes E-A-T; Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. This is well in line with previously known SEO criteria, which include many others, such as the following:
In turn, most holistic SEO strategies will address all such factors at once. However, E-A-T is the substantive forefront of many such strategies because Google evidently values it so highly.
Golden Rules of SEO: The Bedrock for Ranking Your New Content Faster
Now, with the importance of SEO and its criteria in mind, we should more easily be able to delve into the golden rules for ranking your new content faster. The bedrock of quick, consistent, and reliable rankings builds on proper SEO, which in turn entails two different focal points, namely on-page and off-page SEO.
The most discussed type of SEO, on-page SEO, revolves around optimizing on-page content. Adhering to best practices on this front in terms of old content can increase your DA and drive organic traffic. Simultaneously, applying these same practices to new content will let it rank faster and incite more engagement.
#1 Start with Proper Keyword Research
Every content strategy begins with proper keyword research. Your content will revolve around your keywords, so it’s vital that you choose your keywords wisely. Fortunately, many keyword research tools can assist you, such as:
Whether you use such tools or others, the golden rules here are:
Finally, building your content with your keywords in mind is imperative. Trying to insert keywords into existing content retroactively is very questionable and often ineffective.
#2 Use a Proper, Length-Appropriate Keyword Density
With your optimal keywords in mind, you should then consider keyword density; how often your keyword appears throughout your content. While it may seem beneficial to maximize its use, doing so is actually detrimental. What’s more, Google may perceive it as an attempt at “keyword stuffing” – a once-prominent black hat SEO technique.
Yoast helpfully explains that optimal keyword density lies between 0.5 and 3 to 3.5%. Thus, it isn’t a static number but a percentage based on your content’s length. A safe rule of thumb in this regard would be the following minimums:
So one keyword to every 250 words is a safe foundation. Still, you should always consult your tools, Yoast or otherwise, to ensure optimal keyword density.
#3 Add Your Keyword to Title Tag, URL, and Meta Description
Notably, then, keyword density refers explicitly to the content’s main body. That does not mean you should exclude keywords from title tags, URLs, and meta descriptions; quite the opposite.
You should make sure to add your keyword to both your content’s title tag and URL. Both let it become more readable and clear to both human readers and Google itself. By the same token, adding it to your meta description will entice readers to visit your page and better inform Google of your subject matter. Ideally, as most relevant tools will suggest, it’s optimal to use your keyword as close to the start of all three as possible.
#4 Use Proper Content Structure and Optimize Your Images
Proper content structure lets your readers find relevant information more quickly. In turn, it provides more value, incites more engagement, and sends Google better social signals. Especially for longer content, since aiming for a length of 1000 words doesn’t boast as much popularity as before, proper structure is vital. In this front, make sure you have a single H1, and then divide subtopics under H2s, H3s, and so forth. Bullet points and numbered lists are equally useful as they help the eye.
In terms of image optimization, you should ensure your photos meet the five following criteria:
On both fronts, optimal structure and images should let your new content rank faster by satisfying both readers and Google.
#5 Use Outbound and Internal Links
Finally, while on-page SEO has myriads of other factors, let us conclude with links for the sake of text economy. Where off-page SEO entails acquiring backlinks to your page, on-page SEO intends to cover your own links.
In this regard, you should begin by using outbound links to quality, authoritative websites. This helps inform your readers and enrich your content, as well as lets Google know of your subject matter. Similarly, you should make sure to place links to your inner pages on your new content. This practice, “interlinking”, lets new content acquire authority from your other pages and thus rank faster than without them.
On-page SEO aside, Google also factors many off-page elements and signals when ranking content. Consider the following off-page factors in your efforts toward ranking your new content faster.
#6 Acquire Authoritative Backlinks
Authoritative backlinks increase your website’s PA and, subsequently, the DA. However, we should note that only do-follow backlinks have this benefit, as they yield what marketers call “link juice”. Still, no-follow backlinks also increase your organic traffic; the no-follow tag concerns Google, not readers.
While quality backlinks will build naturally over time, it’s wise to include acquiring them in your strategy. Even contributing guest content to blogs can provide some traffic, and your content’s quality can encourage more.
#7 Incite Engagement and Social Media Shares
Engagement and social media shares also yield notable benefits. They send Google the right social signals to indicate that your content is valuable, trustworthy, and engaging. This factor does hinge on you using social media as part of your lead capture strategy, but it’s lucrative.
You could thus try to incite engagement in many ways, depending on your style of business. Among others, consider hosting timed events, engaging with your audience in comment sections, and actively asking for feedback. Content quality aside, any such practices that help foster an active community can also drive engagement and encourage shares.
#8 Update Old Content
While this practice arguably falls between the two SEO types, it can also boost your SEO significantly. In turn, it can assist with ranking your new content faster without extreme effort.
Moz notes that Google values “freshness” and uses this metric to gauge your site’s quality. As such, by updating your old content with new information, you can provide it with better signals. Updating content isn’t as easy as changing the dates, of course; it needs to be substantive. Your old content should see updates that make it relevant to new readers, accurate, and up-to-date. While this may seem like a rather strenuous task, it should be well worth it. The “freshness” boost will likely yield a spike in traffic, which will, in turn, affect your new content. Build proper, relevant interlinking to your latest content to convey even more relevant information, and you’ll ensure a substantial boost.
#9 Have a Mobile-Friendly Site
Similarly, a mobile-friendly site will let your new content perform better as your site’s overall SEO increases. While on-page SEO ensures individual pages are mobile-friendly, a mobile-friendly site lets Google know your website is valuable and optimized.
As ever more users navigate the web on their mobile devices, mobile-friendliness offers a very practical benefit. Namely, it lets your site perform better on such devices, reducing your bounce rates and increasing retention times. Among many other factors, consider the following:
Finally, it’s incredibly noteworthy that mobile-friendliness is no passing trend. Google itself has stated its value, and it even offers a mobile-friendliness test for this reason.
#10 Provide Google with an Optimized XML Sitemap
Lastly, where your site’s visible roadmap and structure help visitors navigate your site, an XML sitemap helps Google crawl it. This is vital for ranking new content faster; a page that’s not indexed won’t show up on search results. You must avoid such issues, and submitting an optimal XML sitemap to Google will help prevent them.
Fortunately, a plethora of tools that can help you do so exist. A few notable ones include:
When you’re done, you can submit your file easily through Google’s search console and ensure your new content gets indexed swiftly.
In conclusion, ranking your new content faster doesn’t have to be complicated. Ensuring quality content and a proper SEO foundation, as well as interlinking, inciting engagement, and the practices mentioned above, should suffice. Hopefully, the above advice will let your new content shine and perform better on SERPs.
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Mentored by Mr. Soumya Roy, the Founder, CEO of PromozSEO Web Marketing Academy.
Being an entrepreneur and digital marketer, he loves to share his knowledge and experience in topics related to internet marketing, SEO, SEM, social media, content marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, and many more.