The Pandemic may persist to 2025 but business must go on. Here are the top seven ranking criteria that will really matter the most for SEO, from mobile-friendliness and content to page speed and backlinks. Have these ready for 2021 and ranking will much easier next fiscal year.
Top 7 Signals from the Ranking: What really matters in 2020
It seems that Google provides us with a new ranking element each year.
In 2014, HTTPS became a signal for ranking.
Mobile usability became a signal for ranking in 2015.
Then, when RankBrain came to the scene, 2016 changed content growth.
And, for more HTTPS websites, there was a more important drive in 2017.
Mobile page speed now seems to be the next major ranking factor to concentrate on.
All that said, John Mueller tells us that the secret to Google ranking is “awesomeness”
But now, with over 1 billion online websites, how can you create awesomeness?
One thing I know for sure is that all these rating variables are all shaped to create a better user experience that is more awesome.
With Google analyzing sites based on hundreds of ranking criteria, it might seem difficult to know where to target your SEO strategy for the biggest bang in 2020.
Good news, though: the rating signals will continue to adapt to the consumer.
This means that new SEO patterns are already rooted in the existing algorithm, and it is entirely possible for you to rank high in 2021 with a little imagination and SEO savvy.
Here are the ranking variables which are really going to matter in 2021, and why.
- Publish material of high quality
Nobody ever said, “I don’t need quality content on my website to rank.”
For 2021, the quality of your website and blog content is still important. As a king, content still reigns.
Content optimized for keywords still retains powerful SEO flex, as Rand Fishkin pointed out in a Whiteboard Friday.
Your content must be relevant and not tabloid trash. Thanks to Google’s Panda and Fred algorithm updates, building pages with no real meaning will come back to haunt you.
Even big names such as eBay and Apple are not deserving of the crown of content. Both brands were harmed by thin material.
Create pages that increase page view time , reduce bounce rate, and provide the user with helpful insight
The kind of high-quality content search engines that users want are articles like the type you’d see at Selfgrowth.com or BusinessInsider
For today’s SEO, high-quality content pages must do more than simply be well-written and long-form. To increase their presence in SERPs, they will have to cover the following fields:
To create pages that drive organic traffic, understanding the search intent of users is crucial.
By reshaping their SEO content strategy to be more consistent with searcher intent, CoSchedule saw a 594 percent rise in traffic.
And, with a new featured snippet that is optimized for “multi purpose” requests, Google has also updated search results.
You need to dig into your Google Analytics to see what users are searching for in order to understand what your target searchers’ goal is.
You will get an idea of what your clients are looking for through reports such as Site Search and User Flow.
In Google’s Search Console, you can also access the Search Analytics report. This report will give you insights into what people click to get to your website on the SERPs.
Keyword research still supports quality content creation, despite the word on the street that keyword research is not sufficient to rank. Unlike traditional research on keywords, today, keywords act as a guide for content development.
You will discover keyword gems that have an average search volume but a high click-through rate for your audience through competitor analysis and data mining.
Check out how, after doing keyword analysis, Chris Hornack, founder of Blog Hands, saw an 80% rise in traffic.
So, as the industry continues to whisper about the negative effects of research into keywords, you need to define and bucket your primary keywords into topics appropriate for your searcher.
A Google research , for example, found that over the past two years, smartphone search queries such as “brands like” and “stores like” have risen by 60 percent. The need to change your keyword strategy for the mobile user is explained in this report.
Searching for Speech
72 percent of individuals who own a voice-activated speaker claim that their gadgets are mostly used as part of their everyday routine, according to Google.
It’s clear that a new way of searching is coming after the creation of AI assistants like Siri , Alexa, and Cortana.
Going to your first yoga class can feel like optimizing for the way people talk.
You’re looking at what other people are doing around you, trying to breathe deeply while you’re holding your lotus cup above your head, while you’re waiting for savasana. With # Awkward.
- Make Mobile-Friendly Platforms
Do you recall when the suggested thing to do was a mobile version of your website, hosted at m. URL.com?
Although Google has said that they do not openly support any particular way to render mobile websites (whether they are responsive, dynamic, or different URLs) when it comes to rankings, their recommended format is a responsive website.
Google has suggested that responsive design allows its “algorithms correctly allocate the page to indexing properties rather than signalling the presence of relevant desktop / mobile sites.”
Your mobile website is the lifeblood of your existence in the SERPs in the period of the mobile-first index. Follow Google’s instructions to remain alive and make sure your content fits on your desktop and mobile identically.
Whenever a search engine will make it easier for you to boost its results, do it!
- Build an HTTPS (Secure Website)
Dr. Pete J. Meyers wrote almost a year ago that 30 percent of Google’s results on page 1 used HTTPS.
Although not moving to HTTPS won’t inherently hurt your website, since Google first declared HTTPS as a ranking signal back in 2014, there have been many changes.
“Google revealed in 2017 that its Chrome browser (which 45 percent of us use) will start flagging sites in the URL bar as” not safe “when they’re not HTTPS. And, you might start seeing a spike in bounce rakes after their final warning announcement if you don’t make the transition.
All of this shows that Google believes that HTTPS is relevant.
However, if not done correctly, converting to HTTPS (and SSL, as they work together) can also add a lot of canonicalization issues to your web.
Although it has not been shown to have a big impact on SEO on its own, the Chrome update can mean it is worth switching your website over (by experienced individuals).
Websites are meaured by over 200 security variables. If you fail with a grade of C, your site can be penalized on the search engine rankings. Here’s one service that measures your website security for free.
- Improve your experience with users
User experience ( UX) has an SEO effect.
Your website could end up in the garbage next to a TV dinner and mushy peas, if you don’t care about UX.
In reality, if the content and layout are unattractive, 38 percent of people will avoid communicating with a website.
Through updating the material and improving call-to – action buttons, Main Street Host, a digital marketing firm, saw a 66 percent rise in page views on their attorney profile pages.
And, after improving a better UX, Ezoic saw an 186 percent rise in earnings per 1,000 visitors.
Before pressing the back button to return to the search results, search engines see dwell time as a signal to see the amount of time a user spent on a site.
If you want to excel in the SERPs, creating a user interface that pairs nicely with your SEO is crucial. It’s like choosing which song from the Backstreet Boys you want to sing for karaoke. Even if the performance is decent, no one will sing along with you when the song goes off.
- Optimize the Speed of Website Delivery
Finally, page speed is officially now a ranking consideration for Google mobile.
This year and last, mobile webcontinues to be Google’s latest preference, with Google’s mobile-first index now steadily rolling out.
The slower the load on your pages, the more visits and revenue you’re going to lose.
Just one second could cost Amazon $1.6 billion in revenue per year. And, a British newspaper, The Telegraph, found that a four-second delay decreased page views by 11.02 percent.
And why take the risk?
Faster loading of pages contributes to a better overall experience of the website, hence the change by Google to make it a mobile ranking factor. I personally use GTMetrix to measure site speed
- Master the on-page optimization of your online assets
The on-page optimization, which deals with the technological “behind the scenes” aspects of SEO, is closely linked to user experience. These facets have been around for years and still have a huge effect on the popularity and SERP location of your target keywords on your website.
By merely changing H1 tags, Mockingbird saw a 62 percent rise in organic traffic. And, by cleaning up metadata and internal linking structure, Brand New Copy boosted organic traffic by 48 percent.
Worth that? I assume so.
Optimizing your website will help search engines and consumers find your current high-quality content quicker.
This information includes the title tag and details of the page-the information that users see in the SERPs for the pages.
Either way, I don’t suggest that any of your current details be completely rewritten.
- Earn important & authoritative backlinks
If you want to rank well in 2020, Links will continue to be one of the leading SEO components.
Ignore those who suggest that without backlinks, you will achieve success. Although some sites may and have, it would be reckless not to follow these powerful techniques of link buildin
Over the next few decades, although backlinks can lose their importance, they are still an active ranking signal.
Ranking signals all flow together in order to help establish awesomeness for SEO marketers. This suggests a more detailed, advanced SEO plan for better SEO in 2021 and beyond.
As this year continues to roll out the mobile-first index, page speed ranking factor, and other updates, rest assured that SEO, which focuses on consistency over short-term gains, is what will help you step up in the SERPs.