Last year, Google engaged in a number of algorithm updates that has resulted in intensive panic among many marketers. Ultimately, Google hopes to boost the visibility of high-value pages while lowering that of low-value pages. Due to the number of algorithm changes that were implemented last year, many websites were penalized, leaving marketers wondering which search engine optimization techniques they should focus on and which techniques they should abandon.
1. Focus on Niche Specific Keyword Combinations
One of the changes introduced by the Google Hummingbird update was a search for intent behind searches. Google wants to ensure it returns the most relevant pages possible based on what the user is searching for. Make no mistake about it, keywords are still relevant, but when compiling keyword combinations, you need think about what a user will actually enter when searching for your products or services. Avoid broad terms and instead focus on conversational phrases, such as where to buy……
When developing content to appeal to search phrases, you also need to think in terms of three categories. First, focus on developing content that will inform or educate visitors about your products or services. You should also create content that will address those users who are searching for your specific brand. Finally, make sure you have content created that will appeal to those searchers who are already interested in buying. You can do this by including keywords such as review, deal, discount, or coupon along with your primary keywords.
2. Fine Tune your Site’s URL Structure
As a result of recent search engine algorithms, it is now imperative to ensure that your URL structure is as streamlined as possible. To ensure you rank well, avoid URLs that end in a long string of characters. Also, work to clean up your website by eliminating 404 errors and broken links. If you have outbound links, make certain they are actually relevant to the content on that page. Ideally, it is better to have original content than a lot of outbound links for ranking purposes.
3. Higher Quality Links
Your site will rank higher when you have a few links from authority sites rather than scores of links from lesser-quality sites. While such links are more difficult to earn, it can be done. Editorial links can be achieved by writing original content and publishing it on third-party sites. The key to succeeding with these effective SEO strategies is to focus on content that is interesting yet not too promotional.
4. Implementing Secure Encryption on your Site
Recently, Google announced that HTTPS would now be considered as a ranking signal. This means that websites utilizing secure encryption could receive a boost in rankings. If you are not familiar with HTTPs, it is a method by which information is exchanged online through the use multiple methods for protecting the transferred data. While Google has indicated that HTTPs will be considered a lightweight signal, it is possible that over time, it could gain strength, particularly in light of increasing concerns regarding cybersecurity.