If you’re looking to stand out on the wider internet, you need to know a few things about the top SEO ranking factors. This is especially important because these tend to change over time. Of course, 2020 is no different.
From thinking about link graphics to knowing which tactics are becoming more or less outdated, having a game plan for your SEO strategy is always important. Here’s what you need to know about the key ranking factors in 2020.
1. Site security matters more than ever.
While it may seem trivial, there’s a big ranking difference between, say, http://www.academia.edu and https://www.academia.edu. The “S” essentially stands for “secure.” This is a sign to both the search engines the site’s user that there’s a security certificate in place. Site encryption is incredibly important to Google and its search counterparts. Since hackers, identity thieves, and data breaches are only growing in numbers, it’s important that your site protects against malicious intent. Secured sites work to protect a user’s valuable information and ensure that none of their data can be acquired, traced, or hacked. If you don’t have a security certificate in place, you should reconsider.
2. Quality content is still important.
Depending on your industry, this could be a little complex. If you’re in a saturated market, you’re going to have to work overtime to ensure that your content stands out against the crowd. This is because Google not only values relevance but freshness. If you’re posting a new article but it simply rehashes points your competitors have made, it’s not going to have much of an impact. Look at the competition and find ways that you can say something different. Also, strive for more comprehensive content when possible. Short answers don’t tend to get as much traction in the SERPs.
3. Authoritative backlinks and anchor text resonate.
If you don’t have a robust ranking strategy in place, you may find that your backlink profile looks a little less-than-satisfactory. This is because, while they’ve stopped being the end-all, be-all of SEO, backlinks and smart anchor text are still incredibly important. This can become difficult for certain brands. Say, for instance, you’re trying to promote your CEO whose last name just happens to be “Whitehead.” Unfortunately, if you use the last name as anchor text, Google is likely to expect the linked page to be about pimples in some way. Make smart choices when it comes to anchor text and don’t forget to add anchor and backlink diversity to your offerings.
4. Page speed is a bigger factor.
Sites that either aren’t optimized for speed or are poorly optimized will likely see ranking dips. Mobile users, in particular, tend to hop off of sites that don’t load within a mere three seconds. That’s right: You have three seconds to get your site in front of someone before you potentially lose a lead. So, how do you make a website speed up? A good start is to review your rich media and images. By using a compression tool, you can reduce the file sizes without losing too much of the original quality. Lower file sizes translate to faster load times which, in turn, translate to happier users and search engines.
5. SEO services still reign supreme.
Few entrepreneurs can do it all. Even if you have a larger organization, it’s hard to devote all of your marketing resources to ensure your SEO is high-quality and consistent. Many businesses tend to look for third-party partnerships. Organizations like linkgraph.io are pros when it comes to assessing a business’s SEO needs and transforming those into actionable strategies. Keeping up with algorithm updates, on-page SEO, and content creation can be a lot of work even for members of the marketing industry. Leaving your SEO model to an outside expert could be one of the smartest things you ever do.
Of course, there are other important ranking factors, but these take the cake. If you’re ready to push your digital presence, it’s time to start considering what truly matters in the realm of SEO.