SearchMetrics (www.searchmetrics.com) have released their in depth study of the ranking factors that lead to strong SEO performance in 2014’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This year’s study document can be downloaded here.
The study offers a detailed insight into the factors that affect organic search listings within Google’s results pages, based on the U.S. Google index. Plenty of information and analysis can be taken away from this data. We’ve broken down the report with the key findings you should be implementing in your SEO efforts.
Our tip: Ensure your site has a good balance of internal links, keep the site up to date and well-maintained, aim for minimum page load times and ensure page Meta titles and descriptions are present.
Our tip: Try and use higher word counts on pages, making use of holistic content with a range of keywords and terms relevant to topic. Include supplementary content and other media such as images and videos and avoid advertising on pages where possible.
Our tip: Aim for a balanced ratio of homepage to deep links, with anchor text focused on brand name or domain name, not keywords.
Our tip: Continue to create good content – likes, plus ones, shares, tweets etc. help search engines identify where good content is. Although social media plays a role in ranking your site, it only has a very small influence so ensure not all of your focus is placed here.
Our tip: Make use of analytics software to see how pages are performing – look at pages that have high bounce rates for instance and see how these may be improved.
If you wish to achieve top search rankings then all of the factors talked about must be considered and implemented. You won’t gain the positions you seek by simply incorporating a few of these here and there. Search engine algorithms are becoming more complex and multifaceted, with rankings determined by many different factors combined.
Although all factors should be considered, one of the main keys to success lies with content. This has become the main focus of SEO, with relevant, great quality and holistic content achieving the best results in the search rankings.