The 9 Keys to Rank Higher on Google in 2020 [updated]

Did you know that 97% of internet users don’t even check the second page of results?

Just think about it, have you done it recently?

This is the reality in current Digital Marketing, proving the fact that if your website is not on the first page of Google results, you are losing sales to your competitors.

Here are the 9 factors you’ll learn about in this post:

  1. Having a Crawlable URL that Googlebot’s can easily process
  2. Adapt your content to the reader’s intentions
  3. Keep the Google RankBrain in mind
  4. Make an effective Keyword Research
  5. Long Form Content will always be a winner
  6. Don’t forget about mobile usability
  7. Associate Compelling Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
  8. Topic Clusters will develop more authority
  9. The Page Speed is a Key factor

When we think about ranking a website on the search engines like Google, is definitely necessary to understand the basic outline about SEO (Search Engine Optimization); the process to improve the visibility of your website in a most organic way than using SEM (Search Engine Management) which consist of paying Google for a higher result.

Developing a SEO strategy will always be necessary if you want to be recognized as a source of valuable and useful content for the user.

That’s why is very necessary trying to understand the Google’s ranking algorithm, improving the little details that can make a huge difference.

The Google’s algorithm is very smart because it’s constantly adapting to the user’s needs in order to prevent black hat SEO tactics that manipulate results.

In this opportunity, we will share with you the main Google Ranking signals you need to consider in 2018 in order to optimize your pages for better chances to be displayed to potential customers.

  1. Having a Crawlable URL that Googlebot’s can easily process:

This is very important, as your URL must contain keywords that describe the content of a determinate page.

Otherwise, if it’s very long, the Google Spiders could consider it as Spam.

Make it simple but clear so the algorithm takes you in count and understand your content in a text readable format, visuals or any multimedia so they can be able to place you in their web index.

  1. Adapt your content to the reader’s intentions:

When we make a search on the internet, Google tries to guess our intentions, and then tailor the results to what it thinks it would be the most helpful ones.

Over time, the Google Algorithm has identified four main types of search intent:

  • Know queries: the user wants information about something. Ex: “Why my fridge doesn’t work?”
  • Do queries: when the user wants to take an action. Ex: “The best Tower Fan in the Market”.
  • Website queries: the user wants to go to a specific webpage. Ex: EBay
  • Visit-in person queries: the user wants to locate and visit a physical address. Ex: closest places to buy car replacements.

If we want to talk about the Google searches on mobile devices, we must say that users want to cover an immediate need, focusing on:

  • Know
  • Go
  • Do
  • Buy

In this manner, adapting the content of a website to users’ search intent will definitely give you an important advantage in the positioning of the Google ranking. 

  1. Keep the Google RankBrain in mind:

RankBrain is a machine learning system that Google uses to understand better search queries.

It runs tests on Google’s algorithm by itself on a keyword level, giving or reducing the importance of ranking factors.

The system picks a winner website through experience signals, evaluating metrics such as “Click Through Rate”, “Bounce Rate”, “Time Spent on a Page” to know is the Google searcher is satisfied or not with your content.

In this manner, consider these tips to optimize your content for a better RankBrain:

Reduce your bounce rate:

Look at the landing pages of your website with a major level of bounce rate and analyze why people might be leaving.

You can do this through the Google Analytics tool in Behavior > Site Content > Landing Page. In addition, consider some tips that may help you:

  • Bring the important content above the fold.
  • Separate big areas of text with white spaces or images.
  • Improve the quality of your content.

Improve your CTR:

Now go to your Google Search Console and analyze the pages of your website with lower Click-Through-Rates (CTR).

Find this section in Search Traffic > Search Analytics > Pages > Filter by CTR.

Improve the ones that need more attention with these tips:

  • Writing more compelling and keyword rich
  • Use numbers in the title such as “20 different ways to improve your wellbeing”.
  • Use emotion in your headline.

Increase your time on page:

To improve your RankBrain performance, you need people to stick around on your website longer, so look at your Landing Pages report in Google Analytics and check the average session duration.

If some of your pages are displayed for less than 3 minutes, consider improving that time with some tips:

  • Reduce the number of sentences in your paragraphs; 3-4 is an optimum reference.
  • Create longer and more in-depth content.
  1. Make an effective Keyword Research:

You need to think about phrases and words that searchers will use to solve or get answers to a particular problem that your content and website will handle.

In this manner, think about a primary keyword and then, a set of secondary keywords that be consistent with the searcher’s intent.

All keywords should be related and have the same intention to let you build a content that serves it.

  1. Long Form Content will always be a winner:

You can’t go wrong on this, unless you don’t supply a quality content to your users, regardless of its length.

It’s necessary to create the best in-depth content that covers an entire topic.

To have an idea about the optimum amount of words, consider that SERP IQ made a study discovering that most of the top google results usually clock in at over 2,000 words.

In this manner, to make a high-quality long-form content, you can cover different topics in the same piece.

Marketmuse developed a study showing that covering 8 topics in an article is the best option.

  1. Don’t forget about mobile usability:

If you haven’t prioritized your efforts in developing a responsive design for your website, you need to do it as soon as possible.

One of the main reasons to do it is because you will improve the user’s experience with your brand and Google is prioritizing mobile-friendly-content in its ranking.

This is called “Mobile first index” and it means that Google will base rankings on the way it crawl’s a site’s mobile version instead of its desktop one.

This is still a Google test, but when it comes out, you won’t want to stay out if the game, so you would better start adapting your website content to a mobile audience.

Consider that 40% of mobile searches involve a local intent, which means a great opportunity for business related to the home services industry.

Resisting the change to have a responsive design can hurt the performance of your brand in the long-run.

If your website is already compatible to perform well on mobile devices, consider these tips:

  • Have a High-quality content on your mobile site.
  • Use structured
  • Improve your Metadata such as page titles and Meta descriptions.
  • The servers hosting your website should have enough capacity to handle potentially increased crawl rate.
  1. Associate Compelling Title Tags and Meta Descriptions:

Even when you think that these aspects go unnoticed, you need to know that Google actually uses the Meta description and the title a high percent of the time.

Optimizing your snippet should be among your priorities because it determines how your Google displays your pages in the search results.

The snippet is part of the crucial moment when users decide whether to click on your listing or someone else’s.

If you can optimize your title and Meta description from a keyword perspective, using the words and phrases that users want to read when asking or solutions or answers, you can generate a big difference.

  1. Topic Clusters will develop more authority:

It’s as simple as reorganizing the way that your content connects to other ones on your website.

It involves creating a single “pillar page” which will act as a cornerstone to connect several pieces of content that we call “topic clusters”.

In this manner, each topic cluster should link back to the pillar page and each other.

Google will note that all of the articles are related, which will give authority to your website.

For each high-level topic that is important for your business, consider developing several topic clusters.

In this manner, you will rearrange the structure of your website’s content and algorithms like Google RankBrain will give a big importance to it.

  1. The Page Speed is a Key factor:

 This is one of the main aspects to consider when improving the user’s experience on your website.

In 2018, search engine users want fast answers so think about aiming to have all your pages loaded in two seconds or less.

If your website takes from 1 to 10s to load, the probability of bounce increases 123%; in this case, remember that a single second can make a huge difference.

You need to provide people to go all the way through your pages and accomplish their tasks in a secure, easy and fulfilling way on both desktop and mobile devices.

HTTPS continues to represent a very important aspect that Google takes in consideration for its ranking.

As you can see, the main keys to rank higher on Google in 2018 are more related to adapting your websites to the reasons why users go to search engines in the first place.

Speed, responsive design, quality long-form content are some details that you need to improve at its maximum to give people a reason to click on your results, stay in your website and solve their problem with your contributions.

If you’re not sure how your website stacks up to these ranking factors, get a free report by clicking here.

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