Google and other search engines use hundreds of ranking signals. So, generally speaking, optimizing for all of them seems impractical. However, by focusing on the following top ranking factors that have the greatest potential to influence search results, you can get the best possible results for the time and effort you spend on your blog.
All other factors being equal, Google places popular websites above unpopular ones in search results. When a lot of people visit your blog, search engines can assume that you have something worthwhile to see there.
In addition to search engine traffic going to your site, the number of people who directly visit your site also matters. These are users who either type your URL into their browser or use a bookmark. Direct traffic occurs when you have such a high degree of brand awareness that people know that you have the content they want and have no interest in your competitors.
Search engines consider the time people spend visiting your blog as an indication of its value and relevance to their internet search. If people quickly leave your site, that means that you failed to engage visitors. Likewise, when visitors stay for a long time, they suggest to Google that your content is giving them the information they need.
When visitors click a link to search engine results only to discover that your content is of no interest to them, they quickly leave. When Google sees a lot of visitors “bouncing” from your site, the search engine assumes that your page is irrelevant to the related query. Consequently, content with high bounce rates can get buried deeper in search results.
Pages Per Session
Search engines also measure user behavior in terms of how many pages they view every time they visit. If people only visit one page, that can suggest that you have shallow coverage of your topic and little or no supporting information. Give your visitors a chance to view more pages by including on-site links within your text. Also, consider adding a “related posts” section to each page.
In SEOJet’s article on power pages, Adam White suggests that amazing, beefy content with some really good (read: high relevance / authority) links pointing to it make all the difference. When other websites link to your blog, they tell demonstrate to their visitors and search engines that they think your content has value. Multiple factors affect the value of a backlink can affect its value. These include page authority, the number of backlinks and referring domains and anchor text.
When visitors arrive at your blog, one of the things they first notice is the length of your content. for the most part, a long article suggests an in-depth treatment of a topic and therefore increases the perception of authority. Search engines understand the importance of content length and will often place pages having many words above those that have just a few.
Although you might not want to spend the money on an SSL certificate, having one in place can positively contribute to your page rank. Not only can users feel safe visiting your HTTPS-enabled blog, but your brand gains authenticity through the SSL verification process.
Page Title and Meta
As you optimize a page for a particular keyword, you should remember to include it in your title. This practice is essential to building page rank, especially when you have written for high-volume keywords. Similarly, you can boost your page rank by including your keywords in your meta description, if you are using a high-volume keyword.
Keyword in Body
Make sure that you always include your keyword in the body of your blog posts. Although keyword stuffing often produces negative results, naturally including keywords in your content helps to tell search engines what your pages are about.
You can find third-party keyword analysis tools that will analyze your pages and tell you whether you have mentioned your keyword often much or not enough. While optimizing your content for a keyword, be sure that you place your keywords in a relevant context.
Although videos may not consistently impact page rankings, a video’s popularity can lead to elevated visitor engagement rates and boost your SEO. Resist the temptation to publish videos for the purpose of boosting search engine performance. Instead, include this type of content only where it enhances the user experience and helps to communicate your message.
In summary, out of the hundreds of ranking signals that search engines use, only a handful of them are responsible for the majority of SEO. So, by prioritizing the above factors, you can optimize your efforts and quickly boost the performance of your blog.