Ranking and Visibility: SEO Formulas to Help You In Your Ranking
In this article, we will talk about concepts such as SEO ranking and search visibility on Google, what is it, and how to get a higher ranking in search engines.
What Is Search Visibility
Search engine visibility refers to the percentage of all organic clicks received for a given key request.
Let’s take a closer look. Suppose we have a golf car search query, and the site has 100% search visibility for this query (this is not possible but we can use it for clarification purposes).
After checking the traffic request, we see that this keyword was driven in 35 thousand times, which means that when the search visibility was 100%, the site received 35 thousand clicks on average in the last month.
Most sites that rank first in search results have an average of 35% for their relevant search. In this study, you can read more about how to share traffic between the first 10 positions in search results.
Why is Search Visibility Important?
This is an important indicator for evaluating the effectiveness of SEO because it provides a more holistic understanding of the traffic received from key queries.
Suppose you have 2 requests, the first brings 200 conversions, and the second 600. Traffic data will not allow an objective assessment of which request deserves more attention and refinement on it.
If you look at the search visibility metric where the first key metric is 13% and the second is 36%, you can understand that you should work on the first request and increase visibility to increase traffic. Now, work on the second key will no longer be as effective.
What Is SEO Ranking
SEO ranking refers to the position of the site on the search results page. The search engine optimization rating is influenced by a large number of ranking factors. We will discuss this in the next chapter.
Each search engine uses its own ranking factors. If you are in the first place in the search results in Bing, you can take the 50th place in Google.
A high search engine optimization ranking results in a rather large amount of organic traffic to the website. As mentioned earlier, most of the traffic is received by sites that are in the top 3 search results.
This is not relevant for all searches since Google integrates new elements into the search results that are displayed in front of relevant sites.
Google shows these applications in search results.
Videos, Google Shopping ads, and other elements are present in the search results. Also, make sure to remember the short answers on the zero page.
All these elements can quickly satisfy the user’s request, and they do not need to scroll below and look for sites on which they could find the answer.
The influence of these elements is recently increasing, as users begin to realize their convenience and Google is constantly working to improve additional elements on the issuing page.
It is worth considering their presence or absence when choosing keywords. Related article – How to Do Keyword Research.
If you encounter a problem where you have a high key position with good traffic, but there are very few conversions from it, you should check this request for additional elements.
Perhaps most of the traffic goes there, and you should abandon this keyword. Perform an SEO ranking check using the factors listed below.
SEO Ranking Factors
Ranking factors in search engines are constantly changing, what is relevant at the time of writing is likely to change after some time.
In addition, there are quite a lot of them – about 200. Of course, we will not analyze them all in this article. We concentrate on the most important factors that will most affect the SEO site ranking.
HTTPS is an extension of the HTTP protocol that improves user security when transporting data between a site and a server.
In 2014, Google expressed its preference for this protocol instead of HTTP. Since then, there have been many scandals with data leakage and Google is now paying more attention to this protocol.
When answering a user’s question on his Twitter account, John Muller said that this is a minor ranking factor.
But given that search engines are paying more and more attention to security, we can assume that in the future this will have more weight. Read more in the article HTTPS vs. HTTP.
This factor began to influence positions in the search engine since 2010. Since then, a lot of time has passed, and we could observe a growth trend in the search traffic from mobile phones.
As you know, the speed of mobile Internet is significantly inferior to the speed of WiFi Even though the difference is small, it is noticeable. When searching from a smartphone, the speed of downloading the site is very important.
In 2018, Google stated that the page loading speed should be less than 3 seconds, and the time to the first byte (TTFB) should be less than 1.3 seconds. The total page size should be no more than 500kb.
Of course, it’s not worth working on optimization and speeding up the site by milliseconds, it will not bring advantages over competitors but you should make sure that the site loads in 2-2.5 seconds.
This factor is not the most important but given the way mobile devices crowd out stationary devices, we can assume that site speed requirements will increase.
In addition, if you have a slow website, you risk losing not only search engine optimization but also customers. They may decide to go to faster competitor sites because they are tired of waiting for downloads.
In continuation of the last paragraph, in 2015, Google officially made a ranking factor that affects the page rank of SEO, the usability of the site from mobile devices.
In the summer of 2019, when Google switched to indexing from mobile devices, adaptability became a ranking factor for search results on the desktop.
Make sure that every page on the site is convenient for mobile devices. You can check this in the search console, in the “Mobile Usability” tab. To improve SEO rankings, see Mobile Search.
Backlinks are one of the most important Google ranking factors. Links help the search engine better understand how much you can trust the site and how relevant it is.
The site where the link and anchor are received is important here. the anchor is the highlighted word or phrase to which the link is attached.
Referring to another resource, the site informs Google that it trusts it and shares this trust. If a page is referenced, it means that the content on it is relevant and in demand.
Look for sources of good reputation that are relevant to you and try to get links from there. If you have a local business, use local SEO ranking factors to try to get links from local media.
The topic of link building is extremely voluminous, there are quite a few ways to build a good link profile. You can read more about this in the Build High-Quality Backlinks article.
This ranking factor can also play an important role. For Google, you need to show relevant results on request.
If we take the news area, this factor plays a significant role in it because the information should be fresh. Also, content that tends to become obsolete and needs to be updated. For example, the request to “buy an iPhone” is not demanding on relevance. You only need to refresh pages when a new phone is released.
For some queries, such as “teach the cat to the tray”, relevance has virtually no effect at all, because people do not need fresh and relevant information on this topic.
Analyze the search results for keywords that are relevant to you and see if relevance and freshness are important for these queries.
View in Search Results
A search engine does not evaluate only one type of content for a single search query.
If a person enters “buy Samsung online”, they are in a purchase mode, which means that the search engine will show them pages from the “e-commerce” category.
The query “how to choose a jacket” for the search engine means that the person is not going to buy anything but wants to find information. Therefore, there will be exclusively information output.
One can also watch a video if Google thinks that it answers the request correctly.
If a video is shown on the first line of the search that you have chosen to promote, you must create and optimize your video for this search.
It is worth following the category of the page promoted by the keyword. If we take some kind of general requests, such as “buy a car”, Google considers the category page in online stores to be relevant.
But if we search “buy Volkswagen golf”, the page with this content will be relevant.
Examine the search results for the keywords you have chosen. It would be a bad idea to promote a product with a search. Google considers pages with categories to be most relevant.
Google’s official SEO guide tells us: “You should build a website to benefit your users, and any optimization should be geared toward making the user experience better.”
Behavioral factors are taken into account by Google when ranking because their goal is to give the user the most useful and quickest answer to the request.
If users go to your page from search results and do not find the answer there, then you are clearly not worthy of high positions from the point of view of the search engine.
Google offers the following tips for improving the user experience:
- Take into account the needs of users.
- No interfering advertising
- Content is easy to read and view.
- Adaptive design
- Relevant to the request, useful content
- Good site navigation
Nobody knows exactly what factors Google takes into account. Many claim the importance of time spent on the page, CTR, bounce rate, etc. Google officially declares that it does not take into account such factors since they are too unclear and vague. For more information, see What Is a CTR.
Do not chase specific indicators that reflect the convenience of the site or page. Just try to make your site is comfortable for users to stay there.
Remove distracting elements, create easy-to-read and viewable content, build a convenient site structure, and follow Google’s recommendations. This will definitely be beneficial.
You need to carefully monitor the news about ranking factors. This area is constantly in motion. Stay tuned to learn more on how to stay on track of computers.
How Do I Increase SEO Rankings
We’ll talk directly about the steps that need to be taken to increase your SEO rank. We already touched upon some of these steps in the last chapter, but here I will discuss in more detail the actions that need to be taken in order to analyze the search engine rankings and improve their results.
Track the Right Metrics
Tracking the right metrics will allow you to quickly and efficiently make decisions about what is worth improving or fixing in optimization and what steps to take.
- Organic Traffic
You should know how many users you get organically. Bright Edge research showed that organic traffic averaged around 51% of B2B and B2C sites.
In the same study, it turned out that organic traffic is the most profitable for any industry, except for the entertainment and media industries.
You can find out this indicator using Google Analytics. It will provide detail about the use of this service, and you can learn from the official guide from Google or in our article The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics.
- Traffic Conversion Competitor Analysis
In addition to organics, it is worth tracking how much this traffic is converted into purchases or the necessary actions.
In the standard Google Search Console, you can see what keywords are ranked and the number of impressions and transitions. Read more in What is Google Search Console article.
You can use SERP Scan, which will give you a report on all the keys that you filled in last year, including a graph showing the effectiveness of the keywords. More information on the topic – What is the SERP in 2020?
- Commercial Keywords
These are the keywords that will most often convert to a purchase. It is worth understanding the difference between informative and commercial keys, as they perform different functions.
Commercial requests are those that have suffixes (keywords) or prefixes (after the keyword) such as buy, preview, purchase, discount, etc.
Users who use similar searches are clearly configured to purchase, which means that they need relevant information such as price, delivery information, etc.
For users who use information requests, you need to create different content.
By analyzing successful competitors, you can see which methods work well.
You need to understand what competitors do, what content they post, which keywords they use, how often, etc.
First you should select at least 2-3 sites that are your top competitors. Next, you will need specialized services for page analysis.
You can use SEMrush, BuzzSumo, etc. Find the most common content and key influences.
Usually, successful pages have some similarities in metrics and content. Your task is to find these similarities and understand what competitors did to achieve this result. Find more information in the article SEO Competitive Analysis.
Use Social Networks
At first glance, social networks are in no way connected with SEO but Google takes into account such factors:
- How active are your accounts on social networks?
- How relevant they are?
- How often they share your content on social networks?
In addition to the benefits of SEO, do not forget that social networks have a huge audience. These are users who can potentially be attracted to your content and/or product.
When choosing social networks for promotion, it is worth considering the theme of your site and the features of the social network. Despite a smaller audience, Pinterest can be an ideal tool for promoting products for women. Read more here: Pinterest SEO in 2020.
See which social networks your competitors use and how they use them. This way, you will get additional user reach and a good bonus for your SEO.
I suggest starting the page optimization by writing meta tags for title, description, and h1.
- Title: It has the greatest weight in ranking, and this is the largest part of the content in the search results.
It should be unique, descriptive, and contain important keywords. Try to place the most important ones closer to the beginning of the text.
It will inform users and search robots as to what is contained on the page. Many users pay attention exclusively to the title when they decide to go to a page. More information on the topic in the article Title Tags.
- Description: It is intended to inform the search engine about the content of the page in more detail.
The description can be used by Google as a snippet
This tag has no direct impact on the ranking but if it is used as a snippet, it will contain a good page description and a call to action. It can positively affect the CTR, which is extremely useful for SEO. Find out more in the article t How to Build a Nice Meta Description.
- H1: The main title on the page should convey the essence of what will be discussed.
H1 has a significant effect on ranking. We recommend placing important keywords in it closer to the beginning of the text.
Most often, this is the largest part of the content on the page, so it can greatly influence the user’s decision to stay on the page or not. Find more information in the H1 Ta article.
Remember that these tags are primarily created for users before search networks. So do not overuse the keywords, all the tags that users see should look organic and motivate people to go to the page and stay there.
The site should be convenient because users may not see useful content if they are frightened off by the design, intrusive advertising, poorly read text, or the site will just be uncomfortable.
Study successful competitors, monitor how they post content, and find out what visual solutions they use.
Do not completely copy the design of competitors. You should note the patterns that are present in successful sites and use them.
- The text is divided into short paragraphs that are between 1 and 2 sentences.
- High-quality images are used.
- Navigation on the site is convenient as a whole, and you can quickly find the part of the content you are interested in.
- There is no spam.
- There are no extra elements on the page that cover some parts of the content.
The site should have a convenient and understandable structure and well thought out architecture that allows you to switch from one important page to any other in 4 or fewer clicks.
It is important to understand that the user goes from search results to the page for certain information, so an important part of the content should be placed so that the user does not need to purposefully search for it.
Getting to this page, the user sees a heading that reports information about the product, a brief description of this product, and a link to install the plugin.
There is no unnecessary information. To get what you want, you do not need to scroll through anything and make any extra clicks.
These are simple things that all successful sites should adhere to in order to avoid losing users due to annoying details.
Create a sitemap, this file will inform the search engine about the organization of content on the site and its contents.
Sitemaps also provide valuable metadata about site pages such as when they were last updated, how often you make changes, and how this page relates to others.
You can use xml-sitemaps.com to create a sitemap. Detailed information on creating a site map in the article – Sitemaps XML Guide.
In the chapter on ranking factors, we have already noted a lot about the importance of links, here we’ll talk a bit about how to get these links.
Anchor text strategy is mainly used when you are looking for a place for a specific keyword.
You can use the target keyword as an anchor so that Google does not fine you. Try to mix it with common keywords.
For example, if your main search engine ranking keyword is smartphone reviews, then when creating links, create a natural link as follows: “best smartphone reviews“, “best smartphone brands“, etc.
Link Building Scaling
A variety of links is the best way to get links and improve your rankings on Google while staying outside of the penalty box.
Here you can read the complete guide on link building scaling.
Old methods like sending directories, marketing on forums, etc. are not as good as before.
To get a diverse link profile, create pages that receive links from local, regional, and international sites related to your area.
Creating content for another site relevant to yours, with a link to your resource is a good way to get a link.
It’s a good idea to post links to your site on a medium such as LinkedIn.
It is worth remembering that people themselves refer to really useful and high-quality content, so stay tuned.
A good tool is creating interesting infographics and studies. Each time Appannie collects a huge number of references, it is because of its research and infographics in the field of mobile application promotion.
If you create similar content, write to relevant blogs and ask them to share this information with users.
Try to Get to the Zero Position (Google Snippet)
I have already talked about information in a zero position at Google. Usually, there is a short and quick answer to a simple question.
When you try to get there, there are no guarantees that Google will choose your page, but it’s still worth a try.
Come up with a question in your industry that people regularly enter on Google. Try something simple, for example: “What is SEO?” or “How to optimize the title?”
Then use this keyword phrase in your content as h1 or h2 and answer the question briefly and clearly.
You can try creating content such as a checklist like you see in the picture above.
Google loves lists because, with their help, information is easily structured, which makes it easier to understand.
The more the search engine likes your content, the more likely it is that you will be in a zero position. Read more in the article – How to Optimize Featured Snippets.
Make the Site Mobile Friendly
The Google Friendly Mobile Test helps you quickly understand how mobile-friendly a site can be.
The site will give you a clear answer. You can view detailed reports and learn how to improve your site in terms of convenience on mobile devices. Google Console also has usability information for mobile devices. Here you can see reports of problems. In the chapter on ranking factors, we already talked about why this is important if your site is not optimized for mobile devices. It’s worth doing this first. Detailed information on website optimization for mobile devices can be found in the instruction from Google.
In this article, I described general tips for improving Google rankings. It will take a while to figure out how to best do this in your industry. Regardless of the details and subtleties of each niche, there are strategies in SEO that will work everywhere. Experiment with your site, research your audience, and be sure to follow the latest news and updates on Google to be one step ahead of your competitors.