Google Ranking

12 major Google ranking signals in 2017 will enhance your conversion rates

Google ranking is made up of 200+ components or ‘ranking signals’, but here we’re discussing the top 12, which are unavoidable. In reality not all 200+ ingredients are equally important, and so we can focus on the important ones. You’re probably aware of these ranking factors, but you need to have an in-depth knowledge and proof about how they actually work in real-time scenarios.

Also, they may seem pretty easy to understand, but in reality you will need a lot of patience to get the desired ROI. And it gets difficult to keep up with Google’s algorithm change and SEO updates almost every week or month. Hence, this list can simplify the major ranking problems that you will require to deal with in the beginning before you plan to upload your content. After all, you don’t wish to get your web pages penalized by Google, right?

1. Back links and linking domains count

Gone were the days when link count was considered as a quality signal for Google. Over the past few years, search engine has learned to identify the low quality links created to obtain higher rankings. These links have a tremendous impact on your rankings, but you can’t misuse this technique by using low-quality links. More links will lead into a higher score as far as the quality is maintained. Apart from this links coming from same domain may not make much difference as Google will often consider only one of those links.

2. Link authority gives value to your website

Link quality has been an area of focus for SEO strategists and it will always remain one of the strongest ranking signals for Google. As the matter of fact, quality links can uplift your site in terms of Google rankings, but low quality back links can even get your site penalized. To get rid of this, run regular link audits in order to spot any dangerous links early and have them removed before the damage is caused. If you wish to get more high authority links, analyze your competitors’ content to get some of their links.

3. Link anchor text is a must for relevancy

You are expecting relevant links in your site, but do you know how Google identify relevance? Well, this isn’t much complicated. Initially, from the backlink’s anchor text. The title of the back link page can give an idea about the page, although it is not as effective as anchor text. Even though the anchor text is supposed to be relevant to the subject, ensure that it isn’t too similar, or you can get yourself into Google’s penguin penalty.

4. Content relevance can attract more users

Although your content is expected to be both relevant and original, you need build a unique concept when it comes to managing your website’s content. Even if it is a personal blog or popular e-commerce pages, having a USP is the basic rule to achieve top rankings. Focus on some particular topic in-depth, rather than trying to cover everything under few number of topics.

5. Content length can affect page quality

Google’s search quality guidelines have included the significance of length of content for page quality and rankings. Create copies over 2000 characters as longer content is one of the reasons for better ranking. An ideal content length may differ depending on the niche and hence it is safe to go through the pages of your top competitor’s pages in order to get an idea of the right size of content and keywords.

6. Click-through rate is highly correlated to site ranking

A click-through rate (CTR) is a ratio of the number of times a search list was clicked on to the number of times it was displayed to searchers. SERP (search engine results page) can have a tremendous impact on rankings. In fact CTR has the highest connection with rankings and increase in CTR can boost site’s rank.

7. Social signals is the best way to reach target consumers

Social signals matter as social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ play a major part in increasing ranking through social shares. Social signals refer to web page’s collective shares in all social accounts. It is important to build a comprehensive social media strategy that can focus on promoting high-value campaigns.

8. Technical SEO factor like mobile friendliness

Google has started to index the mobile version of websites and hence they will analyze mobile pages against ranking signals. This is done so that they can determine how the site can rank in both mobile and desktop search results. As the matter of fact, more than 50% of the search queries globally are made from mobile devices. So it has become mandatory to have web pages optimized for mobile devices.

9. Page speed

Page speed is used in Google’s ranking algorithm. This can influence your SEO indirectly, as search engines will crawl fewer pages if your site is slow, and this could affect your site’s indexation. Page loading has a lot of impact on the users as they might tend to leave the page if it takes more than 2 seconds to load. Uncompressed content, images or CSS files can be a major reason for this.

10. Domain history

A site with unstable ownership via whois or numerous drops may tell Google to reset the site’s history, nullifying links pointing to the domain.

11. LSI keywords and Meta description

LSI keyword (Latent semantic indexing keywords) in page Meta tags helps Google with relevancy signal. For instance if you have mentioned the word ‘Apple’, it will find out whether you mentioned it as a fruit or as a brand. LSI and SEO go hand in hand as search engines like Google are always keen for relevant content for any particular term or topic.

12. Impeccable grammar and error free content

This an important quality signal, and this is one reason which makes your content intriguing and readable for audiences. Proper proofreading of content is must in order to avoid errors. A planned content strategy with informative and professional write ups can bring more consumers which may eventually boost your conversion rates. Also, place the content with proper navigation and easy interface, so that the readers will find it convenient to find the topics or queries they need.


5 comprehensive tricks to succeed in Ecommerce SEO

There are various specific challenges in doing marketing with e-commerce websites and the promotion requires proper balancing and planning in terms of evolving strategies. As online stores are very huge websites which simultaneously carries out multiple tasks, it can turn into a nightmare if you do not follow certain time saving tactics.

1. Compile 3 separate keywords lists

The 3 stages in which the customers tend to use the keywords are, while they research, compare and purchase. Also, don’t miss the research pattern that your target audiences follow, and they are: – gender, age, and social status. Spend a significant amount of time in research, as you need to know what your audiences are searching for.

To make it easier follow the 3 steps given below:

Prepare a list of action keywords which is expected from the consumers while comparing and purchase stages. They might have queries before making a decision.
E.g. price, review, buy or compare

Get a full list of brands which you are dealing with at your store.
E.g. Sony, Samsung and so on

Try compiling categories, product names and their core properties.
E.g. TV, laptop, smartphones or say the size of these devices (34 inch display).

2. Mix the keywords up

Once you’ve worked out well with these the above three, start putting together search phrases. You just need to combine generic keywords with product keywords and their properties. You can manually compile dozens of keywords. To make this task easier, use Rank Tracker’s word combination to get a full list of long tail keywords. Here’s how it works-

  • Open a project in Rank Tracker.
  • Click the suggest keywords button.
  • Select word combination from the available keyword research method, and then click next.
  • Select all the sections that you wish to combine, and then enter all keywords in the column, finally click next.

You will get instant results. Select keywords for your project and then click the update key to analyze their search volume, competition and Keyword Efficiency Index. This is one of the time saving techniques.

3. On-page optimization made easy

If it’s an e-commerce website it will typically have a limited set of category pages but a lot of product pages as that’s what they aim. It is not that easy to create unique titles, H1 tags and product descriptions for so many products. But luckily the slot machine approach helps in doing the same and it can classify keywords into different sections like awareness, research, comparison, purchase and retention. For instance, buy (Product Name). Implement schema markup which is a code that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative and useful results for users. Product schema and review schema are the most important ones. Once this is done, the snippets of your website will get in-depth information like, rating, price, availability to help your website standout in the SERPs.

4. Avoid content duplication

This is mainly divided in two categories:-

  • Off-site – The content appears on too many websites across the world.
  • On-site – Many web pages feature the same content.
i) Ways to fix off-site duplication

It is a common practice for ecommerce sites to use product descriptions, images and specifications provided by manufacturers. This makes sense as you can extract accurate information through the manufacturer. But there are other ways which you can adopt to deal with the same.

  • Write a unique description for each item by hiring a team of professional copywriters
  • Leverage user-generated content and pay incentives or bonus to customers who leave elaborative and well defined review.
  • Create a Q&A section for each product or a unique FAQ section.
  • Optimize product category pages if you don’t have enough time and resources to work.
ii) Ways to fix on-site duplication

On-site duplication is a frequent problem and can be the result of e-commerce CMS ot illogical website structure. There are two possibilities that can lead to on-site duplication:-

A. Product may belong to several categories like for instance; A Videocon TV could be a part of categories like home furnishing, Electronics (TVs) or brand name (Videocon).

B. CMS (Content management system) could provide separate URL and page for the same product. This can be on different elements like, size, color or other specification.

These common problems can be handled with several solutions as stated below:-

  • Use the site’s crawl budget wisely in order to create master URLs in which the CMS will always return to one URL no matter which path the user prefers to take.
  • Use canonical URLs which has unique traits like your blog/content will automatically save multiple URLs when you place the same post in multiple sections.
5. Creating SEO friendly pages for unavailable products

There are times when your store runs out of certain products or even discontinuous the sales of any particular item. These cases can be handled differently.

A. Create smart pages for temporarily unavailable products
  • Include the arrival date or the product availability status to inform the customer if they could wait for the product.
  • Make provisions for sending the notification via emails or messages when the product arrives.
  • Give them an option to preorder the item.
  • Add a list of similar products and offer them alternative option of different brands or manufacturers.
B. Ways to handle permanently discontinued products
  • It is a known fact that 404 is a common way to remove pages from the search engine index; hence the overall ranking of the website won’t be affected.
  • Create a 301 redirect to a similar or relevant product. This helps in increasing the load time and confusing the visitor to eventually check the alternative product.
  • If you don’t wish to use the above tactics, simply keep the product page as it is, and inform the customer that the item is currently unavailable. This is the best way to maintain the page rankings.
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