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SEO is constantly changing. Every year, Google makes over 400-500 algorithm updates to improve search results. Below are some things you should do or avoid to rank better this year.
Focus on the searcher’s intent.
Google matches pages to a searcher’s query based on the intent of their search. Drawing data from their location, history, personalisation, and word choice, Google goes through pages targeting related keywords to determine which one serves the best value.
So, if you searched for “best winter shoes.” Google will likely not show you shopping ads but rather blog posts, as seen below:
This is because it detects you want to be educated, not sold to. So, when creating content to rank, ask yourself: what is the reason behind my target audience search?
Google loves answering its searchers’ questions clearly, concisely, and factually. Sometimes, someone searching for “best winter shoes” could be looking for other details surrounding the topic, not a list of shoes.
That’s why Google introduced the people also ask section in search results, as seen below.
Your page gains more visibility and SERP ranking when you include a structured FAQ that follows Google’s Schema guidelines. Google also says this on its page.
So, while your page content should answer most of the questions that naturally fall under the topic you’re addressing, it’s great to have a structured FAQ attached. This will address the others you couldn’t cover. You can see the added benefits of this here.
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Long-form is a must
You might have heard that long-form content ranks better than short-form. This comes from an analysis made by Backlinko stating that 1,447 words are the average count for the top 10 pages of a SERP.
But Google has clarified that word count isn’t a ranking factor; satisfying the searcher’s intent is. This means that word count isn’t why these pages rank high on the SERP. These are the factors that influence a page’s rank.:
- How well the page satisfies the searcher’s query.
- The number of backlinks the page attracts.
So, you should write as much as is needed to satisfy your targeted visitor. Remember to keep it short, simple, and accurate.
Social media as a ranking factor
You might think that having your visitors share a link to your page on their social profile would act as a backlink to boost ranking. While that is likely to get you more brand awareness, it doesn’t impact SEO ranking directly.
Instead of investing in that, focus on delivering value, unique solutions, and improving your backlink strategy. Our post on building quality backlinks can help.
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Frequently asked questions
Organic search, or appearing high on search engine results, is the desired outcome of SEO optimisation. You can read more here.
Site engagement is the actions visitors take while on your website. This analysis includes various performance indicators that allow you to determine if your page offers value to your visitors and which areas to improve. Here are some tips to help you with that.
Social media isn’t just a channel to grow your business awareness and recognition. It can also drive traffic to your website, offline store, selected landing pages, and more. Here are five quick tips on how to make that happen.