Google’s Top 3 SEO Factors
Did you happen to catch the recently aired “Google’s Top 3 SEO Factors” in First Episode of SEO Myth Busters? In the episode, Martin Splitt (Google Webmaster Trends Analyst) discussed top 3 SEO factors website owners should be focusing on to get organic users.Towards the end of the show, Splitt answered some guest questions: Check out those questions below to get insights into Google’s top 3 SEO factors and what are the most important ranking factors to help boost your visibility in 2019.
How does Google know which pages are the most relevant for users?
Splitt gave a somewhat vague answer about some of the things they use to determine relevance for their users, stating “We have over 200 signals to do so…the title, the meta description, the actual content that you’ve got on your page, images, links, videos…”
Obviously, this answer doesn’t give too much concrete advice about how to rank your pages higher based on relevancy, but the following questions got Splitt to dig a little deeper while discussing the top 3 SEO factors.
Creating Relevant Content is one of Top 3 SEO Factors
Splitt names the first SEO factor as content, saying, “You have to have really good content, and that means you have to have content…that services a purpose for the use… So, if your content says where you are, what you do, how you help me with what I’m trying to accomplish, that’s fantastic.”
Having content that serves a purpose ties us back to that relevancy piece. If you create content that is more likely to match with keywords that people are searching for, your page is more likely to pop up on the results page and get clicked on by the user.
Google likes when pages are able to be matched to exactly what their users are searching for, since that’s ultimately what their users like. Therefore, you want to create content that accurately and concisely conveys the purpose of your website, so that your pages are more likely to come up for searches relating to it.
A good way to make your content relevant is by speaking in your ideal client’s language. Splitt uses the example of searching for local ice cream. He talks about how users are less likely to search for your brand name than they are to search for things like “local ice cream shops” or “ice cream near me.” Therefore, instead of only using your brand name, you might want to include those search queries that people are more likely to use in your content.
Using Descriptive Metadata another Top 3 SEO Factors
In the past, Google has identified meta descriptions as not being a ranking factor. However, recently, meta data has seemed to become more important in their eyes. When asked about this second SEO factor, Splitt said, “Make sure that you have meta tags that describe your content… Have a meta description, because that gives you the possibility to have a little snippet in the search results that let people find out which of the many results might be the ones that help them the best.”
We have to ask ourselves: does that mean that meta descriptions are a ranking factor in Google’s eyes, or are they just there to showcase your content once your page does rank on the result pages, making it more likely that users will click on your website? We’re leaning toward the latter.
In terms of meta titles, Splitt had one important thing to say: “Have page titles that are specific to the page that you are serving. So, don’t have a title for everything. The same title is bad.” In other words, make sure you’re not using the same meta data for multiple pages on your site. Create descriptive metadata that is specific to each page.
Improving Overall Performance is final Top 3 SEO Factors
It’s pretty well-known that Google ranks sites with faster speeds and better performance over others. However, John Mueller made it known that while it’s an important factor in their algorithm, it sometimes isn’t the most important factor. For example, if your page is highly valuable and should be seen by viewers based on relevancy, but your site speeds are slow, your site may still rank high on the result pages simply because Google believes it is too valuable not to rank based on speed.
However, that doesn’t mean you should pass up the opportunity to make your site perform better just because you have valuable and relevant content. According to Splitt, if we combine that relevant content with higher site speeds and better overall performance, your chances of ranking high on the result pages are even better.
The overall message here is that we should be focusing on defining the purpose of our website. Too many website owners focus so much on using keywords that they forget the real reason why they are creating content.
Making sure our websites reflect the purpose of its being by creating relevant content, using descriptive metadata, and improving overall performance will increase our chances of getting seen and clicked on when we rank of the search engine results pages.
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