Strategies to rank content
In this post we’re going to talk about several strategies you can use to rank your content as a blogger.
Start by optimizing for page load time
When it comes to ranking your content page speed is a crucial factor that keeps climbing up in importance. We are talking about page speed. Page speed is one of the most significant factors in ranking your content. According to Google’s in house SEO expert Mueller, page load time is a ranking factor.
Equally important is the amount of content you write. Several case studies and research pieces
have found a positive correlation between the length of content and its rankings. That gives us a puzzle. Since long form content has lots more text, more coding in the form of styling elements and more number of images, it’s going to be a hard choice to make content either long or make the loading times sweet.
Always strive to get your pages loaded in under 3 seconds. If websites load too slowly it negatively impacts your site’s rankings and also affects the user experience on your site.
A slow loading site additionally hampers with bounce rate and may also reduce the time people stay on a page.
There are several things you can do to improve page load times. But, the two things that have the biggest impact are switching to a good host like Wpx hosting or to Siteground. Couple that with a cdn and you’re look at serious crunches in load time. That builds to positive user experience improving site rankings.
Use cache, image compression to improve speed further.
Use the power of outbound links
When I say this, you may feel otherwise. It’s natural to feel so. Who in the hell links out to other sites and expects their websites to rank well?
The biggest trend in Indian bloggers is they never tend to link out to others in a big way. The inspiration behind this is the convoluted thought that somehow lesser external links means more link juice for them.
What is outbound linking? Outbound linking or external linking is when you link out to a third-party site from your own site. When that happens, you’re site feels much more contextually relevant to the topics you’re trying to rank for and as a result, ranking improve.s
Such linking out to authority sites helps your SEO.
This adds more value to the content you create and helps identify what this is about. Most bloggers tend to avoid external linking like the plague because external links are thought to eat away into link juice.
When linking out to sites use high quality domains to link out to. For everything else, including affiliate links use the no follow tag.
Add Internal Links
In addition to external linking, never ignore the importance and value you get by internal linking. Internal links are links you create to other blog posts on your site. WIth this you can link out to with highly targeted anchors and get your posts ranking high.
Internal links are highly useful because of their ability to connect pages. So that you can offer suggestions to people looking for similar content and find a nifty little space from which they can read more content.
When it comes to on page SEO a critically important feature is your navigation structure.
Content that you wish to rank should be readable to people. If not, crawling different parts of the site is going to be hard for the search engine bots.
So how to fix this? Use a good theme. It’s easy to upload a user friendly theme that has a built navigation structure that’s easy for people to understand and find their way around.
When choosing a theme also use a fast, clean and SEO friendly WordPress theme.
With a clean UI and layout anything that people want to search for will be easily found on your site. That’s the quickest way to gain attention.
Font sizes and font types too matter. The best font combinations make it easy on the eye of the reader to understand what’s being said.
Use short clean URLs
This helps improve user experience. The next step is to cut out unnecessary and needless words from your url slugs and make them seo and user friendly. You need not cut out all words or focus on making the urls as short as possible. The only goal should be cut out prepositions and conjunctions and keep the keywords intact. For instance if I wrote a post on the cheapest keyword research tools for 2020, my url after making the edits would be keyword-research-tools and that’s enough.
Keep it between 3 to 5 words at most. And use your most important keywords. Refrain from using stop words. Clean urls that are easy to memorize and rank well on search engines is the key.
Focus on long tail keywords
Long tail keywords are generally super specific and as such it’s best to target them in your blogposts. You can target these keywords by adding faq content and use answer the public and similar tools to find out the most relevant long tail keywords to use. THey’re less competitive and easy to rank. That’s why when starting out, long tail keywords are your best bet.
With the targeted traffic they drive, long tails are going to bring much better conversions.
Use LSI keywords
Equally important are LSI keywords.
LSI keywords refer to keywords that are similar in meaning to the main keywords covered in the blog post. Think of them as synonyms.
This help you tie contextual relevance into the articles you’re writing.
As you include LSI keywords you will be able to rank for several terms that are similar in meaning but are worded differently. LSI graph is one such free tool where you can enter a main keyword and find hundreds of relevant keywords.
Optimize for Voice Search
Voice is certainly booming. I am not entirely sure if voice search and voice bots will displace traditional search. For people voice searching is easier than typing. And voice search gives opportunities for more in depth queries. Long tails win here.
Optimizing your copy for voice search may mean something simple as writing in a conversational tone.
Use the proper html tags
You might feel that we’re living past the era of SEO where we need to correctly add our html tags to rank well.
There are several html tags you can use. The title goes inside H1 tags and subtitles go inside h2 or h3 and so on.
What you add inside h1 gets weightage in ranking well. There should be a single h1 tag and multiple h2s
Switch To HTTPS
I cannot stress this enough. Not having ssl spoils both the user experience and also causes trust issues on your site. Chrome automatically mark’s sites without https as not secure which means it has a detrimental impact on SEO and page scores. This spoils user experience and can also hurt rankings in the long term.
Most web hosts provide you free ssl. If not it’s always easy to get one from Letsencrypt.
Add Schema Markup
Schema markup is structured data around your content.
Why is it useful? With schema markup, search engines are better able to understand what the post is about and index it in a better way. There are different schemas available. One for reviews and ratings, another for recipes and so on.
With schema markup search engines are able to understand what a blog post is about. It helps search engines and people too find the same to be much more useful.
Add Social Share Buttons
This is controversial. If your content is so good, people may actually copy paste the urls directly into social media sites. Or else you can add social media sharing buttons.
Social shares may contribute to your site’s ranking.
Long form content by virtue of length tends to attract a higher number of social shares. If not that then you can use data and research backed posts to get more shares and links.
Slick social share buttons are easy to add, courtesy of the many plugins that let you do this. Social snap is easy to use and shows analytics on which content gets most shares. You can roll back the analytics to view shares by day, week or month.
Add Images and video content
Visuals rock online. Finally, when creating some content, it’s always a great idea to post relevant images, videos or multimedia that people will find useful. You need not create videos yourselves as you can always borrow ideas from YouTube.
Videos are a good choice as they do a good job at explaining what you write and convey your message. Visuals also tend to break down the monotony of text meaning the message you deliver bears more clarity.
What do you think?