In case you thought that link building is the only way to get traffic in Google’s search results, think again. Though links carry a lot of weigh in Google’s search results, there are a few tricks in current SEO processes that can help you gain search traffic without using links. Even though some of these more optimized sites can improve traffic one way or the other, many of these are established practices for the more experienced SEO processes.
In-depth articles are present in not less than 65 Google search results. Although not a very huge number, a significant increase in traffic can be seen by the articles that qualify.
Your content could also qualify to appear if you add a few signals to your HTML. The following are a few suggested markups by Google to do so:
Enhancing a user’s onsite experience can considerably improve your Google rankings. The effect of user experience, therefore, may be even larger than we realize.
Google can measure user satisfaction when a user clicks on your website and its panda algorithm punishes your website if it’s ‘low in quality.’ Keeping your visitors satisfied onsite your site can reduce this phenomenon, commonly called pogo sticking or return-to-SERP. In fact, some SEOs believe that you might get rewarded by Google if you increase your position on Google by enhancing your user experience.
While there is no concrete evidence of pogo sticking in Google’s search results, enough patents, interviews and analysis have been found which suggest that it is possible and in fact, might be the least utilized technique in SEO today.
Google constantly expands the type of rich snippets shown in search results. Two popular types of markups for increasing traffic to a website are videos and authorships.
Video snippets capture more search results interests compared to other type of snippets; much more even than authorship pictures. Video snippets, compared to author photos, are easier to display besides not needing to connect to a Google+ account. Generally, video snippets require you to create a video XML sitemap and add a schema.org video markup.
One of the few ranking factors confirmed by Google is improved site speed. Improving a site’s speed not only enhances visitor satisfaction, but might also directly influence your search rankings. It was learnt recently that the actual speed of the page load is far less crucial than the amount of time it took for a server to respond to a request, or Time To First Bite (TTFB).
Google considers speed enhancement to be even more crucial for mobile devices than for computer searches. According to it, ‘optimizing a page’s loading time on smartphones is particularly important given the characteristics of mobile data networks smartphones are connected to.’
Apart from an enhanced speed, it is essential for your website to be optimized for smartphones. A lot of traffic is lost if Google search results are lower due to smartphone errors which may, in turn, lower mobile rankings. A few smartphone errors include:
It is often easier to appear in international search results where competition is lesser compared to staying within one’s own country. Having international visibility will help you improve traffic to your website.
Owing to the changes in Google over the last two years, the character count does not matter anymore with regard to the maximum length of title tags. Instead, what matters are the number of the pixels used which should generally be around 500 pixels in length. It is advisable to have between 60 and 80 characters in titles to avoid difficulties when writing titles.
Google advises that duplicate Meta description should be avoided and that descriptions should be unique for each page or be avoided altogether. Matt Cutts, former head of the web spam team at Google, says: “You can either have a unique Meta tag description, or you can choose to have no Meta tag description.”
Going by this recommendation, we can infer that since duplicate Meta descriptions get flagged in webmaster tools, Google ranks repeated Meta descriptions as a negative.
Websites that do not earn new links and / or never add new content to their page fall out of favor when it comes to Google search results.
Although it is not guaranteed that refreshed content will give your site a ranking boost, it definitely helps in certain kinds of queries.
Google has different ways of scoring freshness, some of which may include:
Uploading fresh content
The above mentioned factors are only the tip of the iceberg in this colossal glacier of earning search result areas. Other issues like indexing, crawling, canonicalization, duplicate content, site architecture, keyword research, internal linking and image optimization can move the ranking mountains.
All of these considerations taken together make the job of SEOs that much more complex and replete with greater opportunities year on year.