The days when link building was the sole factor to rank higher on the search engine result page are far gone. Therefore, one need to change the way they do SEO as everyone is fighting to be on page one of search result page and are enhancing their game every day.
With Google and dynamically adaptive search algorithms working to separate the wheat from the chaff, web marketers have to be very cautious and adaptive to the ever changing ranking factors. So what can you do to indirectly improve your site ranking on search engine result page today? Here are interesting ways you can use to improve your organic search rank from major search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
1. FOLLOWING UP WITH CUSTOMERS
A lot of marketers don’t think that there is a connection between customers’ feedback and SEO. However, the two have an indirect connection. Though a time taking process, having feedback from users will help you in several ways. If you use the feedback you receive from your customers in the correct way, it can help you in many ways.
However, the feedback has to follow two things:
a) Contact After the Sale
Everyone focuses on getting the customer satisfied, but how can a business be assured of this? To get a genuine feedback, you have to communicate with your customers without sounding annoying.
You have to find the best way to communicate with them in an amicable way after the sale of your product or service. It is obvious that when a customer purchases your product or service, they want some reassurance regarding the quality or usefulness of the service (or any product, really). For this reason, you can give them a call or email them confirming about the quality of services or products, and make them feel free to contact you for any future help.
b) Reach Them After the Use of Service or Product
The best time to ask for feedback from the customer is after they have used your product or service as you’ll get a real and genuine user experience. Once they have used your service or product, they’ll share their experience with you. This will help you improve your services so that you can retain customers.
After contacting them, and they are happy with your product, you can ask them to share their experiences by leaving a positive review. Since they are happy with your service, they will help spread your name to the world.
You can ask them to put a review of your business on a quality review site such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Yahoo local, etc. to help your SEO. The more positive review you have on these sites, the higher your profile will appear on the high-quality sites.
So How Will Listing On the Quality Review Sites Help in SEO?
Sites that have high authority will pass some of their authority to those websites that list high in their niche category. Therefore, having a high quality profile that has many genuine positive reviews will improve your search authority in a way. These reviews provide search and business customer authority in a noticeable way.
2. ENGAGING WITH OTHERS
You cannot micro-manage everything and therefore you have to outsource some of the work. If you are a sole owner, you can hire a freelance writer to compose quality content for you. Great Freelancers offers quality content that ranks easier over the Search Engine.
If you’re going to hire a freelancer, then offer them some motivation and opportunities to talk about. When you create a great relation with them, they’ll write valuable content that will enable you to rank higher on the SE. This way, the freelance writer will help you in an indirect way to rank higher.
After all, you cannot be able to create consistent content on your own all the time. And as you know, the best way to attract and encourage people to link to your site is by providing consistent, new, and compelling content. Creating relevant, useful, and compelling content; such as writing about your industry, keyword oriented content, or general current market information, will influence your site ranking in a big way. To come up with this kind of content, you need to hire a talented and creative freelance writer.
Regularly posted content is the most recommended method to attract more traffic to your website. Ideally, you should post at least two new articles every week. Google favors websites that frequently update relevant and unique content. If your website offers quality, useful content, other sites will naturally link to you as well.
Tip: When publishing your post, remember to apply the principles of Meta Description and Title Tag to your articles.
3. USER EXPERIENCE OPTIMIZATION
Having a great website is not a guarantee that you’ll attract traffic to your site; you have to focus on the UX as well. Research have found out that visitors are turned off by low-quality websites which often lead to an increase in bounce rate.
How does Google measure the user experience in ranking? When a visitor clicks on your site from SERP and stays on your page, it assumes you did a great job, and the content is useful to the user. However, if the searcher comes back to Google page after few seconds of clicking on your site, then Google assumes that the website doesn’t have useful information. So, if you want to indirectly improve your search engine ranking, you have to improve your user experience.
So, How Do You Improve the User Experience?
Normally, we are busy concentrating our efforts on writing great, compelling content for our sites that we forget the crucial elements that make a visitor stick to your site. Though you might not be able to incorporate every tip mentioned below, try to integrate as many elements as possible.
a) Work On Trust Factor and Branding
This is the most important factor that makes users remember a site. If the user visits your site and sees it useful and unique, they are likely to bookmark it so that they can visit it next time. Besides, people like to associate with a brand that has created a name for itself. Once you build a brand, you have to enhance trust. To achieve this, you have to create important pages such as contact page and about page, to help users connect to your site. You can also share your contact details and social media pages.
b) Improve Loading Time and Speed
This is a crucial aspect of a well-maintained site because if your pages give internal server error or takes time while loading due to slow hosting issues, you’re likely to lose a visitor. Study have shown that slow page load time is one of the major turns off for many readers and is considered a bad UX. Therefore, it is important to work on improving your site load time. If you have a WordPress site, have a server optimized for WordPress, a fast loading theme, and a cache plugin. There are other ways you can use to make your WordPress site load faster.
c) Fix 404 Pages and Broken Links
404 error pages and broken links are not good for search engines and user experience. You should frequently look for broken links or pages with 404 status code on your site. If you are on WordPress, make use of the redirection plugin to fix 404 error pages and broken link checker to fix broken links. There are various ways you can use to check the broken links on the website not hosted by WordPress.
d) Make It Mobile Friendly
It doesn’t matter the technique you’ll use, but your site should be mobile friendly so that the content on your site fits on smartphones screens. A good way to make your site mobile friendly is by using a responsive theme as it will help you maintain the value of your brand. However, if you don’t want to spend money on a responsive theme, you can utilize plugins such as Jetpack responsive design and Wp-Touch to provide a mobile-friendly version of your site.
e) Make Navigation On Your Site Easier
This is another important aspect that can enhance the user experience and analytics of your overall website. Usually, a visitor will land on your site via a referral link or search engine, and your goal should be to offer them an easy navigation through your site. Here are several tips you can use to improve navigation on your site:
- Place related post after the article
- Offer important resource pages and place them in prominent places on your site
- Have a popular post widget
- Offer subscription options
f) Remove Clutter
Users dislike unusual things that distract them from the main content they came to look for on your site; if they see much clutter on your web pages, it irritates them, and they may even leave your site. Therefore, try to make your site as clean as possible so that the visitors benefit maximally from the content. Excessive ads are one of the distractions as well as subscription pop-ups.
g) Website Architecture
If you have a sophisticated and unique content that is well arranged with everything in place, then visitors will have better crawling. For this purpose, you have to manage all your web pages in a logical hierarchal way so that the crawler can find the pages.
By improving your users' experience, you'll find out that users are spending much more time on your site, and this will indirectly help your site rank higher on search engines.
4. META TAGS
There are several types of meta tags that search engines are able to read and understand. However, the two most important meta tags are meta description tag and meta title tag. These meta tags act as snippets of texts that define your content to the search engines. They are not displayed on the page and are only found within the codes of the page.
But even if Google doesn’t use the meta tags as one of their ranking factors, they are very important for SEO purposes. Studies have shown that adding meta descriptions on site pages makes a site rank higher on search engines.
Therefore, it is important to offer meta description that explains the content on your site accurately so that the searchers can know what your post is all about. The meta tags enhance the click-through rates in a big way, and this is beneficial for your SEO.
5. PUBLISH RELEVANT CONTENT
There is nothing that can substitute quality content when it comes to driving your search engine rankings. Quality content that is created specifically for your target user increases traffic to your site, which improves your site relevance and authority.
Identify keyword phrases for your pages. Think about the various ways your target reader might search for that specific content (with phrases like “how to enhance ranking on search engines” or “Search engine ranking factors”). Subsequent to determining your keywords, repeat them several times throughout the page in a natural way- at least once in the first and last paragraphs, and several times throughout the other content.
Don’t forget to use heading tags, italics, bold, and other tags to highlight your keyword phrases; however, don’t overdo it.
Remember: Never sacrifice great content for SEO. The best sites are written for the readers, not for the search engines.
6. USE ALT TAGS
Make sure that all your video and visual media are described using the alternative text descriptions or alt tags. The alt tags allow search engines to locate your website or pages, which is important- especially to people who use text-only browsers.
7. CREATE RELEVANT LINKS
Focus on creating a link-worthy site that has relevant links. Instead of having links with “click here” options, try writing the name of the site you are linking to. “Click here” has no value for search engine beyond the attached URL. Using real names such as “SEO Tips and Tricks” will improve search engine rankings because it is rich with keywords; it will improve the ranking of your page and the site you are linking to as well.
The Bottom Line
There are other ways that can be treated as indirect SEO ranking factors, but the above ways are what we found more important. Most web owners and business are missing out on indirect factors; therefore, it is important to focus your SEO strategy on these factors to enhance your ranking in search engines.
Share with us other indirect factors that affect search engine ranking?
Pj Germain - Author, Blogger and SEO Consultant. He has been a celebrated digital marketing business builder and residual income trainer with exceptional leadership skills. Follow him on Twitter.