Google’s search algorithm is changing

time-to-change--300pxJust because you ranked high on Google in the past doesn’t mean that you’ll continue to do so.

The Google algorithm has changed and if you want to keep or improve your Google rank, you will need to change too. The big focus now is on well-researched, relevant, unique and in-depth content on a regular basis.

If you’re asking, what about Bing and Yahoo, you’d be better off focusing on Google searches, as they comprise 67% of those in the US. Bing is about 20% and Yahoo the remaining 17%. In doing well with Google, you’ll do well with Bing and Yahoo.

Currently the first website to come up in the search results gets 35% of the traffic. Second place only gets 17% of the traffic, and the prize dramatically decreases as you continue down page number one. By the time you get to page two of the search results… well those poor sites get almost no benefit from organic search.

Today fresh content is Google’s new hot button

Among the approximately 500 factors that determine your Google search ranking, fresh content is now one of the most important. It’s important to keep adding new content to your site in order receive a good score from Google for freshness. The longer the same content remains on the page, the less importance Google deems it, so that the sweet Google juice you once received for your post sours over time.
Google search ranking
Websites that publish well-researched, relevant, unique and in-depth content on a regular basis should expect to improve their ranking on Google. In-depth denotes 1,500+ words and regular means weekly. Of course, the appropriate depth and frequency of your posts required to maintain or improve your site ranking depends on what your competitors are doing.

If your competitors never, or rarely, publish fresh content, then you can likely improve your ranking by simply publishing quality content on a regular basis. If you publish fresh content more frequently than your competitors, along with content that has more value to your visitors, you will improve your own ranking if all other competitive search factors remain the same.

One of the big bonuses to having unique and meaningful content is that it keeps visitors on your website longer. Google gives you extra points if visitors stay a long time. Videos and infographics will extend your visitors’ stay even longer.

If you can also get your visitors to go from the page they land on deeper into your website, your bounce rate will decrease, which will further impress Google. The bounce rate is defined as the percentage of visitors that leave the page they land on without further exploring your site.

A low bounce rate is an indication to Google that you have meaningful content. The chart below shows the average bounce rate across a combination of many industries. The bounce rate average varies, depending on your business. Go to Google Analytics to locate your website’s bounce rate.

website average bounce rate
Fresh content delivers the gift that keeps on giving in the guise of repeat visitors. Google gives you even more points for repeat visitors because they are a key indicator that you have meaningful content. You can find your number of repeat visitors in Google Analytics. Compare your percentage of repeat visitors from month to month. If you’re doing everything right, this number should grow over time. On the flipside, If your number of site visitors decreases, Google may interpret that to mean your content is less valuable and reduce your score.

Google’s practice of assigning points to concepts like ‘meaningful content’ may at first glance seem impossible to carry out. But actually, it’s not all that difficult. Google can measure the length of time visitors stay on your post and on your website, and calculating the number of visitors to your site compared to your competitors, then they can come up with a score for the popularity of your site.

Prior to Google’s focus on meaningful in-depth content, many sites ranked high by hiring content farms that would quickly crank out 300-word thin content and add a few incoming links. Today if you try that strategy you will likely end up with Google penalty points which will reduce your ranking. In fact, if you have posts or pages that are less than 500 words, Google views that as ‘low content’. You would do best to add a no-follow link to those posts and pages.

Once your post is published, it’s important to link that content on social media, like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn as well as with newsletters. This will make your followers aware of your new post, and you’ll further improve your Google score with the additional incoming links to your site.

Title meta tags, description meta tags and content keywords and phrases are still critical

Without properly optimizing your website, Google would never know to list your site in the search results. If you’re not already using the Yoast SEO plugin, you should. An argument could be made for it being the best in helping create meta title tags, meta descriptions and content. And, Yoast is free, just download it through your WordPress dashboard. The graphic below shows five additional areas that are important to optimize.

Google-earch-optimization-areas
In addition to having great fresh content, increasing your page load time will increase return visitors and help your Google ranking.

Not only will a fast page load help keep visitors on your site and insure their return, it will also improve your SEO score. Your page load speed is affected by scores of factors, including your theme, plugins, CSS coding, the size and number of images, image file type and compression, videos, graphic optimization, site speed optimization tools, and sever speed.

You can learn more about improving your page load speed from the Google Developer’s website developers.google.com. You can learn more about the importance of how a good WordPress hosting package can improve your site speed here: https://www.t2websites.com/recommended-wordpress-hosting-and-security/

40% of visitors will abandon a site than takes more than 3 seconds to load. This means a higher bounce rate and a reduction in repeat visitors… both will contribute to a lower Google search ranking. The chart below shows how a single second impacts visitors. website speed impact on bounce rate>
Keep in mind there are many other factors that Google uses to determine your ranking. Please review this post to read about 50 ways to use Google to your advantage.

If you’re not already posting frequent, relevant and in-depth content, doing so may be your single greatest opportunity to improve your Google search ranking. The chart below show the relationship between your search rank position to the percentage of Google traffic that will visit your site. Position #1 gets 35% of the traffic and position #15 gets no traffic.

Search-engine-results

By now you must be wondering, how can I possibly write a 1,500 word post every week. The good news… in order to improve your search position you may not need to post weekly or have 1,500 words. You just need to do better than your competitors. Maybe that means just two 1,000 word posts per month.

Not a writer… not a problem

If you need help getting that #1 Google position and 35% of traffic, we can help. Our talented SEO copywriter has written for big and small companies including AT&T, Intel, and Egencia (the business arm of Expedia). If you can provide our writer with the topic and point her in the direction of some meaningful industry articles, she can turn this into well-researched, relevant, unique and in-depth content. In additional, she can write the SEO optimized persuasive copy for your social media pages like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, as well as for newsletters… all designed to drive visitors to your most recent post. It doesn’t stop there — we will find the best photos for the post, resize and optimize the images, create the layout, write the meta title and meta description tags, and add it all to your website.

If you want to play a big part in creating the fresh content, we can simply edit all the posts that you write. This obviously means a time commitment on your part, but it also means a lower cost for an SEO content writer.

There are many benefits to enlisting the help a professional SEO content writer besides improving your search engine ranking. The addition of professional content to your site will:

  • Make you sound like a real person. A writer will help you deliver clear, conversational copy that viewers can understand and actually enjoy reading.
  • Grab readers from the moment their eyes hit your home page. There’s a technique to creating strong headlines and a professional copywriter knows it. Strong headlines command attention and accurately hint at the content that follows.
  • Clearly convey your message and explain your product or service benefits. This translates to focused copy that gets to the point, rather than marketing fluff that today’s savvy consumer sees through all too readily.
  • Prompt your readers to take action. Rather than simply providing information, your website copy should motivate your visitors to take the next step.

And it’s affordable

The average cost for creating a 1,500-word search engine optimized post through our writing service, including writing and editing the content, finding the photos, optimizing the images, writing the meta title and description tags is a flat rate of $200. If you write the article and we simply do the editing, the cost would be a flat rate of $100. If you can get by with a shorter post, our costs would go down accordingly. There would be an added cost for writing copy for social media pages or for a newsletter. These and additional writing and editing projects would be billed at $50 an hour. To give you an idea of the length of a 1,500-word article, this post is 1,500 words.

Learn more about our SEO Content Writing service.

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