8 Google Ranking Factors Bloggers can Optimize Right Now

Thursday, April 24, 2014

8 Google Ranking Factors Bloggers can Optimize Right Now

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One of the questions I get asked a lot in relation to blogging is how a blogger can increase pageviews. It makes sense; no one would blog if they didn't want anyone to read it, so getting a grip on pageviews is important. But before I share some tips with you specifically geared at increasing your pageviews, let's go back to basics and figure out which factors Google uses to rank sites and pages.

More people in the world use Google as their search engine than any other search engine. That means Google is pretty important and key in generating pageviews. Without requiring you to know the ins and outs of analytics or SEO and without needing you to invest a whole lot of time or money, I wanted to provide a simple 8 step method that will lead to increased pageviews.

So here are 8 Google Ranking Factors that you can use right now to optimize your blog. I know, I know, I know; it's not what you asked for. You asked for ways to increase pageviews. Remember what I said? Most people land on webpages as a result of Google. Until you get sufficient Google rankings your pageviews won't increase. Ready?

Before we begin, let me clarify a few things:
  1. I am not a Google expert; I do not work for Google; I do not have stock in Google
  2. I am a Google addict, though
  3. This is not an exhaustive list; this isn't even a 100% Google certified list, but I'll still vouch for it
  4. This is my first infographic! Squeal! If you love it; pin it & stumble it & I'll make more!
Google has gone on the record saying that there are some 200 factors it considers when ranking pages. While it has never divulged an exhaustive list of what these factors might be, a number of digital marketing firms have proffered their best guesses. I have handpicked these 8 factors over a period of about 3 months of research and application from a varying number of lists published by the aforementioned firms (so much so that it would be statistically impossible to cite any of them).

The 8 factors that I'm going to share with you have been chosen specifically with bloggers in mind. That means they aren't necessarily the most lucrative, dynamic or groundbreaking factors. That means they aren't necessarily the number one factors and they may not be in the factors that you would choose or that would appear most readily to your blog. But, on a whole, they are the easiest, quickest and most relevant to bloggers. They require no technical knowledge, just a little bit of coding and not very much time. For bloggers, these 8 Google ranking factors might be gold dust.

We'll start with the infographic and then I'll go through and explain each point in more detail:

She has given 8 of the 200 factors Google uses to rank sites. These 8 were handpicked for bloggers and help increase pageveiws.

8 Google Ranking Factors Bloggers Can Optimize Right Now

Using keywords in your H1 tags

H1 tags are like "second titles". When used properly, they can convey just as much, if not more information as a title. They can be kitted out with keywords, used to expand on the idea expressed in the title or used to clarify. But they should be used! If you're a food blogger, you might use your H1 tags to offset the words ingredients and instructions, for instance. When you're writing a tutorial, you might use your H1 tags to flag the main section of points in a list or set of instructions.

To use them manually, go to the HTML view of your blog post and insert < h > at the beginning of the set of words you'd like to deem as important and < / h >  at the end. Remove all spaces from inside the angle brackets.

Keywords should appear in the first 100 words of a post

Without keyword spamming, you should be sure that our keywords crop up in a natural style within the first 100 words of your post. If you were writing a post on Google ranking factors, for instance, you would want to ensure that some variation of your keywords appear within the first 100 words. Scroll up and have a look at my intro. Can you spot a variation on keywords for this article within the first 100 words?

You should have caught on to "which factors Google uses to rank sites and pages" at the end of the first paragraph. I have incorporated those keywords naturally without beating you over the head with them and without mentioning them every other word. If I had done this: "8 Google ranking factors bloggers can optimize right now is what we will be discussing today. We will be discussing these 8 Google ranking factors because bloggers want to know what Google looks for when it ranks websites." Yeesh! How awful and totally unnatural does that sound?!

Keywords should be the first word in the domain

Allow me to explain this one: that doesn't mean your post keywords need to use the name of your site. When I say "in the domain" I mean, in the domain after the slash. Glance up at the URL of this post. Immediately after the slash I have the date (mandated by Google as I blog on Blogger and on many other websites when writing blogs, actually) and immediately following the date is: /8-google-ranking-factors.html This is good SEO.

It's pretty easy to see why this is good SEO: it's relevant to the blog post, it mentions my keywords. Google knows what words to look out for when it's scanning the body of the post and looking at my title and h1 tags et cetera. But say my title was something different from the body of my post. Or say my title contained less information than what I covered in my post, manually editing your permalink to reflect relevant keywords is a practice all bloggers should get into. Don't be content with the automatically-generated permalink. If I had left my permalink for this post unchanged, it would have been: /8-google-ranking-factors-bloggers-can.html

Yes, it does have my keywords in, but because Blogger populates the URL from the title box, it also has a lot of unnecessary text that might not necessarily crop up in a search engine and could hinder where I appear in search results.

 Keywords should reflect search terms

There's nothing super technical about this factor, but you should be aware of which search terms people are already using when looking for posts and articles that relate to the one you are writing. For instance, let's say you were going to publish a post on a recipe you've done inspired by a Big Mac. You could use any combination of keywords but if the most searched terms are "homemade Big Mac" and you make your keywords "Big Mac Copycat" you most likely won't dominate the search results for "homemade Big Mac" not unless you use these as keywords.

Organize your text with bullets or numbers

This is important for SEO because ordered lists (bullets and numbers) are triggers for search engines. From a reader's point of view, it makes it a heck of a lot easier to navigate a page, too!

Images should reflect the content on the page

Not the actual image themselves (although this would be helpful!) because Google can't read images, but it does read the alt and title tags as well as the image's title attached to each image. Captions are a bit of personal preference, really. If you use at least the alt text, you'll be improving your rankability tremendously.

Word count counts

Google looks at work count to help determine whether your content is authoritative. It's hard to be authoritative in 250 words. Google seems to think the ideal number of words is 2,416. This data was not compiled by me, so if you'd like to read more about it, you could go here.

Ensure all outbound links are relevant

There's a bit of leeway when it comes to adspace, besides, if you use a managed ad system such as Google Adsense or Gourmet Ads, you may not have control over exactly which ads are displayed. But when you do insert your own links, you should ensure that they are relevant to the content of the page or post, especially if they are follow links. In short, be choosy about the links you choose to include and make sure they support your content and don't detract from it.

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  1. My mind is overflowing with information overload...lol. There's so much to learn and I always feel like I'm playing catch up *sigh* Thank goodness for posts like this that keep me updated. Thank you for this. I'll try my best to do all the things you 've pointed out in this post.

    1. Erlene, imagine how overwhelmed we'd BOTH be if I'd listed all 200 factors! lol I know what you mean, though; everything progresses so quickly. Don't forget to use tools like StumbleUpon and Pinterest for bookmarking things you want to come back to. :) Take it bit by bit; don't apply another tip until you've learned one & made it a habit & you'll soon get the knack! :)

  2. Great tips, Anyonita! I could use every bit of help that I can get. :) Until I just read this, I had never once put a title or ALT title on my pics. I just went into a post and figured out how to do it! Yeah me!! Thanks SO much for all of your helpful info. I'm taking it all in!

  3. Very helpful information!! I feel the same as Erlene, I feel like I am always behind! ;) It's all a work in progress. Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips to help us all grow, Anyonita!

  4. G'day! What GREAT Google info...so much to learn, so little time oh and to BLOG too! lol lol
    Cheers! Joanne
    I know work smarter, not harder :)

  5. I too feel like I have learn everything! I don't know html ( I use blogger) can you explain what

    tUsing keywords in your H1 tag is? how do I do it if I don't know html.. thanks

  6. More excellent info from you, Anyonita! Thanks for sharing this and please, keep it coming!


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