There are many characteristics of the Google Panda algorithm that have SEO professionals and online publishers perplexed, but the bottom line of all this is to be authoritative in a niche, be compelling, and focus your content on users. Sounds easy, right? It is, if your content has the right intentions.
Understanding how Google rankings work will do nothing for your organic traffic if you don’t publish compelling content. Let’s dive into some very fundamental aspects of how to increase Google rankings for your website.
1. Using Keywords in Cool Content = Better Google Rankings
Listen, Google wants you to use keywords in your content. But, write something cool. Don’t just spit out boring content. It won’t rank. They stated these stupidly simple facts at SES London as reported by Andrew Girdwood. Here’s their incredibly complicated list of instructions:
It’s simple, really. If you write compelling content, engaging your readers in new thought, you will attract links naturally. Have a definite purpose with your content, and step outside the box. Give a different point of view. Include data or images that are not commonly found elsewhere. Record a high quality video and place it on the page. Provide a list of links to helpful resources that can’t be found elsewhere. There are plenty of ways to make your content cool. If you don’t, your Google rankings will suffer.
2. Improve CTR with Compelling Meta Tags
A big part of Google search engine rankings nowadays, ever since the Panda updates came to be, is your click through rate (CTR) from SERPs. Look at your Webmaster Tools (in the “Your Site on the Web > Search Queries” section) and check out your CTR for various search queries. If our Google rankings have disappeared or dropped overnight, it very well might be that your CTR is very low for the keyword you’re trying to rank for (or were ranking for). Most likely, your meta title and description just aren’t compelling.
As an example, our company recently has been seeing major fluctuations in a Final Draft product page ranking in Google for the keyword “final draft.” We built links to get the SERP back on the map, we added a video demo to the page to improve users’ time on page, and we put the link out into the social media world to build social signals.
Temporary SERP recovery was achieved, but not for long. The page fell out of the Google rankings multiple times. What we didn’t look at was the CTR from the Google rankings. When we did, we noticed a measely 2% CTR compared to other pages that were still ranking highly with a much higher CTR to boot.
So what did we do? We made the meta title and meta description more compelling, giving the compelling content a better representation in the Google SERPs.
Think about it. Your meta title and meta description are essentially your “sales pitch” for your content. If you want users to click, compel them! So, do an quick Google click check in Webmaster Tools and see which pages are getting a low CTR for particular keywords. Rewrite your meta title and description so that your content stands out and perks the interest of your potential reader. If you don’t, your Google rankings will suffer.
3. Social Signals Help Achieve Top Google Rankings
By now, you probably have a Twitter account and Facebook page. But, do you have a Google+ or Pintrest page? Do you realize that these are essential social media platforms to help improve your social media signals? If not, it’s time to wake up. Type a general phrase into Google like this one, and see how Google+ profiles are displayed in the search results. These people are listed since they have large Google+ followings. Most likely, you do not.
So, go start that Google+ page and fill it out to the best of your ability. Post content to it. Promote it by giving away exclusive content to followers in your “circles” (and promote this cool thing you’re doing on Google+ via your newsletter and other social media accounts to build followers). Build a Pintrest page with multiple channels and promote that. Make it compelling. Put in the extra effort, or your Google rankings will suffer.