While researching new content for your online marketing promotions, you might find yourself stumbling across some new information that appears to be so interesting and helpful that it takes you off track from your present task and immerses you into what I call a deep dive into the “Sea of Info” that exists on the Web.
That happened to me one day while I was researching a new article to benefit my website readers.
To many online marketers, SEO is more of a mystery than most would care to admit. That means that we’ve probably been missing out on many of the benefits that better content optimization could bring.
Did You Know?
Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm for searches, adopted in 2013,
- moved from looking at strings of words to looking at the users’ intent
- improved its ability to interpret conversational speech
- and combined intent with location targeting.
The Google RankBrain Algorithm replaced it in early 2015 bringing with it the ability to improve search engine results by interpreting the meaning and intent of search terms.
RankBrain’s ability to deliver relevant results continually improves over time because it is based on Machine –learning, not AI in the traditional sense of nearly human robots with
Basically, RankBrain works along with Hummingbird to measure how users interact with the search results presented to determine what the most likely intent the majority of users have for a specific search term.
Even search terms that have never been used before can be interpreted using its machine-learning to determine their most likely meaning.
Maybe I’m slow, but I recently learned that Google has more than 200 ranking signals and that RankBrain is one of the top 3 in the hierarchy. The ranking order of the rest wasn’t specified, but according to Google, RankBrain, Links, and Content are the main three factors.
How Can You Actually Use This?
If you’ve been around for a while, you’re probably familiar with the basics of SEO and have implemented them into your site and content already. By focusing on the two most important things RankBrain uses to rank your site and your content you’ll get the best possible results.
What are those two factors?
- Dwell Time – How long a Google searcher spends on your page
- Click Through Rate – The percentage of people that click on your result
You see, RankBrain measures when someone clicks to a page and stays on that page, and when they click a page and bounce.
So, if you can get them to stay on your page for the average Dwell Time of 3 minutes and 10 seconds, you’ll have a good chance of landing in the top 10 Google results and staying there.
Face it people are only going to stay on a page for that long if they like your content and it satisfies their present need. If they get what they need from your content, they will most likely click on your link or dive deeper into your site.
How To Increase Google Rank
Considering the level of secrecy Google maintains around its algorithms you can bet there are more than just the 200 ranking factors they admit to. It’s also probable that many of them are inter-related and/or dependent on others to trigger.
Undoubtedly, they will never reveal the true impact of all the factors, or the nuances of how they work together, so just taking what we already know and applying it will give several keys to increasing the rank of your site content.
Let’s take a closer look at what we already know to be significant ranking factors…and then see how we can work with RankBrain to further boost our page ranks.
- SSL and Site Security
When first adopted, HTTPS carried less weight than signals like ‘high-quality content’, but over the years Google has more than likely increased its importance. Having an https:// address for your website also adds credibility in your site visitors’ eyes and increases their level of trust.
- Webpage Loading Speed
Whether it’s desktop or mobile, page loading speed as a ranking factor has become more and more important since it was first announced in 2010. If a page doesn’t load quickly visitors feel like something is wrong and they tend to navigate away from your page.
- Title Tags
Title tags are also a confirmed Google Ranking Factor.
What This Means: Appropriate tags should be added to content titles.
- Mobile Optimized Websites
Mobile first indexing has made it mandatory for a website to have a mobile version. User behavior has changed over the years and more mobile devices are in use.
To better serve your users, and get higher rankings, your site should be mobile optimized.
Google still uses page rank as a factor within their algorithms. It was updated not long ago to include Trust Signals. We should focus on building site authority and trust within our marketplace and growing quality backlinks to our content.
- Page Links
The importance of backlinks and internal links for increasing rank is pretty much common knowledge. Since it’s been elevated to one of the top 3 ranking factors, having quality backlinks and internal links in your content can’t be ignored.
- Anchor Text
Anchor text is still mentioned in Google’s SEO Starter Guide and that is confirmation that it is a significant ranking signal. The text used in your anchors should reinforce the topic of the page.
- Domain Authority
Best practices here suggest that when it comes to ranking, site pages should be optimized individually in addition to the site as a whole.
- User Intent/Behavior
User intent is made up from a group of signals and is apparently integrated with RankBrain since its purpose is to interpret search queries and user intent.
- Over Optimization
Better known as keyword stuffing, over optimization is a ranking factor, however, it is a negative one in the eyes of Google and doesn’t add much value to the user.
The Rule Of 80/20 That’ll Keep Them Reading
Here’s something we can both agree on…It’s all about the readers. The underlying purpose of Google’s algorithms and ranking factors is to ensure the searcher gets high-quality information in response to their query.
Remember the top 3 ranking factors – Dwell time, links and content? Keeping in mind what we already know about SEO best practices, and having implemented it in our content creation, we can safely shift our focus to improving our results in those three core ranking factors.
Dwell time and link clicks are directly related to the quality of the content. So, logically that becomes the 20% we should focus on…the quality of our content. And how many ways we can keep them reading to increase the dwell time and likelihood they will make the click?
Content Is The King – Copywriting The Queen
We’ve all heard the phrase and I’m sure you’ll agree with me on this… “Behind every great man is a great woman”. There is a similar relationship between great content and great copywriting.
Suddenly, that’s when it hit me – it all boils down to finding ways to improve the copywriting that tells the story of your message.
It’s pretty obvious once you think about it. That’s why I decided to conclude this article with some copywriting tips that will help improve the Dwell Time and Click-Thru Rate on the content you post online.
11 Copywriting Tips To Increase Dwell Time & CTR
Thorough research is a fundamental necessity.
Stay away from Swipe Files and PLR, unless you just need some ideas and inspiration to spark your own creativity.
Refine your headline – try to get your readers’ self-interest into every headline. Write the copy first, and then pull out the strongest phrases to use as headlines and subheadings. This ensures your headlines match your copy.
Make your message clear and concise so your target audience understands your offer and benefits as quickly as possible. Make the tone conversational by using everyday language.
Use sub-headings to highlight the key points of each section of the body content.
Make your copy visually appealing. Break paragraphs up into one to three sentences and vary their rotation to enhance the flow of your content.
Use images and video, and add variety in the text, e.g. bolding, italicizing, underlining, bullets or numbered lists, to add variety and hold the readers’ attention.
Use emotional triggers and power words.
Focus on benefits more than features.
Make your readers feel like they’re already getting something valuable from you just by reading. In addition to building your authority in their eyes, they’ll learn to trust you and believe that you can deliver what you promise.
Have a clear call to action – CTA. Don’t just place a link in the text. Remember, anchor text is a ranking factor, so you want it to sound natural and relevant to the content.
Two Tried And Tested Copywriting Formulas That Get Results
Professional copywriters have used these formulas for years to produce consistent results. They are all about giving the reader the information, motivation, and direction they need to take the desired action.
You can use the PAR formula as you develop your content. It’s pretty simple.
PAR stands for:
All you need to do is start off by talking about the problem that you’re addressing. Next, you agitate the problem by making it as big and as real as possible. The final part of the formula is to show how you can help.
Another technique you can add to your list of insider copywriting formulas is the 1-2-3-4 Method. Simple, yet powerful, here’s the formula:
- What I’ve got for you?
- What it’s going to do for you?
- Who am I?
- What you need to do next!
Start with a simple overview of your product…
what it does, who it’s for.
Then, move on to the great benefits they’re going to receive by taking the only action that makes any real sense… the action you want them to take.
Describe the end result and how your product helped them reach the goals they desired. Don’t gloss over the details of what your product or service actually contains, or people might feel nervous and unsure if they want to put their money out. And as a general rule, nervous people don’t buy.
Step 3: Who am I? Most of the time, you need to establish that you’re a trustworthy and worthwhile person and that you know what you’re talking about. But, this element isn’t just about who you are as much as it’s about how you’re like your prospect, and how what you offer will benefit them.
What you should do next is about your call to action. Don’t just put in your link and expect your reader to know what they need to do. Tell them what to do and be clear and specific.
The 1-2-3-4 Method is about motivating a specific, well-defined behavior, not just closing a sale.
Just having another piece of the ranking factor puzzle gives more insight into how to increase search engine rankings for your website and content.
But, just think about this for a moment …all these different factors were created and designed to ensure
the end user has the best possible experience.
So, aside from the basic SEO strategies, our focus should be on creating content that delivers real value to the reader and presenting that content in an appealing, user-centric way.
Creating great content that your readers will respond to isn’t just about the message, it’s about the delivery. So, what are you waiting for? If you really want to:
- keep people on your site longer
- convert more sales
- grow your email subscriber list
- increase your ad revenue
- reduce your bounce rate
- get higher search engine rankings
Trust me. When you see your results you’ll be glad you did.
I’d love to know your thoughts, so feel free to leave a comment below.