SEO Strategies and Ranking Factors in 2015

It’s the time of year when SEO specialists and businesses review their strategies. They find out what worked and what didn’t in the year that just passed and figure out what they should be doing in the new year.

Search engine companies work hard to fight against spam and poor SEO approach to bring better user experience. Businesses look at their marketing strategies and budget in the new year.

There are lists of things that can be considered to follow and implement to achieve quality ranking.

1. A Mobile-friendly website is a must: If your business wants to have better ranking in search engines in 2015, then you must have a mobile-friendly website.

Here is what the head of Google’s webspam team Matt Cutts says at a conference:

“Mobile is coming faster than most people in this room realise. Soon most of you traffic will be mobile. For Google I expect our mobile traffic to exceed our desktop traffic in the relatively near future. And so if you are not thinking about mobile, if you haven’t come up with a plan and a strategy for how to handle mobile, you really need to make it a high priority.”

He further suggests to ensure that “your forms and autocomplete perform have very low traction”. And also says it “can radically increase your conversion rates”.

Google has even started to show Mobile-friendly notification to help users to know about the experience they will have before tapping on a particular search result. And it has also built a mobile-friendly test tool to help users check whether their page is mobile friendly or not.

Google Mobile Friendly Testing Tool

So, if you haven’t gotten mobile-optimised website / pages till now, you should have this in your agenda for this year.

2. Speed up your website if you are very slow: If your website has a very slow speed, i.e. 20 seconds or more, then you need to give site speed a high emphasis.

When Matt Cutts was asked that if site speed is a ranking factor in that if you are not very fast, you get penalised, or if it is a ranking factor in that the faster you go, the higher you rank.

He replied,”It’s more a ranking factor that if you are very very slow, then it hurts your ranking a little bit. So if you are a normal site, you don’t need to worry about. It’s the site that takes 20 seconds to respond a request. That’s incredibly slow. Users hate it. They are going to leave. They will be unhappy that they found the site via Google. Those are the sort of sites that need to speed up. But it’s still in your best interest to make your site as fast and smooth as you can.”

Google has a tool that you can use to analyze website speed.

3. Make your website useful to earn relevant backlinks: 

As always, backlinks are an important ranking factor.  And link building is an important SEO strategy. So, the question is what the best link-building strategy is.

“Post useful things.” Matt Cutts provides an excellent and timeless strategy.

He further says how you can do that. Do an analysis. Write an interesting research. Take data and envisualise it in a way no one ever seen before. Have a perspective no one is really able to replace. And post them.

This will make your website useful and help you earn those relevant links that will take your website to the first pages of Google. But it won’t happen overnight. It takes time and you have to be willing to put in hard efforts over a long period of time. He says, “You can build up to it in smaller niches and build your topic area more and more until people know you are the person to go for (these useful things which are important to them).”

And one more important thing you should do is work with a search engine optimisation company which not only has greater knowledge of link relevancy but also has knowledge of holistic approach towards link building.

 4. Do white-hat link building; don’t take up black hat: In the above post, we stated that link building is an important SEO strategy. But what many businesses do is they work with SEO companies that promise them the guaranteed number one ranking and engage in black-hat link-building activities which in turn hurt rankings a lot.

So, the best thing to do is white-hat link building, which doesn’t break search engine rules and brings in results.

So, what is the best way to do white-hat link building?

Matt Cutts says,”Sweat plus creativity.”

If you are creative, “if you come up with something compelling, that’s what makes a big difference”.  And you need to work hard, be honest, not to take shortcuts and earn your relevant links and ranking with sweat.

5. Unblock your JavaScript (JS) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS): If you have blocked your JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets, then you need to unblock them.

Matt Cutts says,”If you haven’t paid attention to Webmaster Tools for a little while, you might wanna circle back around to it. We have done Fetch and Render as Googlebot which is indicative of the fact that we can actually execute JavaScript and AJAX, all that sort of stuffs. So you can see a thumbnail of what Googlebot actually looks like to Google, you know for your site. So for my site example I have blocked CSS and it looks like a pretty text-heavy page. I couldn’t the design at all. And it really does help to unblock your JavaScript and CSS.”

He adds,”If you don’t unblock your JavaScript and CSS, then you might miss out because we are getting better and better page understanding. And if we aren’t able to understand your page, then you might not get all the full credit you deserve.”

6. Produce quality content considering contextual/future search: Content is still an important aspect of SEO. A business must produce quality content. That is the content which is useful, engaging and fresh. One which is targeted to its customers. And duplicate content is off limits. Quality is also what Matt Cutts emphasised in his interview.

What has changed over 2014 is that now keyword matching is not significant as it used to be. Google’s algorithm update Hummingbird is sophisticated enough to show results based on the context of keywords, rather than to show web pages that have exact keywords. So, don’t be obsessed with keywords but focus on creating content that answers your customers questions.

Matt Cutts says,”One of the ideas behind Hummingbird was that we wanted to help deal with natural language conversation a lot better.” It means natural language search will evolve further more as we go along in the future.

7. Use social media strategically: We have always stressed upon the need to have social media presence. And there is no direct impact on ranking with social media.

But indirectly there is impact on SEO. So don’t just use social media. Make a strategy collaborating with a social media agency and use your social profiles following the strategy. It will help you to have strong social presence and then bring additional traffic. This will be an extra help on your SEO efforts.

So, these are the SEO strategies which you should follow in 2015 in order to get good results from SEO.

And if you need help with your SEO campaign, we are ready to help you!

Pankaj Yadav

Pankaj Yadav

Product Designer | Project Manager | SEO Specialist | Blogger
Pankaj Yadav

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