Decoding Algorithms: Unraveling the Secrets of Search Engine Rankings
As a business with an online presence, you know how important it is to rank high in a search engine, preferably on the first page, because research shows that 75% of people never scroll past the first page. You’re probably familiar with terms like search engine optimization and search algorithms and know they play a role in ranking, but how it’s done probably seems like some arcane knowledge that only the most advanced sorcerers possess.
Well, it can be complicated, but it’s not magic, and in this post, we’ll explain the secret so you can understand how to boost your ranking for higher visibility and profits.
Understanding the Search Ecosystem
To unravel the secrets of search engine optimization rankings, you must first understand the complex ecosystem in which search engines operate.
As the dominant player, Google sets the standards, but other search engines like Bing and Yahoo also play a role. Google uses sophisticated algorithms, like PageRank and BERT, to assess and rank pages. When assigning page rank, algorithms consider user experience, content quality, and backlinks.
On-page SEO is the foundation of search engine rankings. It involves optimizing each page on a website to make them search-engine friendly. The keys to this include:
- Keyword Research: Conduct in-depth keyword research to identify the terms and phrases your target audience uses and use these keywords throughout the content on the page, site, meta tags, and headers.
- High-Quality Content: Create valuable, informative, and engaging content visitors find useful. Currently, Google rewards websites with the best information and answers to search queries.
- Meta Tags: Craft interesting title tags and meta descriptions that accurately represent your content and entice users to click.
- URL Structure: Maintain a clean and descriptive URL structure, making it easy for search engines and users to understand your page’s content.
- Mobile Optimization: More people access the web via phones and tablets than computers, so you must ensure your site is mobile-friendly because Google prioritizes these sites in their rankings.
The Role of Algorithms in Rankings
Most of what we discuss isn’t magic or esoteric knowledge. However, with algorithms, we get into murky waters. The algorithm powers the search engine and is at the core of how rankings are determined, but even Google admits they don’t fully understand how they work.
Regardless, algorithms constantly assess information and trends to give users the most relevant and high-quality search results. Some key algorithmic components include:
- Page Rank
- Bidirectional Encoder Representation from Transformers (BERT)
- Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness
Without getting into the technical weeds, algorithms asses where a page ranks, what kind of information it provides, whether it’s valuable to readers, how users interact with the page, and the search terms people used to get there.
Another crucial component to search engine rankings, but one that’s often overlooked, is a website’s UX or user experience. This includes how fast the pages load, how well they’re optimized for mobile, how user-friendly the navigation is, and how secure it is.
Using a customized website instead of an off-the-shelf template is crucial because a professional designer knows how to program the site to help with SEO. It may cost more upfront, but you’ll be rewarded down the road.
Monitoring and Adaptation
Search engine rankings aren’t static; while you might be at the number one or two spot on page one of Google today, it may be a different story a week from now. That’s why it is essential to monitor the website’s performance regularly using Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Also, stay on top of algorithm changes (they happen all the time) so you can pivot when needed.
Whether you have a good grasp of the ins and outs of search engine rankings, you, as a business owner, probably don’t have the time or expertise to implement the techniques to make your company stand out.
But Brandtastic does.
We have decades of digital marketing experience and a dedicated team of professional web designers, content writers, and marketers who live and breathe this stuff.
But don’t take our word for it; call Frank Motola today at 813–441–0275 or fill out our online form for a free consultation, and let us show you how we can help.