After Google started stirring things up a few years ago with Panda and Penguin, get traffic to a website or blog is not quite as straightforward as it used to be. Apart from all the nuances that have been added to the algorithim, lets not forget that millions of new websites and blogs are coming online each and every day. The internet is quite simply becoming overcrowded and its a highly competitive environment to try to be found in by search engines. Google itself must be overwhelmed.
But there are several best practices you can use to get your blog posts to rank.
First of all, Google now prefers long content over short. Long content not only tells Google that your site is more of an authority and has something more “meaty” to offer, it also gives Google a much better sampling to determine what your post, and your blog, is about. All other things being equal, long content will always outperform shorter content in today’s online environment.
Garbage content just isn’t going to cut it anymore like it did in the past. We ourselves were never into producing garbage content. Our blogs and websites were always build as authority blogs, with a lot of mainstream media linking to them, as well as other quality sites within our niches naturally linking to our content. So this was never an issue for us, but we certainly know that a lot of online marketers and content producers managed to make a go of it back in the day producing junk for content.
That was what Panda was all about. Google took a stand on low quality content, and continues to work to keep it out of the SERPS. So if that is your strategy, it will need to change. You really need to be adding value today and producing content with quality, that visitors actually want to read. User statistics like bounce rate, time of site, and number of page views send powerful signals back to Google and the other search engines regarding whether your content actually delivers value. You can fool the search engines any longer. They’ve gotten smarter.
So if you don’t have anything original and of value to put out there, you might want to consider looking for another 0nline business model. Producing quality content can be difficult and time consuming, and there may be other ways for you to make a go of it online such as e-commerce, selling on Amazon, etc.
Backlinks have always been a ranking factor, but now its about much more than the number of back links pointing at your site, its about the quality of back links. In fact, the number of back links you have can actually work against you if they are of questionable quality.
Today you need to be regularly working at building back links to your site from other authority sites in your niche or other high quality content blogs.
On Page SEO
On page SEO still matters. A lot of people think it doesn’t make a difference, but it absolutely does. Make sure you’ve got a meta description for all your posts and articles so that you can control what is showing up for your site in the search engine results pages. This has a great impact on whether people click on your site in the SERPS, and if you don’t have enough clicking action going on, Google takes notice, decides that your site is not of interest, and your rankings fall.
Also make sure your title is optimized with your keywords, and the same goes for your post URL.
Your keyword should appear in the article, near the beginning, in the middle, and near the end. But make sure it happens in a natural way and makes sense. Absolutely stay away from keyword stuffing. That stopped working a long time ago, and is a good way to see your pages tank, not rank!