Each web project offers a number of setting screws for turning to improve the ranking of a page: from metadata to content to social signals. On the basis of a study by Searchmetrics the seo-nerd in his Berliner SEO agency has looked at which factors have become more important in 2015 compared to the previous year and which ones have lost significance.
The result are 11 SEO tricks for 2015, with which you rank better than in the previous year.
SEO Tricks embrace all areas of a website
The grade of optimization of all top 30 sites in the SERPs has increased in comparison with 2014. This means it is not enough anymore to only rely on the technology. Also the content, the user experience and social signals have to be constantly optimised. The times where it was sufficient to sprinkle in some keywords and backlinks are finally over.
Work on your site or shop to build as a brand
An SEO trend in the last years has intensified between 2014 and 2015: Brands are preferred by Google nowadays, provided they’re strong. Then they often make up the first three ranks. Therefore it’s worth it to concentrate all marketing power and to present the own brand well visible to the outside.
Also for SEO Tricks the rule is: shorten the loading time of your sites
Although the top 30 sites contain larger files than in the previous year, they still load fast. Use every opportunity to outsource files or to make your site faster through OnPage SEO technology. If the loading time is too long users will bounce. For a good ranking the loading time is still one of the most important criteria.
Structure and organize your site as well as all contents
The top 30 sites are characterized by a good internal linking. The structure of these sites is clear and comprehensive for users as well as for Google’s bots. The clarity is also continued in the texts. To get in the top 30 yourself or to even stay in them you should make use of h1, h2 and h3 titles to arrange your texts. Remarkably often top 30 sites use lists (= bulleted lists). The more on top a site ranks the longer these lists are (which should not be interpreted as a call of action to make endlessly long lists – like all measurements: it has to be beneficial for the user).
Use Meta-Title, Meta-Description and Rich Snippets
The number of sites entering meta-data has increased altogether. They belong to the standard now and can’t be left out in the SEO Tricks 2015 anymore. With cleverly designed Rich Snippets you animate users to click on your site on the SERP. Or said in other words: you increase the click-through rate (CTR) of your site.
Increase the visiting duration of users on your site
Especially top10 sites have a long visiting time. They accomplish pretty well to keep users on the site with attractive texts, pictures and videos. The bounce-rate is always low for the first ranking positions. User recognize already at first glance, whether they are on the right site (that’s why it is also worth it to make the keyword bold in the text sometimes – in this one it is SEO Tricks).
Use pictures and videos
You make your content more attractive with images. Also you increase your chance with them to be found (in the images only search, but also in the universal search) – provided of course you include in the alt-tag of the picture or video a description (with the suitable keyword), so that bots recognize easier, for which search the picture can be of interest. Also videos increase the attraction of your site and can contribute to a higher visiting duration that way. But you should not have too high hopes that videos on your site will be in the top positions of the SERP. Here almost exclusively YouTube links make it by now. That’s why you should upload your videos on YouTube as well, if possible, which should then be incorporated on your site.
SEOs emphasize on the right keyword density in texts and in the meta-description
As mentioned before, it is not enough anymore to just write around the own keywords. However, a keyword density of 2-3% is still a building block helping lead sites into the top 30. The semantic search by Google recognizes keyword stuffing, though (i.e. the pointless accumulation of keywords) quite well by now. In three quarters of cases sites only rank near the top if they use so called proof and relevant terms. Example: main keyword “tyres”, should also have the word and terms like “car”, “service station”, “tyre exchange” etc. in the text. Thus, it’s not only about synonyms but about capturing entire semantic fields, which can be linked meaningfully then.
Let’s take a look at the Flesch index
SEO Tricks pay attention to the understandability of texts. Sites that are categorized as easy or moderately difficult to read according to the Flesch Index rank better. The Flesch index measures the understandability of texts. Short sentences, little use of terminology, a clear structure as well as figurative language help readers comprehend texts effortlessly. The understandability of your texts should always be according to your target group, of course. Top 10 sites have slightly more difficult texts than the following sites in the rankings, by the way.
Use Social Signals
The champions on the first three top positions are true significances like Facebook, Google+, Twitter or Pinterest. The amount of Facebook signals (likes and reposts) are in the top 1 ranked sites often twice as high as for the second position. On the ranks behind those the factor rapidly loses its importance. You should, however, not waive social signals by any means (even if your site is far away from the top position). Social signals offer Google valuable cues what users consider as good content (by links for instance). Furthermore social signals are mobile friendly. Especially on smartphones it is easier to share an article than to link it in an email.
Become a talking point
While backlinks play a more and more less important role, the significance of non-linked mentions of a domain or a brand increases. This is particularly the case if your site or your brand is mentioned on a brand that is close in regards of the topic to yours. This point demonstrates how SEO tricks are closely related with an integrated marketing, which doesn’t regard SEO as an on-top measurement but includes SEO right from the start.