Google’s ranking algorithm is constantly changing, and there are over 200 “signals” that determine how a site is ranked for a search term. Keeping up with this information is next to impossible if your career isn’t devoted to SEO. Luckily, we have narrowed down the top Google ranking factors for Michigan in 2017 to help you narrow your focus. Read on to learn what you should prioritize for internet marketing.
Over the last decade, Google has continually adjusted its algorithm to promote sites with good quality content. What determines the quality of the content? This is a little harder to pinpoint. A webpage or blog post should be well written with a clear, concise direction of thought. This makes it easy for Google to crawl the content, and it makes it easier for visitors to read through it. Longer reading leads to longer page visits, which further increases your ranking.
Another factor that separates good content from mediocre content is the length of the piece. There is no “right” length for a webpage or article to be. Instead, you should focus on having content that answers the question without being too short or too long. Some content is sufficiently covered in 400 words, and other content requires 1200+ words of text. For an easy reference, you could look over the pages that already rank well on your site and see how long they are.
Keyword Placement And Density
For a long time, Google laid off keyword density as a ranking signal because SEO companies were keyword stuffing their content. The idea back then was that the more times a keyword appeared in the content, the better the page would rank. Google started to penalize sites for having too much stuffed content, and people began to focus on other areas of search engine optimization.
Now it’s 2017 and keyword density is once again becoming a factor. Does this mean you should start shoving keywords into every sentence? Of course not. That would detract from the quality of the content that we mentioned above. Nevertheless, you should strive to include your target keyword frequently in a piece. For webpages, a density of 3% or more is good, while blog posts can get away with a lower percentage.
Keyword placement is also important for Google ranking in Michigan. You should use a keyword in the title of your article, as well as the first paragraph. You can sprinkle it throughout the rest of the content, but make sure to conclude with the same keyword. This will help Google identify that page as an authority resource for the target search term.
Links From Other Websites
Links from other websites, better known as backlinks, play a unique role in Google’s ranking system. Backlinks are not measured the same as they used to be. Ideally, you should have relevant links from other websites pointing back to your site. The linking sites should have similar audiences, and they should use anchor text that is closely related to the content.
There used to be a way to control all this through guest posting, but that practice is not common anymore. In many ways, you’re at the mercy of other websites to get good, relevant backlinks. If you create share-worthy content that provides valuable information for the reader, people will naturally link to your posts and pages. In other words, do everything else right and the backlinks will come organically.
Your content has to be mobile friendly in order to rank. Sentence. Period. End of discussion. Most websites now use dynamic design to automatically adjust to smartphones, tablets, netbooks, etc. If your site is outdated and static, this should be the first task on your to-do list. Detroit Internet Marketing offers dynamic web design solutions for websites of all sizes, and we would be happy to upgrade your site to reflect today’s standards. Contact our Michigan SEO company today to learn more.
Keep in mind that over half of the searches run on Google now come from mobile devices. If your site is not compatible with those devices, you won’t reach the majority of your audience. Updating to a different web design should be a no brainer.
Meta Titles And Descriptions
The meta title and description for your webpages is the small blurb that people see in their search results. This content does not directly impact your Google ranking, but it does impact your readers’ user experience. If you have enticing meta content, people are more likely to select your site in the list of search results. Google translates this as a mark of relevance – people found your content more relevant than your competitors. If you consistently get selected over the others, your site will start to rank better.
You may not be able to appeal to every single Google ranking signal for Michigan, but you can focus your efforts on the ones that matter most. Use this guide to dictate how you structure your website content in the future, and you should see a big improvement in your Google search rankings.
Christopher Bower is a Member and Marketing Director of Detroit Internet Marketing, LLC and brings over 20 years' experience in marketing and online marketing. His education includes Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Marketing, and has been involved in both national and local marketing in Chicago, South Florida and Michigan.