Two important surveys of ranking factors were published this week. The first was the SMX 2015 SEO Ranking Factors and the other was the Moz 2015 Local Search Ranking Factors Survey. Both the global and local search studies had similar outcomes. This week we read through assessments on Search Engine Journal and the Moz Blog about these new reports and get some ranking enhancement tips from Search Engine Watch,Search Engine Land and Search Engine Roundtable.
The main report on ranking factors that came out this week was compiled by experts at the SMX conference. User Experience came out as the top factor. This category of Web page attribute is hard to define. Roughly speaking, if your law firm’s website doesn’t have dead links, Christmas tree music, or garish colors, it probably ranks pretty high for UX. User experience is one of the races that is yours to lose. In line with other recent ranking factors reports, back links make the list again. In this survey, the stress is on links from news sites as a hot ranking winner. Another surprising list member concerns keywords. Google’s derivation of synonyms for the frequently used terms on a page was generally believed to mark the end of slavish keyword insertions. However, these results show that practice is still important.
Moz has a different angle for its survey and it lists categories by technical factors, rather than by visitor usage, so the two reports are not directly comparable. However, a glaring statistic is that back links very nearly make it to the top of the list of the most important ranking factors for local search. This survey is useful material when planning your law firm’s local digital marketing strategy.
Search Engine Roundtable has some interesting information on the power of forward links to improve rankings – they have none at all. Links to trade bodies and useful information may win your site booster points for user experience, however, so if your law firm’s site has very few links on its pages and they point to authoritative bodies, leave them on – getting those top notch sites to link to your pages, though, is a much more worthwhile exercise.
Search Engine Land has some advice on maximizing the attraction of your link bait content. If you have some great articles on your law firm’s site that hardly anyone ever visits, you have two possible failures that you need to correct. First, your site’s navigation system is not making that great page accessible. In this instance, you should stick a link through to your prized content on the home page to shortcut the navigation structure. Secondly, you need to make the owners and operators of other websites aware that you have that great article for them to read. You need to push your key pages, not just sit back and hope people notice it.
This Search Engine Watch article basically boils down to three key pieces of advice for link building. The first is to trace the sources of backlinks pointing to the sites of your law firm’s competitors. The second is to call the webmasters of those sites to convince them to carry a link to you, and the third is to make sure you have attractive content that targets your audience and explains what you know best.
According to the two SEO studies, keyword strategies are not dead, despite rumors to the contrary. Take an audit of the keywords on your law firm’s website and use this article as a guide to keyword targeting whenever you write new killer content.