Three Search Engine Optimization Ranking Factors to Look Out for in 2022

Search engine optimization is a series of best practices that help raise your website’s visibility in searches relevant to your business. The better your SEO, the easier it is for prospective customers to find you at the moment they are most interested in what you have to say.

There are two basic categories to SEO:

  • Technical SEO: Things that improve a website’s speed and security
  • User Experience: Things that make a website easier to use and enjoy

If you hire a Central Florida marketing agency, your team can take over the search engine optimization strategy for you. It’s a wise idea to have experts on your side. SEO must be practiced consistently to get the benefits you expect. Once you build up a few months of momentum, you see the difference.

Over time, search engine optimization develops into a powerful competitive advantage nothing else can match. Even if a larger competitor breezes onto the scene and spends millions on online advertising, they are making a big bet on traffic that you, through SEO, can get for free.

Looking at it this way, it’s hard to see why any business wouldn’t emphasize SEO.

But, of course, there’s more to it than meets the eye. SEO is made up of hundreds of “ranking factors” that reflect search engines’ priorities when they select which websites will rank high for which searches.

Each ranking factor has a different weight. In combination, they determine your results.

It can be challenging to know which ranking factors to focus on at any given time. Over the last few years, digital marketing companies have generally given the most attention to these common factors:

  • Backlinks: The number of links from other authoritative websites going “back” to your website
  • Security: Your website’s use of advanced SSL encryption to protect user information in transit
  • Mobile-Friendliness: A “responsive” website design that adjusts to mobile input and displays
  • Speed: Average page loading time and the total number of distinct items loaded on a given page

These are important ranking factors. Of all of them, backlinks have long been known to be the most crucial of all. When you engage a Central Florida marketing agency, you can be sure these four issues are among the very first they’ll look at in your SEO strategy.

But they do not tell the whole story on their own.

In search engine optimization, there are always more improvements you can make.

Some of them are most effective when you, as the business owner, contribute your talents and vision to the SEO strategy. And as a new year dawns, the digital marketing researchers at New York Ave have learned about the latest trends putting some lesser-known ranking factors nearer the top of the heap.

With that in mind, here are some of the top-ranking factors for SEO in 2022:

1. Content Length

Content length is the biggest factor that few people know about.

Research shows the average length of the top five results in Google is increasing. It’s no longer enough to have an article of 500-800 words. To reach those top ranks, content should have a minimum of about 2,000 words along with technical optimization of every element on the page.

Longer content is even better, assuming that it delivers value.

What exactly is content? Think of it as any helpful, informative material you publish on your website to help prospects make their buying decisions. All content is written for someone, so it needs to align with their pain points and burning questions. This positions you as a trusted advisor.

You might be thinking there’s a trade-off here, and you’re right.

Google might love 5,000-word articles, but few people want to wade through all that when they’re looking for the basic facts about, say, foundation repair. Longer articles need to be used judiciously within your overall strategy and designed in such a way that they’re easy to skim for key points.

After all, online users don’t read – they skim. This is true no matter how long the content may be.

Include a table of contents for your content and you’ve hit another valuable, but less-known factor.

2. Content Recency – “Google Caffeine”

When first starting out with SEO, it’s vital to build an initial base of content.

That usually consists of “evergreen content.” Evergreen content is relevant to a large portion of your first-time website visitors and rarely needs to be updated because the facts behind it do not change often. A basic business website should aim for 20 pages of evergreen content as soon as possible.

But there is a catch.

Google now prominently displays the date on which a page first became available. Confronted with a page of results from brands they don’t know, most people will gravitate toward the newest results. A page is at a particular disadvantage if it was published more than 12 months ago.

Luckily, you can resolve this problem and enhance your results in one fell swoop.

Adding even 50-100 words to a page will update the date of publication. Depending on your goals, you may also wish to revise the title or introduction to highlight the more recent material. As the page grows, it becomes more likely to outrank shorter pages on the same topic.

3. Bounce Rate

While not everyone agrees on how bounce rate figures into search results, there’s no doubt it affects whether a new visitor gains enough exposure to your brand to convert into a potential customer.

“Bounce rate” is the percentage of website visitors who click away from the page they arrived on in seconds, often without interacting with the content at all – not even scrolling down.

This is a sure sign that people are arriving on pages that aren’t relevant to them or feel overwhelmed by the prospect of trying to find the information they actually want.

Reducing bounce rate is essential to getting value from your traffic.

While many steps can help, one of the biggest is cross-linking your content so visitors will be able to see other, more relevant options from the page they land on without having to look far.

New York Ave Will Get You More Targeted Traffic Per Month by Demystifying SEO

Done right, search engine optimization is the royal road to organic traffic from people truly interested in what your business has to offer. It is the ideal solution for Central Florida small businesses that would prefer not to invest in ads, but are willing to stay the course for 2-3 months while organic results grow.

Once you see the impact on your business, you won’t want to go back to the old days!

At New York Ave, we’ve helped businesses of all industries across Central Florida reach their goals through modern, measurable digital marketing. With us, you’ll always be able to see exactly what you’re getting. We take the mystery out of SEO until it “just works.”

Contact us to find out more or get started today.

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1 Average median salary in Florida for ‘Marketing Director’, based on research by Glassdoor. 2 Retirement calculated at 3% contribution, based on research by nirsonline.org. 3 Health premium average calculated by ranges provided from a 2016 Health Benefits survey. 4 Total employee average calculated at first year and includes the following considerations: $4k onboarding and training, $1k software and subscriptions, and $3.75k outsourcing help. Total agency average based on Florida-located, full-service agency.