Out of some 200 seo ranking factors, link building and link related aspects used to rank pretty high up on the list. Precisely the reason why it’s been the subject of so many algorithm updates.
Even though Google would never pronounce it out loud they have always indirectly hinted at the importance of organic link building. An excerpt from their blog reiterates the point.
It’s important to clarify that any legitimate link building strategy is a long-term effort. There are those who advocate for short-lived, often spammy methods, but these are not advisable if you care for your site’s reputation. Buying PageRank-passing links or randomly exchanging links are the worst ways of attempting to gather links and they’re likely to have no positive impact on your site’s performance over time. If your site’s visibility in the Google index is important to you it’s best to avoid them.
But although the global SEO community went on an overdrive over John Mueller’s hangout advice on avoiding link building for SEO, practically it makes sense to rethink the link building concept.
Black -Hat SEO techniques like injecting hidden links are not only unethical, but they don’t level up to the set standards. And which translates to the inferior user experience from the search engine’s point of view. While sustainable white hat link building strategies can direct a staggeringly high traffic to your website, there are other SEO ranking factors that can double traffic and subsequently conversions when done right.
SEO Ranking Factors #1: Website Structure and Navigation
Would you ever buy a house that looks like a 10-year-old built it? With the kitchen and fireplace dangerously close and asymmetrical room? You’d probably get vertigo looking at it!
Symmetry and congruency not just add up to the aesthetics but it also un-complicate things. The same is true for your website. A superior website structure with more of the relevant information on the top part of the page along with a call to action will make your prospect stay on the page for long.
You have about 20 seconds to convince your prospect if or not you have what they are looking for.
And if the first 20 second is spent sifting through irrelevant pages or looking for the right keywords, your prospect will abandon the page and move on your competitor’s site.
Good website structure makes it easy for search engines to crawl and index them. Even if you don’t understand what that means, know that promoting easy site navigation through well-drafted website structure helps your website to rank higher in SERPs (search engine result page).
SEO Ranking Factors #2: Keyword Research
For the laymen, SEO always equals keywords.
But although keyword research and integration doesn’t encompass the entire SEO realm but it is an important part of it.
The Keyword is a connecting link between your prospects and your website.
Keywords are the search terms that someone keys in to search the web for it. And if your website seems to have that keyword on their page, search engines will show your web link for the term searched for.
It’s not that simple though. There are generic keywords and then there are transactional keywords.
You also need to dig deeper for relevant long-tailed keywords that are more than three words long and more targeted. Google’s Keyword Planner is a free resource, but it’s not very comprehensive.
Given the importance and benefits of a paid keyword research tool, it makes sense investing in one. You get keywords that are being searched in real time plus all the short and long tailed keywords that your competitors are using to rank higher in search engines.
SEO Ranking Factors #3: Unique Quality Content
Perhaps the most important SEO technique that both search engines and SEO experts unanimously agree on is quality content.
All the algorithm updates Google comes up with is to separate the wheat from the chaff. And this is why a lot of websites with subpar content lost their ranking after the Panda and Penguin updates.
Besides quality content on your major web pages, you also need to keep putting up regular informative content to drive traffic to your website.
In fact Google states in one of their blogs that your content in itself will help with link building.
If your site is rather new and still unknown, a good way marketing technique is to get involved in the community around your topic. Interact and contribute on forums and blogs. Just keep in mind to contribute in a positive way, rather than spamming or soliciting for your site. Just building a reputation can drive people to your site. And they will keep on visiting it and linking to it. If you offer long-lasting, unique and compelling content — something that lets your expertise shine — people will want to recommend it to others. Great content can serve this purpose as much as providing useful tools.
John Mueller too touts quality content to be more impactful that link building.
Original content that offer insight and information for your website traffic is your golden ticket to ranking high. Avoid content duplication at all costs, not only is it penalizable but you will lose out on traffic if you can’t hold their interest.