SEO strategies are now a common part of the marketing landscape; no longer the newbie that required industry professionals to hastily get up to speed as new trends developed. Although SEO strategies may change with the seasons, there are certain trends industry leaders are marking that the rest of us can use as a guide to pattern our digital marketing strategies. Most recently, the Moz.com 2013 ranking factors hold much insight for marketing professionals seeking to stay on top of the best, most successful SEO strategies.
The Moz Blog released the preliminary results of the Moz.com 2013 ranking factors’ report. The results show the importance of these factors–shown in percentage–in Google’s search algorithm:
- Domain-level links: 20.56
- Page-level links: 19.31
- Page-level content and keyword: 14.87
- Page-level keyword-agnostic features: 9.07
- Domain-level metrics: 8.83
- User data regarding usage, and traffic data: 8.28
- Page-level social metrics: 7.28
- Domain-level keyword: 6.74
- Domain-level, keyword-agnostic features: 5.26
Putting it all together
So just how do these 10 metrics break down in terms of developing an SEO strategy? Moz.com 2013 ranking factors isn’t without analysis. The report prioritizes three key areas where businesses should put their focus. These include:
- Links: In total, links account for nearly 40 percent of the metrics Google’s search bots look for. Failing to use meaningful links could result in a fateful demise, never nearing the coveted Page 1.
- Keywords: Next to proper linking strategies, employing strategic keywords is the next most important strategy businesses should employ.
- Social: - or not? This last factor may spark some debate in the internet and content marketing communities. In some circles, social sharing is the holy grail of SEO, believed to be one of the key metrics Google looks for as proof that content is relevant, meaningful and engaging. Before we get ahead of ourselves, however, let’s get to the fine print. While the report downplays social factors to some degree, it is only in comparison to the importance it places on high correlations. This is a critical point for industry professionals to bear in mind, as correlation does not necessarily indicate causation—or a relationship between the presence of a feature and its contribution to a higher rank by Google.
That being said, the Moz report does stay true to current ideology about social sharing. In fact, the future of SEO may become even more beholden to social factors, as they continue to “prove” a site is valuable. Other future trends include metrics that clearly convey real value to consumers that visit the site and authorship.
How do the report’s findings match up against your SEO strategies? Does your content strategy include key metrics that follow trends, and a plan for measuring metrics, too?