There’s been more and more chatter recently over RankBrain – Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) system. It’s used to deliver search results, and it does so a lot more effectively than any human ever could. It measures a whole bunch of factors to determine essentially how satisfied people are with their search results. If people are visiting more pages, spending longer on the website, & engaging more, then this signals to RankBrain that the user is having a good experience. What does this mean for your business? Here are 5 SEO tips to optimize your website for Google RankBrain.
Tip 1: Get in the habit of doing internal linking
Internal linking is the act of linking to relevant pages throughout your content, and it’s one of the quickest and most cost effective things you can do for your SEO – especially if you have a CMS like WordPress. An example: let’s say you have a restaurant. On your restaurant’s website, you have a blog to that keeps your audience up to date on your fine establishment. You’ve just published a new article, and it talks about your seasonal menu, and mentions a passing tidbit about a yearly event that your throw. If you’ve had a blog post in the past about this event, then link to it here. You also mention the menu, so why not have that mention link to your menu? Putting your page links in the top navigation isn’t necessarily enough. Google wants to see lots of links between pages. This practice of internal linking also encourages visitors to spend more time on your website, by flowing pages – which is a great signal to RankBrain. Make sure to get in to the habit of internally linking pages when you’re writing content, whether it be your blog articles, your about page, or anywhere there is text. Don’t feel the need to have text like “click here”, but let it be natural by linking the relevant text itself.
Tip 2: Take advantage of exit pop-ups
With RankBrain keeping track of the visitor time spent on your site, you need to make a solid effort to make sure visitors are nicely engaged. Good content and great web design are key. Another important, oft overlooked factor, are exit pop-ups. These are pop-ups that appear when a visitor is about to leave the site (judging by their mouse). It’s a great last-ditch effort to salvage the visitor, and have them sign up for newsletter or whichever call to action you wish. Take advantage of this opportunity to engage your visitors, and present them with solid content they could have missed.
Tip 3: Put video on your website
51% of marketing professionals name video as the content type with the best return on investment. It’s one of the best marketing tools, period. Video is a super effective way to engage your audience, and capture their attention. They’ll spend a lot longer on your website, and you’ll leave a better, longer lasting impression. Don’t forget that Youtube is the 2nd most used search engine, and often enough it’s a lot easier to find your audience on there than it is through traditional search engines. If you have a new or unfamiliar product/service, it is the very best way to bridge that unfamiliarity gap, and introduce it to your audience. Your audience will become more comfortable with you, your story, and more likely to engage with your brand and on your website.
Tip 4: Page speed really matters
Google’s SEO rules are continuously updating. They’ve indicated that they use page speed as a ranking factor. With a lot of new best practices, the gap is widening for the performance of old websites vs. new (well developed) websites. If someone is using data, on the outskirts of a wifi zone, or just a poor signal/connection in general, then page speed is significant for them. Google wants to deliver an amazing experience for its users (or else they might start using Bing), so overall they’ll tend to deliver the fastest sites first. Check out Pagespeed Insights and see how your site is doing.
Tip 5: Chase down Google reviews
Using Google Maps is a really common way of finding local businesses. Not only that, but Google map results often appear at the top of normal search results when searching for a product or service. One of the best and easiest ways to get a leg up is to chase down your clients for Google reviews. Start by reaching out to your favourite clients and asking them to review you. Ever done a favour for another business? Then why not ask them for a review? Sometimes it’s good to set a goal in terms of number reviews, and be persistent until you reach it. Even make a post asking for them if you need to. SEO aside, they just really help your credibility in general. Make it easier for your clients, by sending them a direct link to the review page.
There’s 5 SEO tips to help you make the most of Google RankBrain. If you’d like us to review your website, feel free to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And make sure to follow us on Instagram to stay up to date with web design and SEO tips for your business.