The most important thing that affects your ranking on Google is how much people are pleasured by your webpages.
Virtually any improvement to your webpages made for your users will have clear and long term positive effects. Think about what can you do for your users.
Updating your content, researching something in your field and sharing your findings, maybe a new design that helps your users find what they need, providing more tools or advice, making your website faster to load or creating a list of resources are all examples of what will help your users.
You may have been told a million things about SEO or marketing a webpage, but the reality is that people have to enjoy your site for it to rank well. Webmasters who spend more time on their users and less time on "search engine optimization" tend to do better in the modern Google results.
Here are a few specific things you can do now that will help you improve your webpages for your users.
Many people roll their eyes when then hear Google advising them to "Make pages for users, not search engines". It seems a bit unrealistic that you can actually follow this advice since after all, you are making a webpage to be seen in search engines. But before you roll your eyes too much let's see what they mean by this.
Okay let's say you have made a great article and it is on your site.
You receive some traffic, but you want more.
You begin thinking "Hey, I have heard that search engines like websites that have lots of pages. I have a great idea! I am going to take my article and split it up into three pages, then the search engines will like me better and I can also show more ads!"
Okay now you have three pages instead of one...
Guess what? This is alot less convenient for your users, and you most probably are getting less traffic than you were before from search engines. This is often the result of such experiments, you are less useful to your visitors and you get less traffic. The only reason you split those pages apart was because you wanted search engines to like you more or to show more ads. You did not follow this guideline.
Here is what you have done for users and search engines....
For Users - You have created unnecessary steps for your visitor to take because they now have to click "next page" just to get their information. This makes your page less enjoyable and less useful. Result? Less people will like your site or return to your site.
For Search Engines - You have diluted the content on your page. This makes each individual page have less useful content. Result? When someone searches for the topic of that article the search engines will no longer show your site because it has lost it's value. Instead of having one page that was doing okay in search engines, you now have three pages that are doing bad.
What you should have done was to make the article better for your users by updating it or making it look better or adding great content.
When making decisions about your website it is always important to think "How will this improve my site for my users?". If you are making decisions about your website thinking "How will this affect search engines?" then you are concentrating on the wrong thing.
*not affiliated with Google Inc