More than 200 SEO ranking factors help search engines like Google determine which sites should show in individual search results and how they should rank. In order for you to claim the top spot on SERPs (search engine results pages), you’ll need to optimize your web page to cater to these factors.
What most people don’t understand is not all of these 200+ factors are of equal importance. keep in mind that few ranking factors are more important than others, as many factors become more or less critical. There are also factors that are constantly being removed and introduced. If you are an expert, it’s vital for you to stay on your toes when it comes to the latest ranking factors. It’s best if you used an SEO audit tool to help you scan your site, ensuring that you’re following all the current SEO practices.
Let’s take a look at some essential SEO ranking factors that play an important role in getting your web page a higher ranking among others in search results. Please keep in mind that this list has been written in no particular order.
Site security is easily one of the most important factors that google ranking takes into consideration. It usually refers to the use of HTTPS encryption. Having HTTPs encryption helps your web page get SSL certificates, which helps create a secure connection between the user and your web-site, adding an extra layer of security that ensures every information exchanged between the site and the user stays protected.
All search engines, including Google, want to drive their users to the most trustworthy sites, and an HTTPS encryption proves that a site is secure. If the URL of your web page begins with HTTP and not HTTPS, then your site is not considered as safe. If this is the case for you, then you must immediately add an SSL certificate.
Search Engines can only show you pages it can find, which is why crawlability is an important factor when it comes to SEO ranking. To put in simpler terms, Crawlability allows search engines to scan a web-page in order to review its content. This helps the search engine to determine what the page is actually about and how it should be ranked. Make sure you do the following if you want Google to rank your site higher.
- Make sure you submit a sitemap to all of your targeted search engines.
- Regularly check your pages index status in Google Search Console and review the total number of pages that Google has crawled onto your site.
- Proper use of robots.txt will help search engines understand which pages to access and which pages they should ignore.
Nowadays, most people mainly use mobile phones over desktops to browse the web. This is one primary reason there’ve been some changes as to how Google ranks search results.
Google’s mobile-first index helps it to draw results from mobile-optimized sites over those designed for desktop computers. If your web-site is not mobile-optimized, there are chances that you too, are getting under-ranked needlessly. Mobile-friendly sites give users a better experience by using a responsive design that auto-adjusts the content to look good on every screen.
To find out if your site is responsive, all you have to do is submit your site to Google’s mobile-friendly test. It will report back if there are any issues with your site’s mobile version that you should work on.
Load Speed also plays an important role when it comes to SEO ranking factor that relates to user experience. All search engines are built to help users find answers to their queries as fast as possible. Slow loading web-pages provide an awful user experience, so search engines prefer sites that load quickly.
Use a site speed checker to find out if your site loads quickly enough. If your web-page is slower than usual, you need to take steps to speed up your web-page by executing website caching, reducing the of redirects, compressing files, and other measures that help speed up load time.
Considering how users interact with results helps the search engine determine which pages are better and more useful to searchers. Google uses an artificial intelligence tool called RankBrain to filter sites that provide better user engagement. Total Time on Site, Bounce Rate, and Click-through Rate are a few metrics that help search engines decide if a search result is valuable to a group of users. Make sure you optimize your site’s content and search snippets; this will help you boost your site’s user engagement.
Using high-quality design and graphics along with other tools like using internal links, meta tag SEO, and a siloed site architecture will help your web page provide a better user experience.
Using high-quality content is another way you can boost your on-site user engagement. Keep publishing high-quality content to make your web page appealing to search engines since they aim to provide the best results possible. This is why they give top rankings to pages that have in-depth, well-researched, and well-crafted content.
Fresh content helps you attract crawlers and boosts your web-page’s visibility, giving you something precious to share with your userbase.
Try to create strategically designed content using keyword research to tell you which keywords you should target and what topics to cover. Keyword research is a process in which you identify popular keywords that help drive traffic onto your web-site.
Target long-tail keywords as voice searches have grown popular amongst many users. More and more people are nowadays searching for long questions and phrases. Try and implement keywords that are three or more words in addition to the generic shorter keywords to help you boost your content.
Understanding keyword search intent will also be beneficial since Google boosts a page’s ranking based on content that matches keyword intent. Make sure you understand how keywords map to various types of content.
Optimizing your Content
Optimizing your content plays a crucial role when it comes to attracting various search engines to your content. You need On-page SEO to help you with this problem. On-page SEO is a process in which you optimize every individual page on your site for a specific keyword.
Allocate one particular keyword to each page of your site, optimize its content for on-page SEO practices. Make sure you don’t assign the same keyword to more than one page; this can later confuse search engines, causing keyword cannibalization.
Regular Business Listings
Search engines mostly rank brands based on their credibility, authoritative and trustworthiness. The more established your brand is portrayed online, the more likely it is for search engines to increase its search visibility. This is the main reason why regular business listings play a vital role in SEO ranking.
Look after areas like
- NPA (name, address, phone number)
- Correct local search terms
- Business listings on My Business and Facebook
- And reviewing on both the sites along with other relevant directories like yelp.
You can make it clear to search engines what the web-page is about by using properly structured data. Structured data is microdata added to the backend of a web-site, which tells all search engines how to classify and interpret content. Be it identifying a business address, recipe, book title, or any other type of information.
Structured data tells search engines what is essential about a web page, but it can also lead to featured snippets in search that help you boost your page ranking and click-through-rates.