Simply having a website isn’t enough to be found in search engines anymore. You must properly implement the right SEO ranking signals. In fact, one of the more hotly debated topics in the SEO world is exactly which ranking signals Google uses for your website. Which metrics and pieces do they look at to determine who gets #1 for a search term? No one has the exact answer, but Google has explicitly confirmed a few things to help give priority.
This digital marketing blog will help give you a basic understanding of SEO ranking factors and which ones you can use to increase your ranking today.
What is a Ranking Factor?
A ranking factor is the criteria a search engine use to evaluate websites in their search results. The tricky part is there are 200 Google ranking factors, so it is best to do your website SEO research early and establish what metrics you are using.
Because Google can be vague, you may wonder how Google ranks a website anyway. Though there are many ways, let’s go over two of the Google confirmed SEO ranking factors.
The whole point of Google ranking your site higher is for it to fulfill a user’s search inquiry. This is why it is important for your content marketing strategies to be unique, fresh, and relevant. Even if your website is well-designed, it won’t rank on the search engine results page (SERP) if it isn’t doesn’t provide value. Search engines want to offer the best results as they can, which is why they prioritize helpful, in-depth content.
Not only do you want to write high-quality content, you want to write it in ways the users are searching for. It’s all about understanding the why behind their search inquiries. Do they want to make a purchase? Are they trying to learn how to do something? Are they looking for a top ten list? It is best to format your site per their needs.
What are the Most Important Ranking Factors for my Website?
There are a lot of SEO ranking signals to filter through, but some are easier than you think. The following ranking factors are easy to implement into your website and can boost your SEO ranking.
Website Security (HTTPS)
Website security is a top priority ranking signal with Google. They’ve stressed the necessity for websites to use secure, encrypted connections using HTTPS. To rank your site higher, make sure your website allows Google’s bots to easily reach your website with a secure URL.
As discussed previously, an easy update to your website is a content rehaul to make sure it is of a higher quality. Make sure your content is new, engaging, readable, and accessible and, of course, make sure it answers your users’ search queries.
Finding the right SEO keywords to use in your content is crucial to your website visibility. Narrow down your website topics and make sure they’re relevant. This is another place where your user’s search intent is important to grasp. There are many ways to find keywords, including free tools like Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and UberSuggest.
Page Speed and Technical Optimization
Site speed is important not only for SEO but for user retention. Considering 40% of people leave websites that take 3 seconds or more to load, Google prioritizes websites that are quicker to load. An easy way to boost your rankings is by investing in technical optimization.
With 50% of internet traffic coming from a smartphone, it is crucial that your website is mobile friendly to rank it higher in searches. The goal is for your website to be responsive and look good on every screen size. You can check how mobile friendly your website is with Google's test.
Backlinks is simply a link connecting a website to yours. More links to your page notify Google that you are a credible source. A great way to get a head start on backlinks is to create a blog with your website. A blog will also help you with your content at the same time.
Age and Reputation
Though this will take time, the age of your domain is considered an SEO ranking signal. If you are just starting out, be sure to pick a domain name that you will keep for the long run. Once you find it, optimize it!
Boost Your Ranking Today!
If you’re struggling on how to rank on Google, Code Authority can help. Our team of software developers can help you build a well-designed, responsive website, and our digital marketing team can assist with your website SEO. Contact us today for a free project estimate!