9 SEO Ranking Factors You Need to Know
Search Engine Optimization is a most important and helpful way to drive organic traffic to your website.
However, ranking the website in the top 10 search engine rankings is not an easy feat since it takes time and commitment to see good results.
You should be aware of some SEO ranking factors to get your site on the search's first page.
Search engines tend to update the ranking factors to provide searchers with the best results.
9 important SEO ranking factors you must be aware of;
- Site Security
- Page Speed
- User Engagement
- Quality Content
- Technical SEO
- Domain Age and Authority
There is no surprise that this factor ranks at the beginning of the list. As Google stated in 2014, that HTTPS will be a ranking factor.
Since search engines want their users to visit only trustworthy sites, it is crucial for those who have a website to have an SSL certificate to secure their site.
So how to find a secured website? Google has kept a padlock in the secured website.
And secure sites have the "HTTPS" encryption where the 'S' stands for 'security.'
These websites have an SSL certificate to create a secure connection between the website and the users.
This is mandatory for the websites to show that their connection with the users is secured using encryption and authentication.
If your website doesn't have the "HTTPS" in the URL, it is necessary to buy an SSL certificate.
Mobile-friendliness is nothing but how your site looks and works on the mobile.
So why does your website have to be mobile-friendly? More than 50% of the website traffic is happening on mobile than desktops or laptops.
This is due to the growth in the mobile market and technology developments in the smartphone industry.
Take a mobile-friendly test from Google to check your website's mobile friendliness.
So how to create a mobile-friendly website? Remember the following points while developing a website to be mobile-friendly.
- Make your website mobile responsive
- Avoid the pop-ups and ads which hides the content
- Faster loading time
- Use a simple design
- Use large font sizes
Improving the user experience by minimizing the loading time is one of the best ways to improve the rankings. Users don't want to stay on a website that takes too long to load.
And page speed is also an essential factor for mobile sites to rank. If you want to check the page speed of your site, try the page speed checker.
Remember the following and work on that to increase the page speed of your website;
- Reduce redirects
- Optimize images
- Improve the responsiveness of servers
- Enable compression to reduce the size
You might wonder how this acts as a ranking factor. Search engines look at the user's engagement with a page to promote the search rankings with the search's correct results.
Google uses artificial intelligence called RankBrain to do this task.
The below are the aspects that tell the search engine how a person interacts with your website:
- Click-through rate
- Dwell time
- Bounce rate
If a visitor doesn't find the content on your website useful, they'll bounce back to the search results to look for other results.
If the website has a high bounce rate, Google claims the content is not relevant to the consumers.
This will make it difficult for your website to rank in the search results.
To avoid this and make the users more engaged with your site, you should create quality content. Optimize the titles, meta descriptions, and content that gives value to the user.
Content development and optimization:
Here comes the crucial ranking factor of all content.
Yes, quality content is the only way to increase user engagement and drive organic traffic.
So, why is quality content an essential factor?
Search engines focus on giving the users what they want. If your website has well-researched and in-depth content curated to solve users' problems, the opportunity for your website to get ranked in the top 10 search results is high.
After creating, you have to optimize the content for SEO to get ranked in search results.
So, how to optimize your content for a better ranking?
Target Keywords - Add keywords in the title, meta description, and content on the page for one keyword. This shows the search engine what type of content that page is having.
LSI Keywords - LSI(Latent Semantic Index) keywords are related to the main keywords for optimizing your content.
Search Intent - If you are creating content without knowing what the users want, then that content won't rank, and it is a complete waste of time and effort. To find the searcher's intent, type the keyword you are working on in the search bar. Look at the results to see what type of content is ranking for your keyword. You have to create that kind of content.
Answer Box - This is how an answer box will look like;
Following are some ways to get listed in the answer box or zero position;
- Answer questions which people are searching for
- Keep the questions as headings
- Use listing or table kind of content
- Make sure that the answers are correct, relevant and targeting the content with keywords which is already having an answer box
Technical SEO or On-page optimization is one of the crucial ranking factors which involves the coding part of your website.
Since it's a broad topic, we have listed some of the vital on-page factors that significantly impact the rankings.
The points in the list are easy to control even for a non-technical person;
- Keywords in the title and meta description make the crawlers identify what's on the page.
- Curate a meta description with keywords to entice the viewers to click the link to your site.
- Use schema markup to help Google to find the type of content you're creating.
- Use alt tags for images with the keywords to tell the crawlers how it relates to the main content.
- Use internal links to establish a hierarchy for your website.
Backlinks are off-page ranking factors which is an essential factor to tell the search engines that your site is credible.
The number of quality links directed to your site has an impact on the search rankings. But the backlinks should be from the high- and medium-authoritative sites.
Following are some of the link building strategies to build backlinks for your site;
- Guest posting
- Infographics - to get shares
- Broken link strategy
Domain Age and Authority:
A study by Ahrefs clearly states that the sites ranking on the first page are almost 2+ years old.
But there are no clear mentions that Google has stated that they are using the site's age as a ranking factor.
The studies show that only 22% of sites rank on the first page created within 1 year.
If you are starting a new blog, you must continue to provide quality content while still working on the SEO in order to rank on the first page.
Authority matters the most when it comes to search engine ranking factors. This is the combination of off-page factors and quality content.
The below are some methods to grow your website's domain authority:
- Build quality links/relationships
- Provide quality content
- Remove spammy links
Allowing the crawlers to crawl your website permits the search engines to analyze your website and the content on each page.
It becomes an easy task for the search engine to determine the content type on the page and keywords that the page should rank.
Follow the below-mentioned steps to get crawled by the search engines;
- Submit sitemap in the search console.
- Check the index status on the search console to find the total crawled pages.
- Search engines use robot.txt in your website to determine which pages should be crawled and ignored.
Remember, ranking factors will always change as search engines will try to rank the websites for a better user experience.
It is essential to keep track of the changes and alter your site and plans accordingly.
But the factors mentioned above are essential to work on during the current times.
If you've observed, quality plays an essential part in all the factors using quality content, backlinks, user experience, quality of the site, etc.