Keeping up with constantly changing SEO demands can be difficult, but if you want to get to the top of Google’s search engine rankings, you need to be aware of the current trends. With a successfully optimized website, you will receive more and more visitors over time, which can lead to more leads and sales.
In this article, we will share the most important SEO ranking factors that can help you dominate search results. By the end of this post, your website will be optimized for more business. We have also provided a convenient table of contents if you want to jump ahead to the SEO ranking factors that are of interest to you. Here are the top ranking factors for Google:
1. Publish Best-Quality Content
The quality of your website and blog content is still very important. It is essential to create pages that are beneficial to the user and have real value, or you may suffer the consequences of Google’s Panda and Fred algorithm updates. Even big brands like eBay and Apple are not exempt from the need for valuable content; both have been affected by low-quality content in the past. To be successful in SEO, high-quality content must be more than just well-written and lengthy; it must also consider the user’s experience to increase its presence in SERPs.
Also, Read | Everything about Google’s Helpful Content Update
✅ Keyword Usage
Despite the rumors that keyword research isn’t necessary for ranking, it still contributes to the production of quality content. Contemporary keyword research does not focus on the same concepts as before, instead, it is used to create a content plan. Through examining your competitors and analyzing data, you can discover keywords with a decent search volume, but that has a higher click-through rate specific to your intended audience.
As the industry continues to suggest the potential drawbacks of keyword research, it’s essential to identify your primary keywords and organize them into relevant topics for your searchers.
For example, a Google study found that mobile search queries such as [brands like] and [stores like] have increased by 60% over the past two years. This emphasizes the importance of adapting your keyword strategy to satisfy the needs of mobile consumers.
Having fresh content is nothing novel. When Google made the announcement in 2011, it caused a lot of perplexity regarding the concept of “fresh content”. So what exactly is it? And how does it associate with evergreen content? For evergreen content, don’t simply change the date annually.
You should take a deep dive into the topic to ascertain what needs to be updated. For instance, if you produced a listicle of tools, you could revise the screenshots, charges, and information related to every tool.
Hence, it is ideal to complete content appraisals every quarter to figure out which items call for renewal and which can be directed to similar pages. Prior to making any modifications to your content, look at your data to assist you in making wiser decisions.
2. Mobile First Indexing
Google’s mobile-first indexing was finally put into effect in March 2021 after it began in 2017. This means that the URL of the mobile version of a site will be indexed and used for ranking instead of the desktop version, and there is no separate mobile-first index. It is important to note that mobile-first indexing is not the same as mobile usability.
Also Read: Mobile-First Indexing Explained | Everything You Need to Know
✅ Mobile Usability
It used to be standard practice to have a mobile version of your website hosted on m.URL.com, but now many websites are instead opting for a responsive design. Google has made clear that they do not favor any particular type of mobile website design when it comes to rankings, but they do suggest using a responsive format as it helps their algorithms properly index the page. In the current mobile-first world, it is essential to ensure your content is the same across both your desktop and mobile site.
3. Page Experience Update and Its Effects
User experience affects search engine optimization, as recent changes to Page Experience have proven. If you neglect UX, your website will be disregarded. 38% of users will leave your site if it has unattractive content and layout. It is important to make UX and SEO work together if you want success in search engine results pages.
✅ Site Architecture
The structure of your website is an integral part of user experience and plays an important role in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Not only can a well-designed site make it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for, but it can also help crawlers find more pages on your website. Creating a website that is simple to navigate is essential, with users being able to access any page within three to four clicks. Although this may not be possible for larger sites, there are solutions for helping users and crawlers search and find pages. With the Page Experience update, the design of your website will become even more important for SEO.
✅ Core Web Vitals
John Mueller from Google has highlighted that Core Web Vitals is more than just a deciding factor in SEO. Its effects extend to a variety of other SEO-related elements, including user experience. The performance of your page and its content all affect the rate at which users convert when they land on the page. Ultimately, Core Web Vitals is designed to help you provide a better overall experience for the user.
✅ Create a Secure Website (HTTPS)
Although it is not mandatory to switch to HTTPS for your website, Google has made several changes since 2014 when it first declared it as a ranking signal. In 2017, Google further announced that its Chrome browser (being used by 45% of the population) would start labeling websites as “not secure” when they are not HTTPS.
If you do not make the shift, you may experience increased bounce rates. This implies that Google considers HTTPS to be crucial. However, switching to HTTPS (and SSL, since they go hand in hand) can bring several canonicalizing issues if not done accurately. Even if it has not been proven to have a major effect on SEO, the Chrome update may mean that it is advantageous to move your website over, but it should be done by an experienced professional.
✅ Ad Experience
In 2017, Ad Experience was launched to target Chrome users who could be penalized for running advertisements that violated the Better Ads Standards. Glenn Gabe provided explanations of Chrome’s ad-filtering implementation. Ad Experience’s relationship with page experience and Core Web Vitals is based on how users experience and interact with a website.
4. GTMetrix Scores and Google Page Speed Insight Scores
Site speed is an important ranking factor in SEO. It’s important to ensure that your website loads quickly, as slow-loading websites can lead to a decrease in search engine rankings. You can use tools such as GTMetrix and Google Page Speed Insight to measure your website’s speed and make sure it is optimized for search engines.
GTMetrix is a website performance testing tool that measures a website’s loading time, page size, and other important elements. It also provides recommendations on how to improve the website’s performance. GTMetrix scores are used by search engines to determine how quickly a website loads and how efficiently it is running. The faster a website loads, the more likely it is to rank higher on SERPs.
✅ Google Page Speed Insight
Google Page Speed Insight is another website performance testing tool used by search engines to measure the speed of a website. It also provides recommendations on how to improve the website’s speed. It is important for websites to have a good Google Page Speed Insight score in order to rank higher on SERPs. The faster a website loads, the more likely it is to rank higher.
SEO is a complex process that requires a deep understanding of many different ranking factors. GTMetrix scores and Google Page Speed Insight scores are two key ranking factors that are used by search engines to determine how well a website performs and how likely it is to rank higher on SERPs. Understanding the importance of these two factors and how they affect SEO can help businesses maximize their rankings.
By optimizing their website’s loading time, page size, and other elements, businesses can improve their GTMetrix and Google Page Speed Insight scores, which can lead to higher rankings on SERPs.
5. Master Your On-Page Optimization
On-page optimization, which focuses on the content and SEO in the background, has long been an essential factor in a website’s visibility and ranking on search engine results pages. For example, Mockingbird saw a 62% surge in organic traffic simply by modifying their H1 tags.
Brand New Copy similarly saw a 48% rise in organic traffic after updating its metadata and internal linking structure. It’s definitely worth the effort! By optimizing your site, you will make it easier for search engines and users to find your high-quality content. These are only some of the ways that on-page optimization will stay influential in the years to come.
This data involves your title tag and page summaries – the data about your websites that onlookers find in the SERPs. Google now and then takes content from the page and puts it as the description in SERPs when it is more suitable to the user’s inquiry.
Make sure to write the most suitable titles and descriptions for your pages, but remember that they may not always be utilized. There are many more meta tags to consider in SEO. Consider that adding one specific meta tag could result in a 300% rise in Clicks from Google Discover.
Introduced in 2011, schema markup is a hidden element of web pages that provides search engines with additional information about the content. With almost 600 types of info available, it makes it easier for search engines to find relevant material on a website. In the case of Rotten Tomatoes, pages with markup saw a 25% higher click-through rate, and the Food Network experienced a 35% increase in visits for recipes that had this form of markup. Thus, schema markup is a critical element of SEO due to its ability to create rich snippets in search results.
✅ Featured Snippets
If you want to appear in the featured snippet section of the search engine results, you must understand how RankBrain works and the purpose behind the search query. If your content offers the most relevant answer to the intent behind the query, the search engine will display it in the featured snippet.
✅ Google Discover
Google Discover has the potential to bring more organic traffic than conventional search engine results. To find out if you are already included in Google Discover, take a look at the report in Google Search Console.
6. Internal Link Structure
Organizing your internal links can aid both users and search engines in finding the necessary pages. Corey Morris, Vice President of Marketing for Voltage, suggests focusing on five key elements when strategizing internal links: aiding users, managing link flow, building a roadmap for content topics, canonical links, and prioritizing page indexing. At its core, the internal linking structure should be designed with the user in mind to help them accomplish a desired action, such as signing up for a newsletter or requesting a live demo.
7. Earn Authoritative & Relevant Links
No matter what industry you are in, it is always wise to invest in link-building strategies that will help you rank better. Despite the fact that links may become less important in the future, they are still a major factor when it comes to SEO. Therefore, it would be foolish to overlook the potential of backlinks for your website.
Learn About | Google Link Spam Update
Link building is a critical component of any successful SEO strategy. The more relevant and authoritative links your website has, the higher it will rank in search engines. One of the ideal ways to earn valuable backlinks is through guest posting. No doubt, guest posting involves writing content for other web portals in exchange for a link back to your own site. However, there are some dos and don’ts that you should be aware of when it comes to guest posting.
- You have to make sure that the site you are writing for is your own.
- It’s important to know that your content must be a relevant topic.
- Using this way, your guest post is seen by a vast audience base and will be more likely to earn a link back to your site.
- Don’t forget to include anchor text when submitting your content.
8. Create Google’s Business Profile
Google’s Business Profile or page is a powerful tool for businesses to build an online web presence and reach their potential clients. It enables business owners to construct an online profile, listing their products, services, and contact details. Moreover, this can help provide users with a way to access and interface with their business.
There are a few key optimization tips to follow when setting up your Google Business Profile.
- You need to make sure to offer precise and up-to-date data, as this will help clients to discover your business easily.
- Add photos, videos, and other content to your profile to make it more interesting and engaging.
- Use the analytics available to track your progress and make improvements.
Google has recently unveiled a few novel features for the Google Business Profile. This includes the capacity to include customer reviews and answer them. Consequently, businesses can now receive customer feedback and form relationships. In addition, businesses can now develop promotions and deals for customers, as well as create a tailored website for their business.
9. E-A-T Impacts All Ranking Factors
In August 2018, Google introduced the “medic update” which was centered around expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (E-A-T). This update was designed to ensure that users were receiving not only high-quality content but also accurate information from the content.
Search engine algorithms take E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trust) into account when deciding where to place your website in their SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). If you want to rank higher on Google, Bing, or Yahoo, you should demonstrate expertise in your field, gain recognition from established industry authorities, and create a sense of trust with customers. Implementing certain SEO strategies can help your website achieve a higher ranking.
That implies assessing each section separately:
- Expertise: Does the creator of a piece of content have the necessary abilities and information in their field?
- Authority: Is this the best source to answer the searcher’s inquiry, or is there another “go-to” individual who would be a more desirable source?
- Trustworthiness: Does the author give a fair, unprejudiced introduction of the subject in their content?
This metric helps decide which pages show up at the top of a search engine’s results. Having a higher ranking in Google will lead to more visitors to your website. There are numerous ranking considerations that are taken into account when figuring out where a page is placed, and E-A-T is undoubtedly one of the most significant factors in any growth marketing plan.
Do you aim to satisfy your audience or to satisfy Google?
Ultimately, SEO requires a balance between making content that Google can easily rank and content that visitors will enjoy. Ignoring one to favor the other will harm your website in the long run, as it will lead to a poor user experience and a poor ranking on Google. Moreover, it is important to remember that Google will never be a paying customer, while your readers may be.
Search engine optimization is a critical tool for website owners to increase their website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results. The top 8 SEO ranking factors include content, keyword optimization, links, mobile-friendliness, loading speed, user experience, structured data, and security.
If you desire to have the greatest SEO advice of all time, this is it: prioritize creating content that your viewers will appreciate, and with the same enthusiasm, make sure to optimize it so that Google can comprehend why your followers love it. However, never forget that the user should come first. In the end, the entire SEO industry is built upon this fundamental rule.