Overview of SEO Ranking Factors
The following article, SEO Ranking Factors provides an outline for the most important factors in SEO. Ranking in Search Engines is something that decides how a business will perform online, not only a high ranking helps to establish that you are better than your competitors on the market. In many cases, online earnings are the direct factor, as most people do shopping on the high-ranking sites. For these reasons, you will want your site to rank as high as possible.
How Search Engines Rank Sites?
Google, Bing, and other search engines rely on algorithms to decide which site to rank higher, some years ago, Backlinks were all that mattered for Google but in recent years, especially with Panda and Penguin updates, the search engine giant has tried to rank sites that have the best content, on-page, and off-page SEO and best user experience. In this post, we will discuss what some of the major ranking factors for search engines are and how they impact SERPs.
SEO Ranking Factors
Here are all the SEO Ranking factors you should know about:-
1. The Website itself is accessible to Search Engines or not
Search Engines use crawler bots to index websites to show them in search results, you will want your site to have an easy to crawl structure.
In order to have your site better indexed you need the following:
- A Robot.txt file that can tell the Search Engines what part to index and what to ignore. Typically, we want our articles and media files to be indexed and the plugins and system files to be ignored by the search engine.
- The site should be made using a good CMS or Website builder which uses coding standards that can be understood by search engines.
- A Sitemap file is linked by your homepage. It works like a map to your website for search engines and helps it understand how the content of the site is laid out.
2. Website Speed or Page Speed
- Google prefers sites that load lightning fast, typically if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load, more than 80 percent of visitors leave the site. To keep a website speedy, you can minify the code, remove unnecessary plugins and content from the page and use Content Delivery Networks among other things.
- There are tons of tools on the internet to measure the speed of your webpage, one of the most widely uses tool is called Page Speed insights which were made by Google itself. URL: Website Speed
3. Inbound and Outbound links of the sites
While links are not everything in 2019, these are one of the most important factors when it comes to ranking on Google or any other search engine. Hyperlinks make the modern internet what is it today and generally, we can divide them into 3 types:
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- Internal Links: These are links to the internal pages of your site from your site, for example, when you link the About page of your site from the homepage, it is considered an Internal Link.
- Inbound Links: These are links from another site to your site.
- Outbound Links: Links from your site to external sites are called outbound links.
Of these 3, ideally, you will want to link your internal pages with relevant internal pages, link to high-quality external sites when needed and have inbound links from high authority sites that are relevant to your industry.
When it comes to inbound links, the quality of incoming links is far more important to SEO ranking than quantity.
4. On-Page Search Engine Optimization
On-Page Optimization of a site is all about making the content on page easy to understand for search engines. In On-Page SEO, we work on adding additional metadata on the page that a Search Engine can use to understand what the page is about and how to show it on search results once the page has ranked. When creating a web page, you will have to keep the following things in mind:
- Use Proper Headings On-Page: Use the H1 heading only once – for the title of the post. For subheadings, use a proper hierarchy of H2 to H7 headings.
- Meta Descriptions: Meta Descriptions are not visible to users but are one of the first things a search engine crawler sees on the page. Add a roughly 160-character meta descriptions to your post and make sure that your target keyword is included. Your users will see it in the search results right below the Post title so try making it attractive and convince them that your post will give them what they are looking for.
- Page Titles: Make sure that your post’s title includes the keyword you are aiming for. Also, make sure to keep it not too small and not too long so that users can see the complete title of a post on the search results.
- Alt Tags: Search Engines use alt tags in an image to index it, as crawlers can’t actually see and understand the image in a webpage, the alt tag is used by them to understand the image and include them in the Image Search results. Try to keep the alt tags relevant to the post.
5. Site Content
- As Bill Gates has said, Content is the king. In the case of Search Engines, you will find it to be true. Before creating content, doing keyword research will help you in writing posts that contain the keywords and including any relevant synonyms.
- For new sites, targeting content around LSI or Latent Semantic Indexing keywords will be a good choice as it will remove the most bigger sites and reduce the competition.
- Create Content that is in-depth and covers the topic without being too boring or complex to understand. Use Internal Linking to link similar posts from the site and link to high-quality sites if you are using them as a reference in a post.
- Adding relevant visuals and videos will also be beneficial.
- Make sure that the first and conclusive paragraph of content contains the keyword and break your post into easy to understand headings and subheadings.
- Keep in mind that keyword stuffing or filling too many keywords in the post, is a negative ranking factor and that sites around the same topic or niche typically perform well in search results too.
6. Domain Name of the site and Domain Authority
- Ever noticed that websites on the first page of search results are quite popular and related to the niche? This is because Google and other search engines consider domain authority and its age as a big factor.
- In SERPs, the name of your domain name and its age matters. If your domain name is older, it will be a plus and if the domain name of your site includes keywords, it will be a big plus in most conditions too.
- Domain Authority is a combination of off-page SEO such as Backings & Social Media Signals and High-Quality content on the page.
- You can use Moz Open Site Explorer to check the domain authority of the site. With a higher authority, you will find it easy to rank on search results.
7. Secure Web Site
Google and other search engines consider the security of a website to be a big ranking factor. Having SSL on your site will help and if your site is hacked or it contains code that can install malware on your visitors’ computers and phones, you may be ranked down from pages or even be removed from the results.
8. Mobile Accessibility of the site
Because most web traffic comes from mobile, search engines consider Mobile Friendliness of a site as a factor when showing search results to a mobile visitor. For best possible results, make sure that your website is responsive in design and can adapt to any screen size. Also, make sure that clickable areas are big enough for fingers to tap on them and the content on-site does not overflow horizontally beyond the screen size. If possible, having AMP enabled on your website will also be a good help in Ranking and page speed.
9. User Response to the site
Google and many other search engines pay a good amount of attention to how users behave once they have selected a site from the search results. If too many users come back very quickly, Google will think that content on site was not helpful and your site may be demoted in search results. Similarly, Clickthrough rate, dwell time and bounce rate all are important factors in SEO Rankings.
10. Social Signals
While Google does not acknowledge it officially, Many SEO experts believe that Social Signals are a factor in SEO rankings. Social Signals for SEO are centered around how the content is doing on Social Media, typically, content that has been shared a ton of times on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit is considered high-quality and is ranked higher.
Conclusion- SEO Ranking Factors
Now that we have covered all major Search Engine Ranking Factors, you know what to do and what to ignore when you are writing content and designing your website. About SEO, there is one thing every blogger should understand: to create sites for users first and once that is done, Search Engines will understand and rank your content too.
This has been a guide to SEO Ranking Factors. Here we discuss the overview and top 10 different ranking factors of SEO. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –