The requirements for SEO are constantly changing, and it can be often hard enough to keep up with the latest developments. But if you want to place your site from the unseen and straight to the top of the list, it’s essential to be always on the know.
Sites that are well-optimized get more and more traffic over time, and that eventually translates to more leads and sales.
Without SEO, most users couldn’t find your site, and all the effort and hard work you’ll put through will be for nothing.
In this post, we’ll walk you through with the eight crucial SEO ranking factors that you shouldn’t ignore.
Links, particularly back links, are arguably one of the most crucial ranking factors. Before, sites that have back links that point them to other sites turn out to be more useful and popular. Thus, gaining a higher position on Google search results. That’s a simplified version of how Google used to work back then.
But a lot of people took advantage of this by building hundreds of links to their sites. As a result, the quality of Google’s results was diminishing. To improve the quality of search results, Google has made changes to their algorithm since then and changed how backlinks are accounted for.
While back links still remain one of the most essential ranking factors, it doesn’t matter anymore which websites have the most number of links, but where these links are coming from instead.
Links that can enhance your search rankings should come from:
- Trusted sites on Google
- Related sites
- Sites that demonstrate authority, trustworthiness, and expertise
- Links that don’t have a no-follow attribute
- Links that are included in a webpage’s body
- Links that are added naturally by webmasters, and not as a result of link buying and exchanges.
2. Site security
Another known ranking factor is website security. Sites that serve links at HTPPS or are SSL-enabled gain more advantage over non-secure ones.
All other factors being equal, an HTPPs enabled site will significantly rank higher than a site that isn’t secured. If your site isn’t https yet, then this should be your top priority.
3. Loading speed
Speed is another critical SEO factor, particularly because, it’s one that Google admits using.
Apart from viewing and crawling your site on a mobile perspective, Google will also check for the site speed of your mobile or responsive site. Iif your site isn’t responsive enough, you could lose your first-page rankings, or worse- the top spot on the search results.
To check for your page’s current speed, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. This will allow you to gain insight into how your page will perform in the eyes of Google. If you don’t have enough resources to follow up on these fixes, you can also tap into page speed optimization services to significantly improve your site speed.
A responsive design will adapt to whatever device a user uses, and is also important when ranking on search results.
Search engines such as Google utilize a mobile-first index. Meaning, its crawlers will preview your site in a mobile user’s perspective over the desktop user. With the vast improvement of mobile technology, most of the population today has now shifted and adapted mobile for various purposes.
So, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it’s going to fail, especially when we come into search engine factors that are related to accessibility and usability. To check if your site delivers a mobile-friendly experience to users, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Tool.
5. Content quality
Your content quality is another important ranking factor that you shouldn’t ignore. Ideally, your content should provide value to your users. By that, you should always prefer quality over quantity.
Thin content and long words won’t help you. Your content should be intentional, and not just hitting a particular keyword. It should also be engaging and entertaining at the same time.
Make sure that your content serves as a specific purpose, and provides solutions to whatever queries or problem users have.
6. Meta descriptions
Encouraging a user to click your content from Google’s search pages is one of the most crucial aspects of SEO.
Imagine putting all the time and effort in creating a high-quality content aimed for a top-ranking position on search engines only to find out that no one is clicking on it because your meta descriptions are too dull.
Try to use an active voice over a passive one and throw in an enticing a call-to-action. Don’t just think about summarizing your content either. Think of the ways that would encourage the user to click through your entry.
Keywords will always remain an important aspect of SEO. But how we use them should be less aggressive and obvious. Yout title keywords should still be on the list of page-level factors, along with alt texts, headers, and your main text.
But the most important thing here is using them sparsely, and try to maintain your content’s integrity as much as possible. Try to stay away from keyword stuffing too, or else Google will penalize your page. Check out the best SEO packages for small businesses.
8. Social shares
While social shares aren’t directly a ranking factor for Google, they are for Bing. Even if you focus on optimizing your site for Google, on Google’s search results, there’s still a close correlation between your rankings and social shares.
Moreover, these social shares don’t count as individual links. But the more popular your post is, and the more traction it has, the wider your audience will become. This also increases the potential of you acquiring genuine links.
If you have the opportunity to come up with snappy headlines for different social media platforms, then do so. Who knows, this might help you creep your site to the top of the search results.
There you have this. We have discussed the most important SEO ranking factors that matter most. Work on these and you’ll definitely see a boost in your rankings on the search results.