If you work in or interact with a digital marketing agency at all, you will be sufficiently familiar with SEO. Search engine optimization is what enables your website to show up as one of the first few options in any search engine such as Google or Bing. SEO plays a big part in a company’s success in garnering attention and traffic. As companies realize the importance of search engine optimization, they have specialized employees working round the clock to ensure that they stay on top of their SEO game.
But Google doesn’t randomly put your website at the top. There are a multitude of factors involved according to which the websites are ranked and their order of appearance is decided. We reveal the top ten SEO ranking factors that search engines use so you can have a better chance of showing up on the first page of the search results.
The quality of content you produce and display on your website is still the most important deciding factor when it comes to where you rank on the SERPs. Websites with well-researched, original content backed by outbound links tend to make their way to the top easily.
Most of us now use our phones for everything, from checking our emails to reading articles and blogs. So it comes as no surprise that for your website to rank higher, it has to be mobile-friendly. In 2016, Google announced mobile-first indexing as a criterion for websites to meet to stay relevant.
3. Age of the Content
Notice when you Google something, it usually displays the most recent articles and the older ones further down the page. The age of the content matters; newer articles and blogs are considered superior to older ones. Updating and tweaking old content on your website should suffice for it to stay relevant.
4. Page Speed
It is estimated that people wait about 3 seconds for a webpage to load. If it doesn’t, they move on. If your web page is slow and takes time to load, the chances are it will be pushed down by Google, in favor of faster websites.
5. Back Links
Back linking is also a factor that can affect the order of your appearance in the search engine rankings. In fact, Google removed a lot of webpages that didn’t have proper back linking. So link your content up with high-quality and relevant websites from all over the internet, and become more popular with Google.
6. Social Signals
As a brand, you need to be available at every customer touchpoint. A social media presence not only attests to the authenticity of your brand but also helps your website SEO ranking. The more social signals and connections your website has to social media sites, the higher up it will show up in the search engine rankings.
7. Domain Authority
Exact-match domain names are not a sure-shot way of climbing up the ranks, but it sure does make a difference. For example, if someone searches for ‘cool gadgets’ and your domain name is www.coolgadgets.com, you have a good chance of making your way to the top of Google’s search engine rankings.
8. User Experience
Google wants to provide the best customer experience to people, and for that reason, it does not want websites to show up at the top that have a track record of low CTRs, high bounce rates, and low dwell time.
9. Website Security
Another contender that affects website rankings is the website’s security. Google takes security very seriously and encourages websites to switch to the safer “https” so that Google bots can crawl through the site easily.
Now you know what it takes to make your way to the top of Google’s rankings!