There are so many different factors one must understand when it comes to SEO.
Search engine optimization is definitely a wormhole. But not all factors are equal, and some matter a lot more than others.
This naturally begs the question, what are the SEO ranking factors that matter most?
Here are 7 search engine ranking factors you shouldn’t ignore.
1. Simple and Clear URL
The name of your website matters for search engines. Google and other websites like clear and simple URLs, preferably ones that connect directly to what your website does or helps people achieve.
For example, a great URL, if you sell cooking equipment, would have the word “cook” or “cooking” in it. Right away, you make Google’s job easier by telling their crawlers what you do.
Even if your website domain is already established, this is important to know for any expansions you may make in the future. Individual blog posts should be structured simply as well — avoid numbers, random letters, or unnecessary symbols whenever possible.
Here’s where you can find out more about gaining visibility on your website.
2. Page Speed
Pages that load slowly or lag when being used are considered dead weight to Google and other search engines. They make the user experience much worse, meaning you’re likely to get docked and rank lower.
Today, every page on your website needs to load fast. They also need to perform well when being used. That means embedded videos, color schemes, and images should all be structured with speed in mind.
Loading time can affect your bottom line. People say they’re far more likely to leave a site that loads slowly in favor of going somewhere else.
3. Low Bounce Rate
In 2018, Google introduced its now-famous E-A-T template for succeeding with search engine optimization: expertise, authority, and trust. Your website’s bounce rate, or the rate at which people click on then quickly leave, plays a big role in all three areas.
Of the many search engine ranking factors, Google and other sites want to know that you’re adding value to people who find your stuff. A telltale sign that you’re not doing that — or that something else fishy is going on — is that people visit then immediately leave your site.
This helps illustrate one major point about Google ranking factors. All the tactics in the world won’t matter if the service you provide or the content you offer isn’t good.
Think about how you can bring value in an honest and authoritative way and you will succeed.
Backlinks help boost all three aspects of the EAT model from Google as well. When people link to your website, it shows search engines your content can be trusted by others.
Google has said publicly that it hopes to do away with backlinks in the future. However, they are still relevant and valuable now and likely will be for some time to come.
There are many ways to build backlinks on your website. But ultimately, your goal is to get other authoritative web pages to like and believe in what you’re doing. Ideally, these are companies that serve the same niche or community as you.
There are paid options available online. Or if you’re on a budget, look for local vendors who might be interested in arranging a swap.
5. Fresh Content
Think about it from Google’s point of view for a second. They have millions of websites to crawl every day. That means anything they can do to determine that your site is — or isn’t — worthy of being ranked is helpful.
That’s why one of the factors that affect SEO ranking is creating fresh content. A website that hasn’t updated content regularly in years tells Google right away there is a red flag. It might not affect a business right away, but as time goes on it likely will.
Some experts will have you believe you need to be creating all types of content to thrive in 2021 and beyond. While it’s true that video, audio, and text all offer their own specific benefits, the key is to choose a type of content that works for you.
Think about what your strengths are, as well as what type of content you genuinely like creating. Consistency is more important than being everywhere at once.
6. Updated Google My Business Listing
Google My Business was specifically designed to engage customers online. They put the tool together and they want to see businesses like yours using it. It’s a no-brainer as far as SEO ranking factors go.
Google My Business offers tons of benefits, like connecting you with Google Search and Maps.
You’re more likely to be discovered in your local community by being on there. And local search engine optimization is a great place to build a name for yourself online.
7. Image Optimization
The images you choose for your website can help or hurt your SEO ranking factors.
For example, choosing a high-quality image that’s relevant to your content (or creating one) will drive more engagement and increase the number of clicks you receive. Alternatively, a blurry image will detract people from clicking.
One simple thing you can do to optimize your images for search engines is to always fill out “Alternative Text.” This box, meant to give people with visual impairments a way to understand what an image looks like, is vital for ranking on Google Images.
SEO Ranking Factors
There are many SEO ranking factors to consider, but the 7 we’ve reviewed are a great place to get started.
Creating clear and simple URLs, making sure your website loads fast, and making sure you create timely, relevant content are all ways to grow your platform or online business.
Learn more tips like these by checking out our blog!