There are several ranking factors that Google consider for ranking websites in search results. Almost 200+ ranking factors are considered by Google to rank the websites. While we don’t have control over how the search engines operate, definitely a lot can be done to boost your website’s chances of appearing at top of the search results.
This is exactly where the practice of strong SEO comes in, you need to align your strategy with Google’s ranking algorithm. Instead of listing all the factors, we will discuss 6 major ones for our understanding.
Freshness in content depends upon the user query and could be more important for certain queries than others. In case of extreme importance, it’s necessary to update the content regularly and publish new articles while in case of little importance, the creation of a guide may help you.
A search query on “Taliban news” would fetch fresh news especially the results from the past few hours with Google displaying the Top Stories feature with such fresh results. This is because Google understands that people want to see the recent news. For other queries, freshness is still important but not to that extent.
Take the query “best work from home setup,” for example. Because companies release new products from time to time, a good recommendation from last month would still be considered a good recommendation today. Google understands this, so they are quite happy to show results that are a few months old.
For a query like “how to protect hair fall,” freshness doesn’t matter a lot because the process of protecting a hair fall never changes. A ten-year-old guide can easily be as good as the one published yesterday. That explains why Google ranks both old and new pages in the top five.
- Page speed
Page speed has been an important ranking factor since 2010 and it affects both desktop and mobile searches. Pages that deliver poor experience affects the users so making sure that your site is fast enough is important from the perspective of a good user experience.
If you want to check the page speed, you can refer to the speed report in Google Search Console. This would show which of your pages load slowly on desktop and mobile.
HTTPS creates the user trust factor and improves security by encrypting data between browser and server. Google has already offered its commitment to HTTPS and shows a “Not secure” warning in Chrome when you visit an unencrypted page. It also confirmed HTTPS as a lightweight ranking factor. You can install an SSL certificate to make your site more secure.
As almost two-thirds of the searches happen on mobile, Google has considered mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor for mobile and desktop searches. Google then also moved to mobile-first indexing. You can check this data in the search console and you need to make sure that all web pages are mobile-friendly.
- User experience
Google always ranks content that offers valuable information and a positive user experience. Your optimization strategies should be geared towards making the site user-friendly.
Here are some suggestions from Google:
- Well-written and organized content.
- Engaging and useful content.
- Easy to navigate.
- Responsive design.
- No intrusive ads.
- Site designed around users’ needs.
Analysing metrics like CTR, avg. time on page and bounce rate could indicate users’ engagement with the website. Remove any kind of distractions, organize content logically, write for readability and value. Do everything in your capacity to get the best possible results for your target keyword. Look at IIDM website, an institute that offers digital marketing courses in nagpur. They boast of having a good user engagement and the reason is ease of navigation and simplicity.
Backlinks form the basis for Pagerank, which is the reason why it’s important to build quality and relevant backlinks to get a boost in search engines. There are a lot of factors associated with backlinks, the major being relevance and authority.
Relevance could be what the user is looking for actually. Is it the apple fruit or the apple iPhone in case he needs an apple? The same holds good for the web. Links from relevant websites and pages drive the most value.
Authority on the other hand is determined by DA (Domain Authority) and PA (Page Authority). You can refer to Moz for identifying and understanding this for any website. Building high-quality backlinks make your website stronger in the eyes of search engines and users as well.
Getting on the top of search engines is possible with the strong SEO efforts that boil down to well-implemented on-page and off-page factors. Content, site authority, responsiveness, user experience and more such factors determine your position and credibility on the search engines. It’s a long-term process and effort that you need to consistently take and check to understand if your strategies are driving the results that you desire.