Why do we create a website? To reach more people, isn’t it? To reach more people you need to rank higher in search engine results page and to rank higher, you need to know how Google ranks your website. Google’s primary goal is to present search results that are most relevant and high in quality. Google does it by taking over 200 factors into account. In this post, we are listing out eight most important ranking factors you need to know.
1. QUALITY OF THE CONTENT
Ever since Google came into existence, quality of the content has been the most important ranking signal. Having a high-quality genuine content makes the rest of search engine optimization (SEO) easy. Using automated content generation tools available on the Internet to create content may harm your ranking. Generate quality content naturally and provide value to users.
Quality backlinks give an indication to Google that your website is a valuable resource. Long back Google started to use backlinks as a ranking factor. Over the time, Google has become more sophisticated to penalize websites that use poor, paid or irrelevant backlinks. Invest your time on building natural backlinks. More quantity of quality backlinks is something which Google rewards.
Google announced mobile-first indexing taking rapid growth of mobile users into account. It now gives preference for the websites that are responsive across all screen sizes. After this update, search results that are relevant to user’s current geographical location are presented. If your website isn’t mobile responsive, then you might observe a drop in your search engine ranking.
4. PAGE LOAD SPEED
There are two main reasons for making Page Speed as a ranking factor. One, Google’s aim is to make the Internet browsing more and more user-friendly. Two, most of the users, especially mobile users expect a website to load within three seconds. This is the reason why Page Speed has also become an important part of search engine optimization (SEO).
5. SOCIAL SIGNALS & BRANDED SEARCHES
It has been observed that social signals from Facebook, Quora, Reddit and Pinterest etc. tally with search engine ranking. Additionally, it is also noticed that branded searches provide a strong indication to Google. SEO along with Social Signals and Branded Searches makes a website more likely to rank well in search engine results page.
Back then, exact match domains guaranteed higher organic search visibility. Today, domain still has a great influence on search engine ranking of a website. There are two main factors associated with the domain of a website that plays an important role in ranking.
- Domain Seniority: Currently, domain age is an important factor. Old websites with a good track record tend to rank higher on search engine results page compared to the new websites.
- Exact-Match Domains: Domains which completely match keywords continue to have an added advantage. Exact-Match domain provides more organic visibility and better search ranking.
Security is one of the top priorities of Google. This is the reason why the majority of HTTP websites, especially websites that ask a user to enter data are migrating to secure HTTPS encryption. Although, no significant improvement in search ranking is noticed after the migration, but still it is a good practice to stay on Google’s good side.
User experience is last on the list, but it doesn’t mean it holds less importance compared with the above factors. Although it is difficult to measure the effect of UX, a strong correlation is observed between UX and search engine ranking. It is a good practice to evolve your site to adopt user behaviour and make browsing effortless.