7 Most Important SEO Ranking Factors You Must Know
SEO has become something that is much talked about these days, thousands of webmasters, content providers, digital publishers and bloggers, whether they work for an SEO agency or run their own website is talking about SEO and how they can optimise their website to rank higher on search engines. Of course there’s no doubt that SEO helps you improve your website’s ranking on search engines. Google has over 200 SEO ranking factors they consider for SEO but you’ll probably agree that working on all those 200 SEO ranking factors for every post, every page and every content on your website doesn’t make sense, as a matter of fact, this will be difficult for a small or mid level company which leads to this question.
What are The Most Important SEO Ranking Factors?
Unfortunately, the best answer to this question is known only by those who create search engine algorithms. These algorithms change all the time, Nevertheless, this article outlines some of the SEO ranking factors widely regarded as important by SEO industry experts.
7 Most Important SEO Ranking Factors For Your Website
1. Keywords Research & in title: Keyword is a very important factor for your SEO, they are the words and phrases that your target audience are searching for via search engines which you want to rank higher for. Take for instance if your users are searching for ‘Cafes’ and you are constantly referencing yourself as a ‘pub,’ ‘restaurant’ or a ‘pancake shack’ throughout your website, there is a greater possibility they won’t find you. Google is, unfortunately, not intelligent enough to link the phrases, so it’s important to target a wide range of keywords and use them within page titles, URLs, article headlines, image titles and website content. in order to achieve this, the following Keyword tools are recommended for your SEO:
- Google AdWords Keyword Tool (Comes in handy)
- Keyword Spy
- SEO Book
- SEM Rush
- Google Adwords Traffic Estimator
- Keyword Eye
- SEOmoz Keyword Difficulty Tool
- Keyword Competitor
- SEO Moz
- Seed Keywords
- Keyword Discovery
Apart from the body of the text or the actual content, search engines also look at the title tags, the headlines, hence it’s very important that you include your keywords in those, SEO plugin by Yoast does a great job in helping you achieve this result
2. Backlinks (Better from Authority Websites) Another important SEO ranking factor is backlinks, links from other websites can substantially boost the ranking of your domain. Links are seen by search engines as recommendations from other users. It is an established fact that links from popular websites are worth more than links from unread blogs. Either way, it is widely regarded as helpful to earn authority links from other websites, the more their diversity and popularity the better.
3. Content Quality Creating original and thought-provoking content not only helps improve SEO, it also encourages other professionals to link to your website. It is an established fact that most of the major search engines will reward websites which are consistently updated with quality content. For this reason alone, it is worth producing a blog or industry news page for a website. Search Engines these days are smart enough to know what a unique high quality content is and will definitely reward it and penalise low quality website by removing it from SERP’s (Search engine results page), it’s important to always create unique high quality content (do not copy), also make sure that your content is rich and informative and search engines will like you.
4. Social Media/ Social Signals This is a measure of how your content is treated on social media sites, the number of likes you are getting, the number of shares, the number of re-tweets, Google looks at these and use it to rank your content.
5. Bounce Rate The bounce rate is the percentage of a website’s visitors which leave the website immediately after visiting a single page. A high bounce rate signals to a search engine that a website’s content is not what search engine users are looking for. Your focus should then be to reduce your bounce rate and how can you achieve that? By making sure that you provide high quality content that is relevant, make your website interactive by adding polls, contest, etc, make it easy to navigate around, insert attractive images and videos, something that can keep anyone on the site
6. Site Speed Websites that are slow can decrease customer satisfaction and research has shown that an improvement in site speed can increase conversions, Google pays attention to this and is now a major SEO ranking factor, consider reducing the multimedia elements or coding errors on your website, the following tools will help you to check your site speed and possibly improve performance
- Page Speed, This is an open source Firefox/Firebug add-on that helps you evaluate the performance of web pages and makes suggestions for improvement.
- Pingdom (Recommended – comes in handy)
- YSlow, a free tool that suggests ways to improve website speed from yahoo.
- WebPagetest shows a waterfall view of your pages’ load performance plus an optimization checklist.
- Webmaster Tools, Labs > Site Performance, this shows the speed of your website as experienced by users around the world as in the chart below.
7. Domain Age/Trust Age of a domain is an important SEO ranking factor, the older the domain, the more preference it will get for the very simple reason that search engines assume that older domains must be from an established organisation or brand, other things being equal, a website with older domain will have preferential treatment.
There is no miracle tactic for SEO. It takes a lot of time and patience to succeed. However, many website owners have found that their hard work has paid off and are still reaping the benefits to this day. Out of these, I think that creating highly valuable content is the most significant, once you get this right, every other thing can easily take care of themselves, high quality content is the king, choose quality over quantity and the rest will take care of themselves.