11 Important SEO Ranking Factors You Should Know

By | May 20, 2020

Requirements for SEO ranking keeps changing, so it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with the information. But if Google ranking means anything to you, then you need to get a constant update about it.

The importance of having a well-optimized site is enormous. You get real traffic which can translate to more leads and ultimately, more sales, especially for business owners.

Without SEO, your hard work may not count that much because people won’t be able to see your site. This literally defeats the aim of which it was created.

In today’s post, we will be talking about what SEO really means and also share some important SEO ranking factors that anyone can explore to dominate the search engine results. I believe that as you go through this article to the latter, you should be able to create an SEO-optimized site that will take your business to another level.

So, What Is SEO Ranking?

The term SEO means search engine optimization. It means making a site get highly ranked on search engines (mostly Google). You might want to know how this concept works, so let me simplify it.

In SEO, ranking means the position of your content on a search engine. It is popularly referred to as search engine result pages (SERPs).

When you have the #1 ranking, it means your web page will be the first to come up anytime people use the search engine to search for some specific terms.

Though a first-page ranking is very good and quite competitive, it is also not bad if your site happens to appear among the top 3 results. In fact, it is awesome because you will still get click-through rates that will be closer to any site occupying the #1 position.

95% of people do not go beyond the first page; so, if your site appears on the first page and is among the top 10 positions, it is still okay.

What Google Looks For in SEO

The aim of Google is to deliver relevant information on search results. It tries to organize diverse information in the world and make them universally accessible.

This is why Google gives preference to relevant information. You might be wondering about how Google is able to carry out all these functions. I’ll explain everything in a bit.

First, Google has search bots that crawl the web. Do not get this twisted; what I meant is that Google bots visit the web pages.

Second, the bots add all the pages that are well-optimized and crawlable to Google’s index and keep them in the catalog.

Third, as people use Google to search for a particular term, it displays what it thinks to be the most relevant result out of all the pages in Google index. Google has numerous and complex algorithms it uses to decide if the content is to be displayed and the order in which it will be displayed.

Let us look into some of the terms that are always associated with SEO, you would hear people talking about them in the marketing world.

On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO

These two terms are frequently mentioned in virtually all discussions about SEO ranking factors.

On-page SEO explains those factors on your site such as the content and underlying codes that you need to optimize while off-page SEO means the actions that are taken (not on your site) to influence your site reliability and authority by creating the right inbound links as well as social signals.

How You Can Monitor Search Engine Rankings

The first step towards improving your search engine ranking is dependent on knowing your starting point. There are lots of ways to find this.

You can carry out a search on Google with some terms you believe searchers would likely use. When carrying out this exercise, set your browser to an incognito mode, so the result won’t be narrowed by Google’s personalization.

Also, bear in mind that there are tools that can be used to perform this function. A popular example is SEMrush. With this tool, you can just type into the search box your domain name and wait for the report to be populated.

You will be able to see the top keywords that you are ranking for. You can even decide to use the keyword position of the tool to track any keyword you are trying to rank for.

Now, let us discuss some of the top-ranking factors for Google ranking. Remember that there is a lot of competition for the first three positions of Google search results.

The list of Google ranking signals is always long. Most lists contain all the factors rather than just focus on the important ones. Sometimes, these lists contain a lot of myths, which is even the worst.

Thus, in this tutorial, we’ll take a different look. Instead of listing over 200 ranking factors, we’ll discuss only those that we believe most deserve our attention.

Here, we have the list of direct and indirect ranking signals. No discrimination is placed between the two, as it’s believed that most site owners just want a higher ranking on Google and are not bothered about the difference between them.

Top 11 Ranking Factors For SEO

1. Your Website Should Be Accessible

It is vital to have the right kind of URL that Google bots can effortlessly access and crawl. To put this differently, Google should be able to visit your site and look through the content to know what the content of the page is all about. To make it easier for the bots, you will need:

  • A robots.txt file that will guide Google on where it can look into and where not to look into while obtaining information on your site
  • A website that is created with a well-coded website developer
  • A sitemap to list all your pages.

2. Page Speed

How fast your page loads is a contributing factor in SEO ranking. This is applicable to both mobile and desktop supported sites.

For mobile sites, you can use Google Testing Tool to see how your site loads. For WordPress sites, you can make use of Google Search Console. It has a full section that is dedicated to giving you updates on how a site performs, including the speed.

3. Mobile Friendliness

Your site should be able to work flawlessly on both desktop and mobile devices. Google takes the mobile-friendliness of your site into consideration for SEO rankings since lots of people use their mobile devices more than the desktop.

So, if your site is not mobile-optimized, then you are at risk of getting your site underrated. Your site should be responsive and be able to automatically resize to suit any device.

4. Domain Authority and Age

Nearly 60% of sites occupying the top ten positions on Google search results are over three years old. Although some sites that are less than a year old still make up the list, they are negligible.

Domain authority is important on the list of search engine ranking factors because it involves the combination of valuable content as well as off-page SEO signals. You can use Open Site Explorer to check the authority of your domain.

You can assess the relative power of a linking web page and domain by considering its URL and Domain Rating using Ahrefs’ Site Explorer.

Backlinks that come from authority pages tend to trigger the needle most. High-quality backlinks can help improve your rankings. These include links that come from niche-related sites, authority blogs within the same blogging industry, high PR niche-related forums, social media, and social bookmarking sites.

5. Optimized Content

Google search algorithm is dependent on keywords. Keywords are phrases and words that people use on search engines when searching for information.

These words or phrases should describe the topic that your site talked about. As people type the keyword into Google search box, it brings up the result that matches the searched keyword.

To create a keyword, you need to understand the search intent of people. You should imagine words or phrases that people could put in the search box while seeking information.

Still, on content optimization, your content should be original and detailed. This is because originality and detailed content are factors that are considered in SEO ranking.

6. Technical SEO

Let’s look at some of the technical areas you can work on even without any coding knowledge.

  • Always add the keyword phrase in your page title. Google looks into this to determine the relevant content that suits a search
  • Do ensure to use header tags to depict the hierarchy of your content
  • Your images should have a keyword phrase to show how relevant your content is to your images
  • You can use Schema Markup to tell Google about your content type

7. User Experience

For some time now, artificial intelligence has been used by Google to rank web pages better. There are some signals that can affect your SEO ranking. They include; click-through rate, bounce rate, and dwell time.

These indicators are used to judge a user’s experience on your site. For instance, the bounce rate signifies that a user left your site as soon as it opened and returned to the search results. This showed that the visitor is not satisfied with the content of the site.

8. Links

Links are an important aspect of SEO ranking. These are the links that act as the door to your site.  Below are the 3 types of links:

  • Inbound links
  • Outbound links
  • Internal links

These three links form the descriptive anchor text. When links are added to a line of text in your content, the text should be able to tell what the link is all about.

Backlinks are possibly the most crucial ranking factor. How do I get to know? Backlinks constitute the basis of Google PageRank, which is the pillar of Google’s search algorithm. Though PageRank was still used about three years back, it’s now become old news.

Recent research also reveals the correlation between organic traffic and backlinks. But not all backlinks are generated equal.

A considerable number of factors constitute a backlink’s potentiality to trigger the needle, and the two most crucial are authority and relevance.

Links that you get from relevant pages, forums, and websites tend to hold the largest value.

Google delivers content from your web pages to its users based on relevancy. If you have some content on your pages that aren’t relevant to what the user is looking for, Google will never present such content lest people lose trust in its search potentiality to provide the right information at the needed time.

9. Social Signals

Though Google stated that social media sharing is not a factor for ranking, the truth is this; as people share your content on social media, it could go viral leading to more traffic. This indirectly favors your site for Google ranking.

10. Business Information

Information on a business type is one of the most significant factors in SEO ranking. Your business website should have information regarding name, address, and phone numbers.

11. Freshness

Freshness is a search-dependent ranking signal – meaning, it is more crucial for certain search queries than the other ranking factors.

Google tends to be strict when it comes to delivering results and it gives preference to user intent more than anything else. It does this, realizing that people want recent and up-to-date information.

Google understands this, so it’s quite exciting to present results that are just a few weeks old.

There are queries that wouldn’t require freshness. An example includes queries like “how to start a WordPress.com blog”. In this case, freshness doesn’t matter in that the process of starting a WordPress.com blog remains unchanged. A 6-year-old tutorial can be as helpful as one published two days ago.

That clarifies why both new and old pages are ranked in the top seven on SERPs.

In Summary

After going through this post, you will need to take action to see the result. Remember that, the ultimate aim of making your site rank higher on search engines is to convert your visitors to customers.

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16 thoughts on “11 Important SEO Ranking Factors You Should Know

  1. Carolyn

    Hi Sierra, I have learned so much at Wealthy Affiliate about SEO, that I figured that I would breeze through your post very quickly. Low and behold, I had to stop time and again and reread what you posted, for it was a new thought to me. Thanks so much for your post!

    Reply
    1. Sierra Morgan Post author

      Hey there Carolyn, glad I was able to spark up some new thoughts for yah! You are most welcome for the post and please feel free to stop by anytime!

      Reply
  2. Andy

    Thanks for this. You have included a lot of very valuable information. There are terms here I have not heard of and now that I read your article I realize I should be investigating this topic in greater depth. Probably like many others I have been treating an SEO plugin as a sort of black box and not bothering to understand the inner workings. I have focused on all the things I needed to do to my content, some of which you describe and just blindly trusted that the SEO plugin would be taking care of the other technical stuff. I’d never heard of robots.txt for example. And as you say Google changes how it ranks so often that we should all be staying on top of this if we want to keep getting good rankings. Thanks again. This is very useful. Best regards, Andy

    Reply
    1. Sierra Morgan Post author

      Hello Andy, thanks so much for dropping by, much appreciated! I am glad to know you found my post valuable. Stop by anytime!

      Reply
  3. Jomata

    Really awesome post there, i must say that this post is very timely for me,  as a newbie online I’m working on my website for my business and it’s very important I arm myself with the necessary tool that I need to become successful hence my search to SEO ranking factor,  seeing that the internet is a very competitive place, it’s will be best I get prepared for what I’m about to face. Thanks for sharing this.

    Reply
    1. Sierra Morgan Post author

      Hi Jomata, I am very much excited that my post was right on time for you. I can see that as a newbie to the online industry you are already on the right track. Diving right into SEO research, kudos Jomata! You are right the internet is competitive, just keep at it and you will begin to see results! Jomata stop by anytime and if you ever need a hand with anything just let me know!

      Reply
  4. evans

    hello dear thanks for sharing such amazing factors on the importance of search engine optimisation, search engine optimisation is the brain behind Every successful blogger trust me, rank in search engines gives you a high leverage over other bloggers and helps you create high level of traffic, and as you know traffic is income..

    I look forward to applying these search engines optimisation ranking factors to My Block and I hope to get positive feedback soon, thanks for sharing and I look forward to sharing as well

    Reply
    1. Sierra Morgan Post author

      Hi Evan, I appreciate you leaving a comment on my site. Once you apply these Seo strategies mentioned in my post. I’d love to know how things work out for you! Best wishes Evan.

      Reply
  5. Justin

    Search engines have great use in an online business and just like so many site owners wishes to have good ranking with googles, then it is important to make use of a good and trusted search engine to give you the right details to use when creating a content for owns site. I have been exposed to using Jaaxy and ifs been very helpful is far.

    Reply
    1. Sierra Morgan Post author

      Hi Justin, so kind of you to stop by and leave a comment. The right Seo strategies is what it takes to rank high in the search engines. You can’t go wrong with Jaaxy it is a wonderful platform for Seo details and much more. I appreciate your feedback drop by anytime!

      Reply
  6. EliteCarol

    I started blogging to while away my time during this period of quarantine. So far, it’s been really fun but there have also been some aspects of blogging that I found challenging. Specifically, how to get traffic and visibility. I know little about SEO ranking before I came across this post, which has been quite informative. I’ll commit the points made to mind and see how I can best utilize them. 

    Reply
    1. Sierra Morgan Post author

      Hey there, thank you so kindly for stopping by. Please feel free to check out my post on traffic generation. As a newbie blogger there are some challenges to face, just keep at it and the results will come. Hey if you ever need any help just let me know. I’ll be more than happy to help you out. Happy blogging!

      Reply
  7. Blessed

    Thanks for shearing this useful article, as we all know that learning is a process,  I have learn a lot from you today, i have been previleged to learn about SEO with WA, your review caut my interest that i had to take my time toread your post slowly because it was a massiveknowledge transfer, the things you address in there are the main problem that a lot of site owner are confronted with, but thanks to this review it has brought to light some useful strategies with which one can easily get ranked by Google…thanks again and keep on the good work.

    Reply
    1. Sierra Morgan Post author

      Hi there, you are more than welcome for the post, it’s my pleasure. Learning is a process and I learn something new everyday. With that said, I am very much pleased you where able to pick up some new strategies after reading my post. Happy rankings and you are more than welcome to stop by anytime!

      Reply
  8. Philebur

    Hello there thanks a lot for this insightful review it was really helpful. The term “Ranking Factors” describes the criteria applied by search engines when evaluating web pages in order to compile the rankings of their search results. … Understanding ranking factors is a necessity for effective search engine optimization. There are a lot of ranking factors that should be considered but then I think the important ones are related to how your content is structured and the intent of your keyword

    Reply
    1. Sierra Morgan Post author

      Oh yes, Philebur! You just impressed me by highlighting on the most crucial ranking signals, believing that content and it’s relevancy to search intent is all that matters while others follow suit. If you are producing quality content, you will get lots of high-quality backlinks from authority sites in your industry and will experience a boost in DA and search rankings. 

      Reply

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