What are the most important Google ranking factors you need to know?

It’s estimated that Google uses over 200 ranking factors in its algorithm.

If you want to improve your search results, you’ll have to know what the most important ranking factors are. Getting a higher search ranking can have a massive impact on your business.

Online searches have been proven to drive traffic to businesses and have a higher conversion rate than most forms of advertising.

In fact, 93% of all traffic comes from search engines, and about 50% of local searches on a smartphone lead to a store visit within a day.

If you want more leads and more sales, search engine optimisation is the key. Keep reading if you want to know how to rank higher on Google.

Backlinks

When Google looks at a website, it needs a way to separate high-quality sites from low-quality sites. One way to make that determination is through backlinks.

Google has always viewed backlinks as a vote for your website. In other words, if you had a great blog post that people liked, other sites would like to that article. Hence, you’ get a vote for your content.

As sites caught on to this method, they started to buy links and have spammy, low-quality sites link to them. That actually worked for a while and these sites rose to the top of search rankings.

Google figured out a way to distinguish low-quality backlinks and high-quality backlinks in 2012, namely the Google Penguin algorythm update.

In order to get high-quality backlinks, you’ll want to make sure your content is useful and relevant to readers. You’ll also want to target well-known sites in your niche and write guest posts for them. This will enhance your credibility and deliver backlinks to your site.

Keep in mind with backlinks, the anchor text is just as important as the link itself. The important thing to remember is to keep the anchor text natural. There’s no need to use keywords.

Quality Content

Among the top Google ranking factors, content is still king.

There’s been a lot said about content in the top Google ranking factors. Many are wondering if keywords are as relevant as they were before.

In the early days of SEO, you could stuff your content with keywords and rank very high in search results. Now, SEO is less about gaming the system and more about providing content that can help people solve a problem.

In December 2017, Google released the Maccabees Update. Among the big changes to the algorithm is how content is viewed by Google.

For example, if you’re trying to rank for “How to Lose Weight” and you have keyword variations like “lose weight with dieting” and “lose weight with the latest juice cleanse” in the article, you will be penalised.

The length of the content is also a factor. On average, the top 10 top search results have between 2,000 and 2,500 words.

That doesn’t mean that Google counts the number of words in its algorithm. In-depth articles tend to provide more useful information and they tend to generate high-quality backlinks and get shared more on social media.

Your goal to create quality content is to focus less on the keyword and focus more providing helpful content. You also want to make the language as natural as possible.

Mobile-Friendly Website

One of the other changes in the Maccabees update is the switch to emphasise mobile-friendly websites in search results. Having a responsive website is therefore vital.

Google is focused on providing a great experience for its users. Most of its users now use mobile search to find information online.

Therefore, Google is starting to use a mobile first index. With a mobile-first index, Google will crawl the mobile version of your website first.

If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you run the risk of having your site languish at the bottom of search results.

Site Speed

Another aspect of the user experience is site speed. Google knows that if they can’t deliver results that load fast, users will turn elsewhere for what they need.

The speed of the desktop version of your site is measured by Google right now. In July 2018, Google will also take into account the mobile speed of your website.

You can start speeding up your site right now by checking out these tips.

Encryption

There is a difference between sites that start with http and https. Sites that are HTTPS are more secure and more trustworthy.

Google’s algorithm takes this into account and this will be a much larger factor in coming updates.

Not only that, but HTTPS sites load faster, which will help your site speed and page rankings.

Click-Through Rate & Bounce Rate

Not only does Google have to provide an outstanding user experience, but so do you. If you appear frequently in search results and no one clicks through, that can impact your future search results.

It’s the same with people clicking through and leaving right away because they didn’t find what they were looking for.

If that’s the case, you may have to edit your site’s title and meta tags to ensure that they’re relevant and match what people are looking for.

Proximity to Address

For local searches, the distance between your business and the person searching is one of the top SEO ranking factors.

You need to make sure that your business name, address, and phone number (NAP Citation) is accurate and correct on your website and online directories.

If your business isn’t listed in online directories, you need to do that now. Make sure that you’re listed on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yel, and Yell.

Your business listings must be consistent and match the information on your website.

If you are a service business, you can still list your business. In this case, you’ll want to define your service area, rather than add a retail address.

Use the Top Google Ranking Factors to Your Advantage

Once you know and understand what Google prioritises, you can focus your efforts on improving in these areas, rather than all 200 Google ranking factors.

Are you still not sure where to begin?

If you have a question as you’re navigating through the world of SEO, we can help. Our team has a proven track record helping businesses improve their online presence with a return on investment.

Contact us today to learn how we can help grow your business.

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