Google uses approximately 200 factors to form its page ranking algorithm.
So you’ll want to get to grips with some of the more important ones. Well luckily for you, we’re going to explore 15 things that Google takes into consideration when ranking its pages.
That way you can take practical action and improve your site’s SEO, immediately.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
1. Insert Your Keyword into Your Title Tag
Your title tag is essential for communicating to Google the context of your web page is about, so be sure to add your researched keyword into your title tag, preferably nearer the beginning.
This is an indicator signal that Google takes very seriously, so you’ll want to prioritise this one!
2. Insert Keywords into Subheadings
Try to include keywords in your H1 tag, and at least once in either your H2 or H3 tags. You need to imagine the H1 tag as a second title tag, and another opportunity to tell Google what you’re writing about.
Whereas, the H2 and H3 tags help Google understand the structure of your page, and therefore its content.
3. Craft a Compelling Meta Description
Although Google doesn’t use the meta description as a ranking factor directly, your meta tag can influence your click-through-rate. The higher your click-through rate, the better.
You could perhaps ask a question that relates directly to the reader to show your article/ web page/ service, etc. relates specifically to the visitor.
4. Keyword Prominence
You should always aim to insert your keyword within the first 100 words of your copy. You should also naturally incorporate your keyword throughout your webpage.
It’s especially important that your keyword matches the context of your copy. This ensures your visitors see information that’s relevant to what they’re searching for.
However, don’t be tempted to keyword stuff your text. This can negatively impact your sites ranking ability. Since the application of Google Hummingbird, keyword stuffing is neither necessary or advisable.
Google’s algorithm now has a better understanding of the topics discussed in your webpage, because it’s able to analyse more than just your keyword.
5. The Length of Your Content
You should aim to craft long-form content throughout your website. Longer articles typically cover things in greater detail in comparison to shorter blog posts.
A recent study suggests that extended content correlates with ranking higher on search engines.
Top Tip: when crafting your content make sure your grammar and spelling are perfect. This indicates that your web copy is of high quality, and will improve the user experience.
6. Increase Page Loading Speed
The quicker your page loading speed, the better chance your site has of ranking higher on Google and Bing. Search engines can estimate this time one of two ways:
- Increase speed via HTML: Google’s algorithm can predict the rate of your site based on your HTML code.
- Increase speed via Chrome: Google can also use data sourced from Chrome to grasp a webpage’s loading time.
In light of this, we advice conducting further research on how you could improve on this. Analyse your site speed here.
7. Don’t Use Duplicated Content
By duplicated content we mean, reposting content you’ve previously published. Never make the mistake of doing this because your SEO will be affected.
Unless you’re using the Rel=Canonical tag, when you insert this into your HTML code correctly, it usually stops Google from penalising your site.
The same is true of syndicated content. For those of you who don’t know, syndicated content is text that’s taken from an indexed page and then re-published on your website.
lastly if you’re building an E-Commerce website don’t be tempted to use the manufacturers product descriptions supplied to you. The likelihood is that many other retailers are also using them. You’ll never rank and you’ll trip Google Panda in one fell swoop.
8. Image Optimisation
There are plenty of ways to optimise images on your site. For example, you can include your keyword in any of the following places. However, we suggest only picking a couple (you want it to appear natural).
- Alt text
The most important is the alt text, so be sure to prioritise this one.
9. Constant Work
You need to continually add to your website or at least edit the pages you already have. This indicates to Google your website’s fresh and things are active.
Naturally, adding or deleting big chunks from your site is far more significant than switching just a few things around. Therefore, we suggest frequently updating your website.
10. Internal Links
If you want a specific page on your site to rank, make sure you have plenty of internal links that point visitors in that direction. The total number of internal links to a page communicates to Google its importance.
On the subject of links, make sure you don’t have any broken links on your page because that suggests you’re neglecting your site and therefore the quality could be subpar.
Top Tip: when it comes to affiliate links, make sure you don’t have too many on the page. If you have loads, Google’s algorithm might pay closer to attention to other quality signals that could impact your sites ability to rank.
11. Domain Age
Apparently, the age of your domain can influence your ranking. This is because domains with lousy content typically fail, and are abandoned. Whereas, higher quality sites stand the test of time.
Sadly, domain age isn’t something you can control. It’s just a case of committing to your domain for the long haul.
However, there’s a certain amount of evidence that suggests that by registering your domain for years to come (rather than just annually) will boost your ranking.
This is because by doing this you’re showing your commitment to working on the site.
12. Repeat Visitors
Repeat visitors aren’t just great for establishing a loyal following; they’re also a fabulous way of communicating to Google that your sites popular.
Therefore, the more customers you have coming back to your website, the more authoritative you appear in Google’s eyes.
13. Dwell time
Google also analyses how long visitors stay on your site before they return back to Google. The higher your dwell time, the better.
This is because it suggests the content is of high quality and matches what the users are searching for, in comparison to web pages achieving lower dwell times.
14. Your URL
Make sure your URL’s aren’t overly long. This might damage your sites ability to rank, you should also include your keyword in your URL as this is another relevancy signal (all be it a minor one).
We suggest aiming for around five words in your URL, this should be enough to include your keyword and tell the reader they’re in the right place.
15. Page Categories
When deciding which category a page comes under, make sure it’s relevant. This way Google can see that the page is closely related to the category, hence giving your web page another relevancy boost.
This may mean going back to your website and creating a few extra categories to accommodate all the topics you discuss on your blog.
16. Improve the Quality of Your Site
Quality is critical when it comes to online content.
You need to provide value, whether you’re writing about something from a new perspective or giving away valuable information to your readers, make sure you create engaging and dynamic copy.
In addition to excellent content, you need a ‘contact page,’ and you should refer to it throughout your site. By doing this your building trust with Google and showing you’re a legitimate operation.
Furthermore, if you can ensure your contact information matches that of other online listings, this will further your cause.
On that same note, make sure you get good reviews from users, by ensuring you offer them an excellent experience.
For example, if you start getting bad reviews on sites like Yelp.com; then you’re likely to damage your SEO efforts.
17. Site Usability
Make sure the architecture of your site is well put together. Take time over the structure of your site and organise it thoroughly, Google can analyse your content by the topics you cover and index your pages accordingly.
Naturally, a sitemap will offer further assistance, and help ensure you get the appropriate visibility.
On a similar note, make sure visitors can easily navigate your website. Although this isn’t a direct ranking factor, it can inadvertently increase your bounce rate, and damage your ability to rank.
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