Google ranking is made up of 200+ components or ‘ranking signals’, but here we’re discussing the top 12, which are unavoidable. In reality not all 200+ ingredients are equally important, and so we can focus on the important ones. You’re probably aware of these ranking factors, but you need to have an in-depth knowledge and proof about how they actually work in real-time scenarios.
Also, they may seem pretty easy to understand, but in reality you will need a lot of patience to get the desired ROI. And it gets difficult to keep up with Google’s algorithm change and SEO updates almost every week or month. Hence, this list can simplify the major ranking problems that you will require to deal with in the beginning before you plan to upload your content. After all, you don’t wish to get your web pages penalized by Google, right?
1. Back links and linking domains count
Gone were the days when link count was considered as a quality signal for Google. Over the past few years, search engine has learned to identify the low quality links created to obtain higher rankings. These links have a tremendous impact on your rankings, but you can’t misuse this technique by using low-quality links. More links will lead into a higher score as far as the quality is maintained. Apart from this links coming from same domain may not make much difference as Google will often consider only one of those links.
2. Link authority gives value to your website
Link quality has been an area of focus for SEO strategists and it will always remain one of the strongest ranking signals for Google. As the matter of fact, quality links can uplift your site in terms of Google rankings, but low quality back links can even get your site penalized. To get rid of this, run regular link audits in order to spot any dangerous links early and have them removed before the damage is caused. If you wish to get more high authority links, analyze your competitors’ content to get some of their links.
3. Link anchor text is a must for relevancy
You are expecting relevant links in your site, but do you know how Google identify relevance? Well, this isn’t much complicated. Initially, from the backlink’s anchor text. The title of the back link page can give an idea about the page, although it is not as effective as anchor text. Even though the anchor text is supposed to be relevant to the subject, ensure that it isn’t too similar, or you can get yourself into Google’s penguin penalty.
4. Content relevance can attract more users
Although your content is expected to be both relevant and original, you need build a unique concept when it comes to managing your website’s content. Even if it is a personal blog or popular e-commerce pages, having a USP is the basic rule to achieve top rankings. Focus on some particular topic in-depth, rather than trying to cover everything under few number of topics.
5. Content length can affect page quality
Google’s search quality guidelines have included the significance of length of content for page quality and rankings. Create copies over 2000 characters as longer content is one of the reasons for better ranking. An ideal content length may differ depending on the niche and hence it is safe to go through the pages of your top competitor’s pages in order to get an idea of the right size of content and keywords.
6. Click-through rate is highly correlated to site ranking
A click-through rate (CTR) is a ratio of the number of times a search list was clicked on to the number of times it was displayed to searchers. SERP (search engine results page) can have a tremendous impact on rankings. In fact CTR has the highest connection with rankings and increase in CTR can boost site’s rank.
7. Social signals is the best way to reach target consumers
Social signals matter as social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Google+ play a major part in increasing ranking through social shares. Social signals refer to web page’s collective shares in all social accounts. It is important to build a comprehensive social media strategy that can focus on promoting high-value campaigns.
8. Technical SEO factor like mobile friendliness
Google has started to index the mobile version of websites and hence they will analyze mobile pages against ranking signals. This is done so that they can determine how the site can rank in both mobile and desktop search results. As the matter of fact, more than 50% of the search queries globally are made from mobile devices. So it has become mandatory to have web pages optimized for mobile devices.
9. Page speed
Page speed is used in Google’s ranking algorithm. This can influence your SEO indirectly, as search engines will crawl fewer pages if your site is slow, and this could affect your site’s indexation. Page loading has a lot of impact on the users as they might tend to leave the page if it takes more than 2 seconds to load. Uncompressed content, images or CSS files can be a major reason for this.
10. Domain history
A site with unstable ownership via whois or numerous drops may tell Google to reset the site’s history, nullifying links pointing to the domain.
11. LSI keywords and Meta description
LSI keyword (Latent semantic indexing keywords) in page Meta tags helps Google with relevancy signal. For instance if you have mentioned the word ‘Apple’, it will find out whether you mentioned it as a fruit or as a brand. LSI and SEO go hand in hand as search engines like Google are always keen for relevant content for any particular term or topic.
12. Impeccable grammar and error free content
This an important quality signal, and this is one reason which makes your content intriguing and readable for audiences. Proper proofreading of content is must in order to avoid errors. A planned content strategy with informative and professional write ups can bring more consumers which may eventually boost your conversion rates. Also, place the content with proper navigation and easy interface, so that the readers will find it convenient to find the topics or queries they need.