Did you know Google unofficially has over 200 SEO ranking factors built into their algorithm? So, when it comes to optimising your site – where on earth do you begin?
We all want our business to achieve that page 1 position on search engines, but it doesn’t come easy, especially when you’ve got a lot of different factors coming into play. We’re not going to delve into the science of how search engines work, but it is good to get your head around it if you’re new to SEO.
Not all of Google’s ranking factors hold the same kind of weighting. Which is great, because it means even just focusing on the most important factors initially, will do wonders to maximise your SEO efforts.
SEO experts ponder search ranking factors all the time, because as we know it Google’s algorithms are constantly changing and your SEO strategy needs to keep up too.
So what’s relevant right now? Our SEO experts in Perth have compiled their top 10 list of ranking factors any SEO beginner should focus on, to get their business ranking higher on Google.
1. Mobile friendly sites
No surprise here, we talk about this all the time. Having a mobile responsive site is an absolute necessity these days, as the number of people browsing on mobile devices continues to rise.
Google prioritises this by pulling its results from mobile-optimised sites first, rather than sites geared to desktop computers. You can test how mobile friendly your site is using Google’s mobile testing tool.
2. Quality content reigns
Content for now, is still king. The combination of producing original content, at a length that ensures the content remains valuable is a sure winner that Google will love you. But what does optimising content for SEO mean?
Google still relies on keywords to understand what your content is about, but it’s how you use them that matters. The trick is to keep your content fresh while naturally integrating your keywords and not over doing it. Duplicating content and going nuts with your keywords is only going to harm your ranking, so it’s very much a balancing act.
3. The need for super quick page speed
How fast does your site load? Users jumping on your site want answers to something and they want it fast. This has always been a pretty important factor in Google’s eyes, but now the search engine is also measuring this against mobile sites with a new algorithm dubbed the ‘Speed Update’. Put simply if your site is dragging to load on mobile, you’re going to find it hard to rank high on the SERPs.
4. Schema markup
Schema what now? Schema markup is code you place on your site to make it easier for search engines to interpret your content. If you’re a small business this is especially important for local SEO, as it helps Google understand where your business is located.
5. Power to the domain
A high Domain Authority indicates your website contains quality information and that you’re a credible source of insights. Domain Authority (DA) is a metric made up of factors such as domain age and keyword relevance. It rates websites on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher the score, the higher the ranking, which is likely to result in more traffic for you.
But how do you achieve a high DA? If you’re actively engaging in SEO you’re probably already onto this, regardless here are some tips to help you increase your Domain Authority.
6. Quality backlinks
Google keeps score of what sites have quality backlinks. When a trustworthy website links back to you, it makes your site appear valuable and positions you as an online authority figure. Once you start receiving a steady flow of a backlinks, you’ll notice your Domain Authority improve not to mention your rankings too.
7. Social signals
What’s one way Google knows you’re producing valuable content? If it’s being shared of course. People power through social media we like to call it. Anything from likes, tweets, pins and general shares will positively influence your ranking – so get social!
8. User experience (UX)
Ensuring your website is functional and provides a positive user experience is high on the list of SEO ranking factors. A site that’s difficult to use or navigate can impact your rankings indirectly through the time spent on your site, number of pages viewed, the bounce rate and so on.
9. Technical SEO
This loosely covers many factors, but carrying out basic on page SEO are tactics any SEO friendly website should be implementing. You just can’t ignore it. Things like optimising your title tags, header tags, meta descriptions and images, making sure you have a proper sitemap… the list goes on!
10. Secured sites
Google has considered security a top priority since 2014. Maintaining data security on your website is important to prevent data breaches from hackers accessing users’ personal information that you may collect. A secured site will be encrypted with an SSL certificate and identified with ‘https’ in the URL.
Because Google wants users to be better protected, they now label sites that aren’t https encrypted as ‘unsecured’. Having an unsecured site does look bad for business, but it’s actually not the absolute deal breaker for SEO. It is however best practice to have a secured site, which is why we’ve rounded it off in our Top 10.
Around 75% of people using search engines don’t click or tap past the first page of results. Crazy huh! So it just goes to show why you should stay on top of your SEO game.
Need a hand reviewing search ranking factors against your business website? Contact the SEO experts in Perth at Cloud Cartel.