What’s SEO Ranking? The top 10 SEO Ranking Factors you need to know in 2021
Search engine optimization (SEO) Ranking refers to the position of a website shown on search engine result pages, which is determined by algorithm. There are more than 200 factors that can have an impact on SEO Ranking according to Google. The good news is that the importance of the 200+ factors are not equal, and some of them are more essential than the others. It is needed to note that SEO Ranking Factors keep optimizing as the times change.
Before introducing the top 10 SEO Ranking Factors, I’ll explain the three types of factors first. The 200+ SEO ranking factors are divided into three main categories — Off-page ranking factors, On-page ranking factors and Technical ranking factors. Off-page ranking factors refers to those activities that happened outside of the website, influencing credibility and authority, and basically involve backlinks; On-page ranking factors are relatively inside, include tactics you use on the website for better understanding by search engines, and primarily related to the keywords and content quality of the web page; Technical ranking factors cover those actions that directly have impacts on search engines indexing and crawling the website, such as website speed optimization.
In this article, I’ll cover the 10 important SEO Ranking Factors that can help improve your website ranking. They include
- Targeted Keywords
- Content Quality
- Internal Links and External Links
- Mobile Friendliness
- Image Optimization
- Website Security
- Page Load Speed
- URL Structure
- Domain Age
1. Targeted Keywords
Keywords are a crucial factor for SEO Ranking. Before creating your article content, the most important thing is research the keywords. You must know which wordings drive most traffic under your topic, and the difficulty degree (competition) of your chosen keywords. You may prepare 4-5 keywords, and try to answer the involved high-frequency queries in your article for increasing visibility. Keywords research highly efforts in driving traffic.
Targeted keywords should consider inserting into most of the following places:
- Using keywords in the title;
- Using keywords in the meta-description;
- Using keywords in the headings;
- Using keywords in the anchor texts;
- Using keywords in the URL.
Moreover, keywords need to be naturally put into article context rather than stuffing in number. Once Google algorithm detects keywords stuffing, the SEO Ranking will fall.
2. Content Quality
Content quality is decisive in SEO Ranking. Well-structured and valuable contents were given first priority. Google EAT principle is the content quality criteria, based on Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. To be more specific, the article creator should be a legal expert in that field; article principal or creator should be identified easily; references should be labeled clearly.
On the face of things, expertise means the article creator should be knowledgeable and be a legal expert in that field. More importantly, try to meet searchers’ needs as much as possible, and provide knowledge in a simplest way for their better understanding. Content presentation forms also need to cater the searchers’ appetite, inserting media such as some videos and graphs into the article is a really good choice.
Basically, authority refers to the reputation, try to make your website or article creator easily recognized. Some effective ways to improve authority include being linked or mentioned by other authoritative, topic-related and famous websites, as well as widely shared across social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.
Trust is mainly talking about accuracy of the website content. It is a good idea to make an author bibliography in your web page, and have a clear way to get in touch with the website principal or article creator. Moreover, external links should be trustworthy websites and highly relevant to your web content.
Besides, content length plays a role in it. Longer content is about covering more information, so that it attracts more views and shares. serpIQ’s research about Google rankings shown that article length over 2000 words have more chance to rank in top 10 position.
Another way for improving content quality is to update blogs regularly, keeping it fresh. Especially when the topic is related to trends or news. Search engines prefer those with the latest information.
As a top 3 influential factor of SEO Ranking, Backlink accounts for at least 50% of the total. What is a Backlink? Backlink also referred to as “inbound link”, that is, a hyperlink in the form of anchor text that comes from one website page directs you to a page on another website. It assists in Google algorithm scoring how authority and relevance of the website content is. A well-known and authoritative official website backlink to yours is far better than a random one’s link back. In general, websites with a large number of backlinks tend to have high rankings in search results.
Therefore, your goal is to try to gain as much as highly authoritative websites link back to you. That also means being far away from those websites with low-quality and low-authoritative content, avoiding their backlinks.
4 Best ways to improve Backlink numbers as follow:
- Good quality of article content: If the content is of highly valuable and good quality, it will attract many websites to backlink actively;
- Take initiative in creating links: Leave valuable messages or comments in the comment box of high-quality content websites to increase the exposure of your own websites;
- Make self-recommendation: Submit your article to some well-known and topic-related websites to get more attention of your articles and website. You can also send email to your targeted groups, after being acknowledged, you will have a greater chance of being linked by other websites;
- Mergers of other websites: Making the website get a relatively high ranking in a short time. Don’t touch the black hat methods.
4. Internal Links and External Links
Internal Links are links from your page to another one of your pages, while external links are those from your page to another someone else’s page. Both types of links are important for gaining SEO Score.
Internal Links help hold users on your website for a longer time, which sends a positive signal to Google algorithm there is some high value information inside your website. So that can improve authority. Users browsing your external linked pages evaluated your website quality. The relevancy and authoritativeness of external links directly affect your website authority.
Generally speaking, if the external linked websites are more relevant to your page and more authoritative in that field, the SEO Ranking is higher. Internal links content also needs to be relevant.
Do not forget the anchor text, the more it relates to the article topic, the higher SEO Ranking it got.
5. Mobile Friendliness
Mobile traffic accounts for bigger shares in web traffic worldwide, mobile friendliness becoming one of the key SEO Ranking factors. Mobile Friendliness refers to how the web layout performs when it is viewed through smaller screen devices, such as mobiles and tablets, closely connecting with the user’s experience. If your web page does not support small screen browsing, your website may get under-ranked.
Creating a mobile-friendly website is easier than ever before, some aspects you can take into consideration as follow:
- Using larger fonts for fitting small screens readability;
- making sure ads are not hid the content parts;
- creating navigation bars for users locating easily.
Always make a comparison between the desktop version content structure and the mobile version content structure, you must ensure fully optimize the website for small screen devices.
6. Image Optimization
Image Optimization is a process of presenting high-quality images in appropriate resolution, format, dimension and size while keeping images size as small as possible. Some common ways like re-framing images and compressing image size via Photoshop and Illustrator can take effect. Besides, WordPress Image Compression Plugins such as WWW Image Optimizer can achieve image optimization efficiently.
Image Optimization plays a role in page load speed improvement, so regarded as one of the SEO Ranking factors. Websites with optimized images will rank higher in search results.
7. Website Security
In 2014, Google Search Central set HTTPS as a ranking signal, after that website security became a SEO Ranking Factor. Basically, it means protecting the website data and information from cyber attacks. Website security is mainly related to HTTPS encryption, which creates a secure connection between the website and its users. HTTPS (“S” means security) is an encrypted HTTP, and shown as “https://” in the URL. Therefore, HTTPS is more secure than HTTP.
Search engines like Google tend to drive users to the most secure websites, HTTPS encryption is a direct way to show website trustworthiness. Websites with HTTPS usually have higher rankings than those with HTTP.
8. Page Load Speed
As one of the three Core Web Vitals metrics, Page Load Speed is an indicator of SEO Ranking as well. It refers to measuring users’ web page experience. Loading pages quickly can help users find results faster, and improve users’ experience satisfaction.
Search engines prefer websites with fast load pages, so that makes users finding results as soon as possible. High-speed page load websites always rank higher than the lower one.
You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insight monitor your website speed, and boost your website ranking based on the suggestions it provides.
9. URL Structure
URL Structure is the simplest and easily controlled SEO Ranking factor. SEO-friendly URLs are short, simple and include meaningful keywords.
For example, a URL like “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ pancake” is proper and logical, easy for visitors to read; on the contrary, a URL like “https://www.example.com/ index.php?id_wca=470& clcp27sap” is poor and disordered, unable to explain the article idea.
Optimized URL structure not only impressed visitors favorably but also made it easy for Google crawling and indexing, both for promoting SEO Ranking.
10. Domain Age
Data from Ahrefs study suggests that domain age, or how old your website affects SEO Ranking. Top 10 Google search ranking are averagely more than 2 years old, and those rank at position #1 is almost 3 years old on average. Pages within 1 year seem less likely to show in top 10 ranking, only taking up 5.7% of the all.
Search engines tend to rank older domains better.
Besides the 10 relatively crucial SEO Ranking Factors mentioned above, there are still lots of others, such as consistent listings, user’s engagement rates and so on.
SEO Ranking Factors like Website Security, Page Load Speed, Internal Links and External Links and Mobile Friendliness are technical, these actions are uncomplicated and can be achieved effortless; On-page ranking factors include Image Optimization, Content Quality, Targeted Keywords and URL Structure, all of them need long time and efforts to reach; As to off-page ranking factors, Domain Age is constant accumulation, while Backlinks involving many aspects that require handle attentively.
The 10 SEO Ranking Factors are what you need to know. When you don’t have a lot of time to fit it all in, focusing on these 10 key factors can improve your work efficiency greatly! Keeping them in mind to gain a better search results position for your website!
ADEQUATE Digital is a full-service digital marketing agency. We offer integrated digital marketing service and SEO service to improve SEO ranking & drive clients’ targeted traffic, leads and repeat sales. We hope you will find this helpful.