Most Important SEO Ranking Factors You Need to Know
Are you still using offline marketing through traditional means such as newspapers, television ads, and billboards?
What if I told you that there is a better and more economical method to reach your target audience and increase sales?
And what if I told you that you already have this method – your website!
With businesses still transforming from old-fashioned marketing methods to more sophisticated and convenient virtual platforms, they’re finding that having a high-quality website is more important than ever.
As you have seen yourself, instead of people flipping through the yellow pages to find local businesses, they can simply search using Google, Yahoo, and Bing to find the many options near them.
In this article, we will discuss how search engine optimization (SEO) affects your business, not only in terms of SEO ranking factors and search engine position but how it impacts your business’s profitability.
In addition, we will unlock our best SEO secrets to help you optimize your website, so it is easily found by search engines.
Table Of Content
- Improve Your Search Engine Position with These Search Engine Ranking Factors
- Publish High-Quality and Optimized Content
- Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly and Responsive
- Website is Secure and Accessible
- Improve user experience (UX)
- Optimize Your Page Speed
- Do Proper On-Page Optimization
- Earn Relevant & Authoritative Backlinks
- Importance of Completing SEO Ranking Factors
Improve Your Search Engine Position with These Search Engine Ranking Factors
Online businesses often struggle to drive traffic to their website due to high competition and a lack of understanding of how SEO marketing works.
The placement or ranking of your website plays a major role in helping users find your business and ultimately helps you convert them from prospects into a customer.
Regardless of what type of business you’re in – whether it is selling products and services, or consulting – potential customers are looking for you on the internet.
The higher search engine position you are in any given search engine, the more likely you’ll get their attention and get them to click through to your website.
In addition to better search engine placement and more clicks/traffic, SEO has several benefits which can help your business grow in a cost-effective manner, such as:
- Generate more leads
- Gain advantage over your competitors
- Data analysis via SEO rankings report – tracks crucial data for website performance
- Better user experience
- Promote brand awareness
Websites that have been optimized for search engines generate great results in terms of conversions and sales.
There’s nothing worse than having a great looking website and nobody ever visiting it because they can’t find it.
Google, by far, is the most popular search engine used by online users, with a total of about 93% of all searches as of June this year. So, if you want your website to claim the top spot, you need to optimize your website.
The following SEO ranking factors will help you create optimized content for your website and guide you on how to be found on Google.
- Creating high-quality content
- Making a mobile-friendly website
- Website security
- Providing enhanced user experience
- Optimizing page and loading speed
- Doing proper on-page optimization
Publish High-Quality and Optimized Content
While many website owners invest in website design to attract customers to their site, they often neglect written content. A well-designed website is only a small part of what attracts a customer to your website.
High-quality content is what will set your website apart from others and deliver the right message to your website visitors and potential customers. Quality content will attract the right audience, and engage and encourage visitors to take action on your website – like sharing their contact information or making a purchase.
Quality content not only benefits the users reading it but also helps with search engine positioning. When creating content, you should consider not only information about your business but how that content will be used to help others find you on search engines.
For example, if you are providing photography services, an attractive website design is important but if your website does not have content, how are you going to make sure that people know that you are available for weddings, family portraiture, or that you specialize in studio photography?
A website with some of your best images is simply a fancy online portfolio, not a marketing tool.
To assist you with producing optimized content for your website, we have shortlisted some ways to help you do that.
Original and unique content
Creating content that is original and unique not only answers your prospective customers’ questions but also provides value, which helps you rank better in Google as preference is given to new and unique content.
Keep in mind, not all content is created equal. Content of higher quality will help you to gain a competitive advantage over competitors in your search engine position.
Updated and new content
By regularly updating your website with content such as blog posts, you are demonstrating that you have compelling information to share. This type of activity signals to search engines that your website is relevant to whatever is being searched.
For example, if your website is related to digital marketing services, you would want to ensure that your content includes information about marketing methods and trends such as social media marketing and content marketing.
When it comes to Google’s SEO ranking factors, how content is structured on your website is equally important.
An organized content structure not only allows Google to rank you higher in search engine placement but also allows your reader to read your content easily.
Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly and Responsive
You already know that we spend more time on our phones than we do on our PCs. In fact, data shows that 53% of us prefer to use our phones to search for something, as opposed to the other 44% who use a traditional computer.
Search engines know this too, so it’s probably no surprise that for Google, their most crucial SEO ranking factors are a website’s mobile functionality.
If your website is not mobile-friendly, this is ultimately going to negatively affect your search engine position.
Mobile SEO is the process of improving your visitors’ experience who access your website from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Apart from providing better access to users online, being mobile-friendly can increase sales and benefit your business image, both online and offline.
Many mobile users will click off a website if a page loads too slowly or they are unable to access key components of the site because it’s not been optimized properly to view on a mobile device.
There are several ways to make your website optimized for mobile devices and get a better search engine position, such as:
- Make your website mobile-responsive: this allows users to access key components (menu, checkout, forms) while in mobile view.
- Avoid clunky animations as well as large videos and images. This will not only hinder user experience on mobile devices but also slow down the loading speed which massively damages your search engine placement.
- Compress images: to avoid large images and slow loading, you should compress your images so that your website loads faster and helps with your search engine positioning.
- Test frequently for mobile-friendliness and responsiveness: whenever you update your website content, run tests to check if your website is working properly across different platforms.
If you are using WordPress and are still struggling with mobile optimization, The Digital Navigator has got you covered. We offer various themes and plugins to support your website and help you get a better search engine position.
Website is Secure and Accessible
As more and more consumers are doing business online where confidential information is being shared, website security plays a huge role not only for your potential customers but also for your business.
If your website is not secure, it becomes prone to a myriad of vulnerabilities, which gives hackers a chance to compromise and misuse the data that your customers have trusted you with.
An up-to-date website security protects your business and website from a data breach, fraudulent activities, and legal penalties. But having a secure website increases visitors to your website and improves your search engine position.
The following are some techniques to optimize your website security to up your search engine positioning game:
Keeping your website up-to-date
Ensuring your website is up-to-date is vital for your website’s security. This applies to both the server your website is on and any software you may be running.
Hackers are always on the lookout for security flaws and are quick to manipulate them to obtain private information about the business and its users.
If you are using WordPress, like we do at The Digital Navigator, you will be able to receive automatic update notifications, keeping your business and its content secure from any threats.
Using secure hosts
Choosing a secure and reliable web hosting service is vital for your website as it protects you from hackers and potential threats. Ensuring your host has a backup of your data makes it easier for you to restore your website in case it is attacked.
Scanning for vulnerabilities
Performing regular website security scans to check for vulnerabilities allows you to get an in-depth review and analysis of critical issues on your site which helps you keep your website updated and safe.
Now that you have learned the SEO secrets for website security, here are the additional benefits of a secure website:
- More traffic leading to more leads and conversions
- More sales as people would feel secure in sharing their information to make online payments and filling out forms
- Higher search engine positioning as a secure website is acknowledged by Google
Improve user experience (UX)
User experience is the experience of a user with your website. An easy-to-use website will provide a worthwhile user experience to the user, whereas a disorganized or cheap-looking website will provide a problematic experience and inaccurately represent your brand.
UX takes several website factors into consideration such as the visitor’s journey, website layout, user flows, and overall usability.
The easier it is to navigate through the website, the better the user experience.
Providing a worthwhile UX encourages visitors to stay longer on your website and increase their engagement. As a result, this sends positive feedback to Google which helps you with your website’s positioning.
If you are wondering how to be found on Google by enhancing your UX, these are some tips to get you started:
- Easy-to-read content
- Well-structured site
- Relevant and useful content
- Responsive design
- No intrusive ads
In addition to the SEO ranking factors, there is much more a good UX has to offer.
With an enhanced UX, you ensure your website visitors have a good time on your website. As a result, they stay on your website longer and explore your content, which maximizes their chances of being converted.
For instance, you can achieve the following with a great UX:
- Improve customer acquisition: a valuable user experience gives you a competitive advantage over other businesses in attracting and retaining customers.
- Save time and money: websites that load slowly and crash discourage users from staying on your website. Therefore, having an updated UX ensures that you save costs and time in fixing your website.
- Increases productivity: since there will be fewer glitches on your website, it can increase the productivity of your users, so they can get the most from your website.
- Increases sales: since your website will be providing a great UX, it increases traffic on your website and you are more likely to convert and generate sales for your business.
Optimize Your Page Speed
Nobody likes waiting, be it at your favorite restaurant or the cinema. Similarly, having a slow loading speed discourages users from exploring your website.
Not only does it affect their UX but also affects your website traffic. As a result, you may experience low traffic and decreases in sales, which negatively impacts your business.
Therefore, optimizing your page speed can be greatly beneficial for your website. If your page loads faster, it gives you an edge over your competitors.
Moreover, having a fast loading speed helps you rank better in search engine results. Google appreciates and encourages fast loading speed as it provides a better UX.
There are several ways to enhance your website’s speed that will help you rank higher in search ranking results, such as:
- Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN): this refers to a set of servers that are geographically distributed to speed up your website.
- Optimizing images: although images, videos, and animations may provide a better UX to website visitors, they can also slow down your website if the size is large. Optimizing them allows you to keep them on the website by decreasing the file size.
- Reduce plugins: even though plugins add functionality to your website, resources are needed to run them and if you are using too many plugins, your website works slower and you are prone to security issues.
Here are some additional benefits of having a fast loading speed:
- More conversions: as your website loads fast, users save time which will increase both traffic and sales, positively affecting your website conversion.
- SEO positioning: a fast-loading website ensures a better UX which helps you rank higher in search engine results, making your business get more traffic, ultimately maximizing your competitive advantage.
Do Proper On-Page Optimization
On-page optimization refers to the process of optimizing website pages to improve a website’s search engine rankings and generate organic traffic.
On-page optimization is important because it helps search engines understand your website and its content, as well as identify whether it is relevant to a searcher’s query.
With increased online traffic, finding relevant content can be challenging and this is where on-page SEO comes into play.
The following SEO ranking factors for on-page optimization will help you create optimized content, so your website can influence its search engine placement.
There are four main components that contribute to the optimization of your website content:
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Meta tags
These appear on search engine results when users are searching online. Keeping these updated with keywords and concise is important as it will help you rank your website and get a higher search engine position.
Searching for images is not as easy as finding content because images rely on the context of the website to be ranked.
In addition, your images may appear on search engine results even when your website doesn’t, therefore, it is important to optimize your images.
The following should be looked upon when optimizing images:
- Alt images
- Images tags
- File size
Keeping relevant tags for your images allows them to be ranked higher in search engines. Even a small effort in naming your file can play a huge role as search engines position your site in their ranking.
There’s no question that videos can enhance the user experience. You can use them to demonstrate a product, teach a course, or promote your expertise.
Not only are videos entertaining to watch, but they also attract the attention of potential customers.
The following are methods to optimize your video content:
- Video titles
- Video descriptions
- On-site optimization
Updating your video content with relevant keywords not only makes it easier to find and rank higher on search engines but also gives an idea to viewers what your video is about.
Earn Relevant & Authoritative Backlinks
Although we’ve saved it for the end, it’s important to know that backlinks are one of the most crucial SEO ranking factors used by Google to rank and position your website on search engines.
Backlinks are referred to as links that visit you from another website to yours.
As long as the source is a different website, all of those connections count as backlinks. In SEO, backlinks are very important because they are one of the most important ranking factors for every major search engine out there.
Pages with a high number of backlinks tend to have high organic search engine rankings. If you can get backlinks from high-authority websites, you can boost your chances of higher rankings. The reason being, you are sending a signal to Google that your content is trustworthy, as different websites can vouch for it.
Although it can be a challenge to get backlinks from high-authority websites, you’re going to want to make the effort as it can boost your SEO performance.
When considering which backlinks you should include on your site, make sure they are:
- Not a rival business
Importance of Completing SEO Ranking Factors
Now that you have unlocked the SEO secrets and the influence that optimized content has on search engines, it may be necessary to redesign your website so it complies according to current SEO ranking factors.
If you were wondering how to be found on Google, you are now ready to skyrocket your sales and maximize your traffic by securing a high search engine position.
Prepare yourself to create optimized content that searchers are looking for, providing a good user experience, and proving to Google that it’s the best result for the query. Once you are done with the optimization, do not forget to check your SEO score.
If you are struggling with getting a high SEO score, The Digital Navigator can help. Head to our website and book your no-commitment consultation so we can help you generate organic traffic and higher rankings in search engine results.