Every second of every day, Google, the world’s most popular internet search engine, handles roughly 63,000 search inquiries. This means that anyone with a smart device and internet access will utilise it at least once a day to find useful information online. While you may be a Google user, have you ever pondered how the search engine determines in a fraction of a second which websites best match your search query? We’ll go over several Google ranking variables and what they mean for website owners and SEO (search engine optimization) professionals all across the world in this piece.
Top Google Ranking Factors
So, how can one ensure that their website receives maximum online exposure? To assist you understand how to rank higher in Google’s SERPs, below are a few of the most essential google ranking factors:
1. Content is Still King
Your sites must contain original, well-researched content that adds value to the visitor if you want to rank well in Google’s SERPs for a keyword(s). There will be no repeat visits if they do not understand what you are saying. Furthermore, the bounce rate will be extremely high (conversely, the dwell time will be low). Consider the user’s search intent and the many queries/questions they might have regarding a subject. In fact, Google has just released a new featured snippet for multi-intent search queries.
To devise efficient SEO methods for diverse search topics, conduct a thorough keyword study utilising Google’s Keyword Planner. Keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing can also be extremely beneficial in this regard. Make sure to look into mobile, local, and voice search terms as well, and factor them into your strategy.
In 2014, Google made HTTPS a ranking indication, and in 2017, Google heavily encouraged sites to go secure. In fact, sites that do not use a secure HTTPS connection are now marked as ‘not secure’ in the Chrome browser’s address bar, which is an eyesore for site visitors. As a result, failing to switch to HTTPS may result in higher bounce rates. However, if you do make the modification, you may experience canonicalization issues.
3. All About Domains
You have a strong organic search advantage if you have an exact-match domain name that includes the term you’re pursuing. However, targeting every big keyword in this manner is not always feasible. Furthermore, studies have shown that top-performing, older domains do better in organic search than new brands, owing to Google’s long-term monitoring of their activity and assessment of them as trustworthy.
4. A Mobile-friendly Website is a Must
The amount of searches performed on mobile devices is rapidly increasing. This implies that if you want to stay competitive, you’ll need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Instead of needing to refer back to the desktop version of your site, Google can index it fast and properly if it is mobile-friendly.
Since 2015, mobile usability has been a top Google ranking criteria, and your mobile and desktop sites must have similar content to properly satisfy the mobile-first index guideline. For more information, consult Google’s recommendations on the subject.
5. Page Speed Could Make All the Difference
6. Make User Experience Top Priority
When users visit a website, Google keeps track of their actions. The amount of time visitors spend on your site, the number of visitors who depart after only viewing one page, the number of other sites they visit, and so on are all key SEO ranking criteria. Improve the structure of your website so that users can easily go from one page to the next and discover what they’re searching for with as few clicks as possible.
7. On-Page SEO
As we all know, on-page SEO refers to the steps you do on your website to improve your organic search rankings. Simple changes such as updating old content, cleaning up your metadata, including header tags in your content, using the appropriate schema so that Google better understands what your site is about and populates rich snippets for your pages, and so on can help you improve your organic search rankings. Technical SEO measures such as removing duplicate content, correcting broken links, optimising URL structure, and updating your robots.txt file are also required.
8. Backlinks are a Vote of Confidence
Off-page SEO is a significant ranking component in SEO. If you have a lot of reliable sites linked to you, Google knows you’re a popular and trustworthy source of information. Here, quality over quantity is the goal, so post guest articles from industry experts, client case studies, infographics, and industry surveys, and team up with renowned bloggers or influencers in your niche to create links. This will draw the attention of other high-authority websites, which will link to you if they find your content useful.
9. Brand Authority
It gives a strong signal to Google that you are a popular business if you can draw attention to your brand and target more brand keywords or search terms. This will boost your Google rankings and drive more traffic to your website. According to studies, 50% of people will click on a result if the brand appears in many organic search results on a SERP.
10. Social Signals
Having a strong social presence has its own set of benefits. Select a social media platform that complements your brand voice and encourages your target demographic to interact with you. Collaborate with influencers in your industry to gain access to their audience. Regularly post engaging, shareable content to give your followers something to look forward to, as well as respond to their questions and concerns. Although social media marketing is not a Google ranking element in and of itself, it can help you achieve good organic traffic increase when combined with brand power.
Aside from the actions you take to guarantee your site is found online, Google algorithm adjustments, which are issued practically every day of the year, have a significant impact on SEO. While you can always start with a few simple steps to maintain basic SEO hygiene, it may be a better idea to hire a team of pros in-house or hire an SEO company like us to do all the hard lifting for you.