In this post you’ll discover the success factors for improving your search rankings in Google through key SEO elements and ranking factors.
It’s been estimated that Google considers about 200 factors when ranking websites, but the exact number is up for debate – and for novice site owners, the whole ranking process can be intimidating. If you’re just starting out and you need to decide which areas of SEO to focus upon first, you can use this list of Google ranking factors to speed the decision-making process.
SEO Ranking Factors:
On-Page Ranking Factors
Page optimization has dramatic effects on search engine rankings. Below are listed some factors that affect your page’s search visibility.
- Title tags with keywords: Title meta tags are supposed to describe the page’s content, and they tell the search engine about the page’s relevancy. Place keywords at the title tag’s start, and you’ll rank higher.
- Description tags with keywords: This also tells the search engine about your page’s relevancy, and it encourages users to click through from the SERPs.
- H1 tags with keywords: These serve as both a relevance factor and a content description. The H1 tag’s importance is a matter of debate, but it’s still a good idea to include keywords within.
- Content length: Today’s searchers want detailed information, and the search engines rank informative content higher.
- Duplicate content: Not all factors are positive; having similar content on multiple pages can adversely affect your rankings.
- Canonical tags: Despite the factor listed above, it’s sometimes unavoidable to have multiple URLs with very similar content. To prevent a penalty, use canonical tags, which tell the search engine that the URLs are equivalent.
- Image optimization: Images can tell the search engines about your page’s relevancy through descriptions, captions and alt text.
- Outbound links: By linking to relevant, trustworthy pages, you tell the search engines that your page is solid as well.
- Internal links: By connecting different pages on your site, you can share strength from one page to another.
Tip: At SEO Traffic we offer a free SEO audit package, which can be a great way to find out how to improve your on-page SEO factors.
Certain site-wide factors can affect your webpage’s visibility as well, and we’ll discuss them here.
- Sitemap: It helps the search engine index your site’s pages.
- Mobile optimization: Over half of all web searchers use mobile devices to do research, and optimizing your site for these devices can increase your rankings substantially. Click here to see if your website is Mobile optimized.
- Webmaster tools: Verifying your site with Google Webmaster Tools can aid in indexing and provide information that helps in optimization.
Off-page Ranking Factors:
When Google ranks your page, it looks at external factors such as:
- Linking domains: This is one of the most important factors.
- Linking pages: There may be links from certain domains to your site, which are important. It’s better to have links from multiple domains than from just one domain.
- Linking page’s PR: Not all pages are created equally, and links on higher-PR pages are a big factor.
- Link relevancy: Some SEO pros believe that links from industry-specific pages carry more weight with the search engines.
- Link diversity: The kind of links you build is important, and too many similar links can negatively affect your rankings.
Many factors can affect your page’s search engine rankings, and domains are one of those factors. Some domain-related signals aren’t as vital as they once were, but some things are still important. Domains registered for more than a year are regarded as more reliable, and if your domain has been registered in the past, its history may affect your rankings. If you’re marketing locally, having a country-specific TLD (top level domain) can help you rank higher for your location.