If you’ve spent any time looking into SEO, you know that there’s an overwhelming number of ranking factors that Google uses. Not only are there many confirmed ranking factors, but there are also plenty of rumored ranking factors. This can quickly become too much information to sort through on your own, let alone actually implement the optimizations on your website. Knowing which ranking factors are the most important and will actually help your SEO can be difficult when you’re just getting started.
While many ranking factors can affect the way Google ranks your website, learning more about some of the most important ones can help you start optimizing your website. Here are some of the more important SEO ranking factors.
1. Page Speed
If your website takes forever to load, you can’t expect to rank very well or keep users on your website for more than a few seconds. Unfortunately, it’s easy to have a slow-loading website if you aren’t careful. Technical issues that might seem small, such as unoptimized images, can slow your website down and frustrate users. Even if it might seem to you like your website isn’t slow enough that it could make a huge difference, this is likely not what users think. Slow pages also make it harder for Google to crawl and index your site, making it harder for it to rank well.
No one wants to wait for anything today when they’re browsing the internet, and they often don’t have to. Almost half of consumers expect a website to load in at least two seconds. It doesn’t matter what you have on your website, many people aren’t going to give up more than a few seconds to wait for it. With many other websites out there, they can often just as easily find something else. If you’re not sure of how fast your page speed is, you can test it with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
2. Website Security
No one wants to take a risk when they’re online. Today, we’re all aware of the dangers that can be out there on the internet, and Google is too. Google wants to show users the best results possible for their searches. While this involves showing relevant, high-quality content, it also means showing safe and secure websites. Because of this, website security is an extremely important ranking factor that you can’t afford to overlook. Having an HTTPS website, rather than an HTTP website could help you rank higher in the SERPs.
Of course, it’s also important that you’re prioritizing users’ safety when they visit your website. While you might not mean any harm by not knowing how to secure your website, this can be a huge red flag to them. As soon as they visit your website and see that it isn’t secure, they might leave right away. Even if they stay, they’re certainly not going to give you any personal information.
We’re long past the point where when we think about people using the internet, we think of people doing so on desktops. Over half of the online searches today come from mobile devices, which means you can’t only take desktop users into consideration when you create and optimize your website. While many have adapted their websites over the years with the rise of smartphones, there are still a surprising number of those who haven’t realized the importance of doing so yet.
Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly still have a chance of ranking highly, but Google strongly suggests making this optimization. Even if your website does rank highly while not being mobile-friendly, there’s nothing stopping mobile users from leaving right away if your website is too difficult to use on their device.
4. High-Quality Content
Your website’s content is one of the most important ranking factors out there, and you won’t get anywhere at all without content. Google’s number one priority is giving users the most relevant results for their searches, so you need optimized, high-quality content if you want to appear in users’ searches.
Of course, having high-quality content on your website means far more than just writing something and posting it. This requires a huge amount of work and an understanding of SEO best practices if you want your content to rank well. There’s an overwhelming amount of content on the internet right now, but only a small percentage of that ranks on the first page of the SERPs. Google wants to see original, well-written, researched, content that provides value to users. In addition to doing this, you also need to ensure you’re doing proper keyword research and optimizing all of the content on your website.
While many ranking factors involve optimizations you can make to your own website, these are sometimes out of your control. Google also considers off-page ranking factors, one of the most important being backlinks to your site. Part of showing users the best results means showing results that other people have already found value in. To do this, Google looks to pages that have been linked to your site by other websites.
When other websites link to your content, it shows that you provided them with the information they found important and valuable enough to share with others. This helps you build authority and show expertise, which is a good sign for Google. While you can’t control whether or not other people want to link to your site, you can create content that makes them want to do this. People aren’t going to link to content that was only okay or didn’t provide any important insight. This is one more reason that it is so important to invest in filling your website with high-quality content.
6. Page Experience
Page experience is a newer ranking factor for Google, so some might not be aware of it still. This doesn’t refer to a user’s all-around experience on your website, but rather looks at a set of signals known as Core Web Vitals. This consists of three different metrics – loading, interactivity, and visual stability.
This is just further proof that it’s essential for you to create a great experience for users on your website. While providing them with relevant content is important for showing up in the SERPs, you need to consider ranking factors like these to help give you the push you need to get ahead of the competition. If Google can tell that your website provides a better experience and has the information that best matches a user’s search, you’ll have a much better chance of ranking highly.
Have an SEO Agency Optimize Your Website
These are only a few of the many ranking factors, and these alone are a huge amount of work. When you look at all the work that needs to be done, it’s much more than one person or your in-house team can handle alone. At ENX2 Marketing, we can take care of everything for you so that you don’t have to worry about the various ranking factors and deciphering what will and won’t help your SEO.
Contact us today to learn more about working with an SEO agency!