The Search Engine has radically altered the way we look for information. The ubiquity of Google has proved to be a defining feature of life in the 21st century.
It goes without saying that where the eyeballs are – that is where you would also want to be. But why SEO?
Consumers of today rely on search engines for anything and everything under the sun. Be it movie recommendations, life-hacks, relationship advice — the list is endless.
Now, if you are a brand that seeks to grow their business as quickly as possible, there has been no better way to do so than to get your site to rank higher on search engines.
The process of optimizing your site such that it is easily visible on search engines is called SEO.
The benefits of great SEO are aplenty –
- It gives you the upper hand over the competition
- You become instantly recognizable
- You seem more credible as a market-leader
- Your audience finds you instead of the other way round
Now that what SEO actually is has been clarified, we can turn to how you can optimize your site such that it ranks higher. To do this, you first need to know what are the ranking factors that affect your SEO.
Keep in mind that ranking factors keep changing as search engines like Google keep tweaking their algorithms to make searches more relevant to their users.
It is, therefore, crucial that you keep track of such changes and review your site periodically to ensure you’re always on top of the SEO game.
To help you, we have compiled a list of 7 top-ranking factors that you simply ought to know right now, so that your site is ranked higher than the rest –
1. Need For Speed
In order for you to understand why certain factors are taken into consideration while ranking, you need to first know what Google’s goals are.
Google wants to:
- Improve user experience
- Make searches more relevant, and
- Rake in the moolah, of course!
As a user, ask yourself this: Is there anything more frustrating than sites that take forever to load?
And Google hears you. So if you intend to have your site rank higher, make sure that your page is optimized for speed.
2. Keep It Fresh
Ever searched for “Best phones under $XXXXX” when looking to make a new purchase, only to find sites that have not updated their phone suggestions since 2005?
Google has heard our cry.
It is of utmost importance for Google that your site displays only the latest information so that the searcher truly benefits from that information that you share.
This is something you must know as a business owner or even as a content creator who seeks to start a blog. The content must always be fresh.
3. Safe And Sound
Security, coupled with privacy, is another important factor for most search engines.
No search engine wants its users to have their security and privacy compromised by landing on dubious sites.
Thus, you must ensure, at the very least, that your site has strong HTTPS encryption. This not only helps you rank higher but also makes your site look more trustworthy when users land on them.
4. Embrace The Mobile
Needless to say, the ubiquity of search engines means that we no longer search primarily on our PC but on our phones.
Google recognizes this and hence prioritizes those sites that have been optimized for mobile use.
No user likes to struggle with their phones so as to read content from a site that has been built, keeping only PC users in mind. It is off-putting and pushes your audience away.
A mobile-first approach is now the default for most brands, and there is no reason you should not jump on the bandwagon.
5. Your Interactions Matter
Google lays emphasis on sites that see user interaction in its various forms such as –
- Number of comments on blog posts on your site
- How many users return to your site (and how often)
- How long people spend on your page
Keep in mind that Google has data. And lots of it. This means that it can track user behavior easily and use it to rank your site accordingly.
Even such things as how many people have bookmarked your site for future reference matters. It boils down to how useful your site is to the searcher.
6. Do Your Research
Vancouver SEO Agency’s Owner, Linden Schwark, weighs in on doing your research.”It’s not only important to have content that is well studied and accurate, it needs to be the right length too,” he says.”If you know the user wants a quick answer, give them one.
Your article doesn’t always need to be thousands of words long. On the flip side, if they need an incredibly thorough answer, include as much information, data, and sources as you can.”
The key to a successful piece of content, Linden says, is to “make sure users rarely click back to the search results after reading your content. A low bounce-back rate tells Google that you’re satisfying the user’s query better than anyone else.”
There’s really no scarcity of websites that offer content. No matter how niche you think your field is, there will always be a site that has been there, done that.
In fact, you can learn what your competitors are up to, using SEO tools. You may take your pick – semrush vs moz, and stay in the know.
But how do you compete with those that already have the first-mover advantage? Simple, you outclass them.
The more superior your content is in comparison to your competitors, the higher your site will rank.
Spend time doing quality research, use references, study your field, and put out content that’s free from error and doesn’t misguide the user.
7. Pleasing To The Eye
Your brand is not all about content. It also largely depends on how you present your content.
This encompasses a lot of things –
- The font styles you choose
- Images to make your site more engaging
- Placement of content on the site
- Ease of navigation
Presentation of content is what makes all the difference when your content is not particularly unique. But even otherwise, no one likes to spend too long on a website that is an eyesore.
SEO is a vast field, and one improves their ranking mainly through trial and error. You need to find what works for you.
Keep in mind that nothing of worth comes easy. It requires years of patience to build an empire that you are proud of.
We know that your brand is close to your heart. You have put your blood, sweat, and tears to make it grow.
So why not spend more time on effective SEO when it can have so much of an impact on how far your business grows?
With the help of the information we have provided you, go forth, and may success be yours!