Every marketer dreams of hitting the top search results on Google. After all, higher ranking means more visitors, which translates into more leads that turn into conversions and, ultimately, higher sales. Businesses hire SEO experts to increase their ranking, because SEO experts know the game inside out. There are more than 200 factors based on which Google’s algorithm rank websites, and those experts know very well how to optimize websites based on the latest algorithm updates.
SEO 101: where to start
For anyone just getting started, it certainly looks like such a daunting task. Google’s search engine algorithm continues to be updated and modified, and there are way too many factors to understand perfectly right. However, you only need the basics to get started, and they are not too difficult to comprehend. Depending on the niche of the website you’re working on, you might need to focus on some factors more than others. For instance, law firms will benefit greatly by checking out this excellent article on the top search engine optimization ranking factors and following their simple yet comprehensive explanation. You will find that the article stresses on how important the quality and substance of the content you’re offering will be on your website and how it is the ultimate ranking factor.
So if you’re wondering whether there are some key factors you should focus on in your SEO strategy instead of getting lost in decrypting 200 factors, then you’re in luck.
We’ve gathered the top 7 factors you need to focus on, and they go as follows.
Whenever a reputable website mentions the name of your brand or, even better, refers to your website with a link, this increases your rank significantly in the eyes of Google. This acts as a proof that your website is trustworthy as well, and it’s the shortest path to get your ranking soaring in no time. The effort you’ll need to exert, however, will go into creating this partnership with reputable websites.
Backlinks do you another great good, which is increasing the authority of your website. Websites with high domain authority numbers are some of Google’s favorites. Another domain factor that increases your ranking is the domain name, especially if it is an exact match to the keywords of search inquiries. The age of the domain and how established it is, also plays a big role in ranking your website.
Google places a great value on presenting its inquirers with all of the information they’re looking for. To do that, it keeps on looking for links that provide comprehensive and accurate information for the readers. This usually means that the articles ranking at the top are lengthy, all to ensure that they cover everything. There’s nothing that affects your ranking negatively like a visitor who clicks the “back” button as soon as they land on your website, and Google keeps a close watch on that. This goes for lengthy content that’s devoid of value as well, so take care of the quality of your content.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
Let’s say your website appears in the search results. The more clicks you get, the more favorable you’ll become to Google. This provides a bulletproof indication of how valuable and to the point your content is, which makes it rank even higher.
All of the efforts that Google puts into its algorithm aim to serve one purpose: the user experience. If your website provides a seamless, informative, and entertaining user experience, that will directly reflect on your ranking as well. Since most users now access Google through their mobile phones, it’s expected of you to create a mobile-friendly interface with full functionality to adequately serve your visitors.
User experience also includes the loading speed of your pages. Users expect to access information instantly following a click of a link. If they need to keep waiting for your heavy website to load, they’d just rather find another source. And we’ve spoken about how damaging the “back” clicks are, haven’t we?
Finally, the way your website gets previewed in the search results depends largely on how you present it. In order for Google’s spiders to be able to crawl into your website, analyze it, and understand its content, you should focus on your headings, meta-description, and HTTPS encryption.
Getting started with SEO doesn’t have to be too complicated. You just need the basics to get your website performing well, from which point you can start optimizing even more. To start with, you should build a strong backlinking profile, optimize domain factors, and provide lengthy yet concise content. Your CTR plays an important role in your ranking, so make the user experience you provide and the technical signals you send to Google.