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Ranking factor, SEO most important elements you have to know. Check what you should do to rank higher in the search results.
Do you run your own blog, online store, or company website? You have probably heard more than once about SEO. This term refers to all practices that affect your website’s ranking in the search engine.
Thanks to them the potential customers or visitors will be able to reach your website. That’s why it is worthwhile to take a closer look at what factors influence your website’s ranking.
No matter which industry you are in or what you sell, your website must be visible to users. Having a website doesn’t guarantee that you will win new customers at all.
Quite often it happens that people who are not familiar with SEO focus strictly on the visual aspects. Or take a very economical approach to the topic.
There is nothing wrong with that! As long as you are aware of local SEO and the factors that have an impact on the website’s ranking.
Ranking factor: most important SEO elements
There are at least 200 Google ranking factors that impact your website’s position. However, Google doesn’t want us to discover all of them.
In this case, many SEO activities are based on experience and constant testing. Optimized elements will have a positive impact on keyword positions in the search results.
Even the greatest SEO experts don’t have access to this secret knowledge. All of us rely on the guidelines developed by Google.
And most importantly on their own experience.
It doesn’t change the fact that there are factors that may seem a bit overwhelming at first. Especially for someone who has never had anything to do with SEO.
However, we will try to go through some of them. We divided them into three categories. The first refers to the initial activities related to the domain. The second to optimization on-page and the third to the off-page process.
1.1 Domain age
Generally, Google values domains that have existed for a long time. It doesn’t mean that the new one is a lost cause. However, it is recognized that domain age has a direct impact on the website’s position in the search results.
Be aware that the expiration date is important as well. Registering a domain for a few years in advance will contribute to the website’s ranking.
The good history of the domain (no spam or pornographic content in the past) is extremely important for Google. Keep that in mind when buying an existing domain.
You can check your domain history with the Wayback Machine tool.
1.3 The domain name and TLD
If possible, include a keyword in your domain name. It’s good if done at the very beginning. In turn, top-level domain should correspond to the country code top-level domain.
Hiding information about the domain owner in WHOIS or a negative rating may lower your position in the search results.
2. On-page elements for the ranking factor
2.1 Title tag
Remember to set correct title tags for each individual page. It is particularly important that they are unique, contain keywords with the greatest potential to increase web traffic, and have the appropriate length (50-60 characters).
2.2 Meta description
Similar to title tags, it is essential to use keywords strictly related to the content of a given page. Every page should have a unique meta description with a length of 140-160 characters.
Headings are extremely important. They indicate to users and Google crawlers which sections of your content are more or less relevant.
Every page should contain at least one H1 heading and several H2 headings. Headings should contain natural keywords.
Google loves high quality, valuable content that responds to users’ needs and expectations. Above all, your content must be unique.
Both external (with other websites) and internal (within your website) duplication is forbidden. It is important that your content is of the right length, as long-format content is valued by Google.
It is recommended to include a keyword in the first paragraph. The content of the website should be user-centered. Make sure that your blog posts are clear, intelligible and easily scannable.
If you want to build trust in your target audience, then grammatically correct content is a must.
Placing images or charts on your website brings great value to your SEO as well. However, it is important that all the images are correctly optimized and have an alt attribute.
This element is relevant not only to Google crawlers but also to users with visual impairment.
The importance of page loading speed
2.6 Responsive design
Your website should easily adapt to different sizes of screen resolution. Whether on desktops, mobile devices or tablets.
2.7 Website architecture
Clear and well-organized website architecture makes it easier for both users and Google robots to navigate.
A sitemap is a file containing a list of your pages, intended to make the indexation easier. Remember to keep this file always updated and completed.
2.9 Page loading speed
It is one of the most important Google ranking factors. There are many elements that have a direct impact on page loading speed.
Among the most significant ones, it is worth mentioning:
- too large size of images;
- uncompressed code;
- slow server response time;
- long redirect chains.
2.10 Functionality and usability
Navigating the website should be intuitive and clear to users. It is very probable that irritated users will simply leave your page and choose your competitors instead of trying to find a solution.
Too high bounce rate may harm your Google ranking.
3. Off-page factors
3.1 A number of backlinks leading to the website
This is one of the most important factors contributing to your ranking. You have no idea where to get high-quality backlinks? Contact us for more info about this topic?
3.2 The quality of backlinks
It’s not enough to have thousands of links pointing to your website. Their quality is equally important. Domains that link to your website should have high SEO parameters (DA or DR) and topical relevance.
Backlinks from domains such as .gov or .edu will be much valuable than from unpopular blogs. Remember that links from low-quality domains will not contribute to your website’s ranking in the search results.
3.3 Social media
The presence in various social media platforms also indirectly contributes to the position of the website. Create a company profile on Facebook and Twitter.
Write some posts with links to your products or services on a regular basis.
SEO ranking factor: should you take care of them all?
It would be just perfect to optimize your website once and then enjoy a high ranking and great online visibility for good. However, this is only a part of the factors that Google robots take into account.
The search engine updates its algorithms. This means that Google ranking factors change with time. During the SEO process you may face many challenges.
For some of them (technical changes) you will be able to solve the isues. But others are beyond your control. It also happens quite often that beginners who have little experience in SEO over-optimize websites.
The situation can result in Google penalties. There is no “google recipe” for an effective SEO process. Remember to tailor your long-term SEO campaign to your competitors, website type and current trends.