Monster Blog Article

The Top 10 Google ranking factors you need to know about

It’s no secret that using the right keywords in your website copy is important, it is the foundation of any good SEO strategy, but did you know that there’s so much more to SEO than keywords? As a matter of fact, Google has no less than 200 ranking factors! To make all that more manageable, we have put together a handy list of the 10 most important Google ranking factors you should focus on and implement in your content strategy if you want to see, or keep, your website on page 1.

Google ranking factors you will benefit from

Showing up first in Google is what we all want, because no one really cares about whats on page 2. As difficult as ranking at the number one spot may seem, there are things you can do to keep your website optimised, making sure it is one of the first results your ideal customers see after the sponsored posts and featured snippets. Rest assured; the basics of SEO are not that hard. They are mostly just common sense. To keep your website on top of the search results, these are the 10 most important Google ranking factors to focus on:

1. Original, unique and high-quality content

No website is complete without well thought-out, readable, and attractive copy and other content such as images and video. Knowing how to create high-quality content helps you get more visitors, higher conversions, and lower bounce rates. It’s your users that determine the quality of your content so when writing text for your website, make sure to keep it real. You’re writing for a person, not a bot.

2. Links (backlinks, outbound and internal)

Links, both from other websites as well as the links within your own site, are important for SEO. A link is a clickable object on a webpage that leads from one page to another. Links can visibly appear as text, images, or buttons. They are important because they make it easier for the user to find what they are looking for.

Internal links are links between the pages within your own website. Outbound links on your website lead to a different website, and backlinks are inbound links, which means another website with a link to yours. Out of the three types of links, inbound or backlinks are the ones with the greatest SEO benefit, but they are also the hardest to get.

A backlink is equivalent to saying that another website recognises your content’s quality and reckons it is worthy of being shared with their audience. Essentially, backlinks to your websites are popularity votes. The more votes you get, the more popular you’ll be with Google.

3. Your website’s loading speed

Your website’s loading speed is a crucial part of its usability, and that’s important to Google. Faster pages are more efficient and provide a better experience. With your website’s success on the line, its loading speed can’t be ignored. If your website is slow, it could be because:

  1. Your media files, such as images and videos, are too large. Compressing them will make your website faster.
  2. There are issues with the code. If the code behind your website is too bulky or contains unnecessary characters and line breaks, your site may be slower. Get in touch if you’d like to get this checked.
  3. Your hosting is not great. A low-quality hosting service can make your site slow because of network congestion, bandwidth restrictions, data filtering, or the server being located too far away. That’s why you should always choose a high-quality hosting service provider.

4. Looking good on all devices

It’s a no-brainer that Google wants your website to be mobile-friendly, as mobile devices account for nearly 60% of internet usage worldwide. 92.3% of internet users access the internet using a mobile phone. If you’re interested, you can find the exact data on internet use here. As most (but not all) users use search on mobile, the best user experience will be delivered by websites that look great on both mobile and desktop, also known as responsive web design.

5. Content relevancy

Google ranks certain pages for a reason. They want to deliver the best solution to the user’s query, so what Google looks for is relevancy. The algorithms evaluate how well the websites in the index match what the user is looking for. That’s why it’s important to match the search intent as closely as you can and create the right type of content.

6. Your domain authority

Your URL (your web address) also matters. If your URLs are built correctly, it increases the chances of Google putting trust in your web pages. Domain Authority (DA) is a ranking metric that scores your URL from 1 to 100 and determines the trust that Google puts in it. if your website has a high score, it means it has a greater chance of performing well in search engine page results (SERPs).

It’s important to understand that brand new websites may not get the best rankings right away. Reaching that first-page status in Google search results simply doesn’t happen in a matter of days. You’ll need to make strategic moves over time to see an increase in domain authority. That’s why working on all the aspects of SEO over time is important. Good SEO practise involves perseverance, preparation and — most importantly — time.

7. Keyword optimisation

Keyword optimisation is the process of identifying and selecting the right keywords in your content so that your target audience can find your pages easily in Google. It should be a crucial part of your content marketing strategy. It won’t matter how great your content is if no one is searching for any of the keywords, phrases, or terms you use.

However, if you purposely overdo it, Google will spot it and penalise you. That’s called keyword stuffing and it makes the text on your website unpleasant to read. It won’t impress your website visitors which is why keyword stuffing can lead to lower rankings, or for Google to completely remove your site from their index. Don’t go there!

8. Your website’s architecture

Another factor you should consider is the structure of your website, especially if you’re launching a new site. A natural, uncomplicated website structure paves the way for a smooth visitor experience, and that’s what Google wants to see. You need to organise and classify your content in a layout that’s understandable, accessible, and predictable. Navigation should be intuitive, so users can find what they’re looking for on any page easily without getting lost.

9. Making sure your website is secure

Your website’s security is also a key Google ranking factor, as it is important to them to keep their users safe from cyber-attacks. If your site is still using http://… in its URL, you should update it right away. As a minimum, you should secure your website and protect your users’ information with HTTPS encryption by installing an SSL certificate.

However, we all know that hackers are clever. Landing pages are being used in phishing attacks or for other malicious purposes, and the bad news is that nearly all phishing sites now also use HTTPS and show the lock icon. Google is serious about making the internet more secure and invests millions of dollars in research projects each year to close the loopholes.

10. The user experience (UX)

This Google rankings factor is about human interaction, which makes it one of the most important ones. Did you know that Google has been using AI and machine learning since 2015 to rank web pages? They use an algorithm they call RankBrain, which has two main jobs:

  1. Understanding search queries (keywords)
  2. Measuring how people interact with the results (user satisfaction)

RankBrain pays close attention to how users interact with the search results and looks at:

  • The click-through rate: the percentage of people who click to visit your site after an entry comes up in search results.
  • Bounce rate: the number of people who click on your page then quickly go back to the search results.
  • Dwell time: how long visitors stay on your site and have a good look around after they’ve arrived.

A lot of other websites will offer the same product or service as you do, and you can count on it that customers will favour the website that gives them an easy and attractive user experience.

An easy way to connect with your ideal client and address their pain points is to add some FAQs to your website, either in an FAQ page or on your product or service overview page. Answer their burning questions, which usually include “How long does it take?” and “How much does it cost?” and bring down all the barriers. Provide value to your audience and built trust to convert them from viewers to customers.

The rules of SEO evolve constantly

We’ve chosen this top 10 based on the results we’ve seen ourselves from improving the user experience, showing trustworthiness, and other SEO elements that bring in high amounts of organic traffic. Keep in mind that the list above is a guide only, as SEO is an area that constantly changes and evolves. Google updates their algorithms all the time. We understand how important SEO is to our clients, which is why we make sure to keep learning and stay on top of the game.

Book in a time with the Monster Creative team if you want better Google rankings or have any questions about a fully managed and tailormade SEO plan. We’re here to help if you want to see your Google rankings improve.

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