Essential SEO Ranking Factors

You might already know that Google uses over 200 ranking factors in its algorithm. A lot, isn’t it? So, it’s no surprise that you’d want to improve your Google rankings since Google is by far the most popular search engine on the web. But how are you supposed to do that?

Ranking factors sound very complicated when it comes to Google and SEO, but actually, these SEO ranking factors can have a big impact on your page’s ability to rank if optimized properly. 

Luckily for you, I’ve put together a complete list of the most important Google SEO ranking factors that will help you attract potential customers to your website.

1- Friendly URLs 

Search engines use your webpage’s URL to understand what your content is all about. These URLs include essential keywords that describe the content of the page.

If you include a specific keyword in your web page’s URL, that keyword informs Google: “This page covers that special keyword”. Since most search engines include the Web address as part of the information that describes a page, placing keywords in the URL can help boost the ranking of the page and improve the relevance of that page.

Let’s take an example of a blog post that covers the difference between CPM and CPC; the friendly URL this web page might choose is:

2- Friendly Title Tags 

Since you’re reading this article then most probably you’ve already used a search engine before, right? And you’ve seen a page title tag whether you’ve realized it or not. 

The title tag is simply the headline you see for each and every search result. Titles are among the most important things in SEO, but, although it is very basic to have your keywords inside the title, it isn’t always easy and simple to write SEO-friendly title tags.

The title tags are considered to be an important SEO ranking factor and there are multiple reasons for that. First of all, it’s the first and main thing users see when they google something or search using any search engine. Besides, the title tag can be used on most social media platforms when you share a link. Not to forget that, titles are read by “robots” and algorithms and they’re the ones that rank your site. 

However, when titles rank and are on top of the page, they are read by humans. So for that, when you write your title tag for SEO purposes, one of the first things you have to keep in mind is that the title has to be short,  optimized based on your focus keyword.

E.g: this article is optimized for the following keywords:

“Essential SEO ranking factors” 

“SEO ranking factors for 2021”

“Google SEO ranking factors”

“Search engine ranking factors”

3- Keyword Stemming 

Keyword stemming is when Google is able to understand several word forms of a specific search query. When you add prefixes or suffixes to keywords to modify them or when you use different variation strategies and practices to adapt or change specific words, you understand the concept of keyword stemming. It helps your content be more searchable and browsable when using different forms and variations of the original keyword.

For example, adding an “essential” prefix to the word “SEO ranking factors” leads to “Essential SEO ranking Factors”. Making a keyword plural means that you have generated another keyword for Google to track. While this usually can root a disadvantageous effect in your keyword rankings, making use of these variations gives more opportunities for users to discover your content when done right. 

4- Internal Anchor Text Links

Google can find and understand all of the pages on your website thanks to Internal links.

Making some changes in internal linking can improve the rank of a website. Anchor text makes major changes to SEO, as it can indicate to Google what a page is all about. Actually, using anchor text as a ranking factor is mentioned in multiple Google patents. Not using anchor text or using generic anchor text, like “click here” is generally considered a poor SEO practice.

Internal linking is something you can manage and control as a site developer. With the right internal links, you’ll guide your visitors and search engines to your most important pages. Anchors can provide more fair descriptions of a link than the pages can provide for themselves according to Google. Does it make sense? Yes.

Anchors also help the algorithm crawl pieces of content that don’t or can’t supply a copy on the internet for indexing, as stated by Google.

5- Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)

Look at the address bar in the browser, on the left-hand side, did you find a lock icon? Is the lock closed or open? If it’s closed then the connection is safe and secure. If not, or there is another type of icon then it’s not safe nor secure, and it’s vulnerable to attack.

It’s  HTTPS that secures the connection to the website you are visiting. Google stated that their HTTPS ranking may serve as a game decider if the quality signals for two different search results are equal in everything else. That means if your website is equal to your competitor’s website in terms of page speed, title tags, content freshness, etc… but your competitor’s website has an HTTPS certificate and yours doesn’t, then Google will most likely rank your competitor’s website ahead of yours.

6- Page Speed 

Page speed is one of the most important ranking factors, well, simply because faster pages provide a better user experience. The speed of your website dramatically affects your site’s ranking. If a user gets through a page on your website and finds themself waiting for your page to load, they eventually are likely to leave your website.

Hence, if the user is annoyed at your slow web page speed, Google will annoy you. As a result of this, expect the downfall of your website.

Fixing and managing load times enhances your ranking, your user experience, and your conversion rate as well. 

7- Outbound Link Quality 

Most of the time outbound links are used to connect the reader to another source that will add additional value to the topic at hand. It has many benefits such as: 

Outbound links increase credibility and enhance relevance, generate backlinks, and adds value. 

Here are the best outbound link practices that will boost your website:

  • Search for original outbound linking opportunities.
  • Use link building tools. 
  • Don’t use backlink networks.
  • Avoid too many links.
  • Ensure that links are opening in new tabs.
  • Be careful with User-Generated Links.
  • Mobile adaptivity and responsiveness. 

8- High-quality content

All you have to do is publish high-quality content. Sounds easy, right? Well unfortunately it’s not that simple.

“Content is King” keep that in mind.

Content isn’t just a blog post or a web page that you publish on your website. In fact, it is all the information that you submit to search engines, to be offered to users. That’s why high-quality content is anything that Google decides is worth sharing. Provide value and you will rank.

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