The SEO community is always looking for new ranking factors and so far we have discovered over 200 factors. But there may be hundreds more that Google actually uses. Luckily, you don’t have to tackle them all. Most of them have little impact on his SEO and are often used as tiebreakers rather than ranking signals. Instead, here’s the definitive list of Google ranking factors. Each can make or break your search optimization strategy.
Google plans to discontinue backlinks in the future, but they are still the most important ranking factor for pages. Links should come from various authoritative websites similar to yours, except that using black hat SEO strategies is too risky. Additionally, some Google patents state that freshness and traffic can also be important backlink metrics.
The most efficient way to grow your backlink profile is to borrow backlink ideas from your search competitors. All you have to do is launch SEO SpyGlass. Compare Domains > Link Intersection, add some top competitors. This tool analyzes your competitors’ backlinks and finds backlink gaps (websites that link to your competitors but not to you). These websites are your primary outreach targets. Seeing how they already link to other websites in your niche, it’s very likely they’ll host your link as well.
2. Semantic saturation
Your SEO content should have the right amount of relevant keywords, entities, and images for your copy length. The content should be natural-sounding copy written in an informative style, not crammed like in the old days of SEO.
Knowing exactly which keywords to use, where to place them, and how many keywords you need can be a little tricky. Therefore, if you want to play it safe, we recommend that you analyze the top pages of your search competitors to create a benchmark. To do this with Website Auditor, Content Analytics > Content Editor, enter your main keyword to get a detailed list of SEO writing steps. The SEO content editor tool will tell you the right amount of primary and secondary keywords, their placement, and recommended copy length.
3. HTML tags
HTML tags tell Google which parts of your copy are most important. The title and meta description tags are what users see in search results. Write like a keyword-rich promotion. Heading tags (H1-H6) divide the copy into sections — they should also contain keywords and be written in a informative style. Finally, alt text is used to describe your image to search engines and must be entered if you want it to appear in image search results.
If you didn’t care about HTML tags, your website would have hundreds of pages that aren’t properly optimized for search. A drastic approach is to use Website Auditor to review your pages en masse.First, go to Site structure > Pages > Onpage Sort pages by search optimization score. If you find pages with low scores, click them to see a detailed report. It tells you exactly which HTML tags need optimization and what’s wrong with them.
4. Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are the latest user experience metrics that will soon become a Google ranking factor. Metrics measure the first impression users get when they visit your page. Specifically, load speed, time to interactivity, and layout stability. It’s important to note here that vitals are not yet an official Google ranking factor. But they definitely will, so it’s best to use the remaining time to get them in proper shape.
Google has kindly provided a detailed set of optimization guidelines for each vital. For faster loading, Google recommends faster server response times, less render-blocking JS and CSS, and faster resource loading. To improve interactivity, Google recommends splitting your code and using less JS. Finally, for better visual stability, Google recommends using size attributes for images and videos and loading content from above.
5. User behavior
There is a lot of uncertainty in the SEO community about whether Google will actually use behavioral metrics to rank pages. There is some evidence that
The metrics we are talking about are click-through rate (CTR), bounce rate, session depth, and session duration. To see performance on user behavior metrics,
Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts.
Improving user behavior metrics has a lot to do with creating engaging content. For example, CTR relies on having engaging snippets in search results. Bounce rate, session duration, and session depth, on the other hand, depend on whether you can do something fun on your page. Create quality copy rich in visuals and internal links to keep users engaged. The goal is to capture visitors and send them down the sales funnel.
6. Structured data
You can choose from thousands of tags and tell Google every detail about your content. You can use structured data to tag authors, ratings, product features, locations, and more. It also creates links between entities, anchors locations, and enriches search snippets with rich elements to do wonders for your SEO.
If you’re not tech-savvy, I recommend using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. Choose your markup type (article, local business, product highly recommended) and send the link to the page you want to enhance. Highlight a piece of text and select the corresponding tag. Once done, save the HTML file and upload it to your website. Additional Steps — Use Google’s Rich Results Test to see if your structured data actually works.
7. Google My Business Listing
Claiming, optimizing, and maintaining your Google My Business listing is the most important thing you can do for your local SEO. It helps establish your company as an entity and is a great asset for SEO in itself. Once you’ve created your listing, it will appear in the Local Business Panel as well as Google Maps, opening your business to searchers near you.
First, you’ll need to visit Google My Business and create or apply for a profile. You will be asked to provide some basic details and verify ownership. Once completed, you will be taken to your Google My Business Dashboard. Here are a variety of additional ways to enhance your listing. The bare minimum you can do is add a description, hours of operation, and a photo, but there are plenty of other cool features to explore. Google is constantly adding new Google My Business features, making it as advanced as your own website.
8. Mobile optimization
Mobile-first indexing is fully deployed. Google has announced that starting September 2020, all websites will be reviewed on mobile instead of desktop without exception. So, if you want your website to appear higher in search results, you need to make sure it’s designed for mobile users.
To check if your page is mobile-friendly, visit Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and submit your URL. If the page is fine, you’ll get a green light, otherwise you’ll get suggestions for improvements.
Since checking your website page by page is impractical, you can use Google Search Console to check all your pages at once. launch the tool, Enhancements > Mobile Usabilityto view the report with a list of suggested improvements.
It’s important to monitor the ever-evolving Google algorithm. Some ranking factors like keywords and backlinks are slowly losing their importance. Other ranking factors such as user experience and semantic saturation have taken their place. However, for now, the list above is a pretty solid selection of tactics to add to your SEO strategy.
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