I often get asked what the most important SEO ranking factors are. So, I have decided to put together this list to help filter out the main factors you should be focusing on for successful SEO. Note, that just because I have listed out these ranking factors, by no means is it a scape goat to not do the other “unimportant” factors in SEO. In my opinion, all ranking factors are important in SEO, especially if you want to follow good practice and not have to worry about complications in the future.
Here are several important key ranking factors for SEO:
Page Speed: No one likes to wait, especially when you’re online trying to access a website you found on Google. The process of clicking the link in Google and waiting is what makes a visitor stay or not. I think of it as a traffic light. We are waiting for the page or light to turn green so we can go to where we want to go. You can check out this awesome on-page audit that lets you see what you should fix to your website, which includes site speed and a variety of different on page problems your site might have. In the end, everybody likes a quick traffic light so why not make your page speed lightning fast?
Content Length: I can’t strain this enough, length matters when it comes to SEO. If you’ve read my other blog posts you will know that I stress content in all of them, the reason being is because there is a direct correlation with page length and being on the first in Google. Now, I know writing can be tedious if you aren’t an adept writer, but it’s a necessary evil. If you think that you can’t write something that is 1000 words or more per blog post then I recommend you lump together a guide (like this one). Note, that length does matter in SEO, but what is being written matters more. So don’t put together a half-assed blog post and expecting it to rank on the first page for that keyword, it doesn’t work like that
Social Media: Just as content matters in SEO, social media matters too. Today, 90% of people search on their phones. No one is looking at posters or billboards anymore. If your ad isn’t near the user’s eyes and their phone, it won’t gain the absolute attention of them. Just look at this awesome social media campaign and look at how much traffic they got!
Mobile-Friendliness: IF your website or landing page isn’t optimized for mobile, then you are losing leads. Like I said above, no one likes to wait, also, no one likes to zoom in and out on their phone and tapping call to actions and waiting to see if they tapped the right one. Today, people are looking for the fastest quickest ways to get their hands on the information they need. If it’s not your site, it’s your competitors site that your audience is going to.
Crawl: If you don’t know what crawl is, it’s Google’s robots that index your pages to its search engine, making it googleable (I think that’s a word, maybe…) If you haven’t indexed your webpages into Google than you should! This can be done in multiple ways through plugins on WordPress to doing it through Google. I prefer doing it through Google because it’s much quicker. First, you must go and create a sitemap in sites.google.com, make sure to add your website. After you’ve created your site map you can then head over to www.google/webmasters/tools and fetch your site to Google. It’s a very simple, step by step process.
HTTPS: In 2017 security should be top priority, especially if you are holding credit card information from other people. If your website isn’t secure, get a SSL certificate for your website to make it that way. An SSL certificate won’t only protect your site against hackers but it will almost deem your site more trustworthy than others who don’t have HTTPS.
Title Tags: This may come as a surprise, but title tag matters in SEO. Title tag is what your headings and subheadings will look like as well as what they appear to be in Google. There should only be one h1 header tag and that should be your first title. The other headings or subheadings should be h2 tags or any other tag you prefer. When I first started out blogging, I didn’t know what tags even were and how they were important to my site. But everything matters in SEO especially title tags.
Meta Description: Meta description doesn’t correlate to Google itself but to the users who view your link on Google’s search engine. Underneath your title is your meta. If you put nothing in your meta then Google will automatically put your first sentence or two in the meta. I suggest that you add something of value to your meta with your keyword somewhere in there. It allows the reader to know more in depth, what your page is about. This also allows your reader to know if they want to click on your page or not.
Alt Text: You should be using images in your posts and pages. But, if you aren’t optimizing the alt text then you’re missing out on half the pie. Images in fact, lessen the bounce rate of a page but if you don’t describe in the alt text, what your picture is or does, then Google won’t know what your image is doing there in the first place.
If you put all your energy into these SEO ranking factors then you should be well on your way of rising in Google’s search engine! Also, you must take everything into account when optimizing your pages for SEO. Here’s a pro tip:
Be consistent, especially if you’re a new site. As a new domain, you won’t have domain authority compared to older websites. So, follow these factors for best practice and you’ll be well on your way!