Many Google ranking factor lists are long and brim full of myths and assumptions. This often leads marketers off course, spending valuable time on speculation.
In this article, we’re going to whittle down the 200+ ranking factors and focus on six of the most important ones that you should be spending a lot of your time and effort on.
In no order, here are they are:
- Search Intent
- User Experience
- Mobile Friendliness
- Topical Authority
Although there are a host of other ranking factors, we’re not implying that these are the only factors you should focus on. The above six are some of the most ‘bang-for-buck’ factors that will help you rank higher in Google.
Let’s get started.
It’s no surprise that Google doesn’t rank the same type of content for every query. If someone is searching for “buy car parts online”, that person is in buying mode, and Google knows this. This is why Google will show eCommerce pages to that searcher.
On the other side of the coin, a person searching for “how to change a tyre” will be in learning mode and as such will be shown informative blog posts.
Search intent plays a big part in the ranking process.
The user experience is something that has become significantly more important with the passage of time. For example, pop-up ads annoy users, Google realise this and as such are open about the fact that sites with these interstitials may not rank as highly as those that offer a purer user experience.
Here are some other things that lend well to a positive user experience:
- Navigable, easy-to-use, site
- Responsive site design
- No intrusive ads
- Easily readable (and findable) content
An often over-looked ranking factor, freshness plays an important role in the ranking process. Although query-dependent, it is still important, nonetheless.
Updating your site content frequently to not only be relevant but also fresh is a vital process that should be practiced often.
Since Google announced the move to mobile-first indexing, it has become an imperative ranking factor. Considering almost two-thirds of searches take place on mobile, websites need to be mobile-friendly; it’s no longer a nice to have, but a must-have.
To check how mobile-friendly your site is, have a look at the “Mobile Usability” report in Google Search Console.
In 2014, Google announce that HTTPS is a lightweight signal. Since then, the tech giant has increased its commitment to HTTPS, showing a “not secure” warning in Chrome when users visit an unencrypted webpage.
If your site is insecure, you should purchase an SSL certificate and make the move to HTTPS as soon as possible.
One of Google’s aims is to rank pages from authoritative sources, and this extends well past backlinks.
Topical authority, which is a perceived authority over a niche or broad set idea is important in showing your depth of expertise. In the world of SEO, topical authority can be achieved (in time) with detailed, entity-orientated, semantically organised, and comprehensive content.
At the end of the day, ranking on Google has little to do with the latest tips and buzzwords. Ranking on Google extends far deeper. By focusing on creating content that searchers are looking for, providing a good user experience that is responsive across devices through a secure connection, you can better your chances of ranking higher.