What are the most important SEO ranking factors? This is an issue that many new to SEO (search engine optimization) face. Not only is this a multi layered question. Important SEO ranking factors are always changing and often difficult to understand. Luckily, many of the most important factors have stayed the same since the beginning and have simply been tweaked over time. Also, lucky that we have handy new tools like infographics to help us easily assimilate new content. Lets take a look at SEO if it was like the planets and see if we can help you learn the most important SEO ranking factors for success on a scale of 1-10.
Finding the Important SEO Ranking Factors
Where did all this information come from? MOZ a leading SEO company and source of up to date information did a study for 2015 important SEO ranking factors. MOZ asked the opinions of over 150 search engine experts analyzed against 90 ranking factors.
This study shows you the ranking factors, correlations, expert survey results, contributions and the methodology of it all. What I suggest you focus on are the ranking factors and the correlations. If anything the correlations will help you learn the 90 ranking factors and show you which are the most important.
We’ve simplified these factors and placed them in this fun to follow infographic. Focus on factors like;
- Domain Level Links
- Page Level Links
- Page Level Content Features
- Page Level Keyword Features
- Engagement and Traffic
- Domain Level Brand Metrics
- Domain Level Keyword Usage
- Page Level Social Metrics
Understanding the important SEO ranking factors will help you analyze the sub elements within each factor. Which will help you better analyze your own SEO strategy.
Also understand the difference between domain level and page level. Domain level is based on the factors of the entire domain. Page level is based on the factors of single pages.
Whats Inside These Important SEO Ranking Factors?
Like I’ve said “SEO is a multi layered discipline”. Ensuring that you understand the factors that go into proper site optimization is important. Looking inside each of the main ranking factors reveals more important things to consider.
Domain Level Links
Looking at the links pointing towards your domain is essential to growing your site with search. Quantity of links, page rank, link relevance, and trust of the domains pointing towards yours. Are some of the most important SEO ranking factors to consider.
This brings up the million dollar question. How do you get these marvelous links? There have been many, many methods for gaining backlinks over the years. Most of these methods have been deemed unnatural by Google and other search engines. Luckily building links naturally can be done with a little hard work and a little outreach. Follow this guide for the most up to date methods on building quality, relevant, natural backlinks.
Page Level Links
All links are important. Having a diverse link profile means you have links pointing at your homepage and your sub-pages. Page level links are an important SEO ranking factor analyzing; quality of links, trust, anchor texts and how “spammy” the links are.
Quality links are relevant links from websites like yours. Link trust is gaining links from trusty sites like universities and government sites. Anchor texts should be diverse, both including the keywords you are looking for, and some not containing exact or any keywords. Spammy links are links that don’t appear to be natural. Natural links come from people linking to you in their content, because your website/content brings great knowledge, or builds on their content. There are other ways to build links and following the guide we linked to will help you build natural links.
Page Level Content Features
Content is key to a balanced search engine marketing approach. Writing quality content builds the overall size of your websites keyword portfolio. Content should be; relevant, quality, optimized on the page, use relevant keywords and follow the topic modeling algorithm.
Don’t sell your website short by not blogging, or building content. Any kind of website can write about topics in their particular niche. Every type of website can also help search engine users solve problems in that niche, thus bringing you potential customers and giving search engine customers the answer they were looking for.
Page Level Keyword Features
Page keywords tell what your website is about. Important factors to consider for these keywords are; content readability, length, markups, uniqueness, load speed, and structured data. Balancing these factors and making sure they are implemented will help your posts/pages rank better.
Content readability is based off how easy your content is to absorb and read. Length is important to think about, longer articles tend to do better. Not because they are longer, but because they are of higher quality. Markups like schema.org help search engines better understand what your page is about. Uniqueness is key, if you are just scrapping content that has already been done. You are not providing a unique answer. Load speed ties into user engagement and how easy your content is to access. Better load speeds keep your visitors around longer, before they bounce to a faster website. Structured data is important, because it shows your content is highly organized and easier to index by search engines.
Whats Inside the Last Important SEO Ranking Factors?
Engagement And Traffic
If your website does not provide a simple answer to your visitors when the arrive, then they are gone. Having a website with good user engagement is key. Search engines test this through bounce rate, exit rate and time on site. Another way they test engagement is by your CTR (click through ratio). Optimizing your websites titles and meta descriptions ensure the average searcher a better experience. If your titles and descriptions provide the right information for what users will see when they arrive. Engagement means that your visitor stays around a while. You can keep visitors engaged by creating quality content, or an application.
Domain Level Brand Metrics
Your website needs to have another presence besides on search engines. If you are putting all of your eggs in one basket, then your marketing strategy is broken. Your domain/your brand needs to be mentioned on other credible websites. These websites should include the news, and media. You should also have a significant presence in other advertising venues. You should be advertising on radio, TV, newspapers, and anywhere else that is applicable. Building your brand both through SEO and other means is a must.
Domain Level Keyword Usage
I want to talk about 2 things here since NASA unlisted Pluto as a planet. Domain level keyword usage and domain level agnostic features. In my mind these two components go together, but in the study they are separate. Using your keywords in your domain can have a pretty good impact on your SEO. If you can keep your domain shorter, its for the better. Shorter domains are good because of SEO and your users can remember them better.
Having an exact match domain name can help with SEO as long as the rest of your site is optimized too. TLD (.com, .net, etc..) also has an impact. Having the most popular TLD in your domain (.com, .net) shows visitors and search engines you are serious. Having a SSL (secure server license) shows you are serious about your visitors. Serious about their information and online safety. Showing search engines you mean serious business helps with your rankings.
Page Level Social Metrics
Just a couple of years ago, some folks said that SEO was dead and social was the new SEO. Whew, what an over statement of a marketing movement. Page level social metrics may be last on the list, but they are one of the very important SEO ranking factors. Social media provides, users, companies, and search engines a unique opportunity. Creating content so good, that it is shareable by the masses gives great signals. Showing your visitors and search engines that you have something good for everyone else.
Make sure that you are sharing your most recent content on popular social networks. Ensure that you are using each of these networks correctly. Know that both page level and domain level social shares have an impact on SEO. Also try to keep your shares unique and relevant to your niche. Don’t become a machine though, social means social. You still need to share things that bring a human element to your brand.
Important SEO Ranking Factors the End
Knowing how to search engine optimize your website is just the beginning. Following through on optimizing these 9 important SEO ranking factors is on you as a website owner. Search engine optimization has a learning curve and it’s not easy. Every aspect needs to be researched and analyzed to ensure you are doing things right. If you follow these 9 more simplified SEO rules, you will be off to a good start.
- Build back links from relevant sites. Do this through creating great, relevant content that is easily shareable. Outreach relevant websites for links to your website that will help their SEO.
- Optimize your on site, domain level linking. Link your pages within your site with relevant anchor texts for your relevant keywords.
- Create a content marketing strategy. Research content/keywords that have questions in your niche. Then write quality relevant content that gives answers
- Optimize your website for speed, design, responsiveness, readability and interactivity. Make sure when a visitor arrives, they get answers fast, and on multiple devices. Also, make sure there is something else to see after they are done.
- Make sure your visitor is engaged. Again solve their problem. Focus on a very fine niche. Creating a gaming website for every game will be very competitive. Creating a gaming website for 1 game and owning it will have better effects.
- Build your brand. Think long and hard before you start your website. What are your main keywords, what will your brand look like? Then own that brand forever. Build your brand on every media outlet available.
- Build a robust domain level keyword portfolio. Do this through content marketing and a serious analysis of your websites pages.
- Create relevant social media profiles and be active on them. Social media profiles don’t grow themselves and they don’t work unless you share content on them. Remember what the masses want; funny, fast, memorable and shareable.
- Start all over again. Continually repeat 1-8 and make sure your website follows all of the important SEO ranking factors. Re-analyze your website every year. Stay up to date and if your competition gets ahead, look at what they are doing.
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