Google’s ranking algorithm is made up of over 200 components, or “signals.” It’s almost impossible to optimize perfectly for all 200 signals, so we want to focus on getting the key items right.
Note: These factors are not “proof” of what search engines use to rank websites, but simply show the characteristics of web pages that tend to rank higher.
Backlinks: Backlinks continue to be the strongest indication of authority to Google.
- Link Score: The “value” of the links coming into the website.
- Anchor Text Relevance: The hyperlink text linking to the website.
Content: “Content is King”
- Keyword Usage: Use targeted keywords most importantly in the title tag, but also within the description, header tags and of course the body copy
- Length: “The amount of content necessary for the page to be satisfying depends on the topic and purpose of the page.”
- Comprehensiveness: Content quality must be high and have value to the searcher.
Technical SEO: The technical foundation of your site is crucial for SEO (and well beyond).
- Page Speed: Google expects pages to load in 2-seconds or less, and they’ve officially confirmed that speed is a ranking signal. Speed also has a massive impact on UX.
- Mobile-Friendliness: If your pages aren’t optimized for smartphones, they won’t rank in mobile search at all.
User Experience: “Searching users are often the best judges of relevance.”
- Click-Through Rates (CTR): A SERP (search engine results page) CTR is the ratio of the number of times a search listing was clicked to the number of times it was displayed to searchers.