Ranking factors can be broken down into multiple categories, including domain factors, page-level factors, site-level factors, backlink factors, user interaction factors, and so forth.
In the SEO industry, we define them as the criteria used by Google and other search engines when indexing your website.
Google uses more than 200 ranking factors in its algorithm. While nobody can name all of them, we know what the most important ranking signals are. To name a few:
- Backlinks are the foundation of Google’s Page Rank and, as such, they represent one of the most important ranking signals. As we explained above, not all backlinks are created the same. It is essential to focus on building external links from highly authoritative and relevant sources.
- Search intent: Google focuses on what kind of results users expect to see when typing a keyword into its search box. For example, keywords like ‘buy a suit online’ have commercial intent. A customer wants to purchase a product online, and Google will show ecommerce stores in its SERPs. Therefore, optimising your website pages for search intent is vital to boosting site relevance and showing up high on Google.
- Website loading speed: According to Google, as a page goes from one to three seconds, the likeliness of bounce grows by 32%. That is why website loading speed is one of Google’s most significant ranking factors.
- Mobile-friendliness:Given the impressive rise of mobile searches, it is not surprising that Google made mobile-friendliness a ranking factor for both mobile and desktop searches.
- RankBrain: This is an AI algorithm that helps Google understand search queries. According to Google, it is the search engine’s third most important ranking factor. One of its most significant roles is measuring how visitors interact with your website by tracking your organic CTR, bounce rate, and dwell time.
- HTTPS:Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is a secure communication protocol that uses SSL/TLS for encryption. HTTPS is a lightweight ranking signal, according to Google. Apart from boosting your rankings, the shift from HTTP to HTTPS may also enhance user experience and website credibility.
Keep in mind that there is no supreme ranking signal you can optimise your website for to dominate search engines. Instead, you need to have a deep understanding of Google’s algorithms, keep up with their updates, and optimise your website for them. The process involves a range of technical SEO, on-site SEO, and off-site SEO practices.
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