These days, when we want to get information on any topic, we usually search for it on Google. And, Google comes up with various results that are related to your search and we just get that information from the websites that are listed on the first page or from the website at the top. As there are plenty of websites that contain the information that you’re looking for did you ever think how these websites are getting listed? Or what is the reason that a website is at the top in search results as there are many more sites that have content on the same topic that you searched for.
If you don’t know the reason, let me introduce to you the Google ranking factors. These are the factors that determine the position of a website in Google’s search results. If a website is optimized according to Google and fulfills all the requirements that Google require to rank a website, then that website is ranked higher. So, what are the Google Ranking factors? Find below.
Here are the Top 15 Google Ranking Factors that will help a website to rank
If you have a website or blog and want to rank your posts on the first page of Google, then you need to check these 15 latest Google ranking factors that will let you know how and what Google ranking algorithm considers while ranking a website
- Structure of URL
- Using Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3…)
- Image Optimization
- Click Through Rate
- User Experience When he lands
- Secure Certificate (SSL)
- Domain Age
- Page Speed
- Title, Meta and Tags
- Internal Linking
- Responsive Design (Mobile Friendly)
- Social Shares
Structure of the URL of your Post
Let’s start with the URL structure. When you are publishing a post, make sure to make your post URL as short and simple as you can. I searched many topics on Google and found that the posts that are on the first 5 positions have shorter and simple URLs as compared to the others. Also, the higher ranking posts contain the keyword in the URL that I searched for.
So, to make your URL short, just add the keyword in it. For example, for this post, my keyword is Google Ranking Factors and my URL is https://www.moveonspace.com/latest-google-ranking-factors. I didn’t use my full title as post URL like most of the people do. Just keep is short.
When you have a short URL that contains your keyword in it, consider making it simple. What that means is, just go with the URL format that is used for this post. Here you will find that my URL is my domain and after that, there is a post URL, nothing else.
Some people go with the URL that contains the date when that post was published in it. It is not good at all as if you put a publishing date in the URL, there are chances that Google will see it as a particular year’s post. Means if you are ranking for that post, in the coming year you will not be able to rank that as for the search engine, it will be an old post. Remember, Google rank the posts that are updated frequently and using the date in URL is not a good idea.
Also, there are many other URL formats that many people use. In my opinion and what is found, just go with a simple structure.
Below is the image that contains the URL structure types and the type I used is highlighted.
Backlinks to your Posts/Website
To rank a post, backlinks plays a crucial role. The websites or posts that have so many backlinks will surely get the position on the first page. But, the links should be from the high authority or reputed websites. If you have many links but the websites from where you are getting backlinks have low domain authority, then there is no chance for you to rank.
Getting some quality links are way better than hundreds of spammy or low authority links and if you have plenty of quality links, then you will easily find a place on the first page of Google results.
To get the backlinks, you can contact the high authority websites. Just offer them a well-written content for their website and ask them to give a link back to your website. This technique works very well.
While writing your content, keep in mind that you need to write a lengthy content. Longer the content better the results. When you start writing and you find that your competitors also have the content on the same topic, just write lengthier than your competitor and cover all the points that you find are not listed in his post.
If you are not able to make it longer, just write quality content then. The content should be so well written that your website visitors should get the answer that they are looking for. If you are not able to do these things, never think of the first page results.
Using Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3…)
Using headings in content improve the readability of the content which is gold as far as the user’s concern. It is seen that the posts that contain headings have a lower bounce rate than the others. The reason is, the content looks easy to read and don’t bother the reader. Moreover, he can skip to the point that he is looking for.
Also, in content use the keywords. You need to maintain the density of the keyword. If your main keyword found many times in your post, Google will see it as spam. You can use the LSI keywords. These are the keywords that are semantically related to your main keyword.
When adding an image to your content, make sure that it is optimized well. It means that you should add Title and ALT text to it. Doing so help the Google to understand what is the image about. Moreover, by providing Title and ALT attribution, you can list your image in Google’s image search results.
A sitemap is also considered as a crucial ranking factor. A sitemap is this list of the pages and products that your website contains and generating and submitting a sitemap to Google or other webmasters help the search engines to better understand your site structure. For more information on the sitemap, you can visit this post.
Click Through Rate (CTR)
One of the most important parts to stay at the top of the page. It is not enough to rank on the first page. You also need to maintain your spot on the first page. For that, you need to improve your click-through rate.
Click Through rate is the number of clicks that your website got when it is seen in results. So, if your website is on the first page and more and more users click on it, you can get the first spot on the first page and on the other hand, if your competitors got more click, then you will lose your rankings.
To improve CTR, read this post “How to Improve Click Through Rate?”
Your website should be so user-friendly that when anyone lands on your website he can easily check and find everything. If your website is not well designed and difficult to use, users will bounce back immediately.
What you can do is, don’t use too many ads and pop-ups. The reason is as a user it is so frustrating to see pop-ups and ads again and again. Also, categorize all your posts or products and add a search box.
This is a certificate that let’s search engine and your website visitors that your website is secure. You may have seen many websites that contain HTTPS at the starting of the URL. All those websites have the SSL certificate. And, other websites that don’t have SSL certificate, their URLs will start only with HTTP. These days, Google has made it compulsory for all websites. If you don’t have SSL certificate the chances to rank are very low. It is seen that if two websites have the same authority, backlinks and cover all other Google ranking factors, but one is with HTTP and the other is with HTTPS, then Google will surely rank the site with HTTPS. Adding SSL certificate can also improve your conversions and click-through rate as your visitors will have trust on your website.
Another one of the major Google ranking factors. Older domains tend to rank higher as compared to new domains. So, if you have keywords that have really high competition, then you will surely rank fast for those when your domain gets older. So, if your domain is new, what you can do is just buy at least 4 years domain and hosting package.
Imagine someone is searching Google to get some information and found a website with that information on the first page and he click on it and it takes a few minutes to load. What you think he will do? He will bounce back immediately to another website. This will cause the low-speed website a loss in ranking and the other with high loading speed a boost in ranking as Google always want to serve the best to the users.
So, while developing your website, do work on page speed. There are plenty of tools that can help you to test the speed of your website and also will let you know the changes that you can make to speed up your website. Below is this list of few Page Speed testing tools.
Titles, Meta and Tags
When any search engine shows the results for any submitted keyword, you can find that every post has a Title and some description. This Title can be considered as SEO title for that post and the description is the Meta description.
Both Title and Meta Description content need to be attractive as this is what user will find in search results and if your Title is not attractive, no one will click on your post.
Also while optimizing Titles and Meta, do add some tags for each post as it also lets you get rankings for similar keywords.
Yoast SEO Plugin is best for WordPress users to set up all these things.
Adding images and videos also help you rank higher as most of the people like to watch the video instead of reading. So, if you have a video related to your post you can add it to your post. By adding you will find that your visitors are staying for a longer time and Google will notice it and will give you some boost in rankings.
Linking your one post to another within the website is known as internal linking. It helps to reduce bounce rate as you can let your visitor to go to the other related post and he will be using your website for a longer period.
So try to link every post to another post. While doing so, keep in mind to link genuinely. Means link to other posts only if there is something related to that post.
Responsive Design of Website
Make your website suitable for all devices. The reason is, results for the same keyword on mobile and computer are different because on mobile results, Google rank only websites that have a mobile-friendly design. Most of the people browse from mobiles or tablets and your website should open on all devices cleanly so that the user can easily find the information.
If your website is not responsive, Google will not let you rank higher on mobile searches. So, it is best to make a responsive design for your website to dominate mobile results as well.
Getting your website and posts shared on social media websites gives a signal to the Google that your website is very popular. This can help you to get on the first page. So, do work on your social accounts and get some followers. Share every post and update on all social networks and ask your followers to like and share.
So these are some ranking factors that Google consider while ranking any post. Do all things right and get your spot.
If you have any question or suggestion, comment to let me know.