Here at Farfetched Studios we keep track of over two hundred different Google ranking factors, but which ones are more important? Here is our list of the most important ranking factors!
In the SEO community we are always on the lookout for new ranking factors and during our time as an agency we have discovered over 200 individual factors set in place by Google! Most have little to no effect on search engine optimization strategy and are often used as a “tie-breaker” between ranking signals. Luckily for you we have narrowed down that list, check out Google’s most definitive ranking factors for SEO.
- Google is planning to eventually move away from backlinks in the future, but they still are the most important factor in ranking of your pages. Your backlinks must come from a multitude of “high authority” websites that are similar to yours. Google also states that these links must also stay “fresh” and generate traffic to measure on the backlink metrics. To achieve this you will want to grow your backlink profile by using an SEO tool, such as SEM Rush, to compare backlink placements from your top competitors. This metric is called a backlink gap – it demonstrates what websites link to your competitors, but not to you. These websites will be your main target for backlink placements and outreach.
- Semantic Saturation
- We have discovered that there is a delicate balance for on page SEO content. It must contain an appropriate amount of relevant keywords, images, and entities for the length of the copy to register a high ranking with Google. The days of keyword stuffing are over. Your copy should sound natural, smooth, and written in an informative style. This can be a little challenging to find the correct balance. Which keywords to use? How many? Where should I put them? A safe strategy to apply is to create a benchmark based on an analysis of your competitors’ top-ranking pages using an SEO tool. This will give you a list of main and secondary keywords, their placements and a recommended length for your copy.
- HTML Tags
- Google receives data from HTML tags noting which parts of your copy are most important. Titles and meta description tags are what users will see in their search results, write each of them as a keyword rich promo. Heading tags (H1-H6) split your informatively written copy into sections to feature contained keywords. Alt text describes the image to the search engines and must be filled out in order to appear in the image search results.
- Core Web Vitals
- Core Web Vitals are user experience metrics that Google uses as ranking factors for your pages. These metrics measure users’ first impressions when visiting a page on your website. Most specifically, how fast it takes to load, how quickly it becomes interactive and how stable your layout is. It is important to note that web vitals are not “official” Google ranking factors, but they will be very soon. It’s good practice to use this time to get your pages in shape before they do. Each web vital provided by Google comes with a set of optimization guidelines. Google recommends better server response time, less render-blocking JS and CSS, and faster resource loading to decrease your load time. Improved interactivity is achieved by code splitting and using less JS. Lastly, visual stability is directly related to sizing attributes for images and videos from the top down. Use compressed/web sized images and videos only to hasten your load times.
- User Behavior
- The main user behavioral metrics in page rankings are click-through-rate (CTR), bounce rate, session depth and duration. To check your performance on your users’ behavior metrics use your Google Analytics and Google Search console accounts. Improving these behavior metrics correlates with creative and engaging content. In example, CTR relies on having enticing copy in your search result snippets. On the other hand, bounce rate, session duration and depth relies on how engaging your page is. To keep them engaged with your website you need to produce quality copy with paired visuals and internal links. The goal is to catch your visitors in your sales funnel.
- Structured Data
- Google gets every little detail about your page content through thousands of tags. Structured data is used to tag authors, ratings, product features, locations and more! It can make vast improvements to your page ranking by just including relevant tags to your page content. Google’s Structured Data Markup helper is incredibly useful if you are not technically inclined. It’s as simple as selecting the type of markup and submitting a URL link to the page you wish to enhance. From here highlight which text you would like to correspond with selected tags. Once you are finished save the HTML and upload it to your website!
- Google My Business Listing
- Claim, optimize, and maintain your Google my business listing. It is the most important factor in your local SEO listing. It establishes your company as a legitimate entity and ultimately boosts your local search performance. Once your listing is created it becomes eligible to be listed in the local business panel and Google Maps to be found by nearby searchers. Your Google dashboard allows you to enhance your listing with descriptions, business hours and photos. Google is constantly adding new Google My Business features to help you further your ranking. The best practice is you remain vigilant and up to date on your listing so that your business remains relevant and at the top of your local searches.
- Mobile Optimization
- Mobile-first indexing has been fully implemented by Google. Websites began being judged without exception based on their mobile version instead of their desktop in September 2020. Mobile optimization is the only way to get any chance of ranking in the search results. To check your pages mobile-friendliness, visit Google’s mobile-friendly test, and submit your URL. If your page has been deemed ok for mobile you will get the green light. If not, Google will give suggestions on where to improve and how. This can also be done on a larger full website scale with Google Search Console to include all pages.
We here at Farfetched Studios know the importance of keeping tabs on the ever changing Google rankings algorithm. Some factors are losing relevance and others are taking their place, like backlinks and semantic saturation. Let us use our knowledge to grow your website and take care of the SEO dance that is Google Ranking! Ask us about our SEO package pricing for your website. The top listing spot on Google is yours for the taking with Farfetched Studios.