A secure and accessible website

It’s not surprising that the first factor in our SEO ranking is having the right URL. That’s a URL Google’s bots can reach and crawl easily.

Google must be able to visit the URL to see the page content to understand the contents. You’ll need the following information to help the bots:

You can create a sitemap for a WordPress site using All-in-One SEO. An online sitemap generator is also available if you don’t have a website map.

Although HTTPS doesn’t play a role in deciding whether or not to index a page’s pages, John Mueller from Google has tweeted that HTTPS is a “light-weight ranking factor”, and that HTTPS “is great for users.”

Page Speed (Including Mobile Page Speed)

For years, page speed has been listed as one of the most important SEO ranking factors. Google is committed to improving the user experience on the internet, so fast-loading pages will help.

Google announced that it had updated its search engine algorithm to improve mobile page speed. This update began in July 2018 and will affect all sites. Your site could be penalized if it doesn’t load quickly on mobile devices.

To see how your website stacks up, use Google’s mobile test tool.

These tips from WPBeginner for speeding up your WordPress site are great if you use WordPress.

If you don’t have Google Search Console, it is a good idea to get it. You will find a section that updates you about your site’s performance and speed.

Mobile Friendliness

Mobile-friendliness, another important SEO ranking factor, is also on the agenda. Mobile devices are used by more people than desktops for accessing the internet. This is one reason Google has made changes to how it ranks search results.

Google’s mobile-first index is now a reality. This means that it draws its results from mobile-optimized websites first and not sites designed for desktop computers. Your site could be mobile-optimized and you will likely get ranked in the wrong place.

While many of the SEO ranking factors that we will be discussing in this article can help you build a strong search engine ranking, you must also ensure user experience for people who visit your site.

You should also consider whether:

  • A responsive website that automatically adjusts to the device’s screen size
  • Large fonts are best for small screens.
  • Make your site easy to navigate by including accessible menus
  • Adverts shouldn’t obscure important content

Our guide to increasing your mobile conversion rates contains more information on mobile-friendly design and how to improve Google search rankings.

If you have the resources, time, and energy to explore Google AMP (accelerated pages for mobile devices), you might consider exploring Google AMP. Your pages will load almost instantly on mobile devices, which is a plus. Rumors have suggested that Google ranks websites built with AMP higher than sites made without it.

However, you will need to create another version of your website following AMP’s guidelines. You will also need to maintain everything. This can be time-consuming, as you can see.

Regardless of whether you choose to use Google AMP, your website must be 100% mobile-friendly.

Domain Age, URL, and Authority

Did you know that almost 60% of the top ten Google search rankings sites are at least three years old? An Ahrefs study that covered two million pages shows that only a few sites older than one year achieve this ranking.

If you have been using these tips to optimize your website for some time, it is already an advantage

Sometimes, the domain name is important. Google has penalized exact match domains that contain the target keyword in the URL, but this penalty is usually for spammy websites with thin content.

Moz’s research shows that exact-match domains that have been deemed valuable, relevant, and high-quality may see a ranking boost. If you already own a website, it’s not necessary to search for exact-match domains for your business.

What is the best way to choose your domain name? Instead of focusing on the URL that best represents your business, optimizes it!

Authority is a key factor in search engine ranking factors. You’ll notice that this is usually a combination of great content (see next tip) as well as off-page SEO signals such as inbound links and shares. E-A-T can include the author’s authority, which is a great benefit.

Moz has standardized this into page authority scores and domain authority scores. These are ranked from 0 to 100. They tell you how likely a page or domain will rank in a search result

Open Site Explorer allows you to check the domain authority and page authority. Simply enter your URL in the onsite search box and you’ll receive a report that shows domain authority, page authority, and established links.

Tip #8 will focus more on linking practices to improve SEO rankings.

Optimized Content

This guide to Google’s SEO ranking factors has a lot of content. It’s important because it ranks right up there with links, user experience, and RankBrain. We’ll get to that in a bit.

Let’s now dive in and find out what optimizing content for SEO means.

We have already mentioned in our keyword guide that Google’s search algorithm is based on keywords. These are words and phrases that searchers use to find information. These are also words and phrases that describe what your site is about.

These should match in the best possible way. It’s important to include keywords in your content.

Duplicate content is a negative SEO ranking factor. Fresh, original content is the best for SEO. If you have similar content, let Google know by using canonical URLs.

OptinMonster gets a lot of questions about optimizing content using LSI keywords. Let’s get started.

SEO Ranking and Understanding LSI Keywords

SEO is more than just the keyword. It is important to include terms that are related to the terms people are searching for. These keywords are known as LSI (latent semantic indicating) keywords. These keywords provide an online word association that helps Google determine which results it should show.

Google will know that if a searcher types in “mini”, it is your page that is relevant to the car and not the skirt if they use the correct LSI keywords.

It is worth noting, however, that content optimization also includes optimizing for natural language searches and questions as more people use voice to search. Because people speak differently, some LSI keywords may be longer.

Imagine that you own a restaurant. Half of your customers will type “best restaurant near me” but then they’ll also search by voice for “best restaurant in Montreal”.

Google may display different results for the same query, even though they are both asking about the same thing. Using LSI keywords is one way to ensure your restaurant ranks for both sets. Google understands your content better than you do, so you will be more likely to rank within your niche.

However, there’s a crucial point: keyword stuffing will harm your SEO ranking and result in low-quality pages.

You must ensure that your keyword (and your LSI keywords!) are targeted naturally and organically.

Understanding Search Intents for Content Optimization

Optimizing content is not only about optimizing search intent. This means that you need to understand what search terms people are searching for.

Let’s take, for example, Florida real estate as a keyword that you wish to rank for. It might seem like a good idea to write content for Florida real estate buyers. Your page will not rank if it isn’t relevant to the needs of those searching for this term.

Google will notice that your content doesn’t match their search intent by comparing low click-through and high bounce rates.

Sometimes it is clear what people want. If they use the term “compare,” it’s likely that they are trying to decide whether or not they want to buy a product. If they use the term “buy”, they are likely looking to purchase a product.

Depending on their desire to use keywords, the keywords they use may change.

  • Navigate to a specific website
  • Find the answer to your question (informational).
  • Before making a purchase (investigational), it is important to research information.
  • Transact for a purchase

Optimized business websites will contain content that addresses each search type.

How do you ensure your keyword matches user intent and is it possible? Get straight to the source!

In-Private browser: Open a Google Search and enter your keyword. You can see which results are ranking currently and decide if your content is a good match. You should restart your keyword research if you don’t see any results. You can use this opportunity to see which pages are ranking.

To make sure your content is even better, you can perform a competitive analysis on the top 10 SERP results. This will allow you to optimize your content and make it better than the existing search results.

Are you still a little confused? You can find out more about keyword ranking, LSI keyword keywords, and keyword intention.

Content length is an SEO ranking factor?

Yes, in a word. Google expects content to be high quality and contain some length. Although it is not advisable to add more words to make the content longer, you should give depth if the subject requires it.

Research suggests that content with more than 2000 words ranks higher in Google search engine rankings.

While this isn’t an exact rule, there are exceptions. If you want to rank well in the SERP, however, the general rule of thumb is that your content should not exceed 2k words.

with more content attracts links and shares, which are two other ranking signals that we’ll be discussing shortly.

SEO Ranking Factors – Answer Boxes and the “Zero Place”

Google is increasingly providing answers via answer boxes. This is another aspect of optimizing search engine rankings. This is how an answer box looks:

Based on our experience, optimizing for answer boxes is:

  • Answering questions
  • Include the questions in headings with appropriately formatted title tags (more on that in the next tip).
  • Ensure that answers are accurate, relevant, and concise
  • Keywords that already have answers boxes can be targeted with content
  • Add tables or lists

However, there is one drawback to the “zero position”.

Sometimes, it can prevent people from clicking through your site.

People may not be motivated to go to the content if they get the answer directly. This means that while 100,000 people may see your answer box slot, only 10,000 clicks through to the article.

Let’s face it, getting that zero ranks is great because Google will think highly of your content which is always flattering. You’ll also get more brand recognition and more traffic than you would otherwise.

You can also be sure that someone will take your spot if you don’t qualify.

Video to Increase SEO Ranking

Cisco predicts that video content will account for 80% of all online traffic by 2021.

This roundup of marketing stats proves that:

  • All ages are interested in video.
  • 79% would rather watch a video instead of reading a blog post.
  • Video is being used by people to make purchase decisions (remember transactional searches?)

What’s the bottom line? Include video in your content strategy. Video is shared, linked, and read by many people, which can help increase your search engine ranking.

Technical SEO

As we mentioned earlier, optimizing content for search engine rankings is only one part of optimizing it. This can be daunting, especially if your skills are more wordsmith than technical.

These are some aspects that you can control, even if you’re not a programmer.

  • Google will first look at page titles for keyword phrases. This is where Google looks for relevant content to search terms.
  • Header tags are used to display content hierarchy. Start with your title at the h1 position, then use h2 and h3 as subheads.
  • A meta description should be attractive to readers and include your keyword phrase
  • Meta descriptions should be kept short and concise at 160 characters
  • To show that the images are related to the main content, use keyword phrases in alt tags
  • Alt tags can also be used to assist visually impaired people with screen readers.
  • To tell Google what type of content you are producing, using schema

It’s easy to set up all this with a plugin such as All-in-One SEO. It’s the best WordPress plugin.

All-in-One SEO allows you to set a focus keyword and additional keyphrases. TruSEO’s on-page analysis will also score the optimization of your pages and posts. It also gives you a checklist that you can use for improvement.

Smart meta tags are also included in the on-page SEO checklist. This allows you to easily set your meta descriptions and SEO titles with dynamic fields such as current year, month, and author info.

Additional powerful All-in-One SEO features include schema marking, smart XML sitemaps, and robots.txt editor. SEO health checks are also available.

User Experience.

Google has been using artificial intelligence for a while to rank web pages higher. That signal is called RankBrain. This also includes signals that can affect your search engine rank. These signals include:

  • Click-through Rate: The percentage of people who click on your website after it appears in search results
  • Bounce Rate (especially pogo-sticking). This is the number of people who click your page and then quickly return to the search results.
  • Dwell Time: How long visitors spend on your site once they arrive

Google will consider your website not relevant to their needs if people visit it and then leave. It might be more difficult for your website to rank higher in search results if there are enough people who do this.

This is a sign that your content doesn’t match the searcher’s intent. It may be necessary to target a different keyword.

Google, on the other hand, will tell you if someone clicks through to your page and stays there for a while.

Optimizing titles, descriptions, content, and keywords can help you improve your search engine ranking.


The web is built upon links, as we stated at the beginning. Links are, therefore, a key SEO ranking signal. There are three types of links to consider:

  • Inbound links
  • Outbound links
  • Links to internal resources

These three elements are usually linked to descriptive anchor texts.

Inbound Links

Google uses inbound linking to determine the authority and relevance of your content.

A link to your site in an authoritative website’s content is the best scenario. The Content Marketing Institute will include a link to your content marketing resource in their content. This is more effective than if someone links to it randomly.

Inbound links are often referred to by the term “backlinks”. Your goal is to have as many authoritative sites link back to your site as possible. This also means that you should have very few links from low-quality domains.

A tool such as SEMrush can help you find inbound links.

Outbound Links

You also want to demonstrate that you are creating high-quality content for your visitors. This means linking to authoritative, relevant sites within your niche using outbound hyperlinks.

Does that mean you need to give away tons of outbound links in order to increase your authority? No.

It means that you should only use reliable sources with high domain authority when conducting research. You should be doing this regardless for the sake of your users.

Internal Links

Linking to your content can also help you and your visitors tie pages together, increasing the value of each page. Linking to authoritative pages on your website can help your visitors find that page, and it also gives you authority.

This allows the second page to improve its search engine ranking.

Be sure to create a strong web of links between pages as you add new content. Remember what we said at first of this section?

All three types are linked to descriptive anchor text. Linking to text within your content should include descriptive anchor text.

You can speed up internal linking by using All-in-One SEO’s link assistant. The program will automatically generate a report that provides insight into:

  • Links: Ideas of pages to link to and anchor texts you can use.
  • Orphaned pages: All pages/posts that are not linked to the Internet.

AIOSEO’s internal link recommendations can be applied in just one click, without the need to manually edit each post.

Social Signals

If people share your content via social media, it is another indicator that it is valuable. Cognitive SEO found that social shares are a strong indicator of search engine rank.

Google has stated that social sharing is not a ranking factor. Links from Twitter and Facebook are not counted in the same way as links from authoritative websites.

However, it’s not hard to see that pages with the highest ranking in Google search results often have many shares. This is likely due to several related factors.

  • Increased social sharing leads to more visitors to the page.
  • Your content will also be more likely to get backlinks if you have more shares

Getting more social shares can help you rank in search engines, even if it’s only indirectly.

You need to be active on social media.

A plugin such as Smash Balloon is also recommended.

This campaign is a great way to grow your brand on social networks.

Real Business Information

This tip is crucial for local businesses. Local SEO rankings are influenced by the presence or absence business information.

It is important to take care of areas such as:

  • NAP (name and address, number of phone)
  • Listings for businesses on Google My Business or Facebook
  • Review these sites as well as relevant directories such Yelp or others.
  • Search terms that are relevant to your area

That’s it! These are the key SEO ranking factors. Check out our other SEO guides for more information.

These SEO statistics will help you increase traffic to your website

Let’s close by asking the question that every new SEO-er should be asking.

Do you want to please your audience or Google?

This is the core of SEO. Do you want to create content that Google can rank and easily understand? Or do you want content that users will love?

The truth is, it’s both.

It is similar to asking which side is the sharpest when you are trying to decide which aspect of SEO is more important. To rank well, both parts of SEO must be in perfect order. Those are the facts…

Google should not be happy if you sacrifice the user experience (UX). This will only frustrate your audience and, ironically, will result in you being penalized by Google.

You should also remember that ranking on Google may help you launch your business, but Google is not your only paying customer. However, your readers might.

Here’s the best SEO advice you can get:

Your users will love your content. Next, optimize the content with equal energy to help Google understand why you audience loves it. Keep your user in mind, regardless of what.

It’s easy to see why the multi-billion dollar SEO industry is so successful.

Do you consider yourself a beginner or an experienced SEO professional? We’d love to hear your thoughts on any topic. We’d love to hear from you via Twitter , Facebook and Twitter .

Your SEO is not the only thing you need to consider. You must convert the organic traffic that arrives on your site once they have arrived.