Search Engine Optimisation is evolving very rapidly than ever before. The advancements in technology enable search engines to improve their algorithms in multi-folds. So, the SEO is not dead. SEO is evolving into an advanced subject that demands in-depth understanding to execute the strategies properly. There are more than 200 factors that the Google Search Algorithm considers to rank the websites. Of course, the 200 factors are not equally important. But, all of them have some role to play. It may not be possible to focus on all those 200 factors to optimize our website for search engines.
We rounded up the 17 most important factors which you need to give attention to if you want to improve your website’s performance in search engines.
1. Site Speed
The attention span of human beings is exponentially decreasing day by day. Users hate slow sites. So, Site speed is a very important factor to rank in Google Search results. Enter your URL and check the insights. Do the improvements as soon as possible. You will be surprised to see an improvement in rankings in a couple of weeks. The importance of page speed is increasing day by day. Excellent hosting, optimizing images to reduce their sizes, minimalist design, etc are some of the ways to increase the page speed.
2. Domain Age
Domain age matters a lot, especially for new websites. It’s observed that new websites tend to rank very slowly on Google Search results. Google prefers trusted sources which are provided great information for years over newbie websites. But if you are serious enough you can build good authority in the first six months to rank well in search results.
3. Longer Content
Content is King! Change this statement to “Longer Content is King!” Longer Content reduces the bounce rate of your website. Google never ranks the websites with higher bounce rates on top of results. Comprehensive guides help the users to find in-depth information on what they are searching for. 2000-word in-depth articles are preferred to 500-word brief articles. Have you observed the pages from Entrepreneur.com, inc.com, etc rank higher in SERPs? The main reason is their longer content.
Responsive Web design is very important if you want to rank in Google Search results. It’s been an important factor for a couple of years. Google prefers mobile-first design. The world is moving towards mobile. See that your website works perfectly in all screen sizes. No matter how good the information is, if your website is not responsive, it is not going to rank on top! You can also take help from the website designing company if needed.
5. Rank Brain
Anyone who is serious about search engine optimization must take Rank Brain very seriously. It’s already the most important ranking signal and it’s going to rule the rankings for at least the next couple of years. RankBrain is a machine learning algorithm that enables Google to think like a human rather than thinking like a machine. It focuses on the meaning of the search query rather than the exact words in the search query. So you need to optimize the content of related keywords to improve the ranking in Google.
6. Title Tag
The title tag may seem like a very simple thing! But it’s definitely the most important ranking factor. Users click on your website if they are impressed with your title tag. If your title tag is boring and makes no sense, users may click the other results even if you rank at the top. See that your title tag is interesting and compelling so the users click on your website.
7. Domain Authority
Domain Authority is a score that helps to evaluate the ranking potential of a particular domain in search engines. It was developed by Moz. But Google’s search algorithm functions in the same manner. The history of the root domain, links, extension, etc matters a lot in determining the ranking potential of a domain.
8. Meta Description
Meta Descriptions are not old school. They are very important even today. Write unique meta descriptions to all your pages to rank better in search engines. They also act a bit of advertising text to attract more clicks from search engines. Good CTR improves the rankings in search engines.
9. Updating Old Content
Google ranks fresh content. Want to improve your Website’s SEO rankings without much effort? The only thing you need to do is update the old content. Some articles may need slight changes to stay up to date. Do all those updates. You’ll see the improvement in just a couple of weeks.
10. Fixing Broken Links
Broken links are nothing but a faulty user interface. Google takes user interface problems very seriously. Fix all the broken links as soon as possible to see a considerable improvement in your site’s rankings. Broken links also affect the credibility of your website. There are many free tools online to find all the broken links on your website. It’s a time taking task to fix them, but it’s definitely worth the effort.
11. Image Optimization
Image Optimization is very crucial, especially for e-commerce stores. Reduce the file sizes and give proper alt tags for all the products or else Google may not know about them! Though all your products are similar try to provide unique descriptions and alt tags.
12. Fixing Duplicate Content
Duplicate content may not attract any penalties but definitely, but they are not encouraged by Google. The content management systems like WordPress generate lots of duplicate content in the background like Tags and Category pages. You need to index them in order to avoid duplicate content issues.
13. Social Signals
Social Media speaks about your brand value. Social Signals are a super important factor in Google’s search algorithm. Engage with your customers on popular social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook Pages, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter etc.
14. Local SEO
The importance of Local SEO services is on the exponential rise. Getting more local directory mentions and giving the same address, phone number and name of your business in all the local directories help you to improve your ranking in local search results.
15. Video Optimization
For most of the search queries, we see at least one or two video results in Google Search. YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google. Learn about YouTube Search engine optimization to drive more traffic to your website from YouTube.
16. Voice Search Optimization
In this age of smartphones and other artificial intelligent assistants like Google Home, Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana, and Amazon Echo, voice search is gaining lots of prominence. If you want to stay ahead of the game, you need to optimize your website for voice search. Voice search queries are usually longer than text queries. Observe the voice queries of users on your website to improve the rankings for those keywords.
17. Quality Links
Quality links are the foundation on which Google’s PageRank algorithm runs. Nothing matters more than quality links if you want your website to rank on the first page of Google Search results. Creating authentic content is one of the best ways to attract other webmasters to link to your website. Spammy links are very harmful. So do not implement any blackhat ways to get more links. Write great articles, informative infographics, or polls to get some high-quality links to your website.