In today's highly competitive business era, the right search engine optimisation techniques play a vital…
3 Important SEO Ranking Factors You Need to Understand
To get the best results from your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) efforts, you need to pay attention to several ranking factors. These factors all help search engines achieve their main goal–to provide the best information to users as quickly and smoothly as possible.
You can think of SEO as a wheel. It’s composed of several spokes, each one propelling you toward better rankings in search engine results pages.
Each spoke or factor requires a different set of skills or strategies, so you need to pay careful attention to each one.
Today, we’re going to discuss 3 important SEO ranking factors. By the end of this blog post, you’ll understand what each ranking factor requires along with some strategies you can implement.
Let’s get started.
Page speed is how fast your website loads. According to a recent survey, 63% of online traffic comes from mobile visitors. The number is expected to grow as more users gain access to mobile phones and the Internet in general.
It should come as no surprise then that page speed has been a vital ranking factor for several years. Back in 2018, Google rolled out its Speed Update. The update made page speed a major ranking factor in mobile search engine results.
For example, Website A and Website B both publish equally excellent content. The main difference is, Website A loads faster on mobile devices. As a result, Website A will have better chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages.
Content is still important, but it has to work hand-in-hand with page speed and other ranking factors.
You can start improving your page speed by checking how fast your website currently is. For this step, we recommend two tools–PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom Website Speed Test.
PageSpeed Insights is a tool created by Google that tests how fast your website is. It uses data from actual Google Chrome users.
To use the tool, you only need to enter your URL and click on Analyze. PageSpeed Insights will analyse your website and score how fast it is.
It will also propose improvement suggestions like resizing images or minifying code. The form is relatively easy, but the latter step may require professional assistance.
Pingdom Website Speed Test is another tool that tests how fast your website is. To use it, you need to enter your URL and click on Start Test. It will then scan your website and score its speed.
Unlike PageSpeed Insights, it lets you choose a location when testing your website speed. You may want to use it if you’re targeting users from a specific country.
Take note of the improvement suggestions from each tool, and start making changes. Make sure to take note of your website speed before implementing changes, so you can check if your efforts are successful or not.
According to a recent survey, more than half of all Internet traffic comes from mobile phones. It’s no wonder that Google is switching to mobile-first indexing. This means that the search engine will first look at the mobile version of a website when determining rankings.
If your website only has a desktop version, Google will still index it and show it in search engine results pages. However, it may not rank as well as before. Improving your rankings with only a desktop version will also be more difficult.
In a nutshell, you need a mobile-friendly website to maintain or improve your rankings. If you’re wondering what a mobile-friendly website is, it’s one that adapts to the device used to view it.
You can test if your website is currently mobile-friendly using Mobile-Friendly Test and Responsinator.
Mobile-Friendly Test is a tool created by Google that scores how mobile-friendly your website currently is. You can start using it by entering your URL and clicking on Test URL. It will then scan your website and tell you if it’s mobile-friendly or not.
Responsinator, on the other hand, shows you how your website looks on different mobile devices. Enter your URL and click on Go. You can then start navigating your website as if you were using different Android and Apple devices on both landscape and portrait modes.
This tool allows you to put yourself in a user’s shoes. You might gain insights you never would’ve thought of if you only looked at data and scoring systems alone.
For example, you might notice that a pop-up appears as soon as your homepage loads, almost covering the entire screen. This could result in a negative user experience, and users might leave your website before they even read your homepage copy.
Before we proceed, let’s define two types of links.
External links are links from other domains to your website.
Internal links are links from one webpage to another in the same domain.
Both types of links are important.
External links, especially ones from relevant authority websites, tell search engines that other users find your content helpful, informative, entertaining, or all three. The more links you get from authority websites, the better.
There are two common ways to generate more backlinks or external links.
- Guest Posting – You send pitches to relevant blogs in your niche, offering to write blog posts for them. This requires plenty of time and effort, but aside from generating more links, you’re also gaining access to a new audience and establishing yourself as an authority.
- Creating skyscraper content. – With this strategy, you’ll need to look at the top-ranking content for your target keyword and create something better. You then find websites that have linked to the aforementioned content and ask them to link to your content instead.
Internal links tell search engines how your website is organised and which pages should be indexed.
Search engines use bots called crawlers to find and index pages. These crawlers find new webpages through links, so you need to make sure you have internal links to all your important pages.
If you spent hours creating content for a new page but forgot to link to it, crawlers would be unable to find it. All your efforts would go to waste.
SEO success requires a holistic approach. You need to pay attention to different ranking factors like page speed, mobile-friendliness, and links to see results.
If you’d like to optimise your website for the different ranking factors, we’d love to help. Cornerstone Digital is an SEO agency in Sydney that can help you find your ideal customer via SEO. Call us on (02) 8211 0668 or email us [email protected]
A self-professed book and digital marketing nerd, Darlyn Herradura focuses on building trust between customers and businesses with the written word. She understands that creating valuable content is the best way to get found online and happily spends her time doing that.