“What do I need to do to get higher ranking on Google?”
All of us work long hours to discover the answer to this question. Luckily, so does Backlinko, the very business that has created a complete list that includes Google’s 200 SEO Ranking Factors.
Backlinko just conducted an analysis of 1 million search results of Google to discover the answer to the question: Is SEO ranking determined by links, content, and/or speed?
A lot of these results are similar to what I have discovered in the SEO work I have been doing for customers over the last 18 years. But even for experienced hands like me, there is always something new to learn. The study is a reminder to all of us that we need to keep studying the most recent developments in SEO. What other way is there to ensure our tactics are better than anyone else’s?
Keep in Mind: The data show relationships and should never be considered absolute rules. SEO strategies and best practices that have been verified over time will always be the ideal way to obtain ranking. In any event, gaining knowledge of SEO factors backs up a lot of the work we are currently doing.
Time to get to work. Let’s learn about the most important SEO ranking factors.
Backlinking: The Most Important SEO Factor
Backlinks have proven to be a top SEO ranking factor in new research by Backlinko.
We cannot emphasize often enough how important it is to have a rich backlink profile. This research demonstrates that the greater number of unique domains you have linking to your site, the higher your rankings on Google will likely be.
Moreover, links from many different sites is much better than many links from one site. Honestly, it’s better than good, says Backlinko. “For the whole research study, the total amount of unique referring domains had the clearest correlation.” Obtaining valuable, quality links is a challenge, but it is so very important.
The research also reveals a big correlation among rankings and domain authority. In other words, the higher your domain authority is, the higher your rankings may be for many other pages of your website.
The links should be high quality. This means that they should originate from appropriate sources and definitely never come from farms. Poor links can result in a penalty from Google, which can certainly damage your rankings.
Content Is King But It must Be Comprehensive
Content remains a very significant ranking factor. But it has to provide a much more complete user experience.
We’d like to live a week — only one — without listening to the phrase “Content is King.” But the research demonstrates that content remains influential. So let’s examine what type of content merits kingship.
Comprehensive content is key. Backlinko describes comprehensive content as targeted content that discusses a specific subject. Good examples would be a Wikipedia page covering the director of Doctor Zhivago, or Natasha’s Greek Tzatziki Sauce Recipe. Content that discusses a topic thoroughly and gives a knowledge-based, definitive answer to a search query will probably rank highly. It’s fairly easy for your comprehensive content to be identified, due to Google Hummingbird. Since this update, Google has done a good job of knowing what topic is being discussed and then ranking it accordingly.
Google's Hummingbird update rewards natural content. If you write for your website, say what you'd say to a patient. Nothing fancier.
— Emma Squillace (@emmasquillace) April 14, 2016
It’s your responsibility to deliver the most appropriate type of content to your customers. Knowing what content you should provide is simple. The more difficult job is the next step: the amount of content.
How much content you deliver is also important. The data demonstrate a solid relationship between the number of words in your content and how well you rank. The more words, the higher the ranking. This may suggest that a greater number of words relates to a website’s goal to deliver great content.
Despite the fact that the research revealed correlations, it doesn’t tell you what actions you should take. In other words, Google reminds you that you should write content for your customers, not for Google or other search engines. Producing great content for individuals who want to read it should be your objective. If you can produce content that averages 1,890 words — the amount of the average Google first page finding, more power to you.
Always remember to include at the very minimum one image to each content piece. By a significant degree, a piece of content with an image performs a lot better than content without any images. Don’t worry about adding more and more images. Multiple images did not seem to matter with the rankings, the research found.
Nevertheless, more than one image has a benefit; they divide lengthy paragraphs so it is easier to read the material. Also keep in mind that eye movement tracking is important in maintaining a reader’s attention.
HTTPS and Site Speed: Construct Your Site with Security and Speed
Concerned about hackers infecting your site? Don’t fret — the first page of Google’s rankings are clearly associated with websites that are secured with an HTTPS version. Google formally confirmed that HTTPS as a ranking indicator, which supports the data from the research. So, investing the time to go to HTTPS is well spent.
We’ve observed from our own research that speedier sites obtain greater revenues (ROI). Backlinko’s research testifies to the fact that sites that load very quickly are absolutely associated to higher rankings. Faster loading sites were found to have higher rankings than slower loading sites.
The significance of HTTPS and website speed are not new findings. Google believes that users should give an excellent and safe user experience. To accomplish this requires that you build your site to be secure and fast. From Google’s point of view, obtaining a lot of traffic and conversions is not as important as creating a site that is a desirable destination for users. So put in the effort to make it fast and safe, and you will realize the rewards.
Explaining SEO Ranking: What is the Key to Ranking on the First Page?
How do you accomplish making the changes to your site based on the SEO factors discussed here? Remember, we’ve only mentioned the top SEO factors. The research really mentioned numerous correlations, which taken together can create a beneficial outcome to your Google rankings.
Are you thinking that this is a lot of work on your part? Well, you are right! But that’s not a problem — there are many superb SEO service companies in the marketplace that provide sound strategies that will enhance your site’s visibility, backlinks, superior content, site security, and many more. They can really help you.