About SEO Ranking Factors

People always ask me if I can put them at the top in a search.  The answer is not simple.  The only way that you can be assured of being at the top of a search is to pay for a Google Ad.

Other than that, there are many factors to take into consideration, mainly who your competition is.  BEST WEBSITES will do all of the following items listed below to give you an advantage, but you will also need to be responsible for other aspects, which are listed in the second half of this article.

Ranking factors change in order of priority all the time, but there are some constants that can help you rank higher in a search than your competitors.


BEST WEBSITES WILL DO THE FOLLOWING:

Site Security

Since 2014 Google has used site security as a ranking factor.  If your website URL starts with HTTP it is NOT secure!  You MUST have an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Certificate installed on your website so that your website starts with HTTPS. 

Mobile First

As of 2021, 58% of search engine activity on Google originates from phones, compared to about 40% on computer, and about 83% of all social media visits are from phones compared to about 15% on computers.  This means that it is essential that your website looks good on all devices, especially phone, that the text is large enough to read, and that there is enough space between items for clicking links.

Page Load Speed

If your website doesn't load within 3 seconds, the search engines will know, and you will not rank as high as a website that loads more quickly.  As part of our Search Engine Optimization, BEST WEBSITES takes many steps including hosting your website on a very fast (SSD) server, compressing image file sizes, minimizing code, and using a web-caching plugin.

Structured Data

Structured data, also known as Schema Markup, is a top SEO ranking factor because it clearly tells search engines (in search engine language) what is important about each page.  BEST WEBSITES uses Rank Math with rich snippets. 

Keywords and Description

Long Tail Keywords (keywords that are three or more words) are growing in popularity, especially now that more people are using voice search.  Titles and Descriptions should be within a certain number of characters - i.e. not too short or too long.  Images should be labelled with keywords, and much more.  BEST WEBSITES will do this SEO on all pages of your website.

Google My Business

I have seen one chart that shows a listing with Google My Business representing 25% of ranking factors.  BEST WEBSITES will get you listed on Google My Business and Google Maps.


YOU HAVE CONTROL OVER THE FOLLOWING:

Citations or NAP (Business Name, Address and Phone Number)

You will want to get your NAP listed with as many directories as possible.  This will give your website authority, credibility, and trustworthiness.  It is essential that the listings be identical.  i.e do not put Ontario on one listing, and ON on another.  Read more about Citations here.

Backlinks

Backlinks are often considered to be the second most important SEO ranking factor.  These are the links from other websites that go to yours, so contact others and ask them if they would be willing to have a reciprocal link.  You will link to them if they will link to you.  Both will benefit.

Reviews

Reviews are the third most important ranking factor when people do a search, and this is something that you can control.   Read more about it here.

User Engagement

User Engagement includes

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR):  is the percentage of people who click on your website when it shows up in a search
  • Time On Site:  is the amount of time a person spends on the site after finding it via the search
  • Bounce Rate:  is the percentage of people who leave after only viewing one page on a site that they have found in a search

High Quality Fresh Content

Content is one of the most important SEO ranking factors.  Fresh content attracts search engine crawlers and boosts visibility.

Domain Age

Older domains tend to rank higher than new domains.

 

 

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