Get First Page Rankings Using Google Ranking Factors

Google ranking factors that affect SEO

Use ranking factors to improve your SEO performance

Anyone who is familiar with SEO ranking factors knows that Google checks hundreds of aspects when deciding which websites to rank. To improve Google ranking, many of these have been proven while others are quite controversial. There are also a few that are just speculation for now and don’t have solid proof. If you want to know how to improve SEO, start by reading through the list.

SEO ranking factors in 2018

Ranking factorDetails
Domain HistoryAn aged domain with a ranking history will yield faster results than a brand-new domain.
Exact Match DomainDomains that include the target keyword can get a leg up on the competition.
Private Versus Public WhoIs ProfileEvery domain comes with a searchable ownership profile - businesses will benefit by making ownership details public.
Country TLD ExtensionUsing .ca in Canada or for a UK business will give your site greater local legitimacy.
Keyword in the Title TagMake sure you have a primary keyword to target, and then add it to your page title (this shows in the browser bar).
Keyword in the Meta DescriptionAdd a secondary keyword in the meta description to compliment the primary one.
Keyword in the H1 TagAdd a tertiary keyword in the h1 tag (article title) to help support the primary keyword.
Keyword FrequencyA document becomes more relevant when keywords appear more in it.
Content LengthAs a general rule, pages that rank on the first page of Google should have a minimum of 500 words.
Keyword DensityWhile not as important as before, Google uses this to determine the webpage's topic.
Duplicate ContentHaving identical or highly similar content on your site can lower your ranking.
Page Loading SpeedSnappy loading times are important, especially on mobile.
Optimised ImagesUse compressed images less than 100kb; use the target keyword in the alt tag and image description.
Canonical TagsWhen used properly, rel=canonical can be the solution for many of your duplicate content issues.
Updated ContentRegular updates shows Google that the site is actively being developed.
Outbound LinksLinks act as 'votes' - the more link to your site from respected websites is a major ranking factor.
Spelling and GrammarMinor publishing errors in indicative of a site that is being poorly maintained.
MultimediaEmbedding images, videos and audio files indicates a diverse page with lots for users to consume.
Internal LinksInternal linking related pages helps Google understand contextual relations between page themes.
Broken LinksBroken internal or external links suggests a poorly built site offering an inferior user experience.
Domain AuthorityTo improve your DA score, you need to work on your link profile, particularly in getting more links from authoritative sites.
Page RankFor increasing your PageRank, you should produce content that people want to link to.
W3C ValidationValidating your site based on W3C standards improves its formatting and readability.
Keyword in the URLWhile only a minor ranking signal, keyword-rich URLs can be beneficial when used as anchor text.
Numbered and Bulleted ListsBreaking up content makes it more reader and user-friendly.
Sitemap Page PriorityTheoretically speaking, the priority of a page on the XML sitemap can affect rankings.
Sources and ReferencesCiting references and sources is said to boost content quality.
Layout User-FriendlinessMaking the main content immediately visible raises the page quality.
Valuable ContentGoogle tends to devalue sites that don't have fresh useful content.
Parked DomainsA parked domain is when you buy a domain name reserved for later use.
TrustRankThis is what took the place of the devalued ranking factor PageRank.
Contact Us PageMake sure that the contact information on your site matches with your whois profile.
Site ArchitectureA good site structure makes it easier for users to navigate your pages.
SitemapRemember to have a sitemap to make it easier for search engines to index your pages.
Server LocationWhere your server is, there will be your geo-specific search ranking also.
Privacy and Terms of Service PagesShow Google that you're a reliable and trustworthy member of the internet.
Mobile OptimisationAvoid any penalties by making your website mobile friendly.
BreadcrumbsThese help with user navigation and help clarify relationships between pages.
Duplicate MetadataEach page should have a unique title, h1 tag and meta description - that is based around targeted keywords.
Google Webmaster and Google Analytics UsageConnecting these tools helps Google better crawl a website and return invaluable analytics for improvement.
Site ReputationGet customers or users to leave testimonials or reviews of your products and/or services.
Alt TagsThese mini descriptions help Google understand the content of images.
Guests PostsWriting guest blogs on other external sites in your niche is a great way to gain backlinks that are relevant and authentic.
Link DiversityMultiple links from a single website is much less effective than getting backlinks from many different sites.
Structured dataStart supporting microformats or schema markups on your pages and see your CTR rise.
Bounce RateFind out why people are leaving your website so quickly and make the necessary changes.
Anchor TextCombine different types of anchor text for linkbuilding, such as branded with exact match.
Co-occurrences and Co-citationsPepper your content with brand mentions and other relevant keywords.
RedirectsFor redirects, there shouldn't be too much nor too few.
Manual PenaltiesCheck your Google Search Console regularly to see if any manual actions have been taken against your site.

The above seem like quite a lot but they’re only a quarter of the total number of stuff being weighed in by Google, at least according to this amazingly comprehensive list of ranking factors by Backlinko. They’ve even discussed some details that you’d surely love to know about.

Ardor SEO likes to refer to their list when examining client sites for things that need to be changed or improved. You can rest assured that we leave no stone or leaf unturned when optimising your website.

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