There are hundreds of ranking factors that contribute in the top rankings in search engines, specifically, Google. Today, we will share the top 10 factors that play an important role in boosting the ranks.
In Digital Marketers India, we are serving 20+ customers in this one year journey with our best SEO services. For each customer we work on 100+ keywords and monitor 5-10 competitors for each customer domain. This helped us to collect significant data and information to define the major factors that contribute in achieving the top rankings of targeted keywords.
1. Organic score
For non-technical people organic score means the DA (Domain Authority) and PA (Page authority) of your website. In simple language, the credibility score of the website. Your domain authority is a key player in putting your website as an authority, aka credible website and why not, it takes strategic approach and hard efforts to earn high score DA. You should aim to increase your DA as well as PA (Page Authority) of your most priority pages.
2. Inbound links
Links coming to your website are still one of the biggest ranking factors. It still holds a big weightage to give you the top rankings. However, it is trickier than ever before after the introduction of strict Google algorithms such as Penguin. You need to ensure you earn quality backlinks from other websites that belong to your niche as well as have good authority aka organic score. Getting hyperlinked backlink for dream keyword is an old technique. Now, you don’t need to run behind that. In fact, be cautious to get too many hyperlinked links for a single keyword as it can be harmful.
3. CTR (Click through Rate)
I had ran a test and have experienced this is one of the biggest factors in the quick moving of a keyword position. The websites getting more clicks for a specific keyword get promoted to higher ranks for that keyword. Initially, Google changes the position, but when it sees consistency in good CTR, it award a website with a permanent high position until any other win the game of getting good CTR for an “Exact keyword”, yes, “Exact Keyword”.
4. Dwell time or Bounce Rate
You as an SEO expert must know both, of these are highly correlated with each other and based on my personal experiment and experience, I can say this is one of the biggest contributors in quick promotion or demotion of a website SERP position for an exact keyword. If you have a higher bounce rate for a keyword, you will lose rankings faster, even if you have great content, CTR and backlinks. The dwell time and bounce rate collectively contribute in achieving and maintaining top positions.
5. Responsive Website
Mobile friendly website is prerequisite to rank on mobile search results and more than 50% of people use mobile devices to perform searching and 65% of people use mobile search when they are most likely to buy. (Source) Thus anyways, you need a mobile friendly website. Also, as you can put logic and calculations together, the mobile searches will collectively contribute in total CTR, bounce rate and dwell time. Thus, it is one of the important SEO factors for top rankings. I recommend having a responsive website than having a mobile version of it because it will save you from lot of additional efforts of maintaining two websites.
6. Keywords in URL
Exact Match Keywords in URL still boosts the ranks at certain points. Whether you believe it or not, but it still favor the SEO activities of boosting ranks for a keyword. Yes, it has become smarter than before, as if you have a keyword related to digital marketing, it will boost your rankings for sub-category keywords as well, such as SEO, Social Media Marketing, etc. Thus, URL optimization and domain level keywords still matter in SEO game.
7. Keywords in page level factors
Your content, tile and Meta description must have your targeted keywords. However, don’t go crazy to have exact match keywords. If you will see the top 10 results while searching for a keyword, 60-80% of them will not have exact match keywords in its title and description. (Exceptions can be there). Google use RankBrain for ranking, which has enough data to define relevant keywords for a search query and it shows results with a blend of it. It is difficult to say how RankBrain actually works, but it is for sure that it uses behavior based keyword mapping between search query and page level Meta and content.
8. Brand Citation
Bing has already confirmed this trait as one of their ranking factors and Google is using it, too. Even if you are not getting clickable or hyper link, the Brand citation contributes in increasing popularity as a credible Brand among audiences and search engines. Thus, it is one of the ranking factors that will contribute in your SEO game.
9. Content quantity, quality and consistency
The websites that frequently add quality content and refresh the old content often win more opportunities to rank higher. The search-bots not only quickly (almost in real time) crawl the WebPages and index them, but also show them for the targeted and relevant keywords. It means using activities like regular blogging consistently by posting quality content would boost your SEO activities. If you are our regular reader, you must have noticed, we have increased our Blogging activities to four per week than one per week. Also, we are now sharing more specialized and niche articles which are often lengthier. Google loves SEO friendly content sharing sites.
10. Internal Links
This is one of the most ignored yet important ranking factors and I have seen it has contributed in increasing dwell time and decreasing bounce rate. Moreover, it quickly gets all pages indexed and keep passing the link juice among different pages. Also, there are a few SEO marketing experts who claim the internal linking is the biggest ranking factor and eliminates need of backlinks. Thus, this ranking factor secured its place in the top 10 factors. Note: Internal linking is an art called Link Sculpturing. Putting links like a crazy SEO would invite penalty. If you are not good with it; DON’T PLAY WITH IT.
Along with these 10, there are many other ranking factors such as uniqueness of content and Meta data, social metrics, Brand metrics, direct and organic traffic and the list goes on. In 2006, Google had announced there were more than 200 ranking factors. After more than a decade and invention of so many devices, AI, big data and other smarter technologies, there must be many more ranking factors than 200+. However, these 10 are working at their best and will work in the upcoming few years for sure.
Make sure to make a wise use of these facts in your killer SEO strategy. If you need help of an SEO specialist to take you to the next level of success, get in touch.
About Author: Ash Vyas
Ash Vyas has 10+ years of practical experience in digital marketing and international business development. She has written 100s of articles on various topics to live her passion of helping people with her knowledge and expertise. In addition to directing Digital Marketers India, Ash also delivers keynote sessions and holds key positions in some international companies as a consultant, director of operations and mentor.