There are many top Google website ranking factors based on search engine optimization or seo, and the list can be quite long. In this article, we select the 5 SEO factors that are most important to Google when ranking your website on search page results (SERPs). Other articles will describe the other important ranking factors.
So, what are the 5 website ranking factors that are the most important to Google and other top search engines?
Most people who browse the internet have tried to search for a particular keyword phrase on Google and see a search result with 10 websites ranked in a particular order. These results do not come to you randomly. Google uses specific algorithm to assess the relevance of the information to your keyword phrase given by each website ranked by Google. Here are the most significant factors that will help your website rank on the first page of Google. These are called the top Google ranking factors.
1. Keyword phrase must be at the beginning of your title tag:
When your keyword phrase is found at the beginning of the title of your web page, Google gives your website a lot more weight. In fact, this is the most critical of the top Google ranking factors. To understand what we mean by “keywords found in the beginning of a title tag”, let’s consider the following example:
The title of this webpage is “Top Google website ranking factors for targeted traffic”. Consider Webpage # 2 with the alternative title: “For targeted traffic, know the top Google ranking factors”.
With all other ranking factors being the same, webpage #1 would rank higher for “Top Google website ranking factors” whereas webpage #2 would rank higher for “targeted traffic”. By now you probably figure out that webpage #1 sent out a signal to Google that “Top Google ranking factors” is the most relevant information to web page #1 while “For targeted traffic” is the most relevant for web page #2.
Take home message: The most important keyword phrase of your web page should be at the very beginning of your title tag
If that makes sense, let’s move on to the second most critical of the Top Google ranking factors.
- Content length, a critical website ranking factor:
The longer your web page content, the higher the influence of your content is on your ranking. Before I proceed, do not overdo it. Obviously if your content is too long, it will affect the loading speed of your site. Google does not like that. As you will see later, loading speed is one of the top Google ranking factors. As show in the figure by serpiq.com, your content should be at least 2000 words, and the average content length in the top 10 results is between 2000 and 2500. Keep your content length in that range. As you can imagine, a short article may convey the message that the author did not spend sufficient time to explore the topic. An important advantage is that, if your content is high quality, visitors may come back to your site frequently as they will use it as a reference. Because your content is long, your website visitors may not have enough time to read all of it. That may not sound like a good thing, but the quality of your content may stimulate them to come back frequently to further assess or digest your web page content. If your article is massive, consider splitting it into 2100-word articles that are linked to each other. That will keep your loading speed acceptable for Google and your website visitors. Alternatively, you may want to embed some of your content as a PDF. If you use WordPress, there is a free plugin you can use to embed any document. You can create a pdf file for your post and embed it at the bottom of your post below the first 2100 words of your article. That way you can still do SEO for your article and tell your visitors to read the PDF below. I hope that makes sense.
Take home message: Make sure your webpage content length is between 2000 and 2500 words; importantly make your content authoritative. If it is interesting and well written, visitors will come back and spread your links over the internet, another important Google ranking factor.
3. Page loading speed
Imagine you land on a webpage, and you are anxious to look at the information presented on the page, but 30 seconds go by, and you cannot see anything. First of all, you do not have the luxury of time as the world is moving really fast. Secondly, you may even question the authenticity or the importance of the message. So you turn back to the Google search engine result page (SERP) and pick the next website ranked on the first page. If you were Google, you would wonder why I should rank this website so high if most visitors aren’t going to see the information anyway. You would guess right. Google takes page loading speed very seriously. If you run a WordPress blog, you are in luck because you are using the most versatile platform most web developers care about. So as soon as you realize that your site is slow, you turn to the plugin links in your dashboard and look for a cache plugin to increase your page loading speed. Well, to make things easier for you here are a few plugins for you: WP fastest cache (most 5-star reviews), WP Smush It, W3 Total Cache, and WP super cache plugins. Another way to increase your webpage loading speed is to reduce the media size on that page. Unless you really need a large image, keep the size of each image at or below 600 x 400. The server of your web host could be slow as well. In that case, consider an affordable cloud VPS alternative. The most affordable I have seen is Interserver Cloud VPS, which can be accessed here.
Take home message: Be kind to your visitors. Make sure your website loading speed is less than 30 seconds. Get a fast web host, a good Cache WP plugin, and lower the media size on your website.
4. Keyword prominence and positioning
Keywords are still important although it used to matter a lot more in the past. The most important things to know about the use of keywords in your post are:
- Use your most important keywords or keyword phrase at the beginning of your title tag and content of your post. Load your most important keywords more frequently in the first paragraph of your post and spread them out throughout your content. Make sure your titled is decorated with an h1 tag. Ideally h2 tag another headline with a long tail keyword containing your most targeted keyword phrase (the one in the title tag) at the beginning of the headline or subtitle. In addition, use more tags (h3, and h4) as headlines containing variation of your keywords throughout the rest of your content.
Take home message: Keyword prominence is one of the top Google ranking factors. Load your most targeted keywords at the beginning of your title tag, subtitle headline, and the first paragraph of your content; then dissipate modestly and naturally your keywords throughout your content; use h1 and h2 tags containing your keyword phrase for your title and subtitle.
5. Page Authority also referred to as Pagerank
Page authority/Pagerank is one of the most critical webpage ranking factors. Although it sits at #5 position, do not take it lightly. What do we mean by Page authotity/Pagerank? Your Page authotity/Pagerank or PR is a measure of how frequently other websites refer to your content. That is how popular your web page is compared to other websites of similar topics. Think about it for a moment. If people find your content useful, what do you think they are going to do? Of course, they will refer you to their buddies, and that’s more backlinks and more traffic to your website! If your content is good, try incorporating a short video that concisely deals with the topic of your content. It is much easier for people to refer your content to others if it includes a video. Another technique is to incorporate some infographics that summarize key information. You can actually submit your infographics to other sites, and these websites are easy to find via a google search. If you have quality materials, many of these websites would be happy to have your infographics with a contextual or natural link to your webpage.
Take home message: Page authotity/Pagerank is one of the most critical Google ranking factors. Good content is king. If people like your content they will spread your link and give your web page authority.
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