5 Key Google Ranking Factors You Need to Know

5 Key Google Ranking Factors You Need to Know

Everybody wants to rank at the top of Google, but in order to get the top, you have to know how to get there.

DID YOU KNOW

Google’s algorithm has over 200 ranking factors

Needless to say, we won’t be going through all of those ranking factors and it’s likely that neither did any of those websites ranking in the top Google positions.

However, it is important to address some key ranking factors, which are likely to make a difference in how your website is ranked in Google. So, which factors have we chosen and why? While there are a good handful that should a focal point for your SEO Campaign, here are 5 that we think that are easy to address and get return for your efforts.

In no particular order, here they are – our 5 Key Google Ranking Factors You Need to Know!

1. User Experience (UX)

While nobody can be entirely certain on how Google can measure UX, there are a few theories as listed below:

Above all else, we think that User Experience (UX) should be a priority. Not only does Google rank content that offers a positive UX, you are also far more likely to enjoy leads and conversions as a result.

But back to Google – they have made several announcements and updates that indicate that a website’s focus should be about the user’s experience. For example, in 2016 Google announced that pages with intrusive popup ads may not rank as well as those without the interference. Furthermore, Google has been cited as saying that

“any optimization should be geared toward making the user experience better.”

Great. So how can you make the UX on your website better?

  • No intrusive advertising or popups
  • Easy to read content
  • Intuitive and simple navigation
  • Useful, fresh and relevant content
  • Mobile friendly

While nobody can be entirely certain on how Google can measure UX, there are a few theories as listed below:

  • Dwell time
  • Bounce rate
  • Clickthrough rate (CTR)

THE TAKEAWAY:

While it’s important to keep Google in mind when it comes to your website, it’s even more important to focus on your target user!

2. HTTPS

Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is an extension of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). It is widely used for secure communication over the Internet as it encrypts data between browser and server.

Over the past few years, Google has placed greater importance on a secure web and now issues a ‘Not Secure’ warning when you visit a site in Chrome without HTTPS.

If you have non-secure pages with input fields, you may also have received a warning email from Google Search Console.

Turning your site from HTTP to a secure HTTPS site is actually really quick and easy – plus, it’s likely that you won’t even have to really do anything.

Simply contact your web hosting provider, who should be able to issue and install an SSL Certificate onto your website with just a few clicks. While there are a few free SSL options out there, we would recommend you purchase one from a reliable source.

At DigitUX, you can purchase an SSL Certificate from just $89 / year and if you’re website is hosted with us – we’ll install it for you free of charge!

THE TAKEAWAY:

Get an SSL Certificate installed on your website today.

3. Page Speed

This is one we talk about all of the time – page speed. It first began as a Google ranking factor back in 2010 but has since grown in importance and affects a vast number of websites.

What’s more, it has become crucial for mobile websites to load fast and back in 2018, Google even stated that

“mobile pages should display content to users in under three seconds and that the TTFB (Time to First Byte) should be under 1.3 seconds.”

DID YOU KNOW

Google recommends the total size of mobile web page should be less than 500kb

Again, there are loads of page speed tools out there but here are a few that we would recommend you give one of these a try:

THE TAKEAWAY:

Once you have your Page Speed results, it might not be entirely clear on what they mean. If you’re not sure – contact us, and we can assist in decreasing your web load times today. Alternatively, one of our recent blog posts 5 Easy Ways to Speed Up Your Website Today, has some great starting points to speed things up.

Even just a few minor updates will make a difference.

4. Freshness

The freshness of content can be more important for some things than others.

For instance, as we currently try to meet the challenges of covid-19, Google will likely rank websites higher if they make reference to the pandemic and are useful to the user.

However, if your website remains unchanged and still makes the same references to covid-19 in a couple of years’ time, it’s unlikely that you will rank as well because your content will be outdated.

Conversely, if you search for ‘best flowers for shaded garden”, then it won’t really matter if you answer this question today or in 5 years – the answer and content will likely be very much of the same relevancy.

THE TAKEAWAY:

Updating your website doesn’t have to be a tedious or even daily task, but it should be reviewed regularly to make sure that it maintains relevancy for users.

5. Content Accuracy

Finally, we feel that accuracy is important. While it might be exciting to stretch the truth and even receive a boost in short term traffic while you do it – it won’t last long, particularly if Google has anything to do with it.

Believe it or not, Google’s job is to provide users with the best UX that they can and if they delivered false information to its users, then they would disappear very quickly.

So how does Google make sure to return accurate information?

  1. Backlinks

Backlinks are like digital word of mouth, and generally speaking, the more credible people are saying those things about you – the better you will come across.

  1. Knowledge Graph

Google’s Knowledge Graph is pretty much a substantial knowledge base of interconnected data points about people, places, things, and other entities.

THE TAKEAWAY:

Always reference your information. Not only does it appear more credible to users, Google is watching!

Article references: ahrefs.com