First, it’s essential to understand the way that Google ranks websites. At a fundamental level, Google displays the best quality, highly relevant content for users first. Google wants search engine users to receive the information that they need fast. However, over two hundred different ranking factors can affect your website’s position (rank) in search engine result pages (SERPs).
Here are some of the most important ranking factors that Google considers:
Domain-level SEO ranking factors Google examines your domain’s history and uses this as a factor in determining the ranking of your website in Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). Important domain-level factors include your domain’s age, spam activity associated with your domain, owner information or location, and potential alignment with keywords.
Site Level SEO Ranking Factors Google’s algorithm considers your website’s quality in determining your rank (position) in search results. Important site-level (on-page) SEO factors include site security (SSL), logical navigation, site architecture, and site map. Any successful SEO strategies must include on-page optimisation to ensure that both Google and regular site users experience safe and seamless browsing.
On-page SEO ranking factors On-page optimisation is the process of ensuring that the technical elements on individual pages of your website are sending the correct signals to Google. Search engines review (crawl) your pages and examine important elements, including keywords, content length, metadata, and internal linking structures. On-page optimisation is one of the foundational building blocks for a successful SEO campaign.
Off-site SEO & backlink profile optimisation Your website backlink profile’s quality was still one of the most important sites ranking factors in 2020. Google considers external links to your website (backlinks) from other sites to vote for confidence. The more authoritative and relevant the external link (backlink), the more confidence Google has that you’re delivering high-quality content for their users. Building a robust backlink profile is an essential part of any SEO campaign.
User behaviour Google considers how users interact with your website in determining the quality of the content and overall experience. Google uses several metrics to assess user interaction with your site:
Click-Through Rate (CTR): High CTR indicates that the content that you’re offering aligns with users search intent.
Bounce Rate: Users that arrive at your site and leave immediately (High bounce rate indicates that the content that you’re offering may not align with users search intent or the content is poor quality)
Repeat Visitors: Users that access your site on multiple occasions (High repeat visitors numbers indicate that the content that you’re offering is valuable or helpful to users)
Okay, so now that you understand how Google ranks your website, the next question is:
How can I optimise my website for Search Engines?