Top 10 Crucial SEO Ranking Factors You Need to Know!

Team TypeStack
Team TypeStack ...
Dec 06, 2022  . 10 min read
Top SEO ranking factors - TypeStack
Top SEO ranking factors - TypeStack
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Google’s ranking algorithms have changed over the years, but a few things haven't. If you rewind to the most important ranking elements in 2016-17, you will realize that some of them are still the top SEO ranking factors, even in 2023.

So, has anything changed in these years?

Yes! Several search ranking factors have shaped new SEO mandates, like the user experience. Without these, Google will not rank your website, irrespective of how many backlinks you generate. So, with 2022 coming to a close, let’s take you through the most crucial search engine ranking factors in 2023.

Website Security

Website security is one of the important search ranking factors. Generally speaking, websites that have their URL starting with an HTTPS have SSL security. They have the edge over insecure websites. So, as per the current competitive market, a website with HTTPS security will rank higher than a website without security one, all other things being equal. You should include this element as it is one of the top SEO ranking factors.

Compatibility with Mobile Devices

Mobile-friendliness is also known to have an impact on search engine results. A huge majority of Google searches are conducted on mobile devices. A website that is not optimized for mobile devices won't appear in mobile search results, which instantly eliminates the chance of receiving any mobile visitors.

Technical SEO Optimization

There is a good reason why this is one of the most crucial on-site SEO elements that influence search results. It gives search engines better chances of crawling your website. The three fundamental steps to how search engines operate are as follows:

  • Discovery
  • Bots crawl
  • Ranking

The bots explore all publicly accessible websites during the result determination phase. The information is extracted during crawling and added to their indexed list so that the algorithms can use it throughout the search process. Your responsibility is to make sure that search engine bots can visit your website throughout this process, without any break in the flow. This will help rank your website more quickly.

This is known as technical SEO and can be mastered with three important steps. Here are they:

  • Robots.txt optimization: The robots.txt file instructs search engines on which pages of a website they can crawl.
  • XML sitemap optimization: All the pages on a website you want search engines to index are listed in a sitemap.
  • Identifying and resolving crawl issues: You should use Google Search Console to identify and solve crawl issues and improve the speed of indexing.

Domain Authority (or DA)

Domain authority is one of the crucial search engine ranking factors. The domain authority of a site is represented by its score.. Search engines determine the domain authority with a few metrics, here they are:

  • Domain age: Older domains have a better chance of ranking better than more recent ones. Most websites on Google's first results page have an average age of 3 years. However, this does not mean that newly launched websites cannot rank high, only that it will be harder and take longer than any established websites.
  • Domain status: A website domain should not have any Google penalties to be able to rank high. If you were the first owner of the domain, you shouldn't be concerned about this. However, if it is a re-registered domain, you have to consider that while developing an SEO ranking strategy.

Your domain's reputation is determined by how other websites and searchers see it. Of course, incoming links are one of the most important aspects, and you will get to that later in this content. But, reputation also has a lot to do with what others say about your business.

A domain with a strong reputation is more likely to rank higher than one with no reputation at all.

  • Domain Authority: Google determines a website's domain authority using a relatively newer algorithm called PageRank. Websites that rank higher on Google have a greater PageRank than those that are ranked lower.

Now that Google no longer provides information on PageRank, you can get the same on other forums, including ahrefs and semrush. Although this is not tied to rankings recently, you can use these data as a guide to raising your domain score.

Website Speed

Page speed has been listed as one of the SEO ranking factors for a lot of time now. Websites that load faster and offer users a better web experience are sure to rank better on the SERP.

Back in 2018, Google revealed a change to its search algorithm and prioritized mobile page performance. This impacted a lot of websites, so, you also run the risk of being penalized if your website doesn't load fast on mobile devices.

Check your website's performance with Google's mobile testing tool. Plus, if you are using WordPress CMS, you can consider multiple plugins that can improve website loading speed. However, if you haven't already, try using Google Search Console to analyze your website performance. This tool can give you in-depth information on your website status regarding errors and overall performance score.

On-page SEO Ranking Factor

You need to give out signals to search engines through your page structure to help them understand what your page is all about and what information it provides. This is the main goal of on-page SEO.

The purpose is to give Google the right cues of what the content on your website is all about, and the best way to do this is through the headings, body, keywords, etc. One of the top on-site SEO elements that influence search results is the page title. Searchers see the meta title in the search results, and Google uses it as one of the elements to determine the subject of the content of a page accurately.

Ensure you include keywords in your meta titles as a part of your optimization strategy to give your audience and Google a chance to discover your website. Keywords are search phrases that searchers type in on a search engine, along with similar and related ones. This is because search engines can link your content to particular search queries when you include keywords in your title, which improves your chances of ranking on search results for those phrases or keywords.

Since it closely fits their search, it also tempts searches to click on your website through the snippet.

Heading and Subheadings

Headings and subheadings make up an optimal page structure. Both people and search engine bots find it easy to read a page that has a clean heading structure. A page typically has one H1 header and several subheadings (H2 and H3). These are organized hierarchically, from H1 through H2 and to H3.

Additionally, headings should contain trending keywords as per volume and density.

Internal Linking Structure

Links referring to pages on the same website are called internal links and are among the top SEO ranking factors. Every piece of content you post on your website should ideally have at least one link leading to an internal page. Internal links must be related to the page's content and put in the page's body text.

Image and Multimedia Optimization

In addition to the text, search engines also index audio files, videos, and photos. The issue is that crawlers struggle to understand non-text items correctly. So, it is important to optimize them for SEO by providing essential signals to search crawlers in the form of descriptions, alt texts, etc.

Including Semantic Keywords in Your Content

Using semantic or related keywords in your content is another aspect that can influence your website's ranking. This is an important content SEO strategy. Content SEO provides the base work for choosing appropriate keywords to make your content more relevant to what the visitors are searching for.

You should include semantic keywords in your content and direct search terms in the titles and subheadings.

The UX of the Website

RankBrain is one of the signals Google uses for its ranking algorithm. It ranks websites based on the UX and behavior with the use of AI and machine learning. In order to arrive at a final conclusion, the ranking algorithm takes into account all the elements covered in this article, and many more to come, especially boosted by the information provided by RankBrain.

CTR (clickthrough rate): CTR measures the percentage of users who click on a search result snippet that appears in the SERPS. The algorithm can move a search snippet up the page if it has a trend of a lot of people clicking on it.

Pogosticking: Users who click on your search snippet, visit your website, and then return to the search results are said to be pogo-sticking. This means they were not satisfied with the content and UX you offer.

Bounce rate and dwell time: Similar to pogo-sticking, visitors to your website click away right after finding nothing interesting or worthy.

Backlinks from Trusted Websites

Backlinks from other websites indicate that the recipient website is more valuable and well-liked than another. As a result, these websites appear higher in Google search results. However, businesses have exploited this over time and began creating hundreds of backlinks to their websites, which dipped the quality of Google search results.

So, it did not take long for Google to modify its algorithm and changed how backlinks are taken into consideration to maintain its reputation and also enhance the quality of websites ranked on the SERP. While backlinks continue to be one of the most important ranking factors, it is now more important to keep a keen eye on where the links are coming from rather than which website has the most.

Brand Reputation

Being one of the top SEO ranking factors, the focus for businesses should be on having a strong brand reputation rather than backlinks. So, having a community of individuals discussing and referring your brand online is the most ideal situation for a strong brand reputation. You can improve your brand reputation by discussing your business on various social media platforms and forums without needing links back to the website.

You should take every possible step to promote your business online, whether through social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even on well-known industry forums. The ranking algorithms will ultimately receive a strong signal if you can convince people indirectly to speak about and search for your brand name on Google.

Content Optimization

Content optimization is an important detail to discuss while talking about the top SEO ranking factors. It is among the top ranking criteria as per RankBrain and plays a vital role in your website ranking.

Keywords are important to Google's search algorithm, and you will hear them time and again. Keywords serve to describe the subjects covered in the content you post on your website and anywhere else, making it a crucial element of your SEO endeavors.

Duplicate content is one SEO ranking element to consider. Original and updated content is always the best for SEO. Use canonical URLs to specify which content, if any, should be listed as the most authoritative one if you do have identical ones.

Summing Up the Notion

Website optimization requires you to know the top SEO ranking factors first before forming a strategy around them. All of these tips right here will help you know about the parameters that Google ranks your website on. Know more about what you need to do to get the perfect success strategy with your website traffic; keep watching this space!