There are many different factors that help determine where a website ranks in search results. Some of the key factors are external link popularity, domain age, keyword use, and the quality of content posted on your website. These factors can be broken down into several groups, including on page factors, off page factors, and negative google ranking factors. The good news is that a large number of these factors involve onsite elements that you have the power to change.
Here are some of the most important top 10 google ranking factors to consider:
Age of Site
Arguably, this is the deciding factor when picking between 2 sites with great stats. Search engines trust websites that have been around for a long time. This is because if the site wasn’t valuable, it would not be online any longer. Even though this factor is a huge factor, it’s only a factor for old active domains. Old, yet active domains that have a history of constant updates and consistently acquiring links are the hardest sites to beat.
The age of your domain plays a key role in search engine optimization. If your site has been online for several years, then you probably have a well-established business. Domain age helps build trust.
Internal Linking Structure
Adjust the internal linking of your website to emphasize the most important pages. Make sure your inner pages are linked correctly. Pages that are linked from the homepage are perceived as being more important than pages that require four or five different clicks to be found.
Total Pages Indexed
The total # of pages indexed is very important because usually, the more pages indexed the more keywords you will be targeting. This is not always true, however considering this is USUALLY true; this is definitely a factor in search engines’ algorithms. The more pages you have, the more chances your site has to get found. Furthermore, every page linking to your site (if done right) could build strong internal page rank.
When determining your rankings, search engines consider the keywords in your website URL, as well as those in your domain name, title tags, meta description, body text, ALT text, and internal pages. Every word in the keyword meta tag should appear somewhere in the body text. The title tag should have no more than 60 characters. Make sure your links contain relevant keywords. Rather than repeating the same terms throughout your pages, you can use synonyms and other related words.
YES, a number of back links still matters. The more links you have, the better. BUT, it’s the more relevant links from the greatest variety of sites, the better. You need links from blogs, forums, authority sites, educations sites, local area sites, industry sites, etc. They all must be relevant to you. The more accurate the relativity, the closer you are to being the most relevant site to the searcher’s query. The more (relevant) links, the merrier.
Anchor Text of Incoming Links
Originally if someone linked to your site, that someone was a different person with a different website giving you a link titling your company name. So if someone Googles your company name, you’d be the first to show up because other sites said that’s who you are. But, new potential customers aren’t looking for your web site. People are searching for your services. So you have to find ways to get links describing the services you offer.
This way other sites are vouching that you are “men’s clothing”. The SERP’s already know your Men’s Ware House.
Average Time on Site
One factor that helps Google determine if your site is a site that will give visitors a pleasant user experience is to record how long visitors stay on your site. The longer you can keep a visitor on your site the more likely you are providing that user with an experience worth sticking around for.
Strength of Competition
To be honest, this really isn’t a factor on its own. The strength of the competition is probably the backbone of every factor. Ranking results are based on a comparative scale. Meaning the number 1 site is more relevant than the number 2 site based on ALL of these factors. Good ways to measure the strength of the competition is analyze their Alexa Rank, Total Pages Indexed, Total Back-links and their Google Page rank.
Percentage of Return Visits
The higher percentage you have of returning visitors, the better. High return rate means people who have visited your site before enjoyed their visit and found your site valuable. This factor is used in helping Google help others find a site that the visitor may find interesting. So if your site is relevant to the searcher’s query and everyone that visits your site returns, Google will use this as a measure of a relevant and interesting site, thus leading to search engine higher rankings.