SEO Ranking Factors: Where to Start
We think that SEO ranking factors are actually quite simple. If Google is trying to deliver the best experience possible, the only question becomes: is my website delivering the best experience possible? There are quite a few pieces that go into answering that question:
- Page load speed
- Errors on the page
- Unique, engaging content
- Answers to common questions
- Correct color usage
- Current information
- Descriptive images
- Correct spelling, grammar and punctuation
- Consistently fresh and optimized content
The list could go on and on and on. If your website breaks the common sense rules like those listed above, Google will punish your site rankings accordingly. But, if you do follow the common sense rules and deliver a pleasant and unique experience to the searcher, your rankings will be rewarded accordingly, and that's a great thing.
SEO ranking factors come in all shapes and sizes. With the recent Hummingbird update to Google's Algorithm, there is now a heavy push towards content being a large determining factor among the many SEO ranking factors that exist. We are constantly monitoring the results of our clients in order to fine tune the system and keep up with the latest changes and developments in the SEO community. Here are some of other the top search engine ranking factors that we closely monitor.
Google Algorithm Change History
Google does an amazing job at refining their search engine. They will update their algorithm 400-600 times a year, depending on the “State-of-Search.”
Important updates like Hummingbird, Panda, and Penguin are major algorithm updates that can significantly impact all websites on the web. These are the ones NeONRAND pays close attention to.
If you're like us and like to keep tabs on the change history of Google's algorithms, you can check out MOZ's list of Google Algorithm Change.
Google Algorithm Changes
Other SEO Ranking Factors
Content: Content, Content, Content. Google loves to sink it's teeth into some well written material that it can relay to the end searcher. With the Hummingbird update, the focus is now more specifically on content that answers questions, not just tells a story. A typical page of content should have 300 words (at a minimum!) and have a low Flesch Reading Ease test score in order to be more easily digested by the reader. Fresh content also plays a major part in the rankings, which can be found in updates to existing pages, or in new pages or posts being put on your site regularly.
Consistency: Google doesn't like dormant sites. To Google, the only way the algorithms can even know that your store is open is if your site is regularly updated. This tells Google that you care about your online presence and are trying to deliver a pleasurable experience to your visitors. This is important.
Mobile Optimization: Responsive design is a major buzzword in SEO land right now. In the olden days (like 2 years ago…) it was typical to find a mobile version of a website, often a duplicate of the original site but with a lot less content and information. Responsive design takes a single site, and adjusts it according to the screen size it's displaying on. When your website is able to deliver an awesome experience to the visitor no matter the device they are viewing your site on, Google will reward you accordingly.
Uniformity: Google tries really hard to get all of your information contact and business information correct and doesn't like delivering emails or phone numbers that don't work. Make sure your online presence is clean and tidy, with only working numbers and contact information on all the different directories and business listing sites out there.
SEO Ranking Factors: That's it?
I wish that was all there was to SEO ranking factors! But the above points are incredibly important and will get your site a long ways towards ranking higher in the search engines. Of course you could always read up on our blog posts to find more ways to achieve search engine success, or just shoot us a line and we’ll gladly help!
SEO Ranking Factors: Where to Finish
The trick about SEO ranking factors is that they never finish! While yes, some of the cleanup efforts might not be as frequent since errors shouldn’t just keep appearing, the promotion of your site should never cease. Since the most recent Hummingbird update released by Google, social media is playing an even more vital role in the ranking of your website. Constant updates to your social media profiles, blog, and press releases will provide the ongoing nourishment that a website needs in order to rank at the top of the search engines. So git ‘er dun, and get after these and other SEO ranking factors!