Understanding The Primary Ranking Factors For SEO
November 28th, 2023
Posted: April 6th, 2023
This article is a continuation of our article: How to Optimize your Website for Search Engine Optimization. That article outlined Search Engine Optimization factors, determinants, and best practices. This article hopes to emphasize specifically on optimizations that can be performed on and off your website to raise your SEO ranking.
Website optimization, in this sense, relates to ways that you can optimize your website both internally and externally, while also focusing on the user experience using Core Web Vitals to measure how easy your site is to load, navigate, and access content.
Before you touch any code or modify any keywords, you need to determine what exactly you hope to achieve. The first step involves finding the keywords that you hope to incorporate and optimize for. Doing so, you are able to find what your users are likely typing into search engines in order to find your content.
Each page of your website should be aimed at targeting different keyword clusters in order to prevent them from competing with each other. To find the best keywords for your business to focus on, you might try the following:
The main navigation pages of your website should target keywords, but the majority of your targeting should come from what is called 'long-form' content in the form of blog posts. We will break down some ways to do this, but we've also written an article entitled 8 Benefits of Blogging for your Small Business that you might find interesting. Specifically, good SEO content:
To tell Google what you're trying to rank for, in addition to naturally including your keyword in the body of your content, you'll want to place it in a few key locations on the page. Locations may include the following:
As you may note in the Keyword Placement section, the Page Title (H1) and Title Tag (SEO Title) can be different, and as such you can make these pages different as best suits the needs of the page you are on. For good keyword placement, make sure you:
The sentence that follows the title tag on the desired search engine results page is known as the meta description. It's still important to optimize for SEO even though search engines like Google frequently build their own instead of using the one you've provided. When crawling the page, web crawlers read this description to determine what your page is about. This description can be optimized in the following ways:
Images are an important component of SEO optimization. They increase the information quality, keep visitors on your pages longer, and give you the chance to rank and drive traffic to the pages where they are hosted. Optimization of images can be done as follows:
You should incorporate both internal and external links when optimizing for SEO in blog posts.
The aforementioned actions are all on-page SEO techniques. On the other hand, off-page SEO refers to the activities you carry out on other pages of your website, other websites, and even other platforms to support the ranking of your page. These are a few off-page SEO strategies.
The third most significant Google ranking factor is backlinks, or links to your website from other websites. Naturally, backlinks from websites with a higher reputation are more valuable than those from websites with a lower reputation. You will rank higher the more high-quality backlinks you have.
How can you then acquire more backlinks? MonsterInsights provides an excellent guide on this, in which they outline the following methods:
In social media profiles, you should link to your homepage as well as share your blog posts frequently with your feed. You receive referral traffic as a result, and the more people who view a post, the greater the likelihood that backlinks will develop. Social media by itself does not directly affect your Search Engine ranking, but your activity on the platforms and the interaction users have with your content there do send social signals that do.
Search Engines don't just focus on that one page when deciding how highly to rank a particular page on your website. It considers your brand as a whole by examining additional online data about it, such as reviews, ratings, listings, accolades, and even unrelated brand mentions. Therefore, improving your brand's reputation through listing optimization, receiving favorable press coverage, and requesting reviews is crucial for SEO. While local SEO accounts for much of this, there are many brand-building techniques that also apply to online businesses.
Core Web Vitals are page experience indicators that assess a website's user experience. These signals gauge how quickly users can interact with your website and the quality of the results they will get. These indicators gauge how simple it is for users to use the website. Your page experience scores will increase if you enhance user experience and make your website better overall.
Mentioned briefly in How to optimize your website for search engine optimization, the three core metrics are as follows:
You should perform a quick test of website performance analysis to see how well your website functions in terms of core web essentials. Use Google's Search Console, Page Speed Insights, and other tools like Lighthouse to achieve this. To improve your Core Web Vitals, you should consider some of the following:
if the FID score on your report is low. You should consider reducing and simplifying your JS execution. There will be less time between when your browser runs the JS code and when the page loads as a result.
Lazy loading must be used if you display images on your website to prevent damage to your site's user experience and core web vitals score. By preserving the website's loading speed and maximizing your LCP score, lazy loading enables loading images at the precise moment that users scroll down the page.
Lazy loading would be required for pages with lots of images, animations, or videos. The best pages to implement lazy loading on are not predetermined, though. Therefore, if your site has a low LCP score, you should think about implementing lazy loading and comparing the results.
Images make up the bulk of many websites. Therefore, it's essential to optimize them since doing so can make your page noticeably slimmer, which will improve its loading speed, LCP score, user experience, and search engine rankings.
Perhaps you believe that image compression will reduce image resolution or quality. Typically, only a close-up view or an image saved in the incorrect format will reveal a difference. For graphics, always try to use png and try to use jpg for landscape images. You can also use next-generation formats like WebP, JPEG 2000, or JPEG XR, but we advise doing some research first.
In addition to compression, turning on the Content Delivery Network (CDN) for images is crucial. Your content is stored on a network of servers spread out across the globe by a CDN. Images can be served more quickly from the server closest to users because servers are dispersed across many different locations.
A poor CLS score is one that is over 0.1, and it is typically brought on by components such as images, ads, or embeds that lack measurements in the CSS file. Dimensions do matter if you want to raise your CLS rating. Setting the correct width and height ensures that the browser allots the appropriate amount of space on the page where the component loads.
When embedding YouTube videos into your website, be sure to set the appropriate dimensions. The video may appear fine by default from the back end, but it may appear enormous or distorted in the front end. If so, there is a problem with the dimensions, and you should adjust them.
Long server response times can have a negative impact on both UX and SEO.
Utilize Time to First Byte (TTFB), which indicates the moment the user's browser acquires the very first byte of your page's content, to gauge server response time.
To gauge your performance, gather information on your server's present performance before you begin. Following completion of the report, consider the following advice:
Keep in mind that the back end of your website interacts with the front end, so make sure the back end is optimized to provide an optimal user experience in terms of page load time, visual reliability, and responsiveness. Additionally, remembering Google's existing search signals—mobile friendliness, safe browsing, HTTPS, and restrictions on intrusive interstitial—would be beneficial.
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