10 Google Ranking Factors You Need To Prioritize In 2023
With almost 84% of the search market share in North America, Google is by far the most used and effective search engine in the whole globe. When we discuss SEO ranking factors, we often refer to Google’s ranking factors rather than those of Bing, Yahoo, or other competing search engines.
Because of this, it’s critical to understand how to push your content to the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) when your target market looks for terms related to your goods or services.
But given that Google takes into account over 200 ranking indicators when determining who ranks first, that’s easier said than done.
Some ranking factors, however, are more significant than others. They are the elements that have endured throughout Google’s several major algorithm adjustments over the past ten years, some of which have even increased in weight in recent years.
Continue reading to learn the most important Google ranking factors for 2023.
Top Page-Level Ranking Factors
1. Content Quality
Making content quality a top priority is essential for achieving high Google rankings. Essentially, content quality is a comprehensive measure of a web page’s freshness, uniqueness, and usefulness in relation to a search query. The more value that a potential searcher could obtain from your content, the more likely Google ranks it highly on its SERPs.
To determine quality, Google looks for originality and uniqueness, which helps guard against duplicate content and underscores the importance of being cautious when using AI content writing tools. Additionally, Google checks for the currency of the content to ensure that searchers receive current and relevant information instead of outdated details.
2. Content Relevance
Google’s algorithms consider content relevance as a crucial factor for ranking. Essentially, it is similar to content quality, as discussed earlier. To ensure your content is relevant, a recommended approach is to examine other top-ranked pages for the same keywords or topics.
For example, if you aim to create a page covering cybersecurity lessons learned in 2022, you will notice that the majority of the top articles are listicles that provide basic tips or lessons for searchers. To compete with those pages effectively, it is necessary to produce better information and a fresh perspective in the same format (i.e., a listicle). This approach guarantees that your content aligns with searcher intent, leading to a higher ranking.
3. User Experience
Google examines various factors to evaluate the on-page experience of users, including:
- The click-through rate (CTR), refers to how often users click on the main link to your website displayed in the Google search engine results.
- The amount of time visitors spend on your site after being redirected from Google, is also known as dwell time.
- “Pogo-sticking,” or the number of users who click through to your site and then quickly return to the search engine results page due to issues such as slow loading or irrelevant content.
By providing quality content, a robust structure, and an engaging design, you can enhance the on-page experience you offer, thereby boosting your website’s overall ranking in Google’s search results.
4. Keyword Optimization
SEO based on keyword research and usage is still an effective method to improve your Google ranking. Some ways to achieve this are:
- Crafting captivating meta-descriptions
- Implementing latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords that assist Google in understanding the subject matter of your content
- Employing appropriate anchor text for internal and external links
- Incorporating target keywords in headers
- Including keywords in the URL
- Steering clear of keyword stuffing, which involves excessively repeating primary search terms instead of producing content that flows naturally.
Top Site-Level and Off-Site Ranking Factors
1. Technical SEO Health
Instead of focusing on individual pieces of content, site-level ranking factors consider the overall condition of your website.
To ensure your website’s technical SEO health is up to par, it’s recommended to conduct routine audits using an SEO tool. These audits can detect any technical SEO issues on your website, ranging from minor warnings to critical errors that require immediate attention.
Some examples of technical SEO issues that a comprehensive SEO audit can help detect are:
- Redirect loops or chains
- Pages that are not functioning
- Broken links within your website or to external sites
- Images that are not working properly
- Duplicate content
- Low-quality or insufficient content
- Sitemap issues
2. Mobile Usability
In today’s world, mobile devices account for over 50% of all internet traffic. As a result, it is imperative that your website is user-friendly for mobile users. For several years, mobile usability has been a crucial Google ranking factor.
While it is not mandatory to have a mobile-first web design, your website and its content must be responsive and easy to navigate on screens of any size. To ensure that your page loads quickly, your content is easily legible and readable, and buttons and links (including those within the text) can be easily tapped with fingers, it is advisable to learn about web design principles and test your content on your own mobile device.
3. Website Structure/Navigibility
With its advanced algorithm, Google is capable of assessing and identifying the quality of your website’s structure. Hence, it is crucial to comprehend the elements that contribute to a robust website structure and user experience (UX) for your audience.
Take a look at your website and contemplate whether a new visitor can conveniently access all the content or products they seek. Are the menus and call-to-action buttons easy to locate and use for navigation? Is it effortless for them to get in touch with you, locate a specific page, or explore your blog or knowledge base?
If you answer “no” to any of these inquiries, it is necessary to revamp your website to ensure it is well-structured and delivers an optimal user experience for every visitor.
4. Page Load Speed
One crucial website ranking factor is the speed at which your pages load. Google tends to rank pages higher if they load faster, mainly because users tend to leave a page if it takes more than half a second to appear.
This Google ranking factor contributes significantly to user experience. It’s not necessary to make your pages load a few milliseconds faster than those of your competitors. The objective is to meet the minimum loading time standards, which are typically faster than 500 milliseconds.
You can conveniently test your pages’ loading speed using free tools such as GTmetrix.
5. Website Security
Ensuring website security should be a top priority, particularly by implementing the HTTPS protocol to encrypt data between users and your website, which effectively prevents personal information theft.
Obtaining SSL certification for your website is a simple way to achieve this. With SSL certification, visitors will notice a padlock symbol in the address bar, which increases their trust in your website. Additionally, it is important to ensure that external links direct users to secure sites. This is because Google crawls your links and aims to avoid guiding users to potentially unsafe sites.
Website security plays a crucial role in enhancing user experience, and it is also a critical Google and SEO ranking factor.
6. Backlink Quality
Your website’s ranking can be impacted by backlinks that are located off-site. Chances are that your online content has acquired backlinks from other websites directing traffic to your site. These backlinks can range from a link in your company’s social media bio to partner websites, Google Maps, or online media profiles.
It is important to note that not all backlinks hold the same value. The quality of the referring website is a significant factor in determining the SEO value of the link. Therefore, it is crucial to seize any opportunity to seek or create links on high-quality and relevant websites such as business directories, review sites, and map listings.
In addition, it is recommended to conduct periodic audits of your backlinks to ensure none are directing traffic to deleted pages.
To optimise backlinks, you can also reach out to the referring site’s owner to request that they place them on relevant anchor text.
In today’s digital world having a strong online presence is crucial for any business to succeed. Implementing the above mentioned Google and SEO ranking factors can help you rank your website on the top pages of search engines. And increase your visibility, traffic and ultimately your revenue. However it can be difficult to navigate the ever changing SEO World.
That’s where partnering with a professional SEO agency like Zen Webnet comes in.
Zen Web Net is the leading SEO agency in Faridabad, known for delivering top-notch SEO services to its clients. With their team of experts, they can help your business reach new heights by increasing website traffic, generating leads, and improving your online visibility.
Contact us to see how their tailored SEO solutions can help your business thrive.