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3 Website Ranking Factors that Matter



3 Ranking Factors that Matter

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), there is no straightforward answer to high-ranking websites. That said, there are a number of website ranking factors that are important to get right including quality content, page experience, and links. Whether you're a seasoned marketer or just starting out, understanding these elements is key to boosting your website's visibility and attracting more traffic.


1. Quality Content


At its core, SEO is all about your website's content. Think of Google as a matchmaker, trying to connect a person's search query (what they type into Google) with the most relevant webpage (possibly yours). So, the first step is to ensure your website content directly answers the questions your potential customers are asking. This content needs to be high-quality, meaning it's not just about what you say, but how well you say it. The content should showcase your expertise and reliability. Imagine it like this: if your website were a book, would it be the go-to guide on your topic? Keywords – the specific words people are searching for – still matter a lot. They're like signposts helping Google understand what your page is about.


Google's Advanced Helpers: Over the years, Google has gotten smarter with some advanced tools. For example, the 'Helpful Content System' is Google’s way of checking if your website is genuinely useful for real people. It’s not just about throwing in a bunch of keywords; your content should have substance and offer real value. Then there's 'RankBrain' and 'BERT', which are like Google's interpreters. They help Google get a better grasp of what people mean when they search, even if the search terms are a bit off or misspelled. These tools are all about understanding the intent behind searches, ensuring that users find what they’re actually looking for.


Personal Touch in SEO: Another cool thing about modern SEO is how Google personalizes search results. Depending on where someone is searching from or their past searches, they might see different results. For instance, if someone searches for the “best coffee shop,” they'll see options near them. This means your SEO strategy should consider where your customers are and what they might be looking for at different times or places. And don't forget about E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness). It's like a quality stamp for your content, especially important if you're in a field where trust is crucial, like healthcare or finance.


In summary, focus on creating a user-friendly, informative, and trustworthy website that answers your customers' questions. It’s about making sure your site shows up as the best answer when someone is looking for what you offer. Keep your content relevant, up-to-date, and engaging and you'll be on the right track.


2. Page Experience


What is Page Experience?: In 2021, Google introduced something called 'Page Experience' in its ranking criteria. Think of it as Google's checklist for a good-quality website visit. Google wants to make sure that when someone clicks on a search result, they get a smooth and pleasant experience. This means your website should be easy to use, quick to load, and accessible on mobile devices. It's like when you walk into a store – you'd want it to be tidy, easy to navigate, and welcoming, right? That's what Google wants for websites too.


The Components of Page Experience: There are four main elements that Google looks at under Page Experience. First, HTTPS – this is like a security guard for your website, ensuring that visitors' information is safe. Second, Page Speed – how fast your website loads. No one likes to wait, especially online, so quicker is better. Third, Mobile Friendliness – your site should look good and work well on smartphones, not just on computers. Lastly, Core Web Vitals, which are a set of measurements related to how quickly and smoothly your website operates.


Why Page Experience Matters: While Page Experience is crucial, it's not the only thing Google looks at. It becomes particularly important when there are two websites with very similar content. In such cases, the website with the better Page Experience might get a slight edge in ranking. Think of it as a tiebreaker in a close race. The key takeaway is that focusing on providing a good Page Experience aligns with Google's goal of delivering the best possible results to its users. By making sure your website is secure, fast, mobile-friendly, and smooth to use, you're not only helping your website rank better but also providing a better experience for your visitors, which is great for business!


In essence, Page Experience is about making your website a pleasant place for visitors. It's a part of SEO that ensures your website isn't just informative but also enjoyable to use, which in the long run, benefits both your users and your search engine ranking.



The Role of Links in SEO: Links have always been a key part of how Google decides which websites to show at the top of search results. Think of links as recommendations. In the early days of the internet, if your website got a lot of links from other sites, it was like getting lots of recommendations, which made Google think your site was important and should be ranked higher. However, some people tried to game the system by creating lots of artificial links, which led Google to make changes to ensure that only genuine, quality links counted.


Changing Importance of Links Over Time: There's been a lot of debate among SEO professionals about how important links are today compared to the past. In the beginning, links were a big deal. But over time, Google has gotten better at figuring out which links are genuine and which ones are just spam. In recent years, Google has started focusing more on the quality of content and other factors like user experience, rather than just counting how many links a site has. While links are still important, they're now just one part of a larger puzzle.


Quality Over Quantity: Today, it’s not just about having a lot of links. What's more important is the quality of those links. A few links from well-respected, relevant websites can be more beneficial than many links from lesser-known or irrelevant sites. Google looks at links like votes of confidence – the more reputable the voter, the more valuable their vote. Internal linking, which is linking to other pages within your own website, is also crucial. It helps Google understand your site structure and find all your pages, which can also improve your rankings.


In summary, while the way Google views links has evolved over time, they remain an important factor in SEO. The focus now is on earning high-quality links from reputable sources rather than just accumulating a large number of links. This approach aligns better with providing a valuable and authentic experience for your website visitors.


Takeaways


Mastering SEO in today's digital age requires a balanced approach that focuses on creating quality content, ensuring an excellent page experience, and building a robust link profile. Quality content is about being the best answer to user queries, page experience is about making your website a joy to visit and use, and links are about building credibility and authority in the online world. By focusing on these key areas, you can significantly enhance your website's visibility, drive more traffic, and ultimately, achieve greater success online. Remember, SEO is a continuous journey, and staying updated with the latest trends and best practices is crucial for long-term success.


SEO is one of our core skills, so if you need help, you know where to find us: drop us a note! 


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