The Most Important Google Ranking Factors
There are – quite literally – hundreds of Google ranking factors, so how do you decide which are most important to your search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy?
Let’s start by going back to basics.
Does Google Favour Some Ranking Factors Over Others?
The short answer is: yes, there are a group of seven ranking factors which are more important than others. These factors are:
1. Quality content
2. Page speed
3. Page experience
4. Mobile-first design
5. Internal links
6. External links
7. On-site optimisation
We all know how important it is to invest in the consistent creation and publication of high-quality, well-optimised content that is designed to satisfy searcher intent. Similarly, the importance of mobile usability has been known since 2017 when the mobile-first index was announced.
Recent page experience updates have reinforced the fact that user experience (UX) is extremely important, particularly because almost 40% of people will leave a website if it fails to deliver a pleasing experience. And this shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, there are so many websites out there that searchers can turn to instead to find the information they are seeking.
But while these ranking factors may seem very familiar individually, driving meaningful SEO success today requires a more nuanced approach.
How to Approach Modern Day Google SEO Strategies
Many small businesses opt to handle their own SEO to make their budgets stretch farther. But as today’s Google SEO landscape is so complex, this is often a false economy.
In most cases, working with a search optimisation professional with the technical experience required to maximise return on investment (ROI) is the best course of action for businesses who want to make an impact in SERPs.
Because it isn’t enough to write a few snappy keyword-rich titles and meta descriptions, boost your page speed, and create a solid mobile browsing experience before calling it a day and expecting to rank well.
Instead, an understanding of how ranking factors intersect is required to both develop and continue to enhance a well-rounded SEO strategy that will drive visibility and boost search performance.
Take E-A-T, for example. Despite not being a ranking factor itself, ‘Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness’ is referred to frequently throughout Google Search Rater Guidelines. In short, E-A-T plays a key role in determining how truthful your content is, which will impact the search visibility of your content.
Securing Google SEO success today relies on the ability to leverage the potential from numerous ranking signals in a strategy that delivers a cohesive, well-rounded and highly visible digital presence. The most straightforward approach is to use ranking signals as a framework to help you strive for what John Mueller, Google’s Search Advocate, calls “Awesomeness.”