WHAT IS A GOOD SEO RANKING

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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Get started by using content mapping to outline a plan for your website that includes creating landing pages and ongoing blog content.

Business listings, sometimes referred to as citations, are primarily a local SEO ranking factor. But all brands should perform basic citation setup and management and:

Mobile-friendliness refers to how a website looks and performs when someone views it on a mobile device. Mobile-friendly sites provide good user experience by using a responsive design that adjusts the content so that it looks good on every screen size. Because more searches are conducted on mobile devices than desktops (52.2% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices and the number is on the rise), mobile-friendliness is important to both search engines and users.

Another way to tell the search engines what a web page is about (so they rank it accordingly) is through the use of structured data. Structured data, or Schema Markup, is microdata added to the backend of a web page that tells search engines how to classify and interpret the content (such as identifying a business address, book title, recipe, or another type of information).

Search engines look to users to help them determine which pages they should promote in search rankings. They consider how users interact with results to determine which pages are better and more useful to searchers. Google does this through an artificial intelligence tool called RankBrain. User engagement factors include:

7. The Right Target Keywords.

The final ranking factor might not be something you can control, but it’s worth mentioning. Domain age, or how old your website is, is often considered a ranking factor. While Google doesn’t clearly state this as one of its SEO ranking factors, research has found that older domains tend to rank better.

As far back as 2014, Google has discussed site security as a ranking factor. Now, it’s one of the most important Google ranking factors on this list. Site security refers to the use of HTTPS encryption. Sites with HTTPS encryption have SSL certificates that create a secure connection between a website and its users. It adds an extra layer of security that protects information exchanged between users and the site.

To see if your site is responsive, submit your site to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. It will report back any issues with the mobile version of your site.

Assign one unique keyword to each page on your site. (Never assign the same keyword to more than one page on your site as this can confuse search engines and cause keyword cannibalization). Then, optimize the content for on-page SEO best practices.

Search engine and Google ranking algorithms are constantly changing. Some factors become more or less important, and some factors are introduced or removed. It’s important to stay up to date on the latest ranking factors and regularly use an SEO audit tool to scan your site to ensure that you’re following the most up-to-date SEO best practices.

The good news is that not all of the 200+ ranking factors are equal. Some ranking factors are more important than others. As you plan your SEO strategy, pay special attention to these 12 factors that impact rankings the most.

Use an on-page SEO checklist to optimize your page, and then check to make sure you didn’t miss any optimization opportunities by using Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker.

Don’t go blindly into content creation. Strategically create content by performing keyword research to tell you what keywords to target and topics to cover. Keyword research is the process of identifying popular keywords that can drive traffic to your site.

Another way to boost user engagement on your site and appeal to search engines is by consistently publishing high-quality content on your site. Content is one of the most important SEO ranking factors. Search engines want to provide the best results possible, so they give top rankings to sites that have well-researched, in-depth, and well-crafted content.

10. Consistent Business Listings.

To attract search engines to your content, you also need to consider on-page SEO factors. On-page SEO is the process of optimizing each individual page on your site for a target keyword. By optimizing your content for one specific keyword, you tell the search engines what the page is about and what it should rank for.

Now that you know what SEO ranking factors are most important, it’s time to optimize your site.

Before we dive into the top SEO ranking factors, it’s important to note that these factors can and will change.

If your site is slow, take steps to speed up your site by implementing website caching, compressing files, reducing the number of redirects, and taking other steps to speed up load time.

Search engines can’t rank a site if they can’t find it. Click & Tweet! That’s why site crawlability is such an important SEO ranking factor. Crawlability allows search engines to scan a website and review its content, so they can determine what the page is about and how it should rank.

Here are the top 12 SEO ranking factors (not ranked in order of importance).

3. Mobile-Friendliness.

To make sure that your site loads quickly, use a site speed checker. Try Alexa’s Speed Analysis tool, which is a part of our full Site Audit or Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.

Search engines want to drive users to the most trustworthy sites, and HTTPS encryption shows them that a site is secure. If your website URL begins with HTTP, not HTTPS, your site is not secure, and you should add an SSL certificate.

There are 200+ SEO ranking factors that help search engines determine which sites should show in search results and how they should rank. If you want your site to claim the top spots on SERPs (search engine results pages), you need to optimize your online presence to cater to these factors.

Whether you’re creating new content or optimizing existing content, use this guide to make sure you cover all your SEO bases: 50 Best Practices for SEO That Will Ignite Growth.

Now, let’s look at how to help improve SEO rankings by optimizing your online presence to appeal to 12 important SEO ranking factors.

Another SEO ranking factor that relates to user experience is page load speed. Slow loading sites provide bad user experience. Search engines know that people want to find answers as fast as possible, so they prefer to show sites that will load quickly for users. This is even truer for mobile sites, as Google announced that its Speed Update would make load speed a ranking factor for mobile searches.

Next to content, backlinks are often considered to be the second most important SEO ranking factor. If you want your site to rank, you need a plan for building high-quality backlinks for your site through practices such as guest posting, link acquisition, digital PR, and other link building strategies.

There’s a common thread running through all of the points above, whether they’re related to technical back-end elements or actual visible, front-end content. It’s all about user-friendliness. Many people assume that successful SEO is all about meeting the algorithms of a Google bot.

For instance, Google advises against allowing internal search results pages to be crawled. Why? Users get frustrated if they click a search engine result but end up on a different search engine result on your website.

Top-positioned Google sites average a load time of fewer than 3 seconds. For ecommerce websites, 2 seconds is considered the threshold of acceptability. According to Google webmasters, Google aims for less than a half-second. And with the latest Page Experience Update almost here, it's important to work on improving page speed.

Ensure your title tag, meta description, and H1 include your primary keyword.

Computers are no longer the gatekeepers of the internet. The majority of all web traffic worldwide is now generated by mobile phones. Recognizing the importance of on-the-go web browsing, Google has explicitly stated that mobile-friendliness is a SERP factor.

14. Try the Google Snippets Shortcut.

Google is paying increased attention to social media accounts in general. For example, buying followers for social media accounts can backfire. A social media account with 100,000 followers, but no interaction looks less legitimate than an account with 10,000 and a lot of active engagement. Google has even filed a patent for technology intended to determine whether social media accounts are real or fake.

Fantastic content won’t get you far if your platform is not accessible and secure. You also won’t be able to generate high-quality backlinks if your website isn’t seen as trusted. To ensure your website is secure, use HTTPS encryption. This gives your site SSL certificates, creating a secure connection between your platform and your end-users and protects information that the users might provide to the site, such as passwords.

Backlinks are the answer. These are links on other websites that direct people to your site. When your site is consistently referred to by other quality websites, Google recognizes that it’s trusted. Such backlinks are even more useful if the linking website is trustworthy. Semrush has a whole host of useful tools to analyze your and your competitors' backlink portfolios. You can find some targets through our Backlink Analytics Tool:

Google offers a mobile-friendly test tool that you can use to identify hurdles to mobile usage.

To do so, you'll need to work on your SEO rankings. This helps your website become more visible to potential customers and allows you to appear on search results for specific queries relevant to your business.

There are upward of 3.6 billion people using social media. That’s a huge audience to reach (and a lot of possible traffic to your page)! Determining which social media platforms to focus on depends largely on your target audience. This demographic breakdown of social media users can help.

Include at least one image.

Schema markup, or structured data, is a type of back-end microdata that tells Google how the page should be classified and interpreted. This data helps the search engine determine the type of page — for example, is it a recipe or a book chapter? Structured data should be relevant, complete, and location-specific.

We’ve included an example below. You can actively target Google snippets with question-inspired content.

Pro tip: To keep your social media profiles running on all cylinders, be sure to check out our Social Media Toolkit which allows you to manage and track your social profiles in one place.

7. Load Speed.

Checklist-style content does well in snippets, especially numbered lists. You can find out more about Google snippets here. If you need help finding questions that people are asking, you can use our Keyword Magic Toolto get an idea of a good question you can answer.

Also, pay attention to details like button size, which needs to be larger on small screens when people use their fingers instead of a tiny mouse pointer to click. Larger fonts are also easier to read on small screens.

An effective way to generate quality backlinks is to create a compelling infographic and allow other websites and blogs to use it in their content. Users love to share infographics, especially when they have relevant or important data!

A website's authority essentially forecasts how well a website will rank in Google search results. It’s a quick measure of a page’s SEO power potential. Higher-scoring websites are more likely to rank higher in search engines. Semrush provides you with site's Authority Scores within the tool. You can see it here in Domain Overview:

Start with our Keyword Overview tool, where you’ll get a comprehensive look at the particular query you’re targeting — including total search volume, how competitive the space is, and key SERP features.

You should also tell Googlebot what pages not to crawl, using a “robots.txt” file. This should be placed in your site’s root directory. Google Search Console even has a “robots.txt” generator you can use.

Factors that boost an EAT score include citing respected experts (e.g., if you run a health care website, refer to medical professionals) and referring to reliable sources (such as “.edu” or “.gov” sites).

8. User Engagement.

Source: Google Mobile-Friendly Test Tool.

Just how long this takes depends on the speed of your DNS provider. Check out DNS speed comparison reports to see how yours stacks up.

Creating engaging content is the key to luring people in and keeping them there. Use a clear site architecture that makes it easy for people to navigate. High-quality web design, engaging images, and captivating infographics all help keep people on the page.

Crawling refers to the search engine’s process of searching for new or updated webpages. You can check Google Search Console to see how many of your website’s pages Google has crawled.

Server response time is another issue to tackle. A domain name system (DNS) server holds a database of IP addresses. When someone enters a URL into their browser, the DNS server translates that URL to the relevant IP address. It’s like the computer is looking up a number in the phonebook.

Establish a Google My Business page to demonstrate that your organization is real and legitimate. This is connected not only to Google Search but also Google Maps, making it easier for clients to find you online and in the real world.

In this guide, we're going to highlight the essential strategies and ways to improve your SEO ranking. Read on to see some of the recommendations we have compiled for you.

You want to create a website that offers a user-friendly experience for both desktop and mobile users—aim for a responsive design, and nix text-blocking ads and pop-ups. Keep mobile design simple. Clutter will look messy on a small screen.

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