Want to know what actually matters when it comes to getting your site ranked? There are tons of stats across the internet that prove the importance of ranking on the first page. SEO is constantly changing and there is a lot of noise across the internet around the topic. In this post, we wanted to keep it simple and share 11 factors that have been tested and proven to impact your website ranking.
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Make Backlinks a Priority
While there is no magical list of all of the factors, there are many things we do know for sure. The team over at Backlinko, with the help of Eric Van Buskirk and their data partners1, uncovered some interesting findings. Below is an infographic we created based on their findings.
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- Backlinks are still extremely important. In fact, they are still the number one factor when comes to ranking. But, not all backlinks are created equal. When building links, make sure that they come from a diverse group of domains.
- Content is still king! Take the time to create comprehensive, in-depth content that your users will find helpful. Do this well and it can help you rank higher in Google. The simple truth is, Long-form content ranks higher in Google’s search results than short-form content. The average word count of a Google first page result is about 2,000 words.
- Website security is a big deal when it comes to your users. Having a site that won’t harm their device or expose their information is a must. Turns out Google believes that as well. Last year Google called on webmasters to switch their sites over to secure HTTPS. They even called HTTPS a “ranking signal”, something they never say. That statement alone means we need to pay attention.
- Images help your ranking. Now don’t get all crazy and just load your page with images. Backlinko found no correlation between more images and higher ranking. What their research did uncover was that having at least one image was important. As Google continues to focus more on the user, search marketers, and SEOs must do the same.
- While having a keyword in the title tag still matters, it appears after their research that the strength of the title tag is not what it used to be. This seems to be a reflection of Google moving away from exact keyword usage to Semantic Search.
- Site speed is a big deal and slow sites will be impacted. Having a fast-loading site certainly won’t hurt your SEO. So it makes sense to speed things up when and if you can. Faster sites rank higher.