I recently stumbled across this comprehensive infographic of 200 Google ranking factors, aka the factors that Google's algorithm looks at to determine where in search engine rankings your website shows up.
When time permits, I highly suggest you look through all of these factors and consider how they can be applied to your SEO strategy and your content marketing strategy as a whole.
While Google isn't the only search engine to please, Google still holds 67.6% of the search market share, therefore, these factors should certainly play a major part in your strategic development and implementation.
To save you some time and offer up 24 easy Google ranking factors to help you focus on to start improving your SEO, consider the following:
Include your keyword in your top level domain (for this website that would be www.melissaleiter.com) Having it appear at the beginning of your domain is even more effective.
Include a keyword phrase in your subdomain (for this post that would be www.melissaleiter.com/google-ranking-factors.)
The title tag of your page is the most important on-page SEO factor, according to Moz.com. Have your keyword appear in the title tag, preferably at the beginning.
Have your keyword phrase appear in an H1 Tag (a different heading format.)
Have your keyword phrase repeated several times throughout the content in the exact same order and definitely in the first 100 words.
Posts that have more words and are more in-depth rank higher.
Make sure your website pages load quickly. Slow load times will harm you. Pay special attention to load times in Chrome.
NEVER duplicate content on your website. This is a big no-no. Copying and pasting a blog post, even with added changes, to have more content on your site will be noticed and reprimanded by Google's algorithm.
Make sure your image title, name, alt text and caption are complete, accurate and include your keyword phrase.
The frequency and magnitude of your content updates are factors. If statistics or facts in your blog posts change, it's not a bad idea to go in and update them.
Make sure your outbound links are quality links and accurately have something to do with the words you are linking. Furthermore, linking to pages that already have a high search ranking may help. However, DO NOT go overboard with your outbound links.
Multimedia, images, videos, etc., help give your content a quality factor.
Categories and tags matter- but not if they are just used for the sake of using keywords. They matter in that they should help a user easily navigate your website and accurately represent the content in those categories or tags.
Keep your URL short.
Make your content easily digestible. The main content should be predominantly portrayed. Bullets and numbered lists can play a factor in easily digestible content.
Your content should be unique and valuable. This is the golden rule when it comes to SEO.
Continually update your site and add pages whenever possible and relevant.
Include YouTube videos on your site if possible.
Have terms of service and privacy pages on your site.
Make sure your site is easily viewable and easy to navigate on mobile and tablet.
Use Google Analytics and Webmasters Tools.
Make your website sticky. You want people to stay on your site and your pages for a long period of time in addition to frequently visiting. Certain factors such as bounce rate, repeat traffic, direct traffic, number of comments and organic keyword click through rate are all important factors based around user-friendliness that make an impact.
Social relevancy now plays a factor in your search rankings. How many people like your social pages, interact with your social pages, etc. directly effects your Google ranking.
Consistent branding. Having your brand name consistently appear on your social pages and in your website pages, helps solidify solid branding and credits you as a reputable organization.
Need help staying on track with these Google ranking factors when writing your blog content? I highly recommend that you Wordpress users start using the free plugin, Yoast.
What SEO tools, tips or tricks do you use to help you stay on Google's high-ranking side?
(Check out the infographic below to learn more about these ranking factors as well as special algorithm factors and webspam factors.)