When you have a question, you often pop it into Google to see what you can find. Those first couple of search results often have your answer, and if you really want to know, you can keep clicking on website after website. But let’s be honest: most of us primarily look at only the first couple of results or the first page.
What you’re looking at are the top ranked pages for your search.
From the SEO side, you probably want your website to be one of those highly ranked pages for a search because then people will actually look at it. The good news is that there are particular factors you can improve to also improve your ranking on search engines. We’re going to look into SEO ranking and then the most important SEO ranking factors.
What Is Search Ranking?
Let’s start with the basics: what is search ranking? Search ranking is the specific order of web pages that are displayed when you type a question or a keyword into a search engine. Every word or phrase that can be typed into a search engine is called a keyword. Each keyword has a different search ranking based on a variety of factors. Primarily, the search engine will try to pull pages that seem to exactly match the searcher’s needs and put those first.
What Is SEO Ranking?
Now let’s consider the SEO side of it. When you’re running a business, your goal with your website is often to get people onto it. That way they see your products and check out how awesome you are. To do that, you’d like your pages to show up where people will see them. Most of the time, that means the first page. After all, the first page receives potentially up to 92% of the clicks. The second page? Yeah, that only gets 6%.
Your SEO ranking is the order that your page shows up in the SERP for a particular keyword. To get that ranking hire for a particular page, there are steps you can take. SEO decisions that benefit your primary audience can often boost your ranking, and important technical moves can help out the search engine and bots—also helping your SEO rankings.
The Most Important SEO Ranking Factors
While you can take steps to improve your SEO ranking, it’s important to remember a couple of things. First, your search engine rankings won’t change overnight. It’s going to take time and consistent effort to get those pages to the top. Second, SEO rankings aren’t stagnant. Maintaining your ranking also requires consistent improvement.
So let’s look at the most important SEO ranking factors!
Page speed tells you how quickly a web page loads for a user on their laptop, mobile phone, or other device. Google prioritizes pages that load quickly. After all, nobody likes searching a question and having to sit forever to wait for the page to load. Want to know how quickly your page is loading? Check if it loads quickly on mobile phones with Google’s free test.
For you to be authoritative, you can’t just have good content on your site. You need other authoritative sites to link back to you. That’s how Google knows that your site is legitimate. Backlinks help Google recognize trustworthiness and relevancy. So you need a strong backlink profile to get your page ranking.
A page that loads quickly with great links is great. Unless the content on the page is awful. You want high-quality content that users will love. You also want content that Google will love. When Google crawls your website, it should be easy for the bot to digest. No spelling or grammatical errors anywhere. Plus you can make the bots’ job easier by including a specific keyword that you want to rank for.
When you’ve chosen a keyword you want to rank for, consider why your target audience is searching for that keyword in particular. More specifically, think about why a user would be searching that and what other questions they might have. When your content actually answers a user’s search intent, it’s more useful. It’s also something Google will love. That’s why the bots are always crawling for related terms and questions to try and gauge which pages are matching the search intent. Those pages then get to rank higher.
If your site isn’t designed for the users, it’s not going to rank very high. A user-friendly site works on mobile devices; it’s easy to navigate. The content is well-informed and accurate—and it’s all organized in a way that’s easy to scan.
Not all keywords are equally easy to rank for. Some keywords are actually incredibly difficult to rank for. So when you’re considering what keywords you want to rank for, think about these questions:
- How many people are searching for that keyword?
- How difficult is it to rank for that keyword?
- Why are users searching for that keyword?
You don’t want to choose a keyword that nobody is searching for (otherwise no one is going to look at your page), but keywords that everyone is looking for can be tricky to rank for. So you want to find a nice middle ground where there are a good amount of people looking for that keyword, it’s decently easy to rank for it, and there’s content you could write to meet that search intent.
How to Track Your SEO Ranking
There are a lot of factors that go into SEO ranking. How can you possibly keep track of them all? There are some great tools out there that can help you really master your SEO rankings:
- Google Search Console. A free tool that shows ranking by page, keyword, device, and country.
- Semrush’s position tracking. A tool that shows your daily SEO ranks, competitor comparison, and alerts if there are any big fluctuations.
- Moz Pro. This tool tracks competitors, discovers new keywords, and displays historical results on easy-to-use graphs.
- Ahrefs Rank Tracker. This tool gives you SERP features, which include ranking on thumbnails, knowledge cards, top stories, “people also ask” and more.
It can be a lot to improve your SEO ranking and keep it up. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone! BASE Search Marketing can be your SEO partner. We’ve got experts who know all about building your backlink profiles and bolstering your content.
We look at domain authority and monthly organic traffic to help you see how your site is doing. When we publish your content, we only publish on sites that index regularly. Each of these factors play a role in improving ranking.
Looking for new content? We can help you there too. All of our content (briefs, new content, and content optimizations) are SEO optimized, meaning we look into the focus keyword, H1 tag, title tag, “people also ask,” and more. Our content and outlines are all designed to help you rank.
Ready to get started with boosting your SEO ranking with BASE? Contact us for more information!