Top 10 SEO Ranking Factors You Need to Know in 2024

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We all know how SEO is an ever-evolving field. Google and the other search engines regularly launch algorithm updates that will translate into changes in SEO ranking factors. So, it can be hard for us digital marketers to keep up with the latest developments. However, not being in the know of the latest SEO ranking factors won’t only put you at a disadvantage of getting your site ranked higher. In a worst-case scenario, our site might be penalized or even banned if there’s a sudden change in algorithms that can be addressed if only we know better. Although there are hundreds of SEO ranking factors used by Google in their current ranking algorithm, here are the top 10 most important ones based on our experience in 2023 and 2024:

 

Google_Ranking_Factors

 

1. Site Security Certificate

 

Since around 2014, Google has recommended website owners to migrate from HTTP to HTTPS.

 

Both HTTP and HTTPS are basic protocols that allow us to send and receive information in the form of a website, and HTTPS (with the ‘S’ stands for ‘Secure’) was designed to provide an extra layer of security by utilizing what we call SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate to securely transfer data.

 

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates have become a standard for website security, ensuring encrypted communication between users’ browsers and your site. Google has acknowledged SSL as a ranking factor, so having a HTTPS website, like Eglogics Softech’s https://www.eglogics.com/, is not just about security; it’s also crucial for SEO.

 

2. Mobile-Friendly Site

 

It’s no secret that since around 2015, Google now prioritizes mobile-friendly sites on their SERP. So, you have to make sure your site is mobile-friendly or mobile-responsive to improve its SEO success.

 

With the majority of searches now performed on mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is imperative. Google’s Mobile-First Indexing means the mobile version of your site is considered the primary version. Sites like Eglogics Softech prioritize mobile responsiveness to ensure an optimal user experience across all devices.

 

3. Page Load Speed

 

Page load speed is a critical user experience factor. Google’s algorithms favor websites that load quickly on both desktop and mobile platforms. Optimizing your site’s speed can significantly improve your rankings and user satisfaction.

 

According to Google, if your page loads more than 3 seconds, 50% of users will bounce, and bounce rate is also an important ranking factor.

 

You can monitor your page speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights, and improve your site based on the suggestions provided.

 

4. Technical Factors

 

Several technical aspects of your website can impact your SEO rankings:

 

1. Using a target keyword in page headings/titles:

 

The focus keyword should appear early in your title to help Google understand the relevance of your content.

 

2. META Description:

 

Create compelling and concise META descriptions that naturally incorporate your target keywords to improve click-through rates.

 

3. Header Tags:

 

Proper use of H1, H2, H3 tags structures your content for easier indexing by Google and enhances readability for users.

 

4. Image Alt Tags:

 

Including target keywords in image alt tags signals the relevance of your visuals to Google, enhancing SEO and accessibility. Using target keywords in image alt tags to tell Google that the images used are relevant to the content. Also, this can help with accessibility for visually impaired users.

 

5. Structured Data:

 

Implement schema.org markup to enable Google to better understand and index your website’s content, potentially leading to rich snippets in search results. Implement structured data (schema.org) markup so Google can properly recognize all the different elements on your site. Schema markup will also let your page be eligible for rich/featured snippets.

 

5. Content Quality, Length, and Optimization

 

High-quality, relevant, and informative content is key to engaging users and improving dwell time, which Google rewards. Longer content often ranks higher, provided it maintains quality and relevance. Keyword optimization without stuffing, use of synonyms, and addressing user intent are essential for content optimization.

 

This is even more true with the recent Google BERT algorithm that allows Google to be much better in understanding the context of the page. So, how can we say that a piece of content is high-quality? While this is a very broad subject, the general factors are:

 

  • Whether the content includes fresh, up-to-date information
  • Whether the content meets the target audience’s search intent
  • ‘Voted’ by other high-quality sites in the form of backlinks (more on this later)
  • Received a lot of social engagements (shares, likes, etc. ), although social signals are not a direct ranking factor

 

6. Domain Age, Authority, and URL Optimization

 

More than 50% of websites that ranked on the first page of SERP are three years old or older,  and very few sites that are less than a year old are ranked on the top ten spots.

 

Authority of the website also matters, as covered by Google’s E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) principle. That is, a content coming from a well-known site is prioritized to rank compared to that coming from a brand new site.

 

Older domains often rank better due to established authority. However, fresh content and a well-structured, keyword-optimized URL can significantly boost newer websites. Eglogics Softech leverages its domain’s authority by consistently delivering valuable content and maintaining a clear, optimized site structure.

 

7. Link Profile

 

A healthy link profile includes: All three types of links are usually linked to an anchor text, and the context between the linked page and the anchor text would also count.

 

1. Backlinks/Inbound Links:

 

Links from reputable sites to your website boost your domain’s authority.

 

2. Outbound Links:

 

Linking to authoritative and relevant content can enhance your site’s relevance and quality.

 

3. Internal Linking:

 

A strong internal linking structure helps distribute page authority throughout your site and improves navigation.

 

8. Social Signals

 

Social signals are a bit complicated in SEO. On the one hand, they are not a direct ranking factor, according to Google. However, when people share and engage with your content on social media, studies have suggested that they indeed help with your SERP ranking.

 

While not a direct ranking factor, social signals such as shares, likes, and overall social media presence can indirectly influence your SEO by increasing visibility and traffic to your site.

 

9. User Experience (UX) Factors

 

Thanks to Google Rankbrain, Google’s AI-based algorithm, Google can now monitor user experience factors in real-time and use the information to rank the websites.

 

Google mainly monitors three UX factors:

 

  • Bounce rate: the percentage of people who click on the SERP result and then exits the page right away. If the number is high, then it will mean your page is not relevant for the search query and might get demoted in the SERP.
  • Dwell time: related to bounce rate, dwell time is how long a visitor stays on your site after they click on a SERP result and visit your site. The longer, the better.
  • Click-through rate: pretty self-explanatory, the percentage of people who click on a SERP result to visit your site. If it’s low, then you might get demoted.

 

Google’s algorithms increasingly prioritize the user experience. Factors such as easy navigation, intuitive design, and engaging content contribute to a positive user experience, indirectly boosting SEO rankings.

 

10. Authentic Business Information

 

For local SEO and beyond, authentic business information is crucial. Ensure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) is consistent across your site and all listings. Linking to your social media accounts, your Google My Business listing, and showcasing genuine customer reviews can enhance your site’s credibility and authority.

 

It’s important to include and optimize things like:

 

  • NAP: name, address, and phone number. Make sure to use valid information
  • Link to social media accounts
  • Your Google My Business listing (if you are a local business)
  • Reviews and/or testimonies from clients and customers. You can pull reviews from sites like Yelp and even Google Maps

 

Conclusion

 

Staying informed about the latest SEO ranking factors is crucial for maintaining and improving your website’s visibility in search results. By focusing on these top 10 factors, businesses like Eglogics Softech can ensure their SEO strategy is robust, adaptive, and aligned with Google’s current preferences. Remember, SEO is an ongoing process that requires regular updates and optimizations to keep pace with the ever-changing digital landscape.

 

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