The Top 50 SEO Ranking Factors You Need to Know

The Top 50 SEO Ranking Factors You Need to Know

Follow These SEO Ranking Factors For Higher Google Rankings

Oh, man, if you ever miss high school drama, just hop on one of the leading blogs in the SEO community. There’s more bickering, back-stabbing, and ridicule than one person could handle. All of the drama makes it even harder for online marketers and business owners to make sense of the available data and decide what to do to improve their site rankings.

The big thorny issue with SEO advice

There’s money to be made offering SEO services, and the competition is fierce. I mean, just think about it: the more your competitors look like experts in the field, the less money you’re making. Potential clients will give them a call before calling you, buy their books and courses, not yours, ultimately leaving your bank accounts empty while filling theirs up.

Having said that, it’s not that crazy seeing so many SEO experts attacking one another, spreading chaos among people like you and me who are looking for high-quality info on how to push our online businesses forward and generate the free web traffic we need.

The most disputed SEO ranking factors

Here’s a fun little story for you… More than ten years ago, during a press briefing, some journalists and bloggers found out that Google uses over 200 ranking factors. A few years later, a Google executive said that many of the ranking signals the company uses have up to 50 variations each. That lead SEO blogs to write about Google’s 10,000 ranking signals.

The full list of ranking factors is secret; Google would shoot themselves in the foot by making it public. After all it’s a business secret, what makes Google… well… Google. Which leave people like you and me wondering what’s on the list and what’s not and for many years we trusted SEO niche bloggers tell us about what we should do.

As analytics and SEO results tracking software improved, SEO experts started to see that things are actually a lot different than they initially thought. Thus, drama appeared.

In the midst of all this drama, there’s also good news. With so many experts thrown under the bus from time to time, you get to see long, complex articles debunking many of the myths surrounding SEO.

In their quest for high-paying clients, they started attacking one another, and that’s a good thing for us. You see, now we finally have a clearer, no BS, data backed answer to the old question

“What can we do to have our web pages rank better and send us more free quality traffic”?

First, let’s start with what doesn’t seem to be on the no-BS list of ranking factors that actually impact your website’s position, even though we’d expect them to be there:

Keyword density

For a very long time, content writers were asked to use the targeted keyword as often as possible, website owners aiming for a 3% keyword density on a web page’s content. Well, surprisingly, current data actually shows that there is no ideal keyword density and Google’s algorithm does not care if the targeted phrase is the most often used on a page.

Private WhoIs

A few years back, the word around Googletown was that the search engine ranks Public WhoIs websites better. Today, it looks like this was just another SEO myth. While the info might be useful for Google’s manual review staff on spam watch, there isn’t a clear and direct impact on ranking, so use Private WhoIs if that is what you want.

Loading Speed

This one’s part-myth, part-truth. What we now know is that if you don’t have web pages loading slower than in 20-30 seconds, your load speed doesn’t actually matter in your ranking. If your pages need more than 20 seconds to load, you’ve already lost the visitor’s interest. That Google penalises you is the least of your problems. If your web pages load just fine, you have done a great job; there’s no need to invest money on getting them to load with half a second faster, it won’t have an impact on your website’s ranking.

Preserving SEO juice

Another thing a big part of the SEO community doesn’t believe to be true anymore is the impact of outbound links on a page’s ranking. We have always been told to be careful not to use too many “dofollow” links because we’ll waste the SEO juice. What we’ve learned this past year is that you can have as many outbound links on your page as you want (or you can fit). Google doesn’t care about their number when determining your ranking, so you’re not leaking PageRank.

Bulleted or numbered lists

Listicles took the internet by storm, but it now looks that their success was never directly related to a boost in ranking. They’re just easier to read and act upon, thus offering a better user experience, but using bulleted or numbered lists in your content won’t directly impact your web page’s ranking.

Contact page – WhoIs match

Not even the best looking and most complete contact page can give you a boost in ranking. Although having a contact page with info that matches your website’s WhoIs is a great trust-building element, something your visitors will appreciate, this will have no impact whatsoever on the ranking.

Content updates

This one will be a shocker for many. What top SEO experts are saying now is that, in fact, it doesn’t matter how often you update your website, the only important aspect being how relevant those updates are. If your updates aren’t relevant, you shouldn’t be making them.

Guest posts

Links to your website from the author bio box underneath an article published on another website may in fact be perceived as manipulative in their nature and get your website flagged for spam.

Links from .gov or.edu TLDs

What we learned in the past year is that, in fact, the Top Level Domain (.com / .de / .au.com / .edu / .tv etc.) bears no significance in establishing a referring website’s importance. Google doesn’t care if the links to your website come from .com versus .edu or .gov domains like SEO specialists previously told us. It’s a good time to stop throwing money at backlinking experts promising you .edu and .gov links.

Now you might be thinking “well, what’s left?” and the short answer is the good stuff. With the debunked SEO myths and the absurd claims removed from the various versions of the Google ranking signals lists that have surfaced the web in the past years, we can now have a research-backed, expert-approved and recommended, list of those 50 SEO ranking factors that you should focus on.

This is not a complete list of ranking signals; there’s no way anyone will ever get that from Google. It a list put together by carefully going through the insights and research shared by those in the game. It’s going to do two things for any online business owner and any freelancer or blogger using a website to attract traffic, generate, and convert leads: save you time and positively impact your rankings.

The top 50 Google ranking factors online marketers and business owners should pay attention to in 2017

Google is constantly changing the way it evaluates and ranks website for each search enquiry people make, depending on where a person lives, what device they use, what type of information they want to see (images, local search, etc.) That’s why it’s important to use updated insights in deciding what changes you should make to keep or to get your website on the first page results:

#1 HTTPS encryption

Google wants to keep web users safe, so it’s offering better rankings to those who made the switch from HTTP to HTTPS. To show they’re dead serious about this, Google Chrome is now marking HTTP websites as unsafe, so you should invest in a SSL certificate if you haven’t done so already.

#2 Domain ownership

If the domain you just bought previously changed owners (WhoIs) more often than people change their socks, that might get Google to not take into account some of the links to your domain.

#3 Subdomain names

If you want to use a subdomain for a special section of your website or for a landing page, make sure you use the targeted keyword as the name of the subdomain you’ll use.

#4 Exact match domains

If you plan on creating a light, few pages long, PLR content website for an exact match domain, let me tell you straight up: that’s a bad idea. Google is happy to take your website with a domain name matching exactly a search enquiry to the first page, but only if it’s a high-quality website, otherwise these websites are vulnerable to getting the boot.

#5 Keyword in title tag

The title tag if the text you see written in the header of the tab containing an open web page. It can be the exact same as the displayed page title (blog post title, website name, etc.) or it can be different, but what you need to remember if that this is one of the two places where you really got to use your targeted keyword.

seo ranking factors

#6 Keyword in content

This is the second place where you really have to use your targeted keyword. Using it in the first paragraph will impact your ranking, because Google sees it as a relevancy signal.

#7 Keyword in page URL

Web pages containing the targeted keyword in the URL ranked better than those that didn’t.

#8 Keyword wording

Always keep in mind what would someone type in because a keyword that’s an exact match ranks better than one that’s not. This can be a bit tricky because we do search for things using wording like “hypnosis sessions Sydney” but using that exact phrase in a sentence sounds unnatural.

#9 Pesky ads

Google sees popups, interstitials, ads above the fold, and any ad formats that are preventing the user from reading the content as the signs of a low quality website and Google doesn’t want those website in the top positions on SERPs.

#10 Affiliate marketing

Google keeps a close eye on affiliate sites, so don’t do anything that might raise suspicions. That includes hiding your affiliate links, using computer-generated content, doing keyword stuffing, etc.

#11 Higher PR

Higher PageRank web pages rank better than their lower PR competitors, so you can also keep an eye on your PR to see how you’re doing.

#12 Sitemap

A sitemap helps Google crawl the website and index it the right way, which leads to a better position in SERPs.

#13 Post tags

Don’t skip adding WordPress tags to your posts. By having more articles/pages using the same tags, you’ve improving your overall SEO because they create connections between different pieces of content.

#14 Content reading level

Google tracks the reading level of your content and it wants it to be available to everyone. You don’t have to over simplify everything, but do these 3 things: keep your paragraphs under 300 words, use relevant sub headlines, rewrite too long sentences.

#15 Multimedia files

Google favors pages featuring videos, infographics, images, galleries, interactive widgets that come to enrich the content of the page and improve the user’s experience.

#16 Keyword CTR

Once it is displayed on a search engine results page, what happens to your website determines if it will get a better ranking. If people organically click on your website when they search for a keyword you targetted, you will move up the list.

#17 Time spent on site

If people tend to stay on your website and not run away in seconds, that also sends a quality signal to Google, giving the website a boost in ranking.

#18 Plagiarised or stolen content

Google is actively punishing websites again which people have filed complaints for using copyrighted content that doesn’t belong to them.

#19 Server location and country queues

Because it wants to offer relevant results, it is believed that Google takes into account a site’s server location as well as local name extensions for local searches.

#20 Direct visits

Sites that get more direct traffic are ranking higher than those receiving less direct traffic because Google interprets this as a signal of the website’s quality.

#21 Duplicate content

Only rely on original content. If you have to use duplicate content or slightly modified content because of your website’s functionalities, make sure you’re correctly using the rel=canonical tag which processes PageRank juice the same way a 301 redirect would.

#22 H1 + H2 headings on page

H1 is called the second title tag and using it is important. It doesn’t have to contain the targeted keyword, but you should try to use it to help readers understand what the page is about. You should also use H2 headings. By using both on a page, you will both improve your page’s ranking and make the content easier to read for your visitors. A great number of landing pages are using H1 + H2 headings to sneak into better spots in SERPs.

#23 Broken links

Remember that Google organises the results in a way that makes it easier for people to discover what they’re looking for, and a page that looks abandoned won’t appear among the first results. Reasearch broken links detectors and make sure you check your website from time to time. Remove or fix all the broken links you find.

#24 Shorter URLs

Don’t go crazy when setting up the URL of a new page you want to optimise. It looks like Google is more favorable to shorter URLs.

#25 Scraped content

Don’t feed the content from another indexed page to the one you want to optimise. Google will never rank copied or syndicated content better than it ranked the original.

#26 Authority

The PageRank of both the page and that of the domain referring your page counts, with the authority of the domain playing a more important role.

#27 Social value for links

When you’re getting a link to your web page on another that is heavily shared on social media, the value of the link you received is bigger than that on a page with no social shares.

#28 Link placement

The links that naturally integrate in a web page’s content are more valuable than those placed in odd places like at the end of an article. Always aim to get links that truly make sense in the context of the content on the referring page.

#29 Link exchange

Google doesn’t want you engaging in link exchanging, and it’s better to avoid doing this and focusing on using backlinking strategies to get the links you need.

#30 Same-site links

If you’re getting five links from a website, Google actually treats them as just one. Since the number of the links it’s irrelevant to Google, there’s no point in chasing more than one link/website back to your site.

#31 Surprise redirects

Don’t even think about redirecting people to another website or different topic page without them expecting for that to happen. Google sees this as deeply problematic and it can lead to having your site deindexed.

#32 Curse words

I know, I also get a bit worked up and drop a few bombs, but you’d better keep the curse words out of your content, other wise Google might keep your site from the results when users use the Safe Search.

#33 Optimised images

Google pays attention to any descriptions, alt text tags, titles, captions and file names the images uploaded to a web page use. Don’t forget to take at least a minute to fill in all required data when you’re adding a new image to your landing page, blog post, product description, etc.

#34 Anchor text variations

When exact-match anchor text links appear unnatural, you risk penalties. To be on the safe side, just use natural looking, different anchor text versions for linking to your website.

#35 Coding errors

If you didn’t care about your website to fix these errors, how could you have a high-quality website? That’s what Google thought when decided to penalise websites that aren’t functioning properly. Do yourself (and your customers) a favour and check your website for errors once in a while.

#36 Mobile friendly interfaces

Mobile search is increasingly important, that’s why Google wants websites to be responsive and offer a great experience to those visiting them from a smartphone or a tablet, too.

#37 Silos

The site architecture can help or prevent Google for figuring out what’s on your website. Using a silo structure makes it easier for search engines to find what themes your content belongs to and where it fits.

#38 Categories

What you file your new web page under matters, as well as what the URL contains before the new post/page slug. When a new page looks related to the category it is published under, that sends a relevancy signal that impacts its ranking.

#39 Web forum links

Google doesn’t trust forums, so you should stop using them as a way to link back to your website.

#40 ToS + Privacy Policy

Websites displaying the terms of service and privacy policy pages indicate that they are respecting local legislations and regulations and therefore, they’re not representing security risks.

#41 Uptime

If your website is down or in maintenance mode too often, Google may decide that you should be deindexed.

#42 Exit themes

Google is likely to use the content on the pages you’re linking to in order to make sense what your content is about, so don’t link to things that have nothing to do with your niche.

#43 Multiple keywords

A page can rank for multiple keywords (even ones you didn’t thought about), and when that happens you get a boost for your targeted keyword.

#44 Useful content

Your content must strike a balance between being high-quality and being useful.

#45 Site owner links

When the site owner links to your page, that holds value. If there’s a random guy linking to your page from a comment, that doesn’t hold the same value, no matter the PageRank.

#46 Internal page PR

The PageRank of internal pages linking to another influences their impact. Use high PR pages to link to lower PR pages important for your business.

#47 Links from icky websites

Not every link you get is good for you, in fact those from websites using “spun” content, selling pills, hosting porn or online casinos or offering payday loans can do you a big disservice.

#48 Sponsored links

If there’s any indication that the link you’re getting might be paid for or obtained through a partnership, Google will not consider it to be very valuable.

#49 Image links

When you’re using them, remember that the alt tag plays the role of the anchor text for text-based hyperlinks.

#50 Visitors coming back

When your visitors come back for more, that sends Google a powerful message – this website’s so good I came back for more.

Phew, this was a long lists, wasn’t it? Let’s not let your effort of going through it go to waste. Roll up your sleeves and get to work, optimise your website to get more free search traffic and boost your income! To help you, I’ve prepared a little checklist you can use to make sure you’re not missing anything on your SEO to do list for 2017.

Download The Top 50 SEO Ranking Factors Checklist

(No Optin/Sign Up Required)

And don’t forget to like, share and leave your comments below!

The Right Way To Use YouTube Live Streaming

The Right Way To Use YouTube Live Streaming

YouTube Live streaming is one of the coolest, easiest to use ways to engage your audience and build your brand with video.

Broadcast your brand philosophy, your best marketing efforts, or even interact with your audience.

YouTube wants you to “Broadcast Yourself” and before you do that here are a few things that you should know:

Setup an official company account. Details matter. This will help your videos and content rank higher when users input a related keyword into the search bar.

Use live streaming tools. They will allow your viewers, customers, or prospects to react, communicate and engage – in realtime with you and other members of your community.

Elton John’s official Facebook page recently ran a Facebook Livestream, whereby each individual commenting had their name written onto a large birthday card, which would later be presented to the singer.

This would not be possible without a large following. So when it comes to YouTube Live streaming, it’s vital that you make sure your page stands out.

When you have logged into your Youtube dashboard, simply click on the channel’s profile picture at the top-right of the screen  (you’ll see your photo up there).

From there, select the “Creator Studio” button

 

 

Clicking that, will make a sidebar show up on the left, where you’ll be given the option to use YouTube Live Streaming by clicking the “Live” button like you can see below

YouTube Live Streaming

Once selected, you will be typically guided through the next few steps before fully engaging with the YouTube Live feature. Here, you can add relevant information pertaining to the stream, enable monetization (provided your channel is linked with Google AdSense), tweak with your privacy settings, or even disable the live-chat feature should you want.

If your primary purpose is to redirect traffic towards the main website, you can choose to add cards to create a call-to-action.

In order to broadcast Live, you will need a specific software. YouTube recommends quite a handful of varying software options.

Click on the “Encoder Setup” box, and copy the information listed there. Next, access the Open Broadcast Software, and enter the same information in the “Settings” box.

After the YouTube Live streaming event has been wrapped up, your video will be available for normal viewing on your channel (based on your privacy settings). Download the video, and share it to all major and active social-media accounts.

Think YouTube Live Streaming is worth the hype? Sound off in the comments below, or share your personal experiences with the Internet’s newest trend!

How To Get More Web Traffic to YOUR Site

How To Get More Web Traffic to YOUR Site

Having an awesome looking site is great, but what’s the point… if people aren’t taking action, buying things to put cash in your pocket – or worse yet, even showing up at your website in the first place? So…

Today I want to share some tips on how to get more web traffic to your websites.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but any type of organic traffic you can bring in is going to give your business a boost without having to hit your pocket too hard.

If you have any methods that work really well, that you wouldn’t mind sharing, please post in the comments below!
how to get more web traffic
Find Your Niche

No matter what your site is about, the truth is – there are already oodles of other people, and other websites producing content on the same subject. That can work in your favour if you let it.

If your dream is to write a blog about fitness, then you are going to be in direct competition with the other 1,430,000,000 results that appear in a Google search whenever anyone types in ‘fitness’. In order for your site to take off, and to maximise its traffic potential, YOUR site needs to narrow in on a specific topic that, perhaps, is not being adequately covered elsewhere. This is your niche.

Your niche area will need to be relevant, something that you are passionate about, that you have skills or knowledge in, and something that you can easily build upon, particularly if you are planning long-term.

Your niche will determine the content of your site, the audience and is foundational to how successful your site will be, so do not cut corners when it comes to this step!

Sometimes in internet marketing this can be tougher still, than non-IM niche type areas – but don’t let that get you down. Using internet marketing as an example (like fitness), there are many smaller more targeted niche areas within the broader ‘IM’ scope, so find your spot and own that (like a BOSS!)

 

 

how to get more web traffic

Content

You may have heard this before – “Content is king”. Although trends and Google algorithms go up and down all of the time, this is one that stays nice and constant. All the planning, marketing and digital networking in the world will not be able to save a site that has terrible content – or no content. In order for your site to thrive, you will need to provide creative, original content that people will want to engage with. One way to make sure that you are publishing interesting content is by doing a little market research in your niche area. Keep growing your knowledge and expanding your experience.

 

 how to get more web traffic

Wikipedia

One of the ways to do this is by using Wikipedia. If a piece of digital content is cited on Wikipedia, then you know the author of that content has done something right – an editor had to have engaged with it, in order for it to appear on Wikipedia.

Here’s how you are going to utilise Wikipedia as a tool for increasing the traffic on your site:

  • Go to Wikipedia.com
  • Enter a broad search term that is related to your niche, in the field provided
  • Browse through the relevant topics produced by the search
  • View the ‘References’ section at the bottom of the page. There is almost always online links to significant articles in this section, which will relate to your niche. Reading these links and articles gives you good insight into what topics are popular and have already had success within your niche area.
  • You can now create content that is in keeping with these already successful topics, and use them to promote your content, and your site.

 

 how to get more web traffic

Reddit

Reddit.com can be a useful tool which you can utilise in a similar manner. Reddit is a social networking community where members submit content which is then voted ‘up’ or ‘down’. This makes it an excellent way to see at a glance which entries are popular, based on their rank. What’s handy about Reddit is that content is organised into areas of interest called ‘subreddits’ which means you can look at content that relates only to your niche area.

 

 how to get more web traffic
Google

Another fast way to come up with great ideas for content is Google.com

Thanks to the explosion in the popularity and interest in content curation, the internet is now full of bloggers, blogging…about blogging. Among these fascinating blog entries are some quite nicely groomed lists of content ideas. Utilise these as a jumping off point when you are having trouble coming up with fresh ideas.

 

 how to get more web traffic

Pinterest

Pinterest is responsible for more traffic driven to third party websites than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google . Here’s how you can use it for finding out how to get more web traffic using content mining:

  • Head to Pinterest.com
  • Enter a keyword in the search field
  • Pins are ranked by ‘re-pins’, comments and likes so you want to keep an eye out for content that is a top pin, relating to your niche.
  • Once you have found a piece of great content, tweak it, use it for inspiration, publish it and then get your content onto Pinterest so that you can make that traffic work for you.

 

how to get more web traffic

Flippa

If you are not familiar with Flippa, it’s a site where people can ‘flip off’ their websites for a price. There are now a few of these sites in existence but Flippa is the first of its kind and still seems to maintain the most business and traffic. Think Ebay for websites and domains.

What’s fantastic about Flippa is that when someone lists their site, they are also listing everything they did to build their website. It’s like buying goodwill on a business. If you purchase a website on Flippa that has been successful, you are also purchasing their traffic, their published content and their established audience.

Here’s how to find a website in your niche on Flippa;

  • Go to Flippa.com
  • Search for websites in your niche, using the search field. Be broad and use keywords that encompass your niche widely
  • Limit the results to sites that get a minimum amount of visitors per month (eg: 1000)
  • Choose a site that matches your niche
  • You can now purchase this and use it for your own content.

Using Flippa in this way gives YOUR site the upper hand because you are starting it on an existing foundation. And, since you have picked a website that already caters to your niche market, you are now able to tweak existing content and add new content, knowing that your audience is already established, and is interested in what you have to promote, which solves some of the problem in finding out how to get more web traffic.

 

how to get more web traffic
Buzz Sumo

Harris Fellman mentioned this awesome resource to me about 12 months ago and it’s something I like to refer to regularly, to see what is going on in the marketplace (whatever marketplace you are in) and see what is trending and getting lots of viral traffic.   You can put in a keyword into Buzz Sumo and it will pull up a list of suggestions for ideas and current news activities.

Screenshot 2016-06-22 21.06.56
NinjaOutreach
 
Looking for content ideas and actually creating the content is only the first part of how you can get more traffic for your website. Sure, you have a content idea that has been proven to have gone viral and you publish this on your blog a week ago but there has been no significant traffic bump whatsoever since.
This means that you are not really getting enough exposure for your content. This is where NinjaOutreach comes into play. Apart from searching for content ideas, this tool also allows you to see who shared a post an reach out to them (via email outreach) as well. A key to getting more exposure for a piece of content is to promote it to those who have already shared and liked a similar post.

 

how to get more web traffic

Images

Still wondering how to get more web traffic?  It has been proven that using images will improve audience engagement with any topic. However, using free stock images will not always cut the mustard.

Streamlining your images to make them appear more cohesive and themed can increase your hit rate, and increase your permanent audience base. Doing this also improves your overall branding, and will make your images and consequently, your content, more recognisable. This is good business, and is a particularly important factor if you are planning your site’s long-term profitability.

The more consistent and legitimate your images appear, the more likely your content is to be pinned and shared on social media and on other sites – all things which will help to generate and increase your traffic. Streamlining your images will not only help your site to look more professional, but it will help to brand your site. Your site is just one, amongst an ocean of sites that are all seeking the same traffic. Improving how you utilise images will ensure that you are snagging a portion of that traffic for your site, and increasing your profit potential.

 

Viral Traffic Tools

Getting visitors to your site is a great start, but to get the MOST effective results from all of that content creation work you put in, you really should be building in viral aspects to everything you do.

Make sure that you have distinct calls to action. Be REALLY clear about what action you want your visitors to take.

Include a ‘nudge’ or ‘bribe’ to encourage or inspire people to share your content. For example, this just below :) . I set that up SUPER simply, using a program called Traffic Zombie, which is a hosted software that lets you point and click your way to a bunch of very professional irresistible bribes proven to drive traffic that grows solidly over time.  You can put them anywhere – driving traffic nice and easily :)

And don’t forget to share your tips and experiences with any of theses traffic tools in the comments below!

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