Hands down, Google is the most popular search engine in the world. Everybody wants to rank higher and stay popular in Google’s search results. High ranking websites must pass more than 200 Google SEO ranking factors to stay on top. That is why search engine optimization must be done consistently. Infrequent updates cause rankings to drop.
There are some new ranking factors this year. Let’s take a closer look at the top seven SEO ranking factors for 2021.
1. High-Quality Content
When it comes to Google ranking factors, content is king. Create lots of blog content that is fresh, unique, and helpful to users. Do this often, and Google rewards you with better ranking.
Quality is as important as quantity when you are blogging for digital marketing. No matter how well you optimized your website, if your blog content is poor, you will not see rank improvement. You may even be punished.
Google prefers content that is original and unique. Create posts that provide what your readers are looking for. Do not create the same thing over and over again. Creating duplicate content hurts SEO. Google slows the crawl rate of your website if you keep posting duplicate content.
Keep your content fresh and up-to-date to send a positive signal to search engines. Content freshness plays a significant role in improving search engine ranking.
Content length is another SEO ranking factor. Longer content that is authoritative and filled with information tends to rank better on Google.Be that as it may, this isn’t a hard and fast rule so create a variety of content that covers relevant topics.
2. Search Intent
Matching a user’s search intent to your content is another important SEO ranking factor in 2021. “Search intent” is the meaning behind the search query.. No matter what content you create, match it with search intent. This is how you can create the right kind of content.
User search intent depending on the style and format of the content they seek. For example, when a user enters “how to” before a search phrase, Google may offer infographics or videos at the top of the search results instead of websites. This is why it is important to have infographics and videos in your content – to rank for those types of keywords.
Backlinks, or inbound links, are also an important ranking factor. These links are like “recommendations” and they are an important part of the Google algorithm. In fact, backlinks are how Google crawlers find websites to index.
Backlinks and content go hand in hand. Web pages without backlinks don’t get organic traffic. Inbound links serve as a vote of confidence. Google adds the votes to determine if a website is eligible to rank on its first page.
Search engines assign a level of authority to popular websites. When you get backlinks from sites with higher authorities, it improves your website’s chance of getting higher rankings. High-quality backlinks from high authority websites send a message to the search engines that your content is trustworthy.
4. Mobile Friendliness
Before 2019, Google used the desktop version of a website as the primary version to index. However, with 3.7 billion mobile internet users around the world at the time, they made a shift.
During 2019, Google began analyzing websites and making mobile pages primary and desktop versions secondary. Making your site mobile-friendly must be a part of a successful SEO strategy.
5. Website Loading Speed
Page speed was an often-overlooked ranking factor, but not anymore. Beginning in May 2021, Google made website loading speed a vital part of its Core Web Vitals making it a big SEO ranking factor.
Page speed is considered to be important for a better user experience. So, search engines look at responsiveness, speed, and how quickly various elements, such as images or fonts, load.
The goal is not to beat your competitors by milliseconds of load time. You have to pay attention to how a page is loading for the users. Google wants websites to load quickly so users have a great experience.
There are tools to analyze your website load speed. Ensure that your web pages load without any delay.
6. Keyword Optimization
Yes, one of the top-ranking factors is still the proper use of keywords. As sophisticated as Google has become, keywords are still what users type in the search bar. So, you must ensure that your website is optimized for the keywords and phrases that your audience searches for.
Follow these tips to make sure your content is keyword optimized.
- Title Tags: Add your target keyword at the start of the post.
- Meta Description: Add focus keywords to the meta title description to let users know what the content is about.
- Anchor Text: The search engine uses anchor text for finding out what the page is about. So, use anchor text when you link your pages.
- Image Alt Text: Google can’t read images. So, add keywords to the image alt text to tell Google what the image is about.
- Use LSI Keyword: Apart from the primary keyword, search engines look for other related terms in your content. These are called LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords, sonclude them in your content.
7. Website Security
People need to know the website they are browsing is safe. This is why Google has confirmed that website security is a major ranking factor.
Make sure that your site has a security certificate. If your web address begins with “https://”, it is secured. This tells the search engine that data between the user’s browser and your website is encrypted. If your site does not have an SSL certificate, update it now.
Understanding the top SEO ranking factors helps you implement a complete SEO strategy. To recap, you should be doing these things:
- Creating high-quality content.
- Understanding your prospects’ search intent.
- Seeking high-authority backlinks.
- Designing your site to be mobile-friendly first.
- Ensuring your site’s load speed is fast.
- Optimizing for relevant keywords and key phrases.
- Keeping your website secure with HTTPS encryption.
SEO ranking factors will continue to grow in 2021. Your website reach should grow too. Let’s talk about where you are and how we can help you push your SEO efforts to the next level in your free strategy session.
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