Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just set and forget your business’s SEO?
As lovely as this would be, we all know that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an ongoing process — especially in 2022 when more businesses are online than ever before.
Don’t forget, Google looks at over 200 ranking factors when deciding where to place your site.
How are you supposed to know which ones will have the greatest impact on your ranking?
In this blog, we’ll break down the top 5 most important ranking factors for Google, as well as the top 5 SEO tools you can use to improve your ranking.
Read on to learn everything you need to know.
Top 5 SEO Ranking Factors
There might be more than 200 ranking factors that Google takes into account when deciding where your website lands.
However, the following are the top 5 most important ones to focus on when it comes to improving your website’s SEO optimization strategy:
If your website loads slowly, you run the risk of losing a lot of potential visitors and revenue.
Research shows that when the Amazon website slows down by just one second, the company can lose $1.6 billion in sales per year.
Another study found that a 4-second delay in page load time can reduce page views by 11.02 percent.
How fast does your website need to load to avoid issues like these and help you to achieve your business goals?
Google’s best practice is to aim for a load time of under 1.3 seconds.
If it takes longer than this for your website to load, people are going to lose interest, click away, and look at one of your competitor’s websites instead.
None of these outcomes sound very good for your business or your long-term goals, do they?
There are lots of ways to speed up your website, including getting rid of plugins you no longer need or use.
Compressing images and files helps to decrease load times as well.
2. Link Building
Link building is a fundamental part of any business’s search engine optimization strategy.
Think about it.
Do you usually like it when someone is trying to sell something to you, or do you prefer when someone else is talking about how great that product or service is?
For most people, the second option is more likely to result in them actually buying a product or service.
Link building works similarly.
Link building involves another high-quality website talking about your brand, your products, or your services.
The website will also feature a link that directs users back to your website.
This process is similar to word-of-mouth advertising, but it takes place online.
One of the best ways to get others to link to your website is to give a little in return.
Start by creating a list of authoritative blogs — such as chambers of commerce, industry associations, etc.
Then, reach out to them and offer to add a link to their blog on your website. They may be willing to return the favor one day.
Remember, link building is all about quality, not quantity.
Never buy links.
This might seem like a good idea at first.
In the long-term, though, it won’t yield the kinds of results you’re hoping to achieve.
3. Social Signals
A lot of people think that social media is not important for SEO.
However, those people couldn’t be more wrong!
Imagine that in your niche industry, you share a post with high-quality content, such as an important guide on how to improve your manufacturing process.
People will start sharing it, talking about it, and creating links to your blog page and website.
This, in turn, will lead to more traffic on your website, more people reading and engaging with your content, and more time spent on the site across the board.
All of these results will lead to a higher search engine ranking.
If you haven’t been focusing on creating quality social media content, or if you haven’t been as active on platforms like Instagram and Twitter, now is the time to start shifting your priorities.
4. Content Quality
Link building is about quality, not quantity, and the same is true of content creation.
It’s important to publish content regularly on your website if you want to grow your audience, increase website traffic, build credibility, and boost your search engine ranking.
However, it’s better to publish content less frequently, but have it be high-quality content, than it is to publish low-quality content daily.
One way to increase your content quality is to focus on going deep into specific subjects rather than going broad.
In other words, do a deep dive into one topic rather than covering a bunch of topics in a shallow way.
Naturally incorporating keywords into your content helps to increase the quality and improve your search ranking as well.
Using the right keywords helps your content to show up in more search engine results.
If you overdo it, though, your website might be penalized, and you’ll rank lower than you would otherwise.
Finally, the last ranking factor to keep in mind is mobile-friendliness.
At least 60 percent of online searches come from mobile devices, so it makes sense for brands to prioritize making their sites easily accessible through mobile web browsers.
Changing your website theme to a mobile-friendly one is a good first step.
You can also compress images and files (this also gives you the bonus of increasing your page load speeds), use a large, readable font, and increase space between your paragraphs to make your content more mobile-friendly.
Now that we have reviewed the top five SEO ranking factors, let’s dive into the tools that can help you identify where to start first.
Top 5 SEO Tools to Rank High on Google
SEO Tool #1: Google PageSpeed Insights
When it comes to addressing your website’s speed, Google PageSpeed Insights is one of the best tools to utilize.
Google Page Speed Insights is a free report any website owner can access.
It will provide you with a whole list of things you can change to improve your website’s load speeds.
For example, this report will help you to identify the unnecessary elements that are slowing down your site.
It will also let you know what plugins and widgets you can deactivate to speed things up.
SEO Tool #2: Ahrefs
If you need help with link building, Ahrefs will be one of your best friends.
One of the most noteworthy features this platform offers is the Content Explorer database.
This database offers over 9 billion pages of potential link prospects.
It will point you in the right direction when it comes to deciding where to consider building links back to your website.
SEO Tool #3: Google Analytics
If you need help measuring social signals and keeping track of what people are saying about your business on social media, start using Google Analytics.
Google Analytics’ social sources metric lets you see traffic trends and figure out how many people are accessing your website from specific social media sites.
You can then use this information to figure out which social media platforms to spend more time on in the future.
You can also build custom reports and see your website visitor demographics and locations to help you determine if you’re reaching your target audience.
SEO Tool #4: Yoast SEO Plugin
For those who are struggling to level up their content quality, the Yoast SEO plugin is a must-use tool.
This tool provides you with lots of impressive SEO content tips.
For example, it can tell you how many times you should use certain keywords or let you know that you have too many long sentences that may make your blog posts difficult to read.
There is a free and paid version of the Yoast tool available as well, so you can pick the option that works best for your budget.
SEO Tool #5: Google AMP Framework
We also recommend using the Google AMP Framework.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile pages.
It helps you to build extra-light web pages, which reduces loading time and makes your website more efficient.
It’s important to note that this framework will benefit your website on all platforms.
Not only does it speed up the load times for your web pages on mobile devices, but it will also speed up your website’s desktop performance.
As a business owner, your ultimate goal is to generate qualified online leads on a consistent basis.
The only way to accomplish that is with a solid digital marketing strategy.
Remember, a website alone will not generate leads for you, but a robust strategy that includes SEO best practices like link-building and social media, will.
Need help getting started?
If so, we offer a free marketing assessment to help you identify the key initiatives that will help you generate revenue this year!
Do you have more SEO optimization questions? If so, our team at Boral Agency is here for you.
We’ll work with you to identify what is working and what isn’t. Then, we’ll get started on a plan to help you level up and give your business a boost.
Which of these SEO tools shared today will you be implementing? Comment your answer below!