NOTE: This article is a bit dated. Please read, What Makes a Website Rank in 2017? SEMRush Tells All, for the most up-to-date SEO ranking factors.
In the pioneering days of the Net, the recipe to propel a website to the top of the search results was stupid easy: put keyword in title tag, sprinkle a dash of keywords throughout the body copy, and bake your website into the top 10 search results. It’s not that easy anymore—thank goodness for that because now the cheaters can’t so easily win. Google changed everything by giving us a tool whose sole purpose is to deliver the most relevant content as quickly as possible. In fact, Google’s Panda 2011 Update was a profound change to the algorithm that placed factors such as quality content, trustworthiness, site speed, user-friendly design, and social media popularity at the fore. The impact was huge, and suddenly, copyright-infringing “scraper” sites and sites with shallow content (think eHow) were knocked down in the search results.
Below are some of the main SEO factors to take into account with regards to SEO.
Search engine ranking factors
- Website design
- Website architecture and readability
- Quality of website content
- Number of links to your website
- The quality of links to your website
- Social signals or social bookmarking- number of Facebook likes, Twitter followers, etc
- Site speed
- URL structure
- Page titles or “title tags”
- Website engagement – visitors, page views, time on site, pages consumed by visitors, bounce rate, etc.
In the world of search engine optimization, change is a constant. For this reason, along with all the many others listed above, search marketing will remain a steadfast need in the diet of those who wish to remain competitive on the web. Others have mounted an effective defense of search engine optimization in the past, but as we websites and pages compete for attention and placement in the search engines, and those with the best knowledge and experience with these rankings will receive the benefits of increased traffic and visibility.
Chart courtesy of SEOmoz