Search engine optimization (SEO) is constantly evolving, and it can be challenging to keep up with the latest ranking factors that Google uses to determine search engine results page (SERP) rankings. In this ultimate guide to ranking factors for 2023, we'll explore the major categories of ranking factors and provide educational tips and strategies for each category that you can use to improve your own SEO strategy.
Be sure to download the free SEO checklist to make this work for your website or digital marketing agency to ensure maximum SEO success.
Technical SEO ranking factors include elements of your website's structure, coding, and performance that affect search engine crawling and indexing. Here are some key technical SEO ranking factors to consider:
Site speed is a critical technical SEO ranking factor that affects user experience, bounce rates, and search engine crawling and indexing. To improve your site speed, consider optimizing your images, using a content delivery network (CDN), and minimizing HTTP requests. Explore website metrics in more depth here.
After all, people are 5x more likely to leave a mobile website that loads slowly and isn’t mobile-friendly. Check the speed of your mobile page with the PageSpeed Insights tool, or run a quick RunningSEO audit which includes PageSpeed and more.
Mobile-friendliness, the precursor to mobile-first, is another important technical SEO ranking factor, as more and more users are accessing the web on mobile devices. To ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, consider using responsive design, optimizing your font sizes and buttons for mobile screens, and avoiding pop-ups or interstitials that can interrupt the user experience.
Looking for more tips and insights on ways to create a stronger mobile experience? Explore tips from Think With Google.
Site architecture refers to the organization and structure of your website's pages and content. A clear and logical site architecture can improve user experience and make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site. To improve your site architecture, consider using a clear hierarchy of pages, creating a sitemap, and using internal linking to connect related pages.
Content ranking factors include the quality, relevance, and uniqueness of your website's content. Here are some key content ranking factors to consider:
Quality content is one of the most important content ranking factors. Google's E-A-T guidelines were updated in late 2022 to include emphasis on "experience" turning it into E-E-A-T. Along with experience, the importance of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness in creating high-quality content is critical to the searcher journey. To improve your content quality, consider using reliable sources, providing original insights and analysis, and using clear and concise language.
Relevance is another important content ranking factor, as search engines strive to provide users with the most relevant and useful results for their queries. To ensure that your content is relevant, consider using target keywords and phrases, creating content that aligns with your audience's interests and needs, and using internal linking to connect related content.
User engagement is a content ranking factor that measures how users interact with your website's content. Metrics like bounce rate, time on page, and click-through rate can indicate whether your content is engaging and valuable to users. To improve user engagement, consider using multimedia elements like images and videos, including calls to action and interactive elements, and analyzing user behavior to identify areas for improvement.
Backlink ranking factors include the quantity, quality, and relevance of external links pointing to your website. Here are some key backlink ranking factors to consider:
The quality and relevance of backlinks are critical backlink ranking factors. Backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites can signal to search engines that your website is a valuable and trustworthy source of information. To improve the quality and relevance of your backlinks, consider reaching out to relevant websites and asking for links, creating high-quality content that other websites will want to link to, and avoiding paid or spammy backlinks.
Anchor text refers to the clickable text that appears in a hyperlink. Anchor text can signal to search engines the relevance and importance of the linked page. To optimize your anchor text, consider using descriptive and relevant phrases, avoiding keyword stuffing or exact-match anchor text, and using a mix of branded and non-branded anchor text.
The diversity of backlinks is another important backlink ranking factor. A diverse range of links from different types of websites can indicate to search engines that your website is a valuable and authoritative source of information. To improve the diversity of your backlinks, consider reaching out to a variety of websites and sources, creating content that appeals to different types of audiences and interests, and avoiding relying on a single source of backlinks.
Local SEO ranking factors are particularly important for businesses that rely on local customers or foot traffic. Here are some key local SEO ranking factors to consider:
Your Google My Business listing is a critical local SEO ranking factor, as it provides key information about your business to potential customers and signals to search engines that your business is relevant and trustworthy. To optimize your Google My Business listing, consider providing accurate and up-to-date information, using relevant categories and keywords, and encouraging customer reviews and feedback.
Local keywords are another important local SEO ranking factor, as they signal to search engines that your website and business are relevant to local searches. To optimize your local keywords, consider using location-specific phrases and keywords, creating content that addresses local interests and needs, and using local events and news to generate backlinks and social media engagement.
Behavioral signals like website traffic, engagement, and social media activity can also influence local SEO rankings. To improve your behavioral signals, consider creating high-quality and engaging content, using social media to connect with your audience and promote your content, and using local events and promotions to drive traffic and engagement.
SEO is complex and constantly evolving, but understanding the major ranking factors and implementing strategies to improve them can help you achieve higher search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your website. By optimizing your technical SEO, creating high-quality and relevant content, building high-quality backlinks, and focusing on local SEO, you can position your website for success in 2023 and beyond.
Are you looking to set a search marketing budget for 2023? In this article, we provide tips on how to allocate your budget based on your business's needs and goals, industry benchmarks, and overall marketing vision. We also explain how to use math and research data to determine a competitive budget and how to make adjustments based on changing data.
As a business owner, you know that success in marketing is crucial for driving growth and reaching your goals. One way to effectively reach potential customers is through paid search marketing campaigns, which allow you to advertise on search engines like Google and pay for each click on your ad. In this article, we will cover how to set and allocate a budget for your search marketing campaigns in 2023 in order to maximize your return on investment.
Before you start planning for your search marketing budget in 2023, it's important to review the success or lack of success of your previous marketing campaigns. Look at reports and data from campaigns you have run in the past and consider factors such as whether they helped you reach your goals, increased sales, or improved brand awareness. If you have had successful campaigns in the past and the budget you used for them, you can use that as a starting point for your 2023 budget. On the other hand, if your past campaigns have been less successful, you may want to develop a new plan and budget to achieve your desired results.
In addition to looking at your own past campaigns, it's also helpful to have an understanding of what your competition is spending on paid search marketing. Research industry benchmark data to see what other businesses in your field are allocating for their search marketing efforts. This will give you a sense of the cost of paid search marketing and help you determine a budget that is competitive but also fits within your overall marketing plan and goals.
You may want to consider an SEO tool like SpyFu or SEMRush to help find your competitor's secrets.
Before setting your search marketing budget, it's important to think about your overall marketing vision. What are you hoping to achieve through your marketing efforts? Do you want to increase website visitors, sales, brand awareness, or something else? Your marketing plan should be tailored to your specific vision, and your budget should be allocated accordingly. For example, if your main focus is on increasing website traffic, you may want to allocate more of your budget to search marketing than to other tactics like social media or email marketing.
One common method for determining an overall marketing budget is to base it on a percentage of your revenue. Many businesses allocate between 2-15% of their revenue for marketing. Once you have considered your past campaigns, industry benchmarks, and marketing vision, you can use this range as a starting point and adjust up or down based on your specific needs and goals. If your vision requires a strong focus on search marketing, you may want to allocate a larger portion of your budget to PPC campaigns. It's also important to keep in mind that your budget may need to be adjusted as you gather more data and see how your campaigns are performing.
Setting and allocating a budget for your search marketing campaigns in 2023 is an important step in ensuring the success of your marketing efforts. By considering your past campaigns, industry benchmarks, marketing vision, and basic math and research data, you can develop a plan that will give you the best return on your investment. If you want help developing a search marketing budget or have questions about other aspects of your online marketing strategy, Key Medium offers free website consultations. Book a time with us to get personalized recommendations and guidance on how to optimize your online presence. By working with a team of experts, you can be confident that your marketing budget is being used effectively to reach your goals and drive growth for your business.
Are you looking to boost the SEO growth of your website and get it on the first page of Google? Look no further! In this post, we'll cover 20 of the best ways to get your website ranking higher on Google, from conducting keyword research to optimizing your loading speed. Search engine optimization is essential for any website wanting to get traffic. After all, most users don’t go beyond the first page of Google when searching for something. That’s why it’s so important to get your website on that coveted first page.
Keep reading to learn all the tips and tricks you need to know to get your website on the first page with these 20 time-tested and proven ways.
These keywords should be included in your title tags, meta descriptions, and throughout your content to improve your ranking on Google. You may also consider using them if you run Google Ad campaigns, or to conduct competitor and market research. For even more on this, see this guide on keyword research including identifying keyword intent.
These elements should accurately and compellingly describe your content and include the targeted keywords to improve your ranking on Google. It is important to note that Google programmatically pulls in the title and description based on a user's search, so it is crucial to optimize these elements to ensure that your website appears prominently in the search results. By taking the time to carefully craft your title tags and meta descriptions, you can improve your website's visibility and attract more users to your site.
Use these keywords in your headings, subheadings, and body text to signal to search engines the relevance of your content to users' search queries. It is important to be mindful of the keyword density, or the number of times a keyword appears in relation to the total number of words on the page, when incorporating keywords into your content. Keyword stuffing, or the practice of excessively using keywords in an attempt to manipulate search rankings, is not only ineffective, but it can also harm your website's ranking and user experience. Instead, aim to create helpful, informative, and easy-to-read content that naturally incorporates your targeted keywords. By focusing on creating high-quality content that provides value to users, you can improve your ranking on Google and attract more visitors to your website.
It is important to provide value to users and address their needs and interests through your content to keep them engaged and interested in your site. Good content can also help to improve your ranking on Google. Search engines want to provide the best possible results to users, so they will rank websites with high-quality, relevant content higher in the search results. By consistently producing unique and valuable content, you can establish your website as an authority in your industry and improve your ranking on Google. Additionally, good content can help to attract links and social shares, which can also contribute to your ranking on the search engine. Overall, investing in high-quality, unique, and engaging content is a crucial element of a successful SEO strategy.
By linking related pages on your site, you can improve your ranking on Google. This is because you build "link juice" internally, and point users to even more helpful content that they may be interested in that is relevant.
By linking to reputable sources, you can show search engines the value of your content and improve your ranking on Google. Not just that, but in SEO, "followed" links are considered more valuable because they are the default behavior for links. "No-followed" links were introduced to combat spam, but they can cause problems if used too frequently. To encourage websites to link to other sites, Google rewards websites that use followed links. Pro tip: It is important to carefully manage your use of external links by creating a whitelist or blacklist of trusted or untrusted domains, rather than no-following every external link.
Use descriptive and keyword-rich file names and alt text for your media to signal to search engines the relevance of these elements to your content. Alternative (alt) text is also important for user experience overall, and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) mandate using it to help folks who may have temporary or permanent disAbilities.
By actively using social media, you can indirectly improve your ranking on Google. This is because Google has shown to pull in popular Twitter posts in the past. Not just that, but it achieves a social viral coefficient greater than 1, meaning it is leveraging network effects, helping to share and even create user generated content (UGC).
By providing opportunities for users to comment, share, and interact with your content, you can improve the user experience on your website and signal to search engines the value of your content. This can ultimately help to improve your ranking on Google. There are several ways to increase user engagement on your website, including:
These keywords are often more descriptive and contain more than one or two words, making them more closely aligned with the way users typically search for information. By incorporating long-tail keywords into your content, you can increase the chances of ranking for those keywords and improve your overall ranking on Google. By targeting a specific audience with long-tail keywords, you can also attract more qualified traffic to your website and potentially generate more leads or sales. It is important to note that while long-tail keywords may have lower search volume, they can still drive valuable traffic to your website and should be a key part of your overall SEO strategy.
By incorporating local keywords and optimizing your website for local search, you can improve your visibility and ranking in the search results. For example, a Pennsylvania-based marketing firm may want to include the regions served, such as "Pennsylvania SEO Agency" on the homepage of your site.
By providing accurate and relevant information about your business, you can improve your ranking on Google. You can see how many views your listing gets, and even post updates and respond to positive or negative reviews for reputation management.
It is a type of code that is added to the HTML of your website and helps search engines understand the meaning and structure of your content. By using schema markup, you can help search engines understand the content on your website and improve your ranking on Google. There are several types of schema markup, including product, event, recipe, and article schema. By using the appropriate schema markup for your content, you can help search engines understand the relevance and context of your content to users' search queries. This can improve the chances of your website appearing in rich results, such as rich snippets or featured snippets, which can increase its visibility and improve its ranking on Google. In addition to improving your ranking, schema markup can also help to increase the click-through rate (CTR) of your website by providing users with more information about your content in the search results.
A sitemap is a file that lists all the pages, posts, and other content on your website, along with their respective URLs. By providing a comprehensive and up-to-date sitemap, you can improve your ranking on Google. When search engines crawl your website, they use the sitemap as a roadmap to discover and index your content. This can help ensure that all of your pages and posts are being properly indexed and considered for ranking. It is important to note that sitemaps are not a ranking factor in and of themselves, but they can help search engines discover and index your content more efficiently, which can ultimately improve your ranking. In addition to creating a sitemap, you should also regularly update it to reflect any changes or additions to your website. This will help ensure that search engines have the most current and accurate information about your website.
These types of issues can create a poor user experience and make it more difficult for search engines to crawl and index your website, which can ultimately harm your ranking. By regularly monitoring and addressing any such issues, you can improve your ranking on the search engine. There are several tools and resources available to help you monitor and address technical errors and issues on your website, including Google Search Console and SEO audit tools. By using these tools to identify and fix issues, you can ensure that your website is running smoothly and performing optimally. In addition to monitoring and addressing technical errors and issues, it is also important to regularly update and maintain your website to prevent such issues from occurring in the first place. By taking proactive measures to maintain your website, you can improve your ranking on Google and provide a better user experience for your visitors.
It is a free service provided by Google that allows you to monitor and maintain your website's presence in search results. By using Search Console, you can identify areas for improvement and optimize your website to improve your ranking on the search engine. Some of the key features and benefits of Search Console include:
By regularly monitoring and responding to these reviews, you can improve your reputation and ranking on the search engine. This is especially true with the latest Google algorithm update released in August 2022 called the Helpful Content Update. With this update, Google is prioritizing websites that provide helpful and relevant information to users, as well as those with high-quality and engaging content. By responding to user reviews and ratings, you can demonstrate to Google that your website is valuable and useful to users. This can help improve your reputation and ranking on the search engine. It is important to note that it is not just the number of reviews and ratings that matters, but also the quality and relevance of those reviews, as well as any response from you. By actively encouraging users to leave reviews and ratings and responding to them in a timely and helpful manner, you can improve your reputation and ranking on Google.
On-page strategies involve optimizing the content and structure of your own website, such as using targeted keywords in your content and optimizing your website's loading speed. Off-page strategies involve building links and citations from external websites, such as by promoting your content on social media or getting mentioned in news articles. By using a combination of both types of strategies, you can improve your overall ranking on Google. On-page and off-page SEO strategies work together to help search engines understand the relevance and value of your website to users. By optimizing both the content and structure of your website and building links and citations from external sources, you can demonstrate to search engines that your website is a valuable and useful resource for users. This can help improve your ranking on Google and increase the visibility and traffic to your website.
Google frequently updates its algorithms to improve the quality and relevance of the search results it delivers to users. By staying informed about these updates and how they may affect your website's ranking, you can make the necessary changes to optimize your website and improve your ranking on Google. There are several resources available to help you stay up-to-date with the latest algorithms and ranking factors, such as industry blogs, newsletters, and webinars. It is also important to regularly update and optimize your website to align with these factors. This may include creating high-quality and engaging content, optimizing your website's structure and navigation, and building links and citations from external sources. By regularly updating and optimizing your website, you can improve your ranking on Google and stay ahead of the competition.
To improve your website's ranking on Google, it is important to follow these proven 20 SEO strategies and tips listed. These strategies will help you increase your website's visibility and attract more users. Some of these strategies mentioned above include conducting keyword research, optimizing your website's title tags and meta descriptions, creating high-quality and engaging content, using internal and external linking, optimizing images and videos, promoting your content on social media, encouraging user engagement, optimizing for local search, claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing, using schema markup, creating and submitting a sitemap, monitoring and addressing technical errors, using Google Search Console, responding to user reviews, using a combination of on-page and off-page SEO strategies, and staying up-to-date with the latest ranking factors.
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If you're a website owner or digital marketer, you've probably heard about Google's new page experience ranking, which was rolled out from February to March 2022. But what exactly is this new ranking, and how does it impact your website's search visibility and performance? In this article, we'll dive into the details of the new page experience ranking and discuss the steps you can take to optimize your website for this ranking.
Simply put, the new page experience ranking is a set of ranking signals that Google is using to measure the overall user experience on a website. These signals include factors such as loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability, as well as the presence of certain technical features such as HTTPS security and mobile-friendliness.
According to Google, the goal of the new page experience ranking is to help users find the most helpful and enjoyable websites in their search results. By considering a wider range of user experience factors, Google hopes to provide a better and more relevant search experience for its users.
If your website has a good page experience, it may see a boost in its search rankings. On the other hand, if your website has a poor page experience, it may see a decline in its search rankings. In other words, the new page experience ranking is yet another important factor that can impact your website's visibility and performance in search results.
Here are a few steps you can take to optimize your website for the new page experience ranking:
The new page experience ranking is an important factor that can impact your website's visibility and performance in search results. By taking steps to optimize your website for this ranking, you can improve your website's user experience and attract more visitors from search. If you need help optimizing your website for the new page experience ranking, consider reaching out to a digital marketing or SEO expert for guidance.
Read more about it here.
Have you been working very hard to create quality content and a usable, fast website and invested a lot of time to rank for certain keywords? It's a LOT of work, we get it! And every time Google releases a Core Update, that just might change. For better or worse!
Google recently in fact just confirmed on December 3rd. As usual with core updates, the impact is expected to be significant, but no specific changes have been revealed. More information from Google's Search Liason can be found on Twitter.
Later today, we are releasing a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the December 2020 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see this blog post for more about that:https://t.co/e5ZQUAlt0G— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) December 3, 2020
At Google I/O, Google announced that they’re testing a new Speed Report powered off CrUX data within Google Search Console. Basically what this new report will accomplish is to give you an aggregated view of your website filed metrics. This is incredibly useful considering that you’ll be able to drill down into specific issues, even allowing you to see examples of the issues in both mobile--first, along with desktop (emphasis on mobile).
The new speed report is currently in beta so if you use Google Search Console it’ll be available to you based on a sampling from Google Chrome's User Experience report. Google states: "Data for the Speed report comes from the Chrome User Experience Report. This reflects actual usage data on your site from users around the world." More here.
How does site speed affect SEO?
If you know about SEO then I’m sure you already realize just how important the length of time for a page loading is. Everything is important to ensure that the user experience is nothing but perfect for SEO, even when it comes to page loading.
For every minute that your consumers are sitting there, waiting for the page to load, noticing the delay and overall seeing the speed of the page loading, is ultimately losing you money.
How many times have you tried to load a page, only to leave when it takes too long? When you have consumers leaving your site because your page is taking too long to load then you’ll lose money.
The attention span of humans isn’t long to start with, let alone on a busy day when they have things to get done and instead have to sit and watch a page load. The frustration grows, and this often results in leaving a bad mark on a brand.
Believe us when we say that site speed is crucial when it comes to SEO.
How we can help.
We have a free SEO checker that can make all the difference for you. Key Medium/Running SEO keeps up with all the new and current changes and you want to too.
We have helped businesses set up with Google Search Console and are always happy to consult about site speed and other SEO issues that may arise. Trust us when we tell you that with our help you’ll have all the SEO help you need. Get in touch for a free website optimization quote here.