Google uses over 200 ranking factors in its search algorithm. While Google will never reveal exactly what these ranking factors are, via our own experience, experimentation and by paying attention to what expert SEO organizations are studying and predicting, we have broken the elements of SEO into the following (in order of importance):
Content/Analysis of a page’s perceived value to users: For years forward-thinking SEO’s have said that content is king. That is playing out in the realm of search. Google’s algorithm in conjunction with its analytics software, is able to measure user engagement with web pages and rank pages according to how valuable that particular page is to the user. A high quality conversational approach to content is now a major focus, as opposed to the previous high density keyword content.
Authorship: Google now allows and recognizes those who specifically author content on the web. You may have recently seen peoples’ faces show up in Google Search results. Google is tying social profiles to search results. This trend is expected to increase so start authoring quality content and growing your G+ profile!
Technical Health/Structured Data: Web pages are often filled with freely written copy that is easy for viewers to interpret, but not for search algorithms. For example, if you buy a pair of shoes online you can typically tell the brand, style, price, reviews, alternatives, etc.; however, a computer algorithm cannot. Structured data or html snippets embedded in the code, can greatly assist a search engine to understand and display usable information. For more information, please visit here.
Social Signals: As per #1, if you are creating great content, it should be pushed out to a growing base of social media followers. Social shares and resulting links created can greatly influence search engine results. So, rethink that company Facebook, Twitter and Google+ account - it’s not just PR value, it’s true ranking value.
On-Page SEO: Research keywords and get them in the right places of your website copy and code! Although, content has moved to be more conversational, keywords are still important in order to be found on search engines. This will always be critical so don’t neglect it.
Links: While not as effective as in the past, external and internal links (and associated anchor text) remains a vital part of SEO. These are links on other sites that point to your site; and links on your site that point to other pages on your site, respectively.
If you can combine these pieces of the SEO pie, your site will have an excellent chance of reigning high in the search results.
+Max Friar is a co-founder of Corporate Conversions, LLC. Max enjoys comprehensive website audits and analysis and helping clients with full-scope SEO solutions. Max resides in Grand Rapids with his wife, Cori, and three children, Brenna, Max, and Jack.