Most Important SEO Ranking Factors

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 01, 2016

SEO matters to businesses, because improved search engine performance usually results in more sales and publicity. Yesterday’s SEO factors don’t carry the same weight as they used to, however, because the search engines periodically update the way they serve search results.

Google alone looks at two hundred factors as it ranks web pages, but they all don’t have the same weight for calculating page rank. Other search engines also consider multiple measures when deciding what sites come out on top.

The exact way search engines calculate page rank remains a carefully guarded secret, but industry experts recently shared their expertise with SEO to help the world understand how to get the best SEO results. We have listed the most important SEO ranking factors for you, so you can make sure your web pages have the best shot at the top of search engine results.

Understand User Intentions

Algorithms powering search engines have evolved to the point where search engines can understand what users want when they enter a search. The intention of search engine users now ranks higher in importance than keywords, so you should spend some time understanding why people visit your site and create content that meets their needs and expectations.

High Quality Backlinks

Links leading to your site from other websites help improve your page rank, but some backlinks have more importance than others. Of all the types of backlinks available, the most valuable are links from leading news websites.

To win backlinks from news sites, you need to establish yourself as an authority in your field or provide newsworthy information that news websites can use as a source for research, quotations, and other viable information.

Other ways to win the attention of a news organization include posting comments on websites news writers frequent, helping out a reporter with information about a news story, and increase your involvement as a community activist.

Other backlinks still count in page rank, but avoid old-style methods for gaining backlinks. Search engines will penalize you if spammy or irrelevant websites link to yours.

Use Natural Keywords

Keywords still play a major role in SEO, so make sure you use them in a natural, context-sensitive way that search engines will appreciate. Obsessing over keywords might get you into trouble, so make sure you don’t stuff your pages with keywords or write in a style that seems unnatural for your topic.

Create Interactive Content

SEO professionals agree that interactive content will improve page rank. Content such as buttons, surveys, menus or slide shows might give your pages a needed boost in the SERPs. Other ideas for interactive content include videos, quizzes, infographics, and polls.

Improve Readability

Easy to read, authoritative content appeals to search engines and their users. Make sure your content provides expert information and uses an intuitive layout to get noticed. Analysts also suggest the 300-word article or blog post no longer sways the search engines. Now, longer content improves page rank if it rates well on the Flesch Readability Scale and makes sense.

Present Information in List Format

Internet users often rush through content, without thoroughly reading it. Lists present information in a concise, eye-catching format that visitors to your site can quickly assimilate. If visitors think they can use your information, they can always stay for a while to read more.

The most important SEO ranking factors all deal with the user experience on your website. While creating content, keep your visitors’ needs in mind, and you will soon see your pages rank higher in search engine results.