Many people still fight to discover which are the seo ranking factors they must pay attention to get solid results. More traffic means more opportunity to do business which leads to bigger revenue.
Sure, that’s the basics. That’s why people dig traffic.
They want to grow their audience to grow their business.
And well, since many people (including friends) are constantly asking me a full piece of content that sums everything about SEO ranking factors for a website, I’m writing this to solve their problems and everyone else’s who might be struggling to know which points Google considers to be critical for putting you in the front seat.
But before we begin, you must understand this:
- YOUR WORLD — SEO Factors in your website
- THE UNIVERSE — SEO Factors involving everything else out there
Here we go!
YOUR WORLD (your website)
The things you have more control are enough to get more visitors to your website. Period. Keep that in mind. The goal here is to make your world — which is your website — shine so you can influence the Universe, which is the outside world like Social Media, Blogs, Websites etc.
But don’t worry about the Universe because if you focus on the points bellow that I’m about to insert into your head, success will come to eventually. That’s a promise.
Ok, so let’s begin.
- QUALITY — Which blogs and websites do you follow? How many hours do you think the owners spend behind every piece of article? How is the quality of your work? Do you publish stuff online to obey an agenda or do you worry about your reputation and publish things that will actually help people? You must put hard work and good research behind every article you give birth. Everything needs to be well written. Quality is the very first option because it matters. A lot.
- RESEARCH — Which keywords people could use to find your website? Your niche? Did you do a research to answer this question? For instance, a website that is in the investment niche will involve the keyword debt as well, be that company debt or personal debt. Every niche has a few keywords which are not that obvious but that can bring fast results within months if you find them and focus on them.
- WORDS — Are the words on your pages matching the way you want to be found? How people are finding you online? Don’t know? You can use Google Console > Search Traffic > Search Analytics to discover which keywords or long-tails are being used by people to find your website.
- FRESH — Are you connected to the outside world? Are you using words that are being searched a lot in your niche? There are certain subjects that may connect to your product/service/website/niche and by adding this to your content, it can give you a SEO boost. Here’s an example: A new tax law that influences an investor’s profit. Pay attention to what’s happening to your niche so you can enhance your content and therefore, your rankings.
- VERTICAL — Are you injecting others types of content like videos or images in your website that can improve and diversify user experience when he is visiting your pages? Videos can rank a lot faster, for example, and images and infographics work much better too. Use more vertical content to increase user’s attention toward you. PS: And if you are wondering how to rank faster for videos, just click here. Bullet-proof advice.
- ANSWERS — Is your website answering people’s questions for your niche? For instance, if you play on the fitness field, how many questions are you answering about dieting? Do any of your headlines match those questions that people type on Google? You must make your content answer direct questions so you can have more chance to rank. A good way to use that is by typing possible questions about your niche and see what Google suggest returns. But remember: always create quality content. Always.
- SUBSTANCE — Every piece of content you publish M-U-S-T have substance. The Era of making shallow, short content with keyword stuffing as a main strategy is long gone. It’s over. Now you must be smart, help others get what they want in order to rank. You need to include links from other sources, videos, books, images and everything that can help your readers leave your website happy. Your article should be the only piece of content people need to read about that subject because you have answered all that could be addressed.
- CRAWL — Can search engines easily crawl on your pages that lay on your site? How easy it is for search engines to check all your content? That’s when 2 guys are important. You must master robots.txt so you can know what is doing any harm or good for you and also, pay attention to your sitemap. Your website must have it because it’s the native language of GoogleBot. That’s what he speaks. If you haven’t created a sitemap yet, do it with Google Sitemap Generator (WordPress users only). If you are not inside WordPress you can use this tool to solve your problems. Regarding the ROBOTS.TXT file, here’s also a good tool to create the robots.txt file.
- DUPLICATE — How do you manage duplicated content? Does your website do it all by itself? Why do I ask? Because duplicate content can kill your rankings, that’s why. By the way, do you know that the same post on 2 different categories is considered duplicate content by Google and others? If the URL changes and content stays the same, then duplicate content is what you have in your database in the eyes of Google.So strive to always put an article in only one category.
- MOBILE — If you are not familiar with Mobilegeddon yet, then you must pay attention to it. How your website is being presented for Mobile users? You know Mobile users have surpassed Desktop users in traffic, right? And that’s worldwide, not country-level. So, check your mobile version website to see if it serves mobile users well enough. You can use Google’s Mobile Compability as a tool to check how friendly your website is for the smartphone crowd.
- SPEED — A person leaves decides to stay or not in a new website within 8 seconds. That’s it. You have 8 seconds to grab user’s attention, show something that generates interest and make him engage. If you as a user, don’t have the patience to wait for a site to load sometimes, why do you think your possible customers would? Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to understand how well you are going on this manner. Do a check-up
- URLs — Do URLs contain meaningful keywords to page topics? Are you delivering what you are promoting and connecting your URL keywords to your content? Focus on the topic of the page. Especially if you use extremely competitive keywords.
- HTTPS — Security matters. Does your website provide secure connections for your visitors? Because Google started to take this matter seriously since August 2014. Get a SSL Certificate from one of these guys and then if you own a WordPress-based website, you can follow this manual here. That will put you back in the game.
- CLOAKING — Do you show search engines different pages than you show to humans? If you are taking this approach fix this FAST or you WILL regret it. Cloaking is a bad practice that was and it is still being used by black hat SEOs to improve website’s authority. Unfortunately, once Google get you the penalty won’t worth all the money you made. Here, use SEO Cloaking Checker to diagnost this problem and fix whatever turns red.
- TITLES — Do your HTML Title tags contain keywords that are at least relevant to page topics? Page titles are key for Google understanding what your page is about because they tell through a short way what the link is going to deliver for the users.
- DESCRIPTION — Do your meta tag description describe what your pages are about? Do they match your business, your niche, your goals and your users intent? Use this SEO Meta Tag Analyzer to analyze this part of your website and improve what is necessary.
- STRUCTURE — Are you enhancing listings with your page structure? Do you use H1, STRONG, UL, LI tags and menus hierarchy wisely? Do you present content in a decent, intuitive way to users so they can instantly know what experience to expect from your links? Because for GoogleBot this matters. He reads your site’s structure and give you a score about it whether you like it or not. This is where you tell Google that you are creating awesome content and presenting it the right way to users.
- HEADERS — How strong and topic-related are your headers and subheaders? Do they use keywords whenever possible to show people what are you about to teach them? Do they tell people what they should expect?
- KEYWORDS — Do you excessively use certain keywords on your content to try getting a SEO boost? Stop doing that. This is called keyword stuffing which will give you big problems, sooner or later. Only focus on highlighting the keywords which tells readers what the content is about, when the content is scanned.
- DESIGN — Do design, colors or anything else hide words that you want to be found for? Bad bad bad. Never hide words with transparent text or use images to cover up the keywords that brought a user to your website because if Google catches you doing this, a nice and pretty penalty will hit you in the face.
THE UNIVERSE (the outside world)
Now we are diving into the outside world where SEO still have a heavy influence on your rankings. The difference is that these items below are not in-site factors because it involves readers, other websites etc.
Anwyway, let’s go!
- AUTHORITY — Which links are pointing to your website? Are they good links or bad ones? Are people sharing what you are putting online to the world? And which links are you sharing as well? How is the big picture from an authoritative point of view?
- ENGAGE — Are people engaging with your brand? Do visitors interact, comment, share and read your content? Or do they leave fast?
- TIME PLAYING — How old is your website? How long have you been investing on the same domain and publishing content? Can you say you contributed a lot for the internet in 1 year? What’s your history? Your background? Remember to maintain your work at a steady pace because results will only come after a while, and all that time invested will soon be tested a few months from now by Google, that’s why you should focus on doing an awesome work.
- IDENTITY — Do you have ways to verify your website’s identity? What about your authors and every person who can create content for you? Do they have an identity verification process? People need to see that whoever produces content has a way to be tracked down, because this provides trust.
- PIRACY — Do you know if your website is a victim of pirated content? Hosting content that is not yours will make you suffer in the hands of Google’s Pirate algorithm. Double-check the content you have — especially if you hire writers — and see if it hasn’t infriged any copyright laws.
- ADS — Is your content trying to have a relationship with your ads or with your readers? How many ads are you dumping into people’s face? Google (and people) HATES heavy-ads websites because it KILLS user experience. Which kills your traffic. No one wants to share websites with heavy ads. No one.
- QUALITY — Who is linking to your website? Do they come from good sources that also pay extra attention to quality, as you do? Are they good players? Use OpenLinkProfiler to discover who is pointing to your domain. You can use Google Console > Search Traffic > Links to your Site to find those pointing fingers too. Then, follow this manual from Google and then use the Google Disavow Links tool.
- TEXT — Do the links pointing at your pages use the words you want to be found for? Do you use at least a word that is related to your niche on your links or do you always take a trip by defining links that don’t seem related to what you do OR what you represent?
- NUMBER — How many links point at your domain? Links is one of the Top #10 (if not Top #1) ranking factors that can make a domain gain a boost online. If 100.000 sites are pointing at you, then you must be special. So…..are you special? If not, go do some link building.
- PAID — Are you buying links? Black hat SEOs usually take this approach to boost any website’s rank in a short amount of time. Although it does work, if you are purchasing links then chances are you’ll get caught by the Google Police and things will backfire for you in the future.
- SPAM — Have you created links by spamming blogs and websites with those comments that the intention was the URL in your signature at the end? Not cool. Remove those links as soon as possible, my friend because believe or not, Google sees this as SPAM. I know you want to build traffic, but that’s not the way. You can find out more about how to build traffic if you want. Just take some time, learn and work hard. But don’t do spammy comments or any type of action that spread your links in a low-value position.
- COUNTRY — Which are the opportunities in your country? How can they affect your rankings? How is your niche behaving in the country you choose to focus on? Think about that and make a marketing strategy.
- LOCALITY — What city, neighborhoods and other areas your website can influence? How can you make things grow locally? Which businesses can benefit from your local business? How can you focus on those guys? Which keywords works best for your current place?
- AUDIENCE — Do you have an audience? Do people regularly come to see what’s new from your brand and share your content to the world? How can you team up with your current readers to boost your traffic?
- SOCIAL — How strong is your brand on social media sites? Do you need to pay more attention to your social signals? Do you need to be on every social network you are? Think strategically! Maybe you need to learn some easy-to-implement and great strategies about social media By Guy Kawasaki to grow your audience on social channels.
- REPUTATION — Do Influencers share what you have created? Are influentional people in your niche talking about you? How strong and solid is your reputation?
- SOCIAL SHARES — How many shares are you getting from Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and others? Are people sharing your links a lot on these places? Remember that people want to look smart, interesting and unique, that’s why they share things. Just build something that makes people feel that way, and you’ll start seeing results.
Look at the big picture and find out every weakness you have first, then focus on then if the ROI is worth it because some points you should leave aside for a moment, in order to focus on what can truly leverage your business in a short amount of time.
For instance, if you can get more links from high-quality websites pointing at you then why would you focus on improving your social power? Be smart. Be goal-oriented. Don’t try to tackle everything at the same time because it won’t work.
And if you want a GREAT e-book about SEO and everything you need to know in more depth, you must buy this. It makes SEO look like child’s play
NOW you can say you’re ready to improve your marketing with this checklist in hand.