While Google is said to be using about 200 search engine ranking factors in their algorithm today, not all of them are created equal, with some having more profound effects on a website’s performance on the search engine result pages (SERPs) than others. What does this mean? Well, you will still be able to maximize your efforts in getting a good SEO score for your website by just focusing on the essential factors. With that said, here are the elements that your site should have:
1. High Domain authority
Domain authority (DA) is a number assigned to your website that indicates how authoritative it is and increases with your site’s age, number of good backlinks, and SEO. The higher the DA score your site has, the higher it ranks on SERPs. To know the DA of your site, you can use research tools, such as Open Site Explorer, which will assess it for such information.
2. Fast Load Time
Typically, search engines rank a website high if it has a good load time. So, if your site loads its pages really slow, its performance on the SERPs will be poor. To test how fast your site is, you can use website speed testing and monitoring services, like Pingdom. If the report states that your site is faster than most of the other sites it tested, you can rest assured that it is competitive.
3. Good Onsite Content
Content is what makes your site worthy of a search result position. After all, it is the main thing that your audience will come to see, thus making it extremely important to search engines. From an SEO perspective, good content should be able to satisfy a demand and should be linkable.
4. The Right Keywords
Your keywords should be foundational for all of your SEO efforts when it comes to creating and implementing a search marketing campaign for your website. When conducting keyword research, make a list of relevant topics based on your niche; identify related search terms; fill your topic buckets with keywords; add in a mix of long-tail keywords and head terms; check how your competitors are ranking for similar keywords; and use a keyword planner, such as Google AdWords.
5. Quality Backlinks
When industry authorities link to your content, search engines will regard your site more relevant. And, when your site’s pages get many high-quality backlinks, it will also strike other important ranking signals, such as link diversity and link authority. To create a strong link-building campaign, only offer content that your audience truly need and then promote that content rigorously.
6. Outbound Links
You can also link your content to respectable authority sites to provide your readers with more in-depth information that they can use. By doing so, you are not only increasing your content’s relevancy, but also sending trust signals to search engines that improve your site’s SEO score. However, do not add too many of these links, as it can make your content irksome.
One huge change that happened in the recent years was Google’s shift towards mobile-first indexing, which means that the search engine is now seeing the mobile version of your site as equally important to its desktop version. With this in mind, make sure your content is responsive on all mobile platforms.
8. Robots.txt File with No Major Disallows
Most websites have a robots.txt file, and yours must have it too for SEO purposes. When creating one, though, make sure that it does not disallow the crawlers from indexing important sections of your site.
9. Meta Content
Basically, there are two types of primary meta content that your site should have, which are the page title and the meta description. To check whether you have these components in place, you can navigate to your home page and view its source code. Using the CTRL + F function, search for <title> tag for the page title and meta name=”description” content= for the meta description.
10. Header Tags
Like meta content, header tags (H-tags) are also really important ingredients for good SEO, which means that your site should at least have one H1 tag and, ideally, an H2, H3, and H4. Search the source code to check for these elements.
11. Social Sharing Functions
Adding social sharing buttons to your site not only allows users to share your content, but also improves their experience.
SEO is an industry that is ever-evolving, and over the years, search engines-particularly Google-have been making a steady push for factors that are truly important in getting a good SEO score. By having them on your site, you will eventually come out ahead of your competition on the SERPs. Now, if you notice that your site is missing some of the elements mentioned above, you need to give it more SEO work.