Google and all the search engines use at least 200 signals to rank webpages on their results pages for a keyword. They can be considered in four groups of factors: –
- On-page – the use the keywords (usually a phrase), words in the keyword phrase, synonyms and related words in the visible text and underlying coding.
- Off-page – incoming links from other websites to your specific webpage and to all your webpages which determine Page Authority and Domain Authority.
- Quality Score – Initially, this related to the quality of AdWords – Google’s Pay Per Click Adverts. Signals such as time on page and bounce rate (percentage of visitors who look only at the landing page) influenced positioning. As examples, a search is made for a cheap flight to New York. He clicks on one of the AdWords, does not like the landing page and returns to Google for another in less than five seconds. This will have an adverse effect on the ranking of that AdWord. He then clicks on another AdWord. He spends 40 seconds on the landing page and clicks on page links within that website. This will have a positive effect on that AdWord’s ranking. It is believed that Google now includes Quality Scores in its Organic Search Positioning Algorithm.
- Digital Footprint – You can increase your digital footprint by writing blog posts on your website and on other websites with links back to your own and by using Social Media. Nobody knows how social media impacts on ranking but it is likely that it is the amount and quality of the discussion that your blog posts and social media pages generate.
In the next post in this series, we will look at the question “How can I get my website to the first page of Google for my target Keywords?”