As many of you might know that Google is using 200 factors for ranking websites and web pages. No one exactly knows the fact behind these 200 factors except Google’s employees who have created these factors and algorithms. However, there are SEO experts who give their opinion on these factors and also do very comprehensive case studies. As a result, we now have a slightly clear idea about what’s going on. Out of these 200 signals, I have a list of top 15 factors which you can use in 2016 and beyond to rank your websites in Google.
1) Main Keyword in Title
Title is the main part of an article, and it’s equally important as far as SEO is concerned. The first thing Google considers as the signal for SERP (Search Engine Result Pages) is the title tag. You must use your main keyword wisely in your title so that it looks perfect and accurate in the eyes of search engines and especially Google.
2) Keyword in Domain Name
If you have your primary keyword in your domain then chances are high for getting the first position in search engines for the reserved keyword. Keywords in domain name help search engines’ crawlers in finding relevant pages on the same website easily.
3) Domain Name Age
In SEO, this is an old saying that aged domain names are the queens. The more aged domain you have, the more it’s better. If a domain name is 5 years old then chances are very much higher for better ranking as compare to a 1 year old domain name. So this is a real fact.
4) Keyword in H1 & H2 Tags
If content is king and title is queen then H1 and H2 are the ministers. Yes, it’s true if you include the keyword in heading one or heading two, chances for obtaining a better ranking is more than expectations.
5) Content Length
And here it comes the magic, the more lengthy article you have, the more ranking factors you’ll knock. A 2000 words article is five times better than a 500 words article, chances for a 2000 (words) article will be 20% higher than an article having only 500 words. It’s true dude, give it a try.
6) Keyword Density As Low As Possible
Keyword density is the number of keywords you use in the whole article, the maximum limit is 3% but if you use your keywords wisely in the article and keep it up to 1% or 2% then chances are still higher for getting a desired ranking in SERP. Let’s not forget checking the density in your articles using different online tools.
7) Updated Content
Gone are the days when you used to have a piece of content for years and decades. This era is called “Dynamic era” which means you have to update your content every time when there is a change in the technology or in the thing you’ve written about. Make it a habit to change the content according to latest trends.
8) Images & Videos in Article
A few years ago, We used to rank up text based content very easily in Google, but that’s not the case now, you have to add media and videos to your articles/posts in order to get a consistent position in search engines. Don’t use too much images and videos in your article, but a balancing ratio between content and media is must.
9) Website Speed & Mobile Optimized
If your website is not opening in 2 seconds then you are in hot waters. If you don’t have a mobile friendly version of your website then you are really in troubles. Make sure to speed up your website and make it mobile friendly so that everybody on every device can access it easily, and search engines love this thing.
Domain Authority (DA) is something that you should care about, before this, there was Page Rank which we used to improve overtime. But now, DA has taken the place, you should build backlinks with websites which have higher Domain authority than your site. If you can make your DA rank above 40 or 50 then celebrate it.
11) W3 Validation
Sitemaps are still considered one of the important factors for ranking your website, search engines’ crawlers love to go through the entire map of your site and find more relevant pages to index in their database.
13) Penguin Safe & Relevant Backlinks
Penguin is one of the algorithms Google introduced to catch up spammy backlinks, and now you have to be very careful while creating backlinks, because it can go negative against you. Therefore, always create penguin safe and relevant backlinks. Irrelevant backlinks are also considered as negative backlinks.
14) Avoid Duplicate Content
You should 100% avoid creating duplicate content, if you have clean content on your site and every page is unique without any duplicate copy then believe me, you’ll be the boss. Search engines don’t excuse duplicate content.
15) Social Shares
Social Media is very powerful these days in terms of SEO, it really matters. If you have more likes, shares and comments on your blog post then it’ll give a positive and strong signal to Google for ranking up your content very quickly. So make sure to produce useful content and get maximum social shares from your readers.
SEO is still alive, and it’s even more powerful than ever. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.