There are more than 200 signals crawlers use to determine what a page is about, but here’s a basic breakdown of the top 6 Google ranking factors in 2020:
- Secured sites (HTTPS vs. HTTP)
- Websites that are mobile-friendly
- Schema markup
- Content quality
- Page speed
- Domain age
Secured sites (HTTPS vs. HTTP)
Let’s start with the basics. The “s” at the end of the “http” part of a URL means the website is secure. HTTPS (Hypertext Transport Protocol Security), or secure, sites include the SSL 2048-bit key and can protect a site connection through authentication and encryption. When installed on a web server, an SSL certificate activates the padlock and the https protocol and allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. See below graphic in order to better understand the concept of https.
More than just onsite content can have a positive impact on your rankings, traffic, and, potentially, conversions. One of these factors is website security.
Websites that are mobile friendly
One of the most important things in SEO is that your website is mobile-friendly. If your desktop and mobile site are, for the most part, not significantly different, you can rest easy. Google has stated that the change should not affect the search rankings in any major way.
Right now, Google looks at the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate its relevance to users. This can cause issues if the mobile page has less content than the desktop version. If your mobile site includes the same content as your desktop site, it should still be ranked about the same as it currently is.
On the other hand, if the mobile and desktop version of your site differ significantly, you should take a few precautionary steps to make sure you’re ready when the index rolls out. There are a number of things that need special consideration like page speed, internal linking and hosting.
In the SEO world, schema.org—a set of extensible schemas that enables you to embed structured data on the pages of your website—is nothing new.
Schema.org “provides a collection of schemas, i.e., HTML tags, that webmasters can use to markup their pages in ways recognized by major search providers. Search engines including Bing, Google, Yahoo! and Yandex rely on this markup to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right web pages.”
On other words, Schema.org makes it much easier to find important information on websites and point it out to search engines so they can more easily understand what pages on the website are about. While simply having schema markup on your website doesn’t mean your site will automatically rank better, it makes it easier for search engines to interpret content and, therefore, be more likely to be included in the search results for a related query.
QUALITY CONTENT = INCREASED SEARCH RANKINGS = INCREASED ORGANIC WEBSITE TRAFFIC
Your prospective customers rely on search engines to find the products and services they need—this is the heart of inbound marketing. Just like you, they’re busy people! Don’t expect them to scroll too far down search results pages. For most products and services, the percentage of searchers that venture past the first page of results is minimal. If your website doesn’t have strong search ranking positions for the services you offer, you’re losing out on potential customers. Better search rankings mean more traffic to your website, giving you the chance to sell your products and/or services to a large market and improve your lead generation opportunities.
Read below what defines great content
- Expertise – For a high ranking, you need to be viewed as an expert in your field. Your skill needs to be demonstrated and backed up—not only by your content but also by your credentials and your author “biography” across the web. Expertise is incredibly important for financial, medical, or legal websites that can impact the health and well-being of the reader (more on YMYL pages further down). Other signs of expertise are on-page indicators like bounce rate, shares, and time spent on-page.
- Authoritativeness – To prove that you’re an authority you need to have authority indicators that point back to your website and article. This can include backlinks from reputable sources, awards, affiliations, and reviews. Your content also needs to be well-written.
- Trustworthiness – You need to prove that users can trust you. This applies toward everything on your website that will make users feel safe. As an extension of authority, trustworthiness can also be measured by recent reviews, footprints across the web, and even your website security. For example, 82 percent of people won’t browse an unsecured website. If you’re an e-commerce business or you have contact forms on your website, it needs to be secure for you to be considered trustworthy.
Google itself has indicated that site speed (more specifically, page speed) is one of the factors considered in its search algorithm. Not only that, but it’s spiders aren’t supermen–they can only crawl a certain number of pages, and if yours is one that doesn’t load in time, it doesn’t get indexed.
The slower your site speed, the further down in the rankings you go. Keep in mind that there are tons of other ranking signals, so speeding up your website shouldn’t be your only tactic for showing up higher in online search results.
The way a person navigates, interacts with, and uses a website are all part of user experience. An optimal user experience helps a person find the information they need to in a pleasing, frictionless way.
There is a reason Google includes certain ranking factors in its algorithm. Google wants us to find the most relevant and helpful information, and thanks to trillions and trillions of kilobytes of data, search engines have been able to learn what kind of web pages people like best. See below factors which influence user experience
- Get an SSL certificate and make your site secure
- Speed up your page load time
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
- Build a clean, easy-to-use design featuring your contact info
- Include clear headings on all pages
- Include videos, but silence video ads
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of Google’s ranking factors and still aren’t sure where to focus your SEO efforts on in 2020, the K.I.S.S. Marketing Agency can help.