Do your page rankings keep falling again and again? Why couldn’t you find stability in your website’s search engine rankings?
Well, honestly, the competition is tough nowadays. Google gives top positions to a few sites from the ocean of websites in a specific niche based on some factors.
But, mind you, Google’s focus isn't on your website but users and their search experiences. So, Google and other search engines keep researching and studying the changing behavior of searchers and their causes.
It then updates its algorithm accordingly to provide the most optimum search experience.
The good news is Google’s ranking factors in 2023 aren't a secret. Our team has compiled the top SEO ranking factors that impact search result positions.
Top SEO Ranking Factors in 2023
The age-old art of securing top positions in search engines teaches us the significance of patience and balance. Here are the top ranking factors that Google seems to consider.
1- Craft Top-quality Content
Quality content is still essential to rank higher in search engines. Remember, Google algorithms like Fred and Panda check your content for its usefulness. It means creating content to only rank can hurt your site’s SEO.
However, SEO companies in Dubai need to consider a searcher’s intent when they type a specific keyword that they are targeting.
Then make sure your content fulfills the searcher’s intent in the best way possible. Poor quality content has decreased the rankings of big sites like Apple and eBay.
We recommend you create an in-depth content piece encompassing a spectrum of its respective topic. Also, add immersive videos and images to provide further clarity to the written material. Quality is fundamental and not the length of the content.
2- Word Count of Content
There is no hard and fast rule to determine the length of an article or blog post because it changes subject to subject. However, we notice that long-form, in-depth content is among the Google ranking factors in 2023
Neil Patel conducted a study showing content length does correlate with higher SERPs.
Google’s semantic search is a fabulous way to get and understand the secondary keywords related to your target keyword in articles. Just navigate to the bottom of the search results page to view “related searches.”
You can find many semantic queries for your target keywords by surfing these search results. As we talk about content optimization, let's get to another important aspect of content SEO — RankBrain.
Relevancy is also a vital factor when it comes to content SEO. Your content should not only be valuable but should fulfill the user’s search intent.
When someone types a keyword/query in the Google search bar, they are looking for something. It could be information, a product or service, etc.
Google wants to satisfy its users’ search intent in the best way possible. For this reason, it uses RankBrain, a machine-learning algorithm that checks web pages for relevancy.
Rankbrain can comprehend sophisticated searches and their relevance to specific subjects while considering the user behavior towards a group of search results. Then, it ranks those SERPs that get more success with searchers.
To drive more quality traffic, you should ask your SEO services in Dubai to focus their efforts on this essential latest factor.
Has someone done it and gotten results? Yes, CoSchedule increased its traffic by 594% by doing it.
Also Read: What Is Programmatic SEO And How to Do It the Right Way?
In addition, Google has designed a new featured snippet for its SERPs to answer multi-intent or ambiguous queries. Google Analytics and Search Console are your friends to finding the searcher’s intent behind your targetted keywords.
User flow and site search reports can reveal what your consumers search for. And Google Search Console’s performance report will give you data about the web pages users click on to reach your website.
4- Take the Mobile-first Approach
It is indeed among the top SEO factors in 2023. As smartphones became more and more popular, Google’s traffic increased in mobile users. It compelled Google to alter its strategy of indexing the websites.
Work on making algorithms to index web pages with a mobile-first approach started in 2017. It slowly went on and was eventually finalized in 2021.
So, it decides to modify its crawlers to index mobile versions of sites if available. Otherwise, it will fit the desktop version into a supposed mobile screen and crawl it.
Now Google algorithms index your webpages and website in a mobile-first way. Furthermore, Google prefers mobile-friendly sites to rank first over the ones only optimized for desktops.
Here is a quick and practical checklist to get higher SEO rankings for your site.
- Your website should automatically change its size to fit the device
- Increase readability for small screens by enlarging fonts
- Make your website easily navigable by adding accessible menus
- Ads should not conceal crucial material
5- Keyword Usage
Contrary to popular belief that keyword research isn't essential for ranking, it still helps create quality content. But keyword research has changed a lot, and now we research for keywords to get a content creation roadmap.
You can find keywords with so-so search volume and a high CTR for target customers through data mining and competitor research.
Need proof? Blog Hands increased its traffic by 80% after performing keyword research. Ignore anyone who says that keyword research has a negative impact, and pour your primary keywords into subjects perfect for your customer.
More and more people are searching using mobile devices. It means you should modify your keyword strategy as per mobile users.
In addition to that, brand strategists don't research using individual keywords anymore. Now, they pour search term topics into themes. Use long-tail keywords, keyword synonyms, and search terms linked to the subject or similar subjects.
6- Content Freshness
Does your website have tons of five or six years old articles and blog posts? If yes, those pages might not rank for your target keywords, stopping you from reaching your audience.
In 2011, Google announced that freshness of content is a search engine ranking factor. Initially, content creators got confused about the “definition” of fresh content.
Let us understand it with a search example. We searched for “best smartwatch” on Google. The top-most result was published on 12th October 2022, which is just 11 days old as today is 25th October.
The third and fourth results are dated the 13th and 7th of October, respectively. Two search results that follow them are just three or six days old. All pages were up to one month old on the first search engine result page.
We hope now you get the idea of Google’s “fresh content.” You must update content at least quarterly to ensure higher rankings.
And you can’t make Google’s freshness algorithm a fool by only updating the dates and not refreshing the content. For long-term rankings, you need to keep your content evergreen which means making regular updates as things change.
7- Mobile Usability
What should you create — separate mobile and desktop sites or a responsive website that fits all devices?
We recommend you build a single website that resizes to fit any device, as Google considers this format an SEO ranking factor.
A responsive website helps Google’s algorithms as they can precisely allocate indexing qualities to the web page. While with separate URLs format, algorithms have to signal the presence of corresponding mobile/desktop pages.
Furthermore, mobile-friendly layouts improve a page’s user experience, which in turn, boosts rankings.
8- Page Experience
In September 2021, Google rolled out a new update that renders page experience as an SEO top-ranking factor. It's high time you optimize your website for user experience. Otherwise, your Google search rankings will take a bad hit.
According to Adobe, 38% of users will leave a website without engaging if the layout and material are non-appealing. And what will you get if you focus on improving page experience?
Main Street Host increased their page views by 66% by refreshing the page material and updating CTA buttons.
And Ezoic, a software company, increased its earnings per 1000 visitors by 186% after optimizing user experience.
9- Core Web Vitals
Core web vital assesses and measures responsiveness, visual stability, and speed of websites and is a must to learn for SEO companies in Dubai.
It consists of three metrics that are:
● LCP or Largest Contentful Paint
LCP calculates the time taken by the largest component of a web page to show. This component may be an image, video, text, or other things that rely on the page outline.
How to improve Largest Contentful Paint? Strive to remove or minimize render-blocking resources, and enhance resource load time and server response time.
● FID or First Input Delay
FID refers to the time it takes for visitors to be able to engage with the first of the page elements they have chosen. Ideally, your FID should be 100 milliseconds.
● CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift
Cumulative layout shift calculates the visual instability of the material and recaps all outline changes happening on the page.
Sometimes, a user is in a hurry and clicks on an element on a loading page. What they find is another element opening up in front of them.
As they navigate to their desired element, suddenly its position changes, making them click on something else. You might be familiar with this and know how frustrating it feels.
That is called instability of visual elements, and Google measures it with the help of your CLS score. Let's come quickly on how you keep your CLS score as low as possible.
1- Specify the dimensions of your videos and pictures so the browser knows the correct location where an element should reside. Otherwise, the images and videos will keep moving as the page loads.
2- Preload the fonts of your text elements so that it doesn't come as flashes of unstyled text. The browser will then bring your fonts in the first meaningful paint — as a priority element.
Apply similar strategies to dimensionless embedded objects like ads and dynamic material like animations.
10- Authoritative and Relevant Backlinks
Backlinks are among the classic and game-changing ranking factors of Google. SEO services in Dubai should acquire more backlinks from high-authority sites to increase their chances of ranking better for top keywords.
Google’s Penguin 4.0 update shows no mercy to websites with poor-quality backlink profiles. You don't want the algorithm to filter or clean your site because of a bad backlink profile.
Some website owners can rank their pages well without seeking any backlink/inbound link and then boast everywhere about the futility of link building.
Our advice: turn a deaf ear to them. Different niches present different link-building opportunities, so you should leverage the ones your industry provides.
11- Internal Link Structure
Internal link structure assists visitors and Google in identifying pages better.
You should create a concrete structure of internal links in these five categories:
- Serving visitors
- Handling link flow, like where visitors land once they get to your website
- Developing a strategy around certain content subjects
- Indexing some specific pages before others
The trick is to focus on visitors and their experience while linking your pages to other ones on the site. Then strive to propel visitors to the fundamental group of pages.
Your internal linking web should direct traffic toward purchasing and subscribing to your email list to complete a sale.
Internal linking helps link pages together for search engines and users, rendering every page useful.
If you link one of your high domain authority pages with a lower DA one, you direct traffic to the latter and pass on link juice (authority).
In this way, the page with a lower DA increases its ranking. All your pages should support each other in the same way.
12- Brand Signals
When users search for your website with your brand name, this shows Google you are a genuine business, which in turn, heightens your ranking.
Using your brand name as an anchor text is an old but gold method to show search engines that this page belongs to this brand.
In addition, when users search using a specific keyword with your brand name, it may elevate your rankings.
The number of likes and followers on your social media profiles, like Twitter or Facebook, also signals to Google that you are a renowned brand. And an established LinkedIn account of your business indicates you are real.
Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO said in 2013: “ Within SERPs, information linked to verified online profiles will be positioned higher than material without such guarantee, which will cause most visitors impulsively open the top (verified) results.” It shows that known authorship of content will help it rank higher.
Moreover, Google is adamant about differentiating between genuine and spammy social media accounts. It considers only social profiles that bear valuable content and plenty of engagement legitimate.
It is cool to get brand mentions from Top Stories websites as it shows you are a more-than-ordinary brand. Some businesses have news feed from their site on the first page.
Google seemingly considers unlinked brand mentions an indicator of your company’s authority. Organizations have offices. Google might dig for your brick-and-mortar location address to deem you a credible or non-credible brand.
Should You Focus on Search Engines or Target Customers?
The short answer is both. SEO aims to help Google easily read and rank your content and provide your audience with the optimum experience.
You cannot compromise on any of them, or you risk losing your rankings to your competitors. But, user experience comes before satisfying Google.
Making Google happy at the expense of user experience will frustrate users, which will, in turn, make Google under-rank you.
On top of that, securing top positions with Google could aid in taking your business to new heights, but Google will never become your customer. Your visitors, on the flip side, might.
So, your audience is your asset when it comes to SEO. Craft compelling content that they will genuinely enjoy.
Maven Digital is a well-known mobile app development company based in the UAE. Maven digital has expanded its service to SEO seeing the success of its app development services.
Contact us today to help your business reach new target markets and boost its sales with search engine optimization.