A Few days ago, I talked about the importance of SEO on this blog.
Nobody exactly knows what algorithm search engines use to rank. People who consistently experiment, learn a lot. According to SEO experts, Google uses more than 200 factors to rank a website.
On one hand, it is not possible for you and me to know all the factors. We still can make use of the available norms on the internet about Search engine optimization.
Webmasters have been trying the “Hit-and-Miss” and have succeeded pretty much as well.
Well, lets not beat the bush anymore, and get straight to the point. In this post I’ll break down the 1o Factors that affect your website’s SEO.
10 Factors that Affect Your Website’s SEO
Speed : One of the most ignored aspects of search engine optimization is Speed.
Despite being ignored, speed surely is a major factor that can affect your blog’s SEO. There are more than one reasons as of how Speed can have an impact on your SEO.
The number one reason is that search engines want to benefit user experience. User experience is certainly affected by speed of website.
Nobody likes slow and sluggish websites. Webmasters believe that your loading time should not be more than 4 seconds. Loading time between 1-2 seconds or near it is considered optimal.
Responsive : After Google’s April 21st update, it became a necessary for web-masters to make their website responsive. Responsiveness now is an important factor that can impact your website’ SEO. To begin checking if your website is mobile friendly or not, check out Google’s mobile friendly tool.
Enter your website URL and click “Analyze“.
After a progress bar completes, the results would be shown. If your website is Mobile Friendly, it is a good sign. However, if not, contact a developer.
If you are using a CMS ( Content management system ) such as WordPress, there are thousands and hundreds of responsive WordPress themes.
Bounce Rate : The percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
Bounce rate is one of the factors that Google uses to determine the quality of content on your website.
If a visitor leaves your website after visiting one page, Google assumes that the quality of the content on the website wasn’t good enough.
Bounce rate is also affected by time period for which visitor stays on a page on your website.
There are number of factors you can deploy to reduce your bounce rate. Bounce rate should always be kept to the minimum and as low as possible.
Using related posts, slide-ins, and clever use of pop-ups are effective in reducing bounce rate and holding visitors for long. However the number one factor is the content itself. If your posts are engaging readers will tend to stay longer on your website.
Length : The length of your content or the text per page also impacts your SEO.
Have you ever observed that if a topic has been written on Wikipedia, it ranks top on Google ? This is because articles on Wikipedia are extremely detailed and lengthy.
Write detailed articles, they have two-folded advantages. First they appear well on Google and second they help in growing backlinks.
An average post on this blog measures around 1000 words. I consistently fine tune the quality of content on this blog as well. Write long and detailed posts, they act as knowledge resource for readers.
Image Optimization : How does Google know what image have you used in your Web page ?
Google gets an idea of what an image is by the “alt-text” attribute. Alt-text is displayed in place of images on browsers where images are disable.
Alt text attribute tells the search engines about what an image is. By adding it you also have a chance to get traffic from the google images search.
Even if you are not using WordPress, you can try this online tool to optimize your images.
Sitemaps : Having a Sitemap of your Website is extremely important. Sitemaps ping Google or other search engines as you update the content on your website.
Sitemaps can be generated by plugins or using online services. For example the Sitemap of Rachitsingh.net is available here.
Like any other thing, you can create sitemaps easily if you are using WordPress. Yoast SEO automatically creates a sitemap for your blog.
Non-WordPress users can create a sitemap for their website using this free online sitemap generator tool.
Backlinks : Links from other websites to your website are termed as “Back-links”.
There are two kinds of Back-links that exist on the web. The First one are do-follow and the second one are termed no-follow.
You might be wondering what is the difference between these two link types. Do-follow are the link that matter in your site’s success and are counted. However no-follow backlinks don’t pass on any link juice to your domain.
All the backlinks from social media networks, comments and other sort of things are generally “no-follow” to avoid spamming.
Back-links do cast a major impact on your website’s SEO. If you have more backlinks for a keyword than your competitor then Google thinks your content was worth linking. As a result, your website is “more-loved” by search engines.
However it isn’t always necessary to have backlinks, as I’ve have seen number of websites and blogs do well with less backlinks. Don’t try to grow your backlinks manually with some “Back-link maker tool” , let it grow naturally over time.
Page Title : Factors can have direct or indirect impact over your website’s SEO.
However the page title has a both direct and indirect impact.
- Direct impact – It has been estimated that majority of your readers will quit your page if your title isn’t engaging. As per my recommendations one should spend as much time on title as much as he does on writing the whole post down.
- Indirect impact – If the keyword you wish to rank for is present in the title, it makes it easy to rank. This is pretty simple. If you wrote a post about cleaning tips and titled it “How to buy a car” , it will completely mislead search engines as to what the post is about.
Don’t expect to rank top if you merely included the keyword in your page title.
Meta tags : If you are managing a website and yet not know about meta tags, you are missing out a lot of SEO !
They are the meta tags itself, that tell Google what the page is all about. Basic meta tags are “Title” , “Description” , although there are lot of other meta tags as well.
You can generate and embed meta tags using this free meta tag generator. Meta tags can be easily embedded in a web page using html.
Breadcrumbs : These are text based navigation that help users and search engines understand your website better.
If you have breadcrumbs enabled on your website, Google also reflects them in search results. When breadcrumbs are shown in search results, they decorate your website’s link. This increases CTR and helps search engines better crawl your website.
I am not sure about how to get your breadcrumbs picked up by Google, but keeping them in <head> section works most of the time.
Conclusion – I’ve been playing with Search engine optimization from a long time. These methods have been working well for me. These factors always impact your website’s SEO, either directly or indirectly.
Let me know if you have any opinions, suggestions and feedback to share about the post.