We already know that a search engine first collects the list of pages that are on the web and then sorts it according to its algorithm, but what depends on whether we appear first on Google?
There are more than 200 positioning factors that, as its name suggests, make our page appear in one position or another on the pages of Google results. These factors are constantly changing and are divided into two types: internal factors (on-site) and external factors (off-site).
1. External factors
External factors (SEO Off-site) are those that we cannot directly control. They point out to the search engines the authority that a website has, that is, whether it is trustworthy or not. No one knows exactly how the authority of a website is established exactly, although it is likely that there are numerous factors that define it. User behavior, the quality of external links and social signals are some of the most important:
- The quality of external links This works like in real life: suppose that tonight you have that long-awaited dinner and you need to bring a good wine. Where would you go to buy it? At the store that has been recommended by 4 expert tasters or at the one that has been recommended to you by 40 people whom you have randomly asked about on the street? If you have decided the first option you have chosen the correct one. Well, the same thing happens to Google, instead of taking into account the number of external links that lead to a website, it gives more importance to the quality of the websites that direct that link.
- User behavior Depending on the behavior of a user, such as the pages they have previously visited and how often, search engines may show one or the other results. The user’s location also influences. The results displayed for the same term will be different depending on the place from which the search is performed. We can optimize files in Google my Business, but never control where they look for us.
- Social signals In search engines, mentions on social networks influence when designating the authority of a domain. Both links shared on Twitter and pages shared on Facebook can decide whether a page appears higher or lower in search results.
2. Internal factors
Internal factors (SEO On-site) are those related to a website, that is, those that we can directly control. Its main objective is to make life easier for search engines when they access our pages. The quality of the content, the web architecture and the HTML code are the most relevant factors of a website.
- The content The content of our website is the most important factor to rank in Google. If we offer original and interesting content for the user that appears in the first positions it will be sewing and singing. Google Panda is in charge of establishing if a content is original or not. The content must have at least 300 words. However, it is being observed that texts whose length is between 1000 or 1200 words position more easily. Before generating content, it is important to carry out a previous keyword research and choose which keyword we are going to focus on, include that keyword (naturally) throughout the text and offer updated information on this term.
- Structure Once the bots or Google spiders access our website, they send all the information they track to their servers. That is why it is important to facilitate the tracking as much as possible. Having a good URL structure not only favors this but also helps usability and favors user navigation. Charging time is also essential. We must bear in mind that the loading time factor not only worsens the user experience but also influences the ability of search engines to index all the pages of your website.
- The HTML code Bots that access a website mainly read their HTML code, so it is essential to have it well structured and optimized. Search engines use certain HTML tags to display content information in their search results. We explain some of these tags that influence SEO positioning:
- Title tag: It is only visible in the HTML code of the page. It is the blue title that Google shows in its results. Search engines use it to more easily identify what the page in question is about.
- Meta-description tag:Like the title, it is only visible in search results. Search engines do not take it into account when positioning. However, a good meta-description can make your page get more or less clicks.
- Header tags : These are the <h1>, <h2>, <h3> tags, etc. that hierarchically show the different titles that can be found in a content. It is recommended that there be a single <h1> that defines the main title of the text.
- Structured data:Structured data is becoming increasingly important in search results. They offer search engines more detailed information about the content of a website and show additional information that is not taught by the title or metadescription, such as the average star rating or the number of reviews for an article.
In the image:
2. Structured data.
3. Meta description.
And what about the User Experience?
User experience (UX) plays a very important role in SEO positioning of a page. Although Google has confirmed that it does not influence the rankings of results , at least in the searches carried out from the desktop, they constantly mention it in their guide on how to evaluate the quality of a website.
However, on mobile it is different: since user experience is the basis of the latest search engine update, the results offered on mobile devices do take into account the user experience of a page. This was stated by Gary IIlyes, Webmaster at Google:
On mobile, sure, since UX is the base of the mobile friendly update. On desktop currently no. (Gary Illyes: Google, May 2015) Tweet this
A design that shows false content (cloacking) , suspicious links, malicious downloads, a massive generation of content (posts or comments) or low quality content will make Google consider if the experience ratio of a page is optimal or not. .
Although there are numerous factors that affect the SEO positioning of our website, having the technical aspects well optimized will help search engines to identify a result sooner or later.
However, having unique and original content is a key factor for SEO positioning. In the end, it will be said content that will decide if a page appears in some results or others.
My name is Thalla Lokesh and I’m an SEO expert and digital marketing strategist helping businesses grow revenue online.
My 7 years of experience in developing and executing performance based digital marketing strategies helped many small and medium-sized companies improve their organic traffic, Conversion Rate Optimization, drive more leads and improve their ROI on marketing investments.