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Local SEO: Importance and Optimization Criteria
SEO Ranking Factors – Local SEO is the set of optimizations that aim to position a company, product, or service for a location-specific query on a search engine. For example, Google uses a user’s location based on IP address (for desktop computers) and geolocation to display relevant and localized results related to the user’s query.
Local SEO is a specificity of natural referencing and its advantages are increasingly used in the world of local businesses, VSEs, SMEs, and large companies. Every establishment or multi-site company can develop its activity by using these strategies. Today, Internet users use the Internet and the location service to find information on all types of products and services, whether they use traditional or voice search.
If your store doesn’t appear in the results, you’ll miss out on potential new customers in your catchment area. Implementing a variety of actions can help you show up on results so future consumers can find you. By making it the main part of your overall marketing strategy, you can attract valuable leads, drive more sales, and set yourself apart from your competition.
The 12 Most Important SEO Ranking Factors
There are over 200 SEO ranking factors that help search engines determine which sites should appear in search results and how they should be ranked. If you need your site to claim the top spots on the SERPs (search engine results pages), you need to optimize your online presence to take these factors into account.
The good news is that not all 200 ranking factors are equal. Some ranking factors are more significant than others. When planning your SEO strategy, pay close attention to these 12 factors that have the most impact on rankings. Before diving into the main SEO ranking factors, it is important to note that these factors can and will change.
Google SEO and ranking procedures are constantly changing. Some aspects become more or less vital and others are introduced or removed. It is important to stay up to date with the latest ranking factors and regularly use an SEO audit tool to analyze your site to ensure that you are following current SEO best practices.
The top 12 SEO Ranking Factors
- Site Security
- Page load speed
- User Engagement
- High-quality content
- The right target
- Optimized content
- Structured Data
- Consistent registrations
- Backlink Profile
- Domain age
1. Site Security – SEO Ranking Factors
As early as 2014, Google mentioned site security as a ranking factor. It is one of the most significant Google position factors on this list. Site security notes the use of HTTPS encoding. Sites with HTTPS encryption have SSL documentation that creates a secure connection between a website and its users. It adds an extra coating of security that protects the information swapped.
If your website URL starts with HTTP instead of HTTPS, your site is not secure and you need to add an SSL certificate.
2. Ratability – SEO Ranking Factors
Search engines can’t rank a site if they can’t find it. This is why site crawl is such an important SEO ranking factor. Crawlability allows search engines to analyze a website and review its content, so they can determine what the page is about and how it ranks.
- If you want Google to rank your location, allow search engines to crawl it properly.
- Submit a sitemap to major search engines.
- Check your guide status in Google Search Console to see how many pages Google is crawling on your site.
- Use the robots.txt file correctly to tell search engines which pages to go to and which pages to ignore.
3. Mobile Friendliness – SEO Ranking Factors
Mobile usability refers to how a website looks and performs when someone views it on a mobile device. Mobile-friendly sites provide a good user experience by using a responsive design that adjusts content to look great regardless of screen size. Since more searches are done on mobile devices than on desktop computers (52.2% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices and the number is growing), mobile-friendliness is important for both search engines only for users.
Therefore, To find out if your site is reactive, submit it to the Google Mobile-Friendly test. It will report any issues with the mobile version of your site.
4. Page Load Speed – SEO Ranking Factors
Another SEO ranking factor associated with user experience is page load speed. Slow loading sites provide a poor user experience. So they prefer to display sites that load quickly for users. This is even additional true for mobile sites, as Google has announced that its rapid update will make loading speed a ranking factor for mobile searches.
- To make sure your site loads
- Quickly, use a site speed checker. Try Alexa’s Speed Analyzer, part of our comprehensive Site Audit tool, or Google’s Page Speed Insights.
- If your site is slow, speed it up by implementing site caching, compressing files, reducing the number of redirects, and taking other steps to speed up load time.
5. User Commitment – SEO Ranking Factors
However, search engines look to users to support them and regulate which pages to promote in search rankings. They study how users interact with results to determine which pages are the best and most useful for searchers. To do this, Google uses an artificial intelligence tool called Rank Brain. User engagement factors include:
- Click-through rate (CTR): Percentage of individuals who click on a search engine result when presented to them
- Time on site: the time a person spends on a page after finding it through a search
- Bounce Rate: The percentage of people who leave quickly after viewing a single page on a site found through the hunt
6. High-Quality Content
Another way to boost user meetings on your site and win over search engines is to regularly post high-quality content on your site. They thus attribute the best ranking to sites whose content is well documented, detailed, and well designed.
New content attracts search crawlers and increases search visibility while giving you something valuable to share with your audience, making it a win-win for your marketing strategies.
Start by using content mapping to define a plan for your website, which includes creating landing pages and ongoing blog content.
7. The Right Target Keywords
Don’t get into content creation. Create content strategically by doing keyword research to tell you which keywords to target and what topics to cover. Keyword research is the procedure of identifying popular keywords that can drive traffic to your site.
Determine how Google ranks keywords to help you choose the best keywords for your content.
Target long-tail keywords. As voice search grows in popularity, more and more people are searching for long phrases and questions. Use this type of research by looking for long-tail keywords (keywords of three or more words) in addition to shorter generic keywords to target in your content.
Therefore, Understand keyword search intent. Search intent is the reason a person searches (i.e., because they want to learn, buy, or browse something). Google improves the ranking of pages whose content matches the intent of the keyword. So make sure you understand how different types of keywords are associated with different types of content, in different parts of the buying funnel.
Target terms within your site’s competitive range. Some keywords are highly competitive, and it won’t be easy to rank them. Focus on keywords that are in your site’s competitive range Use Alexa’s Advanced Map Keyword, Difficulty Tool, to easily identify terms that fall within your competitive jurisdiction.
8. Optimized Content
To appeal to search engines to your content, you also need to consider on-page SEO factors. By optimizing your content for a specific keyword, you tell search engines what the content of the page is and how it ranks.
Therefore, assign a unique keyword to each page of your site. (Never assign the same keyword to multiple pages on your site, as this may confuse search engines and cause keyword cannibalization). Next, optimize the content for on-page SEO best practices.
9. Structured Data
Another way to tell search engines what a webpage is about (to rank it accordingly) is to use structured data. Structured data, schema markup, is microdata added to the backend of a web page that tells search engines how to categorize and interpret content (for example, identifying a business address, book title, recipe, or another type of information).
10. Consistent Professional Listings
Therefore, Search engines rank the most credible, authoritative, and trustworthy brands. The more established a brand is online, the more likely it is that search engines will increase its visibility. This is why reliable business listings are a significant ranking factor.
Business listings, sometimes called citations, are primarily a local SEO ranking factor. But all brands need to do basic citation setup and management and :
- Create a Google My Business page.
- Set up commercial profiles on industry-related directory sites.
- Make sure their NAP (business name, address, and phone number) is used consistently in their business profiles.
11. Backlink Profile
Backlinks are the alternative signal that tells search engines that a website is credible and commanding.
Besides content, backlinks are often considered the second most significant SEO ranking. If you need your site to rank, you require a plan to build high-quality links for your site, through practices like guest posting, link building, PR digital, and other link building strategies.
12. Domain Age
The final ranking factor may not be something you can control, but it is worth mentioning. Domain age, or the age of your website, is often considered a ranking factor. Although Google doesn’t clearly state that this is one of the SEO ranking factors, research has shown that older domains tend to rank higher.
So if you are launching a brand new site, be aware that your SEO efforts will take time. With time and ongoing SEO work, your site will improve its search rankings, but it won’t happen overnight.
Therefore, ranking factors refer to the different components that search engines like Google use to automatically determine the best way to rank a set of results, typically web pages, on the search engine results page.
Currently, a high percentage of companies have their own website. In addition, more than 70% of users turn to search engines like Google to find the information they need. Thus, achieving a good position in search results has become one of the objectives to be pursued by millions of companies around the world. For this, it is essential to design and apply a good SEO strategy and to know which are the most important On-Page SEO factors.