Skip to main content

SEO Factors That Have The Biggest Impact on Rankings

Getting higher Google rankings for your industry related keywords works extremely well in passing on quality targeted traffic to your site, thereby increasing leads and revenue. Getting listed on the first page of Google is not easy and involves keeping in mind various factors that Google uses while ranking web pages. There are more than 200 ranking signals ( for SEO's these are the success factors) affecting your site and if you are smart enough to build your site as well as your customer loyalty for your business in the way Google predicts it, the search rankings pie is waiting for you!

web traffic moving up
High rankings = high traffic! (Image credit- beforeitsnews)

In this post, I will discuss the top SEO ranking factors that are having the biggest impact on rankings-

Backlinks and Anchor Text Usage

Keep aside all the fuzz that is going around in the SEO community. Backlinks was, is and will continue to be the single biggest ranking factor for Google and other search engines. However, quality of backlinks matter more than their quantity. Here are some insights:-

Natural backlinks have the highest value. (Read the top ten ways to get natural backlinks)
Links from highly trusted and authoritative domains are like a gold rush for your site.
Links from trusted directories like Yahoo and still matters.
Citations are an alternative for links and holds a lot of importance. (See- Whitespark local citation finder)
Anchor text usage in the earned links matters.
Having brand names in the anchor text or having naked URL's is the best approach.
Google likes predicting and hates what can be directly told. This means, earn links within your industry verticals, from trusted and loyal customers, from authors having high trust rank and do not worry about the anchor text. Google will itself predict which queries are related to your brand. (Hope you have them on your site in the main areas like title and H1 tag) (See- Meta tags)

Site Content and Keyword Usage

Content is the real essence of your site and the sole purpose that users are visiting your site is because of content. The more useful it is for the users, the better are the chances of ranking. The use of keywords in the main areas of the page is a necessity. This does not means, stuffing the page with keywords. Google can predict and identify the keyword even if it has been used only once in the page. Here are a few points to keep in mind:-

Use keywords in the title in a natural way.
Use keywords in H1 tag in a natural way.
Use some unique words in the content. The ones that are not being used by your competitors will give the maximum advantage.
Focus on the quality of content and include images, infographics and videos.
Enhance your page content by increasing the audience engagement factor.
Have alt tags.
Divide content into headings and subheadings and also keep an eye on the speed of the site.

(See- Seo content copywriting basics)

Google Plus Ones alongwith Other Social Shares

Google Plus ones may have the biggest social impact on the search rankings (although Google has ignored it completely). Content that receives maximum social shares helps in the indirect accumulation of links, citations and traffic. This indirectly helps in increasing the rankings. The exact effect depends on the existing trust and authority of the domain.

(See- Secret behind the power of Plus ones)

Authorship, Rich Snippets and Schemas

Among the new Google ranking factors, the important ones are authorship, rich snippets and schemas. These compliment your existing content and helps Google to accurately judge the relevancy.

Fresh Content

Most of the webmasters ignore it as a ranking factor but freshness is one of the hidden secrets of rankings. Constantly adding fresh content on the site and updating the old pages will add a new reason for the Google crawlers to keep visiting your site and also allow them to rank highly provided the other factors and signals work in your site's favor.

Also See:-

Utilizing Tf-Idf Score to Increase Site Rankings