SEO Ranking factors 2019 | Improve Website Ranking By SEO:
There are over 300 Google ranking factors that can affect your website performance. More than half of them are On-Page. So in this article I’m going to tell you the 17 important SEO factors in 2018 which can help your website to rank top searches of search engines.
1) Optimize your website to Improve Your Site’s Loading Speed
In the Era of fast internet, nobody wants to wait even a minute while opening a website.
In fact, if they don’t load in 3 seconds, you say, ”SCREW THIS SITE!”…I’m leaving…
(SCREW THIS SITE resembles the frustration)
Now, what you think? Is it important for your website to load quickly? I’m sure the answer will certainly be yes, because nobody has time for slow sites.
Here is what you can do about it. If you are using WordPress then I will advice and strong recommended you to use StudioPress or MyThemeShop.
If you want something better then opt for React + Ghost CMS combination.
2) Content is the King: Length of the Content aka Word-Count
For me Content is the king! A high quality content can do the magic for your website.
Great design with a fast loading website
Proper optimization of pages
High quality of content is one of the major reasons why the top articles are ranking high in search engines. According to the recent study by Ahrefs and Backlinko, the word count for an article should be 1900 words per article.
It is understandable not everyone has good writing skills or some have view to say their thing in exact points but it is better to describe your points more long so that it can be understandable easily by the person who is reading this type of information for very Ist time.
Long article does not mean keywords stuffing or writing irrelevant to your topic. Do your research, take your time and make points for your subject. The content should be not be promotional it can lesser the interest of readers.
3) Make your site responsive if you still haven’t!
On 21st April, 2015, Google released a new Mobilegeddon & The Google Mobile Friendly Update.
With the increase in the number of mobile users, Google has made it an absolute compulsion that developers should have a mobile friendly website.
If you are still wondering whether your site is responsible or not, you can use Google’s Mobile Friendly Testing Platform.
google mobile friendly
If you see, “Page is Mobile-Friendly” then you are good to go!
Also, here is another amazing application from Google to check the loading speed of your mobile websites.
It’s known as Think With Google
think with google
However, that doesn’t affect my ranking much because I am loading those scripts after my website is fully loaded with all the contents.
Also, I’m already Renderblocking my internal JS files.
In my case, everything is perfect! 🙂
Here is my advice: If you are on WordPress, avoid using as many plugins as possible. To improve the loading speed of your WordPress site, I highly recommend you to check out WP Rocket.
4) Have Your Keyword in the Start of Your Meta Title.
I am sure you have heard this On-Page SEO factor constantly.
However, what you haven’t heard are Keywords that are in the Meta Title first tend to perform a lot more.
I experiment a lot with my titles, and I change them all the time to understand the impact and changes that the title creates.
From my experience, optimizing thousands of blog posts for myself and my clients, I recommend you start your meta title with your keyword.
meta title example
Over 98% of my blog articles or pages, in the majority of my projects begin with my targeted keyword.
The above article is ranking at Page #1 for a very long time without me doing any link building.
Here is my advice: Apart from your targeted keyword, try to add extended targeted keywords.
Here is an example:
In one of my recent blog articles that show users how to do Keyword Research using my Keyword Technique, I started the Title of my page with my targeted keyword + an extended keyword.
meta title length
In this case, instead of targeting Keyword Research in my meta title, I am targeting the keyword: Keyword Research for SEO which includes an extended keyword at the beginning.
This strategy is ideal because you are primarily targeting two keywords without making your title look spammy or like click bait.
Here is my advice: Apart from your targeted and extended keywords, try to add additional modifiers for better CTR, which has a huge impact on a better ranking.
5) Have Your Keyword in the Meta Description.
Meta Descriptions after Meta Titles are the second most important On-Page SEO factors.
It’s so important that, if you don’t mention your targeted keyword in your meta description, the chances of you technically ranking #1 is close to impossible. (Unless you are planning to build a ton of backlinks.)
I use a little strategy when I write my meta description.
I call it my Magnetic Meta Description Technique that I covered in my SEO Copywriting guide.
Google shows a total of 170 characters.
However, it’s highly recommended that one should not exceed 145 characters. In the worst case, a maximum of 160 characters.
Unless you have a specified date mentioned that shows up in the SERP, then do not write a meta description exceeding 145 characters.
meta description example
If you look at the screenshot above:
I have a specified date, and I am using an ellipsis in my description to stand out. Along with using the combination of Primary Keyword + Extended Keyword formula.
meta description more examples
If you look at the above examples…
Many of the sites have not written their meta description correctly and within the character limit.
When that happens, you will see the … at the of the sentence which looks pretty awful.
6) Short Keyword Focused URL
One of the biggest mistakes I made with most of my websites during my initial days was stuffing multiple keywords in the short URL.
url structure seo
Sadly, my structure and links are built on the same concept of stuffing multiple keywords in the URL.
However, lately, I have started re-auditing a lot of other web properties (I own over 2,500+ web properties.)
As a result, studies show that your first five words are the most crucial ones.
That means, do not extend your short URL over five words.
Here is an example of how I have started auditing and editing all my properties by implementing the short URLs.
Long Ugly URL: https: //poweruphosting .com/cheap-linux-vps-server-hosting-on-ssd
Short Beautiful URL: https: //poweruphosting .com/cheap-linux-vps
Ugly URL: https:// uditgoenka .com/?id=51
Beautiful URL: https: //uditgoenka .com/on-page-seo
Make sure that if you are re-working one of your old sites, you setup your 301 correctly. That will ensure a proper flow of link juice.
Should I use dates in my URL?
I have heard many debates on this.
Based on my experience, avoid using them.
You may ask why?
Your URL structure will become lengthy. If you want to add dates, use meta description instead of your URL.
Also, if you add a date to your URL, you will never be able to change it if you update your article in the future. (301ing your URL all the time can hurt your SEO efforts).
My ideal recommendation will be to use either of the following:
Preferred Short URL Structure #1: https://uditgoenka.com/on-page-seo
Preferred Short URL Structure #2: https://gopbn.com/blog/pbn-hosting
By adding the term blog/article, you are defining the type of article the reader can expect.
One highly controversial discussion is whether to add the category in the URL.
In an ideal scenario, I will avoid it. Unless I am keeping one structure in the slug.
I will go https:// example. com/blog that will list down all my articles. Followed by adding the categories in this format:
https:// example. com/health/short-url
https:// example. com/business/short-url
https:// example. com/social-media/short-url
and so on…
The above setup will require some customization depending on the CMS you are using. Play around or get a developer.
The above setup has got me some mesmerizing results so far.
Here is another example of one my keyword rankings in the top four positions. (It keeps changing every day.)
seo url length
My targeted keyword, in this case, is pbn hosting, and as you can see, it’s ranking in the top four positions. I barely have any links to these.
Don’t believe me?
seo url tips
The link barely has six referring domains.
However, it has a fantastic On-Page SEO (everything that I have written in this guide along with the quality of the content has helped me to rank and gain hundreds of customers in such a short period.)
Also, it’s easy to remember short URLs. Which means, often, once your site or blog becomes popular, it’s a lot easier for people to share.
7) Start Your Blog Post with a < h1 > Tag
The first time Google crawlers visit your website, they start reading the content.
An < h1 > tag is the most important tag and holds a lot of emphasis.
It’s often advisable to begin your blog with an H1 tag.
In my case, it looks something like this:
h1 tags seo
As soon as someone lands on my website, the first thing they see is the title of the blog posts.
Also, whenever a search engine crawler visits, they the same as in the H1 tag.
Most of the modern themes are built around on the same principle that the blog post title automatically becomes an h1 tag regardless of the CMS.
However, it’s better to do your due diligence to avoid this crucial mistake.
Here is my advice: Make sure to keep your Meta Title and H1 tag the same. Also, do not have more than one H1 tag on a single page.
8) Have your Keyword in < h2 > Tag
Got the H1 tag covered?
It’s time to add an H2 tag to your website.
It’s important to wrap your H2 tag at least once inside the H2 tag per page for your targeted keyword.
Here is an example:
seo h2 tags
Should you wrap primary keywords multiple times in the H2 tag?
In an ideal scenario, I will not recommend that unless it’s necessary.
One of the questions I often see people asking is whether it’s ok to have multiple H2 or H3s?
Yes, it’s completely fine.
Most blog posts have outlined their blog articles and wrapping them around the H2, and H3 tags are completely fine.
Here is my advice: Apart from your primary keywords, try adding multiple LSI keywords in your H2 and H3 tags.
9) Have your Keyword in < h3 > Tag
Once you are done wrapping up your keywords in the H1 and H2 tag…
…try adding a few sub headings as H3 tags inside your H2 tag with your targeted keyword at least once.
I have seen a massive impact with this. However, even the slightest of changes matter a lot.
seo h3 tags
In the above example where my primary keyword is micro niche sites, I have added them once in my H3 tag.
Want to see the result?
heading tags seo
Without even building any backlinks, the site is currently ranking on the second page and doing brilliantly well. (I am planning to build some links soon and push for the #1 spot.)
Subscribe to my blog to stay updated, and once I push my article from page two to page one, I will share my technique.
10) Internal Linking SEO Strategy
Want to know why I rank so much better?
It’s because of the Internal Linking SEO strategy.
I use this strategy all the time because it’s extremely powerful.
Let’s understand the power of interlinking and how it works.
Let me explain how interlinking works:
internal linking SEO
One page of your site is interlinked to the most relevant of another page.
Internal Linking SEO Strategy passes a lot of link juice throughout your website making each page of your website extremely strong for better ranking!
Here is my advice: Link around 3-4 of the most important and RELEVANT articles with your primary and LSI keywords. Do not try to link beyond more than four links because you can potentially dilute the link juice.
11) Outbound Links to Related Websites
Want to make it easier for Google to understand your content better?
Start linking to relevant sites with relevant content.
Here is how it works:
As you can see in the image above, creating relevant outbound links is not at all difficult.
All you have to do is link a piece of your content to one of the related articles.
It can be a case study on some other site or a piece of information that provides a better in-depth knowledge on the same or similar subject.
How does this work?
Whenever Google crawls your website, they try to understand all pieces of your content. However, the bots need more information to understand you are writing on the same subject.
To make your content Google bot friendly, start linking out to relevant site in the industry, making the bot’s life easier.
This strategy alone can give you a major push with better SERP ranking. Anywhere from 2-8 links per article (depending on the word-count) is great.
Here is my advice: While you link out to another relevant site, it helps you with:
Giving you an opportunity to build a relationship with the other site. (Tweet or email the site whom you have linked to saying they have been featured on the blog.)
Makes it easier for bots to understand your content.
12) Optimizing Images for On-Page SEO
One for the other important optimization technique that people miss out?
Let’s dive in right away!
We all love websites and blog posts that have a lot of images and videos because an image speaks a thousand words while a video speaks a million.
However, there are some extremely important optimization tips regarding images.
Add a ton of images (& relevant videos) to the website, making it media rich.
If you have read my other blog posts (which you should if you haven’t), you will notice that I use images very heavily for every article that I write.
Primarily, I will use anywhere from one to ten images per outline depending on the subject I am talking about.
Here are some pro tips:
Don’t use a stock photo.
Don’t use images from other people’s website.
Use screenshots. (I rely on screenshots very heavily.)
Make small custom graphics with the help of photoshop. (If you are not a designer, then you can easily outsource them for few dollars on Upwork or Fiverr depending on your budget.)
Make large infographics and crop them for each outline.
Once you have your custom graphics, here are the three most important points that you cannot miss out.
Save your images with relevant LSI Keywords.
seo friendly images
If you look at the image above, you will notice that I have saved one of the images that I created, using Photoshop, like “outbound-links.jpg”
This is crucial and will help search engines understand your images better.
Also, the chance of your images ranking at that stage is a lot higher.
Optimizing those images to reduce the size of the image.
Images can get heavy and bulky!
Which means they can slow down your website.
However, there are ways where you can save these images for web purposes.
In easier terms, you can compress the original size of the images by 50-80% without losing any quality.
I will demonstrate two ways you can achieve the same results as mine.
1) Use Photoshop’s Save for The Web.
Photoshop has an amazing, built-in compression engine—one of the best available in the world to date.
You can use the following settings to compress the images:
seo optimized images
Select JPEG as your preferred extension.
Keep the quality around 60.
Lower down the percentage of the picture to 80% if required.
Keep a check on the file size. (Shouldn’t exceed 100 KB at any point unless it’s a heavy infographic.)
For other types of images, try not exceed the 150-200kb range.
2) Use Free Online Image Compression Tools.
Don’t have Photoshop?
I have got you covered.
One of my favorite sites that I use all the time other than Photoshop is compressor.io.
The compressor.io works great. Just drag and drop your image and then hit the download button to get the compressed files.
Use Alt Tags.
Alt tags are as important as naming your images with your preferred keyword.
When crawlers see your images, the first thing they read is your alt tags to understand your image better.
It’s essential you add alt tags to every single image of yours.
image alt text example
In the above example, look at the name of the image, and the alt tag is the name, making it easier for the crawlers to understand.
My Quick Advice: Use LSI Keywords as your ALT tag throughout your images because it will help your article rank better.
13) LSI Keyword Optimization
It stands for Latent Semantic Indexing.
LSI is a method to determine the correlation between the terms and the content you are drafting.
(I will be covering a separate in-depth topic on LSI). Make sure to subscribe and be the first one to get notified.
One of the best SEO hacks to quickly get better rankings is sprinkling your articles with multiple LSI Keywords and forming meaningful sentences around the LSI keywords.
Here is an example:
This article is all about On-Page SEO, and my targeted keyword is the same.
Here is my secret little trick…
on page seo techniques
Head over to Google and type your primary keyword and add _ as shown in the GIF above.
You will see a bunch of suggestions by Google.
Scroll down to the bottom, and you will further notice a bunch of Google Suggested Keywords.
Grab them all and put them in an excel sheet.
While writing your article, use the LSIs and form sentences around them.
I recommend using up to 5 LSI keywords for every 1,000 words.
In my scenario, if you scan through my entire contents, you will notice that I am using all of the suggested keywords by Google.
I have wrapped up significant sentences around the Google suggested keywords.
14) Use of LSI Keyword in an < h3 > Tag
Another swift little method I use to gain some good traffic is using this small SEO hack:
I often use some of the Google suggested LSI keywords and wrap them as an < h3 > tag along with expanding the sub heading.
On many of my micro niche sites, I often use long-tail LSI keywords in my H3 tags, giving me a quick, nifty boost to my rankings and instantly helping me rank for them a lot faster.
In this article:
I am using several H3 tags with my relevant keyword inside the H3 Tag
Here is one such example:
h3 tag seo
Here is my advice: Do not add more than one keyword per 1,000 words.
15) Use Schema Tags Throughout Your Website
Schema tags are extremely powerful.
Why may you ask?
Because Google loves it when you structure your website correctly because it helps them to understand your content better.
As a reward, you will get a much better CTR, which will help you to move up in the rankings.
Schema Tags are one of the most powerful On-Page SEO ranking factors in 2017 that even some of the top SEO gurus and well-known people in the industry are not using.
Here is a great example:
schema tag seo
If you google the term “Udit Goenka” from your phone, which is my name 😄, you will notice that my image shows up.
The image is not showing up magically.
It’s because of the Schema Tags.
Here is a list of all the relevant Schema Tags you should start using for your website right now:
1) Schema Sitenavigation
This Schema Tag helps Google to understand the menu structure of your website.
Ensure that you use the same for your footer menu as well.
To implement, read this:
2) Schema Tag Type
This Schema Tag will help Google understand what kind of site are you running.
To implement, read this:
3) Schema Tag LegalName
This Schema Tag helps Google understand the brand, or legal, name of your website.
To implement, read this:
4) Schema Tag URL
This Schema Tag helps Google understand the URL of your website.
To implement, read this:
5) Schema Tag Logo
This Schema Tag helps Google find your logo on your website.
To implement, read this:
Some of the other popular tags you can use are the following:
Schema Tag Review:
One of the most popular Schema Tags used by millions of blogs is the Review Tag.
Here is how it looks like when implemented:
To implement, read this:
http:// schema .org/Review
Depending on your site type, you can implement the respected Schema Tag that fits your purpose best.
16) Use of HTTPS Connection
In 2014, Google officially announced HTTPS as a ranking factor.
However, a lot of people were still skeptical about it as SSLs remained expensive (especially if you own dozens of websites).
Due to the launch of an open source program, Let’s Encrypt, the implementation of SSL has occurred at a rapid pace.
Early 2017, https became an extremely important factor.
With the rise of https, on an average for any given keyword, you will witness 70% of the sites have SSL enabled for a majority of the keywords.
https seo impact
In the above example, the keyword “Best WordPress Plugin” displays results that have 80% sites hosted securely.
If you still haven’t added an SSL yet, contact your hosting provider right now!
Here is my advice: If you are a non-technical person, sign up for CloudFlare’s free service. They offer simple, one-click SSL enabling options.
17) Use of Social Sharing Icons
In 2017, social sharing is not the On-Page SEO Performance.
However, it does helps you to grab more eyeballs and traffic, increasing your presence socially.
If not a significant role, social sharing does play a minor one towards ranking factors specially for long-tail keywords with very little to no competition.
Also, you can potentially get some link building opportunities.
You can use any of the popular social sharing platforms like Sumo, AddtoAny, or AddThis with just a few a clicks, for no cost.