There are many factors that contribute to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and what causes some sites to show up high on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Google will give tips and admit to the general public some of the things they consider – but they never provide the exact formula, for several motives. A primary reason for their lack of full disclosure is because the weight of each factor constantly changes. We would like to share some of the most recent indicators and the amount of influence each factor has on SEO. This is based on data compiled by leading SEO and the Moz team that specializes in this.
The results below are for local searches, which include mobile searches that account for over 50% of all searches.
Below is a list of activities that website owners/marketers can use to influence their SERP ranking.
Quality Link Building: 29%
The more quality sites that are linking to your site, the better that is for you for various reasons. One of those reasons is Google considers a site to be an industry leader is if other quality sites (especially those with .edu domains) are linking in to your website.
Google is looking at the quality of your content, how relevant it is, specific word combinations, and your domain name, title tags, meta tags, H1 tags, and filename/URL structure. This is where keywords come into play with their most important role.
Reputation Management: 13%
Google is evaluating how frequently you get reviews, as well as the quantity and quality of your reviews. Your goal should be to consistently get good reviews.
Citation Management: 13%
Keeping all your basic information like organization name, address, and phone number consistent on all the online directories (such as Yelp, Yellow Page, Tripadvisor) continues to be a significant factor in SEO, although its significance has decreased from previous years.
Social Media: 4%
Google watches to see if you are active in social media, and more activity equates to a slightly stronger SEO influence.
Below is a list of items that are not controllable and outside of your sphere of influence with Google.
Behavioral and Mobile Signals: 24%
This includes how many people click on your site and how they interact with it. Examples would be clicks to call on Google, page visit history, and other interactions from web and mobile users.
Google SERP is influenced by the distance of the person conducting a search to your location. (If you don’t have a Google “My Business” page, this will be a significant detrimental factor affecting your search results.)
Google watches a user’s search patterns, and over time they learn the types of websites and categories you prefer. For example, when searching “restaurants near me,” if your search patterns show that you typically visit Asian food websites, you will see more of a selection of those Asian restaurants than other users.
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