Google uses about 200 factors to rank a website. It doesn’t matter how accurate this number is. But what matters is that how many of these factors will make a larger impact on your websites ranking. You may be new to SEO and may be confused regarding which factors can actually help you improve your site’s Google ranking. Here’s a list that of 30 important factors that can help you:

On-page factors
How well your page is optimized has a huge influence on its Google rankings. Here are some page optimization factors that can help improve your page’s visibility in search engine results:

  1. Keyword in the title tag
    Search engines display title tags in their search results, which means that the users can see a little bit about the webpage before opening it. This gives the user a basic idea of the content on the web page and plays a vital role in the user’s decision to visit the page. Therefore, title tags are highly influential in determining your page’s search engine rankings. When you add a keyword to the title, it makes things more specific for the search engines regarding the page’s position in the search engine results. It’s always best to place the keyword at the beginning of the title rather than at the end for the pages to rank better.
  2. Keyword in meta description tag
    A Meta description tag is used to gain user clicks from the search engine results. When you include a keyword to the Meta description tag, it helps the search engines classify the content further and thereby, and also improve the page’s Google rankings.
  3. Keywords in content
    Stuffing content with keywords to improve a page’s search engine ranking was a common practice until recently. However, it is no longer encouraged. Keywords have to be used in the content to improve the search engine rankings. But, it all depends on how well you place the keywords.
  4. Keyword in URL
    Adding keywords to your URL slug (i.e., the part of the URL after the “.com”) plays a vital role in improving your Google rankings.
  5. Keyword in H1 tags
    H1 tag is the second title tag in a web page. Adding keyword to the H1 tags help boost your Google rankings.
  6. Keyword density
    This has always been a Google ranking factor and it continues to be so. However, if you over do it, your ranking may go down.
  7. Keyword Prominence
    Including a keyword in the first 100 words of a page’s content can help to improve its search engine rankings.
  8. Content length
    Nowadays, when people search for information online, they expect it to be detailed rather than basic information. Lengthy content tends to be informative and covers almost all aspects of the topic, and that’s exactly the criteria that Google looks into, while ranking pages.
  9. Content updates
    Keeping the content updated is a criteria that Google looks for while deciding on page rankings. Content update doesn’t mean adding some words to the existing content alone. You must also remove insignificant sections from the content to maintain quality. It is vital for time-sensitive searches. Google search results always display the date on which the content was last updated.
  10. Plagiarism
    Remember, you can’t copy the content from another page to fill your website/blog. This will affect your page rankings and therefore, you must try to create original content for your pages. Any type of plagiarism will definitely bring your content down.
  11. Canonical tags
    Sometimes, you – just can’t avoid having similar content on your website. While, it might not seem duplicate on the same website, but a different page, the search engines disagree. You can avoid such situations by using canonical tags in the website. This tells Google that the URLs might have similar content, but one URL is the master URL, which is the only one that should be considered.
  12. Outbound links
    Outbound links are links that lead you to another page on a website or to another website as a whole and this is when you want to provide the users with more details of a particular topic. Google is very sensitive about outbound links. When you use them moderately, it can benefit your Google rankings. But, if you over do it, your page ranking may go down.
  13. Internal links
    When you connect different pages of your website that address similar topics, it provides the users with detailed information. This can also help you in improving your page rankings.
  14. Image optimization
    Just like optimization of text, optimization of images is also an important factor in determining your page’s ranking in Google’s search results. Their alt text, caption and description are the factors that affect Google rankings of your site.

Website factors
There are certain factors that affect the visibility of your website when it comes to search engine results:

  1. Sitemap
    Sitemaps help search engines index your website pages. This helps in informing Google about the pages of your website.
  2. Domain trust
    It is important to gain the trust of Google to have a better page ranking in search results. Develop the trust factors of your domain and you’ll see the search engine rankings of your page soar. The trust factors that determine your page’s rankings include:
  • Linking out to authority sites – Linking out to other sites that rank better in search engine results is a way to win Google’s trust
  • Detailed privacy policy, terms of use and/or affiliate disclosure – Though usually considered as boring pages, Google looks into the inclusion of the privacy policy and terms of use in your site while determining page rankings. Even Ad sense publishers are expected to have this information on their sites; what more do you need to think that it is important?
  • Low bounce and site blocking rates – User interaction is a vital Google ranking factor. Therefore, Google checks how many people blocked your site and how long users have stayed on your site.
  • References and sources – Include references and sources you used, at the end of articles, to convince Google that your content is well researched
  • Develop brand signals – Google gives a lot of attention to big brands and therefore, it is necessary for your site to look like one. Here’s how you can convince Google that you are a big brand:
    • Instead of going for a domain name matching the exact website content, go for a related but unique one
    • Develop a thorough about us page that reveals your brand’s story
    • Be active on social media because that’s where you get to easily find and connect to your customers
    • Develop effective back links and get people to look up your brands in search engines and thereby, your brand name becomes a keyword
    • Build trustworthy domain info by registering the domain for more than 2 years, adding your business address to the contact us page and making it public
    • Include links directly from Google’s highly trusted sites (i.e. sites that rank better and are often updated) to your website
  1. Mobile optimized websites
    The number of smartphone users around the globe is considerably increasing. Nowadays, people even depend on their mobile phones to look for information online. Therefore, it is important to optimize your website for mobile viewing. This allows you to target users that may not have a desktop or a laptop, but a smartphone, which in turn improves your ratings.
  2. Integration of Google Search Console
    When you verify your website with Google Webmasters Tool, it is said to keep track of the crawling stats and indexing of the site’s pages. This, in turn, helps business to have a look into the insights and figure out new ways to optimize the site and improve its visibility in search engine results.

Off page factors
When Google ranks a website, it also looks into the factors outside the site. Some of those factors include:

  1. Linking domain age
    Google considers domain linking to your site as a major ranking factor. Back links from domains that have been there for a while are powerful enough to boost your Google rankings compared to new domains.
  2. Number of linking pages
    Number of links to your page from a single domain is of course a ranking factor. But, having many links from individual links work better than linking from a single domain.
  3. Linking pages based on domain authority
    Domain authority is the measure of how powerful a domain name is. It is determined by three factors-age, popularity and size. Linking your site to pages with higher domain authority tend to have a better influence on your page’s Google rankings.
  4. Link relevancy
    You can’t just simply use any random links or add your link to other irrelevant websites. In order to help you boost your website ranking, the links need to be relevant. When the links are related to the topic of the content, Google finds it more relevant and thereby, it helps in improving your page’s search engine rankings.
  5. Number of do follow links
    According to Google’s official statement, it won’t count the number of no follow links while ranking the pages. Therefore, the number of do follow links will be a huge deciding factor for the site’s Google rankings.
  6. Links within the content
    Users tend to notice the links within the content more than those in a sidebar and therefore, adding relevant links between the content helps in improving your page’s Google rankings. You can use external informative links or even link to your own internal pages to help make navigation easier for your users.
  7. Link anchor
    Anchor text of a link used to be an effective ranking factor in the past. However, you can’t use them now as they work as web spam indicators and can bring down your page’s Google rankings.
  8. Linking from homepage
    Links from a homepage are considered powerful than those from the pages when it comes to search engine rankings.
  9. Diversity in links
    The types of links to your websites are also an important ranking factor. The same type of links can end up being considered as spam and thereby, adversely affect your page’s rankings.

Domain factors
Your page’s domain factors have a vital role to play when it comes to its search engine rankings. But, the domain signals aren’t strong as they used to be and if not careful, it can even adversely affect your webpage rankings.

  1. Domain registration period
    The registration period for your website also matters. A newly registered website is often valued as less than a website that has been registered for say more than a year. Google often trusts domains that have been registered for over a year.
  2. Domain history
    Sometimes, people buy expired or auction domains for the advantages they offer. They come with existing back links, web ranking factors, incoming traffic and domain age. All these factors benefit your website when you use the same domain name. But, it can also be risky. In case the domain that you just bought is an expired spam domain and was penalized by Google in the past, your site may not show up in Google search results. Therefore, it is necessary to check the domain history to ensure that it wasn’t used for spamming purposes in the past.
  3. TLD extension based on countries
    TLD or Top-level Domain is the last part of a domain name that succeeds the dot (.). When you want to target the market in a particular country, it’s always best to have a domain specific to the country (such as .in, .ch, .co, .uk etc.). This can help to improve your page’s Google ranking for that particular location.

Search Engine Optimization is a vast process that looking into every aspect of it is not an easy task. The above mentioned factors and a little effort from your side can help your site rank better in Google search results.