Factors Affecting SEO Ranking of a Website

SEO is an abbreviated form of “Search Engine Optimization.” It is a process that ensures free and organic traffic to the website. It is the SEO only that helps a website appear naturally in search results on search engines. The results on each Search Engine appear on the basis of Website ranks. These website ranks are calculated by the Google algorithm in accordance with how relevant it finds the website to the user requests.

Website SEO: What’s More Important – The Front-End or Back-End?

This is perhaps the most important question that keeps the Website Owners busy. Well, to be frank, SEO is all about ensuring that your website performs maximum in a search index. Front end or back end, doesn’t really matter much. Both are important but yes, Fronted takes longer while Backed do the tasks real quick. However, there are certain things you can to increase the effectiveness of your website’s SEO.

As a first step, the website structure should be inline with what the search engines want to see.  If your website’s general architecture is fragmented, even the on-page SEO cannot do any good.

  1. If there are a lot of 404 errors or broken structural elements in your website, the Google’s algorithm will not consider your site authoritative or a website providing a good user experience.
  2. Website’s page loading speed and the time it takes to load also impact the Website’s performance in an index. Thus, optimising your website to speed up loading also helps in SEO.
  3. Other elements, like the content on the site, the design of the website, and the amount of advertising, images, necessary links, etc. can also help optimize the crawling for the site.
  4. Thus, SEO is more about identifying what incorrect has been done and if improved, how can it help in getting a better rank in search engine results.
Let us have a look at the top most important website ranking factors.

The Top Most Important Website Ranking Factors

The exact formula constituting to Google Ranking is a secret but there are always a few things that can help you improve your website’s rank in Google search results. Focusing on these factors can help you can maximize your SEO efforts and improve your Google rankings. Though Google’s algorithm always keeps on changing, here are the top most ranking factors based on the most recent studies conducted:

1. Content:

When it comes to the factors leading to an increase in the Website’s Google Ranking, Content is still the King! However, over the past few years, there has been a shift from keyword rich content to more relevant content written in a simple language understandable by all. This implies that Google’s algorithm now analyses content with respect to its relevance, and not by the insertion of particular keywords. The latest updates like Hummingbird and Rank Brain give more importance to the semantic relevance and optimization of the content. Thus, a content that contains a comprehensive and detailed knowledge about the topic, in an easy-to-understand language, will always outperform complicatedly written keyword-rich content.

2. Back links:

Back links have always been a crucial ranking factor but over the past years, Google has been more alert in accessing the quality of the back links. Yes, more links do result in higher ranking but only if they come from diverse and authority domains. The key to strong link building is to write content that people will love to read and promote. When other people read and link to your content, your content will earn a lot of high-quality back links and Google will consider it to be more relevant. This will eventually not only help you get a good number of back links but will also lead to an increase in link authority and link diversity.

3. Mobile-First User Experience:

Another major ranking factor that has evolved during the past few years is Mobile-first User Experience. This implies that now what Google index does is that, it primarily crawl the mobile version of websites against their desktop version. Thus, Mobile-first User Experience plays a great role in website ranking. And since Mobile optimization is so crucial, it has become important than ever to go for a responsive website. Website loading and Page loading is another factor that results in the quality of user experience. While the Desktop websites should load in 3 seconds or less, the mobile websites should load in 2 seconds or less.

4. Other Technical Factors:

Apart from the above three, there are various other technical factors that constitute to the Ranking of a website. Let us have a look at these factors:

Encryption: Websites encrypted with the HTTPS encryption are considered safe by Google and thus, rank better than the ones that are not encrypted, as websites that have not switched to HTTPS are now marked ‘unsafe’ in Google Chrome. Studies have confirmed that almost 45% of the top websites use HTTPS encryption.

H1 and H2 Headings: Researchers have found a major correlation between the high website ranking and the website with landing pages having H1 and H2 headings.

Anchor text: A diverse, organic and exact-match anchor greatly influences the ranking of a website. However, you need to be careful because you may attract penguin Penalty in case of spammy or unnatural links.

As we all know, SEO is an ever-evolving mechanism. There has been a drift towards relevant content with high quality links and perfect mobile experience. Though there are other factors as well that play an important role in a Website Ranking, improving on the above mentioned ranking factors will definitely help you step ahead of your competitors.

Another important area that needs attention is the Design of the Website. Yes, the website design carries a great importance from SEO perspective too. It not just forms an aesthetic point of view of your website, but also affects your entire internet presence, be it branding, traffic generation, conversion rates or the SEO! Let us see, how!

Impact of Web Design on SEO

All those who believe that web designing is not a part of marketing are just living with a myth. You can’t even image how impactful is web designing for a business and what can it do for you!

The Importance of Good Web Design:

A web design can play a major role in deciding whether the visitors should trust your business or mistrust. More often, the design elements are found more powerful than content. The elements that can lead to develop mistrust in a website include:

  • Very busy or complex layouts
  • Pop-up advertisements and flamboyant ads
  • Hard to read prints
  • Dull or colorless web design
  • High load time

However important the web design is, content still remains the most important factor for a website to rank. The visitors like content which is informative, relevant, fresh, clear, and unique.

The Web Design-SEO Relationship:

Web Designing and SEO have a long term association. Design trends changes every now or then but SEO and branding are long term elements. You can land in trouble by focusing more on the fleeting website designs; however, you cannot simply ignore the current design trends too.

The very first design in this context is the parallax design. It is a design where there is only one page which never seems to go over and is liked equally by the users and website owners. Users like it because they need not flip between different tabs and will just need to scroll, while the website owners like it because it keeps users engaged. However, if you think from the perspective of SEO, you can’t really count upon the parallax design. The reasons are simple. First, the search engines crawl the traditional website structure well and secondly, you are counting on a single URL to target the keywords of the entire website. Thus, this design might seem good today, but can have severe adverse effects in the long run.

Another website design is the responsive web design. With the increased usage of internet on mobiles, the search engines definitely rank those sites better which have the responsive web design. It not only helps you get rid of the headache of running two separate sites, but also helps in reducing the bounce rate.

However, these are just a few factors to demonstrate how web design can directly interact with the SEO. Every design feature that you use in your web design has some or the other potential to affect your search rankings.

Web Design & Branding:

The design of your brand is not your brand but it can help you build trust with your audience. Consumers are pulled towards the brand they trust and thus, your web design elements will definitely help you create a unique branding strategy and establish your market position.

Web Design & Conversion Rates:

Web design do affects conversion rates, particularly with respect to:

Navigation: – An easy navigation will encourage users to browse through the entire site and flip flop among the various sections easily.

Words: – Well, the power of words can’t be ignored, especially those used in tabs like calls-to-action, which lay a direct impact on conversion rates. E.g. Free, etc.

   Color: – It might seem funny to you, but colors do matter! Studies suggest that in a call-to-action button, you should use big, red, and bold for headlines, while navy to help develop a feeling of trust.
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