Google’s search engine results pages (SERP) are the pages displayed by Google in response to a query by a user on the Google Search engine.

The main component of the SERP is the search results, which are generally referred to as “organic” results. These are the results that are not paid for and are based solely on relevancy algorithms. In addition to the organic results, there may also be paid advertisements or “sponsored” results, which appear above or to the right of the organic results. 

The layout and contents of the SERP vary depending on the type of query entered by the user. For example, a user who enters a query for “shoes” will see different results than a user who enters a query for “weather.” The SERP also changes depending on the location of the user. For example, a user in New York City will see different results than a user in London.

Finally, the SERP may also change based on the device that is being used to access Google. For example, a user who is searching on a mobile phone will see different results than a user who is searching on a desktop computer.

Google displays a list of results that are relevant to the query entered by the user. These results are generally displayed in order of relevance, with the most relevant results appearing at the top of the list. How to get to the top of this list and the key ranking factors that make it happen are the subjects of this article.

ranking factor

10 Key Ranking Factors

While this list is by no means exhaustive, these are 10 of the most important ranking factors to keep in mind when optimizing your website for search engines.

  1. The speed of your website

While website speed has been a ranking factor for some time, it’s become even more important in recent years. Google has stated that they are using site speed as a ranking factor, and this is backed up by data from multiple studies.

One study found that a slow loading site could lose up to 50% of its visitors. And another study found that a 1 second delay in page load time could result in a 7% loss in conversions.

  1. The age of your website

The age of your website indicates to Google the trustworthiness of your site. The longer your site has been around and the more consistent its content has been, the better chance you have of ranking high in search results.

  1. The freshness of your website’s content

Google loves fresh content, and if you can consistently provide new, relevant information on your website, you’re much more likely to rank high in search results. Regularly publishing blog posts or news articles is a great way to keep your content fresh.

  1. The number of pages on your website

More pages on your website mean more opportunities to rank in search results. If you have a large website with a lot of high-quality content, you’re more likely to rank higher than a smaller site with less content.

  1. The amount of traffic your website receives

Websites that receive a lot of traffic from organic search are more likely to rank higher than those that don’t. This is because Google takes into account the popularity of a site when determining its ranking.

  1. The keywords you use on your website

Using relevant keywords on your website is one of the most important ranking factors. Google uses these keywords to determine what your site is about and how relevant it is to searchers.

  1. The density of those keywords on your pages

Keyword density is the number of times a keyword appears on a page divided by the total number of words on the page. If you stuff your pages with too many keywords, it will hurt your ranking. But if you don’t use enough keywords, you won’t be able to rank high for those terms.

  1. How easy it is for users to navigate your website

Google wants its users to have a good experience when they visit your site. That means making sure your site is easy to navigate and that users can find what they’re looking for easily. If your site is hard to use, Google will penalize you in the rankings.

  1. The quality of inbound links to your website

Inbound links are links from other websites to yours. Google uses these links to determine the popularity and importance of your site. If you have a lot of high-quality inbound links, you’re more likely to rank higher in search results.

  1. Your website’s design

While not necessarily a ranking factor, having a well-designed website can give you an advantage over your competitors. A good design makes it easy for users to navigate your site and find the information they’re looking for. It also makes your site more likely to be shared and linked to, which can help improve your ranking.

While there are many ranking factors that contribute to your website’s ranking, these are 10 of the most important. If you focus on optimizing these factors, you’ll see a significant improvement in your search engine rankings. Do you want your business to rank higher? We’re here to help.

A global team of digerati with offices in Washington, D.C. and Southern California, we provide digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, and creative for brands you know and nonprofits you love.
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