Whether your website reaches top positions in search queries via Google is not a question of chance. The world’s most important search engine evaluates your website according to numerous factors that have a decisive influence on your ranking. Our online agency has compiled the most important 30 ranking factors below. These factors are decisive for our professional work as an SEO agency to pave the way to digital success for our clients.
According to many marketers, there are more than 200 ranking factors that contribute to Google’s evaluation of your website. Through interaction of individual factors, it could even be several thousand factors. There is no absolute certainty about the exact rating, especially as it changes with every Google update.
Nevertheless, every professional online agency has clues as to which factors are taken into account when evaluating a website. The following 30 ranking factors are therefore not an exhaustive and guaranteed list, but rather the criteria that we as an SEO agency consider to be particularly important and take into account in our daily work.
The readable content of your website is an absolute key to search engine optimisation success. The evaluation of content quality is subjective and therefore also difficult for Google. Therefore a good reference point for the reader is useful content that is well formatted and does not contain any linguistic or grammatical errors.
The search terms entered in Google should be found in the content of your website. Among other things, it is advisable to include H2 and H3 headings with relevant keywords. Because, in the text itself, important keywords should appear regularly without “keyword stuffing”.
Identical content, which can be found exactly the same way on other websites, is considered by Google as an important criterion for the devaluation of your website. Therefore, do not copy product descriptions of the original manufacturer or other content to avoid duplicate content and falling rankings.
Longer texts tend to have a greater added value for the reader, as they can present more information in a clearer way. It is therefore worth paying attention not only to the quality but also to the superior length of the text. This must of course match the page content, sometimes the compact product description in an online shop is also sufficient.
The Googlebot carries out a regular crawling of all websites that are in the Google index. This checks whether and to what extent changes have been made to the website. Accordingly, regular updates point to an active website operator, which has a positive influence on the ranking.
Your website has a high Google relevance if it is linked to from other websites. The number of external links to your website is as important as the relevance of the linking page. Frequently visited pages of well-known companies and shops therefore have a particularly large influence.
The same principle also applies to internal links. This refers to links that you set from your website to other sites. Relevant here is the number of links that offer real added value for the viewer. A high number of links is therefore not very helpful without the corresponding quality of the target page.
Google knows that many links are set for marketing reasons and for Google rankings alone. Accordingly, pages that place a particularly large number of links to a particular target page are punished. The structure of all links used should therefore appear natural and not place too much emphasis on any link partner.
The linking of other websites should ideally be done from within the text. Which words are chosen for the link is another ranking factor. As an SEO agency, we recommend keywords that match your own web presence and potential Google searches, as well as the content of the target page.
Every website receives an assessment from Google as to how serious and trustworthy the site and its operator are. Therefore, when creating links, attention should be paid to trusted links from reputable and well-known partners. Otherwise the bad reputation of a website will have a negative effect on the trustworthiness of your own site.
It is annoying for every internet user to click on a link and receive an error message instead of the desired content. Google knows this and punishes websites that have one or more broken links. This makes it all the more important to regularly check the functionality of your own linked websites.
Whether content or links, all contents of your website should be integrated in a clear page structure. A clear and logical page structure helps not only Google to recognise a structure and to evaluate it positively. It also makes the site much more vivid for the human viewer.
An important part of the clear structure is responsive programming. This means the optimal presentation of the website on all user devices, explicitly on small displays of smartphones and tablets. Older websites show great weaknesses in this respect, so that modern and responsive programming is necessary.
How well a website visitor finds his way around your website can be determined by various factors. Another important factor is the length of stay. The longer a user stays on your website and looks at the content. The more likely it is that Google will assume that your website is good and relevant and will rate it better.
Most visitors to the site will find you via a Google search. To constantly improve its performance, Google has a natural interest in how well the search results displayed match the search terms entered. Once the click rate is recorded, it gives your site more relevance if you are clicked on more often after the search query.
The bounce rate is the counterpart of the click rate. In this case, a user calls up your website after a Google search, but quickly uses the back button again for another search result. A low bounce rate indicates to Google that the searcher actually found your site.
Strong content is more than good text. Pictures and videos are important media elements with which you can significantly increase the quality of your site. Some visitors to your site will prefer videos instead of text. That’s why you also pay attention to your media in the sense of Google and human users to ensure high quality.
Using one or more social networks shows the direct proximity to your customers or your community. In addition, social media offers great potential for linking content and actively contributing to a functioning link structure. In addition, the networks used should fit the target group.
Facebook still plays a leading role among social networks. If you receive many shares with your postings on Facebook, this can be understood in a similar way to an external link. Likes are also likely to play a role as a ranking factor.
The same applies to Twitter as to Facebook. If you receive a large number of re-tweets for your entries and the link to your page. Here, links from verified and high-quality accounts could be more strongly evaluated.
The same principle as with Facebook applies to Instagram. The network is all the more relevant if you are dependent on a young and modern target group. A good maintenance of your Instagram account also promotes a direct connection to the users beyond Google.
In addition to the use of individual social networks, in the eyes of our online agency the overall performance in various social media can also play a role. For this reason we advise our clients to be active on several platforms and to achieve a strong social media presence overall.
Whether small shop or larger company, a targeted brand development is recommended everywhere. Because experience with Google searches shows that larger brands could have an advantage, especially with shorttail searches with few keywords.
In addition to your own brand, other brands can help you strengthen your Google position. You should therefore include the brand name in the anchor text of set links. Of course, it must be a relevant link, the misuse of the brand name can even have legal consequences.
Even without a direct link, Google should see the frequent use of certain brands on your website as a positive signal. In doing so, the site should not be overwhelmed with mentions of the brand. However, the right mixture of simple mention and targeted linking should also be considered.
The quality of a website is shown not only in the content level but also in the technical area. This applies primarily to the source code that your developer used to build the site. A clearly formulated and error-free source code seems to be an important factor for Google to recognise a reputable site.
Creating a sitemap helps Google to index your website with all subpages in a clear structure. There have been discussions for years whether the sitemap continues to be a strong ranking factor. However, we as an SEO agency recommend that, in case of doubt, you use this potential factor.
Whether title, description or keywords, there are similar discussions for meta tags. We as an SEO agency recommend setting Title and Description, in which you can also include keywords. Both are also displayed as a compact preview of your website as an entry in the Google results page.
The chosen domain can help to be found more easily when searching for certain keywords in the name of the website. This also applies to the top-level domain as a country code to push the ranking in certain nations.
Google prefers websites that build without delay and lead the viewer immediately to the desired content. This can lead to problems, especially with larger images and media content. It is often advisable to develop a special mobile version whose content builds up faster.
As you can see for yourself, the consideration of these and other ranking factors is complex. It is hardly possible for the individual site operator to operate an effective SEO that takes all factors into account. If you still want a top ranking for your website, please contact our SEO agency! We are your experienced partner who will increase your visibility on Google, the world’s most important search engine, with a strong and well thought-out SEO concept.