Top SEO Ranking Factors in 2018
Every year, several updates and adjustments are made to the search engine ranking factors and understanding these factors can distinguish a savvy online business from one that is likely to fail. You are probably aware of the importance of SEO in the digital marketing space today. Yet how can you leverage the huge potential therein? How can you determine the essential ranking factors in order to provide consistent results?
All ranking factors are not created equally. As such, it is easy to miss the most essential factors for your online business. Here are the most important on-page and off-page ranking factors that can positively impact the performance of your business in 2018.
It is simply impossible to have a list of search engine ranking factors without discussing content in 2018. Although the importance of content is no longer news, there has been a shift in recent years – away from just keyword-focused content to one that is relevant for user query. While subtle and clever keyword approach is still savvy, Google now ranks content according to their relevance. As such, providing comprehensive and relevant content is key to attracting and maintaining prospective clients.
This is another SEO ranking factor that is on par with content. While backlinks is still a crucial element of SEO ranking, Google has devised a strategy to separate bad links from good ones. As such, only links from authoritative and diverse domains can enjoy high SEO scores. How do you build a strong and relevant backlink? Content. Providing relevant content and relentlessly promoting it will attract the interest of authorities in your industry. When you achieve this goal with your content, Google will consider your contents relevant. A great backlink ticks three essential boxes: good number of backlinks, diversity, and link authority.
Google’s mobile-indexing approach is a major paradigm shift in SEO ranking update in recent years – and it is very relevant in 2018. This approach means that Google now rates websites that prioritize mobile versions and adapt them to larger screens over those that are focused on the desktop version of their website. Now more than ever, it is important that your content is mobile responsive and identical to the desktop version on your website.
In creating a mobile-friendly website, it is also important to consider page loading speed as it is crucial to a great user experience. While desktop websites should have an average load-time of 3 seconds or less, mobile websites should load within 2 seconds or less. The average online user can be very picky. In fact, statistics have revealed that 40% of web users leave a website that takes over 3 seconds to load. In the long run, this will cause high bounce rate, which can adversely affect your SEO efforts.