Google uses over 200 ranking factors to maintain its market leadership and provide users the most relevant search results. With over 5.14 billion searches each day, it’s the ultimate dream of an online marketer to achieve high rankings on Google SERPs. But the volatility of Google algorithms makes it difficult. Therefore, you must make good use of top Google ranking factors for consistent and optimal results.
In this blog, we’ll focus on leading on-page SEO ranking factors to help you improve rankings. We will also discuss the best SEO practices, features of SEO-friendly content, and prerequisites of an ideally optimized web page.
If your website is brilliantly optimized, chances are it will rank higher. Since Google bots scan the on-page elements first, on-page ranking factors can be a game-changer for your website or web page’s ability to rank.
Here we list the top three Google ranking factors to help you improve your rankings and neutralize the impact of Google algorithm updates and consequent ranking fluctuations.
Search engine crawlers work relentlessly to find content that offers users value, making content on-page a strong ranking metric. From an SEO perspective, good content must:
Your website should act as a resource for your audience and customers and supply information to meet the immense demand. For example, WikiHow gives people easy instructions to solve day-to-day problems. Apart from text, you can consider videos, podcasts, images, or gifs to provide solutions depending on the demand.
If your content is not linkable, search engines may discount all the value it offers. If people can’t link to your content, Google algorithms will find no way to assess its rank worthiness. As a result, your website will receive no traffic from search engines.
It frequently happens, especially when you have locked content such as eBooks, educational material, or AJAX-powered image slideshows that can be viewed when the reader is logged in. Search engines can’t crawl such content. It can’t be reproduced or shared either. Search engines and netizens don’t like content that doesn’t fulfill a demand.
Crawlers scan title tags before moving on to the content on the page. Therefore, title tags are an essential and sensitive on-page ranking factor. They also help bots categorize the web page and index it. To know why title tags are so important and how you can write an appropriate title tag, read this Moz article
Since category hierarchy is crucial for SEO, it should reflect in the website URL. For example, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/google-analytics tells us that this HubSpot page is dedicated to Google Analytics (GA) in the online marketing articles category.
Crawlers use this information to assess a web page’s relevance. The hierarchy also reflects that the page discusses GA in digital marketing’s context, and the page isn’t likely a resource that contains GA as a tool. So, if a user is looking for information on GA for online marketing, it’s likely that the search engine sends them to this instructional article. It happens before the bots crawl your web page content to know what it is all about.
Now, let’s look at a poor URL structure:
This URL doesn’t reflect any information hierarchy in the website, making it difficult for search engines to figure out what the page is all about.
Here is another example of a well-crafted and SEO friendly URL:
It clearly mentions that the concerned page is a learning resource, and it talks about on-page factors under the SEO category.
Web pages are the real estate of a website. The content on them is the prime reason why the visitors land and stay on your website. So, make sure it’s specific and hyper-relevant to the topic. You can use title tags, URLs, content on-page, and Image alt text to state the web page’s objective to search engines.
Here is an example of a web page with SEO-friendly content:
Search engines love this kind of content. Such web pages have the following features:
1. Unique content that has in-depth, relevant, and topical information
2. Well-written, search-engine friendly URL that mentions the topic
3. Images with alt text
4. Liberal use of visuals and graphics
5. Well-written meta description
An SEO-friendly web page should:
1. Have unique, topical content
2. Contain the topic in the title tag, URL, and image alt text
3. Specify the subject and mention related keywords several times in the text content
4. Link back to the category page, sub category page (if applicable), and homepage
To climb the SERP ladder, you need to start from the beginning — that’s fixing your on-page SEO. With your website’s on-page elements in place, you can start working on other ranking factors such as search intent, backlinks, domain authority, user experience, and page load speed. If your website is optimized with your target audience in mind, you’ve already won half the battle.