Want to boost your presence online? If you’re ready to be search engine result #1, the EDGE Marketing team can help you get there.
By working with clients to design impactful and results-driven digital campaigns, we’ve spent the last 20+ years growing and learning our way to be one of Australia’s best digital marketing agencies. With this in mind, we’re always looking for new ways we can help upskill and educate our online community of blog readers and followers so they can action best marketing practices on their own.
If you’re ready to boost your SEO score–read on below. First and foremost deep diving into the most influential factors that drive your SEO ranking and then the features you’ll want to keep in mind next time you’re completing an SEO audit, we can help your brand or business find, connect, and drive more traffic online.
The 101 of Search Engine Rankings
First and foremost, we feel it’s important to point out the very reason that Google exists–it’s raise d’etre if you will. Google wants to connect online search engine users with the most relevant content that is the most likely to solve their problems or meet their needs. (Needs being interests, information, or content they’re likely to connect with.)
With this in mind, the factors that influence if you rank higher on Google (read: your website’s position on search engine result pages) are those that Google looks at favourably for helping them achieve this to-level goal.
In short, search rankings work like this:
Search Engine User Query:
This is where a user on a search engine like Google types in a search query and expects to find relevant information, context, or something that will give a solution to their problem or needs. The order of results on the search engine pages that come up as a result of this search indicate the ‘ranking’ or order of relevant results.
SEO Ranking Influencing Factors:
Knowing that most Google users never search past page one of the search engine results for an answer to their question, it’s more important than ever for your website, product, or service to be listed on page one. So how do you get there? By boosting your SEO ranking–which, in turn, is influenced by a number of impactful SEO factors.
SEO Ranking Factors:
What we want to focus on are the factors that heavily influence our SEO score (or ranking) that are within our control. While there are some influential considerations that affect our SEO outside of our immediate scope, we’ll deep dive into the factors we can influence and adjust below.
That’s it in a nutshell. A user types a search into Google, they flip through the results (most likely only on page one), they find a possible solution to their needs, and they (hopefully) click through the website to get more information.
This is why you want to be on the first page of SEO results–and this is why your SEO ranking and score is so important to finding and connecting with new leads and customers online.
How to Work with Search Engines to Get a Higher SEO Score
Whether it’s Google, Bing, or Yahoo, all search engines will have slightly different algorithms that rank and preview website hosts on their results pages–however, they mostly work the same. (From an SEO and marketing perspective, at least.)
To ensure that your website is a viable candidate for showing on page one, you’ll want to work with the search engines algorithm and follow SEO best practices–not against it. Worse still–trying to outsmart or ‘dupe’ the search engine host.
You may come across some questionable sources online that recommend dubious SEO practices like keyword stuffing, bait-and-switch tactics, or posting trending content that’s in n way relevant to your brand in order to find and connect with more traffic online.
Hear us out–Google and other search engines will penalise you for this. (And you’ll likely end up farther down the line of high-quality search engine results that will actually provide a good solution to the user’s search query or needs.)
Top SEO Score Influencers within Your Control
Our team has done a deep dive in other blog articles about the different types of SEO–namely, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. For this post’s purposes, we’ll look at select on-page and off-page SEO factors that highly influence your SEO ranking as they’re within most beginner marketers and small business owner’s control.
Here are the SEO factors that we believe most highly affect your Google rankings and score.
Optimise for Mobile Devices First:
If you thought you were best suited to designing your brand’s website for laptops and desktop computers first–think again. More traffic than ever is accessing Google, eCommerce websites, and social media platforms from their mobile devices–at times, upwards of 75% of all online traffic uses the internet from their phones.
To make sure that your website is optimised for a great user experience regardless of what device visitors access it from, we recommend optimising for mobile devices first. Phone, iPads, and tablets alike–making sure that your website is ready to deliver a fantastic, intuitive mobile device experience is a great way for Google to recognise the quality of your digital strategy and brand.
Page Speed, Load Time:
We hate to admit it–but we know that attention spans are waning faster than ever. That plus increased expectations around the world of fast internet speed and browsers mean the web users expect incredibly fast page loading times.
(Don’t believe us? Some reports indicate that if a website page takes longer than 3-seconds to load you’ve lost your user.)
To make sure you don’t lose your leads before you’ve grabbed their attention, make sure every page on your website is optimised for a fast loading time. Well versed web designers will know how to do this–if you’re new to the idea, make sure to minimise image sizes, video files, and uncommon font types that will take longer to download (and deliver).
High Quality Content and Relevant Content
People on Google expect the pages that show in the search results to answer their search intent in a high quality, relevant sort of way. What this means is that Google is constantly crawling (read: analysing) your website content to help contextualise its understanding of what you offer and how it can meet user’s needs.
We cannot stress enough the importance of not only high quality–but relevant content. Google frowns on websites and brands that try to hack the system and take advantage of popular or trending topics–when those same topics are not relevant to their brand.
No matter your industry, become a high quality topic expert in what your brand stands for and offer customers–Google will rank you for it.
We’ve listed a few on-page SEO factors here that are important to your search engine ranking, including:
A relevant target keyword
Meta Data (like web page titles, title tag, and meta description)
Headers (H1s, H2s, etc)
All of these will not only offer a better website visitor experience but also help Google read and understand your site. Check out some of our other blogs to examine the importance of and how to optimise your On-page SEO at the EDGE Marketing blog.
Sometimes referred to as a linking structure or link building strategy, we’re looking specifically at ‘internal links’–or, the hyperlinks included across your website that:
Create a connected web of related and relevant content that your website visitors can follow;
Helps Google understand the most relevant content and topics discussed and explored on your site.
It usually takes about 3 relevant content web pages before you can link these back to a pillar page (more on topic cluster strategy another day), but it’s a good idea to start mapping out which content and pages you can connect to which.
Five isn’t too many, is it? Among the noise you’ll hear about best SEO practices online, we know that these five considerations are some of the most important when it comes to your SEO ranking–and website visitor experience. Because we believe it’s as important for Google to easily understand and deliver your website to highly relevant leads online as it is to offer a good user experience once they arrive on your website, we suggest following these SEO practices to make sure that both stakeholders are kept in mind.
Search Engine Optimization or Optimisation?
Fortunately, we covered this much-asked about topic in another recent post deep diving into all things SEO. The only difference between the two is your country of origin; so, if you’re a country that follows Commonwealth English speaking language laws, you’ll opt for ‘Optimisation’. If you’re based in the US and following American English laws, you’ll likely opt for ‘search engine optimization’.
That said, we always recommend considering the needs and expectations of your clients. If you’re based in a UK-English speaking country but your primary (or only) target audience is in the US, you may want to consider waiting for your readers and adopting their language laws.
Better yet–you can design and build a globalised website that allows for select copy and content to change according to the location where your visitors are viewing the site. (For example, website viewers in America would see American-style English whereas people who log in and use Google from the UK would see UK-English rules.)
The final decision is up to you, but we always recommend considering the expectations and preferences of your end-reader. (ie. target audience.)
Learn More SEO Strategy with the EDGE Marketing Team
Even small start-ups who don’t yet have an in-house marketing team can take advantage of the most influential factors that affect SEO rankings. From finding new leads and driving increased organic traffic to your website 24/7 to better understanding your existing customers’ online behaviour, SEO is a highly impactful digital marketing strategy that’s worth its weight in ROI.
If you’re interested in learning more about SEO best practices, digital marketing strategies, and how you can automate filling your lead funnel, follow along with EDGE Marketing blog. Each week we publish at least one blog post that deep dives into online strategy and best practices that will position and solidify your presence online.