Which Factors Affect My Search Engine Rankings the Most?

As you work to improve your website’s SEO, search engine ranking, and score, you wonder which factors affect you the most. Is there one area you should focus on above the others? Or is there any one factor that can influence your SEO more than anything else?

Although there is no single “magic bullet” that can get you ranking #1 for your targeted keywords overnight, on this page we hope to educate you about the biggest factors that affect your ranking — and your website score. If you focus on these factors, you’ll stand a better chance at improving your site SEO and getting a better score the next time you use our grader tool.

Website content

Above almost everything else, search engines need to rely on the content of websites to rank them. Without content, Google wouldn’t be able to look for the keywords users searched for, check for relevant content to display when someone wants to read the news, or look for the metrics (like bounce rate and time on page) that it uses to determine the quality of a site.

If your site only has a few hundred words spread out between a few pages, you should work on improving this ASAP. Consider writing helpful articles, starting a blog, or giving your visitors more information about who you are and what you do. This can make a huge difference in how well you rank, as well as how useful visitors find your website — which can, in turn, have an indirect impact on your rankings.

Links from other sites

If your website is heavily linked by others, chances are good that you aren’t having any trouble ranking. But if it’s not, you’re probably struggling. Why is that? It’s because Google strongly values links from other sites.

Generally speaking, the more links you have, the better. However, obtaining a lot of links won’t necessarily help you. The quality of the links matters, too; there’s a strong correlation between your ranking and the number of links from websites with a high DA. (You can learn a bit more about domain authority, or DA, on this page.)

If you are lacking in links, try to put together a plan to acquire more. We made some suggestions that should be helpful in this article: How Can I Get More Links to My Website?

Code, usability, and structure

Finally, one big factor that affects your website’s performance in search is its technical backbone. Your website should be made up of clean code, well structured, easy to navigate, and friendly to both users and search engines.

There are a number of individual factors that make up this larger one. It’s difficult to pinpoint which could have the biggest impact. The thing you should be most aware of is that if your site is broken (that is, if the code used to create it does not work properly), search engines can’t crawl or index it, or if it is missing crucial elements, it will have a hard time ranking. Similarly, server errors can cause problems for you, too.

Other small factors, like your navigation, URL structure, and mobile friendliness can also have an impact on your ranking. However, the factors listed above are cause for immediate concern, while these are a bit lower down on the totem pole.

These three factors, in a nutshell, are what affect your visibility in search engines the most. There are many other ways to improve your SEO, which you can learn about by reading the resources section on our website.

Do you have any questions about these SEO factors, or any of the results on your website grader report? Feel free to contact us at any time to ask about them! We would love to hear from you.

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