Are you considering your SEO strategy for the year ahead? Want to know the key ranking factors that will affect your website in 2022 and beyond?
We share the top 8 Google ranking factors for 2022 in this infographic.
Here’s what makes the list:
- Publish high-quality content
- Make your site mobile-first
- Enhance page experience
- Optimise your page speed
- Master your on-page optimisation
- Internal link structure
- Earn relevant & authoritative links
Check out the infographic for more detail.
If you’re a business owner, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make next year will be which search engine optimisation strategy you’ll use to help your website rank in Google’s organic results.
While there are many factors that influence rankings, most experts agree that Google uses more than 200 ranking factors in its algorithm, and it makes adjustments to them on an ongoing basis.
In this post, we’ll cover the top eight Google ranking factors that will affect your website in 2022, so you can consider how to improve your site’s rankings over the course of the year.
Publish high-quality content
While it might sound obvious, it’s important to remember that you need to be publishing relevant, useful content on a regular basis. This not only helps bolster your search rankings, but gives visitors additional reasons to stick around.
As you look for new topics and angles with which to approach them, consider including infographics, videos and visuals wherever possible; these are more likely to hold visitor attention than simple blocks of text.
Make your site mobile-first
There are two primary reasons for mobile-first indexing: speed and SEO. According to research from Google, nearly half of all searches are now made on mobile devices; that figure is expected to continue growing over time.
As such, it makes sense for Google to begin prioritising mobile users first—especially as most small businesses already rank better with mobile search results than desktop ones!
The second reason for mobile-first indexing is SEO. Many signals associated with higher rankings (i.e., link metrics) are easier to spot when viewed through a smartphone screen.
Having a site optimised specifically for smartphones allows you to take advantage of these ranking factors while ignoring others that aren’t pertinent to small screens or slow network speeds (like graphics).
Optimise your page speed
To avoid slow page speed issues, make sure your website uses a responsive design that loads quickly on any device. While you’re at it, take care not to use scripts or plugins that might affect performance.
Experiment with mobile-first development techniques and server-side caching systems, too. Tools like Google Pagespeed Insights will help you track how well your site performs in terms of page speed—and suggest ways to improve your score over time.
And while fast pages are a great place to start, don’t forget about overall load times.
Since search algorithms evaluate overall experience, including desktop-to-mobile load times from both desktop and smartphone devices, keeping your site speedy across all platforms helps boost your rankings overall.
Enhance page experience
With all of these ranking factors intertwined, it’s important to make sure your content is easily accessible and easy to navigate.
When users can’t find what they need or are put off by certain elements of your site’s design, they won’t come back or share your content leaving you further behind in ranking for relevant keywords.
Master your on-page optimisation
If you want to be found online, it’s your website that will get you there. And if you want people to find and click on your website, then it’s vital that it’s highly optimised for search engines.
The simplest thing you can do right now is make sure your site has keywords used in every page title tag and every body-tag. Don’t go overboard with stuffing keywords though – use a simple tool like Yoast SEO to ensure your content isn’t too keyword heavy.
Put effort into making sure all of your images have alt tags as well as captions if they need them – these are all opportunities for extra pages that could appear in searches relating to specific topics or categories.
Earn relevant & authoritative links
Links from relevant and authoritative sources matter a lot, as they increase a website’s credibility and reputation with search engines. Search engines rank websites that have strong link equity higher than those who don’t.
Building links is a tricky business though – it requires developing relationships with high-profile bloggers, authors, and other influencers across your niche or industry.
Not only do you need to be looking for opportunities to earn backlinks, but you also need to be willing to share someone else’s content if they take the time to write about your stuff. Remember: Giving can lead to getting.
When Google wants to know more about your company or website, it looks at three things: relevancy, authority & trust.
By earning backlinks you are not only adding one of these pillars (relevancy), but are building trust through generosity which will make you more trustworthy in the eyes of search engines over time.
Local relevance, distance and prominence
Google states local rankings are broken down into three ranking factors; Relevance, distance and prominence. This means that even if you’re number one for a popular search term, there is always someone who can rank above you for specific location based searches.
This is especially relevant to businesses like plumbers and electricians who deal with commercial clients across a variety of locations (and thus locations related searches).
If your business falls into such category ensure you’re including your physical address details on every page of your website so that each page ranks better on location specific queries rather than just branding pages without address details on them.
Internal link structure
As much as SEOs love to talk about backlinks, it’s important to remember that Google looks at your website from within, too.
Internal link structure is one of many ranking factors that gives Google an idea of how your site is organized and helps it determine what content is most important.
Because internal linking will likely be an overlooked area for small businesses, you can create a solid advantage over competitors by making sure you have a natural, effective internal link structure.