Scottsdale SEO: 11 Essential Google Ranking Factors
You’ve just built an amazing new website for your business—but it doesn’t seem to be getting much traffic. After putting in so much effort into your website, why isn’t it ranking? As one of the top Scottsdale SEO agencies in Arizona… Go Phoenix SEO is your premier SEO direct connection!
It’s harder than ever to increase your local search rankings when it comes to Scottsdale SEO. There are millions of websites in the world, so to find that valuable web traffic, you need to know how Google rankings work.
Google uses a wide range of factors to determine which websites rank highly (and which ones don’t), so you need to understand them if you want success.
To learn more, keep reading to find 11 essential Google ranking factors that all website owners should understand.
1. To Succeed with Scottsdale SEO, You Need Quality Content
The number one step, when it comes to Google SEO, is writing quality content. Google cares about the reader, in that they want to recommend content that satisfies reader intent—meaning it answers their questions completely.
You should always write for your audience, not for Google. This means writing content that is structured well, written under descriptive headers, and that is edited and proofread.
You’ll also want to include a few photos or images, as they can add value to the reader and also help break up the text.
Poorly-written blog posts or web pages aren’t likely to get much love from Google, so writing the best possible content should be a priority.
2. Site Speed
How fast does your website load after a reader clicks on it? Google cares about site speed, so if your site isn’t loading quickly, it may be ranked down by Google.
Not only will Google be unhappy, but so will your readers. When a searcher clicks on a website and has to wait for it to load, they may click the back button and return to the search results, selecting another result.
We want answers in a hurry, and no one wants to waste time waiting for a website to load. If your site speed isn’t up to scratch, you may want to work with an SEO expert who can fix this.
3. Age of Domain
The age of your domain matters to Google, as older websites are seen as more established. Generally, a website is considered established 12 months after you’ve registered the domain name.
While there’s nothing we can do to speed up time, you can use this to your advantage, if you plan ahead. If you’re launching a new business or website, start work on your website well before you plan to go live.
This will give your site time to age, with articles hopefully starting to rank.
4. Keyword Research
One of the most important Google ranking factors is keywords. You’ll want to focus on long-tail keywords, which are more specific and have a lower search volume, compared to one-word searches—these keywords ensure you attract the right audience to your site.
All of your website’s content should be written with SEO in mind, using keyword research. Keyword research is the process of finding relevant keywords that your website can rank for, based on search volume.
Then, you incorporate these keywords into your blog posts and content. Google will pick up on these keywords and use them to ensure your content comes up when a user is searching for the same keywords.
Another of the Google SEO ranking factors to work on is backlinks. Backlinks are external links back to your website, from another website.
When an external website refers their readers to your content, via a link, this is a signal to Google that your content is relevant, authoritative, and important. The more backlinks your website has, the better chances it has of ranking above your competition.
However, not all backlinks are created equal. You only want backlinks from quality websites, with high DA (domain authority) scores, and you want to avoid spammy sites.
You can build up backlinks by consistently producing great content, which will then get picked up by others, and by writing guest posts for other websites.
6. User Experience
User experience, often referred to as UX, is a huge factor when it comes to Google rankings. As mentioned above, Google cares about readers and wants them to have a positive experience when readers visit sites they recommend.
User experience comes into play when thinking about the design and structure of your website. This is a newer factor in Google’s rankings, but one you should consider for your website design.
You’ll want to have organized categories, a fast site speed, mobile-optimized content, and an easy navigation system on your site, so users can quickly find whatever they’re looking for.
7. Is Your Site Mobile-Optimized?
Increasingly, we are browsing the internet on our smartphones, tablets, and iPads. However, the dimensions of mobile devices are different from traditional computer screens, which means your website needs to be optimized for mobile viewing.
Otherwise, the formatting of the website won’t look right on phones, making it difficult for readers to load and browse. Google is aware of this and prioritizes websites that are created with a theme that looks beautiful on any device.
If you’re using display ads, you also want to make sure your ads look great on any device.
8. Internal Links
Backlinks aren’t the only important type of link—internal links matter too. Internal links are links within your own website that link readers to other pages or blog posts.
They help your readers navigate your site, but they also help search engines crawl through your content and categorize it.
Use internal links naturally, such as to link related content or to encourage readers to read other content at the end of your article. These links shouldn’t be crammed into each post—only use them when relevant.
9. Article Length
Most websites know that blogs are a key way to get noticed by a new audience, but how long should your blog post be?
Longer content tends to be favored by Google, as it is seen as thorough and able to answer reader questions. On average, the highest-ranking articles on Google have 2,450 words.
While this seems long, you can easily write articles to most topics to this word count. Blog posts, especially long ones, can benefit from a table of contents as well, as they let readers jump around to the parts of the article that they’re most interested in.
10. Image Optimization
Images are a vital part of any website, but you need to optimize them to help rank on Google.
The size of images is a big part of this, as large image files will slow down your website speed. You want your files as small as they can be, without reducing image quality.
You also need to add a few descriptions to each photo, to help with rankings and also to help readers with visual impairments, so they can use a screen reader to hear descriptions of your images.
Image Optimization means naming image files accurately, always including captions, and putting in alt text, which describes the image.
11. Technical SEO
Technical SEO is another factor in Google rankings. Technical SEO means SEO that helps optimize your site for Google’s crawling.
Google’s bots crawl constantly, going through your website looking for new content and checking site speed. To optimize your site for technical SEO, you need to use headings and meta descriptions for each blog post, remove any dead links from your site, and make sure your website doesn’t have duplicate content.
You may also want to create an XML sitemap, which is a list of all URLs on your site. When uploaded onto your Google Search Console, this makes it quicker and easier for Google to include your website in their searches.
Contact Us for All of Your Scottsdale SEO Needs
As you can see, understanding Google ranking factors is a big job. If you need help with Scottsdale SEO, you may want to reach out to an SEO expert.
In that case, we can help. Go Phoenix SEO are experts in SEO and digital marketing, with the skills and talents to help your website or business rank higher.
We can work with you to improve SEO, develop ad campaigns, and to target certain keywords—all for competitive pricing. With years of expertise in the field, our team knows what it takes to build a successful website.
To take your SEO to the next level, contact us today. We are glad to offer a free SEO audit to help get you started as well. Our team looks forward to hearing from you and helping your business master SEO and Google rankings.