A backlink (or inbound link) is a link from another website to your website. Even though Google continually adds complexity to its algorithm, backlinks still remain a critical ranking signal.
Sizzling Tip: Pages with more backlinks tend to rank higher than pages with fewer backlinks.
2. Link Authority
A site’s overall link authority strongly correlates with higher rankings. Most SEOs agree that backlink quality is just as important as backlink quantity. In other words, it’s typically better to get a single link from an authoritative page than 100 links from 100 low-quality pages.
Sizzling Tip: The overall link authority of your page matters. If you can get a link to your site from a high authority site like the BBC, you’re in business. BBC, if you’re reading this, please link back to us 🙂
3. Topical Focused Content
Content rated as “topically relevant” significantly outperforms content that doesn’t cover a topic in-depth. Therefore, publishing focused content that covers a single topic may help with rankings.
Sizzling Tip: Writing comprehensive, in-depth content can help you rank higher in Google.
4. Content Length
Longer content tends to rank higher in Google’s search results, with the average Google first page result containing 1,890 words. A reason for this may be that longer content boosts your page’s topical relevancy, which gives Google a deeper understanding of your content’s topic.
Sizzling Tip: As long-form content ranks higher in Google’s search results than short-form content you need to write longer news stories and blog posts.
5. HTTP or HTTPS?
Google recently confirmed HTTPS as a ranking signal so it’s not surprising to see a strong correlation between HTTPS and first page Google rankings.
Sizzling Tip: The hosting may cost a little more, but if you’re launching a new site, you’ll want to have HTTPS in place from day one. For existing sites, moving to HTTPS is a little trickier. If you’re a current Kariba hosting customer feel free to contact us for details.
6. To Schema or not to Schema
Despite last year’s fuss around Schema markup, research shows that use of Schema doesn’t correlate with higher rankings.
Sizzling Tip: Forget Schema.
Content with at least one image significantly outperforms content without any images. Interestingly, research shows that adding additional images doesn’t influence rankings.
Sizzling Tip: Using a single image is clearly better than no images at all. Including lots of images doesn’t seem to have an impact on search engine rankings.
Guess we’d better put an image in here then. Hungry yet?
8. Title Tags
Including your target keyword in your title tag may help with rankings for that keyword. However, because of Google’s recent move to Semantic Search, the impact doesn’t appear to be nearly as great as it once was.
Sizzling Tip: Still use one or two keywords in your title tags, especially towards the front.
9. Site Speed
Based on data from Alexa, pages on fast-loading sites rank significantly higher than pages on slow-loading sites.
Sizzling Tip: Site speed matters so make sure your images are as optimised as possible.
10. Exact Match Anchor Text
Despite Google’s many Penguin updates, exact match anchor text still appears to have a strong influence on rankings.
However, because of the risk in exact match anchor text links, industry experts, including us at Kariba, don’t advise utilising exact match anchor text as an SEO tactic because of the risk of penalisation.
Sizzling Tip: Backlinks with exact match anchor text robustly correlate with rankings – but tread with caution.
11. Short URLs
Use short URLs whenever possible as they give Google a better understanding about your page’s true topic. According to a senior Google insider, URLs with more than five words seriously dilute Google’s ability to understand the topic and are therefore best avoided.
Sizzling Tip: Shorten those URLs
12. Bounce Rate
Bounce rate is the percentage of single page visits (or web sessions). It is the number of visits in which a person leaves your website from the landing page without browsing any further.
Latest data from the likes of SimilarWeb show that sites with relatively low bounce rates are associated with higher Google rankings.
Sizzling Tip: You’ll find your site’s bounce rate percentage in your Google Analytics. If it’s above 50 per cent feel free to drop us a line and we’ll do our best to advise.