Google Ranking Factors still works in 2022
- Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Google uses over 200 ranking factors but what's most important for SEO. It is the 20% of actions that drive 80% of results in an SEO campaign to start improving your google rankings.
So, the most important google ranking factor is your website crawlable and indexable. None of the other google ranking factors matters if Google can't crawl and index your website pages, it is a prerequisite for ranking.
You should also set up your website on Google Search Console because it'll notify you if you're having crawling and indexing issues and it's the first place you should go to diagnose crawling problems.
Now there are many other factors that dictate how well Google will crawl and index your website, so there are four core elements you need to focus on:
1: Your Site-wide Navigation (Top Nav)
This is particularly important for e-commerce but it applies to every website. The site-wide navigation is the single best tool for improving crawlability in short you're giving Google an entry point on almost every page on your website and in general your goal should be to have all your pages on your website no more than three clicks deep and that's why in the case of e-commerce it's best to place category or collection pages in the navigation.
2: Internal Link Coverage (Internal Linking)
If a page isn't ranking well one question you should ask is does this page have enough internal link coverage and in my SEO campaign process I classify any page with less than five unique internal links is not having enough internal link coverage, you'll need to find pages to build more internal links or need to create more content to support those assets.
Regardless you will need to find these pages that have poor internal link coverage then you need to figure out a way to drive more internal links to these pages either by finding existing assets where you can add internal links or if you don't have any relevant existing assets then it's an indication that you need to create more content to be able to support these pages.
3: Optimizing Internal Links Anchor Text
Almost all your internal links should use exact match or partial match anchors to describe what you're linking to. Keep in mind sometimes modifying internal links anchor text can produce big gains.
4: Focus on your website Core Web Vitals
Now google has confirmed that core web vitals are ranking factor and but for now just ignore the technical jargon and it just means how fast your page loads and the overall experience. There are two primary ways to see how well your site is doing:
- First is lighthouse you can download it as a chrome extension and generator report, or you can also just right click on any page and inspect element then go to the lighthouse tab and generate a report number.
- Second you can use Google Page Speed Insights. Once you've benchmarked your scores, you'll just need to work to improve them in most cases you'll need to work with a developer and in addition to core web vitals you should also make sure your website has an SSL Certificate (HTTPS) because it's another confirmed ranking factor and there are many more micro technical and UX activities but focus on these first and you'll be ahead of most websites.
5: Content First (Content is King)
Is your content different and better than what's currently ranking now while it's true that longer content tends to rank better. The goal should be to create something new and unique for the keyword while continuing to satisfy the intent of that keyword.
Now speaking of intent it's the most important ranking factor in regard to your content if you get it wrong you will not rank and that's why it's critical to understand the different types of search intent and how it fits within the context of a sales funnel.
Creating SEO content are creating nothing more than regurgitated nonsense so focus on being different and finding that unique angle while continuing to satisfy the intent of the keyword.
6: Optimize the web page itself
To feed google algorithm at a bare minimum you should place your primary keywords in the URL, Title, Meta Description, H1 tag. Also sprinkle it a couple times naturally throughout the page.
7: Organic CTR
Now this only applies once you're actually ranking but it's critical for maintaining your rankings and getting further up the results. I recommend benchmarking your current CTR. Variables that affect organic CTR for example once again the intent matters.
How do you improve organic CTR, well in short you need to test and there are only a few variables that are possible the Title tag the Meta Description site links and microdata.
8: Backlinks for Website Authority
Overall website authority is one of the biggest ranking factors and it's why websites like forbes, amazon and wikipedia rank for so many keywords in fact they can publish a brand new page and rank in the top 10 without a single backlink hitting the new page that's the power of website authority.
Be scientific about your link building, first identify the link and authority gap between you and your competitors on the domain level.
These are all the most important Google ranking factors that you need to focus.