SEO Ranking Factors in 2024

As you all know, Google has been updating its algorithms very often for the last few years; that’s why it’s so important to stay up to date and be always aware of what are the most important SEO ranking factors to take into account when getting ready to work on a website ranking or a new SEO campaign.

In this article, we will only cover the main factors that need to be considered and that have also been proven to have a very impactful effect on website ranking.

Let’s then get started:

Most Important SEO Ranking Factors

  1. Backlinks
  2. Content Optimization
  3. Page Level / Keyword
  4. Page Loading Speed
  5. Mobile Optimization / Accelerated Mobile Page
  6. SSL Certificate / HTTPS
    Most Important SEO Ranking Factors
  7. Backlinks are well known as one of the most, if not the most, off-page reference factors to calculate a domain’s authority, and it can help your site rank a lot better in the results of all search engines.

Backlinks are usually placed on websites of high authority and reputation. They are just reference links to your website or one of your posts, and they work to gain a good reputation and authority.

Two main types of backlinks can be used as SEO ranking factors, and they can have a different impact on your website’s ranking: do-follow and no-follow links. These two need to be appropriately balanced to avoid being penalized by Google.

DoFollow links

DoFollow links tell the search engines that they can follow the link to your website and also humans can follow these links, this is how you can increase domain authority, the more DoFolow backlinks you get, the more you will benefit from the authority of those websites linking to you and improve your website ranking.

Anchor text is also considered a very important SEO ranking factor, and this is a DoFollow backlink with a targeted keyword. This is most likely how someone will let you get a backlink from their blog or website.

DoFollow links look like this: <a href=””>Keyword</a>

NoFollow links

NoFollow links tell search engines that only humans can follow them to your website, not the search engine itself. This is mostly used when you want to link to a website and don’t want to give it backlink juice.

This type of backlinks is also important when you are working on an SEO campaign because you want all your backlinks to look natural to avoid penalizations; making sure that you have as many DoFollow as NoFollow backlinks will keep things balanced for you and stay on the safe side.

NoFollow links look like this: <a href=”” rel=”nofollow”>Google</a>

Content Optimization

This is most definitely one of the most important SEO ranking factors; we all know how much Google loves content. When we talk about content optimization as one important resource for website ranking, we are talking about all the following aspects:

Meta Title

The Meta Title needs to include your targeted keyword, preferably at the beginning, and its length needs to be under 75 characters.

Meta Description

The Meta Description tells the search engines what your page or article is about, it needs to include your targeted keyword and its length must be between 100 and 160 characters).

Content-Length and Relevance

Content length and Relevance are not a secret; everybody knows that Google loves content. The content must be original and it should have at least 800 words, but the more text you have, the more love Google will give you. Also, ensure your content is original; you don’t want to be penalized for using someone else’s content).

Page Level / Keyword

Finding the best keywords to target is one of the toughest tasks for bloggers who are just beginning their careers and don’t have much experience or knowledge about SEO ranking factors or website ranking. There are a few basic concepts that you cannot miss if you want to be #1 on Google search results.

Longtail Keywords

Longtail keywords are the ones formed by three to four words, these are indeed the least competitive keywords since they don’t have as high search volume as keywords that are only formed by one or two words, therefore it’s easier to rank for those. Let’s give you an example:

This is a good example of a short-tail keyword. It’s only formed by two words and has a good search volume, which means you will get between 10,000 and 100,000 visitors from that keyword if you can get to #1 on the search results for that particular keyword. Now, the problem is how difficult it is to compete here.

Now, let’s try to find a 3 to 4-word longtail keyword and compare them.

This keyword is formed by three words, and it can drive more targeted traffic to your website because it’s also a more specific search. The user is looking for “companies”, while in the first example that was not so specific. Competition is lower; although it has less search volume, it will take less time and effort to start ranking for this long tail keyword, but it also has a higher CPC, which could result in more revenue if you monetize with a PPC such as Google Adsense.

Page Loading Speed

Google has officially announced that website loading speed is one of the key SEO ranking factors they will take more seriously. Every user expects a fast-loading site with around 2-3 seconds for the loading speed. If your website takes longer than that, then they are already thinking about leaving your slow turtle website and clicking elsewhere.

Therefore, this is a very important detail affecting your conversion rate. You are probably already located within the top 10 search results for your targeted keyword, but people often bounce out of your website because it takes so long to load completely.

GTmetrix provides great recommendations to reduce your website’s loading speed.

Mobile Optimization / Accelerated Mobile Page

This is another SEO ranking factor that Google announced as one of the bullet points they will target for 2024. Indeed, google initiated the AMP project, which introduced a lighter version of a website designed especially for mobile devices.

This initiative allows mobile users (Smartphones and tablets), which nearly represent at least 30% of the users, to search for things through Google every day, and the number is increasing. This is the reason why you must ensure that you configure your website appropriately for pages and posts to display accordingly with its AMP version.

This is what one expert from Google has to say:

“Speed has always been a cornerstone of Google Search and we’re thrilled to be working alongside others in the tech industry and publishers around the world to bring the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project to life. An open content ecosystem will give publishers maximum reach and allow users to get the best content no matter which app they are using. AMP HTML will make it all blazing fast, so we can’t wait to use it!” – David Besbris, VP Engineering, Google Search

SSL Certificate / HTTPS

In the past, having an SSL certificate was only important if you had an e-commerce website or if you needed to collect information that needed to be encrypted, such as credit card information, SSN, etc.

It has changed since Google officially announced that it will flag any site without an SSL certificate as insecure. This is certainly one of the big changes Google announced for 2024. If you were wondering what was coming after panda, then now you know it.

An SSL certificate is estimated to cost around $60/year, but there are also some free options out there that you can always enjoy, such as Flexible SSL by CloudFlare and Free SSL by Let’s Encrypt.

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