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- Sitewide Ranking Factors
- On-Page Ranking Factors
- Off-Page Ranking Factors
- Overall Best Practices
Whether you're a business owner, marketer, freelancer, or simply a hobbyist, increasing your website's ranking in search engines is one of the most, if not the most, cost-effective long term marketing strategies there is.
In this article, I will start by explaining the necessary terms you must understand to fully comprehend and successfully increase your website's search engine rank. There are numerous search engines, and although these methods and recommendations should help in all of them, I will be focusing on the Google and Bing search engines.
I will be covering a lot of information throughout this and will try to simplify things as much as possible. If you have any questions, feedback, or simply want to participate in the discussion, please comment at the bottom and I will follow up as soon as I can.
Search Engine Ranking Terminology
SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization. This is the process of optimizing your website, websites content, and other factors not located on your website in order to increase your websites ranking in search engines in general as well as for specific words or phrases.
These are the words, or phrases, you are attempting to rank for or increase your page ranking of.
These are the same as keywords but are 3 or more words and are more specific either by niche or demographic. They are generally easier to rank for due to less competition. An example of a keyword could be "search engine optimization" and a long-tail keyword would be, "st louis search engine optimization".
Backlinks are hyperlinks or website links from another site to your own. These are a critical part of increasing your ranking in search engines and will be discussed thoroughly. Not all backlinks were created equal, they range in value based on the authority of the linking website and some can even hurt your ranking potential in search engines.
A social share is your url or website page being posting or shared on social platforms. The primarily tracked platforms include Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn. Twitter has been deemed no longer relevant in search engine rankings. These are treated much like backlinks in how they help your website rank.
A website's Domain Authority is the overall rating of a domains ability to rank in search engines. There is no universal standard for this metric, most seo tools use this metric but have slightly different algorithms. I will be referring to commonly accepted practices across platforms when I mention this.
A webpages URL Authority is the same as the Domain Authority only segmented down to just the specific URL. This is generally calculated through number of banklinks, quality of backlinks, and URL social shares.
On Page SEO
These are factors on your article or webpage which affect how well it will rank in search engines. Some are throughout the content while others are in the backend coding of the page. These is generally the most important and easiest to control aspect of ranking your website in search engines.
Off Page SEO
These are ranking factors not actually located on your website. Backlinks and social shares are the bulk of this factor.
Search Engine Index
A search engines "Index" is all of the website pages it has saved to pull from and show in search results. Each search engine (unless it's simply a rebranded Google Search etc.) has it's own index and its important to manage your websites pages in each.
The first thing you need to know is that ranking your website in search engines is not an exact science. Google does not publish a guide or criteria on how to rank initially or increase your search engine ranking. They leave hints at times, but that's the extent of "guaranteed knowledge". Most of what's known and best habits are discovered through extensive testing and case studies involving the analysis and rankings of 10,000's of websites at a time. It's now broken down to a pretty accurate science, but no where near exact or guaranteed even if you should follow these recommendations exactly.
Search engine ranking criteria can be broken down into 3 major factor categories:
- Sitewide Domain Search Engine Ranking Factors
- On-Page Search Engine Ranking Factors
- Off-Page Search Engine Ranking Factors
Sitewide Ranking Factors
Domain Registration Length
On-Page Ranking Factors
Page Load Time
Off-Page Ranking Factors
I hope you found this information beneficial and feel free to comment down below any thoughts or questions you may have.