Before we get to the part where we explain how you can do SEO to rank high on search engines, we need you to understand how search engines work.
In this section. we will also talk about how people use search engines, how it works, ranking factors, algorithms and different features of search engine results pages (SERPs).
The process is simpler than you might think. Search engines have bots, also called spiders, that crawl the contents of a web page. After it’s done crawling, Google uses that information and runs it through their secret algorithms to decide where to rank it in the search engine results pages.
If you have optimized your page correctly, the bots will index your page on the relevant keyword that you want to target. This also depends on the various algorithms of Google and other search engines, which we will talk about in detail below.
Search Engine Ranking Factors
Did you know that there are over 200 different things that Google looks at to determine how to rank each web page? These are called “ranking factors”.
Don’t worry, we aren’t going to go through all 200 of them here!
Not all of them are very important or require your attention. I’ll just give you some tips on how to optimize for the most important ranking factors.
Here are the most important:
- Referring domains
- Organic click-through-rate
- Domain authority
- Domain relevancy
- Mobile usability
- Dwell time
- Total number of backlinks
- Content quality
These are in no particular order, by the way.
Here’s a bit more info about what they all mean:
Referring domains are other websites that link to your website. If you have high authority domains linking out to you, then this will not only increase your website’s authority but it will also give you a chance to rank higher on Google.
Organic click-through rate (CTR) is defined as the number of times the searcher clicks on your page after searching for a keyword. If you have a high CTR then you have a good chance of staying on the position you initially ranked for, and even moving up in rankings.
Domain authority is the authority of your domain which you built over time by getting quality backlinks and publishing high-quality content that’s optimized for search.
Domain relevancy means that your domain should have content related to your main topic. For example, if you have a travel blog, it will be easier for you to rank on travel-related topics. If you start publishing tech news or recipes, it will be much harder to rank those in search results.
Mobile usability refers to how easy it is to use your site on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. It helps to improve the load time of your blog so that it loads faster. You also need to work on the overall user experience (UX).
Dwell time is the time a visitor spends on your website. Let’s say that your blog is ranked at the 4th of the first page and a visitor clicks through to your blog. Your visitor really likes the content and spends time going through the information you have on your blog. Your content has satisfied the user’s intent and he leaves your site without going back to the search results and clicking on a different link. Google will take note of this and might give you a bump in your position.
Total number of backlinks is the number of links to your website from other sites around the web.
Content quality goes without saying! The better the content you create, the better the chances of getting good links. This is the foundation of SEO for bloggers.
Search Engine Algorithm Updates
Search engines, more specifically Google, make a lot of updates to their algorithms to improve their search results. You will hear the people often talk about how a certain Google update made them gain or lose their rankings.
But if you are doing everything right and following the basic Google guidelines, then you don’t have anything to worry about.
Our advice to you once you start doing SEO is that there will be times that you will be greatly rewarded after a Google update. Then there will also be a time when you might lose your rankings even though you were doing everything right.
At times like these, be patient and keep doing what is right and satisfy your visitor’s intent with good compelling content. If you stick to that, you’ll be rewarded.
Features of Search Engine Results Pages
Search engine results pages (SERPs) don’t only include lists of URLs. Google has added a lot of features to them over time. You may have noticed things like featured boxes, ads, image carousels, and other features.
These are some of the most common rich snippets you’ll see in the SERP:
- Featured snippet
- Answer box
- Carousel (images, videos, products)
- Image pack
- Map pack
- Sponsored features (Google Ads, flights, shop on Google)
- Knowledge graph
- Top stories
The SERP feature you should target is the featured snippet. If you manage to get your site in the featured snippet, you will get a huge traffic boost.