Since Archie Query Form, the world’s first search engine was introduced in 1993, there’s been an influx of several others on the internet. Some of them don’t exist anymore while others have developed to become powerful search engines.
It is not hard to guess that Google is the master of them all with a mobile market share at 92.59% and desktop at 72.87%. It’s followed by Baidu whose mobile share is at 4.57% and desktop at 12.84%, while Bing, which merged with Yahoo in 2009, occupies the third place with a mobile share of 1.16% and desktop share of 7.70%.
Considering the fact that Google rules the search engine world, it isn’t a surprise that most businesses focus on it when trying to optimize their websites. Because appearing on the first page of Google draws high traffic to a business as well as uplifts in brand perception, which eventually leads to high sales.
Since Google has about 200 SEO ranking factors, brands need to pay special attention to those that matter the most. Check out this incredible blog post by brain dean which describes all those important factors.
A couple of them might have changed over time with the different algorithms that Google keeps bringing up, but the core value remains the same – high-quality content.
Today, great and informative content consists of a long form with images, illustrations, and LSI keywords, because Google feels that content structured this way thoroughly explains a topic and gives the users exactly what they’re looking for. To put this into numbers, an average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.
Such content should also have many quality backlinks from trustworthy sites. More precisely, the top-ranked page has six times more links than a site ranked tenth.
A website that is adjusted according to these factors can also expect a higher click-through-rate (CTR) and more time spent on its pages. Both are crucial for the site’s SERP, according to SEO experts like Brian Dean of backlinko.com.
Further, a site needs to load within 2 seconds or less in order for people to actually stay and check out the content. Otherwise, they will click away, increase the site’s bounce rate, and in turn reduce its chances of earning a high SERP.
Having an SSL security, which means using https on a site, can also improve the rankings.
Since Google rolled out the mobile-first indexing in March 2018, websites must be mobile responsive and friendly to make it easier for mobile users to access them. This change was made because nowadays most people use smartphones to conduct searches – 58% of searches currently come from mobile devices.
However, if you are a local business and want to increase in-store visits, then optimizing the site for local SEO is what you need. You need to focus on providing on-page signals, such as keywords about where your business is located. It is best to include this info and business contact information on all pages.
More so, offer a personalized experience to all your customers and have a high number of reviews from clients on your site. Engage on different social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, in addition to the above mentioned general ranking factors.
For more on the ranking factors and how to utilize them, as well as the trends that will change these factors, do read the following infographic below: