Google’s algorithm has become so complex and unpredictable that the meaning and application of SEO has evolved beyond the simple use of meta tags and backlinks to improve search engine rankings. The algorithm now wields over 200 factors—including social media signals, authority links, and content quality—to rank pages.

We all want our websites to rank well on search engines. But then over 200 factors are a lot to master. Hence, the clever way to go about using these factors is to single out the most important ones and integrate them with your website, since they are the ones that will make the most difference. Plus, who knows? Some of the rest might sneak into your site without you knowing it.

Here are the important factors to which you need to pay close attention.

Domain Name Factors

Many SEOs belief that using an exact-match domain (domain names that match your targeted keyword phrase) has grown less useful, owing to the updates on Google algorithm. But that does not suggest that you shouldn’t consider keywords when choosing a domain name.

The trend may be fading, but it’s still useful. To be safe, always go for a catchy domain name.

Domain age and history are also important factors, since Google places more value and trust on domains that have lasted more than a year and very likely devalues domains that have been penalised in the past.

The country specific TLD extension (like ‘.co.uk’, ‘.nz’, ‘.ca’ et cetera) your domain uses is also important. Why? Because it increases your ranking for the location whose TLD extension you use, especially if your content is tailored for that location.

Internal Page Factors

Your website rankings can also be influence by your dedication to page optimisation. The site belonging to a blogger that efficiently uses proper, modern SEO tools when crafting his or her content will definitely be more visible on search engines than that of someone who cares very little about search engine optimisation.

When optimising your pages, it is important to focus on the following list of factors in order to achieve your desired ranking.

  • Regularly update your pages with fresh content. Google loves it.

  • Link to useful content outside your websites.

  • Link to similar content on your own site.

  • Include keywords in your posts’ URL slugs.

  • Include keywords in your post titles, especially at the beginning.

  • Include keywords in your meta description.

  • Include keywords in the content of your pages.

  • Make sure that the density of the keywords included doesn’t exceed 5.5% of the page content, so that your page doesn’t look like spam to search engines.

  • The length of your page content can affect the page’s relevance and visibility on search engines. Write content that is at least 300 words in length.

  • Avoid duplicate content and don’t plagiarise other people’s content.

  • Optimise images on your posts using tags, descriptions, captions et cetera.

External Page Factors

To rank your pages, search engines also consider whether people recommend your content and what people have to say about your content (that is, the words people us to link to your pages). This is because people don’t recommend or link to something they don’t think is worth checking out.

This means that the more inbound links your website gets, the more relevant and trustworthy it appears to search engines. Links to your site can come from other websites, blogs, and even social media.

Here are some of the various link factors that can boost your site’s ranking:

  • The number of pages linking to your domain. The more the better.

  • The search engine ranks of the pages linking to your site. The higher their rankings, the better.

  • The diversity of the inbound links to your website. Too many links of the same sort can be suspicious.

  • The closer the link texts people use when linking to your pages are to your keywords, the higher your pages rank for those keywords.

  • Inbound links from high PR sites will make more impact on your rankings than links from low PR domains.

  • Inbound links inside content will improve your search engine ranking more than links from sidebars like blogroll.

  • Inbound links with anchor texts can harm your ranking.

Website Factors

To rank well on search engines, there are also some technical website factors you have to consider. Here are some of the most important.

  • Make sure your site is properly mapped, as sitemaps help search engines index your pages.

  • Google Webmasters Tools offers great info for optimising your website, and when integrated with your site, can help ensure your pages get indexed. Your website can’t rank well if it’s not indexed first.