5 key factors that affect your website’s search engine ranking

5 key factors that affect your website’s search engine ranking


Numerous factors can affect how well your website performs in search engine results. Here are five key points that will help you push your website up the rankings…….


Mobile friendliness


A key factor affecting your ranking is how well your website performs on mobile devices: it should look great and be easy to navigate. This isn’t just important for SEO (search engine optimisation) – it’s also vital for ensuring you keep your site visitors happy, because more than half of internet traffic now comes from mobile devices. You can test how well your site performs on mobile devices by using Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.




Your site won’t rank well if it isn’t crawlable. Crawlability refers to how easily search engine bots can access and explore your content: a non-hierarchical structure, broken links and dead ends have a negative effect on crawlability. A key way to improve crawlability is to create a sitemap and submit it to Google and Bing. Your sitemap should contain links to every page on your website and tell the search engine bots about the content. You should also make sure you have strong internal links within your site to make it easy to crawl – and make sure you update your site’s content regularly, as this will prompt more visits from search engine bots. However, you should avoid duplicate content, because this will have a negative effect on your ranking. Also – make sure each page on your site loads quickly, because slow loading times will cause the search engine bots to leave your website. You can check your page speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.


User engagement


When deciding how to rank your site, Google will look at the engagement it’s getting from users. Key engagement factors include:


  • Click-through rate: The number of people who click through to your website when is shows up in search results.


  • Time on site: The longer people spend on your site, the better it is for your rankings.


  • Bounce rate: If lots of people immediately click away from your site once they’ve landed on it, this is creates a high bounce rate, which is bad for your ranking.

Things you can do to improve user engagement include creating regularly updated, interesting and relevant content; adding attractive and relevant graphics and images; making your site easy to navigate, with plenty of internal links; and optimising your content so it shows up as featured snippets in search results. We’ll tell you more about this in our next post. 


Target keywords


Quality content is vital, but to get the most out of this you need to make sure you include the right keywords. Use tools such as Ubersuggest or LSIGraph to find keyword suggestions. As more people use voice searches to navigate the internet, it becomes increasingly important to use long tail keywords – keywords of three or more words – as well as shorter keywords. Use long tail keywords that reflect the intent of the person searching – for example “learn”, “best”, “how to” or “buy”; doing this will bring you more specific traffic and better conversion rates. A good way to come up with long tail keywords is to use autofill in your Google search bar: start typing your keywords and see what comes up in the auto-fill suggestions. You can also scroll down to the bottom of any Google results page to see related searches, which will give you further useful long tail keywords. 


Site security


Does your website URL begin with HTTP or HTTPS? If it begins with HTTPS, this means it has HTTPS encryption, and has an SSL certificate acknowledging the fact your site creates a secure online connection with its visitors. This will be indicated with a padlock symbol next to your URL address in the browser address bar. If it begins with HTTP, it does not have encryption and is therefore not secure. Site security is a major factor affecting where your site will rank in search results. If you don’t have an HTTPS URL, Google will rank your site lower, so make sure you address this issue as soon as possible.


Need help?


At Primedia Marketing we’re experts at improving our clients’ SEO rankings. We’ll take care of all the factors mentioned above, and many more, to ensure your website performs brilliantly. If you’d like to know more, get in touch today.


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