Every SEO Ranking Factor In One Place

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a lot to think about. With so many different factors that contribute to your Google rankings and organic traffic, it can be overwhelming just trying to figure out where to begin. 

That’s why we’ve compiled this list of all the most important ranking and optimization factors from A (alt text) to Z (XML sitemaps) in one convenient place. 

We’ll cover exactly what each factor is, why it matters for your site, how much of an impact it has on search engines like Google, and how you can make sure yours are the best they can be.

9 Google Ranking Factors (That Actually Matter in 2023)
1. Gain comprehensive insights into SEO ranking factors.
2. Understand the elements that influence search ranking.
3. Learn how content, backlinks, and user experience matter.
4. Discover the role of technical optimization in SEO.
5. Access a consolidated resource for SEO best practices.

Page Speed

Let’s start by defining page speed.

Page speed, in this context, refers to how fast a user can load your page. It also includes how quickly your site responds as they scroll or interact with it. This means that page speed has an impact not just on Google rankings but also on user experience and conversion rates.

Both Google and Bing use the time it takes to load a page as part of their ranking algorithms so if you have pages that take too long to load, you could be hurting yourself in both areas!

To achieve effective SEO, it’s crucial to follow the right advice and strategies. Our article on The Best SEO Advice You’ll Ever Read in 1 Post provides actionable insights and recommendations to enhance your website’s search engine ranking.

Mobile Friendliness

There are many ways to make your website mobile-friendly. For starters, you can use a template that’s specifically designed for smaller screens and devices. 

A responsive design adjusts the layout of your entire site based on whether you’re using a desktop computer or mobile device you won’t be swiping back and forth between two different versions of the same site anymore!

Another way to ensure that your website is easy to navigate on smaller screens is by making sure all navigation options are visible at first glance. 

This means eliminating drop-down menus when possible, and making sure there’s enough space between links so users don’t miss any navigation options when they scroll down their browser window or tap on an arrow button in their tablet’s menu bar:

Domain Age

Domain age is a ranking factor in SEO, and it matters for three reasons:

Older domains are more trusted. Older domains have had more time to build trust with their audience and Google loves that.

Old domains have more backlinks. Websites on older domains have had more time to earn backlinks from other sites, which means the site has been around long enough for people to notice and link back to it and that’s something Google loves as well!

Old domains tend to have more content than young ones, so they often rank higher in search results.

Because they offer so much more value than their younger counterparts who may only have one or two pages dedicated solely to whatever industry they’re targeting (which isn’t enough!).

So what does this mean for you? Well if you want your website/blog posts/etcetera ranked higher by Google then make sure it’s not only residing within an old domain but also make sure there are plenty of links pointing towards each page (i.e., social media shares). 

This will help increase traffic which then translates into higher rankings over time!

New to the world of SEO? Dive into the fundamentals with our comprehensive guide: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization. Learn about on-page optimization, backlinks, and other key factors that contribute to a successful SEO strategy.

Content Quality

Content quality is the most important factor in SEO, period. That’s because Google wants to show you the best results for your search, which means that content with higher quality will rank better than lower-quality content.

Content quality is a measure of how well your content answers the question you’re trying to answer when someone searches for it. 

A good example of this would be an article titled, “How To Make Easy Homemade Biscuits.” If a user searches for this keyword phrase in Google, they want an article that shows them how to make biscuits at home. 

The title and summary (and meta description) set expectations about what kind of information can be found within that piece of content so that users know whether or not it will answer their question fully before even clicking through.

Backlink Profile

Backlinks are the backbone of your website. They’re what make it so easy for search engines like Google to find and index your content. Backlinks are also an indicator of how relevant and authoritative a piece of content is, so they’re important for ranking in search results.

So how do you get more backlinks?

You could try asking everyone you know on social media to link back to you, but that would be annoying and time-consuming. You could also just buy them that’s one way! But there are other options as well:

  • Guest blogging (where someone publishes an article with links back to their site)
  • Blog commenting (where readers post comments on someone else’s blog where they can link back to their website)

Entrepreneurs seeking to improve their online presence can benefit from our compilation of 18 Essential SEO Tips. From keyword research to technical optimization, these tips cover various aspects of SEO to help your business thrive.

Keyword Use & Relevance

Keywords should be used in the meta description. The job of this snippet of text is to persuade people to click on your listing. It’s where you tell them exactly what they’ll find when they get there and why it’s different from competitors’ pages. 

The keywords should be relevant to the page, and you can use up to 320 characters total for your meta descriptions on each page (not including internal links).

Keywords should be used in the title tag. This is one of the two most important spots to include your main keyword(s), along with a short phrase that describes your content accurately yet attractively.

For example, “How To Unclog A Drain Without Anything Else At All Required” instead of “Unclogging Drains Is Easy With These Tips” or something equally dull sounding but more accurate and bolded so it stands out when someone searches for something related (like “how do I unclog a drain without anything?”). 

Choose words carefully because this will appear as the blue underlined text above other results in search results; if yours isn’t visible due to being too plain-looking or too long, users may not even notice it’s there at all! 

This area also allows up to 500 characters total per page; any more would look weird anyway because nobody wants their eye drawn away from reading something good just because there’s too much text at once… except maybe me but that’s another story entirely!

Social Signals

Social signals are a good indication of how popular your website is and how trustworthy it is. Social media signals may also indicate that you’re optimizing for search engines.

To get social media signals, you need to have a healthy presence on the major platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest (in addition to your website).

Social shares on high-quality content are the most important type of social signal for SEO purposes because they show that other people find value in what you’re writing about! 

People sharing or liking your content gives it more credibility, making it easier for search engines like Google to see that there’s something unique or interesting about it—and thus worth ranking higher than all those other websites trying to sell things through ads alone

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Your content’s click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of clicks to impressions. It’s a measure of how interested people are in your content and how good it is, which also speaks to its relevance.

Google ranks websites that have high CTR higher. If you have more visitors coming back to your site, this shows that they enjoyed their experience there and would like to see more of it it also means they weren’t disappointed by the time they spent on your site.

Small websites can achieve significant SEO success with a well-structured strategy. Explore The 18-Month SEO Strategy tailored for smaller sites, focusing on gradual growth and sustainable ranking improvements.

User Experience

User experience (UX) is a user’s perception of their interaction with your website. It’s a combination of usability, accessibility, and user satisfaction. These three factors are all important for SEO; but what exactly does that mean?

Usability: the ease with which users can use the site to accomplish tasks they want to achieve

Accessibility: this refers to how accessible a site is for everyone. This includes users with disabilities like color blindness, low vision, or hearing loss; 

As well as mobile devices, touchscreens and assistive technologies such as screen readers (for blind people) or braille displays (for blind people).

User satisfaction: how do users feel about using your site after they’ve visited? For example, did they enjoy using it? 

Did they find what they were looking for quickly enough? Would they recommend it to friends/colleagues who have similar interests/needs? What could be improved upon next time around so that their next visit will be even better than before?”

HTTPS (Secure URLs)

Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS) is the standard for websites that handle sensitive information, such as credit card transactions and personal data. 

HTTPS connections are encrypted by default, which means that your website’s traffic becomes unreadable to third parties.

Google has stated that HTTPS is a ranking signal, meaning it helps Google determine whether to rank your site higher in its search results. 

However, this statement doesn’t directly reveal how much weight HTTPS carries in determining rankings or if it’s just one of many site characteristics that affect rankings.

In our experience working with over 100 different clients across various industries, we’ve seen that having an SSL certificate can make a significant difference in both desktop and mobile rankings.

Particularly for local businesses targeting local customers who often use mobile devices to find information about their community. We’ve also seen cases where switching from HTTP to HTTPS improves rankings on desktop searches too:

Semantic HTML / Schema Markup

Semantic HTML is the practice of using semantic elements in your code. You can use this to improve your SEO and user experience, as well as conversion rates.

Schema markup is a way to communicate with Google through your website’s HTML, to tell the search engine what kind of content is on each page. This means that it will link keywords together and make sure they’re found by Google’s crawlers more easily!

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) / Related Keywords

LSI, or Latent Semantic Indexing, is a way to measure how related word sets are to each other.

Let’s look at a simple example:

The words “love” and “hate” have an LSI score of 0.5. This means that they are considered “very similar” by Google. In other words, they’re both very close in meaning and can be used interchangeably when writing about the same topic.

The words “love” and “hurt”, on the other hand, have an LSI score of 0 (or -1). This means that these two words are completely unrelated; if someone searches for one of them then it has nothing to do with the other whatsoever!

Multimedia Content Usage

Multimedia content, including images and videos, is another great way to optimize your site for SEO. Images can help increase the speed with which a user can comprehend your content. 

Videos are even better since they enable users to understand what you’re trying to say by showing them instead of just telling them. 

In addition, videos tend to be longer than images which means that Google will likely rank them higher in its search results because they have more information (and therefore more value) per word count or per pixel.

Featured Snippets/Position 0 Ranking

A featured snippet is a box that Google shows in the search results, usually when you are looking for an answer to a question. Another way to think of it is as the “snippet” that appears above your website’s URL in the search results.

To get a featured snippet, you need to have content on your website that answers questions people may be searching for on Google and other search engines. You can also improve your chances by following these steps:

  • Make sure you have unique, high-quality content on your site — make sure each page has its topic!
  • Add meta descriptions (descriptions) to all pages so they stand out when someone searches for them in Google or another search engine

Looking to boost your website’s organic traffic? Our article on How to Use SEO to Increase Your Organic Traffic offers practical tips and techniques to attract more visitors through search engine optimization.


As you can see from this guide, many factors go into a Google search ranking. While it’s impossible to identify all of them, the big ones are pretty easy to spot. Some are also easier for SEOs and businesses to control than others. 

Page speed and mobile-friendliness should be top priorities because they’re both so easy to get right. 

Content quality is also something that any website owner can improve if they take the time to create an optimized content strategy and learn how users read on their website before writing any new content

Hope this helped!

Further Reading

Search Engine Journal’s Top Ranking Factors: Explore a comprehensive list of top ranking factors that impact your website’s performance in search engine results.

Backlinko’s Google Ranking Factors: Dive into Backlinko’s detailed research on Google’s ranking factors, providing insights into what matters most for SEO success.

WordStream’s Google Ranking Factors: Read WordStream’s blog post on Google ranking factors to learn about the elements that influence your website’s visibility in search.


What are the key factors that affect website rankings?

Website rankings are influenced by a variety of factors, including the quality of content, backlinks, user experience, and technical optimization.

How can I improve my website’s search engine ranking?

To improve your website’s search engine ranking, focus on creating high-quality, relevant content, building authoritative backlinks, optimizing your website’s technical elements, and providing a positive user experience.

Does on-page optimization play a crucial role in SEO?

Yes, on-page optimization is a critical aspect of SEO. Properly optimizing your website’s content, meta tags, headings, and images can help search engines understand your content and improve your chances of ranking higher.

What is the significance of backlinks in SEO?

Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are important for SEO as they signal to search engines that your content is valuable and credible. High-quality backlinks from authoritative websites can positively impact your search engine rankings.

How often do Google’s ranking algorithms change?

Google’s ranking algorithms are updated frequently, with several minor changes and occasional major updates each year. Staying informed about these changes and adapting your SEO strategy accordingly is essential for maintaining and improving your rankings.