Google Search Ranking: 7 Factors to Remember when Developing an SEO Strategy

January 17, 2018

Google Search Ranking: 7 Factors to Remember when Developing an SEO Strategy

When it comes to overall marketing strategy, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is often the single most dynamic component – as well as the most elusive. With each new algorithm update put out by search engines such as Google, marketers must be considering and reevaluating each part of their website and content strategy. While the list of ranking factors is seemingly endless (and ever-changing), we’ve outlined the top seven Google ranking factors your team should be looking at in 2018.

1. Content

We’ve said it once, and we will say it again: producing high-quality, relevant content is the king of Search Engine Optimization techniques. This encompasses both the subject matter of the content and the length. While longer content increases rankings and leads to more conversions, it’s imperative to remember that the quality of the content is much more important than the overall word count. If your 1,000-word feature is impossible for search engines to crawl, you just wasted valuable time and resources.

2. Backlinks

With updates like Penguin 4.0, it has become imperative that marketers continue to place precedence on having multiple links from high-authority domains. The better your backlink profile, the more likely you are to rank well for top keywords.

3. Mobile-first

Since 2016, Google has included mobile-first indexing in its search ranking algorithm. With that in mind, user experience plans should include the prioritization of building a website’s mobile versions over desktop versions.

4. Page Speed

With the announcement of Google Page Speed Insights, another imperative aspect of user experience plans should be attention to page speed. Slow page loading times are extremely – and negatively – impactful on a user's website experience, thus leading google to discount these search results in their search engine rankings.

5. Schema Code

Local search engine optimization (especially regarding small businesses and franchises) is an excellent way to make sure that you ensure a higher Google ranking. This comes in the way of schema markup code, which gives search engine crawlers a better understanding of business addresses, reviews and phone numbers.

6. Brand/Social Power

When it comes to keyword research and implementing the results into your SEO strategy, branded searches should be a factor that is recognized as a driving factor of website traffic (for example, we would consider “Bridgeline,” “Bridgeline Digital” and “Bridgeline Unbound). Further, and keeping in line with the rise of social media marketing, social signals from various platforms also impact search rankings.

7. Domain Power Exact-match domains (, while not a sure-fire boost to organic search rankings, also have an influence.

These domains still carry a lot of weight, as a search for something like “shoes” gives us a top result of instead of a more recognized brand such as DSW. It is important to keep in mind that continuous updates to search engine algorithms make the SEO landscape an extremely dynamic animal. Implementing technologies and plans to accommodate this should be agile and adaptable.