Kate Muller, SEO Account Manager, Splice Marketing
Your rankings on Google are based on how Google thinks that you measure up to its criteria, which is called their ranking factors. Now, Google has more than 200 of these ranking factors and they like to keep things secretive and they’d haven’t actually disclosed what all of these ranking factors are. However, we do know what the major ones are.
First, your website needs to be mobile friendly. More then half of searches now are happening on mobile so Google actually now considers your mobile version more important than your desktop when determining your rankings. Secondly is it needs to be secure. You need to have a valid SSL certificate. What this does is it tells users and Google that any information on that site is safe. If you go to your URL and you don’t see that little lock in the top left corner, it means that your site’s not secure. Third, you need quality content. You need to be engaging, you need to answer the client’s questions and you also need to answer things that they might not even know that they’re looking for just yet. And then the other thing you need as well is your site needs to be fast, especially on mobile because the longer it takes for your site to load, the greater chance that they’re going to hit the back button and choose someone else.
What this all comes down to is you need to give a solid user experience. Google has had a lot of major algorithm updates these days, and their main focus is actually on judging user experience through artificial intelligence, and they also have some human testers that go through, but at the end of the day, they are about providing users with the very best content and the very best experience.