We already know that a search engine first collects the list of pages on the web and then orders it based on its algorithm, but what does it depend on if we appear first in Google?
There are more than 200 positioning factors that, as the name suggests, make our page appear in one position or another in the Google results pages. These factors are constantly changing and are divided into two types: internal factors (on-site) and external factors (off-site).
External factors (Off-site SEO) are those that we cannot control directly. They point out to search engines the authority that a website has, that is, if it is trustworthy or not. Nobody knows exactly how the authority of a website is established, although it is likely that there are many factors that define it. User behavior, the quality of external links and social signals are some of the most important:
- The quality of external links This works as in real life: suppose that tonight you have that long-awaited dinner and you need to bring a good wine. Where would you go to buy it? To the store that 4 expert tasters have recommended to you or to the one that 40 people you have randomly asked on the street have recommended to you? If you have chosen the first option, you have chosen the correct one. Well, exactly the same thing happens to Google, instead of taking into account the number of external links that lead to a website, it gives more importance to the quality of the websites that lead to that link.
- User Behavior Depending on a user's behavior, such as the pages they have previously visited and how often, search engines may display different results. The location of the user also influences. The results displayed for the same term will be different depending on the place from which the search is made. We can optimize files in Google my Business, but never control where they search for us.
- Social signals In search engines, mentions in social networks influence when designating the authority of a domain. Both links shared on Twitter and pages shared on Facebook can decide whether a page appears higher or lower in search results.
Internal factors (SEO On-site) are those related to a website, that is, those that we can control directly. Its main objective is to make life easier for search engines when they access our pages. The quality of the content, the web architecture and the HTML code are the most relevant factors of a website.
- The content The content of our website is the most important factor to position in Google. If we offer original and interesting content for the user that we appear in the first positions will be a breeze. Google Panda is the one in charge of establishing if a content is original or not. The content must have at least 300 words. However, it is being observed that texts whose length is between 1,000 or 1,200 words rank more easily. Before generating content, it is important to carry out prior keyword research and choose which keyword we are going to focus on, include said keyword (naturally) throughout the text and offer up-to-date information on this term.
- Structure Once the Google bots or spiders access our website, they send all the information they track to their servers. That is why it is important to make tracking as easy as possible for them. Having a good URL structure not only favors this but also helps usability and favors user navigation. Loading time is also essential. We must bear in mind that the loading time factor not only worsens the user experience but also influences the ability of search engines to index all the pages of your website.
- The HTML code The bots that access a website mainly read its HTML code, so it is essential to have it well structured and optimized. Search engines use certain HTML tags to display content information in their search results. We explain some of these tags that influence SEO positioning: Title tag: It is only visible in the HTML code of the page. It is the blue title that Google shows in its results. Search engines use it to more easily identify what the page in question is about. meta-description tag:Like the title, it is only visible in search results. Search engines do not take it into account when positioning. However, a good meta-description can make your page get more or less clicks. Header tags:
These are the tags h1, h2, h3, etc.
that show in a hierarchical way the different titles that can be found in a content. It is recommended that there be a single h1 that defines the main title of the text. Structured data:
Structured data is becoming increasingly important in search results. They offer search engines more detailed information about the content of a website and show additional information that the title or meta description does not show, such as the average rating in the form of stars or the number of opinions of an article.
In the image:
- Structured data.
- Meta description.
The user experience (UX) plays a very important role in the SEO positioning of a page. Although Google has confirmed that it does not influence the results rankings , at least in searches carried out from the desktop, they constantly mention it in their guide on how to evaluate the quality of a website.
However, on mobile it is different: since the user experience is the basis of the last update of the search engine, the results offered on mobile devices do take into account the user experience of a page. This was stated by Gary IIlyes, Webmaster at Google:
On mobile, sure, since UX is the basis of the mobile friendly update. On desktop currently no. (Gary Illyes: Google, May 2015) Tweet this
A design that shows false content (cloaking) , suspicious links, malicious downloads, a massive generation of content (posts or comments) or low quality content will make Google consider whether the experience rate of a page is optimal or not. .
Although there are numerous factors that affect the SEO positioning of our website, having the technical aspects well optimized will help search engines to identify a result sooner or later.
However, having unique and original content is a key factor for SEO positioning. In the end, it will be said content that will decide if a page appears in some results or others.