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Securing the top spot in the Google search results is a worthy goal, one that can bring a ton of traffic to your pages. It’s claimed that the top spot can garner as much as 44% of the search traffic for a particular keyword.

Having said that, Google doesn’t make it easy on us, coming up with a search algorithm comprising more than 200 factors for ranking your pages. Wrapping your brain around all of these can be a full-time job, and there’s no guarantee they won’t change it the next day!

Still, all of us want it, and wish to know how to best optimize our pages for it. Toward that end, here are 15 of the 200+ ranking factors you’ll want to try and implement on your site.An image that says "Google SEO"

15 Google Ranking Factors

  1. Make sure your primary keyword is incorporated in the title tag – Google looks hard at this to discover your page is targeting.
  2. Lengthen your content – Studies are showing that the top pages for any major keyword are in the 1000-1500 word count range.
  3. Faster page loading – The quicker your page loads the better. These days people just won’t wait on you.
  4. Primary keyword in your page URL – Another factor for helping determine relevance and page intent.
  5. Use visual content – Everyone is nuts about anything visual: videos, infographics, images, memes and more. Google ranks these highly, partially because they are so often shared.
  6. Be sure to link to authority sites – Having outbound links on your pages to authoritative sites, especially in your market, will help your own site reputation.
  7. Cultivate domain Trust – Google is high on ranking sites that are trusted. Developing Trustrank should be a high priority.
  8. Have clear Terms of service and Privacy Policies – A clear ranking factor, Google would like to see that you care about these things.
  9. Links in the body of your text – Links in the body text count for more, and are very useful for site navigation in a relevant context.
  10. Build a natural link profile – Be sure to try and get links form reputable and relevant sources, and avoid buying links.
  11. Social signals – We live in a social world, and if your site is not being talked about or otherwise shared on social media, it’s a sign that nobody truly cares, and thus neither will Google!
  12. Make it relevant! – Google loves to see relevance in all its forms on your site, from content to backlinks.
  13. Too many ads – Cram in the ads, especially on your home page above the fold, and expect to be relegated to the outer limits of the search results.
  14. The age of your domain – Realize that older domains which have been around awhile are granted more trust by Google.
  15. Post fresh content regularly – The Googlebot is partial to finding new content they can rank. Feed it regularly.

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