12 Most Effective Google SEO Ranking Factors

SEO Ranking Factors

This article will expose the ten crucial Google SEO Ranking Factors that have the most influence on Nigeria blogs’ rankings.

As time goes on, we shall keep increasing the list once we discover any other Google SEO ranking factors which are used to rank blogs and other web applications in Nigeria.

So you may want to bookmark this page.

SEO, as we all know – stands for Search Engine Optimization. They are those things one can do to make their websites or webpages rank very high on various search engines, notably Google Search. This is why knowing the Google search engine ranking factors is very important to all webmasters.

A couple of years ago, SEO was relevant in Nigeria. But as a result of today’s online content competition, almost all webmasters want to embrace SEO as a critical factor to be at an edge.

Now everyone is interested in the Google SEO ranking factors, in other to rank very high on the search engine reporting page (SERP).

Webmaster wants to be better than their competitors; people want to make more money via the internet; products need to be marketed – targeting potential buyers, Information needs to get across to the people, and people’s opinion needs to go viral. All this can be achieved just by implementing the Google ranking factors.

Currently, Nigerians and the rest of the world are awake to SEO in other to achieve their online motives.

Some prominent institutions and businesses today – pay a massive sum of money to SEO experts, just for them to “do the magic to their online presence.”

Speaking from experience, I have been managing several blogs for people in Nigeria since 2013.

By implementing SEO on these blogs, I can tell what is very useful for search engines to rank a blog very high in Nigeria. 

I have also done my research, and I discover that most SEO experts around the world also share my view.

There are some Google search ranking factors that all Nigerian blog owners must consider to rank well on the Google search engine.

The more many businesses are realizing the benefits of digital marketing, the tougher it becomes to be visible on Google.

The problem is not competition per se but not knowing what SEO ranking factors to dominate Google.

In fact, there’re many website owners who don’t know what SEO is.

Whenever Google updates its algorithm and a website is badly hit, the rankings of that website decreases immediately.

This could be a terrible experience if your website is not optimized to meet the latest standards the industry requires.

Google can be funny, though!

SEO Ranking Factors

Sometimes when I read Google updates and find out the updates have no ranking benefits, then I ask myself…

“Could most of the algorithm updates be some kind of pranks to create traffic around Google?”

No!

Since Google is the custodian of all web traffic, who cares if the whole world is talking about it?

But what I don’t doubt is,

Google could make a lot of money from causing tension in the industry for websites that want to increase their Google ranking through the SEO strategies.

That’s why you would see experts like Neil Patel writing a bible about algorithm updates that make no ranking impact.

Be that as it may, marketers wander about irrelevant updates and slightly lose focus on important SEO ranking factors.

The point is there are some SEO ranking factors that can never be outdated, but which gain less attention as Google won’t let the industry rest for a moment.

Before I go into the Google ranking factor, I must let you know that it is essential to verify your blog on Google Console (aka Google Webmaster), Upload your Sitemap and take full advantage of the FETCH AS GOOGLE tool – for quick indexing of your blog posts.

Now let’s look at the Google SEO ranking factors best for blogs in Nigeria.

Best Google SEO Ranking Factors for Website and Blogs

1. Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD)

From experience, I discovered that domain extensions such as “.ng” “.com.ng” “.org.ng” have more privilege to rank better in Nigeria.

When making use of ccTLD, the search engine will quickly know your target audience.

Even when you verify such a domain on Google Console, there is no provision to edit the International Targeting because Google already knows your target.

To take full advantage of the ccTLD as a search engine ranking factor, you may also buy the .com extension of the same domain name and redirect it to the ccTLD.

Blog like Naijaloaded.com.ng is implementing these tactics to rank better. When you navigate your web browser to Naijaloaded.com, it redirects you to Naijaloaded.com.ng

The only problem with this country-code Top-Level Domain is that it may limit your site’s ability to rank high globally, not in all cases though.

If your blog domain extension is not a country code top-level domain, then you must consider using the Google console international targeting feature to tell the search engine, which is your target audience.

But the latter can never be as effective as the ccTLD.

2. Keyword Research and Placement

SEO Ranking Factors

Keyword Research

No matter how much the world changes around SEO, ranking for the right keywords is forever the best way to remain relevant and visible on Google.

Keywords are search queries people use when they come to Google and search for something. Doing a proper keyword research can make your content rank well for search terms readers use on Google.

Keyword Placement

After finding out the best keywords to rank for, the next is to know the important places to place the keywords in your content. This will determine whenwhere, and how to use your keywords on your content.

It’s important to place your keyword at the beginning of your title tagmeta descriptionimage altimage name, and also at the beginning, middle, and end of your content.

keyword in a Domain

Domain names that have a target keyword will have the edge over other sites that do not have such keywords in their domain name when searching for the keyword.

In this situation, if there are searches on a keyword or related keyword, a higher privilege is given the domain name with that keyword.

For instance, You can Google “make money online” and find “makemoneyonline.com.ng” in the Google SERP.

It may not mean that the site has the best information on how to make money online, but you are searching for both the keyword and domain name.

It is one of the best ways one can trick search engines into optimizing the content on such keywords.

3. Quality Contents and Contents Updates

It is one of the most considered Google SEO ranking factors.

Content remains one of the key SEO ranking factors of all time to dominate Google. After the September Core Updates, Google reiterates:

“We suggest focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.”

What features make content king?

According to Google, a good content must be

  • Original
  • Substantial
  • Insightful
  • Descriptive
  • Authoritative
  • Shareable
  • Constructive

In the past, Google would say there was nothing to fix with the updates. But this time, it offered a recommendation, which asserted that content is always king. This was the same emphasis it made in 2011 when it released Panda algorithm.

Readers that visit Google already have the idea of what they’re looking for, they know if your content solves their problems or not. To write content that the readers will fall in love with, you have to ensure you always focus on your keywords and make your content highly informative.

If your keyword is “18th century philosophy”, when someone visits your website, his expectation is to learn about “philosophy of the medieval period”. But if what he finds is “modern philosophy”, then something is wrong somewhere.

Such content can’t find its way to the top of Google.

You have to ensure, that your content is rich and relevant enough to make your audience engage with it.

Good content attracts readers, likes, comments, and shares on social media. And when that happens, a signal is sent to Google, and your ranking increases.

To detect quality content, Google uses Visitor’s Activities, Engaged Traffic, and Visitor’s Frequencies.

Google Analytics calculates values such as;  Entrances rate, Bounce rate, and Exit rate, which can indicate how many of those people are finding your content very useful.

When content is excellent, visitors may return and reread it; in this regard, Google may be having a record of “Returning IPs,” they know when you revisit a webpage.

See sample images below;

Google also sometimes uses the date function in its search results.

Also, in this regard, don’t just abandon your old content – try to update them within a year or two, or else your potential competitors will gain better SEO preference on your past posts.

See the image below;

4. Domain Age

Domain age is also among the Google SEO Ranking Factors. In most cases, it just has to take some time before a website webpages can start ranking very high on Google, especially here in Nigeria where lots of ranking mushroom blogs exist.

Recent studies have shown that a site that is existing for three years without any SEO implementation has more search engine reputation than a website of just a year with average SEO performed on it – all things being equal.

Sometimes it’s not about the SEO you did but how long your content has existed on the web.

To achieve this, make sure that the content does not get outdated. Google may be considering the last updated date over the published date.

5. Sites with HTTPS (HTTPS as a ranking signal)

Google made it clear in 2014 that websites with HTTPS will have better search privileges over those with just HTTP read it here. 

For most bloggers, especially those new in the game, one of the best ways to improve their SEO is to migrate their blog from HTTP to HTTPS, this has proven to be positive just as said by Google.

It is effortless to migrate to HTTPS, install an SSL Certificate on your server, and enable HTTPS redirect.

HTTPS as a Google ranking factor in Nigeria does not only give your website a better search reputation, it also keeps your site contents and users’ info more secured, by making it more difficult for hackers to gain access.

6. Backlinks from Authoritative URLs

Backlinks remain a significant Google ranking factor over the years.

But Google has learned to take off the wrong links from the good ones.

The best backlinks are the ones coming from authoritative URLs (domains).

By authoritative URL – I mean URL with high Domain Authority (DA). Any DA above 50 is high,  DA above 60 is very high, and DA above 70 will perform backlinks magic. 

When a webpage earns a lot of high-quality backlinks, Google sees the content on that webpage to be beneficial and therefore, ranks the content or article higher, this also will have a positive global effect on the entire website.

Google can also penalize blogs with bad backlinks. You may want to know the kind of backlinks you should avoid, we have written an article on that too.

7. Time Visitors Spend on Each Webpage

Google has track of IP addresses that visit your blog/website, and how long they spend on your web pages, especially when they are coming via Google Search.

The more time a visitor spends on each post, the better Google will see the relevance of that post.

It is the reason some people try to post very long articles on their blogs, but that is not the only thing the search engines look out for all the time.

Based on the content length, Google knows the average estimated time to be spent, just as it shows it in Analytics.

Hope you know that if great content is annoying visitors will quickly exist or navigate to another webpage.

Because a visitor did not spend up to the average time on a webpage, it will be vote down.

A significant effect of this will reduce the average time spent on that webpage and therefore, reduce the webpage ranking.

This Google ranking factor only affects individual webpage and may not have a general effect on the whole site or blog.

8. Website Loading Speed

Search engines give more preference to websites that loads pretty much faster.

I can not explain why this is so, but make sure your website loads very fast.

The average loading time of a website should not be more than 4 seconds. If your site takes far more than this amount, then you will have to find a way to resolve it to rank better here in Nigeria.

If your site loads slow, visitors may not have the patience to wait or will refuse to navigate to other pages.  The result of this will be an increase in bounce rate.

9. Mobile-Friendly Webpages

If a website or webpages are not optimized responsively for mobile phones, they will not rank well in mobile search.

Knowing that most internet users in today’s world visits the internet with their mobile phones, not having a mobile responsive will be a massive mistake on your side.

Today that most websites and blog runs on frameworks such as WordPress.

WordPress itself is mobile responsive, and most of its themes are also responsive on default, else you decide to choose otherwise.

10. Responsive Themes

Because the largest percentage of the internet traffic comes from mobile devices, it takes a mobile-friendly website to rank high on search engines.

This is where the responsiveness of your website comes to play.

Using a responsive WordPress theme can make your website adapt to different screen sizes ranging from desktop, tablet, and mobile devices without the visitors having a bad user experience.

No search engines will display a website that is not mobile-friendly. However, the better your website themes, the higher your SEO ranking position.

In line with this, ensure your theme is compatible with AMP.

The use of an AMP theme is a step further to making your website display perfectly on mobile devices.

11. Appropriate Use of Categories and Tags

New websites might not be able to use this SEO ranking factor at the beginning when they are still looking for content to publish.

But as time goes on, it’s very important to give your content a good structure. WordPress websites can leverage the Categories and Tags to organize their content.

Before publishing a post, just ensure you assign it to the right category and make sure you give it some relevant tags.

The practice provides an easy path for humans and searches bots to navigate through your website without passing through irrelevant links which can affect your ranking and result in a high bounce rate.

12. Site Up-Time

I know some people will not agree with me that site up-time is one of Google SEO Ranking Factors.

But note, if you host your site on a server that is always down, then the search engine will look less on your website.

The search engines bots may want to crawl your site and discover it is not available, this will be a big vote down.

When hosting a site, always make sure you choose an excellent hosting company.

Choose a host that guarantees up to 99.9% server up-time period.

Although this depends on how long your site often goes down. The shorter, the better.

Conclusion on Google SEO ranking factors

Each time Google makes changes in its algorithm, it takes some measures to maintain its position and remain visible on the internet.

Hence, you can dominate google ranking by implementing the above SEO ranking strategies.

Upon many times that the industry is hit, these are all-times Google ranking factors to stay ahead of the competition.

If only these are all you could do to optimize your website, you can always dominate Google.

#SEO Ranking Factors

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