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SEO: Proven factors that affect your ranking

Ask most SEOs what affects your content rankings, and they’ll probably answer, “it depends.”

However, some things are must-haves if you want Google to know you exist. This Ahrefs post lays them out for you.

Let’s stick to the essentials…

Backlinks. Fill your domain with relevant link juice because backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors.

Not all links are relevant, though, so make sure you acquire links that are topically related to your website and have higher authority, which will boost your domain in return.

Relevance. Google’s entire algorithm works to determine search intent, so you need to understand it as well. To do that, check top rankings for relevant keywords.

For example, if you want to rank for “air fryer,” you’ll notice the ranking articles are listicles naming top bands. That probably means users are usually in research mode, so if you want to rank, it’s best to talk about other brands while adding more value.

Freshness. Basically this means updating existing posts with new information.

SEOs who do this usually see their blog posts climb the ranks or stay on top if they’re already there.

Some topics require freshness, like “best new horror movies.” You’ll want to update this kind of content every few months.

Tech and logistics. In addition to content, you also need to pay attention to the following things:

  • HTTPS. Make sure your connection is secure.
  • Mobile-friendly. Websites not optimized for mobile will have higher bounce rates, lower click-through rates, and more… all metrics that influence rankings.
  • Website speed. Slow websites tank user experience and signal to Google to push them down in the ranks.
  • Intrusive interstitials. Pop-ups and other overlays will almost definitely annoy your users, and if they do… well, you go straight to ranking jail.

Some of these metrics, like mobile and speed diagnostics, are also known as core web vitals. Google loves healthy websites, so give yours a check-up frequently.

Is that it? Not quite. Other factors can affect your performance, but the above points lay the groundwork for a stable, authoritative website. Good luck!

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