The 10 most important SEO factors 2022 (with infographic)

Introduction

 The topic of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is now familiar to almost everyone involved with websites. SEO describes strategies and tactics to increase the visibility of a website on search engines like Google.

The higher a web page is ranked for relevant search queries in a search engine, the more often it is clicked. Websites that are optimized for search engines therefore receive significantly more visitors (and resulting customers and inquiries).

Today we present what we consider to be the 10 most important ranking factors for SEO and provide useful tips on how to implement them.

For those who are in a hurry: The following infographic provides a brief overview - the details will be discussed thereafter.

Infographic

SEO factor 2: Fast loading speed

No user wants to wait forever for a website to load. Search engines have also recognized this and index faster websites further ahead. In addition, visitors bounce if a website takes too long to load. Optimizing the loading speed of your website not only sends a strong signal to search engines, but also to website visitors.

How it stands around the own web page speed can for example with this Tool from Google be recognized
Just enter the URL and take a close look at scores and messages.

The most common mistakes we see with slow websites are: Slow hosting, no optimized content and technical factors like CSS/JS.

To increase the loading speed we recommend hosting the website on fast servers and compressing images to the large size recommended by Google.

What you can do now:

  • Check your loading speed with one or more tools
  • Find out what factors reduce the loading speed. Often it's slow servers and uncompressed images
  • Take steps to speed up your website, such as server upgrades or content optimizations

SEO Factor 3: The Domain

Ahref's study from 2017 shows that almost 60% of the websites in the first 10 places on Google are 3 years old or older. If a domain (=web address) has already existed for some time, search engines perceive this as more trustworthy.

There is very little you can do about this factor yourself. However, if you plan to operate a website in the future, you can already reserve the domain. Nevertheless, other factors can be influenced at the domain level.

Domain Authority (DA) is a widely used metric for determining the importance of your website. Domain authority is composed of several factors, all of which are optimized in the best case.

Another factor on the domain level are the URLs of the individual subpages. Here it is important that the URL contains the keyword (=search term, see also factor 9). A positive example of a URL for the optimization of the keyword "image film" would be, for example: www.lead-anker.de/imagefilm. A negative example of this would be: www.lead-anker.de/aycf35drRjyCMu1dmqVN.

What you can do now:

  • If you do not have a website yet, but want to start a project, reserve the domain as early as possible
  • Check your Domain Authority (DA) using tools like Ahrefs or Moz
  • If you have a website, check how your URLs are structured and if they contain keywords

SEO Factor 4: A secure website

A website equipped with SSL (= secure sockets layer) allows an encrypted connection between the website visitor and the server. Normally, data is transferred between servers and clients without encryption.

This poses risks when transmitting sensitive data (e.g. personal data or means of payment). SSL is an encryption protocol and therefore an important safety signal to Google. Since the DSGVO came into force, there is an SSL obligation for websites with certain data transmission, e.g. when using a contact form. Some internet browsers now block websites that do not have a valid SSL certificate.

Those who protect the visitors of their website with SSL are not only DSGVO compliant and optimize their visibility in search engines, but also take care of the security of their visitors.

Whether a website uses SSL or not can be easily seen by the green lock that appears in the browser window next to the URL entered.

What you can do now:

  • Check if your website is encrypted with SSL and get it if necessary

SEO Factor 5: Mobile deployment and responsiveness

In the meantime, approximately 50% websites are visited by mobile devices such as smartphones and tables - and the trend is rising. Google has therefore taken measures and created the "mobile-first index". Since 2016, websites are indexed first via the mobile version.

Those who still do not make their website available for visitors from mobile devices will have to put up with high abpsrung rates and low visibility in search engines.

An elegant solution for a mobile-friendly website is responsive design. Here, the website always adapts to the screen size. To check this, you can simply reduce the browser window and see if the content adapts. It is important that larger content such as headlines automatically adapt to mobile devices and shrink. Also, the mobile navigation (menus, buttons) should be kept simple and user-friendly.

What you can do now:

  • Test if your website is displayed correctly from different devices (e.g. different smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs with large screens
  • Make sure your mobile website loads fast (factor 1)
  • Check whether content (e.g. headlines) protrudes from the visible area in mobile display and adjust this

SEO Factor 6: Long and Good Content

There is less long, good content than short, good content. It's not easy to consistently publish high-quality content. However, this approach is worth its weight in gold for your own visibility in search engines.

Content that presents a topic in detail and in an understandable way offers website visitors great added value, as it provides more information than other sources.

Search engines also benefit from longer content - they can better understand and rank the topics discussed with more text. There is a correlation between the length of a website's content and its position on Google.

The goal should never be to write as much as possible. Only if the quality of the content is right, a long text is appropriate. Search engines notice when the content of a page is long, but the dwell time of visitors is short.

What you can do now:

  • Check how many words the content on your pages has. If all your content is short and generic, your visibility in search engines is certainly low
  • Think about where you can boost your website with quality articles

SEO Factor 7: Signals from social networks

One of the main functions of social networks like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter is to share content. If links to your website are shared, you will get more website visitors and visibility. To do this, the social media accounts themselves can show up in search results.

It is true that social signals are not yet a direct ranking factor for Google. However, these signals influence a number of other important SEO factors that search engines measure.

In addition to positive effects such as reach, community building and interaction, building your social media presence can therefore also help you get listed higher in search engines.

What you can do now:

  • Make your social networks shine and link your website there
  • Post snippets of your website with links to your accounts
  • Add DSGVO compliant sharing buttons on your website

SEO factor 8: The dwell time of your visitors

Dwell time describes how long a visitor spends on your individual web pages. One way that search engines such as Google measure this time is by observing search behavior. If a user enters a search phrase in a search engine, then clicks on the first result and jumps back to the search page after a few seconds, the search engine notices this and evaluates it as a negative signal. The content of the page probably did not match the information searched for.

However, if a user searches for a term, clicks on the link and does not return to the search engine, this can be considered a good signal - the user has found his information on the corresponding page. For this reason, it is worthwhile to keep your own visitors on the page as long as possible. Numerous studies have also found a correlation between dwell time and sales at web stores.

What you can do now:

  • Test the dwell time of your visitors with a tool like Google Analytics
  • Think about ways to increase dwell time on your website. Examples include the use of media and good, long content

SEO factor 9: The right keywords

Anyone who deals with SEO has probably heard of you: the famous keywords. These are search terms that are entered into search engines.

One thing is important for you and your website - you want to show up as high as possible for the right keywords. Why does the graphic actually look like a fried egg in a pan? Hopefully this post doesn't rank with the recipes now... Well, back to the topic: The right keywords are still one of the top 10 ranking factors for search engines.

There are three types of keywords: short tail, medium tail and long tail. Short tail keywords are non-specific and broad, long tail keywords are very topic-specific and narrow, medium tail a mixture of the two. Which type of keywords you should optimize for depends mostly on the competition in SEO in your industry. If the competition is high, it will be difficult to rank for short tail keywords.

A good approach always includes research for suitable keywords, competitive analysis, and incorporating the most effective keywords into your own website.

What you can do now:

  • Check with the help of tools for which keywords your website appears in search engines
  • Look at the visibility for different keywords of your competitors
  • Look for keywords where you can easily improve your position and include them in your website

SEO Factor 10: Structured data

Structured data generally refers to the organization of information. Instead of presenting information in a jumble, it is tidied up and presented neatly with the help of a structure.

In the context of SEO, the application of structured data is the inclusion of a markup on a page. Thus, additional information about the website is displayed in search engines.

The most widely used markup is from schema.org. The result are so called rich search results. These include e.g. styling, images or visual enhancements - and this directly in the search results. This naturally makes an entry in the search results catch the eye of the searcher much more and the probability that he will click is much higher.

What you can do now:

  • Check if your website already uses a markup. If not, look for ways to include it
  • For WordPress you can use plugins for example
  • Read up on the topic of structured data, e.g. on schema.org

Summary

For us, in 2022, these factors are among the most important in SEO:

  1. A good backlink profile
  2. A fast loading speed
  3. A high domain authority
  4. A secure SSL encryption
  5. Mobile deployment
  6. Good and long content
  7. Signals from social networks
  8. A long dwell time
  9. The right keywords
  10. Structured data

We hope you enjoyed and found this post useful. We are always happy to share our posts on social networks!

Lead Anker is your advertising agency for online marketing. We are experts in web design, search engine optimization, image film and social media marketing.
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