The Top 10 Google Ranking Factors in 2022

So many times when talking to the businesses that we work with one of the first questions that we get is: How do I get my business to show up on the first page of a Google Search.

The answer really isn’t that simple.

There are over 200 factors that Google considers when determining the quality/authority of your website to see if it is “worthy” of great organic rankings. Those are a lot of things that as a business owner you need to think about. There’s no way that any business can be actively working on improving over 200 things regarding their online visibility.

In this week’s blog, we are distilling those over 200 factors down to the top 10 Google ranking factors that you really need to consider improving in 2022 to make a great first impression with Google.

1. Publish High-Quality Content

The quality of your website and blog content is crucial. Your content needs to provide valuable information.

Creating pages with no real value can come back to haunt you.

High-quality content is about creating pages that increase time on page, lower bounce rate and provide helpful content for the user.

2. Make Your Site Mobile-First

In short, mobile-first indexing is the way that Google indexes your site. If you have a separate mobile site, the URL of your mobile site will be indexed and used for ranking instead of the desktop version.

To be clear, there is no separate mobile-first index. Google indexes and ranks your content that comes directly from the mobile version of your website.

Don’t have a mobile-friendly website? Google may not even know that you exist making it nearly impossible to even show up in search engine result pages (SERPs) at all.

3. Improve Your Site Architecture

Not only does site architecture help users find what they are looking for with better website navigation, but it can also help search engine crawlers find more pages on a website.

In a nutshell, your website should be super easy to use. All pages and navigation should be laid out as simply as possible.

4. Core Web Vitals

As Google’s John Mueller noted, Core Web Vitals is more than a tie-breaker. This metric impacts many other factors related to SEO.

For instance, Core Web Vitals impact your usability. If a searcher goes to a page and converts, your UX, page speed and content all affect the conversion rate.

5. Create a Secure Website (HTTPS)

In 2017, Google announced that its Chrome browser (which 45% of us use) would begin to flag sites as “not secure” in the URL bar when they are not HTTPS.

And, after their final warning announcement, you could start to see a rise in bounce rates if you don’t make the transition.

6. Optimize Your Page Speed

After being a desktop-only ranking factor, page speed became a mobile ranking factor in 2018. The slower your site loads, the more visitors and revenue you’ll lose out on.

Faster loading speeds lead to a better overall website experience, hence Google’s move toward making it a mobile ranking factor.

7. Optimize Your Metadata

This information includes your title tag and page descriptions. This is the information about your site that users see on the Search Engine Results Pages.

8. Featured Snippets

Featured snippets, sometimes referred to as the coveted Position 0, are a snippet of content extracted from the page’s copy and served directly into the search results.

9. Claim and Earn Relevant and Authoritative Links

Links will continue to be one of the leading SEO components if you want to rank well. Ignore those who say that you can achieve success without backlinks.

While some sites absolutely can and have, it would be silly not to pursue a powerful link-building strategy.

10. Be Hyper-Local

Google states that “Local” is broken down into three ranking factors:

Relevance which is connected to how close the business is to the searcher’s query. You could see the search queries like “best burritos” when speaking about local search relevance. Relevance is the lifeblood of Google’s local algorithm.

Distance refers to the physical distance between your business and the searcher. The closer your business is to the searcher, the more likely that your location will appear in the local map results. This is where “near me” search queries come into focus.

Prominence is tied to the popularity of your business online. Prominence is based on information that Google has about a business from across the web like links, articles, and directories. Google review count and review score factor into local search ranking. More reviews and positive ratings can improve the local ranking of your business.

Need Help?

If you need help improving these factors for your business or if you are just curious where you stand on these critical factors for ranking on Google, drop me an email or request your Local SEO Audio today!