Most marketers understand the importance of keywords, headlines, and page titles when it comes to attracting Google’s attention and improving SEO. What they often don’t know or overlook, however, is that Google search algorithm incorporates more than 200 different factors when determining search results.
To be fair, key phrases and important places on a website do carry more weight than other minor considerations. But if you’re looking for a competitive edge in search engine optimization, or just want to boost your odds of being found a little faster, here are seven “hidden” SEO factors you can use to your advantage:
#1: Good Web Hosting
Lots of businesspeople treat web hosting as an afterthought, but a good hosting package helps your pages stay online, and shows that you aren’t sharing server space with “questionable” websites. These factors, along with the improved security and performance that come with premium web hosting, can help your search engine positioning.
#2: Fast Page Loading Times
Google knows that searchers want to find pages that load quickly, especially if they are surfing the web via mobile devices. So, having the right combination of layouts and hosting for fast loading times can give you a distinct advantage.
It’s no secret that Google prefers to match searchers with businesses in their local area. However, lots of companies still aren’t taking advantage by incorporating geographic keywords, maps, directions, and local landmarks onto their webpages.
#4: Website Age and Recency
These two factors work together in an interesting way. Basically, Google loves websites that have been around for a while, but feature recently-updated articles and information. Establishing a domain is important, but adding new pages and articles is just as critical.
#5: Mobile Compatibility
More than half of all web traffic now originates from mobile devices (like smartphones and tablets). Accordingly, Google has adjusted search algorithm to incorporate mobile compatibility into results. If your website doesn’t display well on small screens, don’t be surprised if you’re missing out on customers.
#6: A Great Inbound Link Profile
You’re probably already aware that Google will reward you for having high-quality links from relevant industry websites that point back to your pages. However, the inverse is also true – low-quality inbound links look like spam to search spiders and can cause you to be penalized with a lower search rank.
#7: Redirects for Missing Pages
Google hates dead ends, and so do human searchers. That’s why it’s important that you put redirects on your website for any pages that are moved or deleted. Don’t let your content be hard to find.
When it comes to search engine optimization, details definitely do matter. Attracting customers through Google begins with researching search terms and including them on your website, but there are a lot of other steps you can take to tilt the odds in your favor.