What Are the Essential SEO Ranking Factors in 2022?

By Juliet D'cruz

Search engine optimization (SEO) constantly changes as search engines update their algorithms. Google, the most popular search engine, tries to maintain its monopoly by making it easier for web users to find what they’re looking for.

In turn, Google and other search engines set a high bar for websites to follow. These standards are known as ranking factors. If you don’t take the time to learn about the major SEO rank factors, your website could fall behind your competitors.

Read on as we discuss some of the most important SEO metrics and how they can impact your place in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

User Intent

User intent, also known as search intent, is the meaning behind a search query. Generally speaking, it’s what an internet user wants to see when typing in a keyword into a search engine. 

User intent is undoubtedly one of the most important ranking factors in SEO. In fact, it still remains a key tenant of Google PageRank. User intent will ultimately guide your SEO campaign in 2022. 

This is because the user intent of your chosen keywords will dictate how you structure your content. For example, what do you think an internet user wants to see when they search “Apple vs. Android”?

Clearly, the user wants to see a comparison of the features of both brands of smartphones to make a purchasing decision. Creating a comprehensive comparison guide will work best in informing and converting an internet user if your company sells smartphones. 

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Content Quality

As Google maintains its market share dominance among search engines, it must provide internet users with the most accurate search results. Otherwise, these internet users will use Bing or Yahoo. 

For this reason, Google expects that all websites provide valuable content to their audiences. If you create spam content with overused SEO keywords, you could damage your backlink profile. 

With that said, here are some helpful tips to improve your website’s content quality in 2022:

  • Find the user intent of a keyword to deliver content your audience really wants to see
  • Add engaging images, graphs, videos, and media to enhance your content
  • Create a blog that houses helpful guides, articles, and resources for your audience
  • Add a FAQs section that answers some of your audience’s most pressing questions

Content quality is the impetus of any great SEO ranking. To master the game of SEO, you’ll need to toe the line of creating content people and search engines love. 

Click here to learn more about content quality and other important SEO ranking factors. 

User Experience

User experience (UX) is the driving force behind SEO rankings. It refers to how a person enjoys a particular website. Google is capable of measuring experience in a variety of ways. 

Thus, UX isn’t just an intangible SEO metric. It can be measured by looking at the following:

Dwell Time

Dwell time is the amount of time a person spends on your website. It’s closely related to the “average time per session” metric on Google Analytics. 

Ideally, you’ll want people to spend a long time on your website. The longer they stay, the more likely they are to eventually convert.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is a metric that defines how quickly a person leaves a website without clicking on anything. Bounce rate is the opposite of dwell time. Website owners need to keep their bounce rate as low as possible.

Here are some benchmarks to keep in mind when assessing your website’s bounce rate:

  • Awful (80% to 100%): This kind of bounce rate is rare, except for informational websites without call-to-actions (CTAs)
  • Poor (55% to 80%): If your bounce rate is at this level, make sure to run A/B split tests to improve your website
  • Normal (40% to 55%): This is the standard for many websites, but improvements can still be made
  • Good (26% to 40%): If your website falls into this category, you’re doing a spectacular job with your SEO campaign
  • Exceptional (0% to 25%): Falling into this category is extremely rare but a sign of SEO perfection

Bounce rate is a strong indicator of UX and can be measured using Google Analytics.

Website Traffic

Website traffic isn’t a vanity metric. It’s a true measurement of how well your website is faring online when it comes to user experience.

For example, if 5,000 people visit your website every month, it’s safe to say the site aligns with what your audience is looking for.

It’s important to mention that website traffic goes hand-in-hand with conversion rate. We’ll talk more about conversion rate next.

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the proportion of the number of website users that visit your website against the ones that actually convert into customers. It’s an important barometer of user experience. 

The reason why is simple. If website users are taking the time to visit your website and convert, it means your website provides tremendous value to them. 

The ideal conversion rate is somewhere around 10%. Optimizing your website’s design, structure, and content can greatly improve its conversion rate. 

Mobile Friendliness

It’s no secret that most internet traffic comes from mobile devices. Websites naturally appear differently on mobile devices because they’re much smaller than laptops and desktop computers.

You also can’t use a mouse or keyboard to scroll through the website. Because of this, websites need to be responsive on both desktop and mobile devices. 

Luckily, you can use a great deal of free online tools to check your website’s mobile-friendliness. If your website is unresponsive, you should hire a website developer right away to fix any errors. 

Website Speed

A slow website bleeds quality leads by the day. With trillions of online search results, there is no way anyone will wait more than three seconds for your website to load. 

If you want your website to rank higher in 2022, you’ll need to gauge its speed. If your website takes more than three seconds to load, you’ll need to make the necessary improvements immediately. 

Learn More SEO Ranking Factors

As you can see, there are a variety of SEO ranking factors that can influence the success of your campaign. The more you educate yourself, the better you can improve your campaign’s ROI. 

Do you want to learn more helpful SEO tips? If so, check out our blog for more helpful articles. 

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