Ranking Factors and SEO Best Practices – Web Marketers Guide

seo ranking factors

Ultimate Guide to Technical SEO

Technical SEO Ranking Factors & Checklist:

Page Speed or Website Speed:

Page speed is the average time does your page takes to load on mobiles and desktops. Page Speed has a direct impact on the overall user experience.

Tools to check Page Speed:

  1. Google Page Speed insights
  2. GTMetrix

Key factors for faster page load:

  1. Reduce the number of HTTP requests.
  2. Maintain serve response time to less than 200ms.
  3. configure browser caching to a week or longer. 
  4. Reduce the use of inline CSS and remove unused CSS or comments.
  5. Use CSS, JS from external style sheets.
  6.  Minify all CSS, JS, and HTML.
  7. use lazy loading for images, videos.
  8. Use async, defer for faster HTML parsing.

Mobile usability: 

These days Majority of the users come from mobile devices. so, it is important to optimize your site for mobile users. Use Google’s mobile-friendly test tool to check mobile usability.


You can direct search engines to crawl or not to crawl a website, page, directory, resources.

With robots.txt you can prevent crawling of duplicate content, reduce server overload, reduce crawl budget, prevent important resources, images, videos from indexing. can keep some pages and directories private.

Spider-friendly code: 

Keep your website’s underlying code spider-friendly for better SEO Results.

Some Best Practices of SEO Friendly Code:

  1. Use External CSS for designing your site
  2. Use External Javascripts for specified Functions
  3. Use little inline markup

Server maintenance: 

Consistently check for server errors and resolve the errors to give users a better page experience. Keep the plugins updated consistently for security reasons.


siloing is a way of organizing website content by grouping related web pages together in hierarchical form based on how users search. It can be considered as both on-page and technical activity.

Content management systems: 

Look for Content Management System that’s aimed at SEO. Monitor CMS for any internal SEO issues and try to fix them.

XML sitemaps:  

XML Sitemap is a text file that contains the complete list of website URLs.

It acts as a roadmap for search engines to find the hierarchy of a site or site structure. For large websites with frequent updates, it helps in faster indexing or deindexing of pages.

301 redirects: 

301 redirects help SEO’s to permanently redirect old URLs or 404 pages to new relevant URLs.

Structured data markup: 

Use of Schema/ Structured data Markup on web pages assists search engines in understanding the topic, content, or what kind of information is presented on a webpage that produces enhanced search consults, in SERPs.

Best practices for use of Structured data markup:

  1. Use schema in JSON-LD format(recommended by Google)
  2. Test the code for errors using the google rich results test tool.

Canonical tags: 

You Can use Canonical tags to avoid duplicate content issues by telling the search engines which variant of a URL to be considered as the primary URL to be displayed in search results.

On-Page SEO Ranking Factors & Checklist:

Quality content: 

Create quality unique content that should answer user queries, provide much-needed information, and should engage visitors.

Content length and readability: 

After choosing the topic check the top-ranked pages for the selected keyword or topic in SERPs to decide how words to write and what should be readability level.

Best practices for content optimization:

  1. No plagiarism (copy content)
  2. Try to write content between 500 -2000 words.
  3. integrate keywords in the content naturally.
  4. Interlinking to other relevant pages through related keywords. (<18).
  5. External linking to trusted sites ( <2).


Try to write unique, captivating, and relevant meta titles and descriptions that clearly describe what the page is about to users and search engines and improve CTRs.

Best SEO practices for Higher CTR’s:

  1. include the keyword in the meta title and description
  2. title length < 60 characters
  3. length of description < 160 characters.

Keyword optimization: 

Keyword optimization is integrating the relevant and desired keywords into the content naturally.

Internal links:

Internal links help users to find additional information about a topic. It also helps search engines to find other relevant pages on your site.

Best Practices for internal linking:

  1. Anchor text should be underlined, colored in red or blue.
  2. Anchor text should be relevant to the page you are linking to.

URL structure

Best Practices for URL Optimization:

  1. keyword in the URL (only once)
  2. Don’t use special characters, underscores, capital letters.
  3. Try to Main URLs short.
  4. Sensibly name your directories and folders so that users can understand them easily.

Heading tags: 

Heading Tags signals search engines about the topics and subtopics covered on a page and makes it easier for users to read.

Heading Tags should be should in a hierarchical order and h1 should be used only once per page. 

Best SEO practices are:

  1. only 1 H1 tag
  2. Keyword in the H1 tag.

Image optimization: 

Try to optimize the image sizes without reducing quality for faster indexing in webpages. Remember to add alt tags to your images for the visually impaired and to boost your website visibility in image search. 

Best practices for image optimization:

  1. keyword in the alt tag
  2. length of alt tag < 70 characters
  3. image size < 100KB
  4. use recommended formats like png, WebP

Structured data: 

Organize the content on your site clearly by using HTML tables, bulleted lists, ordered lists, table of content on the top of the page, “too long, didn’t read” (TL;DR) summary. These things support your site for ranking in zeroth place (featured snippets) in search results.

Off-Page SEO Ranking Factors & checklist:

  1. The number of unique domains linking to your site.
  2. Domain Authority (DA) of the linking Page.
  3. Links from relevant pages to your site.
  4. The number of Do-follow links to your website.
  5. Links from within the content of the page are more worth than links from sidebars. These links are also called contextual links.
  6. Diversity of links.
  7. Anchor text of a link.

 All the above factors contribute to the overall optimization of a site.

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