Studies have shown that more than 90% of all search clicks occur on the first page. If your website is sitting on the second or third page, you’ll struggle to reach an audience. While search engines haven’t revealed the exact formula they use to rank website, they generally look for some specific signals, which we’re going to discuss today.

Mobile Compatibility

Make sure visitors can access and use your website on a mobile device. Back in 2015, Google announced that it was “expanding” it use of mobile compatibility as a ranking signal. This means mobile-friendly websites will have an easier time ranking for their respective target keywords.

Title Tag and Meta Description

When creating webpages for your site, give each a unique title tag and meta description. For search engine listings, the title of a webpage is the listing’s title, whereas the description is the larger body of text underneath the title. It’s recommended that you choose a relevant and meaningful title and description for each page on your website. Google typically displays up to 60 characters for the title tag and 160 characters for the meta description, so stay within these limits.

High-Quality Content

Search engines have evolved over the years, focusing more on content quality and less on signals that can be easily manipulated. In fact, Google even states that high-quality content is the “single most important” element on a website. So if you want to achieve a top search ranking for your target keyword or keywords, publish high-quality content on a regular basis. Google and other search engines will crawl this content, using it to determine an appropriate ranking for your site and its pages.

Shorten Load Times

The speed at which your website loads will affect its search rankings. All of the major search engines use speed as a ranking signal. You can shorten your site’s loading times by following some simple steps. This includes the use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN), enabling caching, avoiding resource-intensive Java and other scripts, and using a reliable web hosting service. As a side benefit, you’ll probably notice more conversions after optimizing your site for shorter load times.

Optimize Images

When crawling images, Google and other search engines try to determine what the image is about so they can rank it appropriately. You can give them a helping hand by optimizing your images with relevant file names, relevant alt text, and shrinking their file size using a lossless optimization tool like TinyPNG.