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The 10 most important SEO ranking factors

Some strategies, such as link-building, have been effective for raising your Google profile for years, but which others are worth using? According to a recent study from digital marketing agency Branded3, there are ten key strategies to focus on. Stephen Kenwright, strategy director at Branded3 says. “Over ten years ago, Google mentioned that there were over 200 signals for ranking on its search engine. Now in 2018, it can be predicted that there are probably thousands of ranking signals and it can be confusing knowing exactly what they are. ”The top ten ranking factors for 2018 according the Branded3 are listed below.

There may still be some mystery in how Google ranks sites, but there are key steps you can take that are likely to raise your own, or your client’s profile. Kenwright says: “Nobody really knows how many signals Google uses to rank its results, or what most of them are – but the actions we take do influence where our clients’ websites appear in search results.”

Discussing the most important factors for improving ranking, Kenwright concludes: “Some of the most important factors should come as no surprise to anyone – link building has been the most impactful tactic for many of our clients – but some of the big impact tactics are extremely hard to implement, so there are quicker wins for most brands”.

Below you can see ten steps for ensuring your site rises up the rankings.

Ten ways to optimise your website

  1. Contain open graph data and/or Twitter cards on page
  2. Make you domain name expiration date long
  3. Use images on the page
  4. Pages should contain or other structured data
  5. Include contact information on your domain
  6. Get error pages crawled on the website
  7. Include verified real-world business info on the website
  8. Use of rich media (such as video and slides)
  9. Have unique content on the website
  10. Write long content on the page


The software company Moz’s Ranking Factors study was the starting point and then Branded3 asked each member of its SEO team (that has collectively worked with hundreds of large websites), to score the same ranking factor out of 10 for importance. For full details please click here.

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