SEO Ranking Factors 2015

Searchmetrics recently released its study of SEO ranking factors 2015 for Searchmetrics analyzed the top 30 search results for 10,000 keywords to find the correlations between ranking factors and the ranking position of the resulting pages.

What distinguishes the top-ranked webpages in in 2015? The study reveals some important trends:

1. Technical

  • Technical aspects remain an important prerequisite for good search engine rankings. Using Meta Descriptions, H1 and H2 tags will continue to be important.
  • Domains that have a high SEO visibility overall also rank well for individual pages.
  • Short, user-friendly URLs increasingly translate to better ranking positions.
  • Site speed is an important ranking factor. Optimizing for site speed will increasingly be important as file sizes trend upward.

2. User Experience

  • User signals like Click-Through-Rate, Time on Page, and Bounce Rate are strongly correlated to high ranking positions. Top-ranked websites tend to do a good job of attracting and engaging users.
  • Top-ranked websites are increasingly using responsive design, enriching content with images and video, and including more interactive elements to enhance user experience.
  • Structuring content well by using unordered lists and good internal linking helps both users and bots understand page content better.

3. Content

  • It is increasingly important to pay attention to the holistic quality of content.  The best webpages contain keywords and also related relevant and proof terms that indicate that the content as a whole relates to the keyword.
  • Top-ranking webpages have increasingly longer text but the text is also simpler and easier to read.

4. Social

  • Social signals strongly correlate to high ranking position.  The top position in increasingly tends to have many social shares from Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter and Pinterest.

5. Backlinks

  • Top-ranked webpages in 2015 have a higher number of backlinks from a wider variety of different domains than in 2014.
  • Backlinks continue to be related to high search ranking position, but their importance is likely to decline in favor of other factors.

For more detailed statistical analyses and insights visit the full study of SEO ranking factors 2015.

What does this mean for your website? You should continue to optimize your site following the recommendations outlined in our SEO Guide 2015. If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email!