Why SEO techniques doesn't work? What are the most important Google ranking factors in 2024?

Is your SEO campaign not delivering results? Here is what you should know in 2024:

#1. Search engine optimization process, what does really mean?

Whether you want to learn SEO, or you just want to outsource part or all this activity, it’s good to understand what means Google Ranking Factors in 2024!

In my daily life, I meet someone for the first time and they ask me, ‘What do you do for living?” The minute I answer “I am Search Engine Optimization Specialist and I offer local SEO and globally SEO Services” most of the time, I can see from the way they look at me that they have no idea what I’m talking about. And then, the next question is: Oh…Wow… but what does this mean?

Some of you probably know that SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization but how many of you really know what it really is, how does it work, what benefits it brings to a business, whether it works or not…

I have been asked so many questions over the last couples of months and I believe that in 2024 every business owner in Cyprus should receive some answers regarding SEO.

Search engine optimization process, what does it really mean?

Many researchers, professionals and scholars have explained how SEO techniques rank websites on the search engines, helping these businesses to boost sales and brand-consumer relationship. I bet that any businessperson in the world will more or less think of the same: ‘Oh nice! So, let’s go for it!’ However, it has to be said SEO is not an easy task. There are so many important factors to take into consideration, it takes long to achieve results and the problem is that you can’t do it once and be done with it. Google changes and continuously updates the way it works, leading to an ongoing process SEO specialists to be students for all their career life.

#2. What benefits does SEO Practices bring to a business?

Ok. We’ve said that SEO techniques is not something that can do miracles overnight so “why bother?” might be the next question.

Because it helps your website to rank organically and organic search drives significantly higher volumes of traffic at a better cost per lead than paid search.

I will explain this in simple words. It is well acknowledged that online advertising brings fast results and immediate sales. However, no matter how good a PPC specialist you are, let’s say you have an extensive experience in online advertising, you know how to scale and optimize your ad well and how to achieve very high ROI (Return on Investment), there’s always a problem.

The minute you stop paying for that ad, the traffic stops too, whereas search engine techniques will rank you for particular keywords and the traffic will flow seamlessly. There are some caveats (without enough resources invested, you’ll hit “the wall” and never get on to the first page) however, for now let’s not stick to this.

Nonetheless, even if you don’t have any idea about Google Ranking Factors I think it’s quiet easy for you to understand what is the difference between paid and free traffic! -:)

The most important benefits that SEO actions bring to a business are:
  • Increase customer base. New customers will find your business through search.
  • Low cost conversion. Once you are ranked, you will continuously receive leads, thus the cost per lead goes down.
  • Build brand awareness. Since people will see your website, logo, read your articles, it will help you build a stronger brand, whether they buy from you or decide not to.
  • Bypass competition. Every business has competitors and by ranking higher than them, potential customers will find you instead of them.

#3. From where to start, what is the first step of the SEO process?

Many specialists insist that keywords research is the first step that anyone should take for SEO optimization. Allow me to disagree with that. For me, the first thing anyone should do is competitor analysis. You need to know who you are fighting to over-rank; how strong they are and what their keywords are.

Moreover, knowing what are the most important Google Ranking Factors will help you find the correct strategy to over-rank them.

Let’s say you sell ink cartridges…

…The first think you need to do is to see who is ranking in the first positions when typing this keyword. It goes without saying that we don’t need to check the ads! (As you most probably have already noticed Google will always display on the first positions ads).

So, in our case we can view Cartridge World and Ecomelani Cyprus websites first and then Wikipedia site. After those come HP on Amazon (so actually it is Amazon’s site) and Cartridge Save. These are your main competitors and according to how strong they are, you need to decide on who you can outrank them and what you need to do to succeed.

Let me clarify something. Many SEO Specialists are talking about 1st position. However, my opinion is that being on the 1st page is just perfect. Sometimes it is not worth the effort and investment to outrank sites like Amazon. Ranking just after them is just fine. The important thing is to build your way up to the 1 page for that particular keyword.

#4. What is the most important task in SEO?

If we had to define what is the most important task in SEO, it would definitely be keywords research and optimization. First, you need to decide which your most important keywords are, taking into consideration the volume and competitiveness. Almost all our clients have this question:

‘Which Keywords Should I Be Targeting?’

There is no straight answer to that, though. You might also think that to be successful in SEO techniques, you have to rank for all the keywords used in your industry. This is wrong! Nowadays, you need to just clarify your niche and sometimes even the sub-niche. If you’re in a micro-niche or your target market is very narrow, it’s likely you can get away with just ranking for one or two terms.

Beside Google Ranking Factors, what else you should have in mind?..

….is that keywords with higher volumes mean more potential exposure (or impression share) but will likely be much more competitive. This, in turn, makes it harder to rank for these terms as you’ll probably be going against well-established websites.

The decision regarding which keywords to target depends largely on your website’s Domain Authority (DA), as well as your goals and objectives. If you’re a new website, with a very low DA you may want to begin by targeting low-volume, low-competition keywords as a starting point to establish some DA. Alternatively, if you’re a well-established website with strong organic ranking, you may want to delve into slightly more competitive territory to maintain your edge.

#5. Is it easy? What is the most difficult task in SEO?

…Website Technical Audit.

It is necessary to thoroughly examine content, technical features and the structure of the website and external factors. First, you need a web developer for most of the stuff and sometimes certain problems are not easy to fix. It depends on the way the website was built (through code or platform). Some themes don’t allow you to do much. If the site was created 5 years ago, the code will for sure be outdated and many web developers will probably avoid making changes on someone else’s script. Sometimes you fix something, and you realize that this has been done at the expense of something else. It’s like you get a pill for the headache and then you have a stomachache.

Five years ago, there was nothing about mobile friendly. Today mobile friendly is already the “old thing” and AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is the “MUST” factor.

As far as Google Ranking Factors is concerned, these are the most important steps on technical audit:
  • Check the Browseable Versions of Your Website
  • Review Sitemap
  • Test Site Speed
  • Check Internal Linking
  • Do a Backlink Audit
  • Scan your Website for non-secure Content
  • Minify JavaScript and CSS files
  • Optimize images
  • Use Analytics to Check Site Metrics

#6. Google Ranking Factors in 2024: what are the most important ones?

We are going to explain now the affirmation that SEO is a challenging field. First let’s clarify something: we’ve said that SEO means optimizing your site for search engines. Whether we like it or not, when it comes to search engines, in Europe we refer to Google.

According to Neil Patel (my SEO guru) there are many ranking factors (domain-related factors, on-page factors, off-page factors, site-level factors, and numerous technical SEO factors) that websites managers and SEO specialists should pay attention too, but among those some are considered the most important ones.

The most important Ranking Factors in 2024

  • Content is still King, and Topic Authority is the new thing
  • Backlinks will remain crucial
  • Social Signals are burning elements
  • UX and Image sizes
  • A Secure and Accessible Website is a must
  • Website Architecture
  • Site speed and navigation (Including Mobile Page Speed and taking already into account AMP)
  • Domain Age, URL, and Authority
  • Real Business Information for Local Ranking

Let’s dive a bit deeper into the most important points:

… is still King, thus the creation of articles with unique, qualitative and fresh content should target the users and not search engines. Moreover, Topic Authority is the new thing (when you establish your site as an authority in a particular topic area). Google is becoming more sophisticated and the algorithm understands what content truly better matches with the user’s query and intent is. For instance, I am a SEO Specialist so on my website most of the content published is about SEO techniques, case studies and tips, changes and updates, etc.

Dispelling the rumors that backlinks are not important anymore, data shows that backlinks to your URLs will forever be a sign of authority for Google and they can make a major difference in ranking. However, not all links have the same value, and not all links are good. Backlinks from different page locations are worth more (or less) according to the website authority and/or if it comes from a related niche.

To make matters more complicated, our tests and data show that directors links actually rank higher than social media links in Cyprus.

Before, the digital era directories were used to find information about a business or its products and services. Now, besides the fact that customers might want some information about a particular business, directories are also a valuable source of backlinks. Thus, links from directories have become important for ranking.

All likes, collective shares and generally all our webpages mentions are perceived by search engines as another form of citation (similar to backlinks) and called social shares. Social shares contribute to a page’s organic search ranking. Consequently, social media now are more than a messaging and acquisition channel, they become an important ranking factor.

#7. Why social media are so important for SEO?

You must have noticed that the question is not if social media are important for SEO, but why they are so important? Actually, they are not just important, but as Neil Patel in one of his podcasts put it, social signals are burning elements for a successful SEO strategy.

I have seen many micro-businesses in Cyprus ignoring the benefits of social media for their business.

Data shows that the sheer volume of media communications alone is staggering, and social media platforms hold huge value for businesses of any size. Social media shares as well as links from social media platforms are crucial signals for a search engine and give a lot of weight on ranking. Speaking about Twitter (which is not a very popular platform for business in Cyprus), a profile link from Twitter will always rank high in a search engine.

how organic traffic shows in the SERP according to Google ranking factors

#8. What is free website traffic? What is the eight of this in relation to Google Ranking Factors?

When a user searches through internet for something, the search engine displays many pages with results in a certain order, according to the keywords he/she has used. Let’s say you have a business and you are searching for SEO Services in Cyprus.

As you can see, the first 3 results have a small square in front of the link with “Ad” letters inside. This is a sign that these results are paid ads. So, if you click on one of these links you are led to that particular website but actually the owner has paid Google to display his website there.

Following these ads there are another 4 links.  Go Digital Cyprus, which is our website, is ranked in the 3rd position. The search engine placed my website in that position just because I am ranking for this long tail keyword “SEO Services in Cyprus”. If you will click on my link, it says that I’ve got FREE traffic. But keep in mind that each page displays approximately 10 results and as you noticed Google displays 4 ads in the first 4 positions, then 4 websites that rank organically and then 2 more ads. Why? Simply because Google makes money through paid ads.

However, data shows that people usually check the results displayed on the first page and very rarely check the second page. That’s why ranking on the first page of Google gets harder and harder every day. This is the bad news.

The good news is that SEO techniques can help your website appear on the first page. Sure, it is not easy, it can’t be done overnight and sometimes it looks like a race. However, free traffic is higher in position on Google Ranking Factors compared to the paid traffic. And the explanation is very simple: if your website appear high on the SERP it will continuously get free traffic!!!-:)

Google ranking factors and what the SERP shows

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One Response

  1. I love the article. I only find so deep and detailed explanation on sites like hobspot and moz.