Google has over two-hundred different ranking factors it uses on a regular basis to rank and place sites in search engine results pages (SERPs).Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies extend well beyond the actual content posted on web pages and should begin when you are first conceptualizing your website and trying to figure out what domain name to use.
You might be wondering how it is humanly possible to keep up with that many different ranking factors. The thing to remember, is Google places different weights on each one, with some only having a minor influence on SERPs. Plus, it is better to focus on the top ten or so ranking factors in specific categories (i.e. domain level, page-level, backlink, etc.) that carry the most weight, rather than try to address all 200-plus factors.
When it comes to the website’s domain name and initial development, the specific factors you need to consider are:
- The history of the domain name. If the domain name history has been questionable, or dinged by Google in the past, you will want to make sure Google resets the history, negating all previous questionable histories.
- The age of the domain. Google does place some weight on the actual age of the site, but it is not highly weighted.
- The use of keywords in the top level domain. Having a keyword or two in the top level domain can help, but do not expect it to give your site a huge boost like it used to a decade ago.
- The first word in the domain name is a keyword. Placing a target keyword as the first word of the domain name does give a slight edge over using the keyword in the middle or end.
- The use of keywords as part of the subdomain name. Just like the domain name, incorporating a keyword into the subdomain name can help improve SERPs.
- The length of time the domain has been registered for. Most reputable sites pay their domain registrations for several years at a time. Google does place some weight behind this, as most unsavory sites will typically only register the domain for a year.
- The top level domain extension used for the website. If you use .ca instead of .com or .net it will help give your site a boost in Canada, but not globally and can actually limit your site’s SERPs in global search results.
- The use of keywords in the web page’s title tags. Putting a keyword in the title tag is a top ranking factor for web design.
- The first word of the title tag is a keyword. Using the keyword first does give you a little boost in rankings.
- The Meta description includes a keyword. You can also boost SERPs by including a keyword in the page description.
As you can see, there are specific ranking criteria Google uses that extend to the actual website development and domain. For assistance in developing and designing a new website or to give your existing website a fresh update, contact the web development experts at Webryze by calling (416) 900-1047 today!