2015 Website Ranking Factors by MOZ

What does a website rank?  More importantly is why does my competitors website rank above mine?

It’s the most common question I get when talking to clients.

Well,  now you can get some insight as to why by reviewing the 2015 Search Ranking Factors report by MOZ.

This biannual report is compiled by the team at MOZ .  The study helps identify which attributes of pages and sites have the strongest association with ranking highly in Google.

The study consists of two parts: a survey of professional SEOs and a large correlation study.

If you are at all interested in what is important in what is important in getting your website to rank then you need to read this.

Key takeaways for most of us

I found the following points important.

Decreasing importance of On Page Keyword Use

Basically, the study showed  lower correlations between on-page keyword use and rankings.  This means that hard and fast rules about spamming using the specific keyword in the page titles, headings and body copy are less important.

Given Google’s ability to understand what words and content means through the use of related keywords, synonyms, close variants, and entities, it’s important that you write comprehensively, using related keywords in your copy and ultimately focus on writing for the end user and their intent.

Links are still very important

Despite constant advice about not building links, the number of links to your page continues to correlate highly with higher rankings.  Enough said.  Just remember to focus on attracting quality trusted links.

The overall links to the domain continue to be important, but less so than page level links.

Register Your Domain for a longer period

Interestingly the data showed that the time to your domains expiry moderately correlated to higher rankings.  This makes sense as spammers typically don’t register spam domains for a long period of time.

Start Focusing on page engagement metrics

Engagement metrics from SimilarWeb showed that pages with lower bounce rates, higher pageviews, and better time-on-site metrics were associated with higher rankings.

This makes intuitive sense  in so far as quality content, that people read and share would be the type of content that would attract links and other signals.

For more insight check out the study here https://moz.com/search-ranking-factors