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The Top 3 Keyword Ranking Factors in 2019

What is SEO? Search engine optimization is a strategy used to increase the number of visitors going to your website. The next obvious question is how did these visitors find your website online? This is through keyword rankings. Before worrying about keeping rankings, you first need to have a strategy to figure out which keywords your customers find you with. Usually, a digital marketing agency can help you with keyword research. That’s the easy stuff; the hard work comes next. This is where search engine optimization really begins.

SEO  is a complicated business. Many digital marketing agencies struggle to find quality strategies to rank. Each year, Moz surveys the top digital marketing agencies to determine the top organic ranking factors. In this blog post, we are going to go through the top three in detail.

Backlinks For Days

For years, backlinks have been the number one keyword ranking factor. They’ve also been the most scrutinized by Google’s algorithm updates. Understandably, businesses and digital marketing agencies want to find the cheapest and most efficient way to build backlinks. Let’s take a look at what makes up a great backlink.

  1. Anchor Text: This is the text in the hyperlink pointing back to your site. There’s a very specific strategy you want to use when creating an anchor text profile. One-third of your anchor text ought to be branded, another third should be money keywords (dentist in Gotham City), and the last third should be generic.
  2. Link Domain Authority: Moz uses domain authority to assign a number to determine how strong someone’s website is. The higher the domain authority, the stronger the backlink.
  3. Link Domain Quantity: You want to see consistent backlink acquisition. Similar to your 401k, you need to invest monthly in backlinks.
  4. Link Domain Relevance: If you are a dentist, receiving a backlink from a website that is an expert in dentistry is better than a generic backlink. The more niche your backlinks, the better your chances will be of ranking higher in a search query.

On-Page Signals

The next ranking factor is on-page signals. This is the second most important strategy for your SEO. There is more control with on-page signals because you own the website, compared to asking somebody to backlink to you. Let’s take a look at what makes up on-page signals.

  1. NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number): Is your contact information located somewhere on your website? Ideally, you will see this on the footer or header of your page as well as a dedicated contact page.
  2. Keyword in Title: When you have completed your keyword research, have you added these keywords to pages on your website? Add them to your title tags, H1, and marketing copy. These are easy wins for your marketing strategy.
  3. Domain Authority: A high domain authority sends a signal to Google that you’re an expert in your field. You can increase your domain authority by working on your backlink-building and updating content on your website. Add the keywords you want to show up for in a search query to your marketing copy.

Behavioral Signals

The last topic we want to discuss today is behavioral signals. These can be greatly affected by the first two ranking factors. Having great content on your website will entice other website owners to link back to your website. Let’s take a look at the ingredients that make up behavioral signals.

  1. Click-Through Rate: When someone comes to your website, do they go to a second page on your site? If so, you increased your click-through rate. A high click-through rate signals to Google that you have great content
  2. Dwell Time: The length of time somebody stays on your website. Again, the better the content, the higher the chance someone is engaging with it.
  3. Mobile Click-to-Call: Add the mobile click-to-call feature to your website. This is a simple win and can be done by any local webmaster.


Today we went through the top three ranking factors according to Moz’s survey. Regardless of whether you were the one working on your SEO strategy or you outsource to someone else, it is important to have this knowledge. If there is one thing you could start tomorrow, it should be updating content on your website. Then you can move forward to something more challenging like backlink-building. After you’ve implemented both of these tactics, start to track key metrics to show incremental improvements. Organic traffic, keywords, and leads should all increase with a sound SEO strategy.