What Is Keyword Ranking?
Did you know? The top 3 results on Google capture a whopping 54.4 percent of all organic clicks. As competition intensifies, it’s clear that mastering keyword ranking is more than just useful—it’s essential.
To catch you up with everything keyword rankings, here, we
- answer the question, “What is keyword ranking?”
- break down its importance to search engine optimization (SEO),
- and dive into how keyword rankings are determined by Google search.
What Is Keyword Ranking?
Keyword ranking refers to a web page’s specific position on the search engine results pages (SERPs). It reflects how search engines perceive the relevance and quality of a website’s content in relation to the searched keyword.
What does this look like in practice?
Let’s say, for instance, you use the keyword phrase “link-building services” in a search. The results show our web page titled “Link-Building Services and Packages” as the second result, meaning the keyword ranking for that specific term is, you guessed it, second.
Be aware that a web page’s position on search results isn’t permanent. It’s dynamic, ever-changing, and influenced by numerous factors we’ll delve into shortly.
Learn more: Interested in broadening your SEO knowledge even further? Check out our SEO glossary, where we’ve explained over 250+ terms.
Why Is Keyword Ranking Important?
Keyword ranking is not just a number or a position on a SERP. It directly reflects a website’s visibility, credibility, and potential to attract organic traffic.
Let’s find out why.
1. Increased Website Visibility and Organic Traffic
We’ve touched on it a few times now, but to really drive the point home, when your website ranks higher for specific keywords, it becomes more visible to users searching for those terms. This level of visibility is muy importante (very important) because if your website isn’t ranking high, there’s little doubting the fact that you will be missing out on a significant chunk of visitors.
What’s more, higher keyword rankings invariably lead to increased organic traffic. As per Bright Edge research, 53.3 percent of all web visits come from organic traffic—a statistic that underscores the importance of investing in SEO to unlock your website’s true potential.
2. Potential for Higher Conversions
Okay, sure. While attracting a steady stream of organic traffic is beneficial, drawing the right kind of visitors is where it’s at. High keyword rankings allow you to target users at various stages of the buying cycle, and while there is value to every site visit, targeting potential customers, especially those ready to make a purchase, is how you’ll make your bread and butter.
To help you visualize the correlation between keyword ranking and conversions, imagine a bustling marketplace.
The shops at the entrance, which most visitors see first, resemble the top-ranking websites on SERPs. These shops attract the most customers, make the most sales, and are often deemed the most trustworthy. In contrast, shops tucked away in the back corner, much like lower-ranking websites, often struggle to attract customers and secure conversions.
3. Establishing Credibility
A higher keyword ranking also substantiates your website’s credibility. Think about it: When you search for something on Google, are you more likely to trust the first few results or the ones on the second or third page?
It’s a no-brainer—most users perceive the top-ranking websites as more reliable and authoritative in their respective niches. In other words, people often rely on search engine rankings to judge the quality and trustworthiness of a brand.
The logic is simple: if a website ranks high, it must be reputable and offer valuable insight.
How Are Keyword Rankings Determined?
Okay, so you’ve now got a firm grasp on the concept of keyword rankings. But how is a keyword ranking position determined?
Well, search engines like Google employ sophisticated algorithms to determine the ranking of keywords. These algorithms are like chefs in a kitchen, meticulously selecting ingredients (ranking factors) to prepare the perfect dish (search results).
Let’s delve into the recipe of keyword rankings.
The Algorithm’s Cookbook
Google uses web crawlers to scan and index web pages. Each page is evaluated based on Google’s perception of its authority and relevance to the user. The search engine’s suite of algorithms, taking into account over 200 known ranking factors, or as Google calls them, “signals” or “clues,” then arranges these pages in order of relevance on the search result page.
So, just like a chef uses a recipe book with specific steps and ingredients, Google’s algorithm follows a set of guidelines to rank websites.
Content Relevance and Quality
The heart of keyword ranking is content. Think of content as the main ingredient in our dish. How unique, in-depth, and helpful your content is fundamental for SEO success. Using Natural Language Processing (NLP), Google’s AI understands the essence behind each query, processing them in concepts rather than simply words.
That is to say, if your content is the freshest and most flavorful ingredient, it will likely be chosen by our chef (Google’s algorithms).
The Role of Backlinks
Backlinks act as endorsements from other websites. They’re like special spices that enhance the flavor of our dish. The more authoritative and relevant these backlinks are, the better the taste. Google examines how many websites link to you, their authority, and their relevance to a topic. Then, it uses this ranking factor as a key metric to decide how to order the SERPs.
Just like a dish needs more than just the main ingredient and spices, keyword ranking is influenced by other factors:
- Page speed: A slow-loading page is like a dish served cold. Both users and search engines—Google through its Core Web Vitals—prefer pages that load quickly, ensuring a smooth browsing experience.
- Mobile optimization: With the rise of mobile users, having a mobile-optimized website is like offering a dish that caters to all dietary preferences.
- User engagement: If users engage with your content, it signals to Google that your page is valuable and, in turn, will push it up the SERPs, attracting even more traffic. It’s like customers praising a dish, making it popular in a restaurant, and then the chef deciding to feature it as the special of the day.
Conclusion and Next Steps
While the algorithm is complex and ever-evolving (with Google making daily minor updates and more extensive updates every few months), understanding the core ingredients and how they blend will help websites rank better.
And while you’re now caught up with everything you need to know about keyword rankings, just remember, you don’t have to go this thing alone.
With our suite of SEO services, we’ll ensure your website not only ranks high but stays there, regardless of how the algorithmic winds shift.
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