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In 2019, What Are the Most Important Ranking Factors?

Digital marketing is a constantly-evolving industry, with new practices and strategies used by marketing professionals to leverage the power of the Web. Search engines are also in a constant state of evolution, necessitating different approaches for digital marketers with each coming year. SEO for insurance agents incorporates many of these approaches, helping position client websites favorably in search engine results. As search algorithms mature and become more advanced, certain ranking factors become more critical in digital marketing campaigns. In this guide, we’ll take a deeper look at some of the most important search engine ranking factors for 2019.  

Ranking Factors Explained

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! use complicated mathematical algorithms to analyze user queries, then deliver relevant results to those users. These algorithms use numerous ranking factors in the course of the analysis. Ranking factors are simply those aspects that influence pagerank in search results, and may be found as a part of a given website or web property (on-site), or located externally to the website (off-site). According to a leading search engine information resource, Google uses over 200 such ranking factors or signals as a part of its complex search algorithm. As Google is responsible for over 3.5 billion searches each day on its service, the company’s algorithm and the factors it analyzes are of particular importance to digital marketing professionals. Obviously, some of these ranking factors are more important than others, and marketers need to focus on the ones that may have the biggest impact for their clients.

Top Ranking Factors for 2019

As mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of known ranking factors used by the major search engines when analyzing user queries. Some are of critical importance, while others may not be as influential in terms of ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). In SEO for insurance agents, digital marketers need to understand that these ranking factors gain or lose importance over time; in this industry, nothing remains the same for long.

So, what are the top ranking factors for 2019? This answer is not as clear-cut as one might hope, but the most critical ranking factors focus on technical aspects of the webpages themselves, mobile friendliness, inbound links, keyword and user intent, and content structure. Let’s take a closer look at each of these important ranking factors for 2019.

1. Mobile friendliness

It is estimated that about 5.7 billion people use smartphones and other mobile computing devices worldwide. As such, they are a vital part of the modern search engine landscape – people are using their devices to search for information about the world around them, and rely on these devices to navigate the Web. Starting in 2015, Google responded to the increased use of mobile computing, and made mobile friendliness one of the key ranking factors. In fact, Google now has a “mobile-first” index, ranking websites based on signals from a given site’s mobile or mobile-optimized version. Marketers must make efforts to ensure that websites display and function properly on mobile devices to leverage this critical ranking factor.

2. Technical components of websites

This ranking area is actually comprised of several important factors such as page load speed, dwell time, bounce rate, and security considerations. The ultimate focus of this ranking area is that of the user experience; in other words, making the website visit the most positive and rewarding it can be for a given user. Digital marketers and SEO teams must concentrate on the aspects that improve user experience, building trust and encouraging visitors to stay longer on the website.

3. Inbound Links

For years, the external links that point back to a given website or web property have been a vital part of the overall SEO picture, even as specific methods and strategies have evolved. In 2019, inbound links have reached prominence as a ranking factor. So-called “influence marketing” and guest posting are some of the best ways to develop inbound links that resonate with both users and search engine algorithms. Link-building strategies can also include reaching out to high-authority websites relevant to the insurance industry, and may include business directories, insurance information resources, and news media outlets.

4. Keyword and User Intent

Just like links, keywords have been a part of the SEO landscape since the very beginning. SEO professionals analyze search queries to pinpoint the specific words or phrases people are using to find information on Google. Users have certain intents when using a search engine, and it is the role of the search algorithm to understand that underlying intent in order to provide relevant results for any given query. Digital marketers, especially in SEO for insurance agents, have unique opportunities to leverage keywords for user intent. This can include analyzing keyword and search traffic, then adding content optimized for those keywords. It can also mean revising or updating existing content to better reflect user interests and intent.

5. Content Structure

Content is king in any digital marketing or SEO endeavor. Site visitors want the details needed to make purchasing decisions, and it is of absolute importance that websites deliver that information. So, content structure has become a leading ranking factor, and may include aspects like content authority, comprehensiveness of content, proper grammar, and uniqueness. These aspects may require the services of professional writers, who have the experience needed to create engaging, relevant content that resonates with both site visitors and search engine algorithms.

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