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September 15, 2023

Which Ranking Factors Should SEO Marketers Prioritize in 2023 & Beyond

Search engine optimization is the mainstay of online visibility for businesses. While SEO relies on tried-and-tested tactics, it continues to evolve. Changes in search engine algorithms make it essential to keep adjusting your strategy. With algorithmic updates, search ranking factors may witness a shuffle, disrupting your existing plan.

Did you know that Google (News - Alert) changes its algorithm 500-600 times a year? It also uses more than 200 ranking factors to rate and rank websites. The sheer numbers sound overwhelming to a business owner looking to implement an SEO plan. The bottom line is that you cannot take shortcuts or use a set-and-forget approach.

The best piece of advice is to start your campaign after in-depth research of the critical ranking factors. For businesses already implementing an SEO strategy, keeping an eye on these factors is essential to maintain results. Since these parameters may change on the fly, you must have a clear view of the current ones.

Here is a checklist of ranking factors to prioritize in 2023 and beyond:

Content (Quality, Relevance, and Usability)

Artificial intelligence has disrupted the content and SEO landscape in recent times. The adoption of AI is widespread, with 44.4% of small businesses using it for content production. Although AI tools make content creation quick and cost-effective, they hardly reduce the value of content as a ranking factor.

Quality, relevance, and usability are the key parameters for creating content that ranks. Content quality encompasses the freshness, uniqueness, and usefulness of a page in relation to a search query. Likewise, Google is more likely to rank a page offering content relevant to user searches.

Even if you use AI content writing tools, practice caution and ensure that your content complies with these ranking essentials. Also, the content should be optimized (not over-optimized) with relevant keywords.


Like content, backlinks have always been a significant ranking factor and continue to hold their place in 2023. Your SEO consulting partner will emphasize the value of incoming links from relevant and authoritative sources from the get-go. Websites with fewer backlinks often fall short of organic traffic because they hardly get anyone landing from outside sources.

SEO Inc notes that link-building is a consistent and ongoing effort that requires gathering quality backlinks to consolidate your profile. The more links you have, the higher you rank over time. But remember that link-building is about quality, not just the numbers. Successful SEO campaigns stand on the foundation of a robust inbound link profile built with relevant backlinks.

User Experience

Statistics show that 88% of online buyers never return to a website after a bad user experience. UX is also a key ranking factor. An excellent UX spells high dwell time, low bounce rates, and more conversions for a website. Together, these factors make your website a good candidate for a higher ranking in the long run.

Here are the elements of a good UX you must ensure for your website:

  • A high-loading speed
  • Mobile-responsiveness
  • Quality content
  • An engaging design
  • Intuitive navigation
  • A robust site structure

On-Page Optimization

Regardless of the algorithm changes, on-page optimization is an SEO ranking factor that will never lose its significance. On-page optimization is more than creating high-quality, keyword-optimized, and well-formatted content for your web pages.

It also entails the use of optimized meta tags and header tags. These are the elements that guide Google bots to interpret your content. Targeted meta titles and descriptions can also enhance the organic traffic to your website. Image optimization and geotagging are other factors to consider.

Branding Signals

If you want to ace SEO rankings in 2023 and beyond, you must pay attention to branding signals in your strategy. The more your brand gets mentioned by external sources, the better your search engine visibility. It is like getting endorsements from others, making your website more credible and valuable for search engines.

Brand signals also educate, motivate, and inspire the target audience, giving them a reason to stick with your brand. Not surprisingly, well-known companies achieve high rankings because they thrive on brand mentions.

You can improve brand signals with the following strategies:

  • Create content showcasing niche expertise and thought leadership
  • Build a robust social media following
  • Become a guest contributor on relevant blogs
  • Get press coverage


A hit-and-miss approach is the last thing you should adopt for your SEO strategy. Although it may pay off, sustainable results come with a focused plan. You can create it by understanding the ranking factors and following them as your guiding light. Also, being nimble and adapting quickly to changes in algorithms and ranking factors can give you a winning advantage.

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