Listing all the features that Google looks in websites is quite difficult as they are many but we can pick the very important factors that can provide great help in SEO.
#1: Mobile Friendliness
Mobile search has become the first preference of searchers and also Google keeps has separate search rankings for mobiles searchers. If your website isn’t mobile friendly then it is losing ranking to those that are well optimized for mobile searches. Use Google tool to find whether your site is mobile friendly and optimize it for mobile search, if the site isn’t friendly to mobile devices.
Take sitemap of your website to be its directory with details of all the pages. In absence of map, the crawlers would have to follow internal links to index pages. There is no harm in manual indexing of pages but the pages with no links won’t be indexed. You can make sitemap in XML and HTML depending on your needs. But Google prefers XML.
#3: Canonical Tags
Google hates duplicate content more than any other things but it understands needs of using similar content for marketing. Ecommerce sites face this problem but it has a solution. Earlier ecommerce sites were using robots.txt file to block indexing of similar content but now it is changed. Google suggested a solution that is canonical tags that prevent indexing of duplicate content but the link juice of the skipped page is passed on to others. In robots.txt, no value to the quality backlinks to the skip pages is provided.
#4: Site Speed
Ideally a website should download decently on all browsers within 30 seconds and the sites that take more than usual time in downloading get no favor from Google. Only fast loading pages are included in ranking. Google has a tool for testing downloading speed of sites. This tool tests speed for mobile as well as desktop downloads. Also Google give suggestions on how to increase website speed.
#5: SSL Certificates
If your site doesn’t start with https, it isn’t a secured website and Google won’t like it. Protect your site with SSL certificate and get favor from Google. Transition from unsecured site to secured site could be tricky but Google has a perfect answer to this problem.
#6: Structured Markup
Sometimes a picture or animation is a better a way to describe a business/product/service. You can see some sites on top of SERPs have these features. They are called schema codes. The codes tell Google crawlers that the particular content describes a product or business and then Google creates fancy results for that business. Structured Markup is good for local businesses.
#7: Good Content Quality
Digital marketing runs on content and for this reason Google values content but it appreciates sites that publish unique and informative content in a readable manner. You should write original content and also you should keep refreshing the content.
#8: Citing Your Links
Google wants to index every piece of information including citations. Here citations stand for authority. For instance, if you search source of your story and link back the content to the original story, you get SEO points from Google.
#9: Make it Social
Google weight social signals for ranking pages but you shouldn’t saturate social media with marketing material. Serve quality content on social media and allow the users to share the content with their contacts. For – SEO for your Facebook profile
#10: Titles and Meta Descriptions
Though titles and meta descriptions don’t factor in ranking but they’re important for readers. If you don’t write meta and title, Google will pull one from the content. Follow Google guidelines for writing meta and title descriptions.
SEO is an iceberg and the above mentioned are just tips of that iceberg. There are many other factors that are crucial for high ranking of websites. Taking lessons from these tips, you can move forward and achieve good results in SEO.