A marketer’s complete guide to changing Google ranking factors in a HubSpot website
As a marketer, it can take a lot of time updating all the right Google ranking factors into a website. Figuring out exactly how to do it can be costly.
It can also be challenging to align your marketing goals with your own website design. Some of your goals probably are right in line with Google's. If you want to get traffic, anyways.
So we took the ranking factors outlined in Backlinko’s post “Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List (2020)” and showed you exactly how to make each of those changes to your HubSpot website. SEO in your HubSpot design doesn’t have to be so difficult.
For more information on how important the factor is, or why it’s so important, be sure to check out the article from Brian Dean.
Please note, we removed factors that were not important or had very little impact on your website’s SEO.
Let’s get right to it.
1. Domain Age
Although domain age isn’t necessarily as important as it used to be, it’s still relevant, just not extremely important.
2. Keyword Appears in Top Level Domain
Keywords used to be important in the domain, but it doesn’t necessarily have the same effect now. However, it does let Google know that your website is relevant.
3. Keyword as first word in domain
In the domain, if a targeted keyword appears first, you may get an edge over your competition for that keyword. But it doesn’t have a ton of effect.
4. Domain registration age length
What Google knows is that domains that have been owned for several years or more, and have already paid for domains for years to come, are typically more legitimate than sites a year or younger. Therefore, this is somewhat important. We can’t really show you how to pay for your domain, but we can show you how to make changes to the domain, and purchase more space.
In HubSpot, changing a subdomain name is pretty simple. In this video, it only takes a few seconds to make adjustments to the subdomain of blog and webpage titles.
You’ll go in to edit your blog, website, or landing page, then navigate into the edit page. From there, you can type in your adjustment.
5. Keyword in Subdomain
Now, unlike the likelihood of a keyword in your domain boosting your SEO rankings, a keyword within the subdomain can help increase your search results.
6. Exact Match Domain
This one is pretty simple. Having an exact match keyword within your domain can most definitely help, but only if your website isn’t of poor quality.
The <title> tag currently is the post or website page’s title.
7. Keyword in Title tag
A pretty important ranking factor, although not as important as it used to be.
8. Title tag starts with a keyword
Moz tells us that matching the keyword you’re wanting to rank for and placing it at the beginning of the title can help performance a little bit.
9. Keyword in description tag
Brian Dean points out that Google doesn’t actually use the meta description as a direct ranking signal. However, it affects your click-through rate (considering this is what your visitors see in SERP), and CTR is a key ranking factor.
10. Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords in Content (LSI)
LSIs are Google’s fun way of understanding that an author actually knows what they’re talking about. Crawlers compile information of other keywords closely related to a keyword, like “iPhone” to “Apple” and “charger.”
11. LSI Keywords in Title and Description Tags
Just like LSIs in the content you’re producing, they are also valuable when adding into your meta descriptions and titles.
12. Keyword appears in H1 tag
H1 tags are pretty easy to change within HubSpot. This is awesome considering the fact that you basically get another crack at another title tag.
13. Table of Contents
A linkable table can help user experience so they can jump to different parts of the article, as well as even help crawlers understand the content that you’re putting together.
14. Keyword Density
HubSpot has an optimization checker as a tool that you can use within your pages. It’s pretty easy to navigate to, as well as gives some very simple changes you can make to help your rankings.
15. Use of AMP
AMP is really easy to turn on with HubSpot, and can be set automatically for all your pages, or you can manually turn single blogs and website pages on or off. Although AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is not a direct ranking factor in Google, mobile performance and user experience are. It can also minimize the load time for your pages, which is also a ranking factor.
16. Duplicate Content
Duplicating content on a website can be harmful to your HubSpot website SEO. Using a Rel=Canonical tag can help prevent any sort of penalization from website crawlers.
18. Image Optimization
Images can be sort of like an addition to the LSI keywords. It’s adding relevancy and more context to the content that is being delivered. Making sure that the alt text in your photo is relevant to your content’s keyword can help crawlers determine its relevancy.
19. Content Recency
How often are you updating your content? No, really. Crawlers work to find out because content that is being updated frequently remains relevant.
20. Historical Page Updates
Google also pays attention to how often the updates are being made.
21. Keyword in H2, H3 Tags
H2 and H3 tags help Google crawlers understand the structure of content, how it’s built, the way it is, and why. Meaning a better crawl, and possibly a better ranking.
22. Outbound Link Quality
#1 and #2 ranking factors in Google are content and backlinks, but Google won’t really tell us which one. As an opinion, without content, you can’t really create backlinks, can you. So, it’s probably the #2 ranking factor.
What is crazy is that HubSpot decided to sunset its backlinking tool in 2019. So, we’ve shared a video in Google Search Console instead.
23. Numbers of Outbound Links
Depending on how many links your website already has, chances are, there are lot of links that are doing more damage than good. This article is an amazing resource to understand what you need to clear out. Unfortunately, most of this is done by hand.
24. Outbound Link Theme
The theme of your links can also be a signal to Google. For instance, you’ll want to backlink to websites and content similar to what you’re discussing. Doing otherwise might make Google put the wrong 2 and 2 together.
25. Number of Internal Links Pointing to a Page
Search engines understand that the more internal links pointing to a page within your website adds significance to the site and is a ranking signal.
26. Quality of Internal Links Pointing to a Page
The quality of the internal links that are going around your website can also be a factor in how well it ranks. You can rearrange the different links you’re pointing to within HubSpot if you have one page ranking better than another.
27. Grammar and Spelling
Finally, a refreshing signal. Spelling and grammar may have a small role in your ranking. The spell check and grammar check in HubSpot is automatically built into the text boxes you utilize when building content. However, since you can import from Google Docs now, you may want to utilize a more complicated system within Google Docs to make sure your content is tip-top shape.
28. Syndicated Content
If your content is syndicated, meaning copied or scraped, there’s a delete button in HubSpot that will prove to be really useful for you. Don’t get penalized for dumb things.
29. Mobile-Friendly Update
It’s been noted in multiple data that mobile-friendly websites rank better than others. HubSpot websites are already optimized for mobile friendliness, so you’re already covered.
Images and other types of media like videos or infographics have shown to have a pretty strong correlation in high rankings. Adding multimedia into a HubSpot post is pretty simple as well.
31. Number of internal links pointing to a page
Google recognizes that a page with many internal links (links from one spot of your website to another spot on your website) pointing to it indicates how important that page is relative to others on your site.
32. Broken Links
You can’t really monitor your broken links on HubSpot. However, you can check Google Search Console for errors in the crawls. This video shows you where to go. According to Google’s crawlers, having a bunch of broken links on your website is an indicator that the site is neglected or abandoned. Google will penalize the ranking.
33. Too many outbound links
For websites that have too many outbound links, it may be distracting to the users, as well as cluttery and hard to navigate. This is a no no for Google.
34. URL Length
There are some studies that have shown that shorter URLs should have better rankings in SERP. In this video, we’ve showed you how to shorten your URL length, but if the URL has been live for a long time, it might be more damaging than helpful to shorten the length.
35. Page Category
Page category is a relevancy signal under Google’s SERP. If you happen to go into HubSpot and change the category that pages are under, you will probably see a boost in your results.
36. Priority of Page in Sitemap
37. Page Age
For any pages that have been around for a while, this is a good thing. Google really likes to see that the page is still relevant, though. Updating old pages frequently can help Google understand that the site is well-maintained, and therefore help outrank newer content.