First things first. I am going to assume that your site is new or less than a year old.
Often the very foundation of good SEO is ignored choosing to jump into that nitty-gritty of on-page, off-page, backlinks, and other SEO efforts that are important but of secondary importance. I will cover the foundation of SEO which all other SEO efforts rely. It is only one side of the divide. If you pay attention the list I provide below, you will find that Google will begin to love your site much faster.
Establishing a Foundation:
The very first thing that must happen is to establish a trustworthy domain. This, in part, takes time for some of the factors but must still be the first concern any site owner has. It is the foundation upon which all other SEO efforts are built upon.
Here is the list of foundational considerations for effective SEO. Please know that this was taken from a site map that I created looking directly at a Google internal presentation and documentation designed for management, a detailed pseudo schema, business rules, and so forth.
- Registrar Quality and Reputation - chose a high quality registrar
- Host Quality and Reputation - chose a high quality host
- Registrar Changes - avoid hopping around
- Host Changes - avoid hopping around
- Registration Information - complete and accurate, if private- is it trusted
- Registrant Quality - not a known spammer, blacklisted contact, or
associated with low quality domains
- Registration Period - more than 1 year (preferred)
- Domain Name - not associated with payday loans and pharmaceutical sales for example,
domain higher TTL times, not previously registered, not blacklisted
- TLD Quality - TLD is known for quality domains
- IP Address - not blacklisted, dedicated (preferred), not subscriber
(preferred), quality provider, higher TTL times, few IP address
changes over time, PTR record set
- Site Age - the longer the better
- Site Response Times - the faster the better
- Site Up-Times - the more up-time the better
- Operating System - known for vulnerabilities, safe version
- Web Server - known for vulnerabilities, safe version
- Publicly Available Services - HTTP, HTTPS, DNS, FTP, and others
hosted on single server is bad, known vulnerabilities, safe versions,
open dangerous ports
- Backlink Profile - good/bad, what is the ratio, what sites link to
your site (automatic drop in trust with links from hacker sites and
- SSL Certification - a quality certification adds trust, using HTTPS
- Site Compromised - is or has the site been compromised
- Citations - quality citations especially within trusted sources
- Code Quality - pay attention to code quality
- Outbound Links - links to quality external sources (automatic drop in
trust with links to hacker sites and others)
- Internal Link Structure - clear navigation and link quality, no
- Contact Information - does the site provide contact information, is
there location mark-up
- Child Safe - is the site child safe
Not all of these elements are strictly required of course. But these items are measured and considered in establishing an overall trust score for the site. So if your site is new, you can compensate this with creating contact mark-up that is easily found on a contact page or in the page footer. As well, you can acquire a certificate from a quality provider (optional). The point is that all of the elements must be gauged in balance to establish trustworthiness but not all of the individual scores have to be particularly high- just good enough. Strive for the best you can.
Following this, quality backlinks, search impressions and CTR, time on site, time on page, pages read, bounce rate, and other metrics will help to drive the SiteRank that Google does apply to SERP results.