Direct website visits and the traffic it creates is said to be the most influential factor in organic search, followed by numerous other factors. The study, conducted by SEMRush, narrowed it down to a list of the top 17 ranking factors, many of which are related to on-page engagement.

Here is a the full list of top ranking signals at a glance:

  • Direct website visits
  • Time on site
  • Pages per session
  • Bounce rate
  • Total referring domains
  • Total backlinks
  • Total referring IPs
  • Total followed backlinks
  • Content length
  • Total anchors
  • Keyword in anchor text
  • Keyword in body of content
  • Keyword density
  • Keyword in title
  • Keyword in meta description
  • Video on page

Lets have a look at some of the factors in detail:

Website Visits

There is a connection between the number of website visits and rankings of the page. If a page has got many direct website visits, it may be a sign to Google of the page’s authority.

User Behavior Signals

Pages with high rankings tend to have a lower bounce rate. Pages with higher bounce rate could be a sign of irrelevant content.

On-page SEO Elements

Many of the traditional SEO elements is still practiced- over 75% of top 20 pages have keywords in the body and over 60% have keywords in the title. However, data indicates that these factors have negligible effect on the rankings.


Length of the content is directly in relation to the rankings, however it’s still important to ensure the content is high quality, relevant, and well optimized.

Website Security (HTTPS)

High volume keywords’ search results are majorly occupied by HTTPS domains. An HTTPS domain becomes essential when competing in the high-volume keyword space.


Large websites with rich backlink profiles are usually on the top positions for high-volume keywords. Extra link building feature is important when ranking for lower volume keywords.


Ritu from PageTraffic is a qualified Google Ads Professional and Content Head at PageTraffic. She has been the spear head for many successful Search Marketing Campaigns and currently oversees Content Marketing operations of PageTraffic in India.