Search engine rankings

What is SEO?

Search engine rankings

So how do search engines decide where your website ends up in those all-important search results? Google and others have these secret algorithms that are always changing, and they don’t openly state what exactly affects your ranking. However, as of 2024, this is the very approximate breakdown of what matters:

Content Relevance and Quality: Around 40-50%

It doesn’t matter how good your site looks, how fast it loads or any other factor – if it doesn’t have the information the visitor is looking for (whether it’s your services, your contact info or something else), you’re not going to get a good result. Here are some simple questions you can consider:

  • Does it tell people what I do and where I do it? That is, if you say you are an electrician, you also need to state your service area, what areas you work on etc.
  • Is the text on my webpage copied from someone else? If it’s not considered ‘original content’, you can lose search engine position.
  • Does it use the right amount of keywords? No keywords is obviously a problem, but so is keyword stuffing – where you try to jam in the same phrase over and over again in the hope of getting a good spot.


Backlinks and Link Quality: Approximately 25-30%

So how many other websites are pointing to your site? A backlink can come from a Google My Business listing or a review platform like NoCowboys, but it can come from a number of sources. But here’s the problem – getting linked to from a site that has a bad reputation doesn’t help (and can even be problematic), so be careful where you post links to your own sites. Other useful examples are sites like or even social media (see below).

User Experience (UX): About 15-20%

This rates you based on how the search engines thinks users will feel about your site. It considers areas like website speed (how quickly pages load), mobile-friendliness (how well the site works on mobile devices), and navigation (having an intuitive structure with clear menus).

Technical SEO: Roughly 10-15%

Technical SEO is essential for ensuring that your website is not only easy for users to navigate but also impresses search engines. It involves optimizing your site’s structure, including creating clear URLs and linking pages effectively to help search engines find and understand your content quickly. Using HTTPS adds a layer of security, which builds trust with visitors and improves your site’s ranking. Lastly, implementing schema markup helps search engines interpret your content better, potentially boosting your visibility in search results with more informative snippets. These practices make your site more user-friendly and credible, helping you stand out online. Part of getting the right site structure also includes choosing the right domain name to begin with, as this relates to your domain authority. Obviously a wallpapering company with the domain name ‘ is more likely to rank well well than ‘’.

User Engagement Metrics: Approximately 5-10%

Knowing how users interact with your website is key to boosting your search engine rankings. Click-through rate (CTR) shows how often people click on your site from search results, so catchy titles and descriptions matter. Bounce rate reveals how many visitors leave after seeing just one page, so keeping content relevant and engaging is crucial. Dwell time measures how long visitors stick around, indicating if your content is holding their interest. These insights help improve user experience and could lead to better rankings on search engines.

Social Signals: Minimal impact (less than 5%)

This includes likes, shares, and comments on social media platforms.

A summary of search engine rankings

Keep in mind, these percentages are rough estimates and can vary depending on the type of search, industry trends, and how search engines decide to rank websites. Search algorithms consider many factors, and what matters most can shift as algorithms evolve. That’s why taking a well-rounded approach to SEO, addressing all these factors, is your best bet for reaching and staying at the top of search results.

If you have any questions about your website and whether you think you need to improve in any of these areas, get in touch with us!