Did you know that there are more than two hundred factors that search engines consider when their algorithms decide how to rank websites for search results?

When most people hear that, they think that this means there are more than two hundred little strategies they need to implement to make sure that all of those ranking factors are perfectly in line with what the search engines expects them to be.

The truth is that while all of those ranking factors are important and knowing what they are can ensure that you are not making mistakes that might hurt your website’s ranking, automotive SEO does not have to be that complicated.

In fact, there are really only two factors that should take up the majority of the time that you spend optimizing your website.

While it is important to spend time making sure your code is clean and that you have an effective schema markup and social media signals and on and on, links and content are what you need to be the most concerned with.

These are the two factors that are going to have the greatest effect on your ranking. If you have great content and a legitimate backlink and internal linking profile, you are probably going to do just fine.

Most sources of SEO advice have produced very in-depth guides that will walk you through every aspect of search engine optimization and how it can be applied to your website.

If you are looking for what you need to be worried about right now, here’s what you need to know:

What Google Says

At the end of March of this year, Andrey Lippastev, of Google, said that the two most important factors their algorithm looks at are links and content.

Obviously there are hundreds of other factors, but those are the two most important, according to Google itself.

Of course content is extremely important.

Without content, you do not have anything to optimize. But why links?

Links are used to determine how authoritative your website is, how relevant it is, and how legitimate it is.

The assumption is that a website that is full of nonsensical, irrelevant, poorly-written and poorly-conceived content is going to have a very hard time getting organic, legitimate links from high quality websites.

This is a huge amount of information that Google gleans just from looking at your link profile and it is a much better way of gauging the value of your website that factors that Google has looked at in the past.

Links are also closely related to the quality of your content.

If you write and promote great content, you are more likely to earn natural backlinks or to have a much easier time asking websites and bloggers to include links back to your content on their own webpages.

The truth is that if more websites spent their time writing great content (informative, valuable, relevant to their industry) and promoting that content, the most relevant cream would rise to the top.

But many businesses spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not all these other, smaller ranking factors are perfectly lined up and let the quality of content and promotion of that content fall by the wayside.

What Makes Content Great

How can you know if you are creating content that search engines would consider to be great content?

Ask yourself the following three questions:

  1. Is my content relevant to my website and to the keywords I used in that content?
  2. Is the content well-written?
  3. What experience does my audience have with the content I write?

If your content is relevant, if it is high quality, and if the readers have a positive experience with it, you have great content.

Content that is not relevant to a specific query probably should not rank for that query, right.

Think of each Google search as a question that someone is asking.

They want the best answer to that specific question.

Content that does not meet that needs should never show up in their results.

But why does quality of content matter?

Some people, especially those that do not consider themselves to be writers, will often take umbrage with the idea of the content itself needing to be high quality.

The fact is that Google does not expect you to be an expert writer.

All it does is expect you to be able to make your point clearly.

If you have a thorough knowledge of the subject you are writing about, this should not be difficult at all.

A combination of these two factors therefore ensures that your readers have a good reaction to what they read.

There is, of course, something else that you should be aware of when it comes to content creation.

This is originality.

Type the topic of what you are going to write into Google.

How many results does Google find?

It might be hundreds of thousands, it might be hundreds of millions.

To stand out, you need more than just relevancy—you need a new angle on that idea.

This doesn’t mean that you cannot write on a topic that someone else (even thousands of other people) have written on, it simply means that you need to find a way to make what you are saying unique, even if your reader has already read about the topic.

If you cut automotive SEO down to just these two factors and focus on perfecting them, your strategy will be much easier to manage and is more likely to bring you the results you want.