If you ever have any questions or queries for which you require a quick, simple, yet accurate answer, where do you look? Google. As a search engine, Google has pervaded so deeply into the daily lives of humans that we wholeheartedly believe in the common saying, “If it’s not on Google, it probably doesn’t exist.”
In a fiercely competitive world like ours, simply building a website is not good enough. You need to be visible to users on the search engine to rake in the views and business. So how does one make their content and website rank well on Google? Through SEO.
Successful SEO is not about tricking Google; it’s about partnering with Google to provide the best search results for users. – Phil Frost, Founder Of Main Street ROI
Google currently holds about 91.88% of the entire search engine market share, so learning about factors that could help your website rank better in search results on Google is an opportunity you shouldn’t pass by. Google evaluates websites based on hundreds of ranking factors, so differentiating fact from fiction becomes difficult for new businesses and content creators. There is always the option of hiring SEO experts from top IT companies in your city to ensure a well-rounded SEO strategy for your website.
SEO trends keep changing from time to time, so if you wish to learn about the top ranking factors in Google that can optimize your website, give the below list a quick read.
Publish High-Quality Content
Engaging and high quality content have been a consistent ranking factor for websites on Google. The quality of content you put up on websites and blogs is crucial for search engines to determine whether the information is useful or not. Therefore, content is still king.
Pages with low-quality content are often deemed as webspam by Google’s content quality checking algorithms, such as Panda. This ends up hurting both the brand name and the page ranking. Good content ensures that the user’s query is answered when they visit your webpage, which helps lower website bounce rates too. You can use Google Analytics to understand the search intent of your target market and design your content accordingly.
A mix of well researched keywords spread throughout your website or blog also helps in improving the quality of your content. Also, remember to keep your content fresh and updated so that it stays relevant.
Optimize Page Speed
Speed is an essential ranking factor for websites, as the slower the page loads, the more the site loses out on users. With 5G becoming a more common data network speed, the era of slow loading pages has passed. Users today don’t have the patience to wait for pages to load slowly as the attention span of users has dropped significantly with the increase in information options and fast internet.
In a survey conducted by Unbounce, 70% of consumers accepted that page loading speed directly affects their willingness to buy from an online store. So why compromise on your technical health as a website? There are plenty of SEO tools available online that could help you test and boost your website’s loading speed.
Boost Your Page Experience
Enhancing the user experience of your website will make it more attractive for viewers to explore the products and services once they land on your homepage. Your website becomes the online face of your brand, so if you don’t put enough effort into updating your website’s UX, you end up losing the interest of users.
There are several contributing factors in developing a good page experience for your users.
- Having a user friendly site architecture allows viewers to navigate through your website smoothly. They can easily find the information they are looking for and even search engine crawlers can discover more pages of the website.
- Core Web Vitals is an important SEO metric that has often been downplayed. CWV quantifies a user’s page experience based on loading speed, pop-ups, and click sensitivity. They help you design a better website for your users.
- Security is a major factor in determining whether the user experience is good or bad. Google announced HTTPS as a ranking factor in 2014 and almost 30% of the pages use it. Sites that don’t use this are often flagged as unsecure by Google so this is an essential ranking factor.
Conquer On-Page Optimization
On-page optimization deals with the backend components of your website, content, and SEO. It is more technical in nature and focuses on elements like meta title, title tags, alt image, meta description, etc. These elements directly affect your website’s visibility on SERPs based on your target topic and keywords.
- Metadata- This covers your title and heading tags. Once you determine the keywords that you want to rank for, you need to insert them in the title and heading tags for proper indexing.
- Meta Description- It is a short description of your page that shows up under your page title in search results. This should be concise and carry the important keywords of your content to summarize the page.
- Image Alt Text- If your page contains images, they come with an alt-text as well. That helps in SEO. It appears on screen if your image fails to load, giving search engines better indexing context.
- URL Structure- A properly crafted URL contains target keywords and is SEO-friendly.
Paying attention to these elements will help increase the relevancy of your website on search engines.
Focus On Internal Links
Search engines deploy crawlers to index different parts of your website and their content on the search result pages. These internal links help your website get discovered by these crawlers. A tight-knit structure of internal links will help your website rank better than a more scattered one.
You can use a user-driven or cluster strategy for topics to drive traffic to different pages of your website. By doing this, you follow a chronological path of actions that your users can take to either make more purchases or gain information about related topics for their search intent. This makes your website and content easily navigable for users and can drive high organic traffic.
Build Useful Backlinks
An SEO strategy is incomplete without external links, or backlinks. A backlink is an external link that guides a user to your website from another source or webpage. It is an indication of trust that your site has relevant content and authority to search engines and helps the website rank better.
Backlinks are helpful to users for gaining additional information on the topic they are searching for from relevant websites. They are also helpful as a source of marketing tactics for the website. Guest posting is an excellent method to build backlinks for your website on credible domains.
It is important to perform an audit of your backlinks as broken links or toxic links can actually harm the ranking of your website. Google’s algorithms are quick to catch such links, so you should carefully check and update your backlinks at least yearly.
Keep Your Site Mobile Friendly
Google officially announced Mobile-First Indexing in 2021. It has been in the works for a while since a majority of the public uses their mobiles to visit various websites instead of desktops. It simply means that Google will index the mobile version of your website for ranking over the desktop one.
Therefore, website developers need to ensure that their website is easily accessible on mobile and other digital devices and not only on desktops. Prioritizing mobile indexing will save your website from losing business from the current generation of users who all want mobile-friendly sites and apps. You can simply follow Google’s mobile indexing guidelines to further guide you.
SEO trends keep changing over time, but ranking factors have more consistency than those trends. The above-mentioned Google optimization factors lie at the heart of a good ranking strategy for your website. You can always get help from SEO industry experts to guide you or use any of the hundreds of tools available online to check your ranking status. According to Google’s John Mueller, “..any SEO tool will spit out 10s or 100s of “recommendations”. Most of those are going to be irrelevant to your site’s visibility in search.”
“Finding the items that make sense to work on takes experience.”