If you’re a business owner, it’s imperative to have a well-functioning website. Not only does it provide your customers with a better experience, but Google – one of the largest search engines -- rewards websites that deliver great user experiences by ranking them higher. Thus, enhancing your company website can help you increase exposure, gain more customers, and generate more profits.
How can a website consistently perform well in Google’s search rankings, though? It’s not difficult as long as you keep in mind these ranking factors. They may be all that’s needed to take your business to the next level.
Top Google Ranking Factors You Need to Follow
When users click on a website, they expect to get answers and information quickly. Any delay in their search could negatively impact their entire experience, cause them to get disinterested, and lead them to leave your website entirely. Your audiences' experience on your website can directly affect your brand reputation, and it can also affect your rankings. Google ranks sites lower when their site speed isn't up to standards.
So how do you go about improving your website’s speed? There are actually many tactics you can employ. One example is using a CDN (Content Delivery Network). It mainly hosts your files across an extensive network of global servers. So, if a user from England or Mexico is trying to access your website, they will do so using servers that are closest to them.
Another tactic you can use, which is more of a prevention strategy, is using a good theme and website template from the very beginning. Ideally, you want a website layout that loads extremely fast and doesn’t produce any errors. Your best bet for finding these layouts is having them created by a professional website designer. They know the ends and outs of creating user-friendly designs quickly and on your budget.
In addition to other tactics, you can specify the dimensions for every image that goes on your website. When you fail to do this, your site has to take over and manually set the dimensions -- ultimately making your website run slower. When specifying these dimensions, be sure not to scale images too small. If you do and then rescale them for display on your site, the images will probably come off as blurry.
To get an idea of what Google looks for when it comes to website speed and what you'll be graded on for rankings, go to Google PageSpeed Insights and enter in your website. For a more in-depth analysis, we suggest using GTMetrix.
You’ve probably followed blogs and websites online which would post regularly. Then, out of the blue, posts stop coming. Not engaging with your audience is a death sentence for your site. Google wants to see websites that are active and continually engaging with users.
You need to make sure you stay active – even if you think your company website is already perfect. The simplest way to stay active on your site is to create a blog. This avenue lets you produce daily content – which enriches users’ lives and possibly gets them interested in your products or services.
Blogs are convenient to use because you can post anytime, as many times as you want. You also get to post about many valuable and exciting topics currently affecting your industry. If you don’t have time to commit to blogging, you can always hire a digital marketing agency. They’ll take over the blog and keep it up to date with the latest trends and current events.
Another way you can keep your website’s activity up is to create an online forum. It establishes the perfect environment where you and users can communicate. You can take this opportunity to see what people like and don’t like about your company. Then, you can address these issues before they have time to make a real impact. Forums also let like-minded users talk with each other online, thereby keeping your website active without you having to exhaust many resources.
If you decide to create a forum, just be cautious. You don’t want users to bash each other because this can snowball into a PR nightmare quickly. Combat negative comments and offensive posts by assigning someone within your organization the role of forum moderator. They’ll oversee topics and conversations to make sure they benefit your website as a whole.
Also, consider building credible backlinks to your website. Google wants to know your content and website is trustworthy, so they’re looking to see who’s linking to it. You can gain backlinks organically or through outreach efforts, such as guest blogging, press releases, directories or article contributions, which prove to be most effective in gaining website credibility.
When users search for something online, they enter specific keywords. Incorporating these keyword phrases into the content on your website can help you swiftly climb Google’s search engine rankings.
For example, if you own a lawn care company and someone types in “lawn care services near me”, will your website show up on page 1, in the local pack or will they need to click through page after page to find your company?
The trick is knowing what keyword phrases to use and where precisely to place them in your content. This process, often known as SEO (search engine optimization) doesn’t have to be that difficult if you follow best practices.
Start with finding out what keywords should go on your website. Create a list of the top searched keyword phrases per page and build them into your content. Make sure you incorporate them organically, though, because Google will lower your rankings if they are used awkwardly or too many times, otherwise known as "keyword stuffing".
Once you’ve mined keywords and used them regularly throughout your website, your job isn't over. You still need to research relevant keywords in your industry, as they don’t always stay the same. You also need to track every keyword used, because they don’t always perform the way in which you intended. If a keyword phrase is consistently failing to produce enough traffic, you can update your content with a suitable replacement.
Whether you just created a company website or it has been up for years, it’s a good idea to remember the above Google ranking factors and understanding what Google’s criteria are for achieving high search engine rankings.
The landscape is continually changing, but by staying ahead of the curve, you can consistently rank high and expose your company’s online brand like never before. It all depends on how hard you’re willing to work, as climbing these search engine rankings is a highly competitive endeavor.