The ease of which your business is found online can have a huge impact on the health of your company. The higher you rank in a Google search, the more likely potential customers are to trust that you’re a legitimate organization thus making them feel more comfortable giving you their hard earned dollars. There are numerous ways to optimize your website to pull in more organic traffic. Check out Google’s top ranking factors and optimize your website accordingly!
Related: How to Get on the First Page of Google (free eBook)
The importance of your content will likely never fade away. It used to be that the quick 400-500 word articles received top billing on search engines but in 2018, more robust content will boost your rank. Aim for 700-1000 words in your blog posts. For more help with business blogging, download our free eBook Business Blogging 101.
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you can wave buh-bye to your Google rankings. Google places a high value on mobile-first indexing so while your site may be phenomenal on a desktop, if it doesn’t format properly when viewing from a mobile device you’ve got an issue. Google understands that the majority of people are accessing the internet with their cell phones and increasingly uses geolocation to provide accurate local search results.
Exact match domain searches populate first in a Google search, which is why it’s so important to choose a domain that’s simple and describes your business. Also, the older a domain is, the higher it will rank. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to change that but at least you know if you stick with a domain for the life of your business, it will help your search position.
How quickly your page loads is a crucial factor in your Google rank. Google is looking to improve the user experience. If your page loads slowly, it’s not a good look for them. Kissmetrics found that 47% of users expect a page to load in two seconds or less and another 40% of them will ditch their search if it takes any longer than that so it’s no wonder Google is placing a lot of credence on load speeds.
Linking out to other high-authority domains increases your shot at showing up in a standard keyword search. Don’t get hyperlink-happy, though. Siting dozens of low-quality links will actually hurt you in the end since your content will appear more like spam. Links continue to be one of the highest ranking factors that your site may benefit from including, provided you’re linking credible sites.
If you’re looking to get on the first page of Google, HTTPS encryption is highly recommended. If Google senses that your site is not secure they won’t be sending you site visitors anytime soon. Check it out, straight from the horse’s mouth.
An interesting tidbit: Google is catching on to people optimizing their sites based on their criteria. When implementing these tips, be sure you’re doing so in a meaningful way that truly helps the user and not just to garner more page visits. Ranking factors also vary by industry and niches within those industries. This is getting pretty deep into the weeds, but if you’re interested in going the extra mile there’s information to be found.
For example, websites that provide recipes would do well to mark up their content with structured data. Remember that how easily you can be found online truly makes a difference in how many potential customers you’re getting in front of. If you’re not sure how to optimize your own site, there are plenty of services offered to small businesses to get you on your feet!
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