5 Ways to Rank Well in Google
A top search engine ranking starts with SEO, or search engine optimisation. A website that isn’t optimised can’t be read by search engine bots, and if it can’t be read it won’t be ranked. Search engine optimisation is all about creating a site that is search engine friendly, whilst also being great value for your customers.
Why is a Top Search Engine Ranking Important?
Your ranking in search engines such as Google and Bing has a direct correlation with the volume of traffic your site attracts. The higher your ranking, the more online enquiries you can expect to receive. The race for a top search engine ranking is, therefore, highly competitive – and it involves an awareness of the ranking factors that Google uses to assess websites.
How Do Search Engines Rank Websites?
Google uses over 200 ranking factors. to determine the relative position of websites in its search engine listings. Each factor contributes to an algorithm designed to assess how ‘useful and relevant’ a website is. Sites that rank well against the Google criteria will get a top search engine ranking. The emphasis across the ranking factors is upon the quality, speed, and expertise demonstrated by your website.
How to Get a Top Search Engine Ranking
The search engine rankings depend on ‘organic’ traffic. This refers to visitors who arrive at your site via an unpaid search, rather than in response to a paid ad. There are no instant results with SEO, therefore, so don’t believe anyone promising a top search engine ranking in weeks. Even with consistent work it can take 6-9 months to achieve the top spot.
The advantage of adopting SEO practices for your site – quite apart from the benefits of ranking well – is that it will improve the experience for visitors, and lead to more conversions along the way. Ready to start? The Imagefix SEO team has listed 5 foundations to ranking well in Google:
1. Make Your Website Search Engine Friendly
If your site isn’t search engine friendly you won’t get in the race, so this is the foundation you need to build on. A clear site structure and architecture is what Google bots need to be able to ‘read’ and understand your website.
A sitemap is essential for search engines to understand your site, as it identifies the topics your site covers and their relationship to each other. Internal links between pages offer a clear indication of how one topic relates to another.
You can find out how well your site is ranking currently by carrying out a free SEO audit. This will give you your present ranking and provide a checklist of the work that needs to be done in order to improve that ranking.
2. Provide an Excellent Page Experience
A page experience is defined by Google as: “a set of signals that measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value, both on mobile and desktop devices.” This translates into 4 core requirements:
- Good User Experience. The page should take no longer than 2 seconds to load.
- Mobile Friendly. The page should look and function equally well on both mobiles and desktops. Google offers a way to check the mobile friendliness of your site.
- Secure Site. Your website should be secure, and carry a security certificate to prove this (https rather than http).
- No Intrusive Pop-Ups. Websites should avoid the use of full-page pop-ups that limit access to the original content.
3. Optimise Page Content for Search Engines
First and foremost, your content needs to be original, informative, and engaging to read. You know your customers, so you’ll be able to employ the ‘voice’ or register that’s appropriate for them. Search engines look for copy that is formatted to help visitors to your site ‘scan’ the content in order to find what they need quickly. This means avoiding big blocks of copy and using H tags for headers to signpost topics.
Keywords are the foundation of page content optimisation. These are phrases or words that searchers enter in order to find your product or service online words or phrases that online. Search engine algorithms match search queries with websites that offer the relevant keywords as their focus.
Keyword research is all about finding out which keywords are relevant to your business. Once you have a list of these, they can be used as page titles, subtitles and content in order that matches with search queries can be made.
4. Optimise Website Links
Check that your most visited pages are easy for your visitors to link to. Your customers should never have to click more than 3 times to reach the page they’re looking for. The search engines are looking for sites that make navigation easy, and intuitive, meaning that they’re always one step ahead of their users.
Backlinks are links into your website from external sources. Google assesses the relevance and reputation of your website by the quality, quantity, and status of the sites linking to you.
5. Keep Your Site Current
A neglected or inert site won’t be ranked high by Google. The search engines rank sites according to their relevance and value. Consequently, sites that live and breathe a brand are more likely to be ranked well. An effective content strategy would certainly include regular blogging, up-to-date news about the business, new or updated product pages and video content.
For two decades now, the Imagefix team has been providing high quality SEO as part of our web design and digital marketing services. We care deeply about ensuring the digital success of our business clients, and our SEO team ensures that they achieve and retain a top search engine ranking leading to increased website traffic and conversions.
Would like to start working towards a top search engine ranking today? Call the SEO team at Imagefix on 01525 715608