Ranking on Google is no easy feat. There are rules, most of them written, that search engine optimization (SEO) specialists and agencies have to follow, or they’ll risk their clients ending much further back in rankings than intended. The main issue that comes with understanding SEO is the fact that SEO factors and algorithms change yearly.
Google has been historically good at letting those who are trying to apply the white hat tactics of search engine optimizations know what the year will hold when it comes to ranking websites. However, it can be challenging to weed through the tech-savvy wording and get to the bulk of the information.
So, let’s talk about what aspects of SEO should get the highest consideration when it comes to ranking high on Google.
What Google Wants from Your Site
Google is transparent regarding the criteria that they have in place when it comes to placing rank. It’s up to those executing the website SEO strategy to put those criteria to use effectively and efficiently. When SEO is properly in place, search engine users will be able to find your website, driving traffic and increasing sales.
Create a Secure and Accessible Website
Google Bots , also known as the computer robots employed by Google to crawl your website, prefer to land on secure websites that are easy to access. Accessibility and security have everything to do with your URL and sitemap.
Google Bots want to land on your website and know what it’s all about. To give the Google Bots a hand, you can create a website with a well-coded builder, insert a robots.txt file that tells the bots where to look for your site information, and make a sitemap that specifically lists all of your pages.
Fresh, High-Quality Content
High-quality content is a must-have for every website trying to rank on Google. Because Google wants users to keep coming back, just like every other business, they’ve got to offer a fantastic experience.
Creating content that provides substance to your readers is one of the best ways to get Google to rank your site. Also, it’s crucial to keep content fresh, showing Google Bots that you update your site regularly, keeping articles and other website content current as the times evolve.
Never hesitate to go into your blog post or article archive and update content semi-regularly. Show Google that you’re on top of things, ready to provide the best information possible.
Website and Mobile Page Speed
One of Google’s main goals as a company is to better the experience of search engine users. In July of 2018, Google very publicly advised that they would be penalizing websites that did not load fast enough by knocking them back in the rankings.
So, it’s vital to your website rank to make sure that your site is up to speed, literally. There are a variety of tools that are available to test the speed of your website, and your mobile site, to make sure that it’s running as it should be.
The Mobile Friendliness of Your Site
The speed at which your site loads is a part of mobile-friendliness, but it’s certainly doesn’t make up the entire concept. When your site is mobile-friendly, it’s easy to navigate on a mobile phone.
A majority of Google searches come from mobile devices. Google wants those users to have a fantastic experience. If they leave your site quickly using a mobile platform, Google will assume that your site is hard to navigate from a mobile device.
Domain Age and Authority
Yes, the age of your domain matters. Obviously, that’s something that establishes itself over time, but take care not to make too many changes or switch up your domain. This study by Ahref‘s states that 60% of all websites ranking in a top ten Google search are over three years old.
Domain authority is essential as well, and Google will determine this by your quality of content and off-page SEO. Off-page SEO includes social signals such as followers on Instagram and likes on your business Facebook page and backlinks on other reputable sites that lead to your site as a reference.
Putting it All Together
Combining these factors will help you to fuel your site toward the sought-after top spot on Google. The competition is always challenging; everyone wants to be at the top, after all.
Focus on creating intelligent, well-written content, and optimize from there. Hiring a professional is always recommended, but it’s possible to see results executing these tactics on your own. Remember, Google changes regularly, so keep yourself in the loop.