However did we survive before Google? Search engines are terrific little treasure-troves filled with answers and info and other interesting things. Clearly, Google is the place to be, whether your business is just starting up or has been around for years.
Being ranked highly on Google is a great way to show off the relevancy and popularity of your company. So is your website up there amongst the best? Is it on that fabled first page of results?
Having a website is an important part of promoting your business and connecting with your customers. So of course it is vital that your website can be found on Google, especially for the benefit of new and potential clients who have not yet discovered your business.
However, simply showing up somewhere in the search results in not enough. Studies have shown that as few as 10% of people advance to Page 2 of search engine results. That means that 9 out of 10 people will only view the listings on the first page, with approximately 61% of them choosing from the top three results.
Needless to say, your business’s traffic and online visibility depends upon being ranked among the first results.
So you know it’s important to be there. But how do you improve your ranking? Your website may look great, but is it working as it should?
There are actually hundreds of ranking factors that contribute to your positioning on Google. Getting everything right is no easy task, and requires knowledge and years of experience. But for today, we will have a quick look into five things that affect your search ranking, and how they might be getting done incorrectly.
A web page’s meta description is that small summary of information that appears beneath the links on a search engine results page.
Getting it right:
The perfect meta description should be a coherent and interesting insight to the contents of that specific web page. There are numerous things to consider when writing them, including: length (anything over around 155 characters will be cut off and unreadable); originality (you don’t want to repeat the same description for each individual web page); use of characters (some symbols, like ampersands and double-quotation marks, might be interpreted as HTML code, causing Google to cut it off prematurely); plus, of course, demonstrating good writing techniques in general.
Keywords are the terms and phrases that people use when searching for something online. Search engines identify keywords in website content, meta descriptions, and so on, and use these to rank results.
General keywords may be relevant, but more specific terms are often more profitable and less competitive. It is important that you understand your business and can recognise the reasons why people may be searching for you online. If your website doesn’t use keywords, it is not catering to the needs of your customers and thus will not be a top-ranked result. Conversely, stuffing your content with keywords may cause Google to ban your site due to spam.
An optimal user experience means that people visiting your site are able to quickly, easily, and coherently find all the information they need.
Professional software development and website design is necessary to ensure that your site is functioning as it should. Importantly, your website should offer the same great experience to everyone, regardless of their browser, operating system, or device. Factors like page loading times, ease of finding content, quality of content, use of images and internal links will each contribute to a desirable, responsive design.
The content of your website includes the general information contained within it, any blog articles you write, your meta descriptions, and anything else that makes up the composition of your site.
Copy should be well-written and original, with intelligent use of keywords. Length is another key factor; longer content (for blog posts in particular) can portray your business as authoritative on the subject matter, but also need to remember who you’re writing for and cater to that audience. Your content should be relevant and professionally written, so ensure basic steps — like proofreading — are always conducted. Finally, the recency of your content will also affect ranking; that means maintaining a blog schedule and updating your information as necessary.
Having active social media accounts associated with your business, like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram, is another useful way to increase your visibility online.
Like your website, any content shared through social media should be high-quality and well-created. Try to establish a posting schedule so your accounts remain active and interesting, and engage with your customers as frequently as possible. Moreover, try to avoid duplicate content; having posts that are unique to each outlet will encourage your customers to connect with you across multiple channels.
Google ranking factors are seemingless endless, with many nuances and little-thought-of practices to be considered. Not every factor will be as important as another, but the sheer magnitude of them is formidable nonetheless.
If you’re feeling daunted by the task ahead of you, or if you feel like you’re doing all the right things but still aren’t seeing results, núcleo can help.
Our collaborative team of designers, software developers and marketing specialists have the know-how to improve your online visibility and increase your traffic. Contact us today to discuss your options. We’ll work with you to get you to Page 1 — and keep you there!
Level 5, 104 Commonwealth Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010