Improving your Google rankings can be downright confusing at times. It seems that what is required, and the best tactics to meet them change every time you turn around. If you're employing the wrong tactics — long since outdated — it may seem downright impossible. However, with a little insight, this process can be simplified a lot. All it requires is focusing on your content, understanding how users see you, and creating an authoritative presence. These are the three key factors in any effort you make toward increasing your ranking.
That being said, if you are new to this process, even those steps may seem overwhelming. Here are 6 easy ways for you to start improving your website to improve your Google rankings.
The quality of your content matters more than anything else you can do for your website. Users visit your website for your content, and whether they stay or ever come back depends on their experience with what you are putting out there. The more relevant the content to the purpose of your website, the longer users will spend on a site. Does this matter? Yes, it absolutely matters; not regarding search engine optimization alone, but for your overall conversion rates.
In terms of your rankings, Google looks at the position of your content, how many keywords you have, the layout and tagging on your pages, the accuracy of your information, and the authority that it carries. You can improve in all of these areas by focusing on creating high quality, unique content for your page.
Content that focuses on solving a problem or answering a question is more likely to garner reader views, rather than click-through visitors. It is important to get people to come to your page, but it is more important to keep them coming back to your page. No one is going to come back if the content isn’t providing value.
Almost every website should include information about the business or person who created the website. These pages are usually called “About Us” and includes the purpose of the website. While this page is important, it is equally important to have a “Contact Information” page on your site. This page should include an email or submission form for comments or questions, and any other ways for people to contact you that you want to put on there. If you have a physical location for your business, you should include that as well. People want to be able to find you easily.
Additionally, Google will use this information to classify your business by location. If you are located in LA, you want that information to be readily available so you rank higher when people are searching for businesses in LA.
When it comes to your ranking, the time a page takes to load weighs a decent amount within the ranking algorithm. The bounce rate of pages helps Google in their assumption of the website's value. If it has a high bounce rate within pages that typically maintain a low bounce rate, Google's algorithm will begin ranking the site lower.
Thus, if your page loads slowly, users lose interest and "bounce" away. The only way to avoid this is by optimizing your pages and media in order to avoid high load times. Disregarding the impact it has on your ratings, consider the user experience if your site loads slowly. Users don't want a site that performs poorly.
To solve this, keep load times at a minimum while optimizing images and videos. Talk to your developer about the scripting and programming. Make sure the code isn't causing time delays or eating the load resources.
In attempting to optimize your website, don’t remove all pictures and videos. These media items add a lot of value to your content, and they can also serve as an additional pull into your website. Properly named articles and videos can increase the validity of your content. Likewise, improperly named media items or media items that have no relevance can make your content seem more spammy.
Just like other things such as links and properly tagged pages, images and videos can provide great value when used properly. For guidelines, see the suggestions below.
· Exercise the title tag, make it relevant, and use appropriate keywords.
· Utilize the alt tag. The alt tags are your SEO gold, so to speak. Search engines index your images based on the keywords within your alt tag.
· Avoid keyword stuffing. Search engines do penalize for over-optimization.
· Over-optimization includes alt tags on decorative images. If you find using the alt-tag doesn't seem important for a particular image, consider whether the image is decorative and whether it has necessary use within the content.
· Make certain the video adds value to the content.
· Host your own video. The traffic this will draws in best suits your domain, not another's.
· Metadata should be relevant and concise.
· Apply a germane, visually descriptive thumbnail — don't mislead viewers with a thumbnail unrelated to content.
· Create a video transcript.
· Use a video sitemap.
In 2015, Google announced the penalization of sites not optimized for mobile users. Sites that continue to ignore mobile users notice their conversion rates have suffered, as have their profits. Eventually, they'll notice their rankings have also dropped, as mobile users make up about sixty percent of internet users. If your website is unavailable for more than half of users, it isn’t worth much.
To increase your Google rank, optimize your site for mobile users. To optimize, site owners need to have a responsive design, retina considerate and responsive images, optimized videos, and optimized load times. Because this is not necessarily intuitive in creating a website, it may be useful to consult with a specialist in search engine optimization who is familiar with optimizing for mobile users.
A site's structure will affect the search engine ranking, as well. The depth, navigation structure, and page-to-page relevance make a difference. A flat site architecture leading no deeper than three critical links means a search engine is able to crawl and index a site faster than if it had to crawl eight levels deep with poor navigation structure.
Google takes into consideration the usability of the site. If it finds poorly designed navigation with few relevant links between one page and the next, your ranking suffers. The best way to increase your rank within Google is to identify any navigational errors, eliminate broken links, structure your overall layout to be more intuitive, and generate a site map.
It may also be helpful to look at a few other things when it comes to your Google rankings:
· Social Sharing – This increases your exposure and provides backlinks to your site.
· Layout and Formatting – Structure your content with an intuitive layout. Headings, subheadings, proper font, and generally anything you'd want to look at for long periods.
· Readability – Sounding smart helps users trust you and increases your authority. However, sounding pretentious counteracts your draw to users and increases your bounce rate.
Google doesn't demand the impossible to increase your rank. All it asks is to utilize trustworthy, dependable, intuitive measures. Be honest, be proficient, and entertaining where you can and where it applies. Soon enough, you'll rank alongside others and compare your success to theirs in order to determine how to gain further success.