Five Ways to Make Google Fall In Love With Your Website
As far as Google is concerned, your website is just another book in its unfathomably large library. And like most books, how easily you're found determines how popular you eventually become. To be found on the top of the results page when someone enters a search term is the holy grail of Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO for short, and it involves a host of steps, decisions, and techniques that eventually gets you there. This article will give you a taste of what you must do to get your website to rank on Google, and in turn deliver more relevant leads for better business.
1. Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
After a year and a half of experimentation, in March 2018, Google announced that it is rolling out its mobile-first indexing. This means that eventually its algorithms will be tweaked to consider the mobile version of a website’s content to index its pages and inform its search results. This is not surprising considering that today, more than 50% of all visits to a website come from a mobile device.
Since 2016, mobile traffic has exceeded desktop traffic and companies today must ensure that their website design is responsive and mobile-friendly if they hope to rank high on Google search. A Forbes article estimates that you stand to lose 5-30% of leads coming in, if your website is not optimised for the small screen.
Optimising for the small screen could mean making site search visible, compressing images so your mobile site loads faster, using HTML5 instead of flash, eliminating pop-ups that are even more annoying on a handheld and coming up with shorter menus, titles and meta descriptions to convey information at a glance. You can check how your current website fares by using a tool like Google’s Mobile Friendly Test and start from there.
2. Add Social Sharing Buttons
A decade ago, Instagram did not occupy your customer’s imagination as it does today, Twitter did not determine trends and there was no Snapchat. These days however it is vital for your business to leverage the power of social media platforms to be discovered by customers. It is also important to make it easy for people to share, recommend, like or comment on your content via a variety of channels - because Google is listening!
Google keeps a close eye on the volume and frequency of online interactions by tracking likes, tweets, shares, hashtags, +1s, and pins that concern your brand. So, make social media sharing an integral part of your web design strategy by displaying social sharing buttons prominently. This will also help you generate leads and become a part of your customer’s universe, organically.
3. Create Content Worth Sharing
Google will determine if your website is worth showing to others depending on how much people interact with it. And displaying multiple social sharing buttons won’t magically create engagement if you don’t have content worth reading and sharing to begin with. This is why Google looks at the time spent on site, equating more time spent with better quality. You may be surprised to learn that in this age of shrinking attention spans, Google actually favors lengthier content provided it is useful to your target audience. Stats reveal that the average content length for web pages featuring in the top 10 results (for any particular keyword) was a minimum of 2,000 words!
Google also analyses whether people are navigating from your landing page to other pages. If your bounce rate is high, i.e., if your visitors exit your website without clicking on other pages, Google infers that your page layout is poor and that the content you are offering is not interesting enough for them to explore more.
4. Create Trustworthy Content
It is important that your website is credible, interesting and thoughtfully laid out. One way to improve the credibility of your website is to link to authority sites within your domain. For instance, we quoted Forbes in this article not only because the information was pertinent, but also because readers look up to Forbes as a repository of knowledge in the world of business.
Internal links help contextualise information. So, ensure that your blog posts contain relevant links to your landing pages and vice versa. Build link diversity to create a rich, interconnected, easily navigable web of information throughout your website and withstand algorithm changes. And don’t forget to include a sitemap to make it easier for Google to crawl through your website.
5. The Need For Speed
We hope this article gave you some insights on what it takes to keep your credentials high in Google's books, and in turn, rank well when someone searches for something you want to be found for.
Preeti Prakash | Journalist
Vidhi Pathak | SEO/SEM Specialist