A common question amongst our clients is “what do I need to do to rank on Google?” This is a really difficult question to answer, firstly because the process of ranking highly varies from business to business, and secondly because this process is always incredibly layered and complex.
First off: if someone says they can increase your Google ranking with just one simple step, it’s most definitely too good to be true. While the world would be a much easier place if a single blog post could bring in that website traffic you’ve always hoped for, it’s unfortunately not as simple as that.
But that’s not to say that improving your ranking and getting more traffic is impossible. If you have a systematic process in place, you will logically work your way up to that first page of Google.
What Affects Google Ranking?
There are a number of basic factors that can affect your ranking on Google. Some of them are as simple as having a secure and speedy website. Google needs to visit your page to get an idea of what it’s all about. You can help Google’s bots by having a well-built website with a clear site map and a user-friendly loading speed.
Other things that affect your Google ranking include your website’s mobile compatibility, age, and URL. Older websites have had more time to work on their SEO, which is generally why they fare better on Google. Exact match domains, or domain names that use the exact keywords that you are trying to rank for, often see a boost in rankings if Google considers them to be relevant and highly valuable to web users.
The Importance of Valuable Content
Things get a little more complex when we move onto your content. Google’s search algorithm is pretty much composed of keywords, or the words or phrases that your customers may search when looking for something online. Your content needs to contain all the right keywords, and the right amount of these keywords, to help you rank highly.
If you’re an ecommerce site, be very wary of duplicate content. It can be tempting to simply copy and paste a product description, for example, but original content is always better for SEO purposes.
Another thing to keep in mind is that more people now make Google searches by voice, which changes the nature of the keywords that may be searched for somewhat. For instance, when speaking aloud, you’re more likely to ask a full question rather than typing in one or two keywords into the search bar.
There’s so much more that can be said about content for SEO, but it would take a very lengthy guide to cover it all.
Another huge factor that affects your search engine ranking is the technical SEO you have in place. Some of this comes down to coding, but there is still a lot that you (or an SEO professional) can do.
Your inbound links, outbound links and internal links are very important. These determine how relevant and authoritative your content is. Generally, the more high-quality links you have, and the bigger the combination, the better. You can make sure your website’s internal links are up to scratch quite easily yourself, but you’ll most likely need an expert to handle the outbound and inbound links (inbound especially), as link building is a very time-consuming job.
We’ve by no means covered everything about ranking in Google on this one post, but hopefully it has given you an idea of just how much goes into improving your ranking. SEO is something that you have to consistently work on for as long as you want your business to rank highly, so that Google always considers your website to be relevant and fresh (like your content, hopefully). But if you are achieving those top spots on Google for your web pages, you will certainly reap the benefits of doing so.