Are you unsure if Google loves your website? Or perhaps you already know Google doesn’t like your website very much and you’re asking, “What does Google look for when ranking websites?”.
We’ll answer these questions and more in today’s article.
What Google Likes to See On Your Website
Relevant content is first and foremost one of the most important things you can put on your website. But what does relevant content mean?
Relevant content has to do with the text that is found on your website, specifically the keywords that are often correlated with your product, service or industry. Keywords are something we’ve talked about in-depth before, but here’s a summary in case you need a quick refresher. Keywords are the words and phrases people commonly type into search engines to find a certain product or service. You can research keywords and phrases on Google Adword’s Keyword Planner to determine the ones that describe what you’re doing on your website and see the popularity of these search terms by the people searching for your products. Once you determine the keywords you should make sure that the titles and paragraphs on your website includes the keywords in a way that’s not distracting or spammy to the users. The content should still make sense.
Add a Sitemap
If you don’t already have a sitemap on your website, you should implement one so Google can easily find your website. A sitemap is a document that’s created for search engines in order to help them crawl through a website. On WordPress, there’s simple plugins, such as the Google Sitemap Generator, that can easily create a sitemap for you website.
Trust and Links
Google measures trust when ranking websites. If you’re unsure of what to do about this, there are a few steps you can take in order to achieve a higher level of trust. One step is to make sure you’re only linking out to credible websites such as the BBC. Linking out to an unsafe site can degrade Google’s trust of your website. Another great way to build trust is to have your website linked to by credible website that have high web traffic such as Forbes, Inc. Since Google tends to trust website with high traffic, a link to your website in one of their pages or blogs will tell Google that you are also trustworthy.
Another way to increase trust is to make sure your website isn’t being blocked by users. Google considers sites that are blocked by Google Chrome users when they’re ranking websites. This particular problem is unlikely to happen to any reputable website, but if your website has a virus or is hacked you may see users blocking you.
Bounce rate is another metric that Google considers. Google wants to make sure their users get the information they need. If your website has a high bounce rate then Google assumes that your website visitors aren’t getting the information they need. You can check your Google Analytics to see how long people are staying on your web pages. You can also see the bounce rate measurement in order to determine if this is the problem. If you would like to decrease your bounce rate you may want to rework your CRO strategy. Appropriate calls to action and informative paragraph titles that speak to your audience are a good place to start.
Current and Cool
So you’ve done everything right. Your website uses the right keywords, did a great job with CRO, and has a lot of inbound/outbound credible links.
Why are you still ranking below other websites?
Your problem might be that you’re not current enough. How up-to-date are your webpages? Did you put them up around New Year’s Eve and haven’t touched them since? If so, that just might the issue. Google likes content that is recent and current. This is why so many websites (including digiTech’s) write blog posts relevant to our subject matter. Google likes to link to websites that are experts in their field and consistently posting helpful, relevant content. You will rank better if you either start updating your existing web pages or start writing blog articles regularly. You don’t have to make them weekly, even once a month can help you out if you weren’t doing anything before. Make sure it’s relevant to your expertise and business. Is it a cool subject – something that will make people want to share with their friends? Not all topics lend themselves to this type of sharing but if you make a subject interesting and fun to read about, you’re more likely to get shares. Google loves this.
Different Tools to Use to Determine if Google Likes Your Website
So you don’t know if Google likes your website – that’s OK! There are many tools to help you determine this. Some of these tools can also help you determine how to make Google like you better. No matter how much Google likes your website now, there’s always room to improve.
Google’s Webmaster Tools: Google has their own set of Webmaster Tools that any registered webmaster can use. These tools are easy to use even for the most inexperienced webmaster, AND the tools are free to use. One useful tool under the Google umbrella is the Google Friendly Site tool. This tool explains what parameters Google uses when viewing and ranking websites. You’re even able to see the keywords Google sees when viewing your website. Fetch as Google is another helpful tool available in Google Webmaster Tools. This allows you to view how Google renders a URL on your website and allows you to troubleshoot in case of poor SEO or even in the case of a hacking.
SEOmoz PRO Tools: If you’re struggling to figure out WHY your Google search ranking is what it is, this tool can help you out. Although it takes a week to get a full report, it might be worth considering because with this tool you can see not only how your website ranks but how each page of your website ranks on Google. It also measures traffic and alt tags and so much more with its unique report.
Check My Links: Google does not like broken links. This is where the Check My Links Tool comes in. As you’d expect by the name, the Check My Links tool allows a user to check a URL to see if any of the links on a web page are broken. It easily scans a page for links which is very helpful on urls that have hundreds of external links. With this tool, you do not have to manually check all the links on your website. Instead you just use the tool and any links with problems are highlighted in red while the ones that aren’t broken are highlighted in green.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider: This tool works great if you’re worried about SEO on your website. For instance, it allows you to easily edit images to add Alt tags so Google can now “see” the images on your website. It also allows you to track data about keywords. Overall, if you’re worried about search engine optimization, this tool is a great option.
At digiTech Web Design, our clients know they can expect high-quality SEO services from us. We design and optimize our clients’ websites to make sure that Google ranks your website as high as possible because we know what Google likes. For more information on how we can help you with your web design and search engine marketing needs, please contact us today!