With over 2 trillion searches happening daily on Google, it is critical to your company’s survival and growth. It’s imperative that your small or medium-sized business appears on search results pages under those keywords that are highly relevant to what you sell. Ranking well under such keywords is contingent on a number of factors. We will go over what you can do to improve your chances of appearing high up on the first page of Google search results, which can make all the difference in the world to your success.
How Does Google Search Ranking Work?
Basically, Google uses a search algorithm that is programmed to find the best match between what someone is searching for and the websites that contain this information. The Google ranking algorithm has been constantly refined over the past couple decades to better serve its users. The main emphasis of these changes is to help people find the information they are looking for. For this reason, many of these changes have stressed the importance of websites delivering value to people and doing so in a way that delivers an optimal user experience. We will go over some specific factors to help you improve your website, so it will rank higher on Google.
Important Google Ranking Factors 2020
Make Sure Your Website Is Secure and Accessible:
Whenever you see a web address that starts with HTTPS, that S stands for secure. Google has been encouraging website designers to have secure pages for a few years now. For quite some time, when using the Chrome browser, people opening a secure page got a reassuring padlock icon to show it’s a secure page. Since October of 2017, they took things a step further by having a “not secure” notification show up when loading an unsecured HTTP webpage. Unsecured pages will also lose ranking, so make sure your pages are secure.
The importance of accessibility is so that Google’s spiders can crawl your site quickly and efficiently. The first step in making this a reality is by using a modern website builder that incorporates the latest coding and technologies. There are a few that are particularly adept at SEO and have other impressive features and capabilities as well. Another thing you need to have is a robots.txt file. This tells Google where to look for information that it needs to figure out where to rank your website. An XML sitemap is another must for optimal accessibility. This might look something like this:
Have Fast-Loading Pages:
The Google algorithm not only wants to reward websites that give people the information they want but that also deliver this information in an optimum fashion. For this reason, their algorithm stresses the importance of page loading speed. Your web pages need to load quickly for mobile users as well. You can check this and a number of other helpful ranking attributes in the Google Search Console. Beyond its impact on search ranking, you should know that 40 percent of users will abandon a website that takes over three seconds to load. Let’s go over some ways to speed up your webpages.
- Have cleanly designed pages without too many images. By having plenty of white space, this helps speed up load times and focuses your visitor’s attention on the truly important information.
- Optimize your images. There are free file compression tools available online that you can use to minimize your image file sizes, so they’ll load quicker.
- Use content distribution networks (CDNs). Basically, these networks enable your website’s data to be stored on servers in geographically diverse areas. This way, there will be one fairly close to a given person accessing your site, and the closer they are to it the faster it loads for them.
- Utilize browser caching. This method doesn’t help the very first time someone accesses a page on your site. When they do access it, however, much of the data from the page will be stored in the browser cache, so it will load much faster when they come back.
- Make sure you are using a high-quality hosting service. All the changes in the world you make to your website won’t matter if the company hosting it simply has slow servers.
FACT: 7. Pages that load within two seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%, while pages that take five seconds to load have a bounce rate of 38%.
A Mobile-Friendly Site:
In 2015, Google released an algorithm update that boosted the importance of mobile-friendliness to your website’s search ranking. It was such a shock to many SEO experts that it is sometimes known as “Mobilegeddon.” Beyond SEO ranking purposes, you also need to design your website with mobile customers in mind because there are so many of them. About half of all internet shopping happens from a mobile device. Fortunately, this update is old enough that in 2020 and beyond, any relatively modern website builder should have mobile-friendly attributes incorporated. If it has been a while since your small businesses’ website was put together, you should test it to make sure it is compatible with mobile devices.
(Image credit: Google)
FACT: 61% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase from mobile-friendly sites.
Content and Keywords:
The content on your website will be one of the biggest deciding factors in where your website will rank. When crafting content for your website, you need to make sure to use the right keywords throughout it. Google’s algorithm relies heavily on keywords to evaluate the relevance of your website to a particular search query. The Diib® keyword support feature allows you to find industry relevant keywords that will help you rank on Google. This page looks something like this:
The content is the combination of text, images, videos and any infographics that convey the information the user is looking for. The emphasis, when it comes to content, should be on quality. It needs to be information that provides value to your site’s visitor. This will cause them to hang around longer, and this is rewarded with higher search rankings. You need to include keywords in your ad copy that people will be searching for.
- For example, if you sell computer parts, you will have various web pages on your site that each talk about different parts. Your page on hard drives will have hard drives as a keyword phrase. The problem with keywords that are too general is that literally every other seller is using them too. You also want to employ long-tail keywords.
- An example of this might be “desktop internal hard drives.” Another one may be “7200 rpm hard drive.” The more specific the keyword you center a particular page’s content around the better the chance it will have of breaking through your competition and ranking highly under that keyword.
You want to focus a particular webpage around one main keyword with a sprinkling of one or two others that may also be relevant. This means it should appear in your content a number of times, but be careful not to overdo it. Keyword stuffing, or spamming a keyword, is one of the most common SEO mistakes. This strategy was penalized in a Google algorithm update many years ago and will only hurt your ranking. You should also use a given webpage’s focus keyword once in the title tag and in the description tag for the page.
Perfect Your Technical SEO:
Technical SEO is essential to rank higher on Google. As it sounds, this has to do with the technical elements of your website such as its structure, coding and other factors that affect how it works as opposed to how it looks. There are a number of things that can fall under this category.There are many other aspects to technical SEO than the above. Any “how to increase Google ranking 2020” article or primer would have to include a thorough checklist of technical SEO items.
- Speed – This is so important that it’s been mentioned as its own entry in this Google ranking factors 2020 list.
- Site Responsiveness – This has to do with making sure your website is mobile-friendly. It needs to be coded to resize optimally to look and work good on all sizes and types of internet devices.
- Fixing Broken Links – Dead links are disliked by visitors and search engines alike. Fortunately, if you have a big website with innumerable links, you don’t have to check them manually. There are broken link checking tools for just about any website platform that will do the job for you, and many of them are free.
- URL Structure – This is the organization of the location of the pages on your website relative to the main URL.
- Fix Crawl Issues – Google needs to be able to crawl your website to index and rank it. The Google Search Console is an excellent Google ranking tool that will show you any issues with your website
- Fix Any Broken Redirects – When you click on one website URL and the page that loads has a different URL, this will be the result of a redirect. Find and fix any bad ones to maintain your site’s technical flawlessness. Screaming Frog is the name of a tool that can help make this process easy for you.
There are many other aspects to technical SEO than the above. Diib’s comprehensive dashboard gives you all these technical analytics in one easy location. Our at-a-glance metrics will help you easily and quickly access your website health. The dashboard looks like this:
Backlinks Build Your Authority:
Ignoring backlinks can be one of those common SEO mistakes that can hold an otherwise good website back from ranking where it should. Many of us tend to get obsessed with the code and content on our websites when looking to improve ranking. When you have a business to run and competitors to beat, you have to look at all factors.
Backlinks are links to your website that begin at other sites. For example, when you list your company on a local directory in your city, your listing will contain a link back to your website. The Google ranking algorithm will look at the number and quality of these links when it comes to establishing your authority in your field.
FACT: 91% of all pages never get any organic traffic from Google, mostly due to the fact they don’t have backlinks. In fact, 55.24% of pages don’t have a single backlink.
Focus on the User’s Experience:
As a business owner, you need a website that does an excellent job of bringing you a steady supply of leads and customers. To accomplish this as effectively as possible, you need to focus on the user experience when designing your website. What makes a good user experience actually touches on a number of things we’ve already mentioned, so this could be more of a summary of what’s accomplished by having all of the above Google ranking factors in place.
- Layout Design: Have a layout and design that draws the user’s attention to where you want it to go. Cluttered designs not only look bad but with more objects on the page, they take longer to load, which will cause many people to abandon your site. Have sufficient white space and make the images, video and text you place on a page count in terms of adding valuable information and compelling the user to take action. This is an example of a cluttered website design:
- CTA’s: Use effective calls to action to get the user to take the next step in the sales process. Try offering something free to them that doesn’t cost you much but that has perceived value to them. If you possess valuable information that potential customers need, offer a free subscription to your newsletter about the topic if they submit their contact information. This is an example of a good call to action:
- Layout Consistency: Have a consistent layout and design across your web pages. When you’re in business, you want your website to build your unique brand. It helps potential customers feel familiar with your website if it has a consistent look and feel that’s not quite like any other website. If you have a logo, you should try to put it somewhere on each page.
- Navigation: Have simple, intuitive website navigation. If they need to find a certain page of information, don’t make it hard to find. In fact, if you did your job right in terms of having each page focused around a certain main keyword or two, the visitor should be taken right from Google to the page on your website they’re looking for.
- Technical Factors: Make sure it performs. This is where we come back to technical factors such as your pages loading quickly and people reaching a page they are trying to load instead of getting an error message from a broken link. These are under the heading of technical SEO, but they are also factors that make for a bad user experience that will send people scurrying away from your website. This type of error is never a good thing:
How to Increase Google Ranking 2020
If you apply much of the information you’ve read so far, this will help you improve your website’s rank on Google. Effective search ranking techniques change over time. It can be somewhat time-consuming to stay on top of SEO. This is why some businesses hire digital agencies to handle their digital marketing efforts for them while they stay focused on running their company.
As a small or medium-sized business, you want to be fully knowledgeable on the topic of how does Google search ranking work. Even if you hire an agency to run it for you on a regular basis, it still helps to know what they are talking about during meetings when they go over their plans and results for you.
One thing that is critical when seeking to improve in any way is measurement. If you’re a runner, you have a stopwatch to measure your running time to see if you’re getting better. Before starting any concerted effort to improve your search position on Google, you should get your hands on a good Google ranking tool to see where you are ranking now. This way, you’ll be able to see how the application of the tips above and others available actually improve your ranking on Google, which grows your sales and business.
Diib®: Improve Your Website Ranking Today!
Diib works with companies all over the world to help them build stronger websites and improve their SEO. We compile relevant analytics and metrics from search engines and companies the world over. These metrics are then used to give you valuable information that will:
- Monitor Google Core Algorithm
- Audit your links regularly
- Notify you of broken pages where you have backlinks (404 checker)
- Give you vital keyword, backlink, and indexing monitoring and tracking tools
- Provide competitor analysis
Diib offers a free 60 second website scan that can help you with your website ranking issues or simply call 800-303-3510 to speak with a growth expert to learn more.
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