It’s one of the questions that we get asked the most here at Imagefix – why isn’t the website I built being ranked by Google? We resist the temptation to point out the obvious, because we didn’t build it for you! But it’s a genuine concern, and one that we’re happy to help with.
In order to ensure that they are only dealing with the most relevant, quality content for their search results, Google utilizes complex algorithms to perform quality-control checks on all searchable content on the internet. By measuring websites up against a series of factors, over 200 at the last count, they can ensure that the results they provide people with are the best available. So the more things you’re getting right, the better your Google ranking is and the more prominently you’ll feature in searches. Google ranking, in short, is key to your website’s success.
So how do I improve my page ranking? Luckily for you, we’ve got a fair bit of experience with this. Below are our top 6 tips for improving your Google ranking; 6 changes you can make today that will bring about an immediate improvement.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but using high quality SEO copy in your site will go a long way towards improving your score with the Google bots. Keywords are critical to appearing in Google searches, so the more you use them, the more likely you are to appear in a search for that word. Writing good quality SEO copy is tricky – you don’t want to ‘overstuff’ your writing with keywords, as it comes across as ‘spammy’ and can be very off-putting to site visitors. Plus, Google is wise to this old trick, and will actually penalise you for overusing keywords. Your copy should be natural; write for people, but keep your key words and phrases at the forefront of what you want to say. Also, it never hurts to review your keywords – make sure you’re using words and phrases that your customers are using, not the ones you think they should be using!
A beautiful website should be a great mix of interesting copy and engaging images. But that’s not particularly helpful to Google. If you ensure your images are named correctly, and you use alt text and tags behind the scenes, preferably capturing a few important keywords as you go, you’ll provide valuable fodder for the Google bots. Plus, it will help your pictures to come up in Google image searches too, which could provide more footfall to your page.
Google ranking is an ongoing process, those busy algorithms will keep coming back to check your page, and if they’re always finding the same content then eventually you’ll drop in score. You need to update content regularly, and the bigger the change, the better. It’s why a number of sites include a blog or news feed to create a channel of regularly updated content that Google will recognise as new.
One of the lesser-known factors used by Google’s algorithms is a study of the average amount of time that people are spending on your site. If your visitors are ‘bouncing’ off your page, in other words they are visiting your site and then leaving very quickly, then Google may suspect that your page is irrelevant to the search enquiry it’s being ranked for and penalise you. You need to get people to stay, and the only way to do that is to provide them with interesting content that catches their attention and makes them read on.
With the development of superfast broadband, the experience of the endlessly loading web page has, mostly, been consigned to history. But pages can still be slow to load, or load with images missing. Google needs to keep its users happy so it takes into account the page load speed of your site as part of its assessment, and if your page doesn’t meet the speed criteria it will be ranked poorly. Sites should be fast, efficient and easy to load, even on mobile devices. If you need to address your site’s load speed or mobile device optimisation, we’d be happy to help.
This one is important, but overlooked by so many people. Don’t underestimate the importance of links. Inbound links need to be natural and relevant; Google will penalise your ranking harshly for any links it considers to be low quality or ‘spammy’ as they’ll assume you’re using them to manipulate your results. And don’t overlook internal links too, they will help your cause as well as keep your users happy by directing them to relevant content across multiple pages.
If you would like to talk further about Google ranking and how to optimise your existing website for SEO, mobile devices or refreshed content, then get in touch with Imagefix today.
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