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How To Improve Your Website’s Google Ranking

How To Improve Your Website’s Google Ranking

A whopping 97% of people don’t go beyond the first page of Google search results when searching for information, products or services. In other words, if your business’s website doesn’t show up on the first page, there’s little chance people will find it.

The process of search engine optimisation (SEO) is about designing websites and their content specifically so that they rank higher in search results.

How Google ranks website

Google’s algorithm checks a website against upwards of 200 criteria when determining how high it should appear in organic search results – that is, in search results you don’t pay for Google to display.

Key ways to improve a website’s Google ranking

The best way to achieve higher Google rankings is to focus on satisfying the most important Google ranking factors, as follows.

Use an HTTPS site

Having a secure website – one that uses HTTPS – has been a factor in Google’s ranking algorithm since 2014.

There is a strong correlation between HTTPS websites and first page rankings. 45% of page one organic results use HTTPS encryption while HTTP sites are often marked as unsafe by Google. HTTPS sites also load faster, which contributes to a higher ranking.

Ensure your site is mobile-friendly

Google started shifting towards mobile-first indexing back in 2016. This means that Google is primarily crawling the mobile version of your website. If your content isn’t responsive and mobile-friendly, this will negatively affect its ranking.

In fact, mobile-first is becoming the norm – increasingly, websites are built for mobile and then translated into desktop versions, rather than the other way around.

Focus on fast page loading

Because Google aims to improve user experience, how fast your website loads will affect your ranking.

In July 2018, Google released a new algorithm that focuses on mobile page speed, so page speed is now an important factor on both desktop and mobile. Desktop pages should load in three seconds or less, while mobile pages are expected to load in two seconds or less.

Publish high-quality content

Google is attempting to prioritise high-quality, informative content over keywords.

Use of appropriate keywords in content is still important because it helps tell Google’s search engine what user queries your content may help answer. However, cramming too many keywords, or irrelevant ones, into content can now result in penalties from Google – hurting rather than helping your rankings.

Publish content that’s highly relevant to users

Google evaluates content according to its relevance, and the likelihood that it will fully answer queries that users have.

For ranking purposes, it’s best to opt for in-depth content, written in a way that’s easy to scan and understand and with supporting images, or even videos.

Optimise images

All images must be properly optimised. The file size of any image must be reduced to no more than 100 Kb so that it doesn’t negatively affect a page’s load speed. Each image should also have an alt tag, a descriptive file name, a title and, where possible, a caption. These things improve relevance and user experience – two things that make Google happy.

Secure quality backlinks

Backlinks are links from other trusted sites to your content. Ideally, you want lots of different backlinks but only from trusted, high-authority sources. Low-quality or “spam” links can have the opposite effect.

The importance of professional SEO

Many businesses question the importance of SEO and, because its results aren’t always fully tangible, might not see its value. However, according to a study by GetResponse, SEO offers the third-best return on investment when compared to other digital marketing channels.

return on investment seo get response

Without proper SEO – which depends on having a professional website with great, properly optimised content – your services or products might never get seen by the right people.

SEO with Gnu World

At Gnu World, we understand the importance of SEO. We work with our clients to ensure their websites are properly optimised and stand the best chance of ranking high in search results.

For one of our clients, we improved organic search ranking by a whopping 800% in the short term. Another client has seen consistent growth in excess of 100% for the last five years. We’re experienced in SEO and know what does and doesn’t work.

Contact us to discuss your search engine optimisation needs or to enquire about an SEO audit.