Google search can provide your website – and therefore your business – with a never-ending supply of traffic. And some of those visitors will become paying customers. What do you have to do to receiving this never-ending supply of Google traffic? Very simply… make Google love your website.
But how? Well that, unfortunately, is not as simple. In fact, depending on your industry and niche it can be quite complicated. At it’s core, Google works like any other search engine. However, Google has become the market leader in the search engine space because it uses a far more advanced algorithm to generate relevant search results.
At Smart & Slick, our team have been ranking websites in Google for more than 15 years. After that long, we know what makes Google love a website and reward it with strong search rankings, as well as the things that Google will penalise a website for.
I thought today I’d explain some of the elements that make Google love a website.
Back in the early days of the Internet, life was easy. You could just tell a search engine what a website was about using a few html tags and there wasn’t much more to it. Write some relevant words in your title tag, your H1 tag and your meta description and you were away.
Today, it’s not so simple. The title tag in the page head and the H1 tag at the top of the body remain vitally important.
Your title tag is the bit you see in Google search results in blue and underlined. Google takes this information from whatever is between your title tags in the header of a web page. (See our article: The Basic Anatomy of a Web Page if this is all gobbldigook.)
The H1 tag is less obvious to see. Thanks to CSS, it can appear on a web page any way the web designer desires, or even not at all. But within the code, whatever text is between the H1 tags carries importance.
But the meta description is basically useless as a ranking signal. That doesn’t mean don’t use one though. It might not help a web page get ranked, but it can help to influence a user to click.
Above and beyond your Title and H1 tags, you’re going to want to give some attention to the actual text content on a web page. Google will consider which words repeat the most times on a page as a means of trying to figure out what the page is really about. But there’s a balance: repeat words too often and you’ll be penalised, but don’t repeat them enough and you won’t rank as well as you could.
You’ll want to make sure your text is at least 500 words long and your page includes at least one image too.
The way you link between pages internally (e.g. from one page of your website to another page of your website) can impact on how your website ranks.
The biggest factor affecting how your website will rank is your external link profile – that is, the number of third party websites that link to pages within your website, and how they do so.
As an SEO company, this is what we spend most of our time helping clients with. This is the hardest part because you’ll never have 100% control over it.
All sound too technical and time consuming? Just want the job done? Prefer to spend your own time actually running your business?
We can help. Get in touch and we’d be happy to discuss your SEO needs with you and come up with a plan of action to help you reach your goals.