Having a sleek, professionally designed website is one of the best things you can do for your business. Over 81% of all purchases are either made online or researched online before being made. Along with hiring a professional web design company to create your web content, you should heavily emphasize search engine optimization (SEO) in your online marketing plan. Your web design company should already offer extensive SEO services; if this is not one of their primary focuses, you may want to find a new web design company that puts more of an emphasis on current web marketing strategies.
The Google algorithm frequently changes, making SEO strategies a moving target. Some of the latest factors that Google algorithms use to rank website include:
- Mobile-friendly Websites
Over 60% of Google searches are conducted on a mobile device. As of April 2015, Google’s Webmaster guidelines say that in order to be highly ranked, a webpage must be “legible and usable on mobile devices.” Not only does having mobile friendly website boost to your Google ranking, if your website is cumbersome to visit on a phone, Google flags your page for low ranking.
Google is so serious about this that they offer a mobile-friendly test tool to check your website’s mobile usability.
- Bug-free coding
You should use an online auditing tool to test all of the coding on your website and make sure that it’s bug-free. Errors such as broken links that generate 404 pages basically tell Google, “We’re sloppy and your users will be disappointed if you suggest our page to them.”
- Content Quality
In the early days of search engine optimization, you could get away with saturating your page with keywords and little content. You could use off-site link building to dump 100 links to your page on another site to get an advantage in site ranking. This is no longer the case. With every Google algorithm update, they are more attuned to the quality of content that determine the site’s ranking.
With Google’s hummingbird algorithm, latent semantic indexing is factored in to determine the site’s ranking. This basically focuses on the user’s intent in their Google query and matches it with the meaning behind the sentence structures in your content. Creating quality content that uses effective sentence structures is the best way to leverage keywords for site ranking now.
- Using HTTPS
Using HTTPS tells Google you are following secure communication protocol. There’s no mystery behind the impact of using HTTPS in your site rankings. Google’s webmaster guidelines actually say: “We?ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms.” Using HTTPS to ensure that your site is secure and safe for yourself and your visitors is a factor that Google considers in recommending your site to its users.
Do you know of any other important factors that Google considers in ranking websites? What SEO approaches do you use in your web content? Please share your input with us in the comment section below.