By optimising your website for Google, you increase the likelihood of your website being ranked higher in Google Search results. We probably don’t need to tell you why this is important, but in case we do: it is the simple fact that if your website places in the top rankings, you’ll probably receive more traffic which could translate into conversions for sales – you’re onto a winner!
If you type a search word into Google, the websites that appear on the first page are those that Google considers the most relevant and useful. The rankings probably extend over a number of pages reaching into double figures, so the question is, how does a website get placed away from the lowly late-teen pages and closer towards the top five contender pages?
Google uses a rather endearing method of ranking websites in a definitive list from least relevant to most: The Googlebot – how cute?!
The Googlebot trawls through vast numbers of websites and collects data that it feeds into an algorithm. This algorithm then determines the relevance and utility of each website according to a list of over 200 factors, subsequently allocating a ranking to it.
Google keeps these factors a secret, (a bit like the magical Coca Cola Formula) but analysts have a pretty good idea as to what the list includes; there are definitely ways of making your website more optimal for receiving higher Google rankings.
We’ve put together a concise list of 5 ways you can help the Googlebot find what it needs within your website, so that the algorithm will rank your site more highly.
So without further ado, let’s get started on the great lesson of SEO for Google.
Those of you who are already seasoned SEO’ers know the importance of using keywords to make it easier for search engines, like Google, to pick up your website – very good, well done you. But in the case of keywords, the more is not always the merrier.
It is a common misconception that packing your content full of keywords will see your website rise through the ranks. In fact, doing so will make Google ignore your website by alerting the system that you are trying to cheat it – and no one (least of all the Googlebot) likes a cheat. So make sure to use keywords strategically and repeat them across your promotional work on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to help boost your SEO effectively.
Keywords are undoubtedly important but something else to consider for your content is *drumroll* … its content. If you don’t regularly update and refresh your content, the Googlebot will lose interest and deem your website irrelevant, meaning it will be ranked lower.
To avoid this, Foundry Digital recommend having a blog on your website that you keep up to date with fresh content. This way each time the Googlebot comes to trawl through your website you’ll have something new for it to look at, increasing the likelihood of it finding something relevant and useful. This is why Foundry Digital include blogging in the Digital Marketing packages that we offer.
Although your website looks like a pictorial masterpiece, it is actually made up of a sequence of letters, numbers and symbols called “code”. Your website’s code contains all of the vital information that makes up its title, topic, page titles, and even the images and content, so it’s understandable that for your website to be ranked well the code needs to be easily read. When code is easily read by Google, it is called “clean” code.
If you make sure that the code is consistently clean whilst you build your website, you will increase your chances of the Googlebot extracting the right pieces of data for you to be ranked well by Google’s algorithm. At Foundry Digital, we make clean-coding a priority during web development in order to ensure the best chances of the website being read.
This year, Google made an important announcement about how it ranks websites with regards to SSL Certificates. If you missed it, don’t worry because we’ll bring you up to speed in no time.
Having an SSL Certificate not only makes your website secure, (which consequently reassures any site visitors that you’re not doing anything dodgy with their data) but it will also be recognised by Google. The reward for a decent SSL Certificate is a higher ranking amongst any competitors that have a lower-grade certificate or those who don’t have one at all. It’s definitely worth considering which SSL certificate is right for you, and Foundry Digital can offer you advice on this.
Links from external sites that direct users to your own website are a really useful tool to improve your SEO. The reason why Google will rate these links highly, is that they’re organic and can’t be forged (unless you’re paying someone to have a link to your website on theirs, which is not organic and will scare away the Googlebot).
To increase the amount of inbound links to your website, you should have a think about strategising content marketing and social media. High quality links from authority sites can boost your SEO and subsequently, your website’s ranking position; so make sure to take this into account.
Want to find out more about how Foundry Digital can help you use Inbound Links?
Social Media was briefly mentioned just now, but it is such a powerful tool that we thought it deserved to be mentioned again. Sharing your content across all of your social media channels is one of the easiest ways to get it noticed. Not only this, but it will also allow your followers and customers to easily share any of your posts, and just like that you have your own little marketing domino effect.
Never underestimate the power of social media when it comes to pushing your content and getting as many people to see it as possible.
These are all great ideas for how to improve your website, but one more item we want to add to your list of New Year’s Resolutions for 2018 is how you plan to test the efficacy of these improvements. It’s all very well and good to make changes and pat yourself on the back, but you need to be sure that these improvements are doing what they’re supposed to.
At Foundry Digital we recommend using Google Analytics as a tool to track the organic search traffic that your site receives, and which keywords entice visitors to your website when it appears in Google Search results. You can monitor which techniques are working and which ones aren’t, to effectively strengthen your SEO, and make sure that you’re ticking as many boxes as possible so that Google will rank your website higher.
Foundry Digital are experts at understanding what that little Googlebot is looking for in your website, and we can recommend types of content, wordcounts, keywords and much more.
We also provide Digital Marketing packages and can work with you to ensure that your website is optimised by using keywords of your choice, helping your site to rank better in Google for terms that are relevant to your brand and your industry.
Get in touch to find out how we can help you.
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