Getting great rankings in Google has always been an inexact science. There are companies like Yoast who interpret search engine results, but some information comes from Google themselves. They never tell us the algorithm, but they do say what they are looking for now and in the future.
- Relevant content. Google are in the business of delivering a great browsing experience, so having plenty of relevant content is essential.
- How does the rest of the world see you? Plenty of inbound links from highly ranked websites will help raise your profile. Outbound links to relevant sites will also help.
- New content. Write blogs or create new content often.
This year there are three important aspects that Google have raised, and if you are struggling to maintain a good ranking or you cannot get there at all, then check these out.
- Security certificate. If your website is labelled as ‘not secure’ not only will it put off visitors, but it will damage your ranking if you have any sort of form on your website.
- As part of its campaign to create a great user experience, Google is adding more weight to not just what you say, but how you say it. Long, rambling sentences are out. Drop the waffle. Use a product like Word to write your content.
- Fast loading sites are not just desirable, but essential. Test your site at https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
The good news is, Google is not being draconian. If your website does come up in the green zone, then great. If it comes up in the amber zone, be aware but do not fret. Google is only penalising the slowest sites. If you are in the red zone, then you should consider taking some action. The Page Speed Insight tool above will give you advice on speeding up your site.
Hosting. Make sure your host is in the UK (if you are in the UK). Also ensure your host uses SSD’s (solid state disks) and ranks highly in speed comparison tests. Using Hostgator in Texas for a Dollar a month may save a few quid but it is a false economy if it results in less visitors.
Lightweight pages. Some websites are loaded with code-heavy features. Do they add anything to the content? With WordPress you can install endless plugins, but you can still produce a great looking site.
The image at the top of this page is the speed of my website. Anyone who knows anything about WordPress will tell you that is a phenomenal speed ranking.
Want to have a free chat about your website? Get in touch!