There are several key components that your website must-have if you want it to rank highly on Google? While Google’s algorithms are constantly changing – of which more later – four areas remain crucial to a high ranking:
- Strong Search Engine Optimisation
- Quality Content
- Regular Updates
- Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness
- User experience
Let’s explore these in more detail.
1. Search Engine Optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO) is a cover-all term for a large variety of website creation techniques that help your site to rank well in a Google search. Perhaps the most well-known aspect of SEO is keywords – those words that would-be visitors are most likely to type into Google when looking for your product. These aren’t just plucked from the air. Our SEO experts use specialised software to determine the best keywords to draw customer organically to your site. Of course, keywords, are just one aspect of SEO. There are other things like quality, backlinks, domain names, metadata, and so on that can influence the rankings on any given search.
2. Quality content
In theory, anybody can write the text for their website. In practice – like with so many other things – it’s best to leave it to a professional. In this instance, that professional is known as a copywriter. Their job is to produce content that reads well, whilst still containing the relevant keywords at a sufficient density to affect the search results. Clarity is important, for two reasons. First, Google can determine the difference between good and bad writing, and a site will be marked down for poor quality. Secondly, once a visitor reaches your site, they need to be able to read it and it needs to make sense. Poorly written content reflects badly on you and your company and can jeopardise an otherwise promising lead.
3. Regular updates
Google loves fresh content, and so do its users. We’re not talking about re-writing your site every couple of months but adding new and interesting content for your regular visitors to read. We’re talking blogs, opinion pieces, top ten lists, new items – anything that’s relevant to you and your industry. Fresh content ranks well on Google, particularly if it is relevant to other current events. Not only that, but a well-written article is likely to be shared on social media, bringing more eyes to your website. At Advance Online, we have professional copywriters who can produce SEO-friendly content for your site that will target particular sections of your user base. How much content you want is entirely up to you. Many small businesses find a monthly blog sufficient. People working in a fast-moving industry may prefer to commit to a weekly column. Whatever your particular requirements, we can come up with a solution for you.
4. Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness
Whatever sector your business is in, you want to be the expert. You want to be the company that people turn to when they need professional advice or assistance. Your website should reflect that. Part of Google’s algorithm is the notion of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness – or EAT. EAT has a marked effect on your position in the Google search results. To score highly in this area, your content needs to be well-written and, above all, accurate. It needs to be the sort of content that gets shared on other websites and across social media. These are called backlinks and, the more you get from other respected avenues, the better your site will rank.
5. User experience
It all boils down to this. Does your website provide a positive experience for the user? It’s important to note that, in this scenario, the user is Google’s customer, not yours. When they rank your website they are saying to their customer that they trust your site will give them what they need. If you want to do well in their rankings, your website has to be equal to that trust.
Advertising on Google
There is a way to jump the queue, and that is by paying to advertise on Google’s search results. It’s not as simple as purchasing ad space. Many of the techniques that fall into standard SEO practises also apply to positive Google Ad results. You have to set a specific budget, as well as prioritise keywords and locations. If you get it right, you can almost guarantee a spot at the top of that all-important first page.
Consider the competition
Every website has competition – there is no service or product so unique that there is not a rival firm in the local area. From a ranking perspective, competition can be a good thing. We analyse websites that are similar in concept to yours. We see what makes them rank well and where they are falling short. We then incorporate that data into our own SEO strategy for your website, creating a site that will bypass the immediate competition.
Google algorithms are constantly updating in small, largely insignificant ways. For the most part, these regular updates will have little impact on your ranking. Every so often, a big change occurs, as Google comes up with a new way to monitor site quality or to circumvent automated website creators. These can cause a rise or fall in your ranking. However, as long as you stick to the tenets of strong SEO, quality fresh content, and EAT, you should be okay. With Advance Online behind you, you’ll be more than okay. We monitor the performance of your site regularly and, if there’s a noticeable dip in your ranking, we will take steps to improve it.
How long does it take to reach the first page of Google?
It depends on the product or service you provide and the area in which you provide it. If you sell a niche product and only do local deliveries, a well-optimised site might see you ranking in a couple of weeks. If you are in a more competitive sector, this will take longer – normally anywhere between three and six months before you start consistently ranking on the first page. This makes it all the more important to get a quality site up and running as soon as possible, to help mitigate against that lead-in time.
How do I maintain my Google ranking?
With Google’s ever-changing algorithm, keeping ahead of the curve is a matter of constant vigilance. You – or your SEO company – need to keep pumping out fresh content, tweaking your SEO, and improving your engagement with new visitors.