As you probably already know, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a huge role in how your website is ranked in the Google search engine. In this post I’m going to discuss some ins and outs of how Google actually ranks your website.
While Google uses various methods to rate your website, there are three important factors to all this: relevance, trust, and authority.
Relevance: It’s so important to make sure that the content on your website stays relevant to the keyword query of the visitor. When creating content, make sure that you really narrow in on your niche and keep your target audience in mind (what exactly would they search for to get to your page?). Don’t confuse users and search engines by having completely irrelevant content on your page – this will hurt your rankings.
Trust: As I’ve explained before, Google wants to keep the most reliable and trustworthy links at the top of their search engines because they want to be known as a credible source. If your website has high-quality content and links from other reliable sources then your website is more likely to be considered trustworthy and therefore more likely to appear higher in the search engine. Make sure to keep your website updated with all the most accurate information – because that counts too.
Authority: Essentially, authority is how strong your market sees your website and how strong it influences it. This is a metric that is based on the Search Engine Result Pages (or SERPs). Other factors that it takes into consideration are age and size of the domain. Basically, just know your target audience, provide quality content for them that’s accurate, and commit and you shouldn’t have an issue.
Here are some great tools that I love to use when working with SEO:
Google Search Console – GSC is a free (and must have) tool that you can use to maintain and monitor crawl issues on your website as well as observing the keywords that people use to get to your site. Fixing these issues when they arise will help maintain or increase your rankings and using the Search Analytics section will provide you with your clicks, click-through-rates, average ranking position, current position, and impressions.
Google AdWords KeyWord Planner – I love using this tool because it gives you a forecast on how a keyword may perform in the future for CPC campaigns (clicks, impressions, CTRs, Avg. CPC). It also tells you how many times a certain keyword has been searched in Google and you can also narrow down the search even more by device type and country.
Yoast SEO WordPress Plug In – I live by this tool when writing up blog posts! It allows you to focus in on a single keyword and let’s you know when that word has been sufficiently entered enough times within the post. It also allows you to change your description in the snippet box and provides you with a readability percentage.
MOZ – The team at MOZ does a really great job at providing tools to educate you on how your website could be better. They offer tools such as the SEO Toolbar (or the “MOZ Bar” – which is my favorite!), Rank Tracking, Keyword Research, SEO Audit & Crawl (similar to Google Search Console), and Backlink Research.
HTTP Status Code Checker – Did you know that if you don’t have your developer set up a redirect on your website, if someone types in your website without the “www.” in the beginning, your website could come up as broken or with major errors? I know – crazy! Make sure to get with your developer and have them set up a URL redirect so that doesn’t happen (search bots also take this into consideration when ranking your website!).
Google Page Speed Insights – One thing that search engines look for when crawling through your site is how fast it is. Google Page Speed Insights analyzes your speed and optimization and then breaks down the issues so that you can fix them. If your photos are too big or you need to “Minify CSS” then let your web developer know that these things came up and you’d like them to fix it.
Bottom line: Google wants to give its audience the most reliable, trustworthy information in the quickest way possible. If they see that your website is quick, people are coming to it, getting informed, and sticking around for awhile, that’s going to effect your rankings in the most positive way. Search Engine Optimization is a slow and steady process – one that has to be worked on everyday. There’s no quick fix for this process so make sure to commit everyday and you will surely move up the rankings!
Also, make sure to view my other blog post on SEO on why it’s important for any business.
Questions? Let me know: shree [at] aurorasocialmedia.com