So you’re building a website? Well, there is a lot of ground we need to cover then. Ranking higher on Google is not a simple process. It actually involves a plethora of variables not everyone is aware of. To put it simply, we don’t know what Google looks for when ranking websites.

We can only attain a general idea based on analytics of what is successful, and what is not successful. By doing so with the help of companies such as Moz, digital marketers are testing and measuring various different methods to find out what works best. 

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Google uses what we call a “spider” to “crawl” websites. This is something that analyzes the various contents within your site and by optimizing what it focuses on, you can rank higher. In essence, there are front end optimizations, and there are back end optimizations. Both categories hold many different variables within themselves, hundreds in fact. In order to save you hours and hair, we will simplify the main components we have found that perpetuate success. 

1. A Fast Website is a Good Website.

Speed matters. Not just for Google’s eyes, but for your users as well. Imagine visiting a website that takes minutes to load everything. This slows down the process of conversions. Conversions being visitors turning into clients.

Having a fast website is recognized by Google based on our research. Additionally, you must consider the window of opportunity you have when someone visits your site.

As a general rule of thumb, we like to think that you have about 8 seconds of someone’s attention when they land on your home page. Having your headings and call-to-action generating as soon as possible is key to presenting what you need to in that short window of the attention your visitors have.

Speed can be improved by various different methods we will cover in future articles, including server space, network payouts, and code optimizations. 

2. H1’s are Key to a Successful Website

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Depending on the builder you use to create a website, this may be made apparent and it may not be. H1’s are a crucial element in ranking your website. In the coding behind the scenes, you can tell Googles spider what your “headers” are. These are the titles and headlines within your website. Headers are used to essentially tell Google and other search engines what your website is about.

These will also be what Google focuses on when providing your site amongst search results. These vary by, H1’s, H2’s, H3’s, so on and so forth. Your H1 is the main key topic your site is about. If someone searches “Car repair services near me”, and your main header contains “Car Repair Services”, search engines will attribute relevancy to the search topic.

In doing so, ranking you amongst the search results also related to that topic. So be sure to choose an H1 that is highly searched and be sure to only have one H1 per page.

3. Simplicity is Beneficial

Having “busy” pages can be detrimental. This means, less is more. Having flashy graphics and animations or piles of text to read can make it hard for your visitors to get a quick idea of what you are presenting. Additionally, nobody wants to read a novel when they land on a website.

Animations and graphics can also increase the loading times of your pages, and we both know that isn’t good. So be sure to be clear and concise with what you are presenting. You still want to have enough content to have a “content-rich page”, but be careful not to get too carried away. You generally should have 750 to 1000 words per page.

Moreover, you want a simple and clear message near the top of each page and slowly scroll into more content. This way you can get your main message across right away in a simple way. 

4. High Traffic Will Rank You Higher

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Google wants us on the internet, sifting and clicking through various sites and links. This makes search engines and various websites money, so they like to promote sites with high traffic and lots to click on. With this in mind, you want to have “funnels”, these are routes you guide your visitors through to achieve various goals.

Not only will this increase your conversions, but it keeps visitors on your site and moving through various pages. This tells google your users have various opportunities to interact with your site. We will cover linking structures shortly. Before we get too carried away though, it’s not only links that maintain traffic on your site. You also need to have content people are reading and staying on each page for.

The longer the sessions, the better. If you have people landing on a page and immediately leaving, this can cause negative ranking factors known as “high bounce rates”. So it’s best to avoid that by making your site interactive and have rich content the users actually want to look at. 

5. Links Links Links

One of, if not, the most important ranking factors we have found are link structures. There are two main types of links, inbound and outbound. Inbound links are the links/buttons you click on within your website to traverse through different pages on your site. Whereas outbound links send users to external sites.

It’s best to have a healthy mix of both. This will show Google you have a web of possible interactions for users, and we know Google seems to like that. Moreover, these links hold some extra value. When you provide or attain “follow links”, a website can share domain and page authority (DA/PA).

DA and PA are two ranking factors recognized in the digital marketing world. Having higher values in these areas simply helps you rank higher. Now, follow links are outbound links to other sites that share authority values.

A fresh site with various links pointing to it from other sites with dramatically improve its rankings. So get as many as you can, and make sure they have low spam scores.