Written by Hannah Smith – Marketing Student at Oregon State University
You’ve been working at building a website for your company, but you still aren’t getting as much interaction from consumers as you were hoping. By having a website, Google takes into account many factors that affect your website’s search engine rankings when consumers are using Google. Here are a few things you can do, to improve your website’s rankings.
Choose Relevant Keywords and Phrases
The first way to have your website show up in more search results is to have relevant keywords and phrases. Keywords are words that people use when they use Google’s search box. The words that companies associate with their businesses or products will show up in a consumer’s search results, if the keywords are relevant to the search made by the consumer. Phrases are longer versions of keywords, that may also be typed into a Google search box.
If you have a small business, or if you’re just getting started, it may be more beneficial to use long tail keywords that are more relevant to your page, instead of short keywords. For example, if you have a bakery and you’re selling pastries, instead of using the word “pastry” as a keyword, you could say “vegan pastries” or “gluten-free donuts”. These are phrases that are more specific to the actual products that you are trying to sell.
It is also important where your keywords are used. You don’t want your keywords and phrases all over the website, taking over the content that you are trying to show your customer. The overall percentage that your key words should take up on your webpages is only about 3%-5% of the page. The best page locations to place your keywords so that they are relevant include:
- The URL
- The title of your webpage
- Headers throughout your webpage
- The main content of your webpage
- Within image alt text or file names
- Within your hyperlinks, or anchor text
Choosing relevant and competitive keywords and placing them in the correct locations will help you improve the overall ranking of your website, along with my next few tips.
Provide Quality Content
Another large factor within Google’s search algorithm ranks the quality of your webpage. Google looks at how original and fresh your webpage content is, how much content is provided, and how reliable the information is. All of these things affect how a consumer uses the information within your webpage, and whether Google thinks your webpage matches the consumer’s original search or not.
Not only does Google pay attention to your webpage’s content, but it also looks at how often your webpage is linked to other webpages. If someone else has provided links to your products and shown that your products are popular, Google’s algorithm will notice that. This could include links within social media sites, blogs, local business profiles or directories.
Depending on how good your content is, Google also tracks the bounce rates of your webpage, and how effective your landing pages are. So, if you have good quality content, and your users don’t immediately leave the page, you’ll have better rankings.
Make your Webpage Compatible for Mobile Devices
Have you ever visited a website on your phone, and not been able to navigate the webpage very well? Maybe links and buttons were too small, and your big fingers kept clicking on the wrong thing? This type of experience frustrates users and will cause them to click off of your website. You may have a really strong webpage that has been designed for a desktop, but you are losing attention that you could have from mobile users.
Another way to improve your webpage’s rankings is to make your site fully compatible for mobile users. This might involve creating a whole new webpage, specifically designed for mobile devices. This will help create ease of use for your customers and keep them on your webpage longer.
Google’s algorithm has been updated to remove sites from a consumer’s mobile search, if a webpage is not fully compatible for a mobile user. This means your webpage wouldn’t show up in the search results at all. So, making a mobile version of your webpage could definitely improve your search rankings.
Digital Marketing Essentials, Larson and Draper, Chapter 4: SEO (On-Site)
Digital Marketing Essentials, Larson and Draper, Chapter 5: SEO (Off-Site)
The Step-by-Step Guide to Improving Google Rankings Without Getting Penalized: https://neilpatel.com/blog/improve-google-rankings-without-getting-penalized/
10 Ways to Improve Search Engine Ranking (SEO): https://www.usdigitalpartners.com/10-ways-to-improve-search-engine-ranking/