It can be frustrating to feel like you’ve been optimising the life out of your website content, without seeing results. If you feel like you’re in this boat, there’s a very real answer for why this could be! Did you know there’s other technical SEO ranking factors of your website that Google checks?
These days, Google’s algorithm is smarter than ever. They’re looking to rank websites for more than just the content they’re delivering. They need to know that the top websites they deliver on the Search Engine Results Page are the best of the best, in all areas. And there’s a few factors that help determine this.
If Google isn’t delivering the top websites to users, it’s possible their users will find other search engines to access the information they’re searching for. Googling has become such a major part of our everyday lives that it’s hard to even think other search engines exist! But Google needs to stay on top of their own game just as everyone else is trying to do. Which is why you’re reading this post 😉
So let’s look at the aspects of your website that are major SEO ranking factors, starting with the basics.
If you’re wanting to have a full-spectrum search-engine-optimized website, you’ll firstly want to make sure that your content is tailored to showing up in SERPs. If you’re reading this, you probably have an idea of what this looks like. Read on to see if there’s any thing your site is missing. For a fully inclusive guide to SEO for small business, read this post.
Keywords are basically anything that gets typed into Google and searched. It’s easier to rank for long-tail keywords. These are basically more specific keywords or phrases people might search for. Make sure your website is targeting specific keywords that relate to your site and its content. This includes using your chosen targeted keywords in page titles, headings and in the body content of your site.
Business & Local Business Google Listings
If your business either runs in a local area or has a brick and mortar location, you’ll need to make sure your Google Local Business Listing is up to date. When people search for a local business, details such as business names, addresses and phone numbers will automatically show on the results page. This is a great feature so that searchers can instantly find your details. You’ll need to make sure all your details are correct and there’s as much info as possible through your Google My Business account. Don’t forget to keep requesting those 5 star reviews too!
Google loves content. Content marketing is a major way to get your website ranked higher. In fact, businesses that have a blog on their website rank over 400% higher than ones that don’t! Consider adding a blog to your site (see more benefits of blogging here). At the very least, make sure you have enough content on your site to add in keywords naturally.
The images on your site play a major factor in SEO through their properties and their labelling. Make sure your images aren’t oversized and have the correct alt tags and file names. See this post for more info on optimising your images.
User experience is now a major SEO ranking factor. And while there may not be real people at Google checking your site for how good your user experience is, their bots are able to take stats like your bounce rate, how long some one stays on page and click-through rate to monitor this. Here’s some elements of your website to consider.
Make sure your website is designed professionally and uses traditional website conventions. A good design will appear seamless to users and make your site easy to navigate.
Relevant Pages and Copy
If users can’t quickly find out what you do and how it’s relevant to them, they’re not likely to stick around on your site. Make sure your website’s copy clearly states this information on the home page, as well as any pages that a lot of traffic lands on.
Over half the world’s internet users are now accessing the online world through mobile devices. Crazy, right?! This means a mobile friendly website is highly important to giving a good user experience. A website that isn’t mobile friendly speaks that it is outdated, unmaintained or unprofessional. This needs immediate attention. Speak to your web developer about rebuilding your site or using a great mobile friendly WordPress theme.
User navigation means how easy it is for a user to get around your site. You want your website to be as easy and intuitive to use as possible. This is especially important as a lot of your site’s visitors will be using your website for the first time. Stick to website conventions that are true of all websites to create great user navigation.
Your website’s technical performance is now taken into account for SEO. This often forgotten aspect of websites speaks largely to its professionalism. If your website doesn’t perform great, there are things you can do to improve.
A website should have a page speed as close to 2-3 seconds as possible. Keep in mind certain plugins & embeds will add to your page load time. This is now the standard you’ll want to reach. You need to have a similar or better page speed than your competitors to get a chance at outranking them on Google. Getting your page speed this quick relies on a lot of actions in itself, so read this post for how to improve your page speed.
A content delivery network allows your website to be reached nearby to where a user is viewing it. Instead of connecting to a server half way around the world, a CDN connects to a local server to deliver your site. This is great for bloggers with a worldwide audience and businesses that market to an audience outside their physical location. It’s also fantastic for a quick response and improving page speed. Check where your website’s server is based through your hosting provider. We recommend Cloudflare as a great CDN option.
It is now essential for your site to be secure if you want to rank on Google. Check whether your URL starts with http or https to find this out. Most good hosting providers will provide an SSL certificate with your hosting. However, if your website isn’t secure, you’ll need to organise your own SSL Certificate. If your site hasn’t been secure for some time then we highly recommend checking if it’s been hacked or not. We recommend using Sucuri.
There’s a lot more than just your content that goes into your website ranking higher. The above SEO ranking factors are some that often get skipped over. If you’re wondering why you can’t increase your organic traffic, this may be why! Don’t ignore your website’s user experience, performance and its security if you want to approach SEO holistically.