Find out how to improve your website ranking
How Google Search works
The truth is, only Google really knows exactly how their powerful search engine works. As a proactive and user-focused company, their ingenious engineers change and update things constantly to ensure they can keep providing the best possible search results and make those as relevant and useful as they can be.
The search engine giant’s number one aim is to give their users the answers they need as accurately and quickly as possible, and they do this with a whole lot of incredibly well-designed algorithms. You can find out more about how that works here.
Google’s ranking systems sort through hundreds of billions of web pages to help you find the most relevant, beneficial results in a fraction of a second. They present them in a way that helps you find what you’re looking for, without fluff, and with little to no distractions. The Big G is undoubtedly the most successful Internet concept ever.
Your websites’ Google journey in a nutshell:
Step 1: Crawling
With a crawler, also known as spider or bot, Google discovers new pages to add to its catalog. The Googlebot systematically crawls the web to find what’s new. Let’s say you have launched a website to promote your lawn mowing business. Once your website has been crawled, Google knows it exists.
Step 2: Indexing
Now Google has found your website; it will analyze your pages’ content and organize it in their vast library of information. This is called indexing. Google Index is a huge database. Google now knows that your website exists, but it has also looked through the pages on your site and understands that you mow lawns for people in Mount Maunganui, Papamoa, and Te Puke.
Step 3: Ranking
Next, your site gets ranked in terms of metrics like relevance and under-friendliness. As soon as someone types something into the search box, Google looks through its massive library of content and finds the pages that would be most relevant. To make sure they present the most useful results first, it considers factors such as location and language and the words used in the search. That process is called ranking.
This means that when someone types “lawn mowing near me” into the search box and they are based in Papamoa, they’re likely to find your website. If someone in Northland keys in the same search term, you probably won’t show up.
However, it’s not quite as simple because you’re not the only lawn mowing business in the area with a website. Unless your link shows in the first 5 to 10 search results, your competitors that rank better is likely to get the business.
Google takes more than 200 ranking factors into account when determining where to rank a site, and although you don’t have to nail them all, you do need an ongoing focus on search engine optimization (SEO) to get to the top and stay there.
Let’s talk about SEO
SEO has been a focus in strategic marketing plans for about 20 years. In an ever-changing digital world where everyone competes for the top spot, it has become a bit of a minefield. Most business owners don’t understand what SEO is, and that’s mainly because the unregulated industry has created so much smoke and mirrors.
If you have time, check out this article on Search Engine Journal about the biggest SEO Myths. As they say in the post, it can save you headaches, lost revenue, and a whole lot of time if you learn to spot SEO myths and act accordingly.
You may think that you need more content or more keywords in your content. What you need is better content, and no, that’s not all. Your site also needs to be mobile-friendly, be up and running for a while, have fast-loading pages, and also need a Google My Business page. There’s a lot to SEO, and neither of it works in isolation.
First and foremost, because Google constantly works at recognizing natural language patterns, jamming your content full of keywords is a bad idea. Keyword stuffing makes your content hard to read, making your site less user-friendly, for which Google bumps you down the list.
The search engine giant is crystal clear about its direction: they want to reward websites that are naturally the most relevant and popular solution to specific problems. It’s still about words, code, and link building, but it’s no longer about quantity. All that matters is the quality!
If you demonstrate that you are an authority in your industry, an expert at your craft and that you indeed add value, then Google will reward you. You just need to stay persistent and be patient.
It’s about the user experience
Google’s top core value is: “Focus on the user, and all else will follow.” To be in Google’s good books and stay there, you should do the same. If you want to rank high, you’ll need to focus on the user and their search intent.
Essentially, they really care about how you engage with your audience and communicate with the user. That’s what Google analyses, and that’s how they will rank you against your competitors. Relevance is Google’s #1 objective!
The one who adds the most value for their target audience, industry, and customers wins! An essential factor is that it’s not you who decides what value is. Your audience does!
Most marketers have their brand at the forefront of their minds. Although they understand the importance of creating content and can write the most awesome catchy headlines, they often ignore the real needs of their customers.
To be great at marketing in the digital space, you must first understand the mindset of your users and the context of their searches. You can only excel at informing those users on how your brand meets their specific needs, and that’s when Google rewards you with a better ranking.
What you can do so Google pays attention
- Understand your visitors’ needs and speak their language
- Provide lots of relevant content for your audience
- Make sure everything is easy to read and easy to find
- Focus on long-tail keywords and be specific
- Optimize your copy, titles, and meta descriptions
- Be generous in sharing your knowledge and expertise
- Don’t let things go stale and update your content often
- Make the buying process effortless
- Optimize your page speed! (You can test it here.)
Invest in long-form content
Content is the foundation of SEO. If you want to rank higher in search results and attract more visitors to your site, you’ll need good quality content.
Producing well-written articles created to inform, educate, entertain, or inspire is an effective way to engage with your audience. When done right, it offers your visitors genuine value and a rewarding experience. Short blog posts also serve a purpose, but long-form content will give you more bang for your buck in terms of SEO ranking potential.
Success usually doesn’t happen overnight when it comes to SEO, but it’s within reach with the proper process and some patience. Again, keep a close eye on your audience and figure out what they want and need. What are their pain points, concerns, questions, and fascinations when it comes to your products or service? That’s what you should write about.
When you publish in-depth articles on your site, you demonstrate that you are an authority in your field. It will keep visitors on your website longer and provides you with plenty of material for social media posting and your newsletter. Do it consistently, and you will become known as a source of quality information.
Take a look at this post on moz.com, where the writer explains how one business she worked for grew its organic blog traffic by 650% in just two years.
Perhaps you’re not much of a writer or simply do not have the time to produce all this content yourself. In that case, consider hiring someone to do it for you. A professional copywriter will save you a tonne of time, and your copy will be easy to read and error-free. It also ensures that your content is unique and relevant, and written to speak directly to your audience.
If your content or your whole digital marketing approach needs some love and attention, give our friendly team a call on 0800 25 8008. We’re more than happy to help, and as leaders in this field for more than 20 years, we’re experts at creating websites that generate leads and sales.
~ Karen Saunders