The more digital the world becomes, the more important it is to have a strong digital presence. Of course, having a beautifully designed website, like those created by WiredeltaⓇ, helps, but looks aren’t everything. Before visitors can see your mind-blowing designs they have to find you first. How do you do that? SEO, of course! We have crawled the internet (pun intended) and have gathered 5 SEO tips to rank higher on Google. Enjoy!
SEO, let’s recap!
A few posts before we explained that search engine optimization (SEO) is a series of steps you follow, in order to help search engines, such as Google or Bing, find you faster. Search engine land defines SEO as “the process of getting traffic from the ‘free,’ ‘organic,’ ‘editorial’ or ‘natural’ search results on search engines.”
In short, perfecting SEO means following these steps:
- On-page SEO – determined by the topic, content quality and keywords used on a webpage;
- Off-page SEO (backlinking) – determined by traffic provided by sites linked to yours;
- Tags – words or group of words that guide search engines to your site;
- Meta description (or snippet) – the short description of your page, beneath the link;
- Slug – the name describing the URL of a specific page
How do search engines find a site, anyway?
Search engines use programs commonly named crawlers (also known as spiders or bots) to crawl the internet. The “crawling” process starts by analyzing a list of URLs from previous crawls, compares it to the new list and establishes what needs to be logged or updated. Basically, the web crawlers analyze every page they indexed before to see if there are new links or updated content to be collected. Afterward, the crawlers visit the new pages and load the newly found content into their databases.
How can a website rank higher?
After your website has been properly crawled, your page is ranked according to the search engine’s standards. These standards define your website’s relevance, and obviously, its place on the search engine response page (SERP). The higher the rank, the closer to the top it will be.
However, Google’s ranking algorithm changes constantly. Usually, changes are minor, but every now and then there are also some major updates. Here are 5 things you need to be aware of when you’re perfecting your website’s SEO:
Starting January 2017, Google has begun flagging non-secure links, so websites owning an SSL certificate are now ranked higher than their counterparts.
If your URL starts just with “HTTP://”, you may want to add an “S” in there. The “S” in HTTPS stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is the standard security technology for web pages. This is used to establish an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Due to this process, sensitive data passed between the web server and browsers remain private. Website owners must buy this certificate from authorized sellers, install and activate it and then update the site to use HTTPS.
In December 2017, in an interview with Search Engine Land, a Google spokesperson said that snippets’ length has increased in order to provide a clearer and more descriptive overview of a certain page. Snippets or meta descriptions, if you don’t remember from our “Webctionary” post, they are the description beneath your link:
The search results are based on keywords, meaning that the more keywords your snippet contains, the easier it is for the search engine to find your page. Thus, when your page has a clear and well-written snippet, your page is ranked higher.
Depending on the business, there are certain features the search engine result pages (SERP) has that can help promote your website. One example of such a feature is a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) tool, the Ad button. These are the ads that show up either on top or on the bottom of a search result, and they are paid Google Adwords.
However, you don’t need to pay a figurative sack of money to be on top. Other features such as “in-depth articles”, “local teaser pack” or “local pack” can help drive traffic to your website.
“In-depth articles” are articles showing after a more specific search has been made. Let’s say, for example, that we want to find out more about the web agency Wiredelta. This will be the result:
The three links presented here are not all from Wiredelta, but they are related to Wiredelta, thus, increasing the exposure of the company and its attractiveness. At the same time, two of these links are external, or backlinks so they also help increase the page rank.
“Local teaser pack” is exactly what the name says, a teaser. When your local SEO is done right, this feature shows up whenever your company’s name is mentioned in the search bar. It can feature details about your company, opening hours, directions, ratings, and so on. Its purpose is the same as of any teaser, to attract visitors to your website, resulting in an increase of traffic.
The “local pack” is similar to the “local teaser pack”, but it only shows your company on Google Maps. The advantage of this feature is that the search engine does not need to have your company’s name, but instead, it uses the user’s proximity. This is a very useful tool, especially when competing with other local businesses. Because the feature shows your company on the map, nearby competitors and reviews, it helps users compare you to others and gain more trust in your company.
Being relevant to your potential customers is not enough for them to find you. Google searches show that users don’t always look for the solution, but instead for the problem. In other words, one may not type “insulin” in the search bar but instead may write “diabetes treatment”.
In order to provide the right answers, Google has created “rankbrain”. RankBrain is a machine-learning AI launched in 2015, that helps Google process results for more unique queries. This ranking factor is the third most important factor for Google, according to another interview with Search Engine Land, after links and content (it is not clear which of the two is more important though). To rank higher using this factor we go back to the meta description of your website. If your description uses more probable words used to satisfy a potential client’s need, then your website will be on the first page on the SERP.
In a recent post, we mentioned that starting this summer, Google is going to take mobile responsiveness into consideration when ranking websites. This, as we explained, means that websites that are non-responsive or simply adaptable to mobile devices will be ranked lower. The last of our SEO tips: take into consideration if your website will suffer because of this update. Visit our previous post to learn more about mobile responsiveness and how it can affect your business.
To sum up all the information above, there is always space for improvement. As Google’s ranking factor keeps evolving, so should a website’s SEO. Use these SEO tips and be relevant to your consumers one must be reachable and easy to find.
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