Google’s website has one goal: to answer your questions as accurately as possible.
Seems simple enough right?
Well actually, it’s not simple. It’s very, very complicated.
There are thousands of websites that all want to give an answer and if you want to be the first result, you need to show Google that your answer is good, relevant, reliable and up to date. Google considers over 100 different elements to judge who gives the best answer.
Now, for most businesses, it’s not worth the money trying to optimise every element, but there are a few key actions that you can take that will give your website a nice boost.
It is definitely worth following these best practices when developing new websites and fixing up crucial issues with your website so that it will at least rank #1 for your business name and maybe even a few keywords.
Here are the 5 essentials you can implement this week to boost your website rankings:
1) Premium Local Web hosting
Don’t you just hate it when Where your website is hosted will affect your website speed and how it performs when there are a bunch of people visiting? Well, Google hates it too and will actually penalise your site ranking if your site is slow to load.
Many cheap website hosting companies are hosted overseas and on servers that host hundreds of websites which means if other websites on the same server are busy, your site speed will slow down. Not good!
We highly recommend Premium Web Hosting with highly rated local hosting companies. Premium servers have only a handful of websites hosted on them, use better hardware and allocate more resources to ensure your site’s performance is stable and not affected by other sites. Also being hosted locally, rather than overseas, will literally shave off seconds to your load time. That might not sound like much but in this day and age, the longer a site takes to load, the more people get frustrated, close the website and move on to the next google result.
2) SSL Certificate
Security and Privacy has been a super hot topic these last few years. Many people avoid using services that are labelled as “not secure”, and if you don’t have an SSL certificate on your website, guess what! Your site is also unsecure!
Not only does an SSL certificate build trust with customers, but it also gets a ranking boost from Google as it prioritises results with SSL certificates over those without, in general.
SSL Certificates can range in cost from Free to $300+ depending on what you need it for, but the majority of websites will only need a standard SSL Certificate. These come free with most premium web hosting plans, so make sure you have a good website host!
3) Mobile Responsiveness
Google has announced that they are rolling out a “Mobile First” approach in their search engine results. This means that websites will be ranked based on the content and performance of their mobile site rather than their desktop site. Mobile versions of websites have been neglected by many businesses and only some website development agencies actually design with “Mobile First” in mind. The truth is that more than 50% of users now search on their mobile devices over desktops. This means that if your website’s mobile version is not “Mobile Friendly” then you are simply losing business. And losing more and more every day.
If you don’t have a truly mobile-friendly website, it’s time to talk to a website developer this week!
Here is the big one, choosing which keywords to go for. There are a bunch of guidelines on how to use keywords, how many times to use them, in which place and context, etc. But it is important that you are actually using the RIGHT keywords in the first place. Tools like Google Keyword Planner are great to find some high traffic keywords and find the best suburbs in your area to mention. You could spend hours researching the right keywords, but to keep it simple, ask your customers what they would have searched for in google when looking for your product or service. That will give you a great start to see how different people, who have now purchased from you, think.
5) Title, Tags and Meta Descriptions
This one gets overlooked by website owners and website developers alike, however, it is very important to utilise your keywords in these areas to help Google know what your website is about. Spamming a keyword over and over, or “keyword stuffing”, isn’t going to give the best result, but using it intelligently in a genuine context in order to help people is the key to bringing great search results. Also, making sure your website’s URL structure is descriptive and contains your main keywords also help contribute to your overall rank.
Just because you read this far, here is a bonus tip for you which will help not only with SEO but traffic in general. Website’s rank higher if there are other trusted websites that have links to your site. This tells Google that other people think your content is great and will help you rank above your competition. Making sure you have good quality links is very important with this, as bad quality links can penalise you instead. One thing you can action on this week is updating your contact information on the top 10 online business directories in your area as well as nationally. This will help send people using those directories to your website as well as giving you a nice little backlink boost. This will especially help in ranking for the #1 position for your business name, if you aren’t already there.
If you can action on these tips this week, you should start to see an increase in your rankings and a general increase in traffic to your website in the near future.