No doubt, you’ve heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) before, and you know that it’s kind of a big deal. It’s basically the process of improving your visibility via unpaid, or “organic,” search engine results to ensure customers can find you.
The million dollar question is: What can I do to raise my Google ranking?
There are said to be approximately 200 Google ranking factors, and some of them have additional variations. The good news is that if you pay attention to several key features, you will be well on your way to increasing your ranking.
Google prefers long-form content over short, especially in-depth articles. You don’t have to limit this content to the blog section of your website. Your content can be in the form of case studies, white papers, or other informational pieces.
The more often you update your content, the better. Stale, old content will sink your search engine ranking, so it’s important to have a content strategy and regular calendar of updates, when possible.
Inbound links to your website from other domains is a very important factor in raising your search ranking. Although it’s not entirely in your control, this is something that you can monitor.
Leverage your connections. Grow your relationships with bloggers, business partners, and local media to have a link to your site added to their website.
Google uses your titles to decide what your page is all about.
As it shows only between 50-60 characters in a search result title, you probably want to keep your titles within that range, or at least make sure the most important information is within that limit. (Although Google may cut it off in display, it does still count other characters up to 80.)
Titles are also important to help grab searchers attention, so make sure they clearly define the content and help people make a decision quickly.
Just as you want your website to be user friendly, so does Google. The number of searches completed on mobile devices continues to grow, and if your site is not mobile- or tablet-responsive, then you may be losing frustrated customers as well as your edge in search rankings.
Responsive, mobile-friendly design has become a must-have feature, and your rankings will reflect where your site stands in regards to this.
SSL and Security
A recent addition to how Google ranks websites, SSL’s (or security certificates) indicate trust and verification. Having an SSL certificate provides multiple benefits, from ensuring secure credit card transaction to sending trust factors to customers.
Though the Google ranking algorithm actually changes 500-600 times per year, these five features have remained near the top of the list, and most likely won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.