Quick question – when you are Googling something, how many pages do you check? One? Two? Three? You rarely scroll beyond the third page, don’t you? Well, the same scenario applies to your customers.
While a Google search shows virtually infinite results, customers do not have the time and energy to scroll a lot. They scroll the first page or the second and quickly click on the website that seems relevant. Due to this behaviour, making your website rank at the top of results becomes critical to website discovery. And to do that, the trick you need up your sleeve is Search Engine Optimisation, fondly called SEO.
But before you find out what SEO is, you should understand how Google’s search works. It will help you put the next pieces together better.
There are three stages to Google Search. And the fact is, most pages do not pass all stages, which affects their rankings. That is why, understanding these stages is vital.
Here are the three stages of Google Search:
Simply put, SEO is a strategy to rank your website at the top of Google search results. In other words, it is a technique for helping Google’s crawlers find information on your website quickly and allowing easy analysis in the Google Index to improve your website's ranking in Google Search. Contrary to paid traffic, which is generated through ads, SEO employs strategies that attract traffic organically (without paying for ads).
Now that you have a brief idea of SEO and the need for SEO, take a look at how you can rank your website at the top of search results.
1. Simplify your content
Structure your content as simply as possible. This way, your website can hold visitors’ attention for a longer time. When visitors spend more time on your website, search engine algorithms consider your website to be helpful to visitors and push it above other websites in the results. In addition to making your content simple, avoid adding irrelevant pop-ups or messages that cause an obstruction between customers and the information they want. It may irritate your customers and make them hit the close button on your website. Moreover, pop-ups block search engine algorithms from scanning your content and gauging its relevancy.
2. Make your website easy-to-navigate
If your website is easy-to-navigate, it helps Google track information quicker, thereby improving its ranking. One way to do it is by adding links from the menu to your category pages, from category pages to sub-category pages, and from sub-category pages to product pages.
3. Improve loading speed
Fast-loading websites engage customers better than slow-loading websites. And, as mentioned above, the websites that engage customers better are pushed to the top of the Google search result rankings.
4. Structure your data properly
Google analyses structured data on websites to get an understanding of their content. If you add data in a structured format, you make Google’s job easier and improve the ranking of your page.
5. Add relevant keywords on all pages
Keywords are terms that customers use to search for information on Google. When your website has a good number of relevant keywords, Google tracks them and matches them with your customer’s search query. So the more relevant keywords your website has, the higher it ranks. If you wish to find out which keywords are most relevant for your business, you can use free tools like Keyword Planner. In addition to showing relevant keywords, the tool also shows how many times a particular keyword has been searched, which helps you choose the most suitable keywords for your website.
6. Check meta tags
Meta tags convey information about your website, like page description, keywords and author of the document, to search engines. They are not visible on your website, but they are visible to search engines.
7. Set up Google Search Console for your site
Search Console is a tool by Google that helps you understand the performance of your website on Google Search. Moreover, it also suggests ways to attract relevant traffic and improve the ranking of your website.
8. Track traffic sources through Google Analytics
Set up a Google Analytics profile for your website to view where your visitors are coming from. Moreover, through the profile, you will be able to see the search terms that led them to your website. You can use this information to optimise your website for those specific search terms or keywords.
9. Analyse custom reports through Google Analytics
Through custom reports in Google Analytics, you can analyse required metrics that aren’t included in the default settings. For example, if you are selling products on your website, you can track traffic based on colour, dimensions, etc.
10. Setup Google Webmaster
Google Webmaster helps you create an information-rich website that is helpful to your customers. It helps you add all essential elements, which makes your website trackable for Google.
11. Avoid keyword stuffing
Many inexperienced marketers follow the logic that since Google tracks keywords on a website, they should be added as many times as possible. Some even go to the extent of stuffing keywords illogically in sentences or lists to manipulate their website’s ranking in the search results. However, when it comes to keywords, more isn’t the merrier. Instead of the number of keywords, you should focus on how skilfully they are added without disturbing the grammar or hampering the reading experience of your visitors.
12. Create a sitemap and update it frequently
Sitemap, which is a file stored on your website’s server, provides search engines with the location of important content. Along with the location, it can also tell the search engine what the content is about, the type of content (ex- photo or video) and the publishing date. This data helps Google and other search engines crawl your website better.
13. Get an SSL certificate for your website domain
SSL protects the data transferred between visitors and your website by making it impossible to read through encryption. This way, your website is safe from hackers. And safer websites are as important to Google search rankings as helpful websites.
14. Constantly improve your website’s UX
User Experience, commonly known as UX, is a self-explanatory term. The better the experience on your website, the more it can engage your visitors. And the more your visitors are engaged, the higher your website gets ranked in the search results.
15. Improve the readability score of your content
Readability score is simply a score given by Google’s algorithm to content based on various parameters like complexity, structure, etc. To get a good readability score, make sure you use language that is grammatically correct, easily readable and easily understandable. Some basic tricks to improve your readability score include using simple words, using shorter sentences, and distributing your article into multiple sub-sections.
16. Find out Google's best practices for images and videos
Videos and images are a growing content format. Consumers prefer images, infographics and videos over text as they are visually more appealing and enable passive consumption. By adding more images and videos, you can make your website more engaging and helpful. Moreover, images and videos can also help your website rank in Google’s Images and Videos search tabs. However, make sure that your images and videos are optimised for Google by following Google’s best practices. You can find the guidelines on Google.
17. Make your website mobile-friendly
Smartphones are the primary device used by us to visit websites and access information on the internet. In such a scenario, it is needless to mention that your website must be mobile-friendly. Because if it isn’t, it will offer an unappealing, awkward browsing experience to your visitors. This will further reduce your website’s traffic and hamper your ranking on Google.
The importance of Search Engine Optimisation or SEO can be summarised with this thumb rule: if you have a website, you must do SEO. As simple as that.
SEO is one of the best ways to draw traffic to your website organically. And with all these tips at hand, the job is much easier than before. You can follow these tips to make your website Google-friendly. Even if you cannot implement all of these strategies at once, you can begin with what is possible for you and gradually implement more advanced strategies later. However, there’s a crucial thing to remember about SEO: it is a long-term game. To actually see the results of SEO, you will need to be consistent in implementing these strategies and be patient.
Since implementing SEO correctly requires time and patience, you must have a clear idea of what you are doing and where your strategies can take you. You should study various strategies and successful case studies to ensure the best results.
However, do not worry if you cannot invest time or effort in mastering SEO. At Tempest, we have SEO experts who have secured top spots for our clients' websites in Google Search. Feel free to get in touch if you need a customised strategy for your website. We would be glad to help. Contact us at ____
Brands become top brands when a top advertising and digital marketing agency puts efforts into a planning strategy and deriving ideas that will flourish with time. Tempest assures the same and hence is regarded as the top advertising and digital marketing agency in Hyderabad, Pune and Bangalore.
Quick question – when you are Googling something, how many pages do you check? One? Two? Three? You rarely scroll beyond the third page, don’t you? Well, the same scenario applies to your customers. While a Google search shows virtually infinite results, customers do not have the time and energy to scroll a lot. They […]