In the good old days, it was fairly easy to secure a decent page ranking on most search engines by simply stuffing a list of keywords in the background of your website (meta keywords) along with a well-aimed description of your services, wait a few weeks and bingo! Your website would appear on Google. Life was so much easier back then.
Fast forward to today and like all businesses, Google in particular, and quite rightly, have become customer facing and as such, want to provide their customers with the best search results. The dark art of Search Engine Optimisation has ramped up itâ€™s game and now, your website needs to adhere to an almost never ending and constantly evolving list of Best Practices to secure those all important rankings. There are over 200 ranking signals that need to be fulfilled to secure a top website listing alone.
It would make for a lengthy blog post to list all of the search ranking signals, so I have narrowed it down to the key ones and the easiest ones to action.
Google has placed huge emphasis on the mobile version of your website. As from July 2019, all new websites will only be listed by Google based on the accessibility of its mobile device version. Users should not need to pinch or expand your mobile pages in order to view content. Visitors must be able to scroll with one finger and to be able to press the correct sized buttons. (tap targets). The font size on your mobile pages needs to be a size that doesnâ€™t restrict accessibility.
Your website must load quickly on all devices. Page loading times of around 1.5 seconds are considered average but would still be indexed by Google. Again, priority of page speed load times falls onto the mobile version of your pages. Slow to load pages could incur a penalty and may prevent your website from getting listed at all.
Your SEO ranking will be affected by how high your DA ( Domain Authourity) is. Measured by the age of your website domain and the authority and usefulness of its content along with websites that link directly back to your pages. High quality, regularly updated content will help you win the day.
Your website should not only be easy to navigate for human beings but the search engines will also appreciate a well constructed logical path and predictable results from button clicks.
Your copy should be written carefully to include keywords, sentences, and phrases about your business and the type of products you offer but most importantly, to show authority on your subject. Simply put, the more you can demonstrate your expertise from the content on your website, the better the chance of your website achieving a higher listing on the major search engine
“Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness are the three most important aspects of a website that Google uses to evaluate its quality.”
E.A.T was first launched in 2018 and has increasingly become the measure of search rankings culminating in the latest algorithm release earlier in May 2020 from Google.
Although not confirmed, SEO experts widely believe that E.A.T may become more important in the race for the top spot than keywords and link juice quality. It remains to be seen if this is true but it is worth bearing in mind if you are considering ordering a new website or about to embark overhauling your existing pages.