Do you notice that your website’s ranking on Google search results pages (SERP) has declined despite your SEO efforts?
You should aim to create informative and engaging web-pages for your readers. Everything else will naturally follow. Google launched the Helpful Content Update at the end of August 2022. This update aims to reward creators that publish unique, useful, and comprehensive content designed to assist readers.
Top practices to optimize web-pages and make them visible
These tips will help you to follow Google’s best practices and provide high-quality content to your pages. Your site will rank higher on Google if you are able to cater to your target audience.
Google Rankings: How does it work?
Google’s search engine ranks millions of pages in order to find the best match for your search query. This is done in fractions of a second. Google’s search algorithm is complex and constantly scans the web for information.
Factors that Affect Google Ranking
SEO experts have found that Google’s algorithm employs over 200 ranking factors. This was based on research, testing and experience. Below are the most significant ones. They can be categorized into three types of SEO which determine how your site ranks: technical, on-page and off-page.
On Page SEO
On-page SEO is all about the optimization strategies that you use on your website’s pages. Your website’s ranking can be improved by using on-page optimization. These tips will help you to advance your on-page SEO.
1. High Quality Content
High-quality content is the key ranking factor for websites, as we have already mentioned. Your landing pages should provide the most value to your visitors.
Keyword research is essential before you start writing your content. To ensure that your audience finds your page ranking, you need to use keywords and ask the right questions.
2 Keyword Research
Find competitors that rank highly for the same topic or product as your website. These competitors can be used as a starting point for your research.
You may also want to research the keywords that are relevant to your site. A higher search volume can often mean that there are more competitors. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that there is more reach. It’s important to ensure that your content answers a query or meets search demand. Google Keyword Planner is a great tool for starting to research target keywords.
3. Title tags
The title tag acts as a ranking factor for Google’s organic search algorithm. It also informs search engines about the page topic. This tag appears prominently on Google’s search results pages, and it is what users will first see.
It is our recommendation that you lead your title tags using the primary keyword and a few supporting keywords.
4. Meta Descriptions
You can also see the meta description in search results. It appears as a short paragraph just below the title tag. The description, although not listed in Google’s algorithm as a ranking factor, gives users additional information about the page. We recommend adding appealing call-to action text like “Discover more” or “Book now” to attract traffic and increase your click-through rates.
Particularly for key pages, make sure to record any changes that you make in your meta title tag or meta description in Google Analytics (currently only available in Universal Analytics). This will allow you to recall when you changed the tags, and match these dates to any user spikes or traffic in Google Analytics.
If organic traffic is not decreasing or staying the same after you have edited the meta tags and no page changes were made, you should reevaluate keyword research and possibly test new meta tags that contain a different call to action.
To indicate different sections of your content, use the appropriate header tags. First H1 main heading, and a sequential structure of H2 or H3, etc. It is best to use headings. Google prefers clear structures and an easy-to-read layout for content
6. Internal Links
Visitors can easily navigate between pages of your website using internal links. You should place internal links naturally in the main text of the page.
Technically, you can place internal links between any pages on your website. From an SEO perspective however, it is best to place internal links downwards. This means linking from older, higher-ranking pages to lower-ranking ones.
After a page has been indexed by Google, it will periodically re-crawl the page to see if any changes have occurred. It will also typically crawl all pages linked to that page. Google will crawl a page more often if it considers it to be important. Google can index a newer page by linking to an older page.
Off Page SEO
Off-page tasks include optimizing organic search opportunities beyond your website, such as through website directories, Google My Business Lists and backlinks to closely related third-party sites from your industry.
A “backlink” refers to a link that originates from an external website. External links, also known as backlinks, are an important part of Google’s ranking algorithm. They help send organic traffic to your site via other pages that are ranking. Pages that rank highly can spread link equity (also called SEO ‘link juice’). This refers to authority and relevance from pages already ranking to your site.
Google considers linking to your website by third parties an endorsement that your content is trustworthy. Your domain authority (DA) will be determined by the quality and quantity of referring domains linking directly to your site. Domain authority (DA) is a measure of how likely a website will rank in Search Engine Results Page. A higher domain ranking indicates a greater likelihood of being in the top ranks.
To encourage external links to your website, you should work hard to publish unique pages that readers will naturally link to in their content. SEO tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush can help you identify which websites are linking back to your competitor websites. Are they niche blogs or partner websites? You can see how their content was structured. If you don’t have any external backlinks, consider sharing your content via your social media channels or email newsletters. Although this won’t give you SEO authority, it will put your content in front more people who will hopefully continue to share and link to your content.
For more interesting articles client fabsnews
Technical SEO is the process of making sure that your pages are easily indexable. This includes making sure your webpages are easily found by search engines.
Technical SEO is the back-end building blocks for your website. Even if you have great content and interactive pages, search engines won’t be able crawl or index them. No one will be able view them.
1. Broken Pages and Links
A “404 – Not Found” error is one of the most common errors that users face when trying to find a broken page. It is important that “broken” pages on your website are kept to a minimum. Googlebot and other search engine crawlers assign an amount called a crawl budget to your website. This determines how many pages are viewed by the crawler.
Higher crawl budgets are given to older, more authoritative pages with many well-written and linked pages. However, if Googlebots keep running into “page not Found” or similar errors, your crawl budget could be reduced. Google may decide to remove a page that is broken from its index because it provides poor user experience for your audience. You should ensure that any 404 pages are either restored or redirected to the most relevant page using a permanent redirect.
2. Page Speed
Google wants webmasters to offer users a positive browsing experience. Google’s core web vitals algorithm was introduced in May 2021. This is why speed is so important for search ranking. If your pages load too slowly, for example, your bounce rate could increase by 106%1 while your search rankings may drop significantly. To see insights into site performance, go to your Google Search Console property. This tool will give you information about the pages that load slowly and provide links to recommendations for website developers to optimise them.
Canonicals can be described as ‘hints’ for Google using tags in the Section of your HTML code. These indicate that the primary page version you want to index is the one that you have chosen.
You may consider canonicals if you have multiple pages with similar content but all pages must be on your website. This is a common scenario on ecommerce websites where different products are listed, or if multiple sales pages contain parameters after their URL names.
Our recommendation is to mark the URL that is most used or brings in the most traffic. This will help you avoid keyword cannibalisation, which is when your pages are competing with each other in search results. It also helps Google to not flag your pages as duplicate content.
Split the topic into two pages that cover similar topics. You can use canonical tags to identify which page is the “main” one, even if the pages have similar content but target different audiences. All pages should reference the main page as the canonical.
Google indexes and ranks your website’s mobile version to determine its ranking. It’s important to create a mobile-friendly version of your website, given the number of smartphone users worldwide has increased to 6.5 million2. To ensure that your pages are accessible on mobile devices, you can preview them. You can also use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to assess your page and make suggestions.
Get an expert
Experts help you in search engine optimisation for your website and increase your broader digital marketing needs as well as organic traffic, f you need to improve your SEO strategy and start your website ranking higher in NZ visit SEO Auckland. It is a team of experts who can help to improve the search engine optimization for your website. They also assist with other digital marketing needs such as increasing organic traffic and broader digital marketing.