The internet is a crowded place, and the congestion is growing by the day. As of January 2020, there were approximately 1.3 billion websites. While only about 15% of these websites are actively being used, more than a half-million new websites are created daily.
Does your business derive a chunk of its leads and sales through your website? Do you run a blog? Regardless of the type of website that you run, one thing is certain. You need targeted traffic to visit your site daily.
While you can pay a king’s ransom for traffic, boosting organic traffic is obviously a top priority. Search engine optimization should clearly be a part of your online marketing efforts, but did you know that Google analyzes more than 200 factors to determine a website’s ranking? More than that, it regularly adjusts its algorithms.
Manipulating the system in your favor is essentially a waste of time, but you can fine-tune your website to optimize results. How can you do this? Focus on the four leading factors that most heavily influence search engine results.
1. Optimized Content
Google will not reward websites that stuff text with keywords. The website’s content must be optimized naturally, such as by strategically placing selected keywords in context throughout the content. Truly optimized content also is useful to the user. It has carefully crafted headers and title tags. The images, videos and other media embedded in the website should also be optimized and relevant. For example, the images should have appropriate alt text and a keyword-rich description.
2. A Mobile-Friendly Design
Because of the prevalence of mobile devices, Google now prioritizes the mobile-friendliness of the a website’s design. Essentially, if your website is not formatted to deliver a great user experience on a mobile device, the website likely will not rank well regardless of the other efforts that are taken. Do you want to know how mobile-friendly your website is? Use Google’s free tool to determine if your website needs improvement in this area.
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3. Fast Page Load Speed
Users generally grow frustrated if a webpage takes too long to load. When this happens, they likely will click off of the page and search for the next website that may meet their needs. Google strives to deliver a great user experience, so it penalizes websites with a slow page load speed. The best way to determine who your website’s load speed rates with Google’s expectations is to use the search engine’s page load speed tool.
Google relies heavily on links to determine relevance and authority. When you create text, you can incorporate links to related, reputable websites. At the same time, you should develop a link building strategy to encourage other websites to link to yours. This may be done organically by writing great content that others will link to. You can also reach out request an exchange of links.
Keep in mind that these are only four of more than 200 factors that are relevant in Google’s search engine algorithms. Because of how critical these factors are, it makes sense to focus your SEO marketing efforts on improving in these areas first.
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