Part 2 of 2
Welcome back! In this second part of getting ranked higher by Google we are going to examine the other 3 factors that can influence where your website stands in the ranking.
They all inform the authoritative nature of your website, along with how trustworthy it is as well making sure that it is relevant.
So far we have look at page title descriptions, the actual text on a page, as well as the relevant SEO keywords being in the page URL. The remaining three factors look at links.
Links according to Google
Rather than being a little slapdash and shoving in links where you feel like it, think about how Google views a link.
Links, in the all-seeing eyes of Google, are votes for your website – in other words, it is popular and relevant.
F-a-b-u-l-o-u-s you may say, and go back to shoving links in but STOP… just for a moment and consider how you are using these links, as well as other considerations, such as…
- Certain links are considered more authoritative than others and will look better in the eyes of Google if the originating link is from a website that Google already ranks quite highly.
*Here at Locally, in our blog posts we use links; however, we rarely use more than 3 in a longer blog post and always check that a. the website we are linking to is relevant and b. it is an authoritative one. We like websites that complement our business, as well as the topic we are blogging about. We always use the links within the main body of the blog article too*
- Google PageRank is the name of the algorithm that sorts the wheat from the chafe in terms of whether links are any good or not. Don’t confuse this with a websites’ Page Rank, Google used to publish Page Ranks but these haven’t been updated for a long while, so now you’ll have to find other ways of working out how authoritative Google thinks a site is. Most SEO’s go on either MOZ’s SEO Explorer Domain Authority or Majestic’s Trust Flow versus Citation, but as neither are Google, these are informed guesses rather than definitive.
In terms of links, don’t overstuff and don’t use ones from less-than-salubrious sources. You have been warned.
And so 2 of the remaining factors that can influence where your page comes in the rankings of Google are all to do with links, with the final one looking at filters.
Number 4: Domain Links
This is about links on other websites that link to your websites; so in other words, someone writing about SEO and Google rankings in the future might find this post and think ‘wow!’, and copy and paste the web page URL in to their website. We would be chuffed as it means that Locally’s website is gaining in authority in the eyes of Google.
Links help your online reputation and so if you can get a link from another relevant, authoritative website then all the better. BUT, do not fall in the trap of buying links as Google takes a very, very dim view of this and rubbish links could actually be harming your page ranking.
In the past the SEO industry was nearly 100% focussed on generating links and much of those were dubious if not downright spammy. Google has pretty much killed of that ‘quick win’ approach. Today any SEO offering you 50,000 backlinks and instant success, a technique that worked a few years ago, is likely to seriously damage your rankling today.
Google had realised that websites that were stuffing themselves full of shoddy links were outstripping websites that were more genuine in their approach to commerce. And so a filter was ‘switched on’, if you like, that started to look for websites that were simply using any old link… so beware the backlinks, the link farms and all those other ‘get rich quick’ types of schemes. It can be very difficult to bounce back from being penalised by Google.
In fact the best way to handle links is actually not to try and earn them, but instead write authoritative content and get is out there by social or any other means. If your content is good, people will link to it.
Number 5: Page specific links
You can form links within your own website too and this can also help in terms of website being seen as relevant, authoritative and trustworthy in the eyes of Google. Your home page may be the landing page that people find, but if you want them to bob along to your blog, put a link on your home page. Keep these links running down the side of your page too and, if you have an active page specifically for a certain time of year, then link this page to other pages in your website.
This is seen as helping the customer to navigate your site; customers like this as it is an easy way to get around and make a purchase. They will buy more… and you can see where this is going!
Number 6: Quality filters
The Google Panda update at the start of 2014 was all about improving the user experience on the search engine, in other words, improving the quality of the search results that user would see. One area that it choose to look at was the user experience of a website; how easy is your website to use?
Two factors of usability were previously not heavily on the SEO radar, but now are becoming increasing important
- Performance. Sites that respond quickly are easier to use, so that is a significant usability signal. Bad code, unoptimised images and slow servers are things that need to be addressed.
- Multi-device friendly. Today websites are visited from phones & tablets as well as desktops. Infact many sites have 50% of their traffic from mobile devices. Google is now looking and analysing how multi device friendly your site is. If your site is not currently responsive, now is a good time to make a small investment to make it so.
What about social media signals?
Social signals as they are known, is when a customer or user likes, shares, tweets, G+’s, pins etc. content or pages from your website.
If you surf the web, you will find a range of conflicting advice and opinion about how much social signals do or do not play in ranking your website, in both Google and other search engines. However, if you look at your competitors, as well as other popular websites, you will see that they have high counts in terms of shares, tweets and G+’s and the like.
You can see them as links in some ways, but those that say social signals should be used with caution point to the fact that some of these likes and shares etc. can be fabricated or bought. And just like spammy links, buying hundreds if not thousands of likes or shares can be to your detriment.
See social signals in the same way as links; invite people to genuinely like and share things on your website.
Put it in to practice!
Armed with the knowledge of the 6 factors that could make a very big difference to your website ranking you know need to do two things:
- Take a look at your competitor sites that are ranking higher than yours – what are they doing, that you are not? What can you emulate and improve on?
- Look at the 6 factors again and then look at your website – is your website up to scratch?