Firstly, you may be asking why the title of this blog only includes Google – what about other search engines? The answer to your question is because Google is by far the most used search engine in the world. According to a study by TheEword in April 2015, Google has 88.33% of the UK’s search engine market share. Its closest rival is Bing who has only 6.7% and Yahoo with 3.54%. Google is therefore clearly the biggest shark in the search engine market.
How highly Google ranks your website on its result pages is crucial to your website’s traffic. A study has shown that of over 8 million clicks on results pages, 94% of them clicked on a first page site. It is important to therefore be ranked as highly as possible on Google’s result pages – if you are on the second page, it is highly unlikely your site will be clicked on. However, it is not as easy as simply paying to be ranked highly. Google wants to please the users, and the best way to do this is to show them results that are as relevant as possible to the user’s search. They will not just accept the highest bid. Their search engine instead uses algorithms that analyse hundreds of factors to determine how relevant each site is to the search.
Google does not publish what these factors are but they are widely accepted within the sector. Firstly, making sure your website is designed well is crucial. It should be easy to navigate for your visitors. Also, it is helpful to have a sitemap as this as this improves the results of crawling. Content is also crucial. It must contain keywords that relate to your business, its location, its offerings and its customers. Also, it must be clear and easy to understand. Studies have also suggested that it should be fairly long in length – the average text length of the top 30 pages has increased by 25% from 2014 to 2015, suggesting Google is valuing longer content more now – so long as it is clear. Make sure you don’t just copy content from successful sites though – search engines rarely display two sites with duplicate content to the searcher and instead will pick the site that has the most hits and so yours is likely to not be chosen. Blogs are also an important factor in determining your site’s ranking as Google’s Freshness Update ranks sites more highly that are regularly uploading new content.
Google will also rank your page on your inbound links. Otherwise known as a backlink, it is an incoming link from one website to another which tells Google that another site thinks your site’s content is valuable. However, these links must be of good quality too – in other words, the site that links must be relevant to your business and reputable otherwise Google will discount them. Finally, but not least, social media activity may an element that Google is using to decide your site’s ranking. Create a business account on the social media sites that will benefit your business such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest.
If you are able to work upon all these elements, you are sure to see your site’s rankings on Google’s results pages begin to rise – and with this, the traffic to your site will also significantly increase. Once you have them on your site, it’s now up to you to do everything you can to gain their interest and custom.