Everyone wants to know the answers to the magic question, “how do you rank your website in 2017?”. Well as a company that has been working alongside Google for many years and spent many times in Google HQ London we can tell you that even we cannot give you a definitive answer and to be honest there is a reason why Google keeps digital marketing companies on their toes.
In the past before we had Hummingbird, Panda, Penguin Google would rely on the authority of links coming from other sites linking to your sites to rank the site. This made it an easy target for link farms and link wheels and for companies to create link spinning software to rank sites and unfortunately this made Google less relevant and as a result Google had to change tac in order to dominate other search engines in the marketplace. The main reason why Google is the main choice for search engines is because of it’s emphasis on relevance and giving the user what it is looking for with the minimal amount of clicks. So, with the buzzword relevancy in mind, we can take you through some ranking factors for 2017 that we know will definitely help your site rank.
1 – Domain Age
If you own a domain that Google has indexed for many years, Google will place authority on your domain which means Google will know if you are a legitimate honest business. A newly bought domain name that has recently been indexed will struggle against a domain name that has been indexed with Google for over a year. So, if your domain name and site has been indexed for many years, then with the right onsite optimisation you can probably outrank your competition.
2 – Relevant Content
This is so important, Google doesn’t want thin content stuffed with keywords, it wants content that thoroughly explains the product or service and this would usually be 2000+ words for any article. Keep your content focused on the keyword(s) that the article is pertaining to. One thing you do not want to do is keyword stuffing, this is something Google does not like and will probably end up hurting your rankings.
Keep the content unique too, do not duplicate content on your website in your meta descriptions and on page and especially do not copy another website’s content. Google can detect this and will penalise your site. Make sure your content is unique, well thought out and your site will do well in the SERPS.
3 – Mobile Website
We have talked about mobile websites in another article, but Google has now completed a recent first mobile index so we now know Google is placing more emphasis on mobile than desktop as we come in to the Summer of 2017 where the percentage of mobile users exceed 65% and rising. Make sure your images, font and site are either responsive of have a mobile website to make navigation easy on mobile and tablet.
4 – Social Media
Be transparent and integrate your social media to your website, this is a massive ranking factor in 2017 and Google knows that a business that is social is a business with nothing to hide. Talk to your customers and Google can view the social signals in it’s algorithm and will place authority on your domain if you are being social. Google plus, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, Houzz (for construction) are all very very important now, gone are the days where you can just Facebook yourself, you need an array of social media pages to draw relevant traffic back to your site. Get social!
5 – Authority links to your site
Still a big ranking factor, Google wants to see links coming from high authority websites to your site. Also, the quality of the link is very important too, Google would prefer one link from a site like Forbes or the BBC than hundreds of links from a site with no page authority. This is where smart comes in, networking with partner businesses to create a partner page with links from their partner page to yours shows Google that you are a trusted business with connections online. If for example, you are a kitchen company and have worked with a well known national supplier like Howdens, then you could ask them for a link from their site your site which would show Google you have authority in your business as well as online. Don’t be afraid to reach out to relevant and partner businesses.
6 – Lastly – Reviews, Reviews, Reviews!
When someone comes to your business on the back of a mouth to mouth referral it’s because that customer has had an amazing service with your business and is happy to tell other people about it. This is no difference in the online community, so make sure that every job and customer is also a marketing opportunity. Get your customers to review you on Google, Google uses these reviews in the ranking process and can work for locational SEO as well as national SEO. Also, sites like Yell, Facebook, Houzz and Trustpilot and many others will be indexed by Google. Try it for yourself, click on this link to see the live reviews and you can see Google reviews on the right and our Facebook reviews in the main search results.
Ok, to summarise with the points above you will succeed online if you are a small business, there are other ranking factors, but you don’t need to know them all and after all we are here to manage your digital marketing for you if you are struggling to manage and with our monthly plans and free websites, you have no risk whatsoever!