Boasting an incredible 79% share of the global search engine market, Google rankings are understandably regarded as having high importance for businesses worldwide.
Since its birth in September 1998, the web giant’s influence has grown exponentially, with the company now standing as the most valuable in the world. But what exactly does Google look for from your web content in 2017? And how can you ensure that your site is ranking highly for key terms?
Google favours sites that are regularly updated with fresh, unique content. This not only shows a commitment to giving your audience the most relevant information but also helps to get around the issue of rankings slipping as content grows older. Blogs provide a platform from which you can share both timely and evergreen content with your audience on a regular basis.
Keywords are perhaps the most effective way to drive organic traffic to your website. They’re essentially the terms that users type into Google in order to find content. So making sure that you’re targeting – and ranking for – the right ones is crucial. Keywords perform better when they sit higher on the page. However, it’s important to ensure that each one is both relevant and natural to read.
Content that is well organised and easy to read is, of course, vital for improving the UX. It also has the potential to impact upon SEO (search engine optimisation). So, making sure that your web content has a clear structure is the first step to providing Google with pages that are easy to crawl and make sense of. In turn, this enables search engines to categorise and rank your site effectively.
There are two types of links that can benefit your web content – internal and external. Internal links are those which direct the user to other relevant pages on your site. Thus, strengthening your internal link structure and helping Google to understand how your website is organised. External links on the other hand point users to other sites. Linking to high authority sites is a good indicator to Google that your content is of value. However, it’s important to ensure that these links remain relevant and in context.
More than 60% of all Google searches now come from a mobile device, so it’s little wonder that search engines are placing more emphasis on how well-optimised content is for mobile users. Ensuring that headings and meta-descriptions are concise and contain target keywords is one way of achieving this. As is structuring content in a way that’s responsive to devices of all sizes.
User intent is all about getting to know your audience. Google favours content that is of genuine value, so try to tailor content in a way that directly answers their questions. This links in closely with keyword research. It’s all about digging beneath the most common search terms to deliver exactly the information that the user is after.
Above all, creating content that is of the highest possible quality will impact positively on SEO. Building a website that is full of useful, informative content will encourage users to come back more often, perhaps even providing you with valuable backlinks from their own websites, too.