There’s a mysterious number of factors that culminate in the way in which Google — and other search engines — rank your website. The almighty algorithm is famous for its secrecy. But is it really so secret? We’ve been able to cobble together some pretty set in stone (for now) factors that weigh heavily in SEO strategy. This comes from “leaked” tips from executives and people in the know, years upon years of trial and error, and the open communication that makes the digital industry unique in its sense of community and pooling of knowledge.
Here are the top six ranking factors that you absolutely must consider in your SEO website design.
- Speed matters
You’ll notice that adding video to your site has found its way onto every 2018 tips article. This isn’t rocket science. Google owns YouTube and will inherently favor video presence on websites. It’s also super engaging and really share-able. However, having a huge video file on your homepage might slow the time it takes to load your page and every second counts. It counts a lot. Site speed is a major ranking factor. This is in part because studies show that our attention span is at an all-time low. People don’t have much patience; in fact, they have about two seconds worth of patience. If a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load, 53% of visits are abandoned.
- Be mobile friendly
Most people are viewing your site on their mobile devices and search engine ranking algorithms know that. For that reason, make sure that your mobile site is dynamite and up to speed. Literally and figuratively. You might build the mobile site first to ensure that your content looks and performs exactly as you’d like it to before you move onto the desktop version. The double whammy of this factor is that your mobile customers are exactly that — mobile — meaning they’re on their way to you, versus the internet shopper who is surfing a multitude of options before making their choice.
- Link building
There are many factors that arrive without warning and some things that seemed set in stone have fallen by the wayside. That’s not the case with link building. Make sure that your website links and is linkable. Seek out others who you’d like to be peers with and link to their content. Make your content shareable and linkable so that you become a resource for them, too. This gives you visibility and is a primary way to establish integrity and status within your industry and in the eyes of the web crawlers who evaluate your site and produce the rankings.
- Anchor text
Speaking of linking, pay particular attention to the anchor text of your website. It’s another mainstay of Google’s SEO starter guide and that’s enough of a clue as to its importance to be mentioned in this list. Anchor text is the visible text that hyperlinks display when linking to another page or a document on the internet. Those ingenious web crawlers use this text to interpret how people use your page and what your page is all about. Anchor text gives context and a basic framework. Make your anchor text useful, descriptive and relevant.
- Location, location, geolocation
Remember how we talked about users using mobile primarily? We meant that. And the mobile part is even more important when we think about how users function with their mobile devices. They are often literally en route looking for services. Make sure that your site knows where you’re situated and that it comes up in local searches. “Near me” searches have risen over 500% in the past two years, and it’s up to you to make the most of that.
We’re going to totally flip the script here, but we can’t give ranking factors without attending to keywords. And this tip is actually twofold: it’s to utilize keywords but to do so in a way that finds the right balance. If you’re only looking at SEO, you’re missing the bigger picture, which is usefulness. So, pepper your website with keywords, but don’t stuff it so full to the brim that your customers are wading through the muck in order to find the usefulness of your site. Toe the line, in other words, and design with the user in mind just as much as you design with an eye toward SEO.
Or, let us take the reins! Here at AuDSEO, we’re constantly keeping every aspect of SEO in mind so that you don’t have to. Let us take care of all your SEO marketing needs while you attend to the important work of providing the best hearing health care.