Of all questions I am asked over and over, the one I am asked most often is this – “Why is my website ranked so low on Google?” A better question – and the one they are really asking – is “How does Google determine it’s website rankings?”
First off – let’s differentiate between organic and paid search listings. Paid search – or the ads you see on Google – are businesses which have paid Google to be displayed when certain keywords/phrases are searched. If you are interested in learning more about paid search, look at the article about “Google Ad Words”. Organic search – or “free” search, are the websites which are naturally ranking in the Google search engine.
So, why are websites ranked the way they are? While the exact algorithms used by Google are not public, it is knows that search engine rankings are determined by a number of factors, including:
The quality content of your website – Google “rewards” sites which contain relevant, original content with higher rankings, so consider the content to be key
The number of quality backlinks – Backlinks are the websites which are linking TO your website, and the better the website linking to you, the more that link will matter to your search rankings.
Your website search optimization – The presence of header tags, keywords used in text and links, a site index, mobile optimization and proper speed will all factor into Google’s impression of your site while crawling the web.
The amount of social sharing of your content – When your content is linked – and subsequently shared – throughout social media sites, it will positively affect your Google rankings tremendously
Utilizing proper keywords for your target audience – You may think that you know what words and phrases searchers are most often using to find your website, but a proper keyword analysis – and subsequent implementation into your website and linking strategy – will have a major impact on the amount of search traffic your site receives.
Your online marketing strategy begins – and often ends – with your search engine rankings, so be sure to do what you can to improve in this area, and not leave it up to chance. Make time today to consider how your rank is affecting your business, and how steps taken beginning today could reap online rewards in the future.