Search engine ranking on Google is one of the most important factors for any business owner who doesn’t want to lose out to the competition. There are a wide range of factors that affect how your website is ranked. Google is constantly changing it’s search algorithm and as such it’s more important than ever for business owners to understand the factors that affect ranking.
Before google, personal recommendations were the key way that people formed their opinions on businesses, now Google has overtaken and all but replaced this. Ranking highly gives your business a clearer identity and a high end feel due to increased credibility.
A recent study conducted by Netmark.com shows the most correlated factors and the following 10 were highlighted as the most important:
1. Exact match domain
2. Keyword Anchor text links from domains to page
3. Keyword Anchor text links to page
4. Page authority rf
5. Page Google +1s
6. Linking domains to page
7. Linking subdomains to page
8. “No Text” Anchor text links from domains to page
9. External links to page
10. “No Text” Anchor text links to page
Don’t worry if the above looks like daunting tech talk! The below paragraphs attempt to explain these factors in a straightforward, easy to understand way.
The most important thing to take away from the study is that optimization work done off the page is far more important than optimization performed on the page. In other words, how other websites are “talking” about you have a much bigger impact on rankings than what content or structure appears on your website, although of course this is also important.
So what can you do to improve your website Google ranking?
Firstly, having a website domain name that matches the search query is the most important ranking factor, so it’s important to think about what people are likely to search for when looking for your product or service and to use a domain name that matches.
Backlinks (and more backlinks)
One of the biggest things that Google looks at are external backlinks (other websites that link to your website). Backlinks are vital in determining your page ranking so it is important to be active in the online community through your blog, to link to other relevant websites and get them to link to you. In addition, the links within your domain and subdomain are crucial: your page needs to be well linked together, your links need to be used to highlight relevant words and phrases and effectively move readers around your site.
An anchor text is a clickable word or phrase which links to a website. For example, the link; How To Improve Your Google Ranking is the anchor text which points to “www.websitegrowth.com”. Anchor texts are important because they influence how Google categorizes the content of the destination page. So if many sites think that a particular page is relevant for a certain set of terms, it will rank better.
Social Media (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc.)
Social media factors have been increasing in importance for some time and this study underlines the trend, with Google +1s (similar to Facebook “likes”) having the largest degree of influence in how a page ranks. Next in importance are other social media elements such as social bookmarks (Delicious), Facebook shares, comments and likes. Therefore, an integrated approach to social media is a must.
I want to improve my ranking! So what next?
There are many elements involved in improving your ranking in search engines, generally referred to as SEO, and hopefully these tips have given you some useful pointers to get you going. Website Growth specializes in all aspects of web design, so if you are looking to expand your business online and want to fast-track your SEO, we can provide all the services needed to take your website to the next level.