Everybody wants to be found by search engines, but many of us are not clear on how it all actually works. How does Google choose which websites to show first? Why is my competitor’s website coming before mine even though we sell the same products? It all has to do with how your website is ranked. Let’s delve deeper into SEO and your website rankings.
How Does Google Rank Websites?
Google and other search engines use web crawlers or robots to scan and index pages on the internet. Google uses the information they find to rate each page based upon how much authority the page has and its usefulness to the end user. Next Google will use an algorithm to decide upon which order they will show each page on a search results page.
So in other words, websites and their pages that rank higher in search engine results, mean that Google believes it is the most relevant and authoritative results for that specific search term.
How Do I Get My Website Ranking Higher?
SEO or search engine optimisation is the key to getting your website ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO tasks you can do to improve your website and page rankings include:
- Have quality content which is updated regularly - the written content your website has will be used by Google to decide your rankings. As such, it needs to be well written, relevant, informative and use correct punctuation. It is important that you add new content to your site regularly, as Google does like fresh content and will come back to check it and reindex your website then.
- Complete your meta tags - Meta tags are small snippets of text which are mostly not visible to people visiting your website. They are however, text which search engines use to help identify what a specific page is about. Each page of your website should have it's own unique meta tags, and in our CMS your meta tags options consist of Button Text, Page Heading, Meta Title, Description, Keywords and Filename. Take a read of our article Optimising Your Meta Tags for further information.
- Research and use suitable keywords - keywords are the words and phrases people use to find information on Google. These keywords are often different to what you think people are using to find your content, making keyword research an invaluable tool to use. Our article What is Keyword Research covers more detail, but in short, you will need to use one or more keyword tools to get ideas and check the keyword usage, number of competitors and how difficult it will be to rank with. Then you will need to use these keywords throughout your website in paragraphs, headings, filenames and meta tags.
- Use links within and to your website - links are used by search engines to discover new content and identify content that other people feel is relevant and of high quality. You should be linking between pages on your website, such as having a link to a product from a blog page, as well as having quality links from other websites to yours.
- Use headings appropriately - there are two key heading types you should be using on every page - Heading 1 or H1 (which should be the first heading or page title on a page and is the most important one on a page) and Heading 2 or H2 (which is the 2nd and so on most important heading on a page). Our article Using Heading Tags to Improve SEO contains further details on using headings.
- Name your pages – Give each web page a name which accurately describe what it is about. For example, a filename www.mywebsite.com/blue-shirt is better than www.website.com/jsdfjdsf983wq
- Use search friendly graphics – Your images need to be given attributes such as your keywords, as Google cannot ‘read’ pictures. For example, a filename blue-shirt.jpg is better than 79hgfs9.jpg
SEO is not a do and forget task. It requires ongoing effort to obtain and keep good search rankings. For further support on improving the quality of your SEO, we recommend reading our SEO resource articles or contacting one of the SEO professionals familiar with our platform.