What factors rank better in Google?
You have a great website, you have spent a lot of time and effort on it … so that no one can see it?
The visibility of your company is key (if your website is not well positioned, it does not exist). Therefore, you want to appear in the top positions of Google, the most used search engine in our country. Between 60% and 80% of the clicks of the visits to the webs come from the search engines. In addition, few users go beyond the results that appear between the first and the second page.
It is true that nobody really knows how the Google algorithm works, which, in addition, changes periodically. But we do know that some factors decisively influence the positioning of a page.
We are going to work well on SEO
For starters, what is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? It is a set of strategies that try to achieve a good position after a search process. That is, configure the contents of your website, as well as optimize the website itself. Thus, search engines consider them relevant and appear on the first pages of results when someone enters a word related to your product or service.
SEO is so important that it must be taken into account at the same time a new website is developed. And as search engine positioning is not something immutable, programmers take into account everything necessary to improve and optimize the structure and content of the website to obtain the desired positioning results.
Factors that influence SEO positioning
When we search for a concept in Google, it groups the pages of a website and then orders them according to an internal algorithm. To develop the ranking of appearance, it uses two types of factors: external (Off Site) and internal (On Site).
We cannot control the Off Site factors directly, and they have to do with the reliability of a website:
• Likely, the most relevant criterion is user behavior. Depending on the pages and frequency with which you visit them, as well as the location of your IP, the search engine varies the results it shows.
• The User experience (how they navigate and what they consult). This is important because it determines the way in which they reach the results they want, especially influencing the searches they do from their mobile device.
• External links. For Google, the quality of the links has more value than their quantity: links that lead to a website with quality content outweigh a large number of links to a website with little content or little “worked”.
• The presence in social networks: a website with mentions, shared links, etc. in social networks you will get a better position in the search results in search engines.
On the other hand, internal factors (On-Site) have to do with the website and we can manage them so that it costs less for search engines to find our page. The most important are:
• The content: without a doubt, when we offer well-prepared, original, truthful and interesting content on our website, the chances of a better positioning in search engines increase a lot. For this, the articles should have more than 1000-1500 words so that they are better positioned, as well as choose the labels well and place them naturally in the texts. It goes without saying that grammar and spelling are crucial when writing your articles, something that Google also takes into account.
• The HTML code: it must be well structured, contain the relevant tags (h1, h2, h3), the “meta-description” tag, etc. that allow search engines to index the page and display it. In addition to this, the structure of URLs must also be taken care of in such a way as to facilitate crawling for search engines, which will also facilitate navigation for users.
What else can we take into account?
The list of factors that intervene in positioning and that we can control can be extensive, but we are going to keep some of the most useful ones:
1. Use of keywords. Keywords refer to the concept or content that we want to find in the search engine. It is essential that they are in the title so that, when searching for a certain topic that is addressed in your articles/web, they will position you well among the results.
The keywords in the title should be added to those in the page, which should appear throughout the text, with their synonyms and other words that may be related to the topic. It is also very useful if the keyword is part of the domain or subdomain, but in moderation, so that it does not affect the relevance of the root domain.
To know how much we have to repeat the keyword we can divide the total number of times the keyword is repeated by the total number of words in a page or tag; it should be between 1% and 3%.
2. Although it has been questioned whether they really index positively, it is a fact that sources and references give the website more authority than another that does not include them, so in principle they count for positioning (and, in any case, give more credibility to your content).
3. Numbered lists rank well because they help the order and legibility of the information. You can use numbers, letters, “bullet points”…
4. Multimedia content. Videos, presentations, webinars, etc. make it easier for the Internet user to understand the contents (apart from increasing the time they spend connected to our page). In addition, they usually include links to relevant sites, so Google takes them into account.
5. Speaking of multimedia content, many SEO experts consider YouTube videos as a very powerful tool to achieve a good position in the search engine. Apart from having many features that “score”, let’s not forget that Youtube is owned by Google, so the search engine indexes better the pages that place videos on this platform.
6. Duplicate content. Google penalizes those websites that copy content from others. Maybe a few years ago the search engine could not control it, but now it is able to discriminate and prioritize pages with original and exclusive content.
7. Periodically update the contents. A live website is more attractive and interesting and Google rewards it. The contents have to be renewed, taking care of both the quality and the length of the articles or texts. It is also important to review the updates that the URL has been having, seeing the ones we have made and from there positioning in the results. It is also necessary to periodically update the website, either by adding new content or modifying the existing one.
8. Avoid large files. In your multimedia content as well as in other types of files, you should try not to make them too heavy, because they produce a bad browsing experience (due to delays in loading times and the possibility of injecting malware) and Google penalizes them. Pay attention to the size of photos, graphic elements, videos and downloadable attachments. By the way, in your images and photos, never forget to write the Alt tag, title, description and caption.
9. Popularity on social networks. This has to do with all the mentions, retweets, links, and quotes on social networks or the fact that your published material is shared on Google+, Facebook or Twitter, Instagram, etc. Also, keep in mind that brand recognition generates value, since in many cases they are searches made directly by the domain name or through mentions without links.
10. Responsive design of the website. That is to say, that your website adapts and can be seen perfectly on media other than a computer, such as tablets and cell phones. If navigation is facilitated, users stay longer connected to our website. In this sense, the loading speed of the website is also relevant (related to point 3).
11. The age and history of the domain: a website with more history is better positioned, as long as the content is well worked (publish news, new pages, aesthetic changes, new images, links, etc.) to generate traffic to the website. Google even takes into account the evolution of the domain: if it has been penalized, in what type of IPs it has been, etc. On the other hand, having an SSL certificate is not superfluous, as it facilitates the categorization of a positive element for the domain and the servers. Nowadays it is already a standard compared to http.
12. The visibility of the domain. Google’s whois can see all the elements that make up the domain, both of the registrar and of who uses it. It is not advisable to have a private whois because, if so, Google considers that you have something to hide.
13. Link acquisition rate. Another element to monitor is the link acquisition rate. It indicates the number of links that are awarded to a site on a daily basis and gives an idea that an increase in the number means that the site is gaining popularity; on the contrary, if it decreases, it is losing popularity.
14. Outbound links, quality and quantity. It is crucial to incorporate links from your page to other pages, but try to make sure that the latter are recognized domains and not small blogs or pages that hardly anyone visits. But not to just any page: Google detects that the linked pages have to do with your subject matter; if you do not have common interests or similar audiences you will be penalized. As for the number of links, in the end it will depend on the length of the text: for text of about 500 words, 3 or 4 outgoing links are enough, and for longer texts, do it proportionally.
15. Internal links to the same page. To be taken into account first because we give relevance to other pages, insisting on linking to the most important pages of the web (and avoiding broken links that frustrate the user). At this point, we must be careful with affiliate links, whose income comes mainly through Adwords, something that Google penalizes.
16. The location of the server is relevant when it is essential for your company to be positioned in a specific geographic area. As geolocalized searches are the most common in Google, it will help your positioning if the server is located in that country.
17. Evaluation or user interaction. And referring to the previous point, if your products or services favor location and can be linked to platforms such as Booking, Trivago, TripAdvisor, this will help your SEO because having location as the main factor and that much of the information is generated by the users themselves, it will have a great influence on the search results for your website.
18. URL Extension. In recent years the trend is to shorten the length of URLs. Due to the fact that the search engines capture the direct information of your site, the very long URLs can generate difficulties at the time of positioning in the best places.
19. The footer: it must be well designed and structured, with relevant information, links to key pages and contact information. It is important to remember that the footer appears in all the pages of the web, therefore, it is a very relevant element for positioning.
20. Privacy policies. These pages help to generate confidence in the users, and allow them to consult and know the use we can make of their personal data. Google definitely takes them into account, and as they are in the “footer”, we insist, they appear in each and every page of the website.
21. Contact page. Like the previous one, the contact page or form is relevant because it increases credibility and closeness to the user. Google indexes it positively because it contains information of interest to the user, legitimizes the page and gives meaning to the whois.
22. Site architecture. Another factor that adds to the positioning of your web. It is necessary to take care that it is correct, friendly and coherent, since Google values very much the sites that work under limited schemes or in a niche, that is to say, those that speak of a single thematic, the specialized sites, and it does not value so well the very general pages. Thus, it is better to talk about interrelated things, focusing on topics and quality.
23. Density of tags. The density and quantity of “keywords” no longer have the same preponderance as years ago. Although it is true that Google takes into account the density of words to identify what a given page is about, it is important to ensure that the density of tags is not too high to avoid a negative effect.
Shooting at everything that moves?
There are many factors involved in optimizing SEO positioning, but everyone has to choose what best suits their needs, the type of users they are targeting and the structure of their own website.
We can’t shoot at everything that moves, because often we don’t have the resources or time for everything. Don’t forget that it’s a long-distance race; we are not alone and others are also running, so you have to think more in the long term. There is no magic formula, but the combination of several of these factors will undoubtedly help you to improve the SEO positioning of your website on the Internet.