As one of the leading search engines in the world, Google has a lot of influence in which businesses become more successful by exposing them to potential customers. Statistics show that in 2019 an average of 3.5 billion searches were conducted daily on Google, with users searching for information and businesses that can help make their lives easier.
Each search query that is put into the site can have thousands of pages of different results come up, but most of these results will be ignored.
The websites that come up on the first and second pages of Google search results are more likely to see more traffic from potential consumers and eventual sales. Websites that rank after those can get traffic from other sources like word of mouth or advertisements, but they aren’t likely to get organic search traffic.
Why is Google Rankings Important to Your Business?
Simply having a website that showcases your business offerings is not enough to make a business successful or bring customers in. You also need the traffic to your site in the form of people who are interested in what you offer and who want to buy things from you. While it may take time and effort to increase your ranking in the search results, there are things you can do to help increase your search engine rankings and move your website up to the first page of Google.
The value of being ranked highly in Google search results can’t be overstated. The average person does not venture past the first page of Google results to find what they need, instead choosing from the options that come up on the top of the first page. This is especially true if the person is searching on a mobile device.
For example, imagine a person who is looking for something to eat in a neighborhood he isn’t familiar with. After pulling out a mobile phone, he searches for a place to get a quick meal near his current location. Chances are he will pick one of the first places that come up with good ratings instead of wasting time looking through pages beyond 1st page of search results. In other words, chances will be very less for someone go beyond page one of search results and look for listings on, page 2, page 3 etc..
If you operate a business that depends on customers walking in and spending money in a physical location, like a restaurant, nail salon, retail store or bar, improving your search engine rankings can help you see a spike in foot traffic without any advertising costs. In fact, some people trust the sites that come up organically in the Google search results more than the ads they see on Google or other platforms because ads can contain misleading marketing language.
How Do Google Rankings Work?
Google seeks to give every user that uses the site the best possible results. This means presenting websites that answer the query put into the search engine. For informational queries, the top results might come from sites like Wikipedia, CNN or high authority news sites. For locally based queries, Google will prioritize the results available to come up with what they deem to be the best or most accurate ones.
To determine the best results for every search query, Google considers multiple ranking factors. One of the primary factors is the use of keywords in the website that match keywords in the query. For example, if you own a pizza restaurant, some of the keywords your website could feature might include pizza delivery, pizza restaurant, lunch menu, and dinner menu. This gives your site a higher chance of coming up in the search results when a consumer in your area searches for those terms.
Another key factor is the intent of the person searching, which Google considers carefully when considering results. Does the person searching want to find a restaurant to have pizza delivered or are they looking for a recipe so they can make pizza at home? The words inputted into the search engine along with the main keyword help Google determine what the person’s intent is and the result they want.
As search becomes more personalized, another consideration is the individual person’s location and past search history. Google will typically offer consumers results from their local area first. If a person visits the same site multiple times, that site will begin to come up higher in the search results every time the person performs a search for a related term.
For example, if Google knows you ordered from a particular pizza restaurant in the past, that restaurant is likely to come up near the top of search results again.
What Factors Influence Google Rankings?
There are many factors that go into Google rankings and not all of them are known to the public. Digital marketing experts who have studied Google’s ranking algorithm have concluded that there are more than 200 factors in total, a number Google has confirmed.
Some of the key factors that are known include;
- The amount of inbound links coming from other reputable websites to your site. These links can be gained through guest blog posting, listing a business on a directory site, writing articles for top publications or paying to advertise on sites. Links from authoritative sites help confer a level of authority to your site in Google’s eyes.
- The age of the website. Older websites that have consistently been online having an authority level that newer sites do not.
- The organization of the site and the ease of which new users can navigate the site to find the information they need.
- How often new content is published, or the site is updated. Keeping a blog that you write posts regularly or putting up new pictures of products are two easy ways to keep the site active in Google’s eyes.
- Use of relevant keywords in key places on the website. In addition to seeing if the right keywords are present, Google will also assess the quality of the site’s content. If the content is duplicated in several places on the site or across the web, it won’t rank as highly as fresh, original content that is unique to each page.
How Can You Improve Your Ranking?
Once you understand the complexity of the calculations behind Google search rankings, there are many ways to improve your website’s ranking. If you already have a website set up, the best place to start might be with an audit of the site to see how well it is set up and whether it includes all the components needed for success.
With a full picture of what is missing or can be improved upon, you can begin improving the site piece by piece or do a complete overhaul where you fix any outstanding technical issues.
In addition to fixing any outstanding issues, you will need to continue keeping the site fresh by producing new content, establishing an active social media presence and continuing to get links to your site. Having a plan to keep the site fresh will help your site stay relevant in Google’s eyes and help you maintain any increase in rankings over time.
Setting out to work on your website’s ranking is likely to go better if you have a complete plan that addresses any issues with the current site. Working with an experienced team of professionals that can help you achieve these goals you can end up with a better website and happier customers as well as better results on Google.