How To Make Your Website Google-Friendly in 2019 And Beyond
The battle for search result dominance has always been about balancing two things: satisfying the requirements of the search engine itself and making people like your website.
These are two very different things, and yet they are interlinked because Google now measures certain markers that affect user experience whenever a person goes to your website after clicking on a Google search result.
You may have not realized it, but the following factors now come into play in the measurement of a website’s worthiness to be ranked high for a Google search result, here is a checklist from SEOExplode Inc:
- Website loading speed
There was a time in the nineties that it was normal to wait a couple of minutes for a website to load completely, especially when the website uses fancy scripts like Java and Flash. People sort of expected website to be slow, because that’s just how dial up Internet worked – it was slow. And it lags, too. However, with the advent of better browsers, HTML5, and the death of Flash (or so they say), websites have gotten more and more lightweight – and people’s expectations as to how long a website should load has changed with the progression of new Web technologies and interfaces.
Now people expect websites to load more quickly – in seconds, actually, and if your website fails to load within the average loading time, then people will likely leave (let’s call this the bounce rate). Website with high bounce rates will be ranked lower by Google, definitely. Your website has to load speedily in both desktop computers and mobile devices.
The mobilegeddon so to speak, or the shift to more mobile-friendly websites, began in 2016 and there’s no stopping it – literally – as people are becoming more and more dependent on their mobile devices to get things done.
The fact that mobile phones have word processors now and can connect wirelessly to printers means people don’t really sit down to use bulkier machines if they don’t have to. We’re talking about day to day technological use that can be done through mobile phones. Think about that as you design your website.
How can you make your website speedier and friendlier to mobile phone users? How can mobile devices maximize your website?
- Compatible with multiple devices
The best website on the planet can be opened seamlessly by just about any device that can read HTML – so the question now is how friendly your website to all kinds of devices is?
If one user starts reading an article or how to blog post from your website on his PC and decides to bookmark it using his Firefox account, and continues his reading on his Android device while he’s on a train, what would your website look like when he’s out and about, and away from the larger screen of his PC?
Cross-device compatibility can easily be measured by the dwell time and bounce rate of different devices accessing your device. A higher bounce rate for mobile means your website has poor cross-device compatibility. You should strive to even out the gap between the performance of your website on PCs and other devices that people use.
- Website navigation
A website is much like a book – you want to be able to find what you need using the internal navigation system. In the case of websites, we can’t use a table of contents (not really) but we can use menus and internal linking systems so users can search for content they need and read related content easily.
Being able to show related content is really important especially if you have a new website and you’re currently working on increasing your users’ dwell time on your website.
We don’t just want people to look at your main page, we want them to read your content, share your content, search stuff on your website and really go through the wealth of material you already have.
But then again, if you have not been investing heavily in content, what would your users have? Nothing. That’s why it’s imperative that you begin investing in quality content as quickly as possible to bring your website up to spec with what Google considers relevant and navigable websites.
Also, it is not a good idea to create gateway pages just so you can bait people to looking at products and services. If you are going to promote products and services, the page still has to offer some value to the user. Websites that have pure promotions overtaking the useful content are penalized by Google.
So basically, if you don’t have positive user experience as a priority, Google’s going to rank your website lower – full stop.
- Inbound links from Authority sites
Authority sites are websites that are already ranked high for certain keywords and have age to prove that it has been in a niche for a long time. Essentially what we want is for a couple of authority websites to link bank to your website.
A link bank from an authority is a vote of confidence, and builds trust in the eyes of Google’s RankBrain machine learning system.
Bear in mind however that Google is aware that many people try to game the system by link farming, and trust us, that no longer works. In fact, if you do it gradually, you are going to get better results because Google no longer entertains old SEO methods that try to produce high search rankings in a matter of weeks or months.
So how do you get an authority site to link bank to your website? You need to create better content. You need content that has been well-researched and possibly with references, and the ones who are writing for older and more authoritative websites need to take notice of your blog or website so it’s possible to link bank to them.