Search engine optimization (SEO) is a continuously moving target. As more websites get added to the internet each day, it is important to continually optimize your website to earn and maintain your rank (the spot your website shows up in the search results).
The goal is to be in the 1st spot, but anywhere in the top 10 spots is good since you are on the first page of the search results. This is important because it is known that 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines!
In order to give your website the best opportunity to rank well in the search engines, make sure you have optimized these six elements on your website:
- Mobile Friendliness
- Load Time
- Stability of Content
- Safe-Browsing (HTTPS)
- No Intrusive Interstitials
6 Search Signals for Page Experience
As a business owner, you likely will not know what all of the elements listed above mean. Let me explain and share a few best practices we have at KWSM: a digital marketing agency.
1. Mobile Friendliness
Mobile is changing the world. As more people are using their mobile devices to browse online, it is crucial that your website is easy to use on any mobile device. Mobile-friendly features are things like legible font sizes, big buttons, and easy navigation to move around the site. Since Google’s main objective is to give it’s users a positive experience online, they are going to prefer websites that offer a good mobile experience for their users.
2. Load Time
The load time of your website is going to directly impact the user’s experience on your site. Generally, people will wait about 3 seconds for your site to load. Any more than that, and you may lose the visitor. A study from Akamai showed that every 1-second delay decreases customer satisfaction by 16%. This is signaled to Google by people leaving your website before it is finished loading or leaving after only browsing for a few seconds. If this keeps happening, your ability to rank in the search results will drastically decrease. Even if you have amazing content, it is crucial that it shows up lightning fast.
Another important factor in your website’s ability to rank is how your website visitors are interacting with your content. Beyond scrolling and clicking, are users taking the time to interact with your website to show they are highly engaged? Interactions can be tracked in various ways. For example, if you have a video on your website you can track whether people are actually viewing it and staying till the end. If you have a Live Chat function, are people actually messaging you through it? If you offer numerous methods for users to communicate and interact with your website, you are on the right track.
4. Stability of Content
At KWSM: a digital marketing agency, we generally blog one to two times per week for our clients. We publish this content on the same day at the same time, no matter what. This consistency is going to have a positive impact on your reputation with Google. It shows that you care about improving your website for your customers to better address their questions and inquiries. As a result, the search engines will reward you with more exposure in the search results.
5. Safe-Browsing (HTTPS)
People are becoming more conscious of the dangers of giving their information out online. In order to protect the safety of your customer’s information, it is important to have basic safety precautions in place. The most important one for Google is that your website has an SSL certificate. This helps prevent intruders from tampering with the personal information people share with your website (things like name, email, phone number, credit card etc). If you do not have this installed, Google will warn it’s users that your site is not safe and push you down in the search results.
6. No Intrusive Interstitials
In recent years, websites have begun adding intrusive interstitials visible only to users. These are pieces of content that visually obstruct the original content on the page in the form of a pop-up. This can frustrate users because it is difficult to access the content they were expecting when they clicked on the search result to visit your site. To avoid getting penalized by Google, we recommend delaying the pop-up so that it only appears a few seconds after the session starts or waiting for them to scroll down past the fold before it shows up. It is also important that users can easily dismiss the popup (don’t forget about mobile!) if they are not interested.
Now that you know the most important factors to help your website rank in the search results today, determine where your website stands currently. Contact us to set up a 30-minute website audit to find out what changes your website needs to improve its rank.
81% of people perform online research before making a large purchase.
Is your website showing up when people are searching for your product or service? Our team can help you get found when it matters most.
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