In 2017, 79 percent of all global desktop search traffic came from Google.
Most companies, whether they’re e-commerce or corporate sites, have valuable content that’s useful for users and for their customers. But if that information isn’t making it on the first few pages of Google, it’s likely it’ll go unnoticed.
And if it goes unseen, what’s the point in creating it in the first place? Therefore, you have to make sure you’re doing everything in your power to get your content onto Google’s search page.
If you follow these five steps, your blog content and landing pages will benefit from increased organic search engine rankings. I followed these steps with my website, and in just a few months I doubled my traffic.
These steps are fast and simple — they’re easy to implement and don’t require you to recode your entire website or build it from scratch.
You can’t afford to miss out on these opportunities. Higher rankings on Google will lead to increased traffic, conversions and ultimately, profits that are driven from your website and its design. All it takes is a little bit of dedicated work and elbow grease to get started.
Five Steps To Higher Organic Google Rankings
1. Increase Your Site Speed
The most critical step to increase rankings on Google is to optimize site speed. Google takes site speed very seriously — if your page doesn’t load fast enough, more people will be exiting out of it.
And Google doesn’t let these actions slide.
Luckily, there are a number of helpful tools that can help check your website speed. Sites like GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights can give you a more thorough understanding of how fast or how slow your website is loading.
47 percent of users expect a website to load within two seconds. Along these lines, 40 percent of users will leave a website if it doesn’t load within three seconds.
The faster your site, the better it will rank. And these tools can certainly help get you there.
But why is site speed so important to Google? Because Google wants users to have a good experience. Google wants users to be happy to land on a website, not frustrated that it’s taking longer than a few seconds to load.
And people have no patience. They want instant loading and instant gratification. It’s your job to give that to them.
PageSpeed Insights by Google analyzes your site speed and loading times. It then offers suggestions for how to improve, and which areas need the most improvement. This tool analyzes the time it takes for your page to load above the fold, as well as how fast the entire page loads and uses these numbers to provide you with a score. This tool will help you take your score from average to great.
GTMetrix gives you complete insights into how fast your site loads and what bottlenecks are in place that are causing problems. This tool also analyzes the performance of your site and specific functions. It’s a great tool for getting a well-rounded look at your site and its overall performance.
But outside of these tools, there are some things you can check on your own.
It’s important to take a second to look at your own website and all of its moving parts. Images, for instance, might slow down your loading, so it’s important you take certain measures to fix it before it hurts you.
If you have a lot of images use a CDN network — we use CDN network at DesignRush to ensure that our visually-driven website doesn’t get slowed down.
If you can quick your page speed and loading times, you’ll be one step closer to ranking higher on Google organically.
2. Prioritize Content Quality, Not Content Quantity
Don’t serve up fluff. Period.
It’s better to have less content on your website that has a higher value than a lot of content that doesn’t have much — if any— value.
I overcame this obstacle with my website — DesignRush. At first, my team and I were aiming to do a lot of content. We wanted to push dozens of articles a week on a variety of different topics. The quality of writing was correct, but the content and the quantity just weren’t doing us any favors.
What we found was that by producing less, but more insightful content we were seeing more results, more traffic and more engagement.
So, we made that switch. We went from pumping out content with low word counts and little research, to less content that was more in-depth, well researched and rich.
Even Google Search Quality Senior Analyst Andrey Lipattsev said that content is a major determining factor for Google. So, Google really does care about the content you’re producing. They only want to promote the content that is the most valuable and the most interesting. Does your content qualify?
Help your customers help you. Seek them out and find the content that they want to see. This will ensure that they will seek you out as industry leaders.
If you need some inspiration, use articles like the ones we produce in our insights section. These are more than 3000 words, and they include tons of statistics and research. This kind of content is more engaging for users, and Google can see and evaluate its value much more clearly.
3. Properly Optimize Headers, Sub-headers And Your Overall Content
You’ve probably heard a lot about SEO — you maybe even feel like you’re constantly being hit over the head with this concept so much that if ceases to make any sense anymore. And considering 61 percent of marketers name improving organic SEO search and reach as their number one priority, you’ve likely read everything you can about SEO.
And I’m here to tell you that while SEO is important, and you should invest heavily in optimizing your content for keywords, there are things you can do on your own to improve your rankings without the help of a dedicated agency.
There are certain areas of your content and web pages where SEO consideration matters most. And these are in your headers, sub-headers and subtitles. Your H1s, H2s and subtitles are some of the biggest indicators Google takes into consideration when it comes SEO keywords.
It’s important that in these areas you front load the specific keywords you want to rank for. They should be right at the beginning of each section to ensure that Google is picking up this content and that it’s picking up this content throughout.
That’s also while it’s important that you include multiple H2s throughout your website and the content contained therein.
Just take a look at articles like these from our “Trends” section. In our site, we’ve made it a point to front-load keywords and include H2s throughout that include specific, SEO-driven keywords. This has helped us increase web traffic and rank higher on Google. And in these two examples, you can see a variety of H2s that keep the SEO keywords integrated throughout the piece.
You can switch up how you word your keyword and play with similar keywords — but you must include them throughout the piece to ensure Google is aware of your content and can rank it accordingly.
The best part about this is that it’s easy and free to do! There’s nothing stopping you from flooding your content with keyword-heavy H2s going forward.
You want your titles, headers and sub-headers to have value. SEO keywords give your content that value which Google uses to rank your content on its search page.
4. Make Sure Text Size Is Readable
Text size matters.
I can’t tell you how many sites there are out there that have text that’s too small or too dramatic to read. Whether on desktop or mobile — if your text isn’t easily readable, your audience will get aggravated — like me.
You’re producing content with a purpose. You want people to read it. So it’s important that your content not only acts the part, but it looks the part too.
If you want users to read the content on your website, don’t make it small. If there’s unnecessary content on your website that’s too small to read, just get rid of it. It’s as simple as that.
Small text sizes lead to higher bounce rates.
If users can’t read the blog of your website copy, they’ll just leave. They won’t search more or check other landing pages. They’ll just shut off and click out — what’s keeping them there otherwise?
You could create a visually stunning website design with beautiful motion graphics and gorgeous photography, but if the content alongside it doesn’t offer anything to your audience, there’s nothing keeping them interested.
Making sure you’re utilizing clear, readable text will increase the value of your website. It will lead to more traffic, fewer bounce rates and longer time spent on your site.
All of these factor into Google’s ranking, and can get you from page 10 to page one in no time flat.
5. Ensure Your Web Design Is Responsive
I said at the beginning of this piece that these five steps will get you higher organic rankings on Google quickly and easily. And for the most part, that is true. But this is the one exception to the fast and simple rule.
Because if your website isn’t responsive, that’s going to take some time for developers to fix.
But I repeat this over and over again — you must ensure that your site is responsive.
According to Google, this is what it means for your website to be responsive:
In English? A responsive website design is a website that can be viewed similarly and effectively across all devices — whether it’s being viewed on a desktop, a laptop, a smartphone or a table.
Responsive website designs are vital in a world where people are turning to their mobile devices more and more to check out websites, make purchases and get the information they need to complete a transaction.
If your website isn’t responsive, you’re going to miss out on a massive amount of possible leads and customers. People don’t always have access to a desktop or laptop device, but they will almost always have their cell phone.
A non-responsive website design just doesn’t look good. The content isn’t displayed correctly, images don’t show up and it likely doesn’t load as quickly as it needs to.
When users see this, they are immediately turned off. It makes your website look pathetic and silly. And it makes you as a brand look unprofessional and untrustworthy. And you’d be surprised to know that 17 percent of businesses that have websites don’t have mobile-friendly sites.
Google hates these sites.
In 2017, mobile traffic made up 52.64 percent of global online traffic. This further proves how much people are using their cell phones over their desktop devices. Furthermore, that mobile traffic is expected to rise to 79 percent by the end of 2018.
That means that your website needs to perform exceptionally on mobile devices, or else you’ll be left in the dust.
At DesignRush, we use a responsive website design because we understand the power of mobile and mobile visitors. This has helped us deliver our content to more people on more devices, offering a seamless and exciting user experience across mediums and platforms.
Ranking higher organically on Google doesn’t have to cost you thousands, and it doesn’t have to take you years. There are plenty of simple, quick and easy tasks that you can do to increase your rankings and improve your website.
Making sure your site speed is up to par, your content is rich and valuable, and your headers and sub-headers are optimized are a few quick and easy ways to make your content shine. Making sure images are high-quality and load well, as well as making sure your text is readable and effective are also important factors for Google rankings.
And the biggest and most timely step of all is making sure your website design is responsive. But this one is vital because we are entering an era of mobile-first everything. And if you don’t have a fluid and user-friendly mobile presence, you won’t ever see yourself on Google’s number one search page.
Follow these steps to rank higher on Google and create a more fluid and seamless user experience.