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Getting your business website to rank high in Google search results is like finding the holy grail. It’s not easy, and it takes a lot of work. But when you finally reach your goal, the rewards you reap are well worth the wait.
Why Is Google Ranking Important?
You may be wondering, “Why is it important that my website show up among the first Google results? What’s the big deal?”
The big deal is that you can use your rank to rack up your online traffic. If you do it right, you will skyrocket the number of visitors to your website by astronomical proportions, thus increasing your chances of converting visitors into new customers.
The question you should be asking is, “How does my Google ranking bring in more traffic?” Below is a handy list of the top 3 ways.
1. By Showing Up On The First Page Of Google Search Results
Did you know that internet users are more likely to click on a link on the very first page of their search results? In fact, according to a report by Zero Limit Web in early 2021, the first 5 organic results in a Google search receive 67.60% of all clicks.
Those are some crazy numbers! That means that over half of all the clicks that Google tracks are happening on those top results. If you can grow your website content so it rises to those high ranks, you’ll find yourself netting more visitors simply by being at the top.
2. By Your Website’s Relevancy To Search Terms
When people key in search terms that are related to your website, and your content shows up in the top results, they expect your site to have what they’re looking for. In other words, they expect your website to be relevant to their search keywords and key phrases.
3. By Improving Your Credibility
When your website appears first on Google, people assume that you are an expert on the subject that they’re searching for. They know from past searches that only the best content shows up that high. That’s because Google uses several different algorithmic factors to cherry-pick the highest quality and most relevant results for each search term. Showing up at the top is like receiving a stamp of credibility for your brand.
What Are The Top Google Ranking Factors Of 2022?
Now that you know how important your Google ranking is, it’s time to learn how to take advantage of this digital marketing strategy for your own business. You can do this by mastering the art of search engine optimization, or SEO.
SEO is simply a term to describe the strategies which you should use to game the Google algorithm, so your web content ranks higher in the search results.
It’s important to refresh yourself on these SEO strategies throughout each year because they are constantly changing. That’s why we compiled the following list of top Google ranking factors of 2022, to guide you through growing your brand online as we move into the new year.
1. High Quality, Relevant Content
Once upon a time, the focus of SEO was keywords, keywords, and yet more keywords. While they’re still a contributing factor (that we’ll talk about under the next heading), far more important to the Google algorithm now is high-quality, relevant content.
As of 2021, Google uses an AI-powered algorithm called RankBrain to help rank web content in search results. This powerful program doesn’t just look for relevant keywords. It also analyzes the number of clicks and the amount of time that users stay on a web page to determine if the content is actually relevant to their search terms.
It follows that the longer a user stays on a particular page, the more useful and relevant that page is. So Google boosts it up in the ranks.
If your web page is full of poor grammar, spelling mistakes, and trails away from the subject matter, a user is far less likely to stay on your website long enough to suffer through all that. It’s far better to direct your focus and strategy on writing better, more relevant content. If you’re not the best writer, you can always hire a freelancer or a contract writer.
2. Relevant Keywords
Yes, keywords and key phrases are still important. They are one of the biggest factors that determine which websites show up when a specific term is entered in the Google search bar. [Pro tip: You can easily find out which ones rank the highest for your niche by hiring a professional digital marketer (yup, like yours truly) to research them for you.]
Whenever you’re implementing this SEO strategy on your own keywords, the most important thing to remember is less is more. If you stuff your article with tons of keywords, the Google algorithm will actually rank it lower in the results. Why? Because it’s smart enough to know that your article is so stuffed and awkward to read, it’s not high quality or even useful. It might even be spam.
The “keyword” here, if you will, is quality. Always emphasize quality over quantity. By judiciously including a few well-placed, relevant keywords in your web content, it will show up higher and more often in search results.
Backlinks are a tricky but extremely lucrative digital marketing strategy. They’re tricky because they involve establishing a connection with other brands and websites so that they will share a link to your web content in theirs.
That’s what a backlink is: a link on someone else’s website that leads back to your website. And they’re one of the top factors, if not the top factor, that Google uses to rank your webpage.
Backlinks are important because they demonstrate two things: 1) your credibility and knowledgeability, and 2) your web page’s usefulness to Google users. If other high-quality websites are referencing and linking back to yours, then it means you’re producing highly shareable content that people want to read. And that is the ultimate goal for ranking high in search results.
It’s not always easy to obtain backlinks. But one method you can use is to reach out to other websites in your niche and offer to write a guest blog post. Here, you can insert links back to more relevant content on your site.
You can also simply ask other websites to share links to your content to supplement or add credibility to their own.
4. UX Design
A website that is hard to navigate and scan is just as unattractive to Google as it is to Google searchers. Your site should be easy to look at, attractive, professional, and streamlined. All of your content should be easy and straightforward to find, from your blog to your About page to your online store.
The way that Google determines if your UX design, or Page Experience, is optimized is by using web crawlers (sometimes called a spider or spiderbot.
Crawlers trawl through websites and report back data. This data includes how much time people spend on a given web page as well as user errors. If they spend a lot of time, then that website is likely to rank higher because users find the UX design and structure user-friendly enough to stay on.
Hire a professional website builder to grow and optimize your UX design for you. They will ensure that it looks professional as well as attractive, and is easy to use.
5. Mobile Optimization
In the age of mobile media, it’s no surprise that Google is now emphasizing mobile optimization as a ranking factor for search results.
Going into 2022, Google considers the mobile version of most websites to be more important than the desktop version. So if your website is not optimized for this factor, hire a digital marketing service to help make it more mobile user-friendly.
6. Web Page Speed
Believe it or not, Google also measures web page speed and uses the results to rank web pages. It makes sense when you think about it. If you navigate to a new website, but it’s taking forever to load, do you stay on it? More than likely, you close that tab in a blink of an eye and go somewhere else. If it’s not fast or convenient, Google searchers don’t want it. And neither does the Google algorithm.
If you’re at a loss for how to improve your website speeds, try consulting a professional website builder. They will improve your design and backend configurations to improve load times and stop testing visitors’ patience.
7. Click-Through Rate
The click-through rate is a measurement of how often people click on a Google search result. It helps the algorithm determine that web page’s popularity, and therefore its appropriate ranking.
The best way to hack the click-through rate is to focus your SEO skills on a little thing called metadata.
Meta data is information that you might not immediately think of as SEO opportunities. They include URLs, and the metadata description, which describes what the content at the other end of the URL is about. You will typically see a metadata description underneath a search result.
These short bits of information give users a tiny but crucial sneak peek of your content. If the metadata description and URL appear reliable and relevant to what they’re looking for, users are more likely to click on your webpage. And the more clicks your website gets thanks to your SEO-optimized metadata, the higher it will rank.
8. Domain Security
Google wants its users to click on websites that are trustworthy and won’t steal their information or install viruses on their devices. It gives a boost to websites that are equipped with HTTPS, which stands for hypertext transfer protocol secure. It helps ensure that the transfer of information from the user to the website, and vice versa, is secured.
To obtain an HTTPS, first, you need to get an SSL certificate. This certificate authenticates your website’s identity so users can establish an encrypted connection.
9. Business Profiles
If you’re a business, to rank higher for local searches you need to set up a Google My Business profile. As usual, the more useful, relevant information your profile contains, the better it will rank. Here, you should include details such as your street address, your phone number, a list of hours, and a brief line or two about what type of service your business provides. The more detailed the better!
Don’t Underestimate The Power Of SEO In 2022
SEO is more relevant than ever as a digital marketing strategy is 2022. That’s why it’s important to invest in it.