When Google, Bing and Yahoo! are evaluating your website they look at more than 200 different “signs”. Some you’ll see listed on SEO and Backlink pages but there’s a lot more. Some are known to people who do SEO whilst the remainder form the “secret sauce” that makes Google different from Bing and Bing different from Yahoo! etc.
Your Domain Name
Google takes a good look at when your Domain Name was registered. The older your Domain Name the more “trust” Google ascribes to it. That’s the main reason why you should choose your Domain Name with care and stick with it.
If your Domain Name contains keywords, well that’s even better but don’t rush off and register a new one becasue you’ll just be starting from ground zero (see above)
When renewing your Domain Name, register for as far ahead as you can afford. This tells Google of your intentions to be in it for the long haul and helps your SEO too.
Freshness of Content
Fresh content tells Google that your business is still active. If you allow your site to become stale then it’ll drift down the Search Results Pages. This is where your Blog comes in to play – you should look to post something new at least once a month.
Social Media Activity
Although it’s not a major factor, if you are active on Social Media then Google will catch this. Even better if you interact with your Followers by commenting on their updates and getting involved in conversations. It’s shows Google that your account is run by a real person, not a Bot!
The number of times it’s clicked on in a search
If your site is about half-way down from the top of a Results Page but attracts more clicks that sites above, then Google will push your site higher in the rankings because it will see your site as more “relevant” to Google users. This is where well written Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions come in to play becasue it’s these that will influence searchers and direct them to your site.
You can’t fake it though – Google will know if you do multiple searches for your site and make multiple clicks. There’s a lot of anti-fraud technology running behind the scenes
Where the site is hosted
For the best results, your website HAS to be hosted in the UK – if you are targeting the UK. This ensures that your website isn’t slowed down by the distance your data has to travel. Google prefers sites to be hosted in the countries they are aimed at, so if you are targeting the US – you need a .com domain and a US based web host. “Simples”, as our small furry friend would tell us.
How fast the pages open
Most people won’t wait for more than 3 seconds for a web page to open – preferring to head back to their search engine and finding another result to click on. Google knows this – site speed is one of the many things reported in Google Analytics. As a consequence, if your site is slow – Google will push it DOWN the results pages, so use Google Analytics to find, and fix, the slow pages on your website. The faster the better. zoom zoom!
Whether it’s Mobile Friendly
How does your website look when you look at it on a phone or tablet? Is it simply a recreation of your desktop site or has it reformatted itself to make it easier to use? If it’s the latter then you’re probably using “Responsive Design” which is as it should be. Sites that fail the Mobile Friendly test will be pushed down Google Results Pages when people are searching on their phones and tablets – and remember, more than 50% of ALL web access starts on a portable device.
Get in touch and we’ll discuss a full SEO review for your website, looking at all of these issues – and more.