Got a website but not getting any traffic? These days, it’s not enough to build a good-looking website anymore.
With thousands of websites vying for the attention of your target audience, how do yours stand against the competition? How do you appear on search results and be found by your ideal customers? These are just some of the most common questions and concerns of business owners who have made the jump to put their brands online.
The quick answer to these questions is to have a Google-Friendly website.
As we all know, Google is the most popular search engine in the world. In fact, it holds approximately 86% of market shares as of December 2021 when it comes to desktop searches worldwide. It’s why most digital marketing strategies such as SEO and link building often center around this search engine powerhouse.
What is a Google-Friendly site and how do you make one?
The Anatomy of a Google-Friendly Website
A Google-friendly website focuses not only on design but also on user experience. The three most important things you have to consider to make your site Google-friendly are high-quality content, accessibility, and authority.
1. Quality Content
You’ve probably heard it before. Content is king and it still reigns today.
When making a website, you have many opportunities to provide quality content to your audience. We’re not just talking about the information you put on your web pages. It also includes your headers, meta descriptions, and meta tags.
When people can easily find the information they need on your website, it encourages Google to show your site on relevant search results.
People access web pages from various devices and in different screen sizes. To be a Google-friendly site, your website must load seamlessly and without problems on almost all devices and in various screen sizes.
How does your website look when accessed through a mobile device? Are all the links clickable? Are the images loading quickly and properly?
Additionally, make sure that all links on your website are working and structured logically. This means that each of your pages must be reachable using a single static text link.
When other sites link back to your website, it tells Google that you are an authority in your industry and that your website can be trusted. As a result, your website could be shown on Google’s search results.
How do you become an authority in your field and encourage other sites to link to yours? Publish relevant, interesting, and high-quality content regularly. Are you active on social media? Be sure to share your content to expand your reach and get the support of your followers.
Now that you know what you need to make a Google-Friendly site, let’s talk about web design.
Designing a Google-Friendly Website
Did you know that how fast your pages load on mobile devices matters to Google?!
The search engine giant has been using mobile page load times as one of its key metrics in deciding a site’s search result ranking. This is why it’s essential to have a mobile-first web design.
What is a mobile-first design
A mobile-first design prioritizes the look of a website as it appears on portable devices rather than a desktop computer.
In the past, Google used the desktop versions of websites to index them. However, with mobile traffic accounting for more than half of all web traffic globally, Google has switched to mobile-first indexing. This means it checks the mobile version of your site first to index and rank your website.
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it may not show on Google’s search engine result pages. Apart from web design, you also have to consider other factors when building a Google-friendly site.
Once you have your web design on point, the next thing you have to think of is your content and SEO.
What is SEO and Why It Matters
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the strategy you carry out to drive traffic to your website.
SEO can be classified into different types. One type of SEO is on-page SEO, and the second is off-page SEO. Before starting any of these strategies, you should first do keyword research.
What are Keywords
Keywords are the foundation of any SEO plan. They are words or phrases that people use for search queries regarding specific topics, products, services, and other types of information.They are what drives organic search to your website.
Ideally, it is great to have keywords on your tags, URL structure, meta descriptions, web copies, and blogs.
When you place relevant keywords on different areas of your website, search engines are able to determine what industry you are in and in which searches your website should appear.
The higher you rank on search results, the higher your reach is and the more chances you have of getting targeted users to visit your website.
On-page SEO is a set of strategies you implement directly on your web pages. Some examples are as follows:
- Writing content such as web copies, blogs, meta descriptions, header tags, title tags, and alt tags (or alt text) using relevant keywords
- Building a URL structure that is beneficial for both users and search engine bots
- Creating a link structure to help search engine bots to crawl your website, analyze your content, and rank it on search result pages
What are meta tags and meta descriptions
Meta tags are information added to a webpage that describe what it is about. Technically, these are added to help search engine bots crawl your website and analyze its content properly. However, meta descriptions may appear on search results pages and shown to users. This could help people decide whether your website contains information that they are looking for.
Off-page SEO are what you do outside of your site to help improve its traffic and search ranking.
Link building is essential to off-page SEO. You can accumulate links in different ways. Here are some of them:
- Having other websites link back to any of your webpages
- Implementing a social media marketing plan
- Publishing blogs or articles on different websites and having links that lead to your website (guest blogging)
- Working with social media or online influencers
When on-page and off-page SEO strategies are done right, your organic search results and even conversion rate could improve.
Now that you’ve learned about SEO and how it can affect your website’s search ranking, it’s time to start do an SEO Audit.
How to Do An SEO Audit
An SEO audit is the process of evaluating the searchability of your website. Basically, it ensures that all essential SEO elements are present on your site.
There are different ways to perform an SEO audit. You could do it yourself or work with SEO companies to ensure proper implementation and documentation.
Check if your website is mobile-friendly. Do you have a responsive web design or do you have two versions of your website, with one version solely for mobile? As mentioned earlier, Google favors mobile-responsive websites. If your website isn’t one, it may be time for a re-design.
Next, look at your URL and link structures. Are all of your links working? If there are any deadlinks on your website, consider deleting or updating them. When you update a page link, make sure to make the appropriate 301 redirect.
For URL structures, avoid URLs that are too long. In addition, consider using your keywords in the URL when possible and relevant to the pages.
Part of doing an SEO audit is checking for duplicate content within the website. Google penalizes spammy, low-quality website. Having duplicate content could cost you your rankings. Worse, you may not appear on search results at all.
Other things you should check on your website are:
- Page load times
- Page layout
- How many keywords are used per page — Google penalizes keyword stuffing
- Link redirects if there are any
- Image size and image alt tags
- Headers, title tags, and meta descriptions
You should also look into the links pointing to your website and make sure they are from reputable sites. Your search ranking may take a hit when your backlinks are from those considered as spam by Google, link farms, or other low-quality websites.
Content and Social Media Marketing
Your content and social media marketing strategies help drive traffic to your website and create backlinks. This is where you can show your target audience what your brand is all about. Apart from your products or services, you could also share your values, social projects, and a lot more. This is your opportunity to build relationships with your audience.
Remember, social media sites also appear in search results. When your brand is mentioned on social media and your website is shared, Google takes notice. Furthermore, it shows that you have valuable content on your site and many users trust your brand. All these help improve your authority in your niche, which is — as mentioned earlier — an important part of making a Google-friendly website.
When it comes to content marketing, a common question among entrepreneurs is “How many posts should I publish and how often should I be pumping out content?” It depends on your marketing goals and your niche.
Are you in a highly competitive industry and you want to improve brand awareness? Focus on posting different content types rather than your publishing frequency. Doing so helps you build your voice and allow your target customers to get to know you. However, if you want to increase traffic to your website, focus on your posting frequency. Essentially, the more posts you publish, the more often search engine bots will crawl your sites for updates. As a result, you’ll have a higher chance of driving more traffic to your website.
Are you overwhelmed by all of these digital marketing and SEO work?
Creating a Google-friendly website doesn’t have to be complicated when you have the right team supporting your brand and online marketing goals.
Reach out to a reputable SEO agency that can help you develop an SEO campaign and achieve your desired results.
Fortify SEO offers a structured framework that helps you better understand your industry’s digital landscape and generate leads.
Let us help you with your SEO work and improve your site’s search ranking. Contact us for more information on our services.