Every website wants a date with Google. Every website also wants to impress Google and win its much sought after reciprocated affection by being placed highly on its very long dance card. This dance card can affectionately be called Google results and the numbers are in the millions.
As with all courting, you need to determine what Google likes or seeks in a website. One would have to make friends with Google’s friends, such as Matt Cutts, to try and find out Google’s preferences or one could just observe Google’s known preferences. These preferences include:
Aligning your website’s content with what people are looking for creates directly relevancy. Relevancy also requires strategy. Using the proper keywords to describe and identify each unique page on your website – both on the back end and front as well as with the links to each page shows strategic relevancy. Relevancy also means making sure everything on your website has a consistent theme, a common vernacular, associated images and up-to-date information.
2. Be Popular
Everybody loves to hang out with the popular guy or girl, Google is no different. How does Google determine your popularity?
- First. Google traces what websites have links back to your site. The more popular the website that links back to yours, the more value your website is given. It’s like hanging out with the other cool kids knowing it will rub off on you.
- Second. Google evaluates what words those other sites are using within their links to your website. The words should be relevant to your website’s content and varied. In industry terms, these words are called anchor text.
- Third. Google watches to see how many people are visiting your website and how long they are hanging out to visit and look around – or Google determines if people are visiting your website only to turn and run. In Google Analytics these terms are called Page Visits, Bounce Rate and Engagement.
- Fourth. How popular is your site within social media circles? Are other people talking about your brand around the web? It is believed this measurement can influence your popularity status vicariously and therefore influence how Google views your website.
3. Be Pretty and Be Put Together
If your website is clunky, difficult to navigate, hard to read and just a plain hot mess – it will not make a favorable impression on Google. While Google isn’t so superficial as to only look at appearances, it is looking deeper and notices if your code and architecture is pulled together correctly. Google will determine if your code has been scared by the many hands of inexperienced web developers through the indicators of broken pages, dead end links and duplications. If Google sees this, it will move on. Google prefers everything to be in order.
Google may seem quite particular in its website dating preferences but with so many other websites vying for its attention sometimes you just have to do what it takes to be in the game and get recognized by the most popular search engine in the world.
Pamela Ravenwood is the co-owner of SEO Essential Solutions, a full service Internet Marketing Agency. Ravenwood loves converting techy geeky information into metaphor for those whose eyes begin to roll back in their head with the very mention of SEO.