One Big Thing That Affects Your Google Site Ranking
Your Google site ranking can seem like a big black box when it comes to SEO but there are some very basic things that Google is looking for as they rank searches and sites. Since, what I like to call, Mobile-geddon when Google started penalizing sites for not being mobile-friendly in April of 2015, the trend and push to all mobile-optimized sites is very clear. At a recent meeting with Google, they shared some priorities with our team including site performance and mobile usability.
Why Does Your Site’s Performance Matter to Google?
Google’s Customer is you, the searcher, the consumer, the one looking for information on your mobile device and they want to provide you the very best experience. If they show a result on the first page and that site is not mobile-responsive, the customer has a MUCH higher chance of leaving and not returning. The data doesn’t lie. Look at the image below if you want proof. Think about it yourself and the last time a search result brought you to a desktop optimized page on your mobile device. Were you excited to pinch and zoom? Likely not!
What Can I Do to Improve My Google Site Ranking?
- GREAT, FRESH, CONTENT: of course you want to have great, fresh, relevant content. Just like in your paid search quality scores, the relevancy and recency of your content is important but there are other factors too.
- SHOW YOU ARE THE AUTHORITY: make sure that your content is linked by other trusted sources and don’t engage in any unethical link building strategies.
- MOBILE USABILITY & PAGE SPEED INSIGHTS: have you tested your site recently? How quickly do your pages load? If you haven’t yet done it, I highly suggest going to Google Page Speed Insights page and testing your page. https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ Fixing any mobile usability issues will do wonders for your visitors and how much Google loves your site.
- Example: we split up in to 2 groups and were asked to buy the same item on 2 different sites. One group had to buy it on Amazon.com and the other group bought it on buy.com. Which group do you think had an easier time? The group that had to buy the Soda Stream on buy.com couldn’t finish the task and many were frustrated. Next time they need to buy an item, what are the chances they’ll return to buy.com? Pretty slim! And how do you think buy.com’s Google Site Ranking will be affected?
- I ran the Page Speed Insights for the Website HarryandDavid.com and here’s what I got.
How Can I Find Out What’s Causing the Issues on My Site?
- An easy way to do this is with the good ‘ole Inspect Element tool on any page. From any webpage (I’m doing in Chrome), right click and choose Inspect.
- From there, choose Network and click Disable Caching then press F5 to reload your page and you’ll see the time it takes to load and all the resources and images it loads.
- I did this with primalpitpaste.com – an awesome, all-natural deodorant company. Here are the results.
Though it’s hard to see, they have done a good job on keeping the images small and minimizing resources as much as possible in an e-commerce hosted environment.
My Last Piece of Advice: Don’t Spend any Money on Digital Marketing Until You Run these Tests
You would be amazed how many clients come to us to run and optimize their digital marketing however, we have to refer them to others. We have told many clients that we can’t take their money until they fix the 5-10 things on their site that are holding back conversion and mobile optimization and customer usability is usually at the top of the list.