Did you know that 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine?
In fact, 81 percent of people perform some type of online research before making a large purchase.
Search engines drive 300 percent more traffic to websites than social media.
And organic search results drive 51 percent where social drives only 5 percent of traffic.
The search engine that most people use is Google (they receive more than 63 percent of all searches are performed using Google compared to Bing, Yahoo, and other search websites).
Google learns every time a user searches via Google Search and wants to give each searcher answers to their questions as soon as possible.
Is your website helping Google help its search engine users?
If so, Google will reward you with more traffic.
Your website is a living, breathing entity and every update you make to your website helps Google understand how visitors interact with your website.
What do you need to do to impress Google?
Here are 10 things you should do to make sure you that Google loves you.
1. Make your website load faster
Bounce rates increase 50 percent if your website takes two seconds extra to load and conversions fall by 12 percent for every extra second it takes for your website to load.
How do you make your website faster?
Start by understanding how Google sees your website by using Google’s free tool called Google PageSpeed Insights:
Google Page Speed is a tool to ensure your website is fast for all types of devices, whether it is on a desktop, a smartphone or a tablet.
Just enter your website URL and Google will analyze it.
You will get action items for desktop and mobile versions of your websites.
It will give you recommendations about possible optimizations and optimizations that you already have made.
It will give you a score and rating for mobile and desktop.
Once you see your score, you can see what categories you need to improve.
Once you get a baseline of where you stand, you know where you need to concentrate on. Learn how to achieve a 100 out of 100.
How to optimize your website images
One of the areas to improve how fast your website loads is to optimize your images.
Here are some steps you should take to do that.
1. Find your free images
Use some of the best image websites for free high-quality photos that utilize the creative commons zero (CC0) license, which indicates ownership rights have been waived so no attributions are needed.
2. Crop and resize your images
Use free editing software such as Pixlr Express to help you re-size and crop images via your web browser. You won’t have to purchase a license to Adobe Photoshop, you can use an online image editor like You can apply a quick fix to the image, add creative effects, and add borders.
3. Compress your images
Google says page speed is one of the factors in their search page ranking algorithm so it is a good place to start.
2. Make your website mobile-friendly so it looks good on any device
There are more searches done every day on mobile devices than desktops.
People who own a smartphone use a search engine at least once a day and 40 percent of mobile visitors will leave your website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
With more people accessing the Internet on their mobile devices, designing your website for mobile is critical for a top-rate user experience.
How do you make your website more mobile-friendly?
You start with a free Google tool called the Mobile-Friendly Test:
This tool can show you how a visitor uses your web pages on a mobile device.
You enter your website URL and see how your page scores.
Once you know your score, you can understand what areas you need to improve on.
Overall, what you should know is that mobile users are goal-oriented and they expect to able to achieve their goal quickly and easily.
Don’t make them pinch to zoom. Don’t make the navigation or elements you need to touch to be small or too close together.
To optimize the mobile experience, companies are moving toward responsive website design.
What is responsive website design?
A responsive website allows your website to adapt to the size of any screen it is being viewed on from any type of device.
In other words, visitors to your website won’t notice a lot of difference on your website if they looked at it via a screen on their mobile device or their desktop.
Why use responsive website design?
Before responsive website, companies used to have to create two versions of their website: one for mobile and one for the desktop.
Many companies still do this today but that is a time-consuming process and requires a lot of maintenance and consistency between the two versions.
With a responsive website, you can have your website be ready for all devices which helps you lower the costs of maintaining a website, provides a seamless user experience, and improves your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts (Google recommends it).
If you create a responsive website and avoid the most common mistakes webmasters make when designing for mobile, Google will love your website and you will use it to your competitive advantage.
3. Make your website secure
Google has said that SSL is now a ranking factor in their search algorithm.
What does this mean?
If your website is not SSL-enabled, another website that has SSL may outrank you, you will dilute the trust of your visitors and you may garner unwanted attention.
What is SSL?
SSL stands for secure sockets layer. It is a technology ensuring all data such as passwords, credit card information, and other personal data that passes between a web server and a web browser stays private and ensures protection against hackers.
How do you know if your website has SSL?
If you look at your website’s URL, does it contain “https://” with that added “s” on it? Or does it contain just “http://” without an “s”?
Websites who are SSL-enabled contain that extra “s” to the “http.”
A helpful tool is HubSpot’s SSL Checker. It can tell you whether you are secure without having to actually visit a website.
If you use Google Chrome, you will be able to see if the website is secure or not.
After entering a website URL into the browser, you’ll see the red “Not Secure” warning next to websites that aren’t certified with SSL. For websites that are secure with SSL, you’ll see “Secure” in green.
How do secure your website with SSL?
One of the first steps is to determine the type of certificate(s) you need for your website(s) and how many do you need. For example, you may host content on multiple platforms or on different domains or subdomains.
Why should you move to HTTPS?
Google has identified three main reasons to switch such as data sent using HTTPS is secured via a Transport Layer Security protocol (TLS), which provides encryption, data integrity, and authentication.
- Encryption protects your users’ data from eavesdroppers so that while the user is browsing your website, no can see their activities on the webpage or steal their information
- Data integrity is where data can’t be modified or corrupted during transfer
- Authentication proves that your users are communicating with your website not another website and protects again man-in-the-middle attacks so you improve trust with your visitors
Does HTTPS mean your website is secure?
No, HTTPS doesn’t protect your website from an attack. It still may be vulnerable to downgrade attacks, SSL/TLS vulnerabilities, Heatbleed, Poodle, Logjam, hacks of a website, server or network, software vulnerabilities, brute force attacks and distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks.
What are some problems with migrating to HTTPS?
Some things that could go wrong include preventing Google from crawling the HTTP version of the site or preventing site crawls in general, content duplication issues, with both HTTPS and HTTP versions of the pages showing; and different versions of the page showing on HTTP and HTTPS.
Implementing HTTPS or SSL is not a simple process but, if you do so, Google will love you and so will your visitors.
4. Make sure you add fresh, high-quality and long pieces of content
Google loves frequent updates.
Simply put, if you update your website often with high-quality and fresh content, search engines will love you for it.
Research shows that publishing new content will bring in more traffic.
Your freshness score
A web page can be given a fresh score based on when it was published (and when a Googlebot first becomes aware of the content) and will decay over time.
The freshness score boosts content in search results but then lowers as the content becomes older.
When your website adds more content, more often, you may earn a higher freshness score than websites that don’t add content frequently.
When search engines look at your site more frequently, you can achieve higher rankings. and when you publish new content, you have more opportunities to keywords.
Remember to update old content
The goal of adding fresh content should not be to update just to update but it should be to benefit the visitors of your website so you increase your engagement, how long they stay on your website and how many pages they visit.
Updating older content works well to earn fresh links to your content.
More content = more keywords
If you add more content more frequently such as publish or update blog articles, you will optimize your content with relevant keywords that can attract new visitors to your site.
By using keyword research tools, you will know what words your audience cares about, how they search for things and how they group keywords together.
Fresh content increases your authority
To become an “authority” website, you need to earn Google and the internet’s trust through your content.
This tool helps predicts how well your website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). on a scale from 1 to 100 with higher scores equaling a great ability to rank higher.
This score can help you compare your website compared to other websites over a period of time.
To figure out your score, enter your website URL into Moz’s Open Site Explorer:
Remember, the more informative, valuable content you publish, the greater authority potential your website enjoys.
Add more value by producing longer content
The more value your content provides, the better the change it will rank higher in the search engines.
To add more value, you write longer pieces of content because you are more likely to answer the questions (and related questions) of your clients and prospects.
And you are more likely to get more social media shares, get more backlinks and have them convert to your call to action (example: subscribe to your email newsletter).
In fact, marketing consultant and speaker Neil Patel writes blog articles that are more than 4,000 words and he averages 100,000 visitors a month on neilpatel.com.
According to research from serpIQ, the content makeup of the top 10 search engine results in Google all had more than 2,000 words.
In other words, the longer the blog articles, the more social media shares it gets.
Specifically, the sweet spot for the most social shares was 3,000 to 10,000 words.
Longer blog articles also increase conversion rates. CrazyEgg increased conversion rates 363% by switching to a long-form page.
Longer content also increases the number of backlinks, according to Moz’s research.
In summary, you should add fresh, high-quality, long pieces of content to your website and don’t forget to update your old content.
5. Answers questions with your content
To quickly questions with your content, you should do what Marcus Sheridan did.
He is one of the earlier adopters of content marketing and he is known for his revolutionary marketing strategy of answering his customers’ questions.
Google has one goal and one goal only: give people the best search results possible.
How do you find out what questions your clients and prospects are asking?
Type into Google potential questions you think your audience may be asking and then go to the bottom of the search results and look at the “searches related” section at the bottom of the SERP.
For example, take a look at the related searches for “cloud vs. colocation.”
You can see the other questions that are related to “cloud vs. colocation.” If your content can answer the related questions as well, you will be ranked higher.
Another way to answer questions with your content is to work with your sales team and utilize your social selling efforts to see what questions your sales team is getting asked.
Have you created content to answer those questions your sales team is getting?
You can also use websites like Quora to do research on what questions are being asked.
In summary, the quicker you answer the questions that your clients and prospects have, the better Google and your audience will like you.
They want their answers now, they don’t want to work hard and they want you to answer their additional questions that may arise after their initial question.
6. Add videos and visuals
Utilizing video marketing leads to a 4.8 percent higher rate of conversion than 2.9 percent of websites that fail to utilize videos.
Videos encourage visitors to spend more time on a site and allow them to retain more information too.
A well-optimized video is up to 52 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google than a text article.
Rich content or any type of content that can facilitate user interaction drives more engagement.
In addition to adding videos to your content, make sure you include images as well.
Content gets 94 percent more views with images.
And people remember images better.
If a relevant image is paired with the same information, people retain 65 percent of the information three days later.
There are websites with beautiful and free images that can make your content stand out more and make it more memorable.
In summary, Google loves visuals and videos just as much as text. Make sure you include all three with your content.
7. Build and submit your sitemap to Google
A sitemap is a list of pages on your website that users can visit.
An eXtensible Markup Language (XML) sitemap is a way for your website to explain to search engines what web pages have been created, allowing search engines to better crawl your website.
From a search engine optimization (SEO) point of view, a sitemap is very important.
Submit your sitemap to Google by using Google Search Console. Google Search Console provides you with a collection of tools and resources such as which pages on your websites are the most popular, you can find and fix website errors
8. No bad links
Does anyone like to get a 404 page when they’re hoping to read helpful information? Broken links negatively impact usability, and search engines see numerous broken links as a sign of a neglected site, negatively impacting SEO ranking.
The good news is that you don’t have to go through every page of your website to manually test the links. You can utilize apps and tools to help check for broken links, if you prefer.
You should fix the bad links in your content using tools like Dead Link Checker.
This tool will help you improve your user experience, increase your website traffic and increase conversions.
9. Make sure you are localized
People depend on the internet to find information about all types of products and services, especially those that are local to them.
In fact, 72 percent of consumers who perform a local search visit a store within 5 miles of their current location.
Google “near me” searches have increased by two times over the past year.
Google understands the power of making sure that its search results are localized to where the searcher is located.
Google has added a strap at the bottom of its search page to denote which country has been detected.
One of the ways you can optimize for local is Google My Business.
It is free service that Google provides and boosts your search visibility, showing up in local search results and making sure Google has your correct information about your business and your different office or retail locations.
Location extensions in Google AdWords show your address, provides a map to your location and provides the distance to your local business.
10. Be consistent over time
Are you publishing content on a predictable and consistent basis?
It is like appointment television (TV) viewing for your favorite TV show. You know it is going to be on a certain day and time.
Are you doing that with your content? Are you publishing content on a certain day and time?
Too many marketers create and publish content and hit “publish” when they feel like it or when the content is ready to go.
They need to understand the 6 key elements of audience growth.
Your audience should not be the number of people who consume your current piece of content but the number of people you can count on to consume your next piece of content.
To make sure you are consistent with your content and grow your audience, an editorial calendar is one solution.
An editorial calendar will help keep your content creators and your content organized. It will help you balance your blog with a variety of topics and formats and you will ensure your content is developed on time and on budget.
An editorial calendar holds everyone on your team accountable and becomes a database of ideas.
If you stick to your editorial calendar, you’ll always have content to engage your audience.
If you do these 10 things mentioned above, Google will love you and reward you with more website traffic.
Remember, your website is a living and breathing thing.
Every update you make to it helps Google understand how visitors interact with your website.
What tips would you add to this list to make sure that Google loves you?