5 Things Google Loves to See On Your Website..
Google being able to index your website is very important, not only for your organic results, but for Paid Search too.
In Pay-Per-Click (PPC) terms, a better indexed website where Google believes your content closely matches your Search advertisement, the more ‘relevant’ it deems you, and along with your Click-Through-Rate (CTR), Maximum Cost-Per-Click (Max. CPC), and your keyword – it can lower the average CPC and you overall spend.
Due to this, what you place on your website is highly important as a great landing page can really improve your Google Ads goals.
Where does this leave you?
In layman’s terms, your website needs to be carefully optimised and strategically planned to have the greatest chance of success on Google.
By focusing on these Search Engine Optimisation items, you can actually help enhance your website for a more optimised performance within Google Ads – which could lead to better overall performance and results.
With this in mind, what 5 things does Google like on your website?
#1 Mobile Friendliness
Mobile is becoming increasingly important in the world, and as such this is now the main way people are accessing the internet.
Google does however keep separate search rankings to the desktop ranking which depend on what device the consumer is using – yet Google prefers websites that are optimised for mobile and are mobile friendly.
Luckily, you can test how optimised your website is by visiting Google’s free tool that tests for mobile friendliness here.
Google usually doesn’t give you the full details of how it’s algorithm works, but in May 2019 they released an update to their algorithm where mobile-friendly websites are boosted within their rankings.
This means that if your website isn’t optimised for mobile, this needs to become a priority.
#2 Social Links
Going back to mentioning Google being quiet over it’s algorithms, although we know they are actively looking at mobile-effectiveness, we know that they are on the lookout for social signals on a website to gain better rankings.
This could tie into the website relevancy as if there are loads of people consuming your social media, that means your website and brand are relevant and Google are able to label your consumer market better – leading to better points for both them and your website.
Therefore it’s highly important that a website provides a way for consumers to share content and you have a social media hub where people can follow your latest news too.
Social sharing buttons on your content are recommended on relevant pages, but generic social media follow buttons (usually found in the footer) can also be benefited from too.
This recommendation is even more important if you are a business-to-customer facing company that wants to/needs to interact with potential customers, as social media gives direct access between business and customer which could benefit all parties, including Google.
#3 Great Content
This is an obvious one but sometimes can be underutilised. A business could have the worlds best product, but with no content, how can you be sure that a customer knows how to use said product, or even trusts the website to be able to make a purchase?
Content is highly important to Google, as the more content on a web page, the more Google can index and crawl that page to grab a better understanding of that particular page, and the website as a whole. Some things that Google Look out for are:
- Unique content that’s not copied and pasted.
- New Content. Whilst it does value age, Google prefers to see a website providing constant updates to show that it’s still active and adding to its value.
- Rich formatting, including pictures and videos.
- Clearly formatted content so it’s both easy to read and easy to navigate. The easier Google’s crawlers can read the content, the better judgement they are able to make regarding the site.
Although unconfirmed by Google, they do seem to prefer longer content than shorter pieces, something which Neil Patel covers here.
This can tie in with number 2 for being social. The easiest way to keep content and the website updated is by introducing a blog, albeit a difficult item to stay on top of.
Blogs are not vital but can be recommended as this provides a constant stream of new media that Google can crawl, and this provide greater website rankings if the content is directly relatable to your website’s topic.
Important for Google as a sitemap serves as a hub when Google crawlers are crawling your site, as a sitemap lets them know exactly how your website is built, with an organised list of links – much like a Yellow Pages directory.
If Google cannot find a sitemap, then they are left down to crawling your website through links – which could make it harder for the crawlers to get the overall image of your website.
There are two types of sitemaps that can be made; XML and HTML.
HTML sitemaps are mostly for consumers which can serve as a directory on a page to help navigate and assist people in finding exactly what they need – especially useful if your website is dynamic and could be viewed as ‘hard to navigate’ or ‘complex’.
XML sitemaps are the back-end type of sitemaps and not really consumer friendly. Nearly all systems can automatically create their own sitemaps, however you can also use a plugin to generate one as there are many plugins available for this.
Once you have a sitemap, it’s best for Google to validate this and then test the sitemap, which can be done through the Google Webmaster Tools.
#5 Need for Speed
Google loves speed, because consumers love speed. The attention span of humans is only 8 seconds now thanks to the internet, and this is even faster on the internet with 40% of people abandoning websites that take more than 3 seconds to load.
This shows how vital it is that a website is optimised for speed yet 77% of websites still take more than 10 seconds to load on a mobile – which would definitely impact on the performance of the website.
People are just impatient now and because of the huge importance of speed, and the fact that people spend more time on websites that are fast, Google now ranks fast websites greater than slower ones. This means it’s absolutely necessary for a website to be quick.
Google also has a tool where you can view your page speed, which also gives you tips and information how to improve your website speed. It’s called PageSpeed Insights.
Why is this important for PPC?
When Google robots crawl your website, there are a lot of different factors that it takes into consideration to decide whether your landing page is relevant to your keyword/ad group/advert.
There are over 200 ranking factors that they look at – however they do not tell us everything however we can make good indications onto what can positively and negatively impact your website.
Some things the crawlers take into consideration are the URL, the actual content of the website, your metadata (including image text as Google cannot read images), and website links.
These five recommendations on what a website needs to focus on all contribute towards SEO, however this still has a massive affect on PPC too.
Effectively, the greater Google ranks your website, and the better it can understand and index the site, the more information it has to go on which to draw relevancy between your ads and the actual site, which can lower the potential CPC that the advertiser would pay – and also the better ranked the site can potentially be.