As an SEO company, we’ve seen the many different faces of Google; Google the merciful, Google the kind, Google the generous and Google the vengeful. For the most part, if you can manage to not anger the Google gods you are allowed passage into the first page of search results. When you’re on the first page of Google, there are many reasons why Google loves your website.
We are very aware of what Google doesn’t like, as well as what Google loves. In fact, we’re so good at making Google happy, we want to share with you a few ways we make Google love your website.
Answers search intent
In case you hadn’t thought this one through completely, it should be noted that a search engine company’s product is information. Therefore, Google loves your site because you’re able to satisfy the true intent of a search.
Think about it. If you performed a search on Google and the search results turned up 10 completely useless websites, wouldn’t you try another search engine? If you can’t find what you want, why would you continue to use the same search engine?
It is for this reason alone that Google (and every other search engine) strives to find the very best answers to search queries. If you want Google to love your site and display it on the first page of results, it needs to be the best response to a query.
When the content on your site can completely satisfy what a user is searching for, you have satisfied search intent. This is one of the most important aspects of earning Google-love and a position on the first page of results.
Perfect on-page optimization
Google loves crawling pages with perfectly balanced keyword placement. It is delighted to see a page where the keywords are obvious and yet there is no keyword stuffing or instances of forcing the keyword into a sentence.
When your page reads naturally it’s more enjoyable for users since it isn’t blatantly stuffed with keywords. Google made it extremely clear in both Panda and Hummingbird update that keyword stuffing was a dead practice. Quality content reigns supreme and search engines no longer respond favourably to the number of times a keyword is repeated.
Having your keyword placed in the title, URL and a few times in the body of your content is enough to put it on Google’s radar. Google loves your website because the content on your page is of the highest quality with your keyword sprinkled in all the right places.
There’s so much more to on-page optimization than keyword placement. Here is Moz’s depiction of the many factors that need to be considered to create an optimized page:
Google loves your website because of the depth you demonstrate in your area of expertise. Topic clusters are a way to organize the content on your website and implement an interlinking structure that ties ideas and themes together.
Topic clusters promote higher click-through rates, longer dwell time which are positive user engagement statistics. Since Google is all about the user experience, it rewards websites that are topically organized.
Fast page speed
Since the mobile update in 2015, Google has made it clear that fast page speed can play a significant role in the experience your website provides. Not only do you lose visitors the longer it takes your page to load, but your ranking may suffer should your page speed be exceedingly slow.
Google loves your website because it’s lightning-quick and loads under 2 seconds. This keeps visitors on your site and promotes positive ranking signals.
Has a Secure Sockets Layer
Google loves your site because it operates on a secure sockets layer making it safe for all users who land on your pages. HTTPS is the encrypted protocol that has been adopted by roughly 80% of websites after it was clear your site would be marked as “not secure” on Google Chrome.
This protocol is the industry standard for all websites and Google loves your website because you have an SSL certificate to make it HTTPS. When your site is safe for users you’ll see the lock beside your URL.
No technical errors
A sign of a well-maintained website is one that generates a minimal number of errors. Google loves technically sound websites that use 301 redirections for deleted pages in order to eliminate 404 errors.
Avoiding 301 redirection chains is also highly recommended to maintain your websites PageSpeed. Performing a monthly technical audit maintains Google’s love for your website when you can identify errors as they appear. The accumulation of too many sitewide errors will send your site backwards in the search results.
All of your links bring interested visitors
Google takes link building very seriously because this aspect of SEO can be used to manipulate ranking. Google loves your website because the links you’ve built from other websites bring traffic filled with engaged visitors.
This is an incredibly good sign because it shows Google that the external websites linking to your own are sharing valuable, quality content that is being confirmed by high user engagement.
Links from external sites that have little to no traffic will not have as big an impact on your website as links from sites that have high volumes of traffic. The second bonus is that if visitors are spending time on your site from these backlinks it shows Google that the links are highly relevant and not fabricated for manipulating ranking.
Google loves websites that acquire backlinks naturally from credible websites with high authority. Links of this nature will make a difference in moving your website closer to the top of Google’s search results.
Stay in Google’s good graces
When it comes to perfecting the optimization of your website to rank highly, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The bad news is it’s impossible to account for each and every ranking factor that search engines use in its algorithm. The good news is, you don’t need to.
You only need a few of the major factors that are required in order to achieve top positions in the search results. Above all, be the best answer to a search query by satisfying search intent. Once you’ve achieved this aspect, the rest is fine-tuning and adjusting to outperform your competition.
Google will more than likely be the main source for high-converting traffic for some time to come. Stay within Google’s best practice guidelines and cater to the user experience for long-lasting love from Google’s search engine.