Aside from focusing on your product and promotion efforts, the most challenging part of running a business online may be keeping up with Google. The powerhouse tech company largely rules the search engine world, which means your place in the SEO marketplace depends on gaining their approval.
The main challenge comes from the fact that Google keeps updating, and those SEO requirements keep changing. It can be easy to get overwhelmed if you get left behind or aren’t up-to-date with how to manage those requirements. However, some factors stay fixed, like Google’s ranking factors. Here are some reasons Google is so challenging to understand and how you can stay ahead of the curve.
Nothing can ruin a company’s reputation faster than becoming the subject of a security breach. Not only will you lose the faith of your customers if they don’t feel like they can trust your site’s security, but you may wind up being demoted in Google’s search rankings as an insecure or unsafe site.
Google weighs website safety and trustworthiness highly, which is why getting an SSL certificate for your website is critical. An SSL certificate, or Secure Sockets Layer, has been available for over 20 years but is becoming increasingly widespread.
Having an SSL means your users’ data is transferred over a secure network. This extends to all your subdomains and is becoming increasingly easy to get thanks to services that provide them for free. With this attached, Google provides benefits in SEO ranking for any site, so don’t delay getting yours when you’re looking to improve your market share.
The biggest pitfall of many websites is that they’re ideally designed for a different era. When online commerce was first gaining popularity in the desktop era, many websites prided themselves on their in-depth, orderly structure.
But what worked on a computer doesn’t work on a tablet or phone, and many older sites are finding themselves squashed or borderline unusable in these new formats. That leads to frustration – and lower search engine rankings from Google.
We’re now at a point where the majority of web traffic comes from mobile devices – and an increasing amount of it from small phones. Google weighs mobile-friendliness heavily, so make sure your website is easy to access from all devices.
The best strategy for a mobile-friendly site is simplicity. Make sure the most important links and buttons are easy to see and press and not too close to anything that could cause a mix-up—retooling your site for mobile before a big launch can pay significant dividends.
Optimized Web Content
It’s not enough to just post content regularly – you need to know who your content is geared towards and how long it’s serving its purpose. Keep Google’s E-A-T factors – Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness – in mind at all times. Ensure that you keep evergreen articles updated with significant changes to the subject matter.
It’s equally important to manage your keywords effectively. Too many sites either don’t know what their clients are searching for or pick a keyword that’s too popular or too obscure to help them gain any attention. Software suites like Ahrefs can make it easier to find the keyword patterns that will help your site the most, learn how to leverage the platform through the Arhrefs Tool Guide: Keyword Explorer for e-Commerce resource article.
Link Building Profile
Are the links on your website serving a purpose or just running in circles? In order to keep traffic flowing effectively to your site, you’ll need to master three types of links – inbound, outbound, and internal. Each of these plays a role in driving traffic to your site and boosting your search engine ranking.
Internal links are the ones that lead from one part of your site to another. You’ll want these to be strategically placed to keep people engaged. Outbound links lead to other sites on the internet. These shouldn’t be to competitors, but ideally, to partner sites, your visitors will be interested in. Your inbound links should come from those sites to yours, so forming partnerships with the right sites is key.
Search for Success
Google’s search rankings may change their system frequently, but some things never change. If you build a trusted, secure, and reliable site that gets its name out there, you’ll maintain a strong market position. Taking these simple steps can build a reputation that will outlast any changes.
Read Also: 3 Ways to Maintain Strong Google Rankings