Google is continuously updating their ranking algorithms with minor updates almost daily and major updates approximately twice a year. An algorithm update is a change in the criteria of how Google ranks sites in the search results. Every time that the algorithms change, your site could drop in the rankings. The simplest way to keep your rankings high and steady is to have the best content on your site as possible and to have your site functioning as well as possible.
Make sure your site is full of fantastic content that an algorithm can’t fail to rank. Remember that everything is important in content: titles, meta descriptions, core information, images, and links. Your content can be long or short. Shorter can even be more powerful since it may get to the point quicker, but keep in mind that Google tends to favor pages with at least 500-700 words. Making sure the back end of your site is SEO optimized is critical because if Google can’t crawl your site, it won’t rank despite amazing content.
Repeat traffic can affect your rankings so keep your audience engaged by updating and adding new content to your site as frequently as possible. This can include internal and external links, new pages, and fresh core content. Google and consumers both prioritize websites that update regularly. This will make it easily searchable for Google and algorithm changes will affect it less.
Anticipate what the consumer wants next and what format they want it in. Make every new page, article, or product listing solve a problem that your audience will have. You need to be ahead of their needs so that your content already exists by the time they search for it. Then, craft the rest of the customer’s journey by directing them to take another action after they are done with the content that originally brought them to your site. Take them from visitor to customer. If you present a great user experience integrated with a sales funnel, your site will be easy to search for, visited frequently, and drive conversions.
Site performance is also key. Optimize your site, making sure that your home page loads within 2.5 seconds of landing. Visitors will not wait for a bulky site to load. Your site should also be mobile optimized: readable on a smartphone, easy to navigate with clickable links. Sites should not have annoying pop-ups and should be HTTPS encrypted. Your site should also be safe to browse with no malware or infectious software, and plugins should be updated regularly.
If you follow all these guidelines, being proactive and on top of adding new content, your site should not be affected by algorithm changes and will continuously rank high in Google. The point of the Google algorithm is to determine which website is the highest quality and most closely matches the search terms and then present people with the best version of what they’re searching for. You’re going to have to have a better-quality website with better quality content than your competition. We’re happy to help with any content creation or web design. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to schedule a free consultation. If you’d like to read more about website functionality and Google rankings, check out another of our blog posts here.