3 key elements for achieving Google awesomeness
Google is the top search engine for one reason. It has always stuck to its principles of delivering the websites with the best content and fastest load times for premium user experience.
Regardless of its current popularity, Google knows that if it deviates from these underlying principles its users will start to drift away and seek out a better option for online searches. That’s why it’s not rocket science to understand what it takes to make your website achieve Supreme Googleness – although making it happen is somewhat more difficult.
Far too many sites concentrate on one or some of the things required, but are seriously neglectful in ensuring all key elements are in place. In terms of ensuring the site ranks well, it's an approach doomed to fail.
To achieve Google super status, you must ensure you’ve nailed all three of these essentials:
• Page speed
• Quality content
Do your website pages load like The Flash?
Page speed refers to how fast a website’s pages load. Making your site as quick and accessible as possible is important not only for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), but also for user experience – and preventing most visitors from exiting your site the instant they arrive.
When it comes to mobile devices, page speed is critical. Data from February 2018 shows that while more than half of total website traffic comes from mobile devices, mobile conversion rates are lower than desktop. Why? People are impatient.
Think about your own internet habits – how long do you wait for a site to load before giving up? A few seconds? Less?
Slow loading times can be detrimental to your SEO, for the very reason that Google knows it will annoy and frustrate people. On mobile, the probability of people bouncing away from your site if the landing page takes 3 seconds to load is 32% higher than if it loads in 1 second. If it takes 5 seconds, they’re 90% more likely to bounce. For a 10-second load time, the likelihood increases 123%.
In addition to SEO benefits, quick page speed also boosts website conversions, such as people clicking your phone number and submitting an online enquiry.
While there’s no silver bullet for improving page speed, optimising image file sizes definitely helps and there’s many more tactics best handled by pros.
Ultimately, the speedier your site, the healthier Google expects it to be and the better your SEO results.
Has your content been honed to perfection?
Yes, you’ve likely heard it before, but content is still king and there’s no risk of it being dethroned.
Your greatest weapon is good, clear content that stays on-point, is well presented and serves a purpose – for example, explaining a product or service, answering a question, engaging the visitor, driving a transaction.
On the contrary, bad content is like SEO kryptonite. This again comes down to Google’s wanting to ensure great user experience. It knows that when you visit a poorly written website, it’s a turn-off.
Some content red flags to watch out for:
- Your sentences are too convoluted or clunky.
- Sentence structure is poor and paragraphs seem more like an afterthought.
- Spelling mistakes pop out at you like a game of whack-a-mole.
- Failure to use dot points, lists or bolded text to emphasise key points or draw your readers’ attention to a call-to-action.
- Passive voice is used instead of active voice. Zzzzzzzzzz.
- Your call to actions are unclear or not visible enough.
- Site images are poor quality or too small.
- Your site links have been broken or your site’s PDFs won’t download, videos won’t play and so on.
- Your site’s enquiry forms have so many fields in them that an Avengers movie marathon could be completed in less time.
A professional copywriter or content writer can polish your pages to perfection, including rewording sentences to inject SEO keywords where necessary while ensuring they read naturally without interrupting the flow and style of the writing.
Are your pages legible?
Content should not just be well written and relevant, but also able to be read without any difficulty. Your site’s design must ensure all text is legible, otherwise Google will again penalise you.
These are all red flags:
- White space abounds or is non-existent: You need to find a balance, so the page doesn’t feel cluttered or hard to read, but doesn’t look empty either. Consider page margins, line spacing, paragraph spacing, and the spacing between text and images.
- Insufficient colour contrast between the background and the text for high legibility.
- Text is so small that you need to buy a monocle.
- Fonts are hard to read. Fonts should be kept easy on the eye and support the style of your site. Use decorative font only for minimal areas of text, and only use 2 or 3 different types of fonts site-wide to not overwhelm visitors.
- Worst case scenario: Every other word is a different colour. If your site looks like Wolverine went berserk in an art class, Google will not be happy.
Who you gonna call?
Here at Kook, we may not have super powers, but we are The Incredibles of SEO – minus the lycra (you’re welcome). If you’re keen to improve your site and see it leap up Google search results like it’s hitching a ride on Thor’s hammer, give us a call.