What Search Engines Are Looking For
Search engines have one goal: To help users find the most relevant information about whatever it is they are searching for. They do this by delivering the most relevant and reliable information. There are many factors to determine the best results. Here are some key factors to look for.
- Keywords: The most basic signal that information is relevant is when a webpage contains the same keywords as the search query. If those keywords appear on the page, or if they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information is more likely to be relevant.
- Relevance: Provide high-quality content on your website pages, especially your homepage. This is the single most important thing to do. If your pages contain useful information, your website is more likely to attract visitors. In creating a helpful, information-rich site, write pages that clearly and accurately describe your topic.
- Mobile-first quality and speed: Google’s Mobile Website Auditor is the easiest way to check your website’s usability on mobile. The test will show your website’s score by a selection of usability criteria, like viewpoint configuration, plugins, proximity of clickable elements and text readability.
- Image size: When possible, reduce image sizes using a photo editor. This will help with site load times.
- Backlinks: Does your site have good enough content to link to or do other authoritative sites use your website as a reference or cite the information that's available? Having other websites link back to yours helps build link authority which in turn helps your SEO ranking.
- E.A.T.: Google's Search Quality Rater Guidelines put a great deal of importance on the concept of E-A-T — an acronym for expert, authoritative, and trustworthy. Sites that don't display these characteristics tend to be seen as lower-quality in the eyes of the engines, while those that do are subsequently rewarded.
- Easy User Interface: Visitors should be able to navigate through a website without having to spend a long time searching around. Simple design with clear CTA (call to action) buttons will help visitors find what they are looking for with ease. An appealing user interface (U.I.) is easy to learn and understand.
- Secure Connection: If a website URL begins with “https” instead of “http” it means the site is secured using an SSL Certificate (the s stands for secure). SSL Certificates secure all of your data as it is passed from your browser to the website's server. To get an SSL Certificate, the company must go through a validation process.
- Title tags:Title tags should also be unique to each page. Accurately describe the page's content with a title that reads naturally and effectively communicates the topic of the page's content.
- Meta description: Your meta description should provide a summary of what the page is about. Write a description that would both inform and interest users if they saw your description meta tag as a snippet in a search result. Use unique descriptions for each page.
- Meta keywords: These type of keywords are ignored by search engines, so don’t waste your time adding them.
Check out this SEO checklist that highlights actions you can take now to help improve your ranking.