Struggling to understand why your website isn’t ranking well? While the exact inner workings of Google’s search algorithms aren’t released to the public, they do provide regular updates and guidelines. Though business owners with websites have plenty of access to information about what will help and hinder their chances at ranking well, it can still be difficult to know what will directly impact your site. Luckily, there’s one secret that can be almost universally applied to website design: whatever makes people happy will also make search engines happy.
What exactly does that mean? If any of the following things are true, your website is probably not serving your users well – and subsequently facing penalties from search engines.
Your Content Sucks
When Bill Gates famously said, “Content is king” back in 1996, who knew we would still be uttering that phrase years later? Thanks to years of Google algorithm updates that prioritize user experience, including the latest – aptly named the Helpful Content Update – content is more important than ever before. In fact, it’s arguably even more important than it was in 1996. Not only does your website content need to be in-depth and answer all of the questions your users have, but it needs to be original. Google has spent years developing measures to fight spam, duplicate content, automatically generated content, and other content shortcuts. Avoid these!
It’s Slow and Clunky
Speed matters. Users are impatient, and Google started penalizing slow sites in 2018 as part of a ranking update. While there is no specific metric to measure how fast your website needs to load according to Google, most metrics indicate that users will leave a website if it takes more than 4 seconds for it to load. As technology advances and users get acclimated to quicker loading times, we can expect that time to just keep getting faster. If you aren’t keeping tabs on the loading speed of your website, you stand a chance of losing traffic and rankings due to slow loading times.
It’s Not Mobile-friendly or Responsive
Do you know which devices and browsers users are utilizing to visit your website? If your website isn’t built to accommodate all combinations of devices and browsers, you run the risk of frustrating users – and earning penalties from search engines. Google has been indexing the mobile version of websites first since 2020, so if your website isn’t designed mobile-first, it faces active penalties.
We Can Help
Need help making your website a better place for your users and Google’s crawlers? MyAdvice has been building websites for more than 20 years, so we know a thing or two. Contact one of our digital marketing experts for a complimentary consultation.