Google’s search engine is the single most powerful source of leads, sales, enquiries, phone calls, plus much more for your business. Google want their users to easily find exactly what they want. Over the years, Google has changed its search engine algorithm, and many of the techniques that marketers stood by a few years ago are now defunct. This means that there’s no place for old-hat search engine optimisation techniques in today’s world and for your business to thrive, you need to be more careful than ever when building your online presence.
So what does Google want from your website in 2014?
Google want good on-page coding
One of Google’s ranking factors is website usability, and website usability is determined by coding. But, on-page coding is more of a prerequisite than a search ranking booster – Google believes that all websites should be super fast and have well-designed 404 pages, along with easy to read markup and coding that’s designed for the modern web, such as responsive design.
According to a study by Searchmetrics, fulfilling certain on-page coding criteria such as having a fast website no longer has a positive effect on search engine rankings. But, according to that same study, having a slow website results in a ranking drop. In other words, on-page coding is more of a prerequisite than a search ranking booster, and it’s a pivotal element of a successful website.
Google want to find quality content
Content is everything. It is your page titles, meta descriptions, heading tags, web copy, articles, images, videos, infographics, Slideshares, and everything in-between. Google want to include websites in their search results that are relevant and valuable to searchers, and the only way to achieve this is to produce, publish, and distribute high quality content in the right places.
According to an infographic published by Brafton, 92% of marketers say that content creation is either “very effective” or “somewhat effective” for SEO. This infographic is backed up by Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, who believes that good content trumps SEO.
You need to publish content on your website because it keeps your website freshly indexed. You also need to publish content on your website because this is the only way you will attract natural links – quality articles, infographics, videos, and case studies will attract industry attention.
Google want to rank relevant websites
Google want relevancy. Google will not rank a website that isn’t relevant to the searcher. The relevancy of a website is determined by the content of that website. The first stage in creating relevancy is to optimise a website by editing the page titles and meta descriptions. The page title is the first thing Google looks at on a website and the meta description, although not a ranking factor, needs to match that page title for the relevancy of potential searchers.
More information on Google’s criteria for page titles and meta descriptions can be found here.