Often we talk about how to maximize your Google ranking, but there are things you can do to avoid being penalized, too. Let us consider both together.

Be Aware of What Ranking Algorithms Are Looking For–and What They Are Attempting to Suppress

Algorithms for determining which results sit near the top of search engine ranking pages change over time. Sometimes, those changes are sweeping (and there are rumors that that’s true of the most recent changes), but more often they are tweaks. If you have someone or a department in-house that can keep abreast of these changes and alter your website to take advantage, that’s great, but in many cases it’s best to get help from professionals, like the ones at SunAnt. They’ll make sure that you’re optimizing your site for good rankings, which will bring you more traffic.

Write Good Content and Update It Regularly

Gaming Google’s ranking results used to be easy, but their algorithms are a lot smarter nowadays. Some of the things that they look for are readability, content freshness, web page relevance, web page usability/ease of navigation, variety of contents, and relevance to the contents of the search.

It is a relatively easy matter in most cases to add a blog to your corporate website. The question is, do you want to commit to providing new content on a regular basis? If not, you might want to consider farming out that work. Either way, SunAnt stands ready to help you.

Conduct Regular Content Audits

Schedule time at regular intervals to review your website in all its aspects. Could you improve readability? Is there anything old-fashioned about your layout, anything no longer relevant about your content? Are there plug-ins that used to function well that no longer do? Has it gotten so unwieldy that it no longer loads up quickly? It may be time to do a little spring cleaning.

Using site analytics, you can also find out which of your products, posts, and pages are getting the best responses and which are getting the poorest, which will help you determine how better to target your goods, services, and content to your customers/audience.

Make Sure Your Links Are Good

This is closely related to conducting site audits. Dead links will frustrate your visitors, and they will cause your site to be ranked downward. Backlinks, internal links, and external links should all function. And although Google algorithms will reward judicious use of links, they will penalize overuse of links when that leads to lots of dead ones. Broken links in your CSS, JavaScript, and image URLs can slow your website speed, which is one of Google’s ranking factors. So, when you audit your site, check those links.

Do Not Spam Your Visitors

If you are hosting spammy ads or intrusive pop-ups that get right up in your users’ faces, you are undermining their user experience. If they come to get information and they are confronted with a big ad at the top that forces the content they have come to look at down toward the bottom of the visible page, or ads that jump up and are difficult to close, or that clutter the page, Google is going to penalize your content and layout. And, honestly, this is a big turn off for visitors, and one that often drives them away. If your website acts rudely, it reflects badly on your business.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

In the Before Times of the Internet, keyword stuffing was an effective way of moving your site up the rankings, but search engine and web crawler algorithms have gotten a lot more sophisticated. They are actually able to analyze the internal grammar of your site and its content in a sophisticated and meaningful way, with an eye to user experience. More than ever, it is important that your website be well designed, easy to read and navigate, fast to load, and full of good and varied content.

In Sum

In order to get good page rankings, it’s important to stay on top of new algorithm tweaks, especially Google’s. Not everyone has the in-house resources to do it, and not everyone has the background or patience to understand the sometimes pretty technical language these updates are couched in. It’s important to audit your site on a reasonably frequent basis to make sure that your content is still fresh and pertinent, and if it’s been around for a while, it’s not a bad idea to analyze whether all the elements are still co-operating well. Fresh and pertinent content is very important, too.

If you want some advice on how to optimize your website for better rankings and more visitors, talk to the pros here at SunAnt. They can set you in the right direction, and even take on some of the burden of periodic audits and content generation. Give us a call, and they’ll give you, our insight.