Celebration time is over, and we all need to go back to our working routine! And what best time is there to make plans than January? One of your plans might be to improve the SEO of your website. So, here’s part 2 of the article regarding important Google-ranking factors that are still relevant for 2020.
In the first part of this article (published in December 2019) we’ve covered the content-related factors or signals, so now we’re going to talk about all the others.
Most of these things are quite technical, but this will give you an idea of what to ask to your webmaster / marketing / SEO team.
1. HTTPS. This isn’t new anymore, but if by any chance your site is still not using the secure protocol, it’s time to talk to your web developer and make this change.
2. Page speed. Make your website load fast. Not only has Google officially confirmed page speed load as an important ranking factor, but also users tend to give up on waiting for a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load (yes, 3 seconds!). So, if your load time is long, you’ll end up losing traffic and getting worse on another ranking signal – dwell time (we’ve talked about dwell time in part 1 of this article, so feel free to check that out as well).
3. Mobile-friendliness. In 2020 Google continues to use the mobile-first index. This means Google evaluates your website by its mobile version. So, make sure your website is not only responsive, but also that its mobile version is user-friendly.
4. Country-code Top-Level Domain (.pt, .fr, etc). If your website is serving to a certain country only, this is the strongest signal there is to show it, both for Google and for the users. But be careful, if your company serves globally or in several countries, choosing a certain domain can turn into a roadblock.
5. Alt texts. Google robots are very smart, but they still can’t understand images as they understand text. Alt text is a short description of an image that does not appear on the page but stays in the code. This way Google bots will know what’s on the image. It helps to confirm the topic of the page and also gives a chance for an image to rank. So, never leave your alt texts empty, shortly describe the image and when appropriate maybe even include a keyword in that description.
6. Internal links. Google bots are discovering your website by following internal links on your website. Links can pass “power” to one another, so the page to which most links point to will be considered the most important page on the website, and thus will have more probability to rank better. Also from anchor texts (the text of each link), Google gets the context, which makes it also an important factor.
7. Backlinks or links from other websites. These are still hugely important for rankings. Google sees links from other websites as “votes of trust”. But not all the links are made equal, so don’t just aim at getting as many links as possible. Link relevancy is also very important. Getting a link from a website within your topic is more beneficial that getting a link from your relative’s website regarding a completely different business sector.
In parts 1 and 2 of this article, we’ve tried to compile the most important ranking factors for 2020. There are, of course, more factors and some of them we might not even ever know, but the bottom line is always the same: it’s not all about robots! Make a human user – your potential client – happy and you will succeed with Google as well.
Happy optimising and happy New Year!
For more information, bespoke strategies and efficient digital marketing solutions, just contact the Clarity’s girls through firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.yourdigitalclarity.com.