Are you wondering how you can improve Google.com.sg ranking for your website?
When creating a website, a lot of effort is put towards giving it an ultramodern outlook. After all, this is the bare minimum for any business that wants to stand a chance against its competitors. The problem, however, is getting visitors (in this case, potential customers) to visit your website; and if internet users can’t see you, the site wouldn’t be serving its intended purpose.
A website is an investment to your business; without traffic, it is lifeless, and perhaps useless.
The best way to get organic traffic to your website is by improving your Google ranking. Precisely, you have to figure out ways to improve your search ranking in your local Google domain, such as Google.com.sg.
It seems a daunting task, but understanding Google ranking factors is the right place to start if you want to improve Google.com.sg ranking for your site.
Top Google Ranking Factors in 2019
Google ranking factors are the elements that affect the position of your website on Google’s organic search results. There are two types – on-page factors, which are signals coming from your site, and off-page factors, which are signals coming from other websites.
Enough said, let us dive into the ranking factors that affect the amount of traffic you get on your Singapore website.
Content is king – it is one of the top three ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.
The first and most crucial aspect of your site’s content is quality. Good quality content is accurate, relevant, and provides an in-depth description of a particular topic. Google uses latent semantic indexing (LSI) to gauge the depth of your topic and favors sites that offer comprehensive information.
For example, if your website focuses on digital marketing, LSI will check if your content has related cluster words such as SEO, email marketing, content marketing, and conversion rate optimization, and so on. Content that has a detailed description of a particular topic will rank higher on search results than shallow content.
Gone are the days when Google considered 500 words as the standard length for webpage content. Nowadays, you have to churn at least 2,000 words per piece to rank high on Google, which further underpins the importance of writing in-depth content.
Depending on the type of your website, content recency may be a significant ranking factor. For example, if your website talks about marketing, you have to keep your content fresh. Contrarily, if your website focuses on the history or facts, content freshness is a non-factor.
Google prefers well-structured content, as it is easier to read. Ensure that your content is easily navigable by including header tags (H1, H2, H3…), bullet points, and a table of contents.
Google uses backlinks to assess the quality and relevance of your website. The more you have, the higher you rank on search results.
However, not all backlinks are suitable for your website. You should emphasize getting contextual links that are relevant to your content. Google always prioritizes a few high-quality backlinks over many low-quality links.
There are several proven ways of getting authoritative backlinks to your website. Such include broken link building, using high-quality infographics, resource page link building, and guest posting.
As mentioned above, Google disregards low-quality backlinks. If you purchase backlinks, use reciprocal linking, use irrelevant backlinks, or even build backlinks yourself, Google will eventually detect this malpractice, and it can also attract a penalty.
User Experience (RankBrain)
One of most the most significant updates to Google’s ranking algorithm in recent times is the introduction of RankBrain.
RankBrain is a machine-learning AI system that studies and measures user experience on your webpage. More specifically, it measures parameters such as click-through rate (CTR), bounce rate, the time the user spends on the page, exit rate, and return to the search results page. Google uses this information to tell if the searcher found the information they were after from your website.
CTR refers to the frequency at which searchers click your website on the search engine results page. If your site gets fewer clicks than the ones ranked below, Google will lower your ranking. In the long run, if nothing is done, you risk falling off the #1 page. The best way of improving CTR is by using captivating titles along with a relevant Meta description.
Another metric that RankBrain assesses is the bounce rate, which refers to the number of times searchers visit a particular page on your website and exit without opening another page. A high bounce rate lowers your ranking, as it is an indicator that your site’s content is irrelevant. The remedy to this problem is maintaining high-quality posts throughout your website.
Other factors considered by RankBrain are the time spent on a webpage and return to the search engine results page. These two are conversely related. If a searcher spends more time on your web page, it shows that your content is good and relevant to their search intent. This will earn you a higher ranking. On the contrary, if they return to the search results page immediately, you will slip down the rankings.
The time it takes for your webpages to load has an impact on the bounce rates. According to SearchEngineJournal, the probability of bounce increases by a whopping 123% if your site takes 10 seconds to load. In stark contrast, pages that rank of the first two pages of search results usually load in two seconds or less.
The quickest way of speeding up your website is through deleting redundant plugins. You should optimize your photos, as they significantly contribute to slow loading speeds. Alternatively, you can use CloudFlare for free, or invest in a premium content delivery network.
Mobile devices are the primary source of web traffic in Singapore. The same applies on an international scale. As a result, Google updated its ranking algorithm to give preferences to mobile-friendly sites.
Last year, Google underlined the importance of mobile-responsiveness by introducing ‘mobile-first indexing,’ an update that prioritizes the mobile version of a website over the desktop version.
If your website lacks mobile optimisation in this era of smartphone dominance, you are doing yourself great disfavor. Luckily, most web design companies in Singapore include mobile-responsiveness as part of their development package.
Google flags all websites that lack an SSL certificate. The search engine encourages websites to implement HTTPS encryption to make the internet more secure. As from July 2018, Google’s native browser, Chrome, started marking all sites that lack an SSL certificate (HTTPS protocol) as ‘not secure.’
An SSL certificate encrypts the communication channel between the user and the website, ensuring that hackers have no access to sensitive information. Google rewards secure sites by ranking them higher on organic search results.
The best thing about SSL certificates is their affordability, and many web hosting companies in Singapore include it in their service portfolio.
According to research conducted by Ahrefs, the majority of sites that rank in the top 10 are at least three years old. In comparison, only 22% of the top 10 sites are less than one year old. If your website is two years old or younger, you should find some reprieve in this discovery – it means that your site is too young to compete with established websites.
There is, however, a way for circumventing this issue. You can easily buy an established domain that is already authoritative. Before making such a purchase, ensure that the domain had content related to your niche, and it was not a spamming platform.
On-page optimisation are the tactics you implement on your website to improve your ranking on search engine result pages.
The first element of on-page optimisation is the title tag. Having a keyword in the title tag isn’t enough – according to Moz, title tags that start with keywords perform way better than titles with keywords on other locations. The titles should also be concise and compelling.
The quality of your Meta description tag impacts your search ranking, albeit indirectly. A persuasive description shows searchers that your site has the solution to their query. Therefore, it affects the click-through rate, which, as seen above, is one of Google’s critical ranking factors.
Many website owners in Singapore don’t fully understand the concept of image alt text concerning on-page optimisation. Image alt text is the text a webpage shows if the image fails to load. In most cases, website owners place keywords in this position, not knowing that this is a form of keyword stuffing. The image alt text field should be a textual description of the image – this way; you will get more organic traffic from Google’s image search engine.
Although it is often overlooked, the structure of your URL plays a crucial role in your on-page optimisation efforts. A quick way of optimising your URL is by incorporating a keyword. For instance, a site that talks about beverages should have the URL https://site.com/beverages.
It is essential to consider the future when customising your URL. Using the example above, it is easier to add another subcategory, say soda – https://site.com/beverages/soda – than it would if the previous address was https://site.com/soda.
You should also keep the length of your URL in check. Google truncates the address after the first 512 pixels (approximately 75 characters), meaning that you should keep them as short as possible. Simply put, shorter URLs rank higher on Google result pages.
Site organisation refers to the connection between the various webpages on your website. The better your site organization, the better your chance of higher ranking on search engines like Google Asia.
Every website has a structure – it can be either haphazard or organized. Despite its importance, very few webmasters in Singapore pay attention to the organization of their website.
Naturally, humans find more satisfaction when navigating websites that have a logical organization. Information is much easier to access than on jumbled platforms. As you know, a site that is appealing to visitors ranks high on Google, as it has higher CTR, low bounce rates, and other useful parameters associated with top ranking on search engine result pages.
The most significant advantage of having a great site organisation is getting sitelinks from Google. Sitelinks are a listing format in the search engine result pages that show your homepage along with several internal links indented. Besides making your site easily navigable, these links boost brand image, increase CTR, build trust, and most importantly, direct users to the relevant pages.
As powerful as they are, Google’s web crawlers can’t discover every webpage on all indexed websites. Unindexed pages are not visible to searchers. You can, however, change this by implementing strong organization on your website.
For convenience purposes, it is advisable to implement a great structure when starting a website from scratch. Use a hierarchical structure. Ideally, the site should have between two and six subcategories, unless you are building an e-commerce platform. You should also try to make sure that the number of subcategories under each category is even.
Every website owner wants their content to go viral. The quickest means of achieving this popularity is getting your content shared across various social media platforms.
You have to create popular content to increase the likelihood of it going viral. The internet has abundant resources that are useful in identifying trending topics, such as BuzzSumo and Twitter.
After creating popular content, the next step is simplifying the sharing process. Ensure that your site one-click share buttons to mainstream social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, and so on.
If you wish to share the content through your social media channels, use this guide from HubSpot to target the peak hours.
The list mentioned above is far from exhaustive – in total Google has over 200 factors that affect search ranking. Nevertheless, the few factors discussed in this piece can be significantly useful if you want to improve Google.com.sg ranking for your website.
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