How Google Ranks Content

How Google Ranks Content
Corin Tomasello

Some people ask for referrals, but most people will take their search to the best referrer there is –Google. There’s a reason that it is a verb (“Let’s Google It”). Prospective clients tend to use these online searches to find exactly what they need, when they need it and to answer questions they have if they would like to DIY-it.Wondering what it takes to be on the top of Google’s search results? Keep reading to find out how Google ranks content and what it takes to be on top from Charisma Communications.

How Google Ranks Pages

Google is a massive search engine that shows people the best content for an individual’s query (the keyword or phrase they searched). It’s important to know that your website may rank differently on desktop and mobile devices. Also, keep in mind that some pages (ex. your homepage) will be more visible than others. The goal is to make it to the first page of the search results as many times as possible! Let’s take a look at some of the key things that Google uses to rank.

Multiple User Intent

Google shows links to web pages that have the most popular user intents first. The top slots are saved to satisfy the most popular user intent. The more pageviews the better, and your content will rank higher due to the popularity!

Search Results Show What People Want to See

Google is showing the results that are most likely to satisfy users. This is where optimized title and description tags will help to guide user intent. Don’t forget to include a call-to-action in your meta description to encourage more clicks!

Click Data Helps Determine User Intent

Understanding user intent is so important, Google and other search engines have developed eye-tracking technologies to measure where on a search engine result page (SERPs) mobile users are lingering to measure user satisfaction and understand user intent for mobile users.

Google’s Search Results are Biased

Let’s just be honest...Google shows what people find useful; answering questions and giving how-to instructions are great ways to push yourself to the top!

Write for User Intent

Understand what users want to accomplish and make that the focus of the content. Make sure your webpage is targeting what the user wants and needs so they don’t immediately bounce from your webpage. Linking other pages (Like this) will help to increase your overall engagement metrics such as pages viewed and average time on site.

Content Popularity

Content popularity is about writing content that can be understood by the widest audience possible; the easier it is to understand what you are writing about, the wider your audience will be. Google likes to see new content and active websites tend to rank better overall.

Activity will vary by how competitive your industry is; personal trainers, real estate agents, and law firms should plan to add at least 3-4 new optimized pages a month to push themselves past their competition.Need help keeping up with your content strategy? Give our top-rated team a call!

How to Rank Higher on Google

Google’s algorithm is constantly changing to give users the best results. One search term can have multiple meanings. Google spiders crawl content regularly so it can better tailor the results to what it believes will be the most helpful result. Over time, Google’s algorithm has identified four main types of user’s search intent:

  • Know queries, where the user wants information about something. Ex: “Why won’t my car start?”
  • Do queries, where the user wants to take an action. Ex: “Best lawnmowing company.”
  • Website queries, where the user wants to go to a specific website or webpage. Ex: “Facebook.”
  • Visit-in-person queries, where the user wants to locate and visit a physical address. Ex: “Closest place to order pizza” or “gym near me”.

Engaging, Quality Content

Quality content very important because Google wants the user experience that is easy to find and easy to understand, as well. Quality content also means that careful and purposeful language – with the end-user in mind -- is being used.

Some trends come and go, but evergreen content will always help you out. Our Guide to Creating 'Forever Content'.

Longer Content

It has been noted that the highest-ranking pages on Google do tend to have longer content. At a minimum web pages should have at least 300 words but strive for more. Our content marketing specialists have found that blogs, how-to-guides, and white papers/case studies with about 1,000 words rank well.

Optimize Your Photos

Images rank well too! Optimize your photos by choosing a descriptive file name, reducing file size, and adding an image alt tag. Where possible, it’s good to give the photo a caption too.

Faster Page speed

People want their answers fast! Google has confirmed that your page’s speed is a high ranking signal.

Be Mobile Friendly

If your website is more than a few years old, you’ll want to make sure you revamp all pages to be mobile-friendly. More and more people search content through their phone for a faster service so don’t miss the opportunity to look great on any device!

Get Found Online

Google is always evolving and staying up to date with what its users want and need in a search engine. Web pages are meant to provide users with what they are looking for – hopefully, these tips and tricks helped you get a better understanding of how you can improve your ranking on Google.

Need help getting found online? Charisma Communications is an affordable search engine optimization (SEO) company based in Tampa, FL. Make sure your next great client finds you and not your competition when you communicate with charisma.