• Cat Lund

RANK HIGHER ON GOOGLE

It's all very well creating an awesome website, but you still need to feature on the first page of search engines. I subscribe to a few different blogs, including this really useful one from James Rose at Content Snare, Web Business Weekly. They recently shared some in-depth analysis performed by backlinko.com and ahrefs.com.


Incredibly, they analysed 11.8 million websites to determine what made a site rank higher on search engines. They came up with some great insights, so I thought I would share them on this weeks #TipsOnTuesday.


Here are the tips I took away:


1. WRITE RELEVANT CONTENT


The data analysis showed that websites with more relevant content performed better in search results.


"Our analysis found a clear correlation between “Content Grade” and Google rankings in both desktop and mobile results."


The study also found that the average length of content ranking in the top ten Google results is 1,447 words. This doesn't mean you need to rush to add lots of text to your site, but it's clear that longer content is more likely to be relevant, keep a site visitor on the page for longer and allows more backlinks and keywords.



2. VISITOR TIME SPENT ON SITE


The study asked if there was a correlation between time on site and first page Google rankings. It found that time on site is strongly correlated with higher rankings, with the average time on site for a Google first page result being 2.5 minutes.


Google have previously denied using time on site as a ranking measure, but longer time on site is most likely a result of people reading that great content you've put up - and Google does measure and rank for content.



3. BACKLINKS


Because approximately 95% of all pages have zero backlinks [an astonishing number!] those pages were excluded from the study. Of those analysed, pages with the highest number of total backlinks tended to rank best. Pages at the top of the search results had 3.8 times more backlinks than pages ranked from #2 to #10.


The study also agreed with the hypothesis that it’s better to get 10 links from 10 different sites than 10 links from the same domain, as it found domain diversity has a substantial impact on rankings.


So the message is clear - you need diverse backlinks on your site to climb to the top of first page rankings.



4. PAGE LOADING SPEED ISN'T CRUCIAL


We all know that slow loading websites can be frustrating and therefore lead to a higher bounce rate. In a different analysis, Backlinko found that the average page took 10 seconds to load on desktop and 27 seconds to load on mobile [and you can check out that study here]. However, analysis of the average loading speed of websites [across the entire domain] found that first page ranked sites were loading in an average of 1.65 seconds - which makes 10 seconds look slow!


Having said all that, whilst it's obviously useful to make sure your website loads as fast as it can, once it comes to rising up those first page rankings, the study found zero correlation between site speed and Google rankings.


The team from Backlinko say:

"You would expect that faster pages would generally outrank slower ones. The data paints a different picture. Google’s algorithm appears to downrank extremely slow pages vs. benefit fast ones."


I think that the key point to take away here is to get your site optimised to load faster than the average - but not at the expense of content.


If you would like to read the excellent article for yourself here's the link: backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking


Don't forget to subscribe if you would like more #TipsOnTuesday - oh, and I'd appreciate a backlink! ;)

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