Best Practices for Better Visibility
The ability to rank your website on the first page of a search engine can make or break a business and competition is fierce. 4% of users don’t even make it to the second page of the search results. That’s a 95% drop off from the first page. Luckily there are three simple things you can do to your website right now to increase its visibility.
Google has indicated that these three best practices will play a factor in the ranking of your website. They can also enhance the security of your website too. First page websites will benefit from these steps too by changing the way users perceive your site.
1. Use HTTPS
It has been known for a while now (since 2014) that Google uses https connections as a ranking factor, therefore, you should already be using it. Recently, however, Google has changed the way it chooses to let its users know which sites are secure to use.
Google has implemented a very visible sign on the search bar indicating that your site is safe to use. Without HTTPS Google displays a ‘Not Secure’ warning in red. Even if you are not sending private data over your website you should still consider implementing a secure connection. By doing this you’ll increase your website’s visibility. Having a secure connection should also decrease bounce rates as visitors to your site will feel safer.
Learn more about implementing https on your website here.
2. Optimizing website performance for visibility
Page speed, the rate a which your website loads, is a determining factor in a website’s ranking. A poor performing website will increase your bounce rate. This is because 40% of people abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. As a result, it is critical that you are on top of your page speed game.
Eliminate render blocking content
Render blocking content can cause websites to load slower because the above the fold content has to load scripts before it can be rendered itself. Above the fold content is the content that is visible without scrolling. Therefore it is a good idea to load unnecessary scripts after the above the fold content.
Optimise your images
Properly optimising your images can dramatically increase your page speed. First of all, make sure you are using the correct format for your images. Compressing images can reduce the time that takes to load them. Watch out that you don’t over compress lossy formats such as JPEGs. If you are using WordPress you can use the EWWW Image Optimizer.
Luckily, Google provides a tool that you can use to check your website’s page speed and it’s free.
Finally, on the topic of page speed. The image above is the page speed of Google. You’ll notice that even they have scored less than 100. It’s important to note that your website doesn’t need to score top marks. Only that you optimise it so that it can achieve the best score possible. Furthermore, you should be thinking about improving your page speed constantly.
3. Make your website responsive.
The topic of responsive websites requires a blog all of its own. In terms of visibility and performance, it’s essential that your website is just as fast if not faster than your desktop version. The tool mentioned above from Google shows you a different score for your mobile and desktop versions. There may be different requirements to increase your page speed for each one. One of the major changes you can make is using CSS media queries to deliver your mobile site rather than redirecting your users to a mobile version of the site.
So there we have it. Go spread your wings and optimise your website for better visibility and watch your website climb the mountain that is search engine results.