You have a brand or business already with a professional live website, well done!. But, for some reason, your site isn’t ranking in the first results of Google searches, one of the most common goals. In this post, we’ll talk about how to rank better in Google thanks to a quick list of initial actions you need to consider at all times.

The first thing we need to always bear in mind is that, according to many studies and statistics on user online behaviour, around 75% of people only click on the first three results in Google. Therefore, even though the other 7 are on the first results page, they are not getting as much traffic.

Knowing this, what can we do to put our site on the path of ranking success? Follow these 6 keys and your results will see improvements for sure.

1. Use the secure HTTPS navigation protocol

It is possible that as a user you may have had trouble accessing a site with a warning like this:

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This happens sometimes when our browser sees that the site you are trying to access does not have the HTTPS protocol active. Thanks to this tool, we are making sure that any exchange of information between us and that site is secure, encrypted and authenticated. This is very important in websites where we potentially introduce our personal data or payment details, such as an e-commerce site.

Nowadays, there are multiple hacking methods capable of stealing this kind of information, so we must be sure to always have this protocol active. Once we do that, we should see this in the search bar:

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This tool is very simple to activate, it is usually included in most of the main hosting services packages and its cost is really low and can definitely make your site rank better in Google.

2. Make your site mobile responsive

Another important factor that helps your site rank better in Google is if it’s adapted to mobile devices. The reason is very simple: more than 90% of today’s navigation happens on mobile phones. This information alone tells us that if our site is not responsive it almost doesn’t exist.

For good mobile navigation, we have to consider aspects such as the location of the menus, a vertical layout or a tactile approach. This type of navigation requires more agile and intuitive actions, different from a desktop experience. Our users have to take the steps we want them to simply and naturally. Big pieces of text are also not recommended, as they could make the site harder to navigate.

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Once we take care of this issue, our site will be much better prepared for the users of today. Neglecting this aspect of a site can lead to a drop in our site’s visits, with the consequences that may bring. As you can see in this previous post, one of the most important factors to rank well in Google is user retention, meaning that if there’s anything that makes your users leave the site quickly, that’s going to affect you negatively.

3. Offer a clear navigation

Whether it is for mobile or desktop, the quality of our site’s navigation will also influence and make it or not rank better in Google’s search results.

Easy navigation is known for a series of elements such as design, the site’s structure or how easy it is to go from one point A to point B. That is why it is so important to know your audience so you can offer exactly what they are looking for when they land on your website. This will help a better user experience, another feature Google values the most.

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The use of colours plays an important role as well, as it affects the way we offer a pleasant and comfortable visual experience. Too bright colours or sad tones may convey a different message than the one we intend.

4. Improve your page loading speed

This is a key factor to rank better in Google as well, as we must make sure that our site loads fast anytime someone visits our website. A slow speed can negatively impact your site’s ranking because your audience won’t even give you 5 seconds to show them the content they are looking for. If your site is not loading, that person won’t wait and will go straight to a different one before having even seen yours.

We know that a lost visitor is one point less for Google’s judgement, so if your audience is not reaching your site, it will not consider it worth showing in search results. And we’re back to one of Google’s mottos: user experience. Attract your audience and make them stay.

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There are several tools to measure your site’s loading speed, but one of the most common and free out there is Google’s Existen PageSpeed Insights. A quick test is done instantly showing you the main issues and strong points of the analyzed site.

The reasons why a page does not load fast may be many, but here you have some of the most common ones.

5. Quality content

Considering that our primary goal will always be to retain visitors, to rank better in Google we have to focus on one of the things the catches our attention the most: content.

After all, when we visit a site we expect to find the answer to our question, right?

But that ideal piece of content isn’t just plain text and that’s it. It must have some characteristics that make it attractive for readers. As mentioned in this previous post, right now there are a lot of different content formats that adapt to every user’s query. Blogs, videos, guides, podcasts or tutorials are some of the most popular these days, as they show the answer or solution our users are looking for in a very simple and clear way.

In fact, depending on what piece of content we want to publish, how complex or advanced it is, we’ll choose one format or the other. For example, if someone wants to know “how to clean the washing machine’s filter”, they’ll likely look for a video because in a matter of a few minutes they will see someone explaining it and showing how it’s done. If we had to read that on a blog post, it would be equally useful but less practical.

6. Avoid glaring technical SEO issues

In the first point, we talked about the importance of activating the HTTPS protocol, which is precisely a very common error in many sites and one that has to do with the technical part of SEO. We say it is technical SEO because issues like this are related to how the site is built and affect how Google crawls it, indexes it and ranks it on the results page.

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Aspects such as duplicated content, broken links, no sitemaps or the robots.txt file are some of the most common errors we can find that will not make your site rank better in Google. These issues may not really affect your site’s navigation, but they are somewhat red flags for Google, as it reads them and interprets them as obstacles to finding and understanding what the page is about or how it is structured. The explanation for this is easy: if the site we visit has many broken links or it is not responsive, what happens then?. Our visitors will leave because their experience with our site won’t be good. Or if there is no sitemap or robots.txt file, Google will have a hard time “understanding” your site or what it’s about.

To rank organically with SEO in Google may be hard sometimes, but if you follow these 6 keys we saw here, you will already be on the path towards a better ranking position in searches by making your website more visible and enjoyable for your audience.