There are many factors that will affect the Google ranking for your web pages and so determine where they appear in the search results pages (SERPs). I am going to concentrate on the top 5 ranking factors that I think will play a major part in the positioning of your web pages on SERPs. The ones which will be big are concerned with technology, security and privacy but all of the others are still valid and contribute to your pages’ rankings.
Responsiveness has become important because of the many different devices that are available for websites to appear on. From smartphones to tablets, computer screen and TV sets. Your web pages must be able to be seen easily on all devices and so they must be responsive in that they adapt to the device beyond just changing the font size. All Content Management System (CMS) have designs or themes that are responsive and you should either upgrade to one of them or have your new website built using such a design.
Is your website secure? Do you have the correct level of encryption for the business that you are doing on your website? At the very least, your website should have a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate, even an entry level certificate will help for a static website with just a contact form. Last year Google announced that it would penalize websites that do not have an SSL certificate. If you have not already done so then you need to get an SSL Certificate, and have it applied to your website. You will know if you have an SSL certificate on your website because the address will begin with HTTPS.
Page load speed
Page load speed has been a major factor for many years already, and 2019 is set to be no different. Google is able to determine how quickly your web page will load from analysing the page code (HTML and scripts). Google also collects Chrome user data of page load speeds and so it has real data about page load speed from its own users. Your web pages need to be able to load quickly not only via fixed wire but also on the mobile data networks. This links with the requirement for your web pages to be responsive. Slow load speed and you will be penalised by Google.
If you don’t have a link building strategy then you are missing out on one of the most effective SEO practices. However, you need to be very careful about where you put your inbound links, i.e. links to your web pages. In 2019 Google is going to be more active about what it determines are spam link farms. The message is clear, quality inbound links from reputable websites and directories will get you noticed (in preference to your actual web page) whereas no links or links from link farms will get you penalised.
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