How to Get Google on Your Side
We are all familiar with the concept of search engines, and that if we want to find a business or an answer to our question it is only a few clicks away. There are multiple search engines out there, but Google accounts for 90% of all online searches in North America, making it the ultimate online standard.
Google sets the criteria for how websites become favored, making them the gatekeeper for how online customers find you. When a potential customer wants to eat out, they’ll often start their search online to narrow their options. Having Google on your side can help you appear at the top of this customer’s list, increasing your chances of making a sale.
Foot traffic and word of mouth are no longer enough to attract enough new customers for many businesses to stay competitive, so it’s important to understand how search engines work so that you can capture the new set of consumers that make their dining decisions online.
What it Means to Have Google on Your Side
Having Google on your side isn’t a popularity contest, but a relevancy contest. If your website is appearing higher on a Google search it means that Google believes the content on your website corresponds to what someone is searching for.
Google wants to present relevant, accurate, and usable content to its users, and given that there are over a billion websites out there, Google has to use criteria to determine what to show in its results.
With this in mind, you can take specific actions on your website that will tell Google what your website is about, and who it should be presented to. This often comes in the form of meta descriptions, which are tags that describe and summarize the contents of your page for the benefit of search engines. Other areas of consideration to appeal to Google include:
- Mobile Friendliness: ⅔ of website traffic starts on mobile devices, so you need to ensure your website is easy to use on a mobile device. That images are visible, all aspects of the website can be accessed, and users can complete any given action.
- Content Formatting: Content formatted with web schema allows Google to easily index and display the most relevant content on your website.
- Optimized SERP Layout: SERP stands for Search Engine Results Pages which are the list of websites or links displayed after a user enters their query. You can set what information appears in search results before consumers even click, optimizing it to entice users to click on your link.
- SSL Certificate: SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is a global security standard for websites. Without an SSL certificate Google is unlikely to favor your website.
- Social Media: Linking your website in your social media and Google My Business Profiles and keeping the information updated across all platforms will help Google recognize the content to be authoritative and accurate.
Upcoming Changes You Should Know
Search engines are always updating, making it essential that you stay up-to-date on any new requirements Google creates. In May 2021 Google will be updating its algorithm again, with a focus on what’s called Core Web Vitals.
Core Web Vitals are designed to measure how users experience the speed, responsiveness, and visual stability of a page on any website. The update was introduced last year, but in May will become a key signal to Google for what websites should rank more highly. The elements determining these vitals include:
- Largest Contentful Paint: The time it takes for a page’s main content to load
- First Input Delay: The time it takes for a page to become interactive
- Cumulative Layout Shift: The amount of unexpected layout shift of visual page content
These three elements are looking at how easily a user can navigate your website and interact with content and has a huge emphasis on mobile-first designs. If you are interested in learning more about this update you can reach out to the Fisherman team or learn more at Search Engine Journal.
Setting You up for Success
Keeping up with Google’s updates can feel like a full-time job. That’s why we are passionate about delivering websites that are fully optimized for search engine favor. We make sure all of the content on your website is indexable to search engines, provide a blogging platform to keep your audience engaged, and handle all of the technical aspects of SEO.
Whether you need a new website or want to upgrade your website to a Fisherman to be favored on Google, we’ll rebuild your existing website on our platform for free. Getting started is easy, simply give us your contact info and we’ll be in touch shortly with a fully optimized, modern website tailored to your needs.