Google doesn’t give a monkey’s about your site.
Google has two sets of customers it needs to please, advertisers and searchers. You don’t pay Google a cent, so you have to earn your Page 1 ranking by keeping Google’s searchers happy.
Searchers have very few needs; your content must:
- Solve their problem
- Be delivered quickly
- Look good
Solving their problem is always the top priority.
1. Solving User Problems
Your web content exists to solve user problems, and that is how users and Google will judge it.
You need your web pages to deliver solutions your users can understand without spending ten minutes searching the page. Your target profile may have a preference for written, visual or video content and you should play to that choice. You will not please everyone.
Some users prefer pages of text because they can scan it quickly, especially if you use sub-headings. Break up your typing using drawings or pictures from your camera, but make sure they are relevant. Stock photos of PhotoShopped models looking pretty slow down your page and do nothing to help make a sale.
Include videos if they help your target profile, but never make them auto-start, because that alienates too many users.
Sales are made with words, not with pictures and videos.
You have three choices to provide the words you need on your page:
- Write them yourself – You know your product, but words are not your specialty
- Hire a freelance writer – Cheap, but not usually very convincing
- Hire a copywriter – Expert with words and persuasive, but costs more
If you fail to solve a user’s problem, Google will know because that person will search again. Consequently, your page goes down in Google’s results for that question. Using the best words on each page is essential to rank well in any search engine. Moral – Get it right, hire a copywriter.
2. Delivering Your Content Quickly
Nobody has any time, especially when they are searching on phones. There are many studies showing how vital fast loading times are to users.
Your pages need to solve user problems, and to do so quickly.
Optimizing your page will help reduce its loading time, but the limiting factor is always going to be your web hosting. Cheap hosting is slow.
If you have a shared hosting plan, your server will have hundreds of websites all jumbled up like Lego pieces in a box. It takes time to find all the different components of your pages, so they load slowly.
A VPS Hosting package will always be faster than a shared server because your content is more organized on the server’s hard disk.
WordPress hosting is another good option if you have used WordPress to build your website. When you choose this option, your host’s servers are optimized for all the database demands WordPress makes, so your site runs faster.
WordPress hosting is the best option for many site owners because you get simplicity and speed at a reasonable cost. This page explains what good WordPress hosting involves and it will help you decide on the hosting you need. This WPJuices article talks about what you need from your hosting in general.
3. Good Looking Web Content
Appearance is the lowest priority of the three factors for most users, but there is an absolute minimum you cannot fall below. We’ve all been on sites that present a wall of poorly-formatted text from one side of the screen to the next. If users can’t read your text, you have wasted your time and money putting your website live.
Formatting of text is vital. If you have more than 75 characters per line readers will be unable to transition to the next line easily. Their eyes can’t make the leap from the end of one line to the start of the line below.
Use extra paragraphs to break up your text into readable chunks: Paragraphs should vary between one and five lines, with most being in the two to four range.
Sub-headings are essential for users and Google: Users can scan the page and find relevant parts more quickly, and they help Google work out what your text is about.
Long Story Short
Powerful words, website speed, and good page design are the three crucial factors you need to get a Google page 1 search result. Powerful words cost money, and you need to pay a copywriter, good WordPress hosting isn’t expensive and makes your site faster.