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How Google Decides What Your Search Rank Is

The most important part of creating a winning digital marketing strategy is to understand how Google ranks websites and determines your own website’s ranking. 

Why is this important?

SEO (search engine optimization) is the foundation of a successful inbound marketing campaign! As a business owner, blogger, or marketer, you should want your website to rank as high as possible! 

If your website is not appearing on the first page of search results, you could be missing out on valuable traffic. The easier it is for your target audience to access your site, the more likely you could be bringing in sales for your product or service!

Why Google’s Search Rank Is Important 

Regardless of the type of business you own, you should care about optimizing your site. Your search rank is important for your business’ success.

If a potential customer types in the services they need and your site doesn’t pop up as a top result, that means your SEO may need some help! You could be missing out on traffic that could be converting.

Which search engine should you optimize your site for? The answer is evident – Google. Google owns over 86 percent of the overall search market!

As a clear leader, Google’s guidelines are important to follow. While there are other search engines out there such as Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Baidu, Google dominates.

How Google Ranks Websites

While the depths of the Google algorithm are unknown to the general public, you don’t have to be left scratching your head in frustration. Several aspects are known and should be considered when crafting content for your site. 

The first thing to know about the ranking system is that it depends heavily on the user. Google’s algorithm aims to answer problems for the user in the most efficient, relevant, and quickest way possible. 

Their metrics for ranking consider the users’ wants above all else, including ads and links. 

 

How Google Decides What Your Search Rank Is

Google Ranks Websites Due to User Intent

Google tries to produce the most relevant answer to the search inquiry. But, most searchers have many intents. To solve this issue, Google will show links to websites with the most popular user intents first. 

For example, if you search for “jaguar,” the first result is Jaguar USA, an automotive company that produces luxury cars. While you may have specifically attempted to look up “jaguar,” the animal, most people are searching for the car.

Thus, Google recognizes that and bumps Jaquar USA to the top of the search results. If you scroll down the page, “jaguar” in reference to the animal, is ranked lower. This example represents user intent. 

Another example is “apple.” If you type “apple” into Google, the first result is Apple Inc., the technology company, not the fruit. 

Most users are looking for Jaguar, the automobile company, or Apple Inc., not their animal or the fruit counterparts. Clearly, it is evident users ultimately influence how Google ranks websites.

How Backlinks Impact How Google Ranks Websites

Backlinks are often key to any digital marketer’s SEO strategy. Backlinks connect one website page to another site.

Major search engines work simply – they count backlinks as “votes” for your page. Pages with a higher number of backlinks have more “votes.” The more “votes” for a page equate to a higher organic ranking! 

The more high-quality backlinks a site contains, the more credible the site looks to Google. Some even argue that backlinks are Google’s #1 most important ranking factor above user intent!

As experts in the digital marketing industry, our team at Elevare understands the importance of a powerful SEO strategy. We offer a variety of traditional marketing and digital marketing strategies. Check out our tricks for crafting a powerful digital media strategy by using backlinks here, and some helpful tips for curating your own guide to SEO

The More Time Spent, The Higher The Rating

The next major factor that plays a role in your site’s ranking is the time spent on the website.

Websites with a higher than average “time-on-site” metric often rank higher in Google’s search results. “Time on-site” is also referred to as “Dwell Time,” according to some experts. 

This is important to Google as they want customers to stay engaged as long as possible. If people are spending lots of time on your site, then, it must mean they are finding the content valuable. They are learning, reading, and enjoying your content. In other words, it signifies people find your content valuable.

Google rewards sites that keep their customers on the website the longest! Google sees “time on site” as a positive ranking factor and will push sites with lengthier “on-site” times to a higher spot in search results.

This brings us to another factor Google weighs – CTR (click-through rate). We know that Google considers CTR heavily in their paid search quality score. It’s important to note the paid algorithm is different than organic search. However, CTR should be taken into consideration. The bottom line remains – relevant results drive more clicks.

CTR impacts how Google ranks your website.

Can You Buy Your Way To The First Page?

Determining the right SEO strategy can be intimidating, especially for new business owners! Yet, the only way to sidestep organic traffic is through PPC (Pay-Per-Click) results. PPC results are paid-for positions companies can buy through Google’s bidding platform.

These sites often appear at the top of the search results, but not due to their fantastic SEO practices. You may be wondering why, if you can pay to appear first in the search results, would you not buy 1st place? Well, site owners pay for every click! 

The top spot in the search results goes to the highest bidder, and this can get pricey fast. Being at the top could equal a huge pay-off, but for many, the price is just too high. 

If you can’t afford to pay for the top result, what is your next step?

We have some good news for you. Organic search is the primary source of a website’s traffic! By optimizing your site, you can rank on the first page of Google without paying a high price.

So, What Should You Do?

As you craft your online marketing strategy, focus on the factors Google values most important: user intent, backlinks, dwell time, and CTR. These factors combine to create Google’s ranking system.

Google wants to provide searchers with the most relevant and valuable results. If your inbound and digital marketing strategy is not up-to-par, this could be negatively impacting your site’s ranking and costing you valuable sales opportunities. 

To solve this issue, we created a free resource to help you check your marketing strategy. If your site is not ranking on the first page of the search results, your current digital marketing strategy may be lacking in more ways than one. 

Use our free Ultimate Guide to Marketing Cheat Sheet to test the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. This guide will help you determine if your content marketing, social media marketing, and inbound marketing strategies are doing their job! Download your Ultimate Cheat Sheet here.

Driving more traffic to your website and boosting your ranking in search results is important!

Here at Elevare, we have a proven track record. Let us help you bring your site up in Google’s search results. Experienced in providing clients with powerful digital marketing strategies, our marketing team has helped boost websites significantly in search results!

Contact us today for your free inquiry!

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