[dropcap]B[/dropcap]reaking into the international marketplace can be lucrative for online businesses. What was once a relatively easy process has now become slightly more challenging as Google algorithms continue to evolve. The good news is that there are a few factors you can focus on to boost your Google rankings. Let’s dive right in!
Backlinks are Vital
Without a doubt, backlinks are one of the strongest Google ranking factors. The more robust your link portfolio is, the more ranking power you’ll have, thus increasing views and conversions.
But not all backlinks are created equal. Before Google algorithms got savvy to black hat link tactics, you could simply employ a link farm and net thousands of backlinks. If you do this now, you will fall prey to a Google penalty and potentially destroy your online business.
Take the time and develop a number of high-authority sites to connect with and earn links from. You can get your site listed on resource pages, product and service review sites, guest blogs, and more.
Produce Authoritative Shareable Content
Content is indeed still king! This ties into the subject of backlinks as well. If you develop authoritative, shareable content, you can be sure other websites will link to it as supportive data and information.
Quality content also helps your audience learn and connect with your brand, products, and/or services more. When you deliver content your target audience wants, or answer important questions, your following will grow exponentially.
Authoritative content of the highest quality also tends to be longer. This is good. According to Neil Patel, the top ten page one positions for most content are 2000+ words in length. Combine that with infographics, videos, charts, graphs, and you have a highly shareable content that converts and gets backlinks.
Understand Google’s Mobile-First Index
Google injected the mobile-first index in 2016 and shook up the online business space. What is mobile-first indexing? If your website is not optimized for mobile devices, for instance, it looks like a desktop version on a smartphone, you may not get the rankings you hoped for.
This is especially important for ecommerce sites and any websites that have a strong mobile target audience. Is your site mobile-ready? It’s hard to say, but you can ask Google using the Mobile-Friendly Tool.
How Fast Does Your Page Load?
This is a very important question to ask. Consumer behavior has changed a lot over the last decade. Attention spans have shortened and wait times for information have decreased significantly.
If your website doesn’t load in three seconds or less, your audience will most likely abandon your site and move onto a competitor page. The good news is that you can easily optimize your WordPress website for speed with a few online tools. You can also engage a WordPress speed optimization service.
Your first stop should be Google Analytics. The analytical data can give you key insight into what pages are loading quickly, and what pages are lagging. You can also run a speed test to get ore information on desktop and mobile site load times.
Branded Social Searches are a Ranking Factor
Social media is now influencing Google’s ranking factors. The branded searches on social are signaling to Google that people recognize and want to learn more about your brands. This is vital for international businesses, since social media channels may be a big source of site traffic.
Leverage your social media campaigns to direct more social users to your site, make an impression on them, and encourage them to connect with you via social. This could be in the form of asking questions via Facebook Messenger, or increasing views to your Pinterest Pins.
Switch from HTTP to HTTPS
Want to improve your ranking factor in a quick and painless way? Switch your site from HTTP to HTTPS. Google is giving higher priority to websites with HTTPS in an effort to increase security for users.
In fact, Google even announced a July 2018 deadline for site owners to take security seriously by switching to HTTPS. If you haven’t done this yet, it is time, especially if you’re an international online business.
Provide a Powerful User Experience
User experience is another important Google ranking factor. To give your target audience a powerful user experience, your website needs to be easy to navigate, provide engaging content, load fast, and fulfill searchers intent.
This is where SEO joins forces with UX and UI. Always keep your target audience in mind when developing new web pages, product landing pages, and more. It will satisfy your audience, as well as Google.
Are You Ranking?
International online businesses need to be versatile and cater to a wide audience with different demographics. To do this, you need to implement strategies to continually improve your Google rankings. Maximize your online visibility with the above factors and grow your online business today.