Achieving high Google rankings is a goal for any business. After all, in an increasingly digitally-reliant landscape, this search engine is likely to be the most common way in which consumers find your services. Certainly, utilizing marketing techniques — such as producing high-quality content and a solid SEO (search engine optimization) strategy — can drive traffic to your web store. But there are other elements that affect ranking, too.
The structure, content, and technical components of your website play important roles in how Google and other search engines recommend your pages. Therefore, it’s worth taking some time to explore how web development technology can enhance site audits that empower you to boost your Google rankings.
Understanding the Influencing Factors
There are a range of tech tools available now that can boost optimization. However, it’s important to be intentional when choosing your tech. Perhaps the most effective approach to this is by gaining an understanding of the influencing factors related to Google rankings. This knowledge can drive more informed decision-making.
There are several core Google ranking factors that influence the algorithm the search engine uses to offer users the most relevant sites on the SERP (search engine results page). Keywords connect the site content to users’ search terms, which is why it’s so important to optimize keywords on websites. Utilizing optimized HTML title tags on web content can also strengthen the efficacy of keywords. Authority continues to be important, which makes arranging backlinks and strategic internal linking a useful way to boost rankings.
There are also some influences that aren’t as immediately obvious as keywords and backlinks. For instance, the speed at which content loads on a website can determine whether the search engine’s crawling software can effectively and swiftly index it for ranking. Security plays a role too, as those with strong protective protocols — such as HTTPS URL prefixes — can show the algorithm how credible and safe the site is for users.
Utilizing Crawling Tech
Search engines utilize crawlers in order to index and rank pages. Some of the most powerful web development tools you have at your disposal for auditing take a similar approach. Auditing crawlers focused on SEO (search engine optimization) can review the components of the site and provide you with insights into key areas for improvement. These are usually compatible with other development software either via desktop apps or cloud systems.
The majority of platforms on the market will be able to help audit the following areas, among others:
Technical SEO Issues
One of the most important ways in which crawlers assist rankings is by identifying technical SEO issues. This involves reviewing every page of the website and assessing the presence of keywords, meta tags, and internal links, among others. Many will also be able to establish whether links are still functional. However, as algorithms are evolving, it’s important to prioritize crawlers that allow customization of the depth, frequency, and targets of the crawl. When you couple crawler audits with other software, such as keyword research tools, you can more effectively optimize your materials.
Indexing is at the heart of search engine rankings. Therefore, the crawling software you utilize for auditing needs to be able to identify issues in this area. This must include analyzing the site structure to ensure all components are linked and can be navigated effectively by users. Crawlers can also assess redirects — components that redirect traffic from outdated or broken URLs — to ensure a search engine’s crawlers don’t hit dead ends. In some instances, audit crawling software can also help generate or assess sitemaps that Google uses to more efficiently navigate, assess, and index the website.
Data-Driven Performance Tools
As we’ve previously outlined, it’s not just the obvious elements of SEO, like keywords and links, that make a difference in rankings. The performance of the website itself is also key. Therefore, it’s important to embrace data-driven analytics tools that enable you to efficiently and accurately assess issues in this area.
Some of the elements of focus here include:
Technical Performance Issues
There is an increasing range of data analytics software platforms that assess the real-time performance of websites. These tools review all elements of code and run tests to determine whether there are errors that can impact rankings. This includes reviewing loading speeds and bottlenecks in traffic flow. In some cases, data analytics software will also log server errors, so you can spot those that frequently occur and make relevant upgrades.
Traffic and User Behavior
Too often, website audits related to performance are focused on internal factors. However, gaining insights into how users are interacting with your pages can also highlight areas for improvement. For instance, metrics that show high user bounce rates on specific pages could suggest there are quality or functionality issues that need to be examined. Therefore, using traffic auditing tools — such as Google’s own Google Analytics — can empower you with data to further investigate and optimize your site performance.
Performing regular tech-enhanced website audits can help you optimize your site to rank on Google. Firstly, it’s important to gain a good understanding of what influences rankings so you can choose the most impactful audit tools and strategies. Crawlers focused on SEO can provide you with insights into where issues with elements such as keywords, linking, and indexing lie. Data analytics platforms are also a powerful way to assess and address performance issues that could be creating hurdles to ranking algorithms.
That said, many of the elements that affect ranking are related to how much value users gain from your web pages. Alongside tech that targets specific SEO metrics, be proactive about generally improving the quality of your site and asking your users what their needs and priorities are. This helps to ensure that your website always has a good standard of quality that both improves user experience and can serve more technical ranking requirements.