Whether you’re just starting out with your online business, or you’ve been established for some time, there’s probably one thing on your mind; your Google rankings. Where do you appear in the search results? Are your customers able to find you easily? This is one of the aspects of online business that people often get caught up in, hounding their SEO managers to ensure they appear on page 1.

If you’re focused on improving your online performance, top listings on Google are an indicator that your SEO strategies and internal marketing are doing well. It will also naturally mean that you get more traffic to your website, alongside brand exposure and authenticity. Increasing your Google rankings, therefore, seems like a huge part of being successful in the digital stratosphere. However, it can be easy to get carried away and even get lost in all the different factors that have an impact on your position in search engine results.

Many online business owners can sometimes be under the impression that anything to do with your website will affect your position on Google. While many things do have an impact, with some indirectly making a difference, it’s true that there are some aspects that have no bearing on where your website appears in the search results. As a business owner, you shouldn’t have to spend your days worrying about what parts of your website need maintaining; your efforts should be on making money! With that in mind, let the team at Digital Next help you understand what you don’t necessarily need to put extra effort into.

The age of your website

You might worry that because your website was built in the 1990s, it won’t be rewarded as much as a shiny 2017 website with all the newest updates. You’d be wrong in this instance; Google doesn’t care how old your website is.

If your website was built years ago, it’s very likely that you’ve built up some authority and links over the years and this is something that Google will notice. Your Google rankings won’t be affected by how old or new your website is; you should instead focus on the quality of the content, user navigation and other factors that make it relevant and helpful.

Using Google’s services

Google is somewhat of a digital giant, thanks to the likes of Gmail, Google Analytics and Google Docs. It’s a common misconception that for Google to make sense of your website’s performance, you must be using all of Google’s services. This is not the case. Your Google rankings aren’t affected by how your Gmail account is set up, nor will it take into account the data in your Google Analytics. These services are kept separate from Google’s search engine; if you use them great, if you don’t, you won’t be penalised for it.

google services

Header tags and headlines

Using headings like H1 and H2 header tags within the content on your website has been a contentious issue over the years. The truth is that using header tags is still classed as best practice, but it won’t directly affect your Google rankings. Using H1, H2 or even H4 tags helps to organise your content and some say it can ensure Google can follow your website that little bit easier.

So, while it does ensure your website is coherent, it won’t boost your website further up the search results.

Image alt text

Alt text in your images is important because it can ensure the users on your website know what to expect if the image isn’t displaying correctly. Including keywords in your image alt text won’t directly affect your Google rankings. Alt text will help Google’s spiders to find their way around the page, but it won’t have a bearing on where that page appears in the search results.

Alt text should be used to inform the user, not to improve search engine rankings. Your time is better spent optimising the content on the page where the image is, instead of the image itself.

Keywords in meta tags

Marketers and webmasters remain obsessed over meta keywords when in reality, they have no impact on your Google ranking. Stuffing your meta tags with keywords is not particularly helpful for your position in search engine results. They are a way of telling the search engine the topic of the page, but there is no correlation between the keywords in that meta tag and your position on Google.

High keyword density can actually work against your website and indicate spam. So, if you’ve been worried about your meta tags in the past, you’re better off using those tags to accurately reflect the content of the page, not targeting keywords.

meta tags

Dedicated IP address

There are many reasons why having your own dedicated IP address could benefit you. For example, it could help to speed up your site or it can add extra security for your hosting. For reasons like this, a dedicated IP address can help to improve your website, but not directly within Google rankings.

If you were considering buying a dedicated IP address purely to boost your Google rankings, you should instead consider other reasons why it could benefit you.

Following a multi channel marketing approach can ensure that your website performs to its optimum as well as having an impact on your search engine rankings. Instead of being purely focused on whether you appear on page 1, you should look to maintaining your website as a whole and making the right changes that will improve user experience, authority and relevance.

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