Anyone that has built, developed, or owned a website has a healthy fear of Google.
The team at Google likes to occasionally shake things up by modifying the way that their search engine algorithm works.
Some of the biggest upsets have followed the release of updates commonly named as, Panda and Penguin. These updates and their variations usually bring a massive shift in the ordering of website rankings. While Google hasn’t made any drastic changes in recent times, the possibility always lurks beneath the surface.
You must do everything you can to future proof your search engine optimization. Without taking these critical steps, you run the risk of your website disappearing from search results over night.
In this article, we will look at tried and true methods to protect your website from any future updates.
Writing Relevant Content
Your website must focus on high-quality content that is relevant to your visitors.
There’s a difference between websites aimed at search engine spiders and websites designed for your targeted audience. As a result, the later are the kinds of websites Google is looking to promote.
In the past, you could climb search engine rankings with keyword stuffed nonsense. Today, nothing could be further from the truth.
High-quality content is:
- Laser targeted to your specific audience
- Relevant to the keywords and the links that you are connecting to
- Content worth sharing on social media or linked to from influential websites
- Designed for human readability
Google has built itself upon one single foundation, to serve the most relevant information to users for any search made. The higher the quality content you have on your website, the easier you are going to rank on search engines. This philosophy will exist no matter what update comes down the road.
Optimizing for Mobile
In 2018, mobile web traffic accounts for around 52% of all online traffic globally.
Think about that for a moment. Over half of all interactions online are occurring on mobile platforms. This number is certainly going to increase as we become rapidly dependent on our mobile devices.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of websites are still built for traditional desktop viewing and aren’t optimized for mobile traffic. If you are going to capture mobile users, you are certainly going to have to focus on mobile design. When building your website you should be taking advantage of responsive design principles.
Websites with minimalist aesthetics and navigational structures designed for touch interfaces should be the main focus. This will help keep user retention high and bounce rates low.
Speed is Everything
Page loading speeds are critical with SEO. Google’s algorithms are heavily factoring in load speed into your final search engine position.
On top of that, page load speeds can heavily influence your bounce rate. When a visitor comes to your website and leaves after only viewing one page, this is considered a ‘bounce’. High bounce rates tracked in Google analytics can quickly kill your search engine optimization efforts.
To reduce your bounce rate, you should prioritize improving the efficiency of visitor navigation. You can achieve this by increasing page load speeds and making sure that your website is mobile-friendly. An easy way to increase loading speeds is to make sure your images are optimized. Make sure your images are the correct resolution and compressed properly. You can use websites such as TinyPNG to quickly batch compress multiple image files which will pass Google’s page speed test.
To future proof your website, it is important to build it from the ground up with speed and usability in mind. For more information on bounce rates, you can read Google Analytics article on the subject here: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1009409?hl=en
Voice Search is the Future
Over 35% of people aged 22-37 are using voice-enabled digital assistants to help them search the web. With 41% of people that own a voice-enabled device saying that it feels like talking with a real person.
Google believes that 50% or more of all searches online will be made with voice search by the year 2020. They also believe that 30% of all searches will be done without the use of a screen, and by 2022, 55% of all houses in the United States will have at least one dedicated voice search device.
Building an SEO strategy that focuses on using voice-activated keywords will help protect your content from updates that focus on naturally spoken search queries. Take a look at our article Optimizing Your Content for Voice Search in 2018 for information on how to prepare your content.
Make sure that you are doing all you can to algorithm proof your search engine optimization strategy and you’ll be able to enjoy the kind of success most entrepreneurs only dream of.
We are living in the most competitive business environment that has ever existed. If you are able to recognize what search engines are trying to do and build your site with those same goals, you will succeed. For more information and updates on methods, sign up to our newsletter.