According to Moz, Google changes its search algorithm about 500 – 600 times per year. While that may make any digital marketer want to crawl back into bed, you should still head into the office because most of Google’s yearly changes are minor.
Although a lot of those changes are negligible, the number of changes that Google makes to its algorithm every year demonstrates the fluid nature of search engine optimization. Like many things in today’s connected society, SEO is always changing. For your website to attract high-quality visitors, it’s vital for you to keep up with the latest developments in SEO.
The Point of Search Engine Optimization
To better understand why it’s so important to stay on top of recent changes in search engine optimization, it’s helpful to have a clear idea of what SEO is. SEO encompasses all of the non-paid things you do to increase the number of people who visit your website as the result of organic search and to improve the quality of the individuals who click over to your site.
In general, SEO takes time to produce measurable results. While that’s the case, you won’t see any results in the short- or long-term if you don’t get started with SEO and adapt to the changes in the field.
Publish High-Quality Content
As it’s been for years, publishing high-quality content is an absolute must for your SEO to be effective. For your content to be high-quality, it must be directly relevant and meaningful to the people who read or view it. Your content needs to address topics the members of your target audience want to know about, which may or may not be the same things you want to discuss.
Both consumers and search engines seek out high-quality content. Whereas quality content can help your rank in search engine results pages, thin content that lacks real value can hurt your position in SERPs.
To create quality content that will rank well in SERPs, your material needs to include the appropriate keywords. Your content also needs to match a searcher’s intent as closely as possible. With the increasing use of smart speakers, your material must now be able to respond to spoken queries that are asked in a more natural way than searches launched in browsers.
In general, it’s advisable to produce longform content rather than shorter pieces. When your content is lengthy, it will often keep people on your webpages longer and prevent them from navigating away immediately. These things are important because time on page and bounce rate are two metrics that can impact where your site lands in SERPs.
Secure Your Website
If you haven’t secured your website yet, it’s likely your site isn’t ranking as well in SERPs as it could be. A secure URL begins with HTTPS, which stands for hypertext transfer protocol secure. Websites that use HTTPS instead of just HTTP use separate SSL or TLS protocols rather than using its own application layer protocol for users to send information from their browsers. This means websites with HTTPS are more secure.
While unsecure websites may still appear in SERPs, Google flags them in the URL bar. This may make people reluctant to visit sites using HTTP and it might increase the sites’ bounce rates, both of which will undercut the effectiveness of SEO. With security being one of the factors Google uses to rank websites, the need to use HTTPS is even more obvious these days.
Create a Better UX with Mobile Users in Mind
With mobile Internet consumption having surpassed desktop usage several years ago, we’re now living in a mobile-first world…literally. It’s no secret that Google favors mobile sites in the SERPs it generates. With this in mind, you need to focus on creating a better user experience for your SEO to be as successful as it can be.
Google has said that user experience is one of the many factors it uses to rank websites in SERPs. That’s great news because UX is something that’s well within your control. You can make sure your website looks nice and has a welcoming appearance. You can also ensure all of the features on your website work seamlessly across devices.
For your website to provide the same UX on every device – both ones that exist now and those that will hit the market in the future – it’s crucial for you to use a responsive design. As you probably guessed, using a responsive design isn’t enough to create an improved UX. You must also make sure your website performs the way users expect it to.
Page load speed is one thing you can’t afford to overlook if you want to make your site’s UX better. If your pages don’t load fast enough, it will increase your bounce rate which, as we mentioned earlier, can negatively influence where your website lands in SERPs. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to get actionable tips on improving your site’s page load speeds.
In addition to focusing on page load speed, you must also pay attention to your website’s architecture. The way you set up your site will greatly influence how satisfactory its UX is. When it comes to the architecture of your website, it’s vital for you to make it simple for visitors to use your site and get the most out of it.
By improving the architecture of your website, you can make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for with just a few clicks. You can also enable search engines’ crawlers to find and index more of your webpages. While a better architecture is certainly a win for your visitors and search engines, it can also be a win for your SEO and bottom line.
Respond to Core Algorithm Updates as Needed
As we stated at the start of this post, Google changes its algorithm hundreds of times in a typical year. While you may not have to make adjustments after each one, you should pay close attention to any core updates Google makes and be prepared to adjust your SEO strategy accordingly..
At the beginning of last August, Google made a core update to its algorithm that rewarded some websites with more visibility and hurt the position of others in SERPs nearly overnight. While it’s too early to tell, the core update that Google made on March 12, 2019 may be reversing at least some of the results the August update produced. So far, more than 58 percent of the sites that were negatively influenced by the August update have seen improved results since another core update was performed earlier this month.
Use our SEO Services to Win with Your Search Engine Optimization
If you want to have a winning SEO strategy that’s up-to-date with all the recent SEO changes, you should employ our search engine optimization services. Our SEO experts are current with SEO best practices and they’re ready to put their skills to work for you to make your SEO as effective as possible.
Contact Musselwhite Marketing to learn what we can do to make your SEO resonate with your target audience and search engines now.