I really don’t like being the bad guy here, but I’ve come to deliver some news that might make things uncomfortable for you.
For the past year and a half, we’ve been saying things like “Google’s new algorithms” and “are you responsive” and “SEO is king”, but admit it, you really haven’t been too concerned. There hasn’t been a change in traffic to your website, and you haven’t seen a difference in Google searches. On November 4th, Google released it’s announcement that all searches will now be sorted according to mobile responsive. Source: Official Google Webmaster Central Blog.
Now you may say, “When I type in the name of my company into Google, it still comes up and I’m not responsive, I don’t understand”. Well of course your company comes up, you’ve specifically entered in your company’s name and location into the search bar. However, if you were to do general industry search like any of your current and potential clients would be doing for something such as “web design in pulaski”, no matter how wonderful your meta and local listings look, if you’re not mobile friendly, you will be looking to find yourself on page 3 or 4 of a Google Search. And let’s be honest with ourselves again, we don’t have the patience or time to page through Google, unless we know we will find something on later pages.
Our focus for 2017 are three simple things.
I’m sure you can guess what I’m going to say. Responsive? Yep! Responsive. Not sure if your site will pass the Google test. Take a quick minute to paste your url into the Google Responsive Test. We want to be sure your visitors are getting all of the necessary information at any time of the day.
- Eliminate small fonts
- Be sure your text flows with the shift of the screen display
- Use high resolution images and illustrations
- Be aware of your load time, keep it under one second for best results
Local listings are another point I would like to expand upon. Not everyone knows or understands the importance of local listings. What local listings do is help build your business’s credibility along with increasing ranking with Google and other search engines What this means, is by creating a listing through Manta, Dmoz, Yellowpages, Yelp, Bing and etcetera, you are expanding your websites viewable network. The site’s I just listed are link citations that tie reference back to your website.
Sites you must list your business on:
- Apple Maps Connect
Lastly, along with the shift in algorithms, there has been a shift in how websites are crawled. We’ve been saying make sure your meta information is rich in keywords. Have a beefy title, description, keywords and H1. Well the reality is, content is King! We don’t want to say that you can disregard the description and H1, because those are still just as important. But I want you to take a look at how text heavy your website is, and if it contains enough keywords describing your business that when Google’s bots come through, you’ll be looked at as a knowledgeable resource and can categorize you properly. Think of sprinkling keywords through your website like seasoning a fine steak. A word for the wise, don’t over do it on the keywords! Google is smart enough to know how a typical person would talk. Best practice for writing solid content? Think of giving a 4th grader information. Give them descriptions, details, but remember they are old enough to catch on. Try and have at least 300 to 500 words per page, but ideally the more content the better.
A few take-aways: Get responsive, update those local listings, and review your content on your website. If you haven’t had a refresh done to your website within the last three years, you’re first for the chopping block. Responsive web designs are the most important, followed by regular monthly changes are your liferaft in keeping your website staying afloat. Google sends it’s bots out every 14-21 days to crawl websites for new and updated content. Blogs and monthly changes will benefit you within this time!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding keeping your business found on Google, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.