Google is changing all the time and so we need to try and keep up to date to ensure our websites are adhering to Google’s recommendations as webmasters and web owners. Some things that I have read that I feel are important in 2016.
For ranking locally when someone searches for your service, we should ensure a strong local nap (name, address, postcode) presence. Where the searchers location is automatically determined by phone location and IP location play an important role and are an increasing important local ranking factor.
- Make sure that your NAP is accurate and prominently listed on your website.
- Add appropriate structured data mark-up to improve local search results and “near me” search results. Structured data is best added as JSON-LD as recommended by Google as it’s easy to add html. https://developers.google.com/structured-data/local-businesses
- Ensure town and county appear in your title tags.
- Ensure strong local links.
- Ensure consistency of NAP across all local directory listings so that you have a consistent profile so you don’t use different variations of the names of your business and alternate phone numbers etc.
Mobile website design
Mobile websites play an important role in more people using mobile devices. Ensuring your website has mobile friendliness is an absolute must to ensure they don't lose visitors. Earlier this year Google are literally demanding all sites to be mobile compatible. As of 21st April 2015, Google has indicated mobile friendliness is now a ranking signal.
The algorithm is affected by the behaviour of users as if your site has high bounce rate and low click through rate, or low time on site. This can negatively affect your website so ensure you monitor your analytics and ensure you target high bounce area pages and improve onsite content. Ensure your images and messages are compelling in drawing people into the website.
Structured Data to improve users experience
To improve your user’s experience, you should consider using structured data appropriate to your content. This can enhance your search results. You can improve your content structure by adding things like rich snippets https://developers.google.com/structured-data/rich-snippets/) which is structured mark-up that you can apply to products, recipes, reviews, events, videos, new articles. This helps Google better index and understand your content.
As always, Google loves fresh content on websites, and one way to provide fresh content is ensuring you regularly have a blog on your website. The Google Panda update is now built into Googles main algorithm which determines the quality of the content and ensure the content has not been scraped and to ensure it stops poor quality sites being listed at the top of Google’s search results. Also its important to ensure your normal web pages contain quality text that is well written and isn’t thin on the ground, but tries to engage the user which will improve the user’s experience of your website.
HTTPS Enabled website
HTTPS Is a way for your website to be protected online and shows people your site is secured, especially if your processing online payments. Having a website enabled in HTTPS is now a ranking factor in Google’s Algorithm and Google has confirmed that they would reward websites who encrypt their websites with HTTPS. Benefits of HTTPS are added security to protect your website against attacks on your website and https protects credit card numbers etc but only consider this if your business needs the added security and needs sensitivity to using password logins etc.
Apply one or all of these tips to keep up with Google's ongoing algorithm changes. Contact Eadetech for SEO and Web Design Services in Essex.15th of January 2016 By Simon