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We’ll make an assumption that you do the majority of your Google Searching on your mobile?
If that’s the case you must know that having a website fully optimised for mobile use is essential. This used to mean just responsiveness, so your website would automatically resize to the correct display for any device, but since the recent Google Speed Update (July 2018) websites have to be fully optimised for speed or else your SEO will suffer.
It may sound like Google is punishing slow websites, but consider how much patience you have when you encounter a slow page, or long loading times. The Speed Update seeks to make user experience much greater than before, and forcing the very slowest pages to update and fix loading speeds will mean those unwilling to provide a better experience for their users will ultimately lose their Google ranking over time.
What is Google's Speed Update?
The Speed Update is a new algorithm, which makes mobile page speed a key part in Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking. To break this down further, when someone uses a mobile phone to complete a Google Search, where your site ends up on the SERP will be based on a combination of SEO and Page Speed. It pays particular to mobile users, since in 2010 a similar update was applied to Desktop SERPs.
Initially Google has said that this will only impact the slowest websites, but as future best practise, it is wise to make tweaks and changes to your current website and pages to fully optimise and ensure you are never considered to be the slowest site. Assuming that since your website ranks highly and loads fast now, does not mean that in the future, all your competitors will be outranking you because your page loading times are considered the slowest.
We predict that initially the websites and Google listings that will be the worst affected initially are the older websites that have dominated the high spots for the longest time.
SEO is still heavily influenced by page content and writing your website copy with search queries and your users in mind is still the best practice. Consider the speed of the page an ‘icing on the cake’ issue, or more seriously and considerably a User Experience issue. Appreciating your users and their journey to buying a product or service off your business is still the best way to rank higher on the SERP.
How to Fix Your Mobile Website Speed?
To start fixing your mobile website speed you must first evaluate the current condition of your website speed. We often use a tool called Google Page Speed Insights to see how fast our client’s websites load, and indeed our own.
The report it generates will highlight how fast your page loads for both desktop and mobile and will offer suggestions on how to fix your loading speeds. We have highlighted some here:
Optimise your code by deleting unnecessary characters and any strings of unused code. Tools such as UglifyJS and CSSNano are helpful.
By caching information, a browser will make page load times quicker since it doesn’t need to reload the entire page every time. A tool such as YSlow will check your cache expiration date which will then mean you can edit your ‘expires’ header for the length of the time you want a visitor to hold onto the cache.
Compress your images using tools such as TinyPNG, the smaller the file size, the quicker they will load. You can reduce your file size by as much as 70% sometimes!
Need SEO Help?
We know that SEO can be complicated, and diagnosing slow page speeds can be tricky. The SERP is always changing and is a constant jostle for position. We can help you rank above your competitors in two ways:
SEO Training & SEO Marketing
Related Post: The Importance of Keywords for SEO in 2018
You’re not alone, this is a common problem in the marketing industry, but there are steps you can take to regain those lost likes, comments, and shares.
Why Has Organic Facebook Reach Declined?
Back in 2014, the first signs of organic reach declining was noticed when Brian Boland, the VP of Advertising Technology at Facebook, said that Facebook was managing more advert content than it previously used to, he also stated that News Feed space was much more competitive and that Facebook strives to show people content relevant to them. This makes sense, as a Facebook user you would prefer to see friend updates and personalised content at the top of your feed rather than all the sponsored posts and adverts, otherwise, why would you use it?
In January 2018, the head of Facebook’s News Feed, Adam Mosseri mentioned a shift in content ranking on the News Feed to help people connect with each other rather than consume media in isolation. So we know that marketing content has been relegated and its appearance on the News Feed has been forced to take a backseat.
For small businesses looking to grow their following, this update desperately hinders your progress and makes attracting new customers and followers difficult – it is not impossible though.
Maximising Your Facebook Reach
Understanding your target audiences News Feed behaviour is essential for creating targeted content that maximises your organic reach. Take a look at your most recent posts, which post had the highest reach and which had the highest engagement, this will give you the best idea of the kind of content to replicate in the future to generate more interest.
Creating meaningful relationships with your current followers is massively understated in the mission to increase your organic reach. There are thousands of factors that inform Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, and it is impossible to excel at all of them, but we do know that it appreciates meaningful interaction between users, pages, and groups.
Meaningful interactions are the engagements that take place between two users on posted content, how long a user has watched a video before clicking off is a factor that will either help or hinder that videos chance of appearing on someone else’s News Feed. Here is an example of meaningful interaction at work.
Say your business page posted a video, with some accompanying text that features a link to your website. This post appears on a user’s News Feed, and they watch the whole video, they liked it, so they like the post. They then read the text and follow the link to your website. They liked the content on the website so they return to your post and comment something. You see this comment and you reply. The user then thinks that their friends would benefit from seeing this content too so they share it. Facebook understands this as a piece of relevant content that is worth being placed on more News Feeds, so it will feature higher than normal on this user’s friend’s News feeds.
The Benefit of Paid Content
Facebook is helping to curate business content by reducing organic reach.
Accessing your followers through paid content may not be ideal for your business right now, but as the current trend of organic reach moves towards zero, meaningful content may not be enough to save your business from irrelevancy on Facebook.
For a more in depth look at how the Facebook News Feed has changed over the years, please visit this blog by Sophia Bernazani.
What is a Keyword, and how is it likely to change in the future?All words and phrases can be identified as ‘keywords’, as long as they have a considerable amount of searches in a month. Generally keywords and phrase will fall into two categories.
1. Short Tail Keywords
These are the traditional search terms that provide quite vague results. Usually they will consist of one to three words and will produce a wide array of suggestions.
- Painter and Decorator
- Blog Keywords
2. Long Tail Keywords
These are a lot more specific and tailored to providing specific results. Generally they consist of more than three words and are synonymous with conversational speech. Long tail keywords are becoming more relevant with the rising popularity of voice searching.
- Local plumber in xxx
- Painter and decorator able to paint tall buildings
- Which keywords to use for my blog
How to use them?
Ignore Meta Keywords!
Meta Keywords were once important, but not anymore, in fact they are completely irrelevant to modern SEO. Search Engine algorithms have become much smarter and can detect keywords embedded within your content and rank your page automatically. Therefore Keyword Research has become a crucial part of SEO, finding the right keywords that will drive relevant traffic to your website is so important for a high ranking on Google.
Tighten up your keywords, if you are a barbershop dealing exclusively with Men’s hair, consider the implications of using hairdresser as a keyword, you have opened the door to a section of the market that you don’t want to appeal to. Even though hairdresser is synonymous with haircutting and barbershops, using this as a keyword can mean high levels of traffic visiting your website but leaving straight away because the content is irrelevant to them.
Do not stuff your keywords!
Many years ago you could get away with throwing in as many keywords into your content as you liked with very little thought to the readability of your content. Not anymore. In 2011, the Google Panda update started to recognise keyword spamming and penalise you for attempting to trick the system whether you were guilty or not.
Keyword stuffing can look like the following:
“I am a Local Painter in Southend who specialises in local interior painting. I have been a local painter in Southend for many years and am also a local painter to areas around Southend.”
This does not read naturally and Google is clever enough these days to recognise that and penalise you for it.
Keyword Density is a highly debated subject in marketing. Some suggest that Google takes density into account when ranking pages; others suggest that it is nonsense. Here is what we know.
Since Google can recognise keyword stuffing, they must have an algorithm in place to recognise overuse of keywords and phrases, so if it has the ability to recognise keyword density, why wouldn’t it consider it a factor when creating the super secret algorithm for ranking. However, since 2016 Google has used RankBrain as part of its algorithm. RankBrain is a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that interprets the searches that people submit to find pages that may not have the exact keywords in, but are similar. This means that you do not necessarily have to incorporate every single variation of a keyword into your copy, since RankBrain will be able to understand what a searcher’s true intentions behind their search is.
Future of Keywords
The late 2010’s has seen a surge in voice search products, dominated largely by Google and Amazon. In fact as of January 2018 there was an estimated one billion voice searches per month (Alpine.Ai), and this is set to increase to 50% of all searches by 2020 (Campaign).
When we talk about voice searches, we should consider them like long tail keywords. No one is saying “Alexa, Google Plumber” and expecting to find the best local plumber in their hometown. What they are saying is “Alexa, Google the best emergency plumber in xxxx”.
Let’s pretend someone is driving past our offices in Baldock, they might conduct a voice search saying, “OK Google, what hours are Big Reach Marketing open tomorrow?” But if they waited until they got home they would search on a desktop, “Big Reach Marketing”.
Businesses must be prepared for increased long-tail searches else they may get left behind by technology.
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