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On 13th January 2020, Google released a core update which impacted search results worldwide. Now, this update shouldn’t come as a surprise because Google rolls out around 3,600 updates per year, many of which are small and go unnoticed. However, there are a few larger updates that have a more significant impact on website rankings as a whole and can have quite drastic results – both positive and negative. Some other larger updates include:
BERT Update – December 2019
September 2019 Core Update (one of the many Core updates that happen each year)
“Medic” Core Update – August 2018
Mobile-First Index Roll Out – March 2018
This recent update is one of those larger ones and here at Exeter marketing agency, Media Street, we have noticed many significant gains for our clients. As is the case with most Google updates, you cannot prepare yourself for a potential hit (or boost) to your rankings. In fact, the most solid advice we, or anyone, can offer you is to ensure you are implementing whitehat SEO techniques as standard so you cannot be penalised too severely at the point of a new update. If you use a full-service marketing agency like Media Street, best practice SEO will come as standard, but for those looking for a bit more information about optimising your website, keep on reading…
What is SEO?
SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of optimising your website and online presence effectively with the goal to increase traffic to your site from organic search results. It includes work both on and off-site, including: developing new content, ensuring your website is user (and search engine) friendly and getting your website found online. SEO should be part of a long-term strategy, as results aren’t instant and can take time – but are worthwhile once achieved!
A Note on Google & Other Search Engines
Google and other search engines like to ensure they are sending their users to the websites that most accurately reflect their search query (what they typed in the search bar). To do this, the search engines spend a good amount of time crawling each website so that they only send users to websites that are relevant to what they are looking for, and that have a good user experience (the search engine’s goal is to get users to search with them all the time – so they want to provide the most accurate results!).
As it is the favoured platform for most of the population, this article will mainly look at optimising a website for Google – but as these practices are recognised by all search engines, implementing this advice will be effective across the board.
So, without further ado… let us share our SEO best practices with you all!
Media Street’s SEO Best Practices
Natural Use of Keywords
Keywords are what we use to track the search engine rankings which makes them a really important part of SEO. In order to rank well, keywords need to be naturally placed throughout the site content – remember: don’t overdo it as you will be penalised for keyword stuffing!
Did you know? Google’s Panda update (first released in 20111) was designed to look at the content on websites and rank sites with better quality content higher up in the search engines.
You can also use variations of keywords to play on keyword themes and improve rankings across the site, e.g. if you were trying to rank for ‘Devon hotel’, you might also write content about ‘accommodation in Devon’, or the specific town/city you operate in.
META Tags Matter
Your META Tags allow you to identify to Google what the content on the page is about. The META Title & Description are also what users see when browsing the search engine results pages – as seen in the below example.
Say No to Slow Site Speed
Google likes fast sites because users like fast sites. If a user has to wait a long time for a site to load, they are likely to click off it and look elsewhere. As Google wants to ensure the user gets the best experience possible, they will only want to show those fast-loading sites – and your website better be one of them!
Did you know? Google looks for a site speed of 3 seconds
If a user has clicked on your website from the search results and your website has loaded quickly enough to stop them clicking away, how can you ensure they stay on your website long enough to send you an enquiry or for them to make a purchase? By having a good user experience! This includes things like: nice website design, simple navigation, useful content, calls to action and links to your social media.
With Google’s mobile-first indexing being introduced in 2018, it is also essential that you consider how your website displays on a mobile and optimise your site with mobile at the front of your mind. This can be done with responsive pages, easy to use buttons and adjusted menu navigation, amongst other things.
Looking to improve your website’s user experience? Why not consider refreshing your website design?
Don’t Forget Off-Site Optimisation
The above advice looks specifically at on-site optimisation, but there are off-site elements to consider which will also hugely impact your search rankings. A few examples include:
Optimising your Google My Business listing
Gaining trustworthy & worthwhile backlinks to your website
Posting frequently on social media
Working with social media influencers
Gaining press coverage
A good SEO strategy will utilise both on and off-site optimisation and integrate them effectively together to achieve optimum results.
Grow Your Business With Media Street
By utilising the above advice, your website will be standing you in good stead to see some nice ranking increases by the time the next Google update rolls around. If you’d like to know more about how best to optimise your website and online presence for Google, get in touch with our Marketing department today. We offer a range of marketing services and work with our clients to create bespoke packages to help you increase your website traffic and maximise on sales and enquiries.
To find out more, give us a ring on 01392 914033 or send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org – we can’t wait to hear from you!