Google Mobile First Indexing – update

Google Mobile First Indexing – update

Google-Mobile-First-Indexing

UPDATE:

We have had lots of questions recently regarding the Google Mobile First Indexing. Further to our initial post, last week here are some of the answers we’ve been able to obtain as information has become available re Google Mobile First.

What about content that is hidden in navigational elements?”

On desktop pages, content that is hidden in tabs or expandable boxes has less weight than content that is directly visible. As expandable content makes sense on mobile (behind tabs or accordion boxes etc.), that content will be given full weight to enhance the user experience.

“Will my Google rankings change a lot?”

Google has said that there should be minimal ranking provided you already have good mobile websites or a responsive website. If you do not have a mobile website yet, your rankings might change more than the rankings of a website that already is mobile. Pages that are not mobile-friendly will not rank as well as pages that have been optimised for mobile devices.

“Will Google have different indexes for mobile search and desktop results?”
Google plans to have one index, which is based on mobile content.

“What happens to the links that point to my website?”

If you have a responsive website, you do not have to worry about this because the URLs of your mobile pages and your desktop pages are the same (actually, the pages are the same, they are only displayed differently on mobile and desktop).

If you have a separate mobile website, chances are that the mobile pages do not have as many links as the desktop versions of your pages. As Google’s search results are very dependent on links, the mobile pages with fewer links might get lower rankings.

Read our full Mobile First Indexing Post here.

Google Mobile First Indexing – What It Means

Google Mobile First Indexing – What It Means

Google-Mobile-First-Indexing
Google begins ‘Mobile First‘ indexing – what it means for your website.

Google announced in November 2016 that they were starting with mobile first indexing. What will this mean to the rankings of your website on Google?
Here’s a brief overview:

What is ‘Mobile First‘ indexing?

As you may know, Google has seen a significant shift from desktop computers to mobile devices. Most people now search Google using a mobile device such as a phone. Until now, Google’s ranking algorithms primarily looked at the desktop version of a web page. Of course, this can cause some issues when the mobile web page shows less content than the desktop web page that was evaluated by Google’s algorithms.

For that reason, Google plans to primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages. The search results will still be available for both desktop and mobile devices. However, the focus will be on mobile.

Google have stated:

“We understand this is an important shift in our indexing and it’s one we take seriously. We’ll continue to carefully experiment over the coming months on a small scale and we’ll ramp up this change when we’re confident that we have a great user experience.”

So what do you need to do?

Google is serious about building a mobile-first index. For this reason, you should make sure that your web pages can be indexed correctly by:

Having a fully responsive website design

Fortunately, many websites that have been built in the last couple of years have a mobile-friendly responsive website design where the content is the same on mobile and desktop. So if this is the case, fortunately, you do not have to change anything! However, if your website is not responsive, then if you care about your rankings and website visibility, as well as user experience then now is the time to update!
You can check and see if your existing site has a mobile-friendly website design here:

This Google will test will analyse your website and report if the page has a mobile-friendly design.

 If you have a mobile friendly website design – still review the content!

In some cases, developers have produced websites that have less or limited content on their responsive mobile-friendly version. If you have a website configuration where the primary content is different across mobile and desktop, you should be making some changes to your site to make sure the content is focused and optimised toward mobile. If your mobile pages have less content than your desktop pages, your pages might get lower rankings with Google’s new ‘mobile first’ index.

Check out our Mobile First Update Blog for more details

Size Matters! When it comes to SEO

Size Matters! When it comes to SEO

Recently we were asked by a new client who is in the process of having their website built by us “How much text content to do I need to supply for our website?” They operate in a niche, specialist, and professional industry. Great question! It got us thinking about the ideal length of text one should consider for their web pages.

There are really no hard and fast rules, however, when it comes to web text content, the size of your document really does matter. It’s certainly not a case of “I have more words than the opposition website, therefore I rank higher on the search engine results.”

Importantly the text content must be of value to the reader. Generally, a visitor to your website has the intention to, learn something, do something, or potentially want to take some action, having found your website.

According to Business Insider, one of the largest business news sites on the web, one of the most common misconceptions is that people nowadays will not pay attention to ads or communications that have more than a minimal amount of ad copy.

The reasons most commonly given to support this notion are that people:

  1. Do not like to read.
  2. Have short attention spans.
  3. Are in the habit of reading short messages in texts.
  4. Are too distracted with multiple media channels.
  5. Have their noses buried in mobile devices.

However Business Insider stated, “While these reasons are often true, the conclusion that short copy sells better is not.”

So our thoughts are, when it comes to the text content size on your website, using more words means more ranking opportunities and ideally having a minimum word count of at least 300 words per page or more of valuable unique content will help you rank well in search engines. This should be combined with a solid foundation of integrating between 5 to 10 volume keywords, that you wish to rank for while still keeping the content natural.

In fact, we believe people are generally willing and eager to read longer, more in-depth content but always remember people want quality, and this can always be a challenge to create, but if you do, your website will get you noticed in all the right ways!

The SEO adage “length is strength” is supported by this SEO industry study which found that longer content tends to rank significantly higher on Google’s first page.

They stated” Based on SERP data from SEMRush, we found that longer content tends to rank higher in Google’s search results. The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.”

Of course, it’s certainly is possible to rank very well in Google for competitive keywords if your page only has a handful of words, provided your website has a trusted, authoritative domain and is supported by quality inbound links.

Google rankings and keeping your website up to date

Google rankings and keeping your website up to date

Having just completed a review of a prospective new clients website, which wasn’t ranking well with Google, the client basically wanted to find out why. The site itself was built around 3 years ago. We discovered 4x key issues, which, whilst applicable to this client, anyone who has an older website should take note of and do some quick checks to see if they fall into the same categories.

These are 4x simple checks you should consider reviewing and adjust accordingly to improve not only your Google rankings, but also your prospective clients experience when they find your website:

1. Make sure you have a responsive design.

In the past, this may not have been such a priority, but mobile compatibility (for over a year) is now crucial. According to Google, more searches now take place on mobile than on desktop, so you have to make sure your site looks good and works correctly on the small screens, i.e. a responsive design.

You can do a quick mobile friendly test here to see if your website adheres to the latest Google practices.

2. Update and edit your Title & Description tags.

If the Title and Description Tags weren’t formatted correctly in the first place, then you are doing yourself no favours. However, like everything times change. According to Googles latest practices for best SEO Title Tags should be ideally 55 characters with spaces and Description Tags between 150 and 160 characters with spaces, the ideal being 155!

Find out more below:

Best SEO – SEO Basics -Title Tags

Best SEO – SEO Basics Description Tags

3. Identify and remove any duplicate content.

Nothing can kill a website faster and drop its ranking than duplicate content. Duplicated content is also very confusing for Google, so the chances are you won’t get any good visibility, and even if readers did somehow make it to your website, duplicate content is seen as spammy. Review all your website content and get rid of this immediately.

4. Add new relevant and unique content

Google loves websites that are frequently updated. Review your existing content ~ is it up-to-date? Have you added new products or services? Can you add new images to the website (fully optimised of course)? Do you have add blog? All these factors can assist improve your SEO results and keep prospective clients updated.

 

Why you should add FAQ’s to your website now!

Why you should add FAQ’s to your website now!

SEO-and-Voice-SearchIt started with Siri, then came Google Now, with Microsoft’s Cortana. Yes were talking about voice search, and it has the potential to transform how your website could be found on the web.

Millions of people are now finding answers simply by talking into their mobile devices.

What is voice search?

Voice search is a speech recognition technology that allows users to search by saying terms aloud rather than typing them into a search field. The proliferation of smartphones and other smaller, portable Web-enabled mobile devices has increased the interest and use in voice search.

Voice search enables the user to perform searches quickly and easily with the press of the button. The answers to their search queries are fast and generally reliable.

How Does Voice Search Affect SEO?

Voice-Search-SEO

The big difference between voice and traditional search is in the phrasing.

It seems that when we use voice search, we tend to search the way we speak – conversationally, and often in the form of a question. So if one of your website goals is to secure new potential clients or provide a better service by providing some answers about your business from voice searches conducted on Google and other Search Engines you should be considering how you phrase your website content. Two ways are to consider including a question and answer-based copy to your website.

You could also do this via a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page, or even create a Q&A (Question and Answers) feature on your website.

 

Ways to improve images for SEO – SEO Basics

Ways to improve images for SEO – SEO Basics

SEO-tips-melbourneImages on a website can make the user experience a more memorable one, but they also need to be read and understood by Search Engines. This, of course, is in addition to the images loading quickly and being optimised for the web, with the goal to reduce the file size as much as possible, without sacrificing too much in terms of image quality.

Google and other Search Engines are basically visually impaired, so in order to be beneficial for SEO purpose, it’s important to ensure your images are correctly formatted and have the relevant file names and ALT tags that help Search Engines understand what they are.

When images are downloaded from a camera,they often have a meaningless file name such as IMG00015r, so give them a new file name that’s relevant and descriptive, making it easier for search engines to understand them, e.g. Web-Services-Melbourne.JPG

Alternative text is used to highlight and identify an image when you hover over it with your mouse cursor. It also shows as text to all users when there are problems rendering the image. By including Alternative Text or Alt Text you can describe the content of your picture to a Search Engine.

 

SEO Services Melbourne

Example of ALT text

Because Images are an important part of Search Engine Optimisation, here is a checklist to help.

Image Optimisation Checklist:

  • Do your image file names contain keywords or relevant text?
  • Do you have alt text for all images on your website?
  • Do the alt text for images on your website contain keywords?

If you would like to find out more about how we can help your business and your website, simply give us a call on 03 9739 5445 we’d be glad to help.