Google is constantly updating its ranking algorithm.
Businesses in Perth and throughout Australia must adapt to these changes or they risk losing a major competitive advantage online. It used to be that you could write highly optimised content for your site, build some links from relevant sources, and rank the very next day. But the ranking algorithms have gotten increasingly sophisticated as they are able to detect instances of spam.
Do a search for any competitive term in your industry and here is what you will likely see:
- Quality content that covers a topic comprehensively
- Plenty of links from relevant sources in the same industry
- A high number of social shares from Facebook and other networks
- Established domain with a good deal of authority
If you want your website to continue ranking in the coming years, it helps to pay attention to some of the latest trends that Google is implementing in their ranking algorithm. Making the necessary changes will help your business stay way ahead of the curve.
Here we look at some of the main areas that Google will be focusing on in the years ahead.
1. Mobile OptimisationMobile simply cannot be ignored. The latest figures show that traffic on mobile devices is now outpacing traffic on desktop devices.
Google has even implemented a change that makes mobile-friendliness a ranking factor. Google made the following statement:
Today we’re announcing that beginning in May, we’ll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.
The implications of the update are rather obvious.
If your site is not optimised for mobile devices, it will rank lower for mobile searches. Google strives to deliver the most relevant searches without compromising user experience. If your site is yet to be mobile-friendly, it needs to be a priority. The recommended configuration is responsive design as it means that your site will automatically change to fit all screen resolutions.
2. Conversational SearchInstead of typing in a search directly to Google, many people are using their voices to carry out those searches using Google Now or Siri on Apple devices. For example, someone searching for restaurants near them may conduct a search for “What is the closest restaurant near me?” instead of “restaurants Perth”.
With the release of the Hummingbird update, the algorithm is better able to determine the meaning and intention behind such searches. For the example above, Google knows that you are searching for a restaurant near you so it knows not to display results halfway across the country.
So how can you take advantage of this fact?
Look for common questions and queries that are searched for in your market. Then use those as a starting points to create engaging content around. However, be sure to always focus on providing content that delivers value to your audience.
3. Emphasis on Local SearchAccording to data from Google, 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to find local businesses.This is a staggering figure and one that cannot be ignored. As such, Google will continue to pay more attention to its local search results and tweak its algorithm accordingly.
A few years ago, Google released the Pigeon update which focuses on delivering more relevant and accurate local searches. One thing that this update improves upon is the distance and location of the search. If you are searching for local services, you likely only want to see results that are close to you.
Google knows this of course and will look at the location of the search to deliver better results. If your business targets primarily local customers column it is important to optimise for local keywords.
Be sure to optimise all of the following on -age factors:
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Image ALT text
- NAP (Name, Address, and Phone)