There are three words that all SEO companies and webmasters fear:
New Google Update.
These updates come with little to no warning, altering the online search engine landscape. Most are minor alterations that have little impact on everyday websites.
Some of these updates can leave businesses scrambling to maintain their place on top of search results.
If these updates for Google keep you up at night, fear not! Here are ten ways to stay ahead of the game and maintain your SEO standing no matter what happens.
1. Keep Your Content Fresh and Relevant
There is one truth that updates for Google will never change: Content is king.
Having content that engages your target audience is the best way to maintain a high SEO score.
Content allows for the placement of keywords. Google uses these phrases to direct people to the information they are searching for online. Keywords are like a map; they tell users where to go.
Keywords should be relevant to your business and not over-used in articles. If the keyword is “updates for Google,” a 1000 word article only requires 8-9 instances of it.
Think of Google and other search engines as businesses, and searchers as their customers. They provide a service by directing their users to the most relevant product or website.
Keywords are one of the methods they use to determine if your website is the best option. Your job is to help them find you.
No update will change this basic strategy.
Another way search engines establish your site’s worth is through links to and from your content. There are two types of links that you need to know.
Links going to your content from other pages show Google that people find your information helpful. There are some important things to know about these links, though.
The links to your articles should come from reputable websites. Getting a link from a page that has been online for one day isn’t as valuable as getting one from CNN.
The links should also come from independent websites, not ones that you run.
Link building is like establishing “street cred” in the online world. It’s the same as when someone lists references on their resume. Who do you trust more to judge an applicant’s work, their mom or their former boss?
Two websites that you own linking back and forth to each other is the equivalent of giving a family member as a reference.
Links going to other pages in your content encourage websites to return the favor and gives you credibility. Supporting links also let the reader know that you’ve put time into studying the material.
You also need to place internal links in your content. These links are the ones that guide users to other pages on your website.
Why are these links important?
When Google looks at how valuable a page is to their customers, they determine how long someone spends on your website.
If they visit your page and leave right away, Google assumes there was nothing there of value. If they stay and visit other pages on your site as well, they know that their customer was happy with their selection.
These links also push people through your sales funnel. Each link can guide customers through each step of the path to purchase.
Internal links raise your SEO score and increase the chances that visitors will use the service you offer.
3. Use Social Media To Survive Updates For Google
Social media helps with more than engaging customers. Facebook, Twitter, and other pages also help keep your SEO score high.
Your social media followers are likely to share your content with their followers, creating more clicks for the website.
These followers will also link to your articles when they write content of their own.
A smart social media outreach program persuades customers to pass your content along to others. It improves customer engagement, which counters updates for Google.
4. Keep Your Website Running Fast
Understanding that Google views users as customers means that we can make certain assumptions. One such prediction is that any of the future updates for Google will put more emphasis on website speed.
People don’t like waiting more than a few seconds for a page to load. In fact, the blink of an eye can be the difference between someone staying on your page or going to a competitor.
No pressure though.
Taking away unnecessary additions to your web page can keep loading times down.
In football, they say that speed kills. In the SEO world, the lack of it is the killer. Updates for Google will continue to expect fast loading times.
5. Be Mobile Friendly
Another safe assumption is that Google will reward companies for making web pages mobile friendly.
This belief is due to the rise of mobile devices. There are more searches completed using mobile devices than desktops now. Because of this, two years ago, Google rolled out a major mobile optimization update.
If your site isn’t optimized, your SEO score will drop, making it harder for potential customers to find you.
6. Check Google’s Webmaster Blog For Major Changes
On average, there are three changes a day made to Google’s algorithm. Most of these are minor and have little impact on a vast majority of users.
7. Think Local
One of the best ways to stay ahead of updates for Google is to think locally.
Most consumers search for local businesses. By using keywords and content that appeal to local customers, you can stay on top of search results.
Let’s say you do keyword research, and the top result for your business is “low-cost criminal defense.” Instead of using those words, add your location at the end. So if you practice in Austin, use “low-cost criminal defense in Austin.”
Anyone searching for those keywords will pull up your business instead of a competitor.
Studies show 78% of all local searches on mobile devices end with an offline sale. Considering this, it’s easy to assume that updates for Google will continue to increase the importance of local SEO.
Adding your information to local online registries will also help. Most of these directories are free and enable users to search for local businesses with ease.
8. Use Videos On Your Page
This tip is another prediction of future updates for Google.
Video content is becoming the most popular medium for information on the web.
YouTube is the most popular video service online, and Google owns YouTube. It benefits Google to make sure video continues its rise to the top.
By adding videos to your page, you can take advantage of their rising popularity. The videos don’t need to have professional quality production.
What you want are videos that help meet your SEO goals. Make videos explaining recent changes in your industry, or giving your view on industry stories.
You can also make videos to post on your “About” page, showing off the people you work with on a daily basis. These videos humanize the company and give customers a reason to spend their money with you.
Have fun with the videos! They should answer a direct question and be shareable. Think about what you would like to see in a video on a topic, and make it happen.
Put your videos on social media, and encourage your followers to share them. Create your own YouTube channel to take video creation to the next level.
9. Make Sure Your Website is Secure
Customers want to know that their information is safe when they go to an online site. If they feel that you can’t protect their information, they will stop visiting.
Google will also stop sending people to your page unless security measures are in place.
It’s not only the information that people type into your page that needs protecting. Stored customer information, from credit card numbers to personal contact data (address, email) is also at risk.
Future updates for Google will continue to place a premium on online security. Stay ahead of Google by implementing standards of practice now.
10. Look To The Professionals For Help
SEO companies can help manage your website keep you on top of the search rankings. Most of these companies offer a wide range of services, from writing content to link building.
Many site owners worry about the costs of SEO services without realizing the full value of the decision. SEO not only protects you from updates from Google but also makes your page more visible.
Increased visibility means increased sales.
Make sure to do some research before choosing an SEO service. Look at their reviews online and find a company with a strong social media presence. There are scammers online that will take your money without putting in the work.
Survive and Thrive
Updates for Google can frighten even the most hardened SEO veteran.
Keeping up to date on the latest information is essential for online success. Check out our other SEO blog posts to learn how you can drive viewers to your website, and contact us with any questions you have!