SEO is no quick fix, it can take weeks, months and sometimes even years (depending on your industry), to reap the benefits of your hard work. Follow the steps below to help improve your search rankings, or use it as a checklist to ensure you have the basics covered.
You’ve probably heard the term “Ranking Algorithm Change” or something similar before if you’ve ever dealt with a marketing agency or digital marketers. It’s a term that’s used to signify when Google or other Search Engines have changed how their ranking algorithms rank websites. But what does this mean for you?
What Are They?
Algorithm Updates happen most days, but they are tiny and generally you won’t see much difference, but every once in a while, Google will roll out a major update which can impact sites in a variety of ways. These bigger updates generally focus on certain things, in the past we’ve seen algorithm updates that have impacted sites who don’t have mobile friendly websites, and updates which have penalised sites with low-quality/spammy content.
Recent Major Algorithm Updates
Site Diversity Update – June 6th 2019
The Site Diversity update impacted sites with multiple organic listings on one page to give more variety & diversity.
June 2019 Core Update – June 3rd 2019
Core updates happen a few times a year. This one impacted sites previously affected in other core updates.
March 2019 Core Update – March 12th 2019
Google confirmed a third major core update since they began using that label.
Medic Core Update – August 1st 2018
The Medic update mainly targeted health & medical sites, it was rolled out over the course of a week.
To see a full list of Google Ranking Algorithm Updates, please see here
Why Do They Matter?
While the small ranking updates shouldn’t have too much of an affect on your site & rankings, you should be aware of the major updates and the possible implications they can have.
These bigger updates can make or break your rankings, as we’ve seen countless times, for example, the Daily Mail lost 50% of their traffic from Google’s most recent major algorithm update. If you go onto the Daily Mail‘s site, you can see they’re not abiding by SEO best practices. That should show you how important making sure your website follows SEO best practices and Google’s guidelines.
How to Optimise for Ranking Algorithm Updates
While we can’t guarantee your site won’t get negatively impacted by an algorithm update, we can advise on the best practices to follow which should minimise any negative impact.
- Make sure your content is unique and relevant to your site/industry.
- Don’t spam keywords into your pages and content, this may have worked in the early 2000’s, but not anymore.
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly, as Google now gives priority to mobile optimised sites.
- Don’t build your SEO from Black Hat techniques such as link spamming and cloaking.
- Follow Google’s guidelines, as these are the best ways to get your content to rank.
- Gain natural links from reputable sources, rather than paying for them.
By following SEO best practices, you’ll minimise the risk of your site being deranked, and also reap the benefits when a major update comes around, as Google will see you’ve been following their guidelines.
At Square Media, we can help optimise your SEO by following Google’s Guidelines. While we mainly work in the following areas; Corby, Northampton, Kettering, Wellingborough and Leicester, but we’re more than happy to work with customers all across the UK. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services and how we can help you.
With Google and other Search Engines giving more leverage to local searches, any business wanting to show up in their local area for searches should really be investing in optimising their Local SEO presence. Otherwise you’ll find your competitors will be appearing instead.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimising your website to rank better for local searches. While similar to ‘standard’ SEO, there are some key differences, because Local SEO isn’t just about Search Engines.
Local SEO is all about getting your business to rank when someone searches for a service, near them. For example, “plumbers near me”. This search query will bring up some of the closest and best optimised businesses near to you. Here is an example below.
The benefits of optimising your Local SEO is that you can bypass normally competitive terms, as Google is giving much more weight to local businesses over the big corporations when it comes to local searches. This is one of the many reasons why you should be optimising your website for local SEO.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business, or GMB for short, is a platform for businesses to advertise and showcase their brand, almost like a mini social media profile, but it’s optimised for Local SEO.
As you can see above, there’s a lot of information you can put into a Google My Business listing. By adding relevant information to your GMB listing, you’ll increase the chances of your listing appearing when someone searches for the services you offer. You can add the services you provide to your listing, along with a description of your business, opening times and many more items.
Citations – What are they and why are they important for Local SEO?
A citation is any listing of your business’ NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number).
You’ll want to make sure all your citation information is exactly the same across outlets, as incorrect information can stop a browser from becoming a customer.
Citations are one of the most important aspects of Local Search, as this allows Search Engines to pull in data from multiple sources to verify that you’re information is correct, and more citation listings increases the chance you’ll appear for local queries. Some citation listings also allow you to insert a link to your site, which also helps with Local SEO as some high quality directories are held in high regard.
Social Media profiles also add to the citation side of Local SEO, because a business Facebook profile will allow you to add company information, such as NAP and other information.
How to Rank Well in Local Search
There are three main factors you should take into account when optimising your business for local search.
How near is your business to the searcher? If you’re only down the road from the searcher, you’re more likely to appear over another business 2 miles away.
How relevant is your business to the searcher’s query? For example, if you’re local business that sells Audio/Visual products, and the searcher’s query is “computer shops near me” it’s unlikely you’ll show over a business who solely provides computers and computer services.
What are other customers saying about your business and the services/products you provide? Reviews have a big impact when it comes to local SEO. A highly reviewed business will have an easier time ranking over a business which only has 1 star, but might be closer. As Google and other search engine value how well perceived your company is.
At Square Media, we can help improve your local Search rankings. While we mainly work in the following areas; Corby, Northampton, Kettering and Leicester, we’re more than happy to work with customers all across the UK. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services and how we can help you.
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