This week we are going to take a brief look at some of the current “hot topics” within the world of Search Engine Marketing, and how these may affect you and your business.
HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure, was traditionally used on secure payment areas of e-commerce websites, to provide an additional level of security. However, as has long been discussed and previously mentioned by ourselves, HTTPS certification is now becoming critical if you wish your website to perform well on Google SERPs.
Back in 2014, Google announced that sites bearing HTTPS certificates would receive a minor ranking boost.
Migration of your site to HTTPS may seem like another unwanted task, but we have long stated that it is well recommended to keep up with your competitors. i.e. Whilst Google will not penalise you for not being HTTPS certified, your competitors who have migrated will receive the ranking boost.
Moz, who are a well-respected authority on all matters SEO, have recently released an article stating that we are now at the point of seeing approximately 50% of Page 1 Google search results being attributed to HTTPS websites.
In addition to the ranking effects, Google Chrome is now issuing “Not secure” warnings on any pages that collect passwords or card payment details, which are not HTTPS.
From a “user experience” perspective this is, obviously, another very good reason to ensure that your site moves over to HTTPS (or SSL)
Google’s statement on this, from October 2016, can be found here….
You can also read the full Moz article on HTTPS and Google Page 1 results at……
If you wish to discuss this topic further, please don’t hesitate to contact Jan Klin & Associates today on 01690 760328.
MOBILE FIRST INDEXING
One of the biggest announcements in the world of search over the past 12 months, has been the imminent rollout of Google’s Mobile First Index.
In a snapshot Mobile First Indexing, means that Google will rank your website based on the performance of the mobile version ahead of the desktop version, no matter what device has been used to perform the search.
This major change was predicted to take place in 2017, coinciding with last year’s widely publicised revelation that internet searches performed on mobile devices now outnumber those carried out on desktop and laptop computers.
However, news published over the past month would seem to suggest that the anticipated rollout of Mobile First Indexing may not now happen until 2018. Google employee Gary Ilyes is quoted as saying as much at the recent NEXT10X conference, as can be read in the following articles……
So how does this affect you?
Well if your website is already responsive or mobile friendly, there really is no need for concern.
If, however, you are still heavily reliant on your desktop website and have not got around to addressing the changes that need to be made, then this “may” have bought you a little more time.
There is simply no getting away from the fact that your website will need to provide a user-friendly mobile version, whether it be through responsive design or AMP (Search Engine Journal’s article on AMP/Mobile Friendly) so you really should consider making any necessary changes ASAP.
Remember that, as a first step, you can check whether your website is currently “mobile friendly”, by entering your URL at Google’s Mobile Friendly Test.
I’m sure everybody is, by now, very aware of Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, and the growth of “Personal assistant” type technology.
The recent developments within this area are undoubtedly going to have an enormous impact on the world of search.
Currently we can only speculate as to what kind of impact voice-led queries will have on the world of search, but it is an area we need to be very aware of and prepare as best we can.
So what can we envisage with the advent of voice search becoming increasingly popular?
There is a very good chance that local SEO will become increasingly important, as voice search will be used by people whilst “on the go”. e.g. Searching for the nearest Italian restaurant.
From this perspective, it will be vital for businesses to appear within the top positions of search results, due to the fact that users “on the go” will not have the time to be scrolling through numerous options.
We could also encounter a large shift in keywords/keyphrases due to the nature of voice search.
The fact that the user will now be speaking the search term rather than having to type it out, may well mean that we encounter far more specific search phrases, thus making longtail keywords critical.
It may well also be worth considering the format of your website’s content. We envisage that more colloquial content could be successful, due again to the nature of the voice search.
This could be taken as far as to say that “FAQ” sections of websites could become increasingly important, in picking up keyphrases used in search.
All in all, voice search could potentially see a huge shift in the way we approach our SEO practices, and is something that we really should be considering sooner rather than later.
If you would like to discuss any of the above in further detail, please feel free to get in touch with Jan Klin & Associates: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 01690 760328.