Make small tweaks, embrace change and consolidate
It’s not often that Google themselves share their own strategies on SEO, so when one of their data scientists shared a bit about how Google approach their own SEO on the 7,000 websites that they have, I was there to listen!
Here is a list of the top 3 tips I took away from them. The world of SEO can get very technical, so I have put some detail around it all in an attempt to explain everything in a way that makes sense!
Tip 1: Small tweaks can have a big impact.
If you have a bigger site with lots of pages, then making little site-wide changes can really make a difference to your search rankings. Google tried this themselves with their site that promotes their Google My Business service. Over a 12-month period, they made 3 separate small changes to the site and saw great results.
Firstly, they added canonical URL’s to the site’s code. Canonical tags explicitly tell search engines which URL they should rank making it easier for the algorithms to understand the importance of the content on your site.
Secondly, they updated their XML Sitemap with Hreflang Tags. This is only necessary if your site is targeted to multiple countries around the world in many different languages. It ensures for example that someone based in Spain who lands on your site is then shown the version of your site that is written in Spanish. Even if you don’t target visitors in different countries, your site should still have an XML sitemap to show search engines how your site content is organised.
Thirdly, they improved the Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions on the site. This Metadata is what you see in the search engine results pages. The Meta Title is the blue heading that you see, and the Meta Description is the grey paragraph under the blue heading. Well written metadata will entice more people to click on your search result rather your competitors. Think of it a bit like your ‘elevator pitch’ for each page.
The graph below shows the results they enjoyed from making these tweaks:
Tip 2: Embracing change is a good thing
Google like to see webmasters making bigger changes to their websites too, they even recommend it. A couple of examples they gave were AMP and Progressive Web Apps.
AMP is Accelerated Mobile Pages and if your site lends itself to adopting this technology it is recommended as it gives mobile users of your site a much faster experience.
Progressive Web Apps are a cross between a website and a traditional app allowing similar functionality of a traditional app from an app store, but without actually having to download and install one.
Google also mentioned the importance of the Google Search Console and resolving any errors that are found in there. If you don’t already have a Google Search Console account for your website, you should register for one, you will see what changes need to be made to your site for better performance in the search engine results.
Another subject to embrace is ‘Structured Data’. This can be used to highlight certain content such as Recipes, Events, Jobs, E-commerce info and much more. By implementing structured data, you massively increase your chances of showing in multiple areas of the first page of search results as your data may show up in a Featured Snippet.
Google shared the outcome they saw on another of their sites after fixing all the errors they found in their Google Search Console that were related to AMP. The graph below shows the results of these changes:
Tip 3: Consolidation can help
You may have heard the term ‘Content is King’ and you may have been told that the more of it you have on your website, the better. Well, this is only true to a certain extent; content has to be done properly.
Google themselves found that they had a “large number” of websites that were almost duplicates of each other. Google says that “Duplicate content is not only confusing for users, it’s also confusing for search engines”. They also say, “Creating one great site instead of multiple microsites is the best way to encourage organic growth over time”. After taking six of their old websites and consolidating them down to just “one great website” with focused and high-quality content, they saw the website’s call-to-action click-through-rate double and their organic traffic increased by 64%. The image below illustrates their findings:
Applying this consolidation theory to your own site, have a think about how many pages you have and what keywords they are targeting. If you have two or more pages on your site that are competing for the same keywords, then you need to consolidate your content and you will get better results.
So why does all this matter?
The internet is becoming more and more competitive every day. Your competitors are sitting up and taking notice of the importance of SEO and are setting aside part of their marketing budgets to ensure they have a good SEO Strategy in place. If you don’t do the same, you will lose out in the longer term.
Where do you go from here?
At Website Energizers, we offer a free one-hour consultation where we can help by auditing your current website to identify areas that you need to work on. We can then assist you in devising an SEO strategy and we can even implement it for you to help you get noticed on the Internet.
You will find all the details you need to get in touch with me at https://heart-of-business.co.uk/members/allan-love/