Google Search – keep up-to-date in 2017

Google is consistently updating its search algorithms to decide how to rank a website.  Penguin 4.0 was the last and biggest update and Google now shows rankings in real-time, so ranking positions can change with every search.

Here are 5 things you need to make sure you are tackling to increase organic traffic to your website in 2017.

1.  Mobile First

Google will soon be making their index mobile-first, meaning that desktop will no longer be their priority. As most users are now searching from a mobile device, websites need to adapt to fully meet the need of users. Test your website to see how mobile friendly your website is. Make sure it is easy to navigate and renders properly on a mobile. You can find out more about how mobile friendly your website is with a tool from google here.

2.  Website speed

Everyone now expects a website to load quickly and it is key for user experience. Make sure you test your page loading speed regularly to ensure customers don’t abandon their baskets. As mobile traffic is set to overtake desktops this year, speed is paramount. There are various tools around to test page loading speeds. Review your hosting package on a regular basis and if you haven’t already, consider using cloud hosting. Google Search Console has a tool to test both desktop and mobile speeds in Page insights or go here.

3.  Google My Business

Whatever your business, make sure you update (or create an account if you don’t have one) your Google My Business account. When people search for your company if your “Google my Business” is updated your phone number, logo, address and location appear to the right of the page. The listing can also shows social media links and Google Plus reviews. It is a free business listing for Google Search as well as Google Maps. It is easy to forget to update Google my Business, google your brand to see how up to date yours is. Find out more about Google my Business here.

4. Content is still King

To rank well and get traffic from Google in 2017 you will need quality content on your site. Good quality content helps with the customer buying decision as well as telling Google you know your product or service. Once you have created good quality content post it everywhere and get everyone else to share it.

5. SSL Certificates

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is a technology used to encrypt data that travels between a website and a user’s computer. You need a certificate if you take payments on your website to offer protection to your customers. You can tell if a website has a certificate as the “http” becomes “https” at the beginning of the URL if the site has one. Google has said it now recognises SSL certificates on sites and assesses in its ranking algorithms. SSL certificates also go out of date so make sure yours is up-to-date! If you have a Google Merchant account and you don’t have a SSL certificate, Google can now suspend your account.

If you would like Activepage to carry out an audit of your website, call us now on 01606 610808.