Getting your business listed on the first page of Google search is only half the battle won. The real challenge is staying on top of the listing. While having an ethical, best practice approach to SEO is great, it is also important to keep a close eye on Google algorithm updates to maintain search engine visibility and minimise ranking fluctuations. Following are a few shifts and trends to stay on top of in 2018 to maintain your rank in the Google search engine listing.
Prep For Mobile-first Index
In the last 3 years, there has been a major global shift from desktop to mobile devices. Not only that, a large number of new mobile users are cropping up quickly in countries such as India, Brazil and Indonesia – to give a perspective, the year 2016 marked 108 million new users worldwide, which is one-third of the population of United States. Understandably, Google is prepping to meet the needs of these emerging markets. To be specific, Google is serious about improving the user satisfaction for its mobile search engine users and this is where ‘mobile first’ approach comes into the picture.
There are two aspects to be aware of in the mobile-first approach. First, Google is focused on improving speed and functionality of its search engine to make it more accessible to users browsing on low internet speed. So, it’s a great time to roll out a progressive web app version for your current app.
Second and most important is mobile-first indexing. Google, currently, has separate search engine indexes for web and mobile. This will be combined to form a single index and the search engine crawler will use the mobile version of your site to rank pages, understand data and extract snippets in search engine results. This means that having a mobile version of your site is no longer an option. It is best advised to give the same level of importance to mobile site content, design, UX and UI as the desktop site. Even if you have a good mobile version of your site, it is recommended to check the SEO against the mobile-first index and streamline the ongoing efforts directed to it.
Leverage The Structured Data Market
After Knowledge Graph and Rich Snippets, the Image Badges are the latest features adopted by Google to enhance the search result accessibility. These badges on images improve accessibility, especially for users browsing on low internet speeds or with certain disabilities, to desired results. Publishers can make the most of this new feature by adding structured data to pages and images and secure a larger chunk of web traffic.
Ramp Up Your Pagespeed
As discussed above, Google is serious about improving its search engine performance for mobile users. So, mobile websites that do not load quickly incur bounce rates and will most likely be penalised in the near future. But to be clear, Google isn’t exactly ranking the sites based on its page speed but rather on how effectively the site is able to offer user-friendly content. To summarise, ensure instant page loading, ramp up page speed and maintain mobile-friendly content. Accelerated Mobile Pages is a great place to start.
Move Your Website To HTTPS
This one is self-explanatory. HTTPS is going to be an important factor in search engine ranking and publishers resisting this move could have their visitors seeing a ‘Chrome: Marking HTTPS As Non-Secure’ page.
Carmatec can help you get your site listed on the top of the search engine listing where it can generate leads and make sales. We magnify your business by covering all aspects of search engine optimisation, including website analytics and online business promotions. Get in touch today for a detailed SEO consultation.