Future proof your website SEO for 2015

Website SEO changes… are you prepared? Our thirst for information is constantly growing, and Google is continually changing its algorithms to keep up with demand and make sure users can get the right information they need.

Here at Rawww, we want to make sure you know about what is happening in the website SEO world, in particular, the Google mobile-friendly change which is taking place on 21 April 2015.

But first, let’s go back to basics… are you in the know when it comes to website SEO? In the simplest of terms, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the practise of improving and promoting a website to increase the number of visitors your website receives from search engines such as Google. Although, of course, this will only work if your SEO is done right, and with website SEO constantly evolving, this is more crucial than ever.

SEO is based on many factors from how a website is structured so that search engines can understand (on-site SEO), to the way other sites and your offline marketing links to you on the web (off-site SEO).

Amongst all the factors which effect website SEO… it isn’t just about building search engine friendly websites, it’s also about making your site better for people and these two elements go hand in hand.

The search engine giant Google has rolled out a lot of changes recently… particularly over the past few years which have impinged on a lot of website owners and companies, many are finding that for the first time, they are breaching Google guidelines resulting in poor rankings. And it’s not just smaller companies who are affected, in the last update back in 2014, eBay lost a whopping 80% of its prime rankings due to poor mobile friendly design and optimisation.

In 2014, Google algorithm changes included the Pigeon update (which had a huge effect with regards to SEO on a more local level and modified how they handle and interpret location cues) to rolling out even more updates on the Google Panda (stopping websites with poor quality content making their way into Google’s top search results).

And let’s not forget the Google Penguin update (which stops sites who are deliberately trying to spam search results in order to get top results in Google). These are just to name a few changes that have happened and Google has made no secret of the fact that they continuously make modifications to their search ranking algorithms with previous comments claiming that there could potentially be as many as 500 alterations made every year. We have been warned to watch this space!

And now, let’s go into more detail on what we really want to home in on over the next few months: the new update coming to Google search engine screens near us on April 21 2015… The mobile-friendly update.

Google’s mobile-friendly update recognises the importance of mobile searches and their ever-growing impact. ‘Mobile friendliness’ will be a relevant ranking signal for websites, which means that it is crucial that companies see the importance of having both desktop and mobile versions of their sites.

Companies with mobile-friendly websites will quickly benefit from this change as they will see significant improvements in their search rankings. But if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, for example, if you don’t have a mobile website or if it isn’t responsive, then it is highly likely you’ll see a dip in your Google rankings after the update rolls out. The rumour is that these mobile SEO changes will even have more of an impact than the Panda and Penguin updates so it’s time to consider how you fare when it comes to mobile.

Big brands aren’t immune either, we’ve discovered that websites for The Daily Mail, Ryanair, Legal and General, Channel 4 and Next (to name just a few) are in the firing line when Google’s update is introduced on April 21.

Our advice? If you haven’t thought about a mobile website or responsive website yet, now is the time to make sure your website is mobile-friendly – and it’s more important than ever. For us, any website we design and build for our clients is responsive – not just for Google but for your audience too. 

We have other great tips too; if you want to grow, and stay ahead of website SEO, here are three more key factors to consider for 2015:

User experience is increasingly important

Your website should deliver the best possible experience for your customers. Once you have your business goals and objectives in place, you should then focus on what your web users need, what they value and even consider their abilities and limitations. This should all impact on design and page layouts and by improving the quality of the user’s interaction.

Avoid link building manipulation

Link building should be a natural occurrence through marketing and brand presence. If people like you and your brand they will link to you and share your great content, but trying to manipulate your website links could cause more harm than good.

Unfortunately, there are many websites that use such ‘black-hat’ strategies, but in the long-term, they will work against your website, so we strongly recommend you avoid link building manipulation at all costs.

Build your brand not your keywords

Google announced business owners should be looking to build their brand rather than organic keyword rankings, moving towards the trend that brand and business relevance is becoming more and more important. Yet, despite this news, keywords are still relevant as web users will use certain words to find you or a business that does what you do.

Be prepared for consistent changes and updates

Google still has a long way to go to make sure that the right people get to the top of their search pages so be prepared for more website SEO changes coming your way.

With all this in mind, is your website ready for these changes? If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to SEO or building a mobile-friendly website, we’re on hand to advise and guide you in the right direction. So why not get in touch? And if you already have a mobile website, but are unsure if it is in line with Google’s new changes, we can take a look for you and highlight what you need to do to keep up.

Get in contact with us today and find out how we can help you future proof your website for SEO.