Instead of waiting for a new SEO change to take effect, get ahead of the curve by offering a better user experience now. A focus on improving certain aspects of your site will ensure that you don’t drop down in the search results when new changes are rolled out, which means that you’ll still be visible to the people you want to reach. Waiting until changes are implemented will put you behind—and improving your Web presence now has the added benefit of creating a more relevant, attractive and secure website.
Changes to SEO Algorithms
Changes to SEO algorithms tend to target areas like content, user experience, and website security. For example, the Panda update from Google targeted low information sites that were set up to get views, but not to give viewers useful information. Other recent changes have favored sites with a stronger security setup. Changes in 2017 will favor sites that cater to mobile users instead of only desktop viewers. Each change in SEO algorithm determines who gets a higher rank in search engine results, meaning that your page will be more visible than those with equally relevant content that don’t comply with the recommendations and requirements of the search engine.
Google Panda Update – SearchEngineLand
The best and most important way to get ahead of SEO algorithm changes is to offer quality content that’s updated regularly and is relevant to the keywords you’re targeting. More than security or user experience, SEO algorithms are created to make sure users are able to find and access the content that offers them the most benefit. Sites that aren’t updated regularly with new information may drop a few spaces in a list of results.
If you’re having trouble creating timely content, look no farther than a company blog. It’s easy to create a page that has information regularly updated to help keep your website relevant. Even posting once a week can put you ahead of other site owners who have a static site that only offers basic contact information and a list of services or products. As a bonus, offering more information will help you get return visitors who want updates on the topic you’re discussing.
Since the single most important factor in SEO is the information you’re providing, never skip the content when considering how to get more visibility online. Current, comprehensive content presented in a direct, easy-to-access way will do more to help you stay ahead of algorithm changes than anything else you can do. The trick is to make sure that the information you’re providing is relevant, well written and uses words specific to your industry, product or service to help people find your site after it has been indexed by search engines.
As more people perform searches on mobile devices, having a website with a positive user experience for a person on a smartphone or tablet is essential. There are several types of mobile optimization you can use. If you only offer a desktop site, you’ll lose out when algorithms that benefit progressive mobile design continue to be rolled out.
Mobile Fact Sheet – Pew Research Center
A mobile site is a website specifically designed to display when a mobile device is detected. This means that you have two versions of your website—and one doesn’t always include the same content and functionality as the other. If your mobile site doesn’t offer the same information and usefulness as your desktop site, your SEO ranking will drop.
The other type of mobile site you can use is a responsive site. This site offers all the same information and features as your desktop site, but appears in a mobile-friendly format. SEO algorithms that benefit mobile sites prefer responsive design to a specific mobile site.
Another popular choice is a web app, which is a site that appears to be a mobile application. It isn’t installed on the person’s device—it just has the same appearance and functionality. Web apps also load quickly and put your information in front of the viewer with less time than either other type of mobile site. Choosing either a responsive design or a Web app can help you increase your SEO.
Another area that search engines target to weed out low quality submissions is website security. If your site doesn’t have HTTPS, consider upgrading. HTTPS is a protocol where your site gets a certificate that authenticates the site’s identity, and also encrypts the data and prevents it from being altered while it’s being transferred to and from the site. If you’re selling goods and services, this kind of protection is even more important because it allows consumers to spend money on your site without concern for the security of their financial information.
Secure your site with HTTPS – Google Webmasters
Setting up your certificate and site the right way will offer you the most benefit. Google recommends selecting a 2048 bit key when setting up your HTTPS certificate, which offers more security than a 1024 bit key. Choose a certificate issuer who offers technical support if you’ve never worked with a security certificate before. Make sure that your site is set up so that HTTPS pages can be crawled by Google—if they can’t, you might not be available on search results at all. To do this, check that HTTPS pages aren’t blocked by robots.txt files and that the pages don’t include meta noindex tags.
Mobile Optimization – Moz
Not only will the information transmitted to and from your site be more secure, but you will also see a boost in your SEO rankings. Google, for example, prefers sites that use HTTPS over sites that use HTTP. It’s only a slight boost as of 2017, but the possibility always exists that SEO algorithms will be tweaked again to offer a more substantial boost. Getting HTTPS certified now will help you take advantage of any security-related changes in how rankings are determined.
Making small changes to your website now will help you avoid losing clicks when a new SEO algorithm change debuts. All changes are designed to better filter search results to help users find relevant pages, so making sure you’re relevant and have good content will keep you ahead of the game. Since your site will be more visible after changes are processed, it’s a good practice to stay up to date on each relevant area so that you don’t miss out on potential clients or customers. Ultimately, making sure your user experience, content and website security are up to par won’t only help you avoid being penalized due to changes in SEO algorithms, they’ll also give you a site that people are more interested in returning to and using.
Author: David Jones
David is lead digital marketer at Performancing, he also blogs at Bloggingtips.com and Bloggingpro.com.