Last Saturday I attended a great lecture at WordCamp Ilolio — “Managing your online presence on Google Search” presented by Aldrich Christopher (Webmaster Outreach Strategist at Google Asia Pacific). To help any of my readers improve their own websites, I wanted to share the three things that google specifically recommend for doing well on Google Search . Here they are (I’ll unpack them below).
- Users come first
- Test your site
- Go Mobile
1. Users come first
This was Aldrich’s first and most important tip. Focus your efforts on creating fresh, unique and visual content that is easy to read. Content stuffed with keywords that sounds mechanical and boring quickly turns readers away.
When readers lose interest in your website they leave, quickly. Often causing your website to have a high ‘bounce‘ rate. The term ‘bounce‘ refers to somebody who lands on your website after clicking on a google search, then leaves before visiting another page. Google tends to rank sites with more traffic and lower bounce rates over sites with less traffic and high bounce rates.
2. Test your site
Google has so many free tools available for testing the performance of your website. Because Google bots and spiders consider how high fast your site loads (known as page speed), as well as how it performs on mobile devices, it’s a good idea to test your site with these free tools and see how you can improve results.
Here are five free tools to use right away to test the performance of your website:-
- Google Search Console – Register your site and receive insights on your sitemap, internal and external links, search terms used to find your site, and pages that are causing problems.
- PageSpeed Insights – PageSpeed Insights analyzes the content of a web page, then generates suggestions to make that page faster.
- Mobile-friendly Test – The web is being accessed more and more on mobile devices, now you can test how easily a visitor can use your page on their mobile device.
- Google Correlate – Many search terms vary in popularity over time and Google Correlate finds search patterns which correspond with real-world trends.
- Google Trends – Up-to-date information on the latest trending searches worldwide and by country.
3. Mobile sites rule
Now that mobiles are used more often for google searches, Google are moving toward ranking high performing mobile sites above desktop sites. Aldrich recommends designing all new websites for mobile first and making the desktop version secondary. Don’t forget to use the Mobile-friendly Test to make sure your website is easy to use on mobile devices.
Google Search is the most-used search engine on the World Wide Web, handling more than three billion searches each day, so it was great to have an official Google rep at WordCamp. Though I didn’t have time to stay for all the lectures,I was so impressed with WordCamp Iloilo I’ll be back next year for the full day.
What is WordCamp?
Just in case you were wondering, WordCamp is a celebration of all things WordPress and an opportunity for WordPress users to get together, network and learn. Held in chapters all over the world, WordCamp Iloilo presented topics on e-Commerce, plugins, social media, SEO, and the latest tips and advanced techniques for optimising internet security using WordPress.