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 my readers improve their own websites, I wanted to share the three SEO tips that Google specifically recommends for doing well on 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 through 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. Google bots and spiders consider how high fast your site loads (known as page speed), as well as how it performs on mobile devices — so it’s a good idea to test your site with these free tools and see how you can improve results.
Here are four 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 analyses 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 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 search, 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 advanced techniques for optimising internet security using WordPress.
© 2018 Melinda J. Irvine