Many of our online experiences are now powered by complex algorithms – one of the most prolific of which is behind online search giant Google. Google is so much more than a search facility, of course – expanding into email, communications and even AI. But the function they’re most well-known for still represents a significant portion of their offering – with 99,000 searches made on the site every single second.
There’s a reason that Google is still the number one search engine globally – but unfortunately this constant innovation and evolution does have a downside for businesses who rely on Google for visibility.
Google’s ever-changing updates provide plenty of food for thought, and can often leave businesses feeling like they’re always one step behind. But there are some simple and low-cost methods you can use to keep up and make satisfying the fast-moving requirements feel more manageable, in turn priming your business for SEO success.
Use tools to simplify and clarify your approach
It often feels time-consuming and even confusing to understand the constant updates Google shares – but if you find that keeping up with information from different sources quickly becomes overwhelming, you’re not alone. SEO experts are usually handling multiple accounts at a time across different sectors – and they need to ensure they’re keeping on top of the crucial new trends and guidelines they need to be aware of to secure results for their clients. This is why they sign up for Google Alerts and using third-party tools such as SEMrush to receive key information on updates directly – but these aren’t reserved exclusively for professionals. Businesses can also use them internally to monitor and keep track of Google updates and ensure your online efforts stay on track.
Other useful tools include Rank Ranger which monitors ranking patterns across thousands of sites and Panguin, a free tool which will let you know if algorithm changes have affected your organic traffic.
Invest in high-quality content
We’ve written about this before here at Candy – but it’s always worth reiterating the importance of good quality, regularly updated content. For many businesses content is an afterthought and usually receives a smaller portion of marketing spend and effort. And yet content is one of the most cost-effective and efficient ways to work with Google and connect with your customers online.
When you work to consistently create high-quality content to share on your site, you’ll lessen the impact of any overlooked algorithm changes. The easiest way to do this is via regular blogs written and posted to your site – aiming for at least two per month (a minimum of three to four works best). For blogs to work well they must be relevant, engaging and high-quality, written to inform and enhance user experience rather than to satisfy a keyword count. Most businesses don’t have the time and skills to take care of this in-house, but compared with SEO spend blogs are lower cost and an area it’s well worth enlisting professional support for.
The other benefit to focusing on blogs is that Google’s requirement for engaging, well-written and SEO-optimised content never changes. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, are short on time and struggle to keep up with algorithm changes, contact a copywriter and work on your content strategy instead of chasing the latest update.
Focus on one thing at a time
This can be easier said than done when you’re facing an onslaught of Google updates – but choosing just one to take care of and doing it well rather than adopting a scattergun approach will make your SEO strategy cleaner and much more efficient.
Even the smallest changes can have a significant impact – and implementing them one by one in a measured way can also make it easier for you to track what’s working (and what isn’t) so that you can focus more efficiently when selecting future updates to prioritise.
Additional tips to help you keep Google on-side
Alongside best-practice, consistent SEO efforts, there are other things you should keep an eye on to help ensure your business is as visible as possible online.
If you’re not familiar with it already, Google My Business is the public-facing profile linked with your Google account. Here you’ll generally find a snapshot of information about a business including their location, website, images, reviews and contact details.
This is an area that has also seen a lot of change with failed roll-outs of social media style interactivity – but rather than getting tied up in new features, focus on getting the basics right. This includes keeping your profile up to date with your latest opening hours, links and images.
This has two benefits – from an SEO perspective, Google favours active businesses who update their profiles regularly (not once every 5 years, as is normal for many). And the more information people have when they find you on Google, the more likely they are to engage with your business.
Google Reviews also fall under this umbrella – and as they carry more weight in an SEO sense than reviews on other platforms it’s worth really encouraging clients or customers to leave you feedback here.
YouTube is part of Google, so it’s worth using it to your advantage. Through posting short clips and videos related to your business and sharing or embedding the links across your site and other platforms linked to Google you can maximise your visibility online.
If you’re an e-commerce business, you’ll want to use Google Shopping to your advantage. This is one of the first places consumers look when shopping for a specific product.
Some features within Google Shopping are free, so you can increase visibility without worrying about overspend. Be sure to SEO-optimise listings and select clear, high-quality images. Where budget allows, enlisting professional support for Google Shopping can supercharge sales and significantly streamlining your PPC spend.
For complete digital marketing support from SEO to social media. Get in touch today: firstname.lastname@example.org