It’s hard to write, talk, think or plan without the ‘B’ word coming into one’s mind at the moment.
There’s no escaping Brexit; whatever deal takes place, and however swiftly the UK removes itself from the European Union, things will change.
For your business, that could mean a number of things, but if you’re anything like us, you’ll have put your positive hat on long ago and simply worked hard at the things you do best and which delight your customers the most.
There’s one thing, however, that will help you a great deal once Brexit begins to have an impact on the economy - your website. And, to get your website working effectively for what might be an uncertain period, search engine optimisation (SEO) needs to be invested in.
Here’s a few truths about SEO that you’ll need to keep in mind as you undertake any website work in 2019 and beyond.
The mobile-first Google index is in full effect
Originally announced in 2016, Google’s mobile-first index signalled a significant change in the way the search giant will rank websites from here on.
Now, mobile versions are seen as being far more important to users, and their quality, easy of use and compliance with modern web standards is more closely scrutinised than ever.
Put simply, if you don’t have a great mobile web presence, you’ll struggle to be found on Google.
The way we search for answers to questions, products and services online is starting to evolve and it’s changing how SEO is undertaken.
If you’ve got a digital assistant on your smartphone such as Siri, or an Alexa sitting on your side table, you’ll probably have searched for something online with your voice. And, as you’d expect, we search for things differently when we say them as opposed to when we type them.
“Restaurants in Northampton” is far more likely to become something like “where can we eat in Northampton tonight?” when spoken, which means your keyword strategy probably needs a review.
Video is really important
Video continues to be one of the stickiest forms of online content, capable of keeping people on pages and engaged for much longer than traditional text and images.
The latter is still vitally important, but if you’re yet to invest in video, you’re missing out. Google pays attention to video when ranking websites and - although no one truly knows what their algorithm does behind the scenes - it’s safe to assume based on search results we see that videos are viewed as being particularly important by Google.
Video doesn’t have to cost a fortune either - long gone are the days when you needed a truck full of crew members to produce a two-minute feature.
Depth of content
When was the last time you posted a blog on your site? When did you last review the content on your pages and ensure it was as in-depth, relevant and unique as it should be?
You’re not alone if this part of your website has been put on the back burner, but next year probably is the best time to kill off any poor quality, thin content on your site.
Google’s algorithm continually changes, but it’s generally accepted that they still love to see depth of content, so it’s time definitely worth investing in!
You shouldn’t need to make any large, wholesale changes to your website next year (unless it’s due a redesign, of course), but the tips above will ensure you get a handle on SEO - and that’s vital if you want to bat away any Brexit blues that might be looming.