How to Future-Proof Your SEO Strategy

How to Future-Proof Your SEO Strategy

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In the SEO world, search rankings are the most important thing. Every time Google releases a new update, changing their algorithm yet again, website owners are left scrambling to update their SEO so they don’t lose their page ranks.

But what if you didn’t have to? What if every time a Google update came out, you could just sit back, confident that your SEO is already where it needs to be? What if you could anticipate the changes Google is going to make?

Google’s Goal

From its inception, Google’s focus has been the users, not the websites, and not SEO. Early in Google’s lifespan, the Internet was filled with websites that gamed the system, using black-hat SEO tactics that prioritized search rankings at the expense of user experience. Google’s first updates, including Panda and Hummingbird, were designed to rectify this.

Google wanted to put user experience first.

A Different SEO World

Early SEO techniques generally involved getting keywords onto pages as many times as possible, getting backlinks, no matter how spammy, and participating in link farms. The Internet has come a long way since then and is much better for it. Anyone who has experienced both early Google and Google now can attest to the fact that it’s a lot easier to find exactly what you’re looking for.

And Google just keeps getting smarter and smarter.

Outsmarting Google

It’s not so much a matter of outsmarting Google or seeing the future. It’s a matter of aligning your own goals with Google’s. If Google’s goal is to provide the best possible user experience, then their algorithm will continue to be updated to make that goal a reality. Any SEO technique that doesn’t put UX, or user experience, first is going to get punished in the rankings the next time there’s an update, even if the techniques being used are technically still okay.

Putting the Users First

Chances are good that if you create your SEO strategy with user experience in mind, that strategy can last through any updates Google might put out there. Obviously, it’s a good idea to review your strategy frequently to ensure that it is still current and working, but if your own goals align with Google’s, then you’ll be ahead of the game. When the next updates roll out, you won’t have to make as many changes to your site as those who are still trying to game the system at the users’ expense.

Need help in improving your presence on search engines?

How to Lose Readers and Alienate People, Part 2

How to Lose Readers and Alienate People, Part 2

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Lack of Mobile Responsiveness and Loading Slowly

As we talked about in Part 1 of this article series on what not to do to keep users interested in your website, SEO is all about user experience. It doesn’t matter how good your keyword game is or how many backlinks you have if users are so annoyed by your website that they just click off.

And having a high bounce rate will kill your search rankings quicker than you can say SEO.

Mobile Unfriendly

Most Internet searches are done on mobile devices. Websites should either have a dedicated mobile version or be responsive so that they can automatically adjust to the screen of a mobile device. Users expect websites to be optimized for mobile. So does Google, which began rolling out mobile-first indexing in 2018.

But what exactly does it mean to be mobile friendly?

  • Don’t use Flash or other software that is on desktop computers but not mobile devices.
  • Websites auto-adjust so that users can read easily without having to rotate their screens or scroll sideways.
  • Text is large enough that it is readable without zooming in.
  • Links are far enough apart they’re clickable with fingers.

There are a surprising number of companies that don’t realize just how important mobile-friendliness is. Failing to be mobile-friendly can end up costing companies a lot of money. If a website isn’t mobile-friendly, then it isn’t providing a good user experience for any users searching on mobile devices.

With most searches now coming in on mobile devices, that’s very limiting. Only the much smaller number of users searching on computers instead of mobile devices will experience good UX. That’s still a lot of users experiencing poor UX.

Loading Slowly on Mobile Devices

Part of being mobile-friendly is loading quickly. If users have to spend too long waiting for a website to load, they just won’t bother. Instead, they’ll click off, increasing your bounce rate while never even getting to see your website’s content.

According to Google, the maximum amount of time a page should take to load on a mobile device is three seconds. Any longer than that and users will bounce. Actually, even within the three-second limit, you might lose some users. Optimally, your site should load enough that most of it is visible within a second.

There are a variety of reasons why a website might be slow on mobile devices. Remember that mobile devices aren’t as powerful as computers and so if your site has a lot of large files on it, those will load really slowly on a mobile device even if they load in seconds on a computer. 

Make sure your site is optimized for loading speed and that will improve both your users’ experience on your site and keep them from leaving before they’ve even had a chance to look at your content.

Need help in improving your presence on search engines?