The SEO updates Google has been bringing forth in recent years are enough to make our head spin. Along with a few frequently asked questions, we are going to call your attention to three changes that may just affect your SEO strategy.
1) Is mobile optimization a must?
Mobile devices have now taken up over half of all online traffic. Google has been planning the rollout of mobile-first indexing for long in response to this significant shift in consumer behaviour, and we are seeing great progress this Spring.
As of April 2018, the search giant is launching this index worldwide. For websites with comparable mobile and desktop versions, Googlebot will now use the mobile version as the primary version for indexing and ranking. Google is now testing each site’s readiness in isolation and will send out notification via the Search Console when a site can be switched over to the mobile-first index.
Marketers see the mobile-first index as an opportunity to be rewarded with higher rankings, and those who don’t take the time to tailor a comprehensive strategy could lose out. As changes roll out, it is vital to keep an eye on the latest developments and optimise your content accordingly to succeed in the age of mobile.
2) Do I need to make my website HTTPS-encrypted?
The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology is not just for online shops. Apart from encrypting users’ connection to a website so hackers can’t get sensitive information out of it, SSL also helps your rankings.
As early as 2014, Google has started ranking HTTPS websites higher than their HTTP-only counterparts. In October of 2017, Google took a step further to flag non-SSL-enabled sites on Chrome browser. The feeling is mutual for web users. According to a recent survey from HubSpot Research, up to 85% of them will not continue browsing if a site is not secure. All the more reason to add that an extra “s” to your “http://”.
3) Can meta description boost my search rankings?
Google stated clearly that meta descriptions do not affect search rankings. But still, a relevant and well-written meta description impact clickthrough rates. It is where you can differentiate your brand from others and convince searchers that your page, rather than any other, is the one to click.
Google is now giving website more space to spill ink. The company announced intentions to increase the length of meta descriptions to allow for more descriptive snippets at the end of 2017.
The world of search is ever-evolving, but it is good to keep in mind that SEO updates are always about better user experience. In gist, anticipating changes in behaviour of your target audience is key to staying ahead of the game.