How Mobile Indexing Matters to Google Search

How Mobile Indexing Matters to Google Search

Recently, Google decided to primarily use mobile indexing for search engine result pages (SERPS), rather than desktop usage of websites – and the move was directly linked to the increase in searches conducted from mobile devices.

Because people increasingly search for content on their mobile devices more than on their desktops, how you use online content matters today in ways that it didn’t only a short time ago.

Here’s the thing…

Reports, like those in an article at Search Engine Land, show that presently over 50% of search traffic is generated from smartphones and tablets. These numbers will likely continue to grow at a fairly rapid rate.

And the other thing is this…

Mobile vs. desktop queries produce different rankings nearly 80% of the time.

If these reports are accurate – or even close – online content that is not mobile ready risks losing precious visibility. This also means that ‘what you see may not be what you get’ when it comes to evaluating your content’s SEO.

Your content matters to mobile devices in different ways than it does on a desktop. And though you’ve probably never given it much thought before, you should be optimizing your content for both to avoid missing out on opportunities to reach more of the people who are looking for what you do and offer.

Now that Google has switched to a mobile-first index, here are some factors you’ll want to consider:

  • Mobile-first indexing means that Google will use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.
  • Google continues to have one single index that they use for serving search results.
  • Google does not have a “mobile-first index” that’s separate from their main index.
  • Previously, the desktop version was indexed, but Google will be increasing the use of the mobile versions of content.
  • Google will show the mobile version of pages in Search results and also in Google cached pages.
  • Site owners will see significantly increased crawl rate from the Smartphone Googlebot.

Finally, here is what Google says about how content matters today with the use of Mobile-first indexing:

Mobile-first indexing is about how we gather content, not about how content is ranked. Content gathered by mobile-first indexing has no ranking advantage over mobile content that’s not yet gathered this way or desktop content. Moreover, if you only have desktop content, you will continue to be represented in our index.

Having said that, we continue to encourage webmasters to make their content mobile-friendly. We do evaluate all content in our index — whether it is desktop or mobile — to determine how mobile-friendly it is.

As always, ranking uses many factors. We may show content to users that’s not mobile-friendly or that is slow loading if our many other signals determine it is the most relevant content to show.

7 SEO Quick Tips to Keep Search Rankings Higher

7 SEO Quick Tips to Keep Search Rankings Higher

On-page SEO is more important than ever. However, with all of the changes over the past few years getting and keeping higher search rankings is a confusing subject, and one of those things that most entrepreneurs would rather just ignore than deal with.

But in order to remain a contender in the online marketing world – you have to keep showing up in the search rankings. This means that you cannot afford to ignore SEO.

Here are some quick tips to help you keep up with the changes and enjoy higher search engine rankings.

RankBrain, an artificial intelligence (AI) system, is helping Google understand the relationships between topics and search terms. What this means is that rankings are no longer about exact keyword matches. So, if you’re working to create content that involves exact keyword matches, you may no longer actually be reaching your target audience.

Here’s the thing:

Unless your organization benefits from a dedicated SEO marketing specialist who focuses on optimization, keeping up with all of the latest changes in SEO can be painful. But ignoring the need to adjust your strategy based on search ranking algorithm updates or changes in the way search results are displayed visually can be the kiss of death.

It’s more important than ever to invest in improving your search engine rankings. So, where is the best place to begin?

What You Don’t See

For example, one thing entrepreneurs often overlook when creating content for their website is the importance of images. And it’s not just about how they look to the visitor seeing them, but how they appear (or rather, don’t appear) to the search engines.

Search engines cannot see images on websites.

That’s why it’s important to create an alt text for each image and a relevant file name to ensure Google knows what the image is about. By not creating an alt text and using relevant keywords in the file name, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to be seen online.

According to a study on ranking factors by Searchmetrics, which is a company that provides SEO analytics and reporting tools for large enterprises, search continues to be one of the first contact points on the Customer Journey. So, it only makes sense to be as visible as possible.

But Consider This:

So what if you have higher search rankings for a particular keyword or phrase, creating lots of traffic to your website, if you never see an increase in revenue? Is that your goal for your business?

Another effective tool for achieving higher search rankings is link building, but all of the recent and ongoing changes affecting SEO have also impacted the way to build links. Unfortunately, what usually happens is that the person hired to do link building focuses on the quantity of links – instead of link quality – making this an overall poor investment.

A better investment seems to be optimized content because that content can be used for types of content marketing that will naturally bring more links with them over time. Such as:

  • Web pages
  • Blog posts
  • Lead generation offers
  • Guest posts on other sites

 “Rather than obsessing about ranking, be useful – then your readers will bring about more consumers because they’ll share your stuff.” Alisa Meredith

Your number one goal should always be to satisfy your visitors with quality content that they can easily digest and enjoy.

When this is done the right way, your content will naturally satisfy a search engine’s ranking algorithms, organically boosting your content toward the top of the list.

7 SEO Quick Tips to Keep Search Rankings Higher

  1. Higher rankings do not mean more search traffic. True, people will see your listing, but it doesn’t guarantee more clickthroughs.
  2. Meta descriptions may no longer affect rankings, but they do affect clickthrough rates. Keeping your meta description relevant and compelling can cause searchers to click through to your page, instead of clicking out and going somewhere else.
  3. Google calls the use of pop-ups “intrusive interstitials.” In August 2016 they announced that they would begin to penalize websites that use pop-ups. This penalty finally went into effect in January of 2017, but Google doesn’t penalize all pop-ups – only those that get in the way of a user’s ability to easily access the content on the page when they search on mobile.
  4. Mobile and voice search allow people to ask complex questions using full sentences instead of entering fragmented terms into search engines. Google’s Hummingbird search algorithm sparked a major switch from keyword to topic-focused SEO for searches.
  5. Keywords don’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) repeated verbatim throughout a piece of content. Use a keyword (or keywords) in a headline in a way that makes sense to a reader. But avoid getting your website penalized by using as many keywords on a page as possible. When in doubt, follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
  6. Header tags are only used for styling purposes (whether using H1, H2, H3, etc.) they are part of your CSS (Custom Style Sheet) that references what font styling and size will be applied to a particular piece of content. What actually matters is that you place your most important information as close as possible to the top of your page.
  7. Your homepage is the gateway, the front door to your business. Make your homepage content long enough to clarify who you are, what you do, where you’re located (if you’re local), your value proposition, and what visitors should do next. It is vital to the health of your online business that you keep visitors to your website satisfied, feeling valued, and never confused.

One last thing…

Your content should, of course, be focused on your target audience. Whatever your message, you want to be sure that you’re inviting the right people to visit your website and engage with you.

However, there will always be ‘bad guys’ lurking around, trying to sneak in the back door…and some may have already succeeded in doing so in the form of what is known as bad links.

Anyone linked to you that you have no desire to be linked to – especially sites notorious for spam or other ugly, distasteful content – these are BAD LINKS and you need to get them off your property!

How would you rank the overall success of your content?

Are you showing up in the search rankings and reaching the right people – in the right place – at the right time?

Your content matters.

Content is the first thing you should focus on in your online marketing efforts.

Content is the last thing you can afford to ignore for sustained growth and success.

Get more tips and the latest updates on all Content Matters sent directly to your inbox.

10 Ways Experienced Content Writers Make Marketing Effective

10 Ways Experienced Content Writers Make Marketing Effective

Even though I’ve been writing content in various ways for over 40 years, I’m not easy with labeling myself an “Expert”. It’s not about having confidence in my ability to make marketing more effective as a content writer or doubting the quality of my work. (After all these years of writing, the one thing I can say is that I’m experienced)!

It’s more about the fact that, in the world of digital marketing, content is constantly evolving. Opinions on effective styles, formatting, and delivery methods are ever-changing based on an increased ability to collect data and measure the ways it impacts marketing efforts.

Trying to help clients understand the importance of their content while keeping up with all the latest digital marketing tools and strategies can be overwhelming for even the most experienced content writers.

In fact, just recently, I found myself writing a lengthy email in an attempt to explain my role and some of the reasons behind what I do – and I couldn’t help but think, “Maybe blogging about this could help other entrepreneurs better understand the ways that content writers can assist in providing quality marketing content.”

So here, in a nutshell, are what I think experienced content writers probably wish every entrepreneur and potential client understood:

10 Ways Experienced Content Writers Make Marketing Effective

  1. The quality of your content is important to your content writer.
  2. Your content writer considers your success his/her success.
  3. Quality content writers work hard to stay on top of their game.
  4. Online digital marketing is an ever-changing, ever-expanding realm.
  5. Because of #4 – dedicated content writers are constantly learning.
  6. Also because of #4 – even the most dedicated content providers can’t possibly know everything.
  7. Experienced content writers are focused on getting to know their clients – their message, voice, and target audience.
  8. Experienced content providers are familiar with the types of content and formatting that seem to be most effective for specific niches.
  9. Experienced content writers usually recognize when something is not working for their client.
  10. Experienced content writers can help you to develop personalized solutions for making your content more effective, helping you to reach specific goals.

Yes, it’s a financial investment to work with an experienced content writer. But here’s the thing: an experienced and professional content writer will be equally invested in you, as well.

When I am able to take clients where they want to go – that’s incredibly uplifting, encouraging, and rewarding to me. It’s why I do what I do, and why I love what I do.

Above everything else, your content writer wants you to be satisfied. It’s absolutely vital to the relationship that you be able to trust in his/her ability to provide you the quality you want and deserve. 

There’s Only One Wheel…

When a client does not fully trust in the skills of their content provider and looks to others (who are basically in the same boat as them) for advice and guidance – trusting in their peers opinions and input and bringing that back to the writer to implement…it can be more than a little hard to swallow.

Trust me, I understand how hard it can be to let others take the wheel – and I am not saying that you shouldn’t be at the helm of your own project – but what I am saying is that where there is only ONE wheel, if too many hands are involved at one time, direction becomes an issue. You can quickly end up lost in a sea of differing opinions and varying levels of navigational skills when you look for advice from everyone else who has ever set sail on the Internet. 

That’s not to say that someone else’s experience isn’t valid – it’s just this:

If you’re drowning – and you turn to another who recently almost drowned and ask them what to do – they can tell you what worked for them in their situation. And that solution (as you are about to go under yet again) can seem like a truly great one!

But if it worked for them because they are already a strong swimmer – and you can’t even doggy-paddle – then, it probably won’t be of help to you in the same way. In other words, you may need a very different resource to help keep you from going under for the last time…

No content writer can guarantee amazing results within a certain amount of time. However, you have the right to be satisfied that the content they provide is quality work – and that it is working for YOU.

And Remember: Even the most experienced content writer won’t be able to read your mind. Whatever your goals, they must first be clearly defined in your own mind, so that you can clearly communicate them to your content writer. Without this clarity, there will be no good way for either of you to measure what is – or isn’t – working.

Not all copywriters are content marketing specialists. But a content writer, trained and experienced in content marketing, knows that:

  • Some content can have damaging effects on marketing efforts
  • Some plans are riskier than others in content marketing
  • Some strategies fail because of poor execution
  • Some platforms work better than others for telling a brand’s story
  • Some channels are not well-suited for reaching certain personas

Hopefully, these points will provide better understanding for those working with content writers. They are just a few of the many ways in which an experienced content writer can contribute to your increased marketing success, becoming one of the best investments you’ll ever make.

If you’re attempting to build brand awareness, grow your online business, or attract new customers – you’re probably ready for a content marketing strategy. The Content Marketing Institute offers this free 16-page guideThe Essentials of a Content Marketing Strategy.

If you’ve got a strategy or have decided on a plan and are ready to begin working with an experienced content writer – let’s talk!

Brand Loyalty Opportunities: 3 Touch Points Should Never Be Ignored

Brand Loyalty Opportunities: 3 Touch Points Should Never Be Ignored

All interactions between you and your customer are touch points, opportunities that should never be ignored. Yet, every day, business owners and managers fail to recognize and understand the importance of using touch points to excel at providing customers an above average experience that translates into building brand loyalty.

Brand Awareness to Brand Loyalty

From the moment of the buyer’s awareness of your brand – through the consideration stage – to the crucial act of decision-making, a customer is on a journey. (more…)

7 Tips for Engaging with Real Content

7 Tips for Engaging with Real Content

Real content matters today. All of the recent talk about “fake news” has caused concern about all of the fake content daily offered those searching the Internet. A lack of real content is the reason that, despite a high volume of Internet users, many of us have developed a lack of trust for the common rhetoric offered online, no longer casually engaging.

In short, customers have become increasingly savvy when it comes to ‘buying what is being sold’ – and with very good reason. (more…)