You know that SEO is important to getting viewers to visit your website. You know that using keywords in your website copy can help make your site more visible and that in many ways, Google controls your online fate. What you may not know about SEO is that the rules are always changing. What worked a year ago may not work today. Here are four relatively recent changes to search that should be influencing the way you do SEO today.
1. Duplicate content will not always kill your SEO
As recently as a year ago, posting duplicate content on all your online platforms would instantly earn you a spot on the SEO blacklist. That’s changed, and now you won’t be penalized for posting the same content to several social channels, your blog, and perhaps as a guest blog on someone else’s site.
Remember, though, to use the appropriate practices for each platform. For example, you don’t want Facebook content feeding directly to Twitter because Twitter posts are limited by the 140-character rule and use mentions and hashtags rather than tags.
2. Mobile is more important than ever
In 2015 Google made the announcement that mobile readiness would become a ranking factor for search results. Websites that are responsive to mobile devices take precedence in search results over ones that are not. If you have an older website that doesn’t display or function correctly on a mobile phone, you’re losing business.
3. Length matters
In the past, article between 250 and 350 words were ideal. Articles or blogs that size are easy to digest and quickly scan, but the game has changed, and longer articles are now needed to make a significant SEO impact. Pages between 1,200 and 1,500 words, perform better on average than shorter ones.
To make longer pages easier to read, break them up with subheadings, bullet points and images.
4. Local SEO ranking is different than national ranking
Google uses three signals to rank local businesses: relevance, distance and prominence.
- Relevance: This refers to how well a local business listing matches the search terms entered by the user. Having a complete and descriptive listing will help Google match your business to relevant searches.
- Distance: How far is your business from the location included in the user’s search? If no location is provided in the search query, Google will use the locate feature on the user’s phone if allowed.
- Prominence: This signal is all about how well known the business is. To determine a business’s prominence, Google considers how popular the business is offline, but also relies heavily on online factors. Positive reviews, numerous links to the business’s website, positive online mentions and number of directory listings all help Google rank a local business.
With Google changing its algorithm several times year, it is important to do your research and change with the times. The team at BDN Maine is constantly researching the latest changes and adapting the online strategies of our clients to get the best possible results. Contact us to get your SEO questions answered.