SEO changes so much over 12 months – What worked in 2018 or gave you a boost in 2018 may not have the same effect in 2019.
There are estimated to be around 200 algorithm changes per year some minor and the odd few major.
Keeping up to date with these changes can be a bit of a nightmare but luckily there are resources such as Search Engine Round Table who report on these algorithm changes for you.
One of the latest algorithm changes was around page metrics which measure time on site, bounce rate etc.
Here are some tips to keep you ahead in 2019:
Backlinks: Still king and still one of the major factors in ranking you. Focus on getting quality links spread around your website, don’t have them all pointing to your homepage, have them spread across your service pages and blog pages. Google will take all of your backlinks into consideration whatever page they point too.
Page metrics: Bounce rates & time on-site are reportedly said to be a factor in the Google algorithm. A bounce rate is in simple terms when someone clicks on to your website from a Google search result and clicks back almost immediately without taking any action. Your bounce rate is shown inside Google Analytics and you want to be aiming for a bounce rate of 30-40%.
To reduce bounce rates, ensure that the page your visitors land on from Google is highly relevant and has a clear headline detailing what the page is about and entices them to read on.
Again, having highly relevant content, that’s a mixture of text, video and imagery will increase the time on-site as visitors are likely to stick around a lot more if your content is easily digestible.
For more information on page metrics and how Google uses them to rank check out this definitive rank brain guide from Brian Dean.
Anchor text: Anchor text is the text that is clickable and hyperlinked back to your website. Most people stuff their anchor text with keywords which isn’t necessary and can lead to over optimisation. Firstly, expand on your anchor text. Rather than just use “SEO Agency Birmingham” a thousand times use variants of it such as “Birmingham SEO agency” “SEO Services” “SEO Agency” “SEO Company” “SEO consultant” “digital marketing company” Google Rank brain understands all of these phrases are related and so knows what to rank you for.
Google also reportedly loves brands – So be sure to use your brand name in your anchor text to further vary your search terms.
Another way to find more keywords is simply type your keyword into Google search, scroll to the bottom and find the “Searches related to” section – Try using these as anchor text. Also try sprinkling them naturally into your page content – It will reinforce to Google what your page is about and give you a slight advantage.
Have an incredible mobile site: Google recently rolled out a mobile first index – This means that Google considers your mobile website the “real” version of your website – Which makes sense as over 60% of searches are now on mobile.
So it’s an idea to optimise for mobile.
Doing so is easy, there are some important do’s and don’ts and Google Page insights allows you to scan your website and get a list of issues/fixes for your mobile website.
When designing a mobile site try not to have your mobile website on a subdomain such as www.m.yoursite.com as this is old fashioned.
Instead have a fully responsive website which responds to different device screen sizes.
Don’t hide content on your mobile design either. Previously people would “hide” content in their mobile website so it would only show on their desktop and not their mobile website.
Google is wise to this now and simply ignores it, so the best thing to do is put your content into an expandable accordion which google will read.
They are some basic SEO tips, which if enough attention is paid to, you can do yourself in a few hours a day and boost your own SEO with out needing to pay out huge sums on link building.
This article was written by Craig Murphy of ALT Agency who offer website design, development & SEO.