SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is one of the cornerstones of online marketing. Through the use of keywords or phrases, it allows companies to increase website traffic by appearing in search engine results. Most important of those search engines is Google, which almost 90% of the UK’s population use.
In March this year, Google made changes to the algorithm it uses to carry out searches. Designed to improve the performance and results of its users, the changes also reduce the ways that websites can manipulate their search engine rankings. What this means is that, even if you consider yourself something of an SEO expert, you’re going to have to change the way you work.
There are two main ways these changes will affect the future of SEO:
Starting in August 2018, Google began looking for ways to identify sites that met what they named EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) guidelines. Initially, this affected health and wellbeing related websites.
With the March update, the number of sites impacted is expected to grow. This means it isn’t enough to use keywords; you will need to use them in a context that proves your expert knowledge in a particular area.
With their update, Google has built intent into their algorithm, working on the principle that people generally want to find out more than one piece of information when they visit a site. This means websites with a singular focus are likely to appear less in search engines while those with a broader appeal will appear higher in the rankings.
It also means that you will need start focusing not just on keywords in your content but on ways to increase the amount of time people spend on your site, the number of page views and your bounce rate.
While neither of these changes might seem that significant, where Google goes, other search engines such as Bing will follow, meaning it’s worth making adaptations to the way you manage your website’s SEO now rather than wait till you don’t appear in results.
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