The global rollout of this begins on April 21, so if you haven’t already got a mobile-friendly website now might be a good time to look into it!
Check out Google’s “Guide to Mobile-Friendly Sites” to get you started. If you’re unsure whether your website is mobile-friendly, you can enter the URL into Google’s “Mobile-Friendly Test” to get a quick “pass” or “fail” response.
While a mobile-friendly website will help to boost where your page appears in Google search results, there are plenty of other tips and tricks to help improve your search engine optimization (SEO). Here are a few easy wins:
- Be part of the entire Google ecosystem
Signing your business up to Google+, Google Analytics, Google Reviews, Google Maps, YouTube and Google Ads (if your business has the budget for it), will help Google’s Web crawlers index your site, leading to a higher placement in search. “Google My Business” will help get you started.
- Optimise your website content
Keywords are an integral part of SEO and Google will look for keywords in your URLs, page titles, headings and content. Get into the habit of regularly reviewing your website content to ensure it contains relevant keywords, is informative for your target audience, free of grammar and spelling errors, and of high quality. A good test you can perform on your own website is to Google several key search terms that you’d expect your customers to use when searching for your product or service (keywords that match your search terms will appear in bold in the list of results), and make a note of where your business appears in the results. Analyse the results to determine what keywords are missing from your content, and which websites are appearing ahead of you in the results (and why), and use those findings to make your website stand out from your competitors.
- Quality link-building
“Link building” refers to the process of getting other websites to link to your website to help improve your SEO. Any genuine link is a good link, but the bigger the website the better (a link on a major news website will have more of an impact than a link on a small blog). The best way to link-build is to get your brand out there; list your business in online directories (local council, Yellow pages, industry associations, etc), form business partnerships with relevant oganisations, offer your expertise in forums, blog posts, and news articles, link to your website from all of your social media profiles, and start your own blog. Don’t be tempted to cut corners and create spammy, low-quality links, or it may do your website more damage than good. Always refer to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for best practice.
- Alt tag your images
Alt tags can do more than just add an image description for when someone hovers their mouse over it. Search engines will look for your images’ alt tags to help index your website, in the same way they look for keywords in your written content (those alt tags are also what Google uses to determine what appears in the “images” tab of search results). A descriptive, and relevant, alt tag such as “Mother’s Day Cupcakes Auckland New Zealand” will work harder for you than a generic alt tag such as “cupake pic”. The same rules apply for file naming, so make sure your images and documents are relevantly named on your computer before uploading them to your website.