Successful search engine optimisation strategies incorporate more than measured link building and accurate identification of high volume keywords. An immensely powerful and valuable process, in addition to contributing to the establishment of a strong brand and boosting key metrics in both the short and long term, SEO also encourages continual revision and improvement of the user experience.
Understanding Google’s Ranking Algorithms
Google is constantly refining its algorithms to help it to consistently deliver the best and most relevant results to users. A deep understanding of key ranking signals is therefore an essential element of every SEO professional’s role to ensure that their websites consistently perform well in organic search results.
Engagement-related ranking signals have become increasingly important, with page load speeds and dwell times being key metrics utilised by Google in ranking websites. Put simply, websites that prove their dependability and demonstrate their dedication to providing the best user experience for every visitor will perform better in SERPs.
Since Google is clearly keen to ensure further refinement of its algorithms and to guarantee SERPs are increasingly aligned with user behaviour, there are several new technologies that Google wants to see widely adopted by webmasters and SEO professionals.
Due to be launched in early 2018, Google’s Mobile-First Index will seek to further push for mobile responsive designs as well as eliminating redirecting errors which currently see too many users redirected to the homepages of mobile sites rather than directly to the snippet displayed within results pages for key search terms.
With this new technology, Google is assuming that if specific pieces of content aren’t deemed to be important enough to be included within the mobile version of a website, there are likely to be other more relevant and authoritative sites producing more valuable content that should be pushed up the rankings for those same key search terms.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
This joint project between Twitter and Google, which has recently received support from Facebook, uses a pared-back form of HTML to deliver incredibly fast loading mobile pages. Currently over 2 billion Accelerated Mobile Pages have been produced and published, with online publishers reporting notable improvements in traffic and conversion metrics.
While there are not currently any overt ranking benefits for AMPs, securing a place for your content in the highly visible AMP carousel will positively impact traffic. Demonstrating a desire to progress past simply ensuring that your website is mobile friendly is likely to contain inherent benefits moving forwards. Your business will also maintain a key competitive edge as the desire from Internet users for faster content is only going to increase.
Progressive Web Apps
With the aim of delivering an app-like experience within a mobile browser, Progressive Web Apps utilise the strengths of web-based content whilst incorporating the reliable, fast and engaging nature of app technology. The Mobile-First Index could see PWAs receiving favourable treatment in search engine results pages, provided that their structure ensures they can be fully linked and indexed without issue.
Utilising key strategies and innovative methodologies, every business with an intelligent approach to SEO will need to exploit new developments and technologies in order to improve UX. The result? Positive and sustainable results within SERPs.