After IT specialists spent the majority of 2015 waiting to see how a change to Google’s search ranking algorithms would impact the profits of some of Australia’s largest companies, StewArt Media has warned companies to stop trying to outsmart Google and learn the secret to effective search engine optimisation (SEO).
StewArt Media CEO Jim Stewart said IT specialists were warning companies in the first half of 2015 to get their website mobile responsive or suffer the consequences of a significant drop in search rankings, as Google prepared to give preference to mobile responsive websites.
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“As we approach 2016, we’re seeing mixed results of the Google mobile update. But those who are still trying to pinpoint exactly when this change will impact search rankings for non-mobile responsive websites and what they should do about it have missed the point entirely.
“If we look back at the panic the impending change caused in IT and marketing departments in 2015, there is one important lesson to be learned: forget about Google and focus on your audience.
“The simple truth of it is that Google does what’s easiest and most useful for its end user and effective SEO requires the same common-sense approach to all offline business decisions – put your customers first. This is how to improve your search rankings,” Stewart said.
According to Stewart, these are some of the most common mistakes that even some of Australia’s largest companies make with their online presence, creating a poor experience that keeps their search rankings sliding down the page.
Poor site performance and behaviour: If it’s easier for a customer to go somewhere else to find what they need, they will, and Google will help them find your competitor. Make it easy for users to find what they need quickly by ridding duplication, fixing broken links and minimising load times.
Lack of regular, interesting content: Google loves relevant and fresh content because it’s of value to users. Write and publish blogs, research papers, case studies, interviews and Q&As regularly.
Inactivity on social media: Find potential customers and then bring them all back to your website. This means having an active presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.
Create a mobile responsive website: It doesn’t matter whether Google’s change is still coming or never does. Most Australians search on the run, either on their phones or tablets, and companies with websites that make this difficult, will eventually be left behind.