How to Speak Google 2018

I met with a client today who hasn’t updated their website since they first had it built, and it was created back in 2003.

The sad truth is that scenario is more common than you’d think. With many business owners believing they only need to ‘do’ their website once and then they can forget about it.

Your website is the most valuable piece of digital real estate your business will ever own, yet the way they are treated you’d think it was the unwanted guest at a wedding. Social media has become such a flavour of the month that sadly our most valuable online asset, our website, is far too often, being neglected.

If you’re shifting uncomfortably in your seat and you can’t easily remember the last time you gave your website a little content TLC, then keep reading. Things have changed significantly since 2003, and appeasing Google can feel a bit tricky to the uninitiated.

Google RankBrain.

RankBrain is software Google employs to rank how users interact with content.

Let me give you an example:

Let’s say you google, ‘What should I look for in a good Small Business accountant’.You’d get a page full of responses like this:

Immediately you discount the first one because it has nothing to do with what you’re looking for. But the entry from Xero seems pretty impressive, so you click on it, and you read the entire article.

Then you go back, take a look at the next article and click through, but you find the content is not to your liking, so you click off the page in a matter of seconds.

Google tracks that, and then they rank it based on how long you spend on a site (Dwell time) and how many people click through to your content (click through rate).

Dwell time.

Dwell time is super important to Google; so, it should be super important to you, as a business owner, too. The aim is to get people to hang around on your page for a minimum of three minutes. When you think about it, that makes sense. If I stay on your page for at least three minutes, it must be because I found your content useful or engaging.

The more Dwell time you have, the happier Google are, which makes your site more appealing to Google rankings. Which in turn makes your site even easier for people to find.

Click through rates (CTR).

These are super hard to create organically now, as Google love their paid ad’s, content boxes and answer boxes. The best way to combat Google’s creations is to create content with catchy headlines. No, not clickbait, I’m talking headlines that directly answer your customer’s pain and problems.

Create compelling content.

Ok, let me preface this bit by saying “Regular content on any platform that adds value to your clients is better than not adding fresh content to your website.” Who your clients are will determine the size of the articles or blogs you should be adding to your site and the frequency you should be posting these.

But, as we are right now, just looking at what appeases the ‘Google Gods’ then the answer is more extended form content; around 2,000 words or more. Why? Because Google now looks for content that covers the entirety of a topic as opposed to ‘keyword stuffing’. Keyword stuffing was the old days when Google would rank your page and site based on specific words or phrases.

LSI keywords.

While you’re writing your content add some ‘Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords’. “What’s that?”, I hear you ask. LSI keywords are words associated with what you’re writing about.

For example, back to our accountant example from earlier, LSI Keywords for an accountant might include:

  • CPA Accountant.
  • Taxation advice.
  • Superannuation.
  • BAS.
  • Bookkeeping.

Here’s a sneaky little way to check what LSI keywords you could use in your content creation; the LSI Graph. Trust me, you’re going to want to bookmark that one, it’s a cracking way to not only find your LSI keywords, but it gives some fab ideas for blog titles too!

Mobile-first index.

Ok, you’ve probably heard talk about making your site ‘mobile responsive’, and if you’re honest you’ll agree that most of the searching you do yourself these days is based from a mobile. So, it makes sense that Google is interested in making sure they rank sites based on mobile responsiveness. Did you know, though, that ‘mobile-first indexing’ means Google will look at your mobile version of your desktop? It’s true!

What does that mean for you? Well, make sure you’re not a business still hiding content from your mobile sites. Make sure your website is mobile responsive and make sure your site looks fantastic on a mobile.

Time to embrace video.

I know, I know, everyone is banging on about video. Seriously though, just look at these stats. Cisco (a big IT tech company) claimed in this study,Cisco Visual NetworkingIndex: Forecast and Methodology, 2016-2021that by 2021, 80% of all online traffic will be video! Still not convinced? HubSpot (a significant content creation and automation company) said in this report, Search Engine Optimization Statistics that 43% of people want to see more video.

Once you’re into the whole video scene the next step is to begin embedding your videos into blogs. The knock-on effect of indexing on YouTube (the worlds second largest search engine) and Google … Gold!

Mind your links.

Ok, I could keep going and going, but the last thing I’m going to leave you with is this. Just like I did in the section on video if you can find credible sources to reference in your content creation that is going to go a long way to ticking boxes with the ‘Google Gods’.

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed now and wanting to bury your head in the sand then remember, believe it or not, there are people out there who create content on your behalf who take everything we’ve been through into account to ensure you’re putting your best digital foot forward every single time.

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