We’ve been talking about optimising for voice search for quite some time now, and it’s only going to become more relevant. There’s no doubt about it: voice search will change how we create and optimise content, particularly how it relates to searcher intent.
SSL / HTTPS
Google announced quite some time ago that rankings would be impacted by website security certificates (SSL). Now browsers like Chrome display warnings if a website isn’t HTTPS secured. If you haven’t done so already, it’s important that you take the plunge and install a security certificate on your domain – it’s quite cost effective.
It’s obvious that Google continues to improve the way it serves results to its users, particularly in how it aims to serve quality content that is most relevant to the searcher’s query. It’s time that we optimise beyond simple keywords and traditional ranking factors to understand the types of content the search engines deem relevant for priority terms.
A study done by Cisco last year predicted that by 2021, video will account for over 82% of all consumer internet traffic. Not to mention, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, with no signs of slowing down! Optimising video content is still a work in progress, but a powerful tool nonetheless.
You also have options other than YouTube. You can simply embed videos directly on your site and increase your ‘time on page’ metrics – yet another reason for Google to rank your site higher.
Google continues to test and roll out new SERP features, including schema and “rank zero” snippet results, answer boxes and much more. There has never been more canvas to aim for!
Yes, we’re going to talk about site speed again. Google has officially announced site speed as a ranking factor and is only becoming more and more important for mobile with the introduction of the mobile first index.
For business owners, Position 0 is the most convenient place to be in search results. Featured snippets are like billboards: big letters, bright logo, address and phone number, a couple reviews as a bonus – all covering a large chunk of the screen and shamelessly in your face. Absolutely worth fighting for, too.
Accelerated Mobile Pages
In 2015, Google launched the Accelerated Mobile Pages project, and it’s been a great help for webmasters who want to speed their sites up. If your site has pages that function without code that’s excessive by AMP standards, consider using AMP. Once more, this coincides with Google’s heavy focus on improving their mobile experience and introducing the mobile first index.