Climbing to that top spot on Google has a huge effect on businesses, big and small, and search engine optimization dramatically alters the rules. In fact, says experts at one Dallas SEO Company, most search engine optimization rules remain the same, but every year, as Google updates their algorithms, there are several new trends that most used to stay ahead of your rivals.
So, What Has Changed in a Year?
There’s been a push by Google to switch to a secured SSL by way of using HTTPS. The HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure encrypts information so that your internet data is more secure from hacking. It significantly hinders the interception of data transmission, such as the input of passwords. You aren’t secured against “all” attacks, but it is clearly a plus in security when transferring sensitive data.
More importantly, Google favors websites with HTTPS certificates. In a 2014 blog post, Google reported that they would use HTTPS as a ranking factor. They even published best practices to help with a smooth transition when implementing the switch from an HTTP to a HTTPS site. It does cost for an SSL certificate, so many people are hesitant but as far as achieving a top spot on Google’s search engine, this is just one of many requirements.
One of the most important aspects of SEO has been making sure websites are built for mobile. In 2016, Google recognized users were changing the way they searched for information. Searches made from mobile and smart devices had overtaken traditional desktop and laptop methods, so in late 2016 Google updated their searching criteria and introduced mobile-first indexing.
Anyone who doesn’t have a mobile-friendly website should shift to this trend right away. As the number of searches on mobile became dominant, moving to a mobile-friendly responsive website became essential, but even today, there are plenty of websites that haven’t conformed. Experts say, keep in mind, there are plenty of people who search on-the-go, using their mobile device, and if you’re site isn’t responsive, users probably won’t return.
Building a Brand Through Off-Site Means
By now, everyone is aware of building a website with on-page SEO guidelines, but what about the off-page requirements that happen outside your website. External elements like social media likes, shares and follows help to raise the ranking of your webpages in Google searches. Off-page search engine optimization data, like what occurs on your Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram profile, influences your ranking because it tells Google what users think about your website and all this data becomes interrelated.
Looks Are Not as Important as Content
Even a website with great technical foundation will fail if it doesn’t offer users what they’re looking for — great, useful content. You can have the right keywords but if your content is not effectively addressing users concerns, you will not drive better performance, and Google will rank you poorly. There’s really a catalog of how best to “date” Google, and it can become burdensome to try and follow every rule but implementing all the most popular methods will help you move to the top of the search engines.