May 2021 update
You might have heard about the new Google update, but if not, I’ve got everything you need to know covered.
Here’s what’s happened:
Google announced that starting in May 2021, the algorithm will drastically change. This change will undoubtably change the way your website will rank in search engine results.
Does this have your full attention? It should!
If your site all of a sudden stops ranking well on search engine results, you’re going to want to know why. But if you take the time now to get your site optimized for SEO, you might not see a change at all.
Or, you might even see better search engine rankings!
This update is seriously huge for small businesses because it means you can rank higher than one of your competitors that have a way larger business than you do.
Sometimes things Google puts out are hard to understand and make sense of for people who don’t have a technical background. So today, I’m breaking everything down for you along with actionable steps you can take to better your website and improve your search engine rankings.
The fact of another update might even be a little frustrating to you - especially if you have already spent the time to understand basic SEO. You’re a super busy small business owner and you don’t have the time to stay up to date with all the latest algorithms that platforms are putting out. But these updates are so huge and are really exciting because of how Google is now prioritizing rankings.
Your online store (hopefully you’re using Shopify for this!) will be better off by making the changes that Google is demanding. You can expect to sell more online, increase your customer base, and feel better about your website if you implement these changes.
Ultimately, Google just wants to make and keep their customers happy so that they will continue returning to their search engine and to do this, they have to provide users with quality resources.
Time is of the essence and you’ve got to get your site ready for this change. Otherwise, you’re bound to lose out on online sales.
Google’s main goal is to give users the best answer possible. If they didn’t, then people wouldn’t find Google as useful and would more than likely stop using it.
So, to remain relevant and provide useful information to its users, Google utilities algorithms to analyze, examine and evaluate quality, and determine usefulness of all the web pages published.
According to Google, their algorithms look at things like search keywords used, the quality of a website, the search location, and the speed of the pages among a few other things.
So how exactly is the algorithm changing?
According to Google, a top factor in high ranking will be the updating and addition of new content. In fact, special importance and value will be given to websites that publish new content on a frequent basis. (2 times a week)
So, there’s no better time to start a blog for your business than now!
Side note: With the rising popularity of e-commerce businesses, starting and running a blog is incredibly beneficial to helping with search engine rankings. It also gives site visitors a reason to stay on your website longer and helps with establishing credibility. Running a blog is no easy task, but you’re pretty much guaranteed to get great long term results from doing so.
Like I said earlier, Google’s main goal is provide users with the best answer possible. If a user clicks on a website they found in Google only for the site to not load within 2 seconds (that’s the average amount of time users wait for a site to load before leaving - shocking, I know!)then they might just click on another website listed in the search engine rankings. But what if multiple sites that the user clicks on are all super slow? Chances are they might go somewhere else (like to another search engine) to find their answer.
Google is well aware of this and they want to avoid losing people as much as possible. This is why page speed is such an important factor to them.
But it also should be an important factor to you too! Have you ever looked at your bounce rate? I’m willing to bet that if you have a high bounce rate, your site is on the slower side. Google’s mobile page speed study reveals that your site’s bounce rate will get worse and be higher with every second that it takes for your site load.
Improving your websites speed isn’t as hard as it might sound.
Here are a couple tips I recommend to improve website speed:
And if your site is still not performing the way it should, you might need to reach out to a developer to help clean up your websites code. Send me a note if this is you!
For all my Shopify store owners, check out my post on making your Shopify site fast.
The longer you wait to optimize your site for speed, the most customers you’ll lose to a faster competitors site and the lower you’ll rank in Googles search engine.
If you want your site to rank high, you need to update all of your title tags to include relevant and appropriate keywords.
In this post, I go over exactly what a meta title tag is, where you can find it, and how you can improve it.
Backlinks are such a hot topic. So much so, that I even wrote an entire post about how you can improve SEO with backlinks.
Google loves a good backlink and can tell when someone is using low quality backlinks. It’s important to set yourself up for success here because it can be really easy to mess this up if you’re not careful. Before you start linking up to any and all websites that you can get your hands on, take the time to learn a little about backlinks and what Google is looking for.
Have you noticed that in most blogs, the writer adds a few links to some of their other content? Scroll up if you haven’t - I’ve done it a few times already!
Google wants you to use internal links to link relevant content around specific targeted keywords. Internal links are tangible proof that you specialize in a specific subject and offer the public tons of useful information around those same keywords.
So if your e-commerce business sells skincare, make sure to link up your products and content that are all specific to fixing dry skin. Google might just see you as the best solution for dry skin!
As a consumer, one of the most frustrating things I come across is websites that don’t work appropriately on my mobile devices. It makes the business seem less credible instantly.
According to Google, designing a website for easy and functional use of mobile phones should be a priority as opposed to a website that performs really well on a desktop computer.
The truth is, most people shop online through their mobile devices and your customers are expecting your site to perform just as good, if not better, on their phones and iPads than on a desktop computer.
So, update your website so it looks and functions really great on phones and tablets.
Google is constantly updating their algorithms and you should expect more changes in the future.
Try to keep in mind that these changes really are good for your business, especially e-commerce businesses that are trying to increase conversions and sales. Increasing online sales and improving SEO have a ton of similarities and most of the time you can get great results on both by making just a few changes.
The search engine algorithm change is definitely going to shake things up, and they might even lower your site’s rankings. But, the good news is, that with a few changes to your website, you can fix and even improve your search engine rankings.
And think about the flip side - when you’re the user trying to find the answer to your question, Google wants to make sure YOU’RE getting the most relevant, highest quality, and best answers to your search too!
If you need help getting your website updated and ready for these changes, submit an inquiry here. I’d be happy to chat with you and see if it would be a fit for both of us to work together.