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SEO is a funny old thing. There can be a ranking factor you could hitch a ride to, only to see Google declare something new and flashy is the thing your site(s) need to follow. It happens all the time, and it can be confusing figuring out what aspects of SEO you need to focus on.
Truth be told, you should focus on ALL of them, but no one has time for that! So, what should you be reading up on in the SEO world, and what aspects should you be more knowledgeable on?
Here are half a dozen I think are worth your attention:
You will have heard this a LOT recently, and probably from us if you’re a client, but digital privacy and personal data is changing, and it's imperative you get ahead of it. You'll hear a LOT about 1st party data versus 3rd party data and how to navigate these privacy changes through 2022-2023 to ensure you can still gain valuable insights from your digital marketing activity. For more on this topic, see our latest GA4 Blog here, but my advice remains true:
"I'm not the kind of person to book a sunny holiday that far in advance, but I do like a good sunset. with Google boldly announcing they're sunsetting Universal Analytics next July, it could be a summer of discontent for those who don't act now. And when I say now, I do mean RIGHT NOW. […] We've been working on GA4 layouts for clients at this early stage, and even I (who knows their way around Analytics) is often stumped. The value of it can be immense if fine-tuned to your needs, but it really will need fine-tuned by your team to get data who it needs collected and presented."
Google has many ranking factors, and for the last few years, one of the key factors they have been pushing is mobile optimisation. The idea has been that if your website loaded slowly on a mobile device, it could (and would) affect how your site ranked. Little did we know that after years of talking mobile until the cows come home, in November of 2021, Google would shift the narrative. From early 2022, desktop speed would once again become the hot new thing in SEO to get worried about. Yes, you heard me!
From February 2022, the same Core Web Vitals metrics that we have been using to assess mobile optimisation are now becoming associated thresholds for desktop ranking – LCP, FID and CLS are all now just as important on desktop as they were on mobile.
Again, we have a handy blog to explain what this means here, but the point is clear. Desktop speed is important, and Google will reward your website for being optimised accordingly.
Content Optimisation is a key area for SEO. Ensuring your on-page SEO is performing best for your business matters. But considering the importance of getting your content right for organic performance, a lot of focus is put on blogs alone. Our advice is to focus on all landing pages on your website, ensuring those high performing keywords are used throughout and key search terms are considered. Google Search Console and third party tools will be your best friends here!
Think of it this way, you're reading a book with a title about cars, and when you start reading the book, there is no references to cars at all. You'll probably be confused, flip through the pages, go back to the cover to ensure you read it right, and ultimately give up if the content isn't right. Website content is the same. All pages feeding information to Google need to reflect what you offer, and while blogs are a good tool for warmer leads, always consider optimising your general website content.
SEO is split between Technical, On-page and Off-page – but our best advice for SEO is to look at all aspects of search engine optimisation as a continual requirement, especially Technical SEO.
We look at it like painting the outside of your house, but never touching it again and expecting it to stay good as new forever. It's not realistic. Google will have constant updates and will continue to always update how they can best assess the value of your website through the signals it receives. If you don't stay on top of that technical side, your organic performance will suffer.
Allow Google to build trust in your site, keep addressing technical SEO consistently, and as they say – hard work will pay off.
Heard of Image SEO? Well, between you and I, it's one to watch, and one Google is investing time and effort into because SERPs are becoming more visually browsable and intuitive.
With the slow burn rollout of Google Lens and Google Discover, both tools leveraging images in ways that suggest we all should take a closer look at our image optimisation practices, it's clear Image SEO is moving full steam ahead. So, what are these new tools?
Not to be confused with your own Mum, Google's MUM update is a game-changer.
MUM stands for 'Multitask Unified Model' and has the potential to transform how Google helps users with complex questions and tasks. In other words, Google wants to deliver more exact search results to users by answering multiple questions in a single search, rather than the user having to carry out lots of different searches in a row, reading different results to get all the information they desire.
Google said that MUM is '1,000 times' more powerful than 'BERT', another substantial change to Google's search in 2019, which changed how it understood natural language, connections between words, and more conversational searches than traditional queries.
The best bit about MUM is its 'multimodal', meaning it understands information across text and images – and in the future will also include video and audio. Another sign of video and voice search being key areas to develop in your business too.
If you're looking for an expert team who specialise in SEO, Loud Mouth Media provides technical, consultancy and training services to help your websites dominate in the search engine world. Speak to our team here.