[CHECKLIST] Is My Site Affected by a Search Engine Algorithm Update?

Google search engine updates happen regularly in small and large batches, with the latter usually called “broad” or “core” update and given a name.

The latest search algorithm update as of this writing was the “May 2020 Core Update” which was announced on 4 May 2020 by Google’s Danny Sullivan. The roll out took two weeks and completed on 19 May 2020.

Later today, we are releasing a broad core algorithm update, as we do several times per year. It is called the May 2020 Core Update. Our guidance about such updates remains as we’ve covered before. Please see this blog post for more about that:

— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) May 4, 2020

The May 2020 Core Update was a big update that caused unprecedented shifts in rankings of websites across industries on Google Search results pages (SERPs) – meaning, many websites suffered substantial drops or gains in web traffic, as validated by both the companies that make tools for SEO and search experts.

Here’s a sample thought of someone whose business is impacted by the May 2020 core update:

Google May 2020 Core Update Impact

Now that the core update is completed, it is the best time to step back and check if your website has been hit.

Here is a checklist to help you with your diagnosis:

  1. Use Google Analytics to check the trends of your website’s Organic Search traffic. See if your website’s traffic from Google drastically increased/decreased by more than 20% in the past 2 weeks compared to the previous period.
  2. Use Google Search Console to check if your web pages still show up as much on Google searches. Have a look at the Organic Performance module and check if your website’s Total Impressions noticeably increased/decreased by more than 20% in the past 2 weeks compared to the previous period.
  3. If you experienced a decrease in Organic Search traffic, dive deep on Analytics and identify which pages on your site suffered the blow.
  4. Once you have identified the affected pages, evaluate them by the following:
    1. Content quality. Does the content follow the Expert-Authoritative-Trustworthy (E-A-T) framework? Is your content helpful to users?
    2. Page experience and loading speed. Does the web page load in less than 3 seconds on mobile? Does my page follow visual hierarchy? Are call-to-actions clear?
    3. On-page technical errors. Is the web page free of errors that make it difficult for search engines to crawl and index it?

How do I keep my ranking after a search update?

Google says that “there is nothing wrong with pages that may perform less well in a core update.” However, if your web pages are affected, it is best to re-assess your content and ensure that you do not violate their webmaster guidelines.

If you need help in optimising your affected pages, contact us to take your free SEO Site Health Audit and uncover technical SEO issues.

We also recommend that you track your website’s ranking on keywords that are important to your business.

Marketing SEO

Search Ranking Volatility: Check Your Website Traffic Now

We suspect that this is caused by the changes in searchers’ behaviour driven by the global pandemic, which caused nearly everyone to relook on their priorities, prompting many businesses to “shift online” and upload large amount of website content, and for search engines to adapt as well.

If website traffic is crucial to your business, we strongly recommend that you check your analytics today to see if you have been affected by this disruption.

What to do if you’re impacted:

  • Run a site-wide SEO Health Audit to determine your website’s health score. We are currently offering this for free, so please take advantage of it. This process will highlight any issues present on your site that prevent it from showing up more on Google.
  • Learn about the SEO trends in 2020 and focus on areas that matter.
  • Understand SEO: find out why getting found on search engine means more revenue, and why marketers have shifted theirfocus on SEO as a long-term marketing goal, in preparation for the post-COVID economy.
  • Monitor the ranking of keywords that are important to your business.
  • Make your website better by ensuring that your content is trustworthy, expert and authoritative.
  • Optimise for better user experience: make your pages load faster.

If you need any help on SEO, or on any digital marketing issues such as Return on Investment (ROI), optimisation of marketing costs, or shortage of staff, please let us know.

We are on a lookout for businesses who would like to succeed during this challenging period.

Marketing SEO

SEO Trends in 2020: Where to Focus During the Downturn

If you want your website to show up on Google and receive more traffic from its organic listings, you need to pay attention to the latest SEO trends.

As organic search is proven to be the top performing digital marketing channel last year, marketers have given a heightened focus on SEO in 2020, especially with the Covid-19 outbreak which disrupted not just offline lives, but also the performance of paid search campaigns due to drastic changes in online search behaviour.

Here’s what you should do to improve your SEO during the downturn:

SEO Trends in 2020

Optimise for Featured Snippets – As almost half of all searchers find what they are looking for in the search engine results pages (SERP), which result to zero-click searches, it is ever important to optimise your website for featured snippets to gain more visibility and traffic from SEO.

To do this, you need to conduct a keywords research and aim for question-type search queries, and focus on structured data markups on your website. It is worth noting that pages that get featured in Featured Snippets are usually already ranking on the first page of Google SERPs, so you might want to look into improving your on-page SEO as well.

Increase backlinks through reputable influencers – An increase in the number of quality backlinks from trustworthy and reputable sites help SEO. This year, more marketers are looking to partner with influencers and industry experts for SEO, especially as they also help generate traffic and amplify content reach in their own niches.

Optimise for Voice Search – Voice searches are expected to represent 50% of all searches this year, according to ComScore. This means that as more people search in the same way as they speak, you need to have matching content on your site that is written in a natural language form to show up on voice searches.

You can optimise for voice search by adding or refining your Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) sections in your products and services and optimizing for local SEO. Voice queries are composed of long-tail keywords, so they are likely to assist your visitors in the consideration stage, and help you drive conversions.

Optimise for landing page experience – Since Google implemented the Mobile-First indexing last year, pages that offer great content AND load fast, are given a ranking boost. To optimise for user experience, you need to regularly improve your landing pages and identify frictions that lead to poor user experience: making users to spend less time or worse, to bounce off your page. This could be because of issues on content quality, design elements, or your landing page’s loading speed.

Use more quality videos and infographics – The use of high-quality infographics and videos on top of written content is shown to improve user engagement, which are positive signals for SEO.

According to Forrester Research, video is 50 times more likely to show up on the first page of Google SERP than a web page with plain text content. As such, you should ensure that you include development of videos and infographics as part of your SEO content strategy this year.

Not sure where your website stands on SEO? Take our free SEO Site Health audit today.

Marketing SEO

SEO: Is Your Website Showing Up on Google?

If your answer is “No,” you need an SEO.

What Is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is about getting traffic from “free” and “organic” listings of search engines results by making changes to parts of your website.

By making these changes, search engines can better find and understand your website’s content for indexing, and properly recommend your pages to relevant searches. This is especially important for businesses who are trying to get found on Google, and other major search engines such as Bing and Yahoo. SEO also has a tremendous impact on user experience.

Why SEO?

The benefits of SEO for your website are:

  • Better visibility in Search Engine Results pages (SERP) for your website
    Increased organic traffic from search engines
  • Uplift in the ranking of search keywords that are relevant to your business
  • Higher click-through rates (CTRs) in organic search listings due to better optimization and targeting of your content
  • Better user experience
  • Improved customer satisfaction, engagement and loyalty
  • Mitigate loss of revenue especially when doing major changes to your site
  • Monitoring of organic traffic trends which is crucial when search engines roll out major updates to their algorithms resulting to drastic changes to your traffic

Do I need a Technical SEO Audit?

To get started with SEO, you need a technical SEO Audit for your website.

Technical SEO Audit is a process of evaluating your site against factors that affect SEO. These SEO factors include, but not limited to the following:

  • Your website’s technical information architecture
  • Usability, accessibility, and quality of content
  • Page loading speed of your pages on mobile
  • On-page elements such as metadata and images
  • Quality of backlinks
  • Competitive analysis
  • Your current keyword performance

Google offers a comprehensive SEO guideline for website owners to help them with SEO. For non-technical users, you will need an SEO expert to help make your website search-engine friendly.

Monitor Your SEO

A common mistake for many businesses when it comes to SEO is the lack of SEO strategy. They think SEO is only a one-time effort, then regrets losing organic traffic later.

As search engines constantly update their algorithms, you need to regularly monitor how your website is performing in organic search, track the changes of your keyword rankings, and regularly optimize your website in respond to the algorithm changes when needed.

For new websites, SEO will not help bring “instant” traffic. You will need to invest in paid search ads or pay-per-click marketing for that and consider SEO as a long-term marketing effort.

Need help on SEO? Contact us today or get a FREE SEO Health Audit