Important Web Design updates that you need to consider making this year.
If you check your website often enough you may have already noticed that your search engine rankings can go down – as well as up. Before you start your next web design project take into account a number of important factors and avoid any unnecessary SEO penalties. Here are a few things to consider.
Google – Mobile First Index(ing)
Whilst working. Officially it’s only been rolled out to a limited number of websites for indexing. But, it’s going to happen. Furthermore, the majority of internet users performing searches or visiting websites are doing so via their mobile device. So, if you’re not already thinking that SEO is now ‘mobile first’ – you need to start! The first thing to do is to make sure that your web design is responsive. It’s a good place to start right now. However, looking at the long-term future of websites, simply being responsive may not be enough. Truly mobile-friendly websites will end-up being quite different from what they are today.
Looking further ahead, you should think AMP (“Accelerated Mobile Pages”).
AMP versions consistently load faster than conventional pages. They specifically target mobile users. They’re often not as pretty, but the mobile user only wants the desktop version of your website when they’re connected to WiFi.
Google is renowned for improving the users’ experience. That means Web Design has to change and, change rapidly. Consider this. Google will always deliver the best content to the public. You can see that this is only going “one way” if you don’t adapt -you will be left behind. And, by not changing the way that you look at things will ultimately be damaging!
There is only one reason to change. We want people to find us before they discover our competitors!
SERP – Search Engine Results Pages
One look at that graph should be all the information you need. It tells you exactly how to prioritise your next moves for real web design benefits. Ignore it at your peril. Whilst it feels like things have ‘stood-still’ for an eternity, the times are a changing!
What can you do for your SEO?
Simply? Take notice. Aspects of the SERP data are harder to achieve than others. So, don’t panic. Cherry pick. Start by picking the low-hanging fruit. You can easily make your pages and posts more engaging. [Check!] You can produce more material [Check!], Social Media content [Check!], YouTube videos [Check!] and more importantly, really good quality content [errr Check?]. Your future content should be of good quality, lengthy and engaging. Granted it’s not always easy to achieve all these things, especially if you’re under-staffed.
That’s what we’re here for!
We can help you. We will work with you to build good quality content and help re-engage with your audience. Furthermore, we’ll provide the right kind of web design. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to focus on your business without adding to pressure on your time. Think of us as your exclusive online (and print) marketing department.
Note: Data is updated nightly across 10,000 Google SERPs. All percentages reflect unique queries and not query volume.
Do you have any? If not, you have to start encouraging people to leave reviews. You can offer incentives: “if you liked your meal, please leave a review and we’ll give you 10% off for the rest of your holiday”. Oh dear. Give away something? Well, why not? Looking around, are you trying harder than your competitors?
Don’t forget to respond to bad reviews
Everyone – freaks out when receiving a poor review. If your business never (or rarely) receives a bad review – challenge it. Whilst we’re no fans of Tripadvisor – it’s become a necessary ‘EVIL’… If you’re cracking-out a 4.8 average, believe me, no-one takes notice of the odd 1-star. Especially if you reply. Furthermore, if the ‘complainant’ doesn’t respond to your acknowledgement – then the whole world knows you have the moral high-ground.
Whilst TripAdvisor seems ‘really important’ don’t lose sight of the fact that their reviews do not always appear in search results. But, Google Reviews and Facebook do consistently. So encourage your patrons to leave Google and Facebook reviews. Ultimately these are going to be more important to your business.
It’s not that expensive, in Cyprus. If you’re planning to attract people before they even arrive on this beautiful island, then ‘yeah’ you’re gonna need to spend a bit more. There are two budgets to consider. Top of the page (oooh, possibly expensive) or bottom of the page. Look back at the graph. If you have a niche, it doesn’t have the break the bank. If you’re competing with 50 other businesses, be prepared to spend.
It’s crucial. When you consider the shift to enhancing the experience for the mobile user, a slow loading website is going to suffer in search engine rankings. Going forward, despite the benefits of 3G/4G connectivity, a mobile user is still conscious about their mobile data usage. Whilst prices in Europe have dropped (fantastic) – no-one wants to hang around for a website to finally load. If your business is ‘a tourist business’ you will benefit enormously from delivering quality content instantaneously.
How do you do that?
Remove the bells and whistles. Web design normally promotes really compelling intros and engaging use of imagery. But, for how much longer? We must adapt. Even us. Therefore think mobile users. What is the guaranteed quickest way to deliver content to them? It doesn’t mean that your website will be boring. Just fast!
Whilst you’re getting ready for a better mobile experience, you could start by speeding-up your website with a CDN (“Content Delivery Network”). Dependent on the bandwidth that you use, it’s an inexpensive and reliable solution. Owing to the distribution of servers across the world, it has 100% availability providing massively reduced latency. The reliability of your website actually loading correctly increases enormously. There are many CDN to choose from. Cloudflare is one of the most popular, along with Google Cloud and Amazon. Less expensive options come from companies such as BunnyCDN.
Web Design Next Steps?
You need to get a secure website. It’s a long established fact that you need an SSL Certificate (an https version of your website). Secured websites are quicker to load. They are trustworthy and are guaranteed to meet your aspirations for a notable and easily found website. And search engines are now marking non-https websites as ‘insecure’. You’d have to agree that doesn’t look good.
Next, you need to think about your content. Long gone are the quick, meaningless blog-posts. Now, you need to concentrate on comprehensive and in-depth content. We’re talking 600+ words. And, content that answers a visitors’ questions. This means incorporating meaningful content [see our post on ‘cornerstone content‘] and also requires you to ‘put yourself in the shoes of the visitor’. How do you answer their questions [see our post on long tail keywords]
There are many other SEO techniques that you must consider…
We could write about all of them. However, they need an interaction. A dialogue between you, and us. If you think we can help. Get in touch. Our job is to highlight and improve the internet presence of Cypriot businesses. We’re dedicated, informed and very well versed in what you need in order to succeed.
- High-Quality content
- Keyword Research
- Rich Snippets
- Feature Content
- User Experience
- On-Page optimisation and Schema
- Authoritative backlinks
- and a whole lot more besides. Daunting? Yeah! Want a partner? No problem!