Does your website performance suck?
You’re not alone.
For all kinds of good reasons, lots of businesses have bad websites. We’ve all been there. Sites that don’t show up on search engines. Pages with low or no traffic. Deadweight content that doesn’t generate clicks from search, or simply ramps up your digital marketing costs. And, up until now, that’s been great for people like me. I’ve spent most of my working life trying to help clients improve the performance of their websites.
But what happens after every website has been fixed? This was a particularly interesting question posed by Jono Alderson at this year’s TurningFest – a question that has been playing on my mind ever since. Google are currently in the process of revolutionising the search engine game. By updating algorithms and expanding rich features and other Google toys, the Google Search page is quickly transforming into an interactive and immersive integrated platform.
You can now buy cinema tickets, do your Christmas shopping, find out how to fix a sink or even buy a car, all whilst remaining on their search page. Because of these changes, organic search now only makes up around 7% of the Google results page. And as Google continues its push toward becoming a fully integrated solution provider, you might find that there are a lot less people visiting your site. 50% of all searches no longer result in a click; Up from 47% last year and 44% the year before. Which means that key measurement tools could quickly become meaningless, posing a big disruption for stat loving digital marketers.
So how does Google’s new algorithm work?
In the old system Google would send bots to your website, they’d trawl through your content in the search of key words and phrases to determine where you would land in their ranking system. A process that Marketers know as ‘SEO’ or search engine optimisation. The new system is similar, but different. Google are still releasing the bots, but this time they’re looking to extract data so that they can present it on their own search page. Effectively commandeering your content. Although, Google’s bots struggle to do this on typical websites, as the mixture of content, images, facts, info and tags, make it hard for them to decipher the elements that they need. Meaning that even the most aesthetically designed consumer friendly webpage could end up being buried in the rankings, underneath a slew of plain but digitally accessible webpages.
Here comes Structured Data
Google understand that in order to organise the internet, the information presented on the webpages needs to be highly structured. Therefore, Google have helped to create Schema.org and partnered with WordPress. Developing a toolkit that helps you present your information in a way that’s fit for their practices. WordPress’s new editor – Gutenberg, allows you to perfectly structure your data in an accessible fashion, which Google can easily understand.
WordPress also offers a range of new plugins specifically designed for Google; AMP gives you a site that works at blazing speeds across a range of devices. PWA enables you to easily turn your site into an app. And SiteKit, helps to review and solve any website errors that may appear. Using these new toolkits is pretty easy, and it all works right out of the box. Leaving you to concentrate on what you do best – providing the best fit product or service to your customers.
As businesses will no longer compete through SEO, flashy websites, or cool apps. Google’s update will truly level the search landscape. Everyone will suddenly be competing on best fit for the customer, and who is able to best answer a customer’s search query at that precise moment in time. As the future of search may look like a standardised Google fan club, is there a way to help your website stand out, and outshine everyone else?
The answer is: Yes!
You can start by adopting the following 7 step development path;
1. Accept that Google is the foundation platform where you need to provide your answers.
2. Create your content in WordPress, more CMS’s are sure to follow, but for the moment WordPress is key! 34% of the internet is already powered by WordPress, a figure that’s only going to go up.
3. Use the Gutenberg editor to ensure that you follow the rules for structured data.
4. Setup AMP to provide you with a fast-mobile version.
5. PWA will then give you the option to turn the site into a fully functioning app.
6. SiteKit will help identify issues allowing you to fix them on the spot.
7. And finally, we (and me) at Always Be Content can help navigate and support you through it all!
Using this approach, you will;
1. Avoid spending too much on advertising
2. Keep ahead of your competition
3. And maybe, just maybe, avoid some of those sleepless nights.