Last month in May of 2022, Google made some highly impactful changes to their core algorithm that had many businesses in a flutter trying to deduce what caused dips and increases in traffic by as much as 70%. Many businesses using low quality links and failing to provide well-written content with proper On-Page SEO signals have seen the greatest drop in rankings.
If your small business website was hit negatively by the latest Google Core Update then your SEO company has most likely been skating by with low-quality backlinks, lazy SEO work, and lackluster internal linking.
Let’s look at the breakdown of what has been working so that we can discuss the changes your business needs to make.
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen people ask, does website speed matter?
I’ve also watched plenty of “SEO’s” waste months wittling away to get their perfect speed score on their website up until another change comes along from Google. In truth, website speed does matter to your customers and thus should matter to you. However, there are more important factors like the ones we’ll cover next that should take up the majority of the time put into SEO. Especially since the difference between a pagespeed score of 85 and 95 is hardly noticeable, and realistically your website only needs to load in under 2 seconds (with our high quality dedicated servers, we typically see load times of 0.5 to 1.2 seconds).
Dedicated Server vs. Shared Hosting
Over the past year, Google rankings have become more and more dependent upon the consistency and quality of the websites. One of the first things you can do to support your website rankings now is by having a dedicated server. By hosting your website on our dedicated server, we are able to ascertain exactly the amount of bandwidth used by the server, which sites are on it, and ensure that your website has a 99.9% uptime without any slowdowns in loading speeds.
One of the biggest factors to impact your website in the current algorithm is that your web pages need high-quality, on-page SEO. If you want to see if your SEO team is providing the best on-page SEO for your company, here are some of the important things you can take a look at:
- Focus keyword at the beginning and the end of the page. Seems simple, but many people miss this. The primary focus keyword should be within the first 40 words.
- H2’s for each individual segment of content. Break it up cleanly.
- Use multiple headings and subheadings to break up the content and organize it in a digestable manner. Shorter segments tend to rank better and can help you get spots in the Q&A sections on Google.
- Mobile-friendly is the name of the game in 2022. Use mobile-friendly images, video-sizing, tables, lists, quotes, etc. so that the content is readable from your phone. Check all of your web pages from your phone to make sure it looks good.
- Graphics should preferably be taken by the business instead of using stock photos. By using your own photos and graphics, it’s easier for others to link to your content and build authority.
- Video is a must. Many people don’t want to read, but would rather see behind the curtain at who is running the company. If you’re a small business, you can build a lot of trust with customers by showing them you are knowledgeable about your services and helping them feel comfortable choosing you over a competitor.
- Target rich snippets with accurate 40-50 word Question and Answer pieces.
- Always provide additional information on the page where possible.
- Internal links are key to building a quality silo that supports your primary web pages that are built to convert.
Gone are the days of low-quality links lasting for months on end. Google is tearing through websites with haste that have built their link profiles completely off low-quality links rather than valuable contextual links from real content written by well-known writers.
Where should you be building links from now?
Using Ahrefs, SEO’s can and should be looking at link profiles of competing web pages for high value keywords that are attainable. By publishing articles and using instant indexing tools, you can build out competing pages and posts quickly and efficiently. Then you can request links from the same sites by showing them that your content provides more value and leads the target audience in the right direction.
If you’re trying to rank your power pages, then ensure the content is well written, looks great on mobile, contains individually owned photos, video, and infographics followed up by blog and content link outreach from informational sites and industry-related websites.
Summary of the May 2022 Google Update
Provide high value content, develop real links through outreach to websites with actual traffic and user’s that can then take action when they arrive on your website, and don’t forget about the users experience along the way. Speed, consistency, simplicity, and quality are what matters and that isn’t going to change. At Nickel SEO, our digital marketing team is always looking to simply provide the best information and use effective persuasive language to guide our clients’ target audiences into purchasing from our clients.