The Penguin roll-out seems to have stopped, and it’s time for us to turn our attention to the coming new year. Everybody makes New Year’s resolutions, and we’ve come up with three you need to make for your website if you want it to continue to succeed in 2017.
First, it’s crucial that you move across to HTTPS. Google tried tempting website owners into doing this by bumping their rankings a bit when they did, but the situation will change in the new year. We got the carrot before, and now we’ll get the stick. After the first of the year, if your site hasn’t gone to HTTPS, your visitors will get a pop-up telling them that your site is insecure.
That’s bound to make them leave in droves, so I recommend moving as soon as possible.
Your second resolution should be to move into AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages. Google has determined that mobile is the predominant way users browse today, so it’s giving sites a search boost when they’re working with AMP. Be careful using it with e-commerce sites as you probably only want to use it on some of your pages. But look for the lightning bolt on some familiar sites that indicate they’re AMP compliant.
The third thing you should do before the first of the year is to eliminate all pop-ups on mobile. We all hate pop-ups, but we also all know that they work. It may hurt to lose that easy source of customers, but mobile pop-ups have got to go. Starting in January, Google will start punishing sites with them, so the time to re-figure your site is now. While you’re in there, make sure it’s mobile-friendly.
Clear description tags, short URLs and compressed images are key. Mobile is going to be your number one traffic source, so now is the time to start catering to it on your site.
For more information, visit the StewArt website.
Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business StewArt Media has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.