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New Year, new Google algorithm - if that’s not a slogan yet it soon should be. 

Google has numerous plans in store for the new year, as it continues its mission to deliver the best organic search results to users. As ever that means staying ahead with the latest search trends.

Here at Manchester UX agency Higher Ground we have identified the top 5 SEO essentials you should focus on this year.

Optimise your mobile SEO

It’s generally acknowledged Google always rates good mobile performance in its rankings but now it’s even more important than ever, as

Google moves towards ‘mobile-first rankings and considers the mobile view of your website as a priority. In short this means mobile-friendly sites will flourish whereas websites that fail to demonstrate good mobile performance may find themselves shunted down the list.

So when designing your website content has a powerful mobile-first perspective. It’s always easier to expand well-designed mobile pages to desktop than the other way around.  For good advice on the way forward see :

Get your technical SEO in order

SEO is all about the correct setting up of a website justas much as it is about great content and usability, salways make sure your website is optimised for both Google and the end user.

In particular, Google has suggested it may penalise slow-loading websites far more in 2020 - so that means : reducing large images, tackling problematic server response times and optimising your CSS, to name just a few critical items.

Google Chrome may even display a ‘slow loading’ icon on some websites which will surely tarnish your reputation in the eyes of potential customers.

Optimise for BERT algorithm

In a nutshell, the latest BERT algorithm is designed to identify the end user’s intent. This means if you’re producing content that is relevant to the search term, but not highlighting the reasons behind the search your rating could fall behind.

In short, those website owners who research a users’ journey through their site, noting the access points and top tasks and optimise their content accordingly will have a clear advantage.

For more information on this read our article Why you need to optimise your website for Google.

Use structured data to help Google understand

Structured data supplies additional context that Google isn’t quite intelligent enough to figure out for itself (yet). It gives Google a better idea of basic page structure, what each element is supposed to do and how each page fits into the wider site structure.

Google Search Console is a useful tool for solving issues with structured data, but it’s a complicated topic to master so it’s always advisable to consult an expert if you don’t have the in-house knowledge needed.

Show Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (EAT)

The EAT concept is bigger than just SEO but by applying a strong business strategy aligned to these goals will go a long way towards improving your site’s search performance, particularly as  Google has confirmed they will support these principles in 2020.

Practically this means running activity that improves your company’s reputation, demonstrates market-leading knowledge and delivers with clear authority. Conversely organisations who struggle with these goals may find themselves falling behind.

To find out more about business goals - read more about our Conversion Rate Optimisation agency services. 

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