We all know it. Marketers love it. It’s our good ol’ friend SEO, back for another round as one of the top digital marketing trends of the year. We addressed social media optimization in an earlier blog, but what about Google? When considering that 90 percent of all searches occur through Google, or a Google subsidiary, it’s definitely important to stay updated on changes.

Everyone wants to be found online. And we all know that the best way to be found is organically through Google’s search algorithms. Here are three steps you can take to boost your SEO performance this year.

1) Mobile-first

Google’s “mobile-first index rollout” took effect in 2018. Google’s algorithm now looks at both the mobile and desktop versions of your website, and only uses the mobile version to determine your SEO ranking. If your website is not yet responsive, make that a top priority. Neglecting your mobile site will adversely affect your ranking.

2) Website Speed

As mentioned above, your mobile site is now determining your overall search ranking. Therefore, it is critical to make sure your website boasts good optimization and now, speed.

Your website’s speed score is determined from the Chrome user experience report coupled with the user’s performance database. The catch with this metric is that it is difficult for marketers to measure how fast visitors are loading their webpages. Therefore, be sure to focus on your optimization score and get your site’s load speeds running fast.

The speed metric is new, and therefore still being tested by Google. But count on this metric having a great impact on your SEO over the coming year.

3) Your Brand

That’s right! The presence your brand has in the digital community is impacting your SEO ranking. One way this is done is through unlinked mentions of your brand. Google will look at these and determine what types of properties surround your brand mentions, such as what industry your brand relates to. Google will also look at who is mentioning you, and determine important contexts, such as the website’s reputation, customer service, advertising, etc. All these factors will affect your brand’s reputation in Google’s eyes and influence your SEO ranking.

Be sure to mention your brand online whenever there is a good opportunity to do so. Backlinks (links appearing on another website linking to your website) are still a great go-to but ensure they are with websites that will reflect well upon your brand. Also, make the effort to be active with your customers or clients. Participate in the comments section by answering questions and ensuring a great customer experience. Google will take notice when your customer experience is a good one.

This year keep an eye out for upcoming Google algorithm changes. Staying on top of SEO is crucial for being found online, and neglecting these changes could prove very harmful to your business’ marketing efforts.

If you’re not sure which way to take your digital marketing strategy, don’t worry! You’re not alone. Many of our clients regularly consult with the Skoda Minotti Strategic Marketing team to ensure their digital strategy is driving real results for their business.

Interested in learning more about improving your SEO ranking, or have other questions about your digital marketing? Our Strategic Marketing Group works with clients to ensure their digital marketing programs are in compliance with privacy regulations. Contact me at 440-605-7121, or email me at bferris@skodaminotti.com.

New call-to-action