This year’s SMX East conference did not disappoint. If you weren’t able to make it, there’s no reason to panic—we have you covered. We’ve gathered our biggest takeaways that will help you with your search marketing efforts.
Google has over 200 variables in its algorithm while Bing has 500 to 1,000, and one of the more important variables that can make or break your search success is load time. This variable is becoming especially important for mobile devices. Google is obsessed with page speed and search marketers should put this at the top of the priority list when optimizing. This shouldn’t be news to anyone who’s been practicing SEO for a while, but this variable is often overlooked, especially from a mobile perspective.
Speaking of mobile devices, adding your phone number in your meta descriptions now renders on Google as an action. Start throwing your phone number in, and with a simple tap of the finger potential customers will have you on the line.
Another variable that Google emphasizes is secure sites. Google has been testing them from March to July this year and it’s already a factor in tie-breaker situations. In 2010, Gmail went to https; Twitter did the same in 2012, followed by Facebook in 2013. Only 10% of active URLs on the web are secure and 30% of those only have one page on their site that is using HTTPS while the rest are HTTP. In Google’s opinion, this is insanely low. Make this change to your site—to your whole site—and you will start benefiting immediately from the switch. Prepare your sites now and as this ranking factor continues to grow, so will your rankings. Secure sites are here to stay.
“Content is King” is a phrase you hear constantly as an online marketer. Loading fresh content regularly can benefit you on many levels, not just with search engines. If content is indeed king then it would be fair to say CONTEXT is queen. Many focus solely on getting content up and take no thought as to the quality or clarity of their message. Not only do you want Google to keep coming back to crawl your website, you also want people to be able to fully understand the information you are sharing.
The last topic to touch on is the latest Google update, which sent many industries’ local search results diving: the notorious “Pigeon” update. This update has helped spammers out a lot. When searching for apartments without the city name, companies outside of a 20 mile radius have tanked. When apartments are searched for with the city name the radius becomes broader. There are now more single-pack local search results and fewer seven-pack search results. Since the update, page authority has become a dominant variable in local search. We haven’t seen the end result of this update as surveys and sporadic local results have indicated exorbitant testing.
If you weren’t able to make this year’s SMX conference, be sure to circle your calendars for next year’s. The information and insights shared are invaluable to boosting your online marketing efforts.