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DIY SEO Archives

SEO Update Jan 2018 – Google’s Page Speed Announcement

By | search engine optimization, SEO News & Updates, seo tips, SEO tools | No Comments

On 17th January 2018, Google announced an upcoming update that will supposedly come into effect in July 2018 and will affect rankings directly. They are calling it…

“The Speed Update”

Now, page loading speed has been a ranking signal for 4-5 years already. You might have read some of our other articles talking about the importance of faster loading speeds. So why is this important? What has changed?

Well, in total there are more than 200 factors in Google’s algorithm that are “ranking signals” which affect your website’s placement in the search engines. But not all ranking signals are created equal and some of these are far more important than others. So while “page speed” has been a ranking signal for some years, it was rather low on the list and has become more and more important over the last year. And now with this announcement, it safe to say that it has made the Top 10 List.

In other words, fixing your page speed will no longer be optional in the near future if you want to rank. It used to be that a specialist could rank a website without maximizing the website’s speed but this is no longer the case. The last thing you want is to build a great looking website, only to find out people are getting frustrated because it takes too long to load!

fix your page speed SEO update 2018

What exactly is considered “fast” page speed?

We finally have a specific answer from Google. Their current benchmark for fast-loading web pages is…

3 seconds or less

So basically if your site does not load in less than 3 seconds, your rankings will likely take a hit. Google has mentioned the rankings will be affected on mobile devices. But remember that Google is well on their way to moving towards a “Mobile-first index” meaning that their Mobile Index will become primary (which has also been estimated to go fully live in 2018)

When does this Update come into effect? The real deal

Google’s official announcement says July 2018 but we know from history how misleading those dates can be. As it was with the Mobilegeddon update of 2015, it is likely that Google has already started rolling out this update. It is much more practical for them to roll it out over a period of months rather than suddenly in one day.

What can you do about it?

The time to take action is NOW to make your website lightning-fast to load, which secures not only your rankings but provides a better experience for your potential customers and website visitors (thus helping with conversions). Google generally reveals very little information on how to get organic traffic so when they make an announcement like this, it is certainly something you should address.

First things first. You need to know what your site’s current score is.

To check this, go to gtmetrix.com and note the following numbers: PageSpeed Score & Fully Loading Time (in seconds), both highlighted below:

While a grade of B+ or B used to be perfectly fine, your website really needs an A to perform well in 2018 and beyond, with a loading speed of 3 seconds or less.

If your scores are less than that, get in touch with us and we guarantee to boost your Site Speed as high as possible and get that Grade A score.

Don’t Take Shortcuts

If your website is built with WordPress, it can be enticing to simply install a plugin that promises to fix all your page speed issues in an instant with one click. You don’t want to do that! Why?

  1. While there are some plugins that can effectively take care of issues that might be contributing to page speed issues (such as suppressing large images), there’s isn’t a single reliable plugin that can fix ALL those issues.
  2. Plugins create conflicts. The more you install, the more you make your site vulnerable, both in terms of functionality and security.

It is best to do the work manually, especially delicate work like minifying JavaScript & HTML. Getting a plugin to do this sort of work is literally asking for a disaster. So it is best to get your SEO expert involved!

A.P. Web Solutions is an SEO Agency based in Melbourne, Australia and working with local businesses all over Australia to help with getting organic traffic and leads. More information here

3 Essential SEO Tools Every Business Owner Should Use

By | Internet Marketing Service, search engine optimization, SEO tools | No Comments

If you have ever felt too confused or overwhelmed by Search Engine Optimization, it may be because you do not yet understand how you could implement some of it yourself or what are the benefits of doing so.

Best SEO Tools in 2018

These are some tools that every business owner should know about and use so they can start making efforts in the right direction to getting more traffic to their websites. More importantly, they’re all FREE!

Keywords Everywhere

Instant Access to Keyword Search Volume

The first thing that you need to understand about SEO is that it’s all about TRAFFIC. Keywords are search phrases that people search in Google such as “plumber Melbourne” or “cheap plumber Sydney”. If you provide a service, the service+location is generally your main keyword.

But before you start working on those keywords, you also need to find out how many people are searching them. The Google AdWords Keyword Planner shows you this data but you need to set up an account and start an Ad campaign to get full access.

Keywords Everywhere is a plugin for Chrome and Firefox browsers that will show you the keyword search volume as soon as you search it in Google.


So enter your main keyword and look at the number of people searching. Note that the number displayed is the monthly search volume. If you’re not happy with it, try a different version of it or scroll down to Google’s suggested keywords at the bottom and look at those. Bottom line is, this is going to help you with your research so you can set the right target and go after it. The first step in SEO consulting is to determine the main keywords (and some secondary keywords) for the campaign and everything that is done beyond this point is built around those keywords.

Tip: Keep in mind that the data that Google shows you is only partially correct. Don’t be disheartened if you see low figures for your keywords. In most cases, if there are suggestions at the bottom of the results page, there are plenty of people searching regardless of what Google reports.

Page Speed Insights

Check your loading speed to improve user-experience

Have you ever felt impatient when you click on a link and the website takes forever to load? Frustrating, right? Well, your visitors feel the same way. On the Internet, “forever” can be equated to the difference between a site that loads in 2 seconds vs 4 seconds.

If you’re going to be working hard to get more traffic to your site, you better have a plan to convert that traffic into sales and revenue and your website not loading fast enough is definitely not conducive to that outcome.

Page Speed Insights is a tool from Google themselves. No better way to get information than from the horse’s mouth. Enter your URL and it will show a percentage-based score of how that page is performing. It will also give suggestions on what you could do to improve that score. If your score is in the Red zone, you need to make it a priority to get it up to Yellow at least.

Also, note that this score is on a URL by URL basis. In other words, just because your Home page gets a good score does not mean your entire website will. If you are trying to rank an inner page, you need to check its score separately. These are the sort of issues that a local SEO company would try and fix for your website to ensure that they are not holding you back in your rankings.

IFTTT

Automate Posting to Social Media

IFTTT stands for If This Then That and it is a great tool that can help you with several things, including your social media & SEO.

The way you use IFTTT for SEO is for your Blog. Most businesses these days have a Blog on their website which they use to post content. IFTTT can help you maximize the impact of producing that content. First, you set up several social profiles for your websites such as Blogspot, Tumblr & Weebly in addition to the usual ones you probably already have like Facebook and Twitter.

Then, you sign up for IFTTT and set up Recipes so that every time you post an article on your Blog, IFTTT will automatically post that article on ALL your social media platforms! This saves you the time of having to post that article manually on all your social media accounts.

Set up the Recipes so that the RSS feed of your Blog is the Trigger and posting on your social media accounts, is the Outcome.

How does this help with SEO? Well, when an article is posted on your Blogspot or Tumblr, it also LINKS to your website. So just by posting one article, you can get 10-15 good quality links to your website, which powers up your website. These are great foundational links for any business to have and increase your trust in Google’s eyes.

Click Here To Get a Free Video Analysis of your Website’s SEO!

A.P. Web Solutions (www.apwebsolutions.com.au) is a local SEO agency that helps businesses get found by their target customers through Google. As a local SEO Melbourne boutique agency, we focus on helping small businesses grow and scale their business with targeted organic traffic.