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SEO summary - Google changes in 2018 and what to watch in 2019
If your role involves keeping your website optimised for SERP, here's a helpful article by Search Engine Watch providing an overview of the industry changes rolled out by Google in 2018 - Google’s biggest search algorithm updates of 2018.
Which brings up the obvious question - what to keep an eye on in 2019? Voice search is steadily becoming a more usable (and used) method of searching the Internet. It's estimated that by 2020 half of searches will be conducted by voice. But this adds another dimension for content creators and digital marketers to deal with; typed and spoken Internet searches will produce different results and users of voice searches will only receive one result! For more detail on how and when to optimise your pages for voice search take a look here - Voice search optimization guide: Six steps for 2019.
Time for a website dust and polish?
Gone are the days of publishing your corporate website and turning away to focus on other aspects of your business. Nowadays websites are a crucial part of a business’s operations; whether it is literally processing your sales, or operating as a lead-generation tool, or even just an information resource, visibility in the virtual world is considered crucial to the majority of business execs.
Achieving this is much like the upkeep of real-world premises. A shop/office or factory requires cleaning, maintenance, regular new window displays and/or updated signage to stay current, modern and in the customer’s mind. In the virtual world your customer interface - aka your website - needs a comparable sort of commitment. It’s about the long haul, having a solid website infrastructure, good quality content that changes regularly and as many reputable backlinks to your site as possible to make your site as connected to world wide web as possible. Quick scores rarely work these days and that’s the way Google likes it. As at July 2018 Google Chrome still holds the lion’s share of browser use at close to 60% (with Safari being next closest at just 14%) and Google is putting much effort into its ability to analyse and assess web pages for quality content and the best user experience.
So how to improve your online presence and please the Google Gods? View your website as an ongoing project. Plan to work on it regularly. Break down the tasks into things you can achieve yourself and those you need to work on with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) experts and developers. This strategy will keep your site fresh and up-to-date with current SERP (Search Engine Result Page) best practice - the Internet is fast moving and things change quickly.
Good website SEO is an involved area encompassing everything from the actual content on your site through to the technical infrastructure used when your developer built your site. Here are some ideas and tools you can use to assess your website and start to make a plan on how to improve your SERP:
- Site speed - https://tools.pingdom.com/. Amongst other things this handy tool gives you an idea about how large your webpage is, how fast it loads and how this compares to other tested sites. Fast load times is a major factor in good SEO.
- Security certificate. When you put your site name in the address bar does it show a grey ‘!’ in a circle? Or does the address bar say ‘Secure’ in green and show a locked padlock? Using a security certificate on websites used to only be necessary on pages doing e-commerce transactions. Today a site’s security status is a ranking factor in Google’s site ranking, to the point browsers are giving users warning messages against navigating to unsecured sites - not a great start to inspiring credibility in a new customer’s mind!
- Responsive design. How does your site cope with being displayed on different size screens, from desktop down to mobiles? Check your site here to see if it is mobile friendly. The majority of Internet searches now happen on mobile and as of March this year Google rolled out mobile-first indexing. This means that when Google indexes your site it looks first at the mobile version, making it really important your site works just as well on mobile as on desktop.
If your site struggled on any of these base-level tests, it’s time to put some work into modernising your website. IT Basecamp offers two SEO options to suit both small businesses and large.
Small businesses on tight budgets can benefit from the ‘Website Audit’ package. This one-off package puts you on the right track with your SEO. It assesses the current health of your website, provides you with a report detailing what your site’s strengths and weaknesses are, works with you to optimise the parts of your site most needing work and leaves you with an understanding of what work you need to do going forward to keep your site healthy.
Larger businesses with the resources to invest in SEO on an ongoing basis can make use of the full SEO package. This package includes the full website audit plus a suite of custom WordPress plugins to improve SEO, any minor design changes to your website required for improving SEO, monthly reports analysing your current month’s website health audit (and comparing these to your top three competitors), plus free web hosting for your website on IT Basecamp’s optimised WordPress servers (NGINX servers) for the duration of the SEO package.
The Shoalhaven Wonders website is the latest launch for the IT Basecamp Web Development team. Working in collaboration with The Marketing Clan this project for Council was designed, developed and launched to tight deadlines. Local Council supporting local businesses, working together with the goal of promoting our local area so we all prosper. Nice.
Take a look and see your favourite 'wonder' becomes a winner.
Keeping you organised this Christmas - Google Keep digital notepad
Who’s finding themselves getting into a tiz as the silly season approaches, trying to keep on top of work, presents for the kids, Christmas parties … ?
Check out this neat app for helping you keep track of the brain clutter. Like a digital notepad, Google Keep lets you jot down all those valuable snippets of information that you stumble across on the Net or that pop into your head at not-quite-the-right moment. With colour coding, checklists, labels, reminders and the ability to add images it’s a handy little tool. Download the Chrome extension for your desktop and the mobile app for your phone to keep your notes available everywhere.
Peter Mac Foundation Trivia Night
The Trivia night for Pat and Bill was a huge sucess raising over $4200 for the night....
"So after weeks and weeks of searching the web for all the trivia question and the hours and hours of preparation I am very happy to say that the Peter Mac Trivia Night was a massive success. So many people to thank there donations of items for the auction. Brad Lilly from iT Base Camp, Louise Winkler from Specsavers Nowra, Geraldine McGill from Harvesting Good Health, Mary Baseler from Husky Yoga Studio, Harry from Jervis Bay Stand Up Paddle and Mortgage Choice in Nowra - Paddy O'Sullivan, Steve from Hit N Run, Darren Jackson from 5 Little Pigs, Angie Chesterman-Clark and Jen from Main Deck Cafe and Lynne from Zest Cafe & Catering. A special thanks to Bill and Colleen Stahlhut for your continued support and Bill your a brave man to get a head and leg shave!!. Massive thank you to my beautiful wife Geraldine McGill, you mean the world to me xo. And finally thank you all 122 (I think) off you that came last night in support of Bill and I as we get ready to 'Ride for a Cure'. I'm blown away by the generosity of everyone....a total of over $4200 was raised for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation. Cheers."
- Pat McGill