Here's the latest instalment of Digital Marketing Reads, a roundup of some of the more interesting articles we've read lately in the digital marketing world.
Advanced Web Ranking is claiming that 2018 is going to be "the year of the mobile". It's not news that Google looks at how mobile-friendly a website is when it determines keyword rankings; what is news, though, is that this year they'll be rolling out the Mobile-First Index.
With the Mobile-First Index, Google will be determining keyword rankings based on the indexed mobile version of a site, rather than the desktop version. This is a pretty huge move, and an excellent kick in the arse to those who haven't yet optimised their website for mobile. Make sure your website is navigable and loads quickly on a mobile phone, and that all of your site's content is visible and crawlable on mobile, and you should be fine once this Mobile-First Index is rolled out.
Search Engine Journal outlines what we know about how PageRank is passed from page to page within a website, and from website to website, and clears up some rumors and common misconceptions.
Among the gems shared in this article? You can't use no-follow to direct PageRank, Google does not factor domain authority into its search algorithm, and external links have value for the page that is linking out because they tell Google what that page is about.
As of now, an estimated 20-25% of search queries are done via voice search: that is, asking Siri or Google about something rather than typing it into a web browser.
With up to 50% of searches predicted to be done by voice in 2020, now's a good time to consider how voice search will affect SEO. Page One Power recommends optimising your website for more long tail keywords, to account for a greater variety (and length) of keyword phrases being queried by voice search. They also advise writing copy in a more conversational tone to match the phrasing of the typical voice search, optimising your website for mobile (a la the first article mentoned above on the Mobile-First Index), and working towards landing featured snippets on Google which often answer voice search queries.
SEO Powersuite has a solid recipe for mobile optimisation. While many of these tips aren't news to those reasonably well-versed in SEO, this article condenses them into one actionable workflow.
They recommend conducting an audit for your mobile site to ensure it loads quickly, and that all of its pages are crawlable and error-free. The user experience is also a key area to focus on, and they advise making your website responsive, implementing Accelerated Mobile Pages, having easy call-to-action buttons, and avoiding having any pop-up windows.
One thing that's often overlooked in the SEO world is location: that is, optimising your site so that it comes up when people search for something "near me". This article includes a few tips for achieving this as part of the SEO recipe.