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How SMEs Can Prepare for Google’s May 2021 Algorithm Update

How SMEs Can Prepare for Google’s May 2021 Algorithm Update

Companies are at the mercy of Google because when the search engine giant decides to update one of its many algorithms, websites can see traffic increase dramatically or fall off spectacularly. And if you’re like many small and medium-sized enterprises that are reliant on web traffic to bring in sales, it’s vital that you know ahead of time that a big algorithm change is coming so that you’re ready for it and will be in compliance.

You only have to look to the Google Panda update to see how devastating it can be for websites that no longer meet the criteria for optimal sites. It was one of the first major changes to how Google views websites and was rolled out in 2011, designed to weed out sites that were stuffed with keywords, had little or no content, and engaged in questionable link-building practices.

The “Page Experience”

Google updates its algorithms, or mathematical formula, all the time, with the aim of improving its search results and also helping to make the internet a better place by having quality websites that visitors will like. Another big update is coming in May, and while we don’t know all the details until it’s introduced, we do know it’s to do with the concept of Core Web Vitals — or, more specifically, what’s “called page experience signals”.

“We believe that providing information about the quality of a web page’s experience can be helpful to users in choosing the search result that they want to visit,” says Google. “On results, the snippet or image preview helps provide topical context for users to know what information a page can provide.”

“Visual indicators on the results are another way to do the same, and we are working on one that identifies pages that have met all of the page experience criteria. We plan to test this soon, and if the testing is successful, it will launch in May 2021, and we’ll share more details on the progress of this in the coming months.”

So how can companies prepare themselves for this so their websites don’t suffer once the change is made? By making sure their sites are in great shape, in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) and the content they have on them. A newly updated book, How to Get to the Top of Google in 2021, offers tips and proven strategies for making sure you’re in compliance with Google’s rules, and you can always appoint a digital marketing agency to oversee your website and ensure it’s up to scratch.

What’s New about the New Google Book?

Author Tim Cameron-Kitchen explains in the updated version of his bestselling book— which is available for free on Amazon Kindle — how Google ranks websites in its search results and what kind of sites it chooses. He writes about the importance of using the right keywords for companies’ products and services and how to find them — and how to check if your most profitable keywords are ranking high up in search results.

Cameron-Kitchen sets out four ways you can set yourself up to appear on the all-important first page of Google results and for free. Most people don’t go beyond the first page, settling instead for the results there and choosing among the first five listings, demonstrating how crucial it is to appear on page one instead of the largely forgotten subsequent ones.

These are things you can do right now to get ahead online based on the tips and techniques in the revised Google book.

Write Titles That Increase Visits from Google

If your website’s homepage title says “Best CRM Software for B2B Businesses” when it appears in Google, it’s more likely to be clicked than if it says “Home—Company Name”.

One of the easiest ways to increase traffic from Google quickly is to improve the title and description, or metadata, of your website’s most important lead-earning pages.

Snoop on Your Competitors’ Online Activity

Find out what your rivals are doing online — does their website look and function better than yours? Are they doing some PR outreach and getting backlinks to their sites (use tools like BuzzSumo to find out), and are they engaging existing customers and potential new ones with their content and social media posts? Anything they can do, you can do better.

Give Your Website an Overhaul

Do a website audit and see how much content is on your site, both in terms of what’s on the homepage or product/service pages and your blogs — how good are they? Are they long enough (at least 800 words each) to satisfy Google’s quality content standard? Are they recent and frequent? If not, you need to get writing — or get a digital marketing agency to do it for you.

Readers of the revised Google book will also discover:

  • How Google selects the websites it lists high up in its rankings and why — giving companies the insight they need to rank higher and get more traffic and sales.
  • How to lure potential customers to your website using the right keywords so you can expand your customer base and grow.
  • How to know that the keywords you’re using are actually getting you to the top of Google search results.
  • How to make small but highly effective changes to your website so that you get better results, but without the need for any technical knowledge.
  • How to write content for your website that engages and draws in greater levels of traffic.
  • How to reach out to publications in your industry and build and foster relationships with them so that they’ll want more of your content.
  • How to get incredible results from an SEO strategy that gives you a bigger online presence through greater visibility in Google search results.

Roaring Past the Competition

SMEs will also learn about spying on their competitors and learning what they’re up to online to gain an edge over them in the digital realm. Among the other strategies offered in the updated Google book are tips on revamping your website so that it’s easier for Google to see and crawl (and for visitors to use) and using content on your site to attract as much as 10 times more traffic. Part of that is having a great blog section that has authoritative and compelling posts that visitors will flock to and love, leading to ever-higher conversion rates and, ultimately, sales.

“There’s so much that SMEs could be doing with their websites to get more sales but that many are still not doing — that’s what my updated Google book is about,” said Cameron-Kitchen. “Now, marketing managers and business owners can use these strategies to leverage the power of the internet and grow. We’ve seen businesses go from low to stratospheric sales by using the techniques in my book.”

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by Brian Perry // Brian Perry is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.