Having a successful business website can make or break a company. Whether it is a new startup or an established business turning to the internet to expand their markets, your website will be the first thing that many of your future customers will see. It stands to reason that your website needs to be modern, clean and informative to make it convenient to use. If a potential customer can’t find the information he or she needs quickly, they will move on.
Once you have your website, however, getting those potential customers to visit is the first big challenge your company will face. As many equipped SEO Sydney experts would know, search engines, such as Google and Bing, use a constantly evolving algorithm to determine how valuable a page is within the parameters of an online search. These algorithms judge websites based on variables as diverse as content, links and traffic – among others – to determine the ranking of websites for different search criteria.
Additionally, the algorithms are different depending on what kind of device the search is being conducted from. Searches done from mobile devices, like phones and tablets, use a modified version of the standard algorithm to give better local results. This can be a factor for businesses that are trying to appeal in a more general fashion than companies that are targeting mobile users.
The mobile conundrum
The weight that the current algorithms give mobile websites is having an effect on business websites. If your current website is not mobile-friendly, you are losing customers. Mobile websites, on the other hand, do not usually have the depth and options that can be found on traditional websites. Mobile users like there information in digestible, screen-size chunks which are not ideal for computer users.
Finding the correct balance is challenging, especially since there is little hard information available on how much mobile websites are weighted in the algorithms. This lack of information can be frustrating for business owners, but there is a very good reason the parameters of the algorithm are kept hidden.
Keeping the ‘Black Hats’ at bay
If everyone knows the parameters of the specific algorithm they could create websites that are perfect examples of what the search engine is looking for. Although this sounds like a good idea, the truth of the matter is that it would make it very easy for immoral users to tweak their websites to get hits on search queries that have nothing to do with their websites.
Back in the good old days – about a decade ago – this was common practice among spam websites to get disproportionate page hits. At the time, search engines were cruder and searches revolved around keywords. The more keywords a page had – valuable or not – the more likely it was to appear in search results. To cut down on these websites, search engines became more sophisticated.
Working the system
As the search engines became more sophisticated and secretive, an entire industry has sprung up to support businesses that need to have a strong internet presence to sell their products. Search engine optimization has come a long way since the days of keyword stuffing, but in many ways practitioners are making more guesses – albeit educated ones – than they ever have.
Google, for example, updated there algorithm over 500 times in 2016. The vast majority of these updates were minor, but there were over a dozen major updates. Each update changed the algorithm. Even minor changes can have a large impact on how search engines “see” your website. SEO experts test and tweak websites and determine how and why the search engine was changed and make the adjustments on their websites to keep or improve their ranking.
That leaves business owners in the unenviable position of being forced to either outsource their websites, create an internal department to maintain their internet ranking or just give up. The first two options have advantages and disadvantages, but giving up on SEO efforts will result in your business losing customers and money to other, more tech-savvy companies.