SEO Priorities: Be Fresh, Fast and Mobile

Organic web traffic is typically the marketing lifeblood of most companies. Years of work go into creating these digital portfolios that we call websites only to be judged against competition by enigmatic search engine algorithms. But, changes come rapidly. The algorithmic changes we follow most closely are those of Google since Google supplies the largest amount of organic traffic in our industry.

Going into the New Year, here are a few areas to focus your time as it relates to SEO and changes that may affect you.

Timely Content

Google is pushing freshness of content with their latest change, and it’s already impacted a lot of our industry’s results. More than anything else, we have seen a large shift in rankings around publications, events and tradeshows as a result.

Your company may have been bumped out of a position that you owned for quite some time. It’s important that you use software to monitor your keywords on a weekly basis to ensure that if this does happen, you are made aware of it and able to tweak the page accordingly. SEO monitoring is one of those services that our clients tell us they cannot live without once they start.

When this change went live, 35 percent of searches returned a different set of results.

Site Speed

This is by no means a new change, but the speed in which your site loads is often one of the most overlooked organic tactics.

We all want to scale our businesses. Google included. Google’s spiders are busy crawling and indexing the web all day, every day. Having a quick site allows Google’s spiders to crawl and index your site so that they can (a) visit the rest of the web and (b) re-visit your site to see if there is anything new (see Timely Content) that they can add.

Decreasing your site load time will improve all of your organic results! Getting started is easy. You can get direct feedback from Google on your site speed by loading the Site Performance tab on Google’s Webmaster Tools. Once you’ve done that, run a few pages through one of these free tools to see where the biggest improvements can be made: Slowcop & WebPageTest.

Mobile Compliance

Google wants websites to be mobile friendly or have mobile friendly equivalents. How do we know this? First, it aligns with some of their core principles, but if that isn’t evidence enough, they have stated that mobile landing pages are now included as part of the quality score rankings for Adwords.

Life Science sites are notoriously bad for their mobile experience. Google has some very simple advice for when developing mobile sites:

Keep the layout simple
Design for thumbs, not mice
Prioritize content
Use uniquely mobile features
Make it easy to convert

The simple test? Open up your companies website on your mobile phone, and see if you can browse it from start to finish. If your business’s homepage has a huge flash piece that is core to the site’s navigation without a mobile equivalent: then it will probably be a short test!

Want to go deeper?

Reading: November 2011, Giving you fresher, more recent search results
Reading: April 2010, Using site speed in web search ranking
Tool: Mobilize your business on the cheap
Tool: Google Webmaster Tools
Notifications: You could also sign up for our digital marketing newsletter, a monthly recap that typically highlights search algorithm changes among other things.

P.S. Come back tomorrow, and we’ll talk about how life science companies are using social media strategies to get in front of researchers.