Thought Leadership Monday Mashup: Google Update 2015

Thought Leadership Monday Mashup: Google Update 2015

With all of the hustle and bustle surrounding the newest information about Google's first publicly announced algorithmic update, it’s time for clarity. 

When and where does Google change their algorithm?

MOZ.com is a reliable resource for pertinent Google algorithm changes.

Google Algorithm Change History

"Each year, Google changes its search algorithm around 500–600 times. While most of these changes are minor, Google occasionally rolls out a "major" algorithmic update (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that affects search results in significant ways.

For search marketers, knowing the dates of these Google updates can help explain changes in rankings and organic website traffic and ultimately improve search engine optimization." (Moz)

To find out more about future changes, and read up on the changes that may have unknowingly affected your website search engine results, check out the most recent and past changes at Moz.com.

You can read more here.

What are the experts saying about Google Update 2015?

Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land points out:

"Google said that on April 21, 2015, Google’s mobile ranking factors will not only label your site as mobile-friendly, but will also use that to determine if your site should rank higher in the search results. Google said this algorithmic change will have a 'significant impact' in the mobile search results, impacting all languages worldwide"

You can read more of this article here.

Here is a tool that you can test any URL on to see if Google considers it acceptable or not:
Google Developers Mobile Friendly Test

In conjunction with the updates concerning mobile readiness, there have been talks of Google cracking down on the presentation, value, and white glove SEO techniques. Specifically the focus has been on information regarding capturing pages or landing pages. What does this mean for you?

What is a landing page?

A landing page is a web page that allows you to capture a visitor’s information through a form. A good landing page will target a particular audience, for example–traffic from an email campaign promoting a particular eBook, or visitors who click on a pay-per-click ad promoting a specific campaign. Therefore, it’s important to build a unique landing page for each of the offers you create. You can build landing pages that allow visitors to download your content offers (eBooks, whitepapers, webinars, etc.), or sign up for offers like free trials or demos of your product.

Why are landing pages important?

"Creating landing pages allows you to more effectively achieve your goal of converting a higher percentage of your visitors into leads. This is because landing pages make the process of receiving an offer much simpler for your visitors, since they don’t have to navigate your website to find the page they’re looking for. Sending your visitors to landing pages also eliminates any confusion about what they must do to receive your offer. This helps keep them from getting frustrated about not finding the form, or deciding that it’s not worth their time to figure out how to go about the process. Directing your visitors to a landing page – the exact page with the offer and the form they must complete to get it – makes it more likely that they will complete your form and convert into leads."

You can read more here.

How to optimize every element of your landing page.

Kissmetrics (a blog about analytics and marketing) recommends this specific approach:

"You don’t want people to just visit your page. You want them to take action once they are there. So make it as easy and compelling as possible for them by including these elements found in a landing page that CONVERTS:

C = Clear Call to Action

O = Offer

N = Narrow Focus

V = VIA: Very Important Attributes

E = Effective Headline

R = Resolution-Savvy Layout

T = Tidy Visuals

S = Social Proof"

You can read more of this article here.

HubSpot provides many studies and surveys to its users and partners alike. While researching the Google Update, I discovered a smashing article that discusses ways to prepare for the Google Update and landing page optimization tools you can use to better position your website for success.

Jeffrey Vocell | @jvocell from HubSpot Recommends:

“If you want to quickly analyze your mobile-readiness and the rest of your marketing efforts, check out Marketing Grader–it'll assess your blog, SEO, social media accounts, and mobile optimization.”

You can read more here.

This update may or may not send you into SEO oblivion. Until it actually happens, the results are unclear. However, it is important to understand how best to prepare for the Google Update 2015: how your landing pages may be affected and the top content optimization best practices you should have in your tool belt. We hope this edition of Thought Leadership Monday Mashup enlightens.

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