Google starts sending Slow Loading Page Alerts
Page speed is a ranking factor and Google is now notifying webmasters when they find speed issues on a website. If Google sees your website speed as significantly below average, you may receive a message from Google via Search Console alerting you to fix slow loading pages.
It is vital to work on getting your web pages downloading in super quick time. This will not only help improve your rank, but it also will improve conversion rates on your site as it will provide a much better user experience.
A starting point when identifying speed issues is to use the Google Pagespeed Insights tool which is an online tool, free to use and analyses the performance of a single url. The tool will give you a score for both mobile and desktop, for speed and optimisation levels, and will provide recommendations on the elements you can work on that will have a positive impact on page speed.
Webpagetest.org is another free tool that determines load time and how well each resource on the page is impacting load time. The Waterfall Chart is particularly useful and identifies what resources are loaded, and in what order, so you can clearly see where the problem areas are.
If you have received a Slow Loading Page alert from Google – don’t ignore it! Take action, contact your webmaster and ask them to undertake some speed optimisation work.
Thumbnail images to appear in Local Search Listings
Google have been testing adding thumbnail images to mobile local search results for some time. In the last few months Google has made significant changes to the Google Images algorithm and will prioritise pages where the image is central to the page, and higher up on the page.
The image does need to be relevant to the content of the page, and should be optimised with the focus keyword for the page by adding it to the image title tag, image file name and image alt tag. Not only will this increase the chance of your images appearing in local search listings alongside your content, but it will also help your images to rank in Google Image Search.
Google Posts drop to bottom of Knowledge Panel
Now this is frustrating! Posts last year were getting more views and interactions when they were positioned at the top of the knowledge panel. We don’t know why Google has taken the action to move them down, but it is resulting in fewer views and clicks for most businesses. Hopefully Google will receive feedback on this from business users and will take action to move the posts nearer the top sometime soon!
Google + is due to shut down next year
Google + never really took off and hasn’t even come close to competing with Facebook or Instagram in terms of usage figures or levels of engagement. I guess there comes a time when a decision needs to be made when things don’t work out as planned, and recently Google announced that the Google+ platform will be closing by August 2019.
If you have a Google + profile and business page, you will be best investing the current time spent on posting into Google+ on your Google My Business profile. Maintaining and keeping it well-optimised with regular content uploads and encouraging customers to leave positive reviews on Google will result in far greater gains in terms of rank, authority, conversions and consumer confidence.
Whizz Marketing is an accredited Google Partner Agency in Fleet Hampshire. If you are interested to learn more about SEO and how to outrank your competitors then please get in touch. Call Louise on 01252 622129 or visit www.whizzmarketing.co.uk for further information on the full range of marketing & SEO services we offer.