Apple drops Bing for Google on iOS. Opportunity for Local SEO?

Apple drops Bing for Google on iOS. Opportunity for Local SEO?

“Siri, what is the best <insert-your-business-here> in town?”. If you are the best around and are ranking well on Google Mobile Search Results, it may turn out well for you.

Apple is switching to Google, instead of Bing, for web searches coming from Siri and Search on iOS, and from Spotlight on Mac.

Considering that, as of September 2017, iOS holds 30.4% of the Operating System Market Share in Ireland, this could mean great opportunity for Local SEO in Ireland.

Want to talk SEO strategies for your Local Business?

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO links a business to its local customers whenever they need it, and is not just for restaurants or shops.

It’s basically a set of SEO strategies that focus on a specific region, without necessarily compromising a wider and more distant audience.

For instance, our local customers in Mullingar can find us on Google when searching “web design mullingar” or “seo services mullingar“.

They won’t probably even include the name of our hometown in their search, actually. According to Google itself, local searches without the “near me” qualifier have grown by 150% in the last two years.

Do I need Local SEO?

As Google Internal Data states: nearly 1/3 of all mobile searches are related to location.

If you own a business that benefits from customers in a specific location then you most certainly need a good Local SEO in place, as much as you need a good SEO in general.

There is no simpler way to say it!

Let us help you find what you need! Fill our secure form!

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Want more traffic? Consider (valuable) non-English content

Want more traffic? Consider (valuable) non-English content

While English is the main language used for content available on the Internet (51.2% of all the content), there are still millions of non-English speakers who browse the web looking for content in their own language, before trying to find it in English.

If you are fluent in a non-English language, you may want to spend some time writing content for non-English users and analyse your website traffic to check whether it’s worth it or not.

As noted by Barry Schwartz on SEO Roundtable, this is far from being a new suggestion. Matt Cutts mentioned this years ago and Gary Illyes of Google also tweeted about it on March 31, 2017.

Illyes mentioned again this opportunity last week on SMX Advanced, the annual event for experienced search marketers.

Which languages are creating more opportunity?

As of March 31, 2017, English speaking users make up about 25% of the Internet users of the world. Second in line are Chinese speaking users, who make up about 20%. (Internet World Stats)

As of June 19, 2017, 51.2% of the content available on the internet is written in English. Second in line is content available in Russian (6.6%), follwed by Japanese and German (5.6%). Chinese language is ranking 9th with 2.0% of content. (W3Techs)

Checking these numbers the easiest answer would be to write content in Chinese, as it apparently can give plenty of opportunity. Still, we suggest to consider the kind of content you have on your website.

Which languages should I write my content in?

Creating content in different languages can be a time consuming and expensive operation. If you intend to spend resources on it, we advise you to perform an Audience Research beforehand.

Have you performed any research to confirm that the Chinese one could be a good audience to target? Chinese language may have a wider audience, but German speaking users could be more interested in your content.

As always, research is the first step to write meaningful content that converts.

Don’t know where to start? Ask us, we can help you with your research!

Let us help you find what you need! Fill our secure form!

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AMP becoming a new trend in SEO in 2017?

AMP becoming a new trend in SEO in 2017?

Apparently, no more than a week ago, when browsing Google News from a mobile device, just about 30% of the results were AMP. But, on January 29, AMP results increased up to 70%.

Is this event marking the beginning of a new trend for SEO? It’s probably too early to tell, but it’s better to be ready.

What is AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)?

First announced by Google in October 2015, AMP basically translates to web pages stripped down of most of the “eye-candy” that makes them heavy, slow to load.

In an increasingly mobile-oriented world, page loading speed is more important every day.

So, the AMP Project‘s main purpose is to make mobile content available as fast as possible. It has been shown that about 40% of Mobile users leave a web page if its loading time is more than 3 seconds.

You can see that this is bad both for the user, who won’t see your content, and for you, because you will have lost a potential meaningful visit.

Test AMP search results with the demo provided by Google itself. Visit g.co/ampdemo from your mobile device.

If you talk to publishers about this, you will probably get them interested!

What is the difference between AMP and mobile-friendly pages?

If you are one of our customers, you already know how much we are focusing on building mobile-friendly websites. Then, you may be wondering: is AMP different?

A quick example, took from this article on the BBC News website (AMP version here).

Responsive vs AMP example

The one on the left, is an example of non-AMP responsive design. You can see the header, the menu, the search box and other elements appearing.

On the right, instead, there is the AMP version of the same page, stripped down to mostly the actual images and content.

Even if AMP are indeed mobile-friendly pages, their difference lies in the amount of code used in the page itself.

A non-AMP mobile friendly page will most likely have code that makes animations, scrolling effects and popups appear on the screen. AMP pages get rid of that, without compromising the actual content: images, videos and text are left untouched.

Quoting Google itself: “We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously”. So, it is worth noting that AMP does not necessarily mean no Ads.

AMP and non-AMP version of the same page can currently co-exist without causing Duplicate Content issues. Make sure that the AMP versions your pages have a rel=canonical tag that links to the non-AMP ones.

Is AMP going to be used as a Ranking Signal?

Again, it’s probably early to tell. It’s worth mentioning that back in February 2016, in a Google Webmaster Central Hangout, John Mueller said that AMP was not yet a Ranking Signal.

Still, considering the sudden growth of AMP results in Google News, and the fact that Google has been placing mobile experience first for a long time now, then it’s easy to imagine that it could happen. We’ll stay on the watch for any change.

Also, Search Engine Journal collected insights from SEO professionals around the world, some of which are keeping their eyes on what kind of importance Google may give to AMP in 2017.

What it is sure is that AMP is great for SEO in general. If you build AMP pages, you will basically build:

Mobile-friendliness, Page Speed and User Experience are indeed Ranking Signals!

Also, with AMP in mind, you may end up writing better content, since you would have to pay far less attention about the layout.

How to setup AMP pages (on WordPress)

If your website is built using WordPress as a CMS, then to setup a basic AMP on your website we suggest you to install two plugins: AMP by Automattic and AMP for WP by Ahmed and Mohammed Kaludi.

Once you installed them, you can access to them under the same panel, located in Dashboard > AMP

AMP WordPress Plugin Dashboard

From this page, you can help yourself through the provided links to learn how to setup AMP properly.

Be sure to always have the latest WordPress version installed and also always perform a backup of your website before installing plugins.

How to setup AMP pages (on non-WordPress websites)

If you are not using WordPress, the best place to get started is the Guide provided by the AMP Project itself.

Need help to setup AMP for your website?

If you don’t have time to setup AMP on your own, or just need some help, contact us: Handyweb can help!

Let us help you find what you need! Fill our secure form!

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Phone: +353 (0) 44 93 45145
Email: info@handyweb.ie
Services: Web and App Consultants, e-Commerce, Responsive Web Design, Search Engine Optimisation, Digital Marketing, Social Media, App Development, Online Payments, Online Business Automation

Google Mobile Interstitial Penalty gets sites showing “annoying” popups

Google Mobile Interstitial Penalty gets sites showing “annoying” popups

On January 10, Google has updated its algorithm, applying the so-called Mobile Interstitial Penalty.

If your website pages features elements that make the content not easily accessible to your mobile visitors, your ranking on Search Results Page may suffer a backlash.

This should mostly target pages that appear on mobile search results.

Desktops popups and interstitials are still not penalised as much. I wouldn’t be surprised if this should change in the future, though.

How to avoid Google Mobile Interstitial Penalty?

If your website, when visited from a mobile device, features Popups, Modals or other Interstitials that:

  • Cover your content (even just by graying it out)
  • Cannot be removed unless you click the “X” to close them
  • Cannot be remuved unless a specific amount of time has passed (pretty much like some ads on mobile apps).

You should remove them right away.

Only exceptions, according to Google, are popups that serve a purpose such as displaying informations about Cookie Policy or Age Verification popups.

Like most of what is related to search engine’s ranking factors (and Search Engine Optimisation in general), think first and foremost in terms of user experience.

Ask yourself: will this feature slow my visitor’s ability to browse my content? If it does, you should remove it.

Luckily it is Google itself, in the blog post that announces the algorithm update, that shows us some examples of which are to be considered Good and which Bad Interstitials.

Bad Interstitials vs Good Interstitials

Examples of intrusive interstitials

Examples of intrusive interstitials – Source: Google

These are examples of intrusive popups and interstitials, according to Google.

The first should be a Modal. The second and third ones are standalone interstitials.

As you can see, all of them cover most – if not all – of the content of a page. Also, they are advertising a paid service.

A visitor reaching the page from a mobile search results – will likely be far more interested in the actual content, rather than in stuff that gets in the way.

Just in case you may need it, here is an article about the difference between a Popup, an Interstitial and a Modal.

 

Examples of good interstitials

Examples of good interstitials – Source: Google

These are examples of interstitials that are less likely to get you penalised by Google.

The first one is an example of what a Cookie Policy popup may look like. The second one is an actual interstitial, covering the whole content, but for the purpose of Age Verification.

The last one is an advertisement, but it is included in a small, simple banner. It doesn’t really block the actual content of the website from being browsed.

So, yes! It is possible to have ads on a website’s mobile version without being penalised by the Mobile Interstitial Penalty. Just be reasonable!

If you want to read more about the topic, I suggest you to read this article published on Search Engine Journal.

Do you need help to avoid being penalised by Google’s Mobile Interstitial Penalty? Contact us!

Free Keyword Checker Tool

Free Keyword Checker Tool

Handyweb.ie would like you to try our free Keyword Audit Tool. It’s just another valuable tool that helps you to check how effective keywords are in your Search Engine Optimisation of your website.

Try it free here

Handyweb.ie not alone delivers Quality Web Design, but work hard with you to deliver the most effective website for you across all screen sizes from smartphone to desktop. We focus on maximising the effectiveness of delivering visitors to your site through SEO and Social Media and maximise the effectiveness on your site of engaging with visitors. Whether your website is a quality shopfront for your business or a full e-commerce business – talk to handyweb.ie about effective online solutions.

Brought to you by Handyweb.ie 

Phone: +353 (0) 44 93 45145
email: info@handyweb.ie
Services: Web and App Consultants, e-Commerce, Responsive Web Design, Search Engine Optimisation,  Digital Marketing, Social Media, App Development, Online Payments, Online  Business Automation.