Is Searcher Task Accomplishment a new ranking factor to optimize for?

Is Searcher Task Accomplishment a new ranking factor to optimize for?

Here we are to yet another chapter in Google’s ongoing quest to bring the highest quality and relevant content to its rightful audience.

Although not explicitly declared a ranking factor by Google, SEO experts from all over the internet suggest to take Searcher Task Accomplishment seriously, and it makes perfect sense.

What is Searcher Task Accomplishment?

Basically, Searcher Task Accomplishment is the idea that content should give users the best, most high quality and fast answer they need in order to solve the problems they search for on search engines.

As an example of the ultimate goal of Searcher Task Accomplishment, let’s say that I’m searching for “best headphones for running”.

I click on the first search result that seem to answer my question, but end up having more questions than before. Now I’m all about trying to understand whether I should get “earhook headphones” or stick with more traditional ones. Should they be “noise cancelling”, bluetooth or wired? The list goes on.

This brings me to perform multiple searches, for different micro-problems within my main one. Wouldn’t it be great if a website held all the information I needed, instead of having me jumping from site to site?

That’s what Google seems to be looking forward to.

Is Searcher Task Accomplishment important for SEO?

Right now it is not yet confirmed as a ranking factor. Still, both Google Search algorithm’s history and just the number of tweaks and updates that it received in the past few months – focusing on mobile-first indexing, Structured Data, AMP content and more – seem to point towards that direction.

If you know what SEO is all about, then Searcher Task Accomplishment would not only not suprise you, but also feel quite obvious.

If lately the spotlight seems to be hitting harder on the subject, it’s because users change their searching behaviour constantly as technology evolves. Think of Voice Search, just to name one. Users perform their searches as if they were in a conversation, not just by spelling the keywords “best headphones running”.

Providing the users with the most complete answers possible to their questions has always been the main way to optimise your content. Now it’s just even more important.

How to optimise for Searcher Task Accomplishment?

Just like you should do when optimising your content, start with a keyword research.

Google Live Search suggestions

Google Live Search already suggests us something.

People looking for “headphones for running” might find out that they have to choose either wired or wireless headphones. This means they may be interested in knowing what the actual difference between them is. That’s some quality content you can start thinking about.

Once you pick some other keywords related to your main one, start looking at what results they display in the SERP and visit some of them. By this time Google is already gathering up information on how to give you the most useful answer.

One of the pages ranking for “best wireless headphones for running”, for instance, may introduce something you didn’t know about, such as bone-conduction headphones! Suddenly it’s not just “wired vs wireless headphones” anymore.

See how a simple search may reveal lots of interesting clues on how to write good quality content?

The bottom line, as always, is not to write content just to trick Google’s algorithm into ranking you higher. Write content that answers questions in the most efficient way possible.

All other “SEO rules” apply, of course, and help you perform better on SERPs: page speed, mobile-first approach, backlinks, keyword research, correct headings optimisation, etc.

How to balance SEO and CRO with Searcher Task Accomplishment?

In Moz’s Whiteboard Fridays about Searcher Task Accomplishment Rand Fishkin discusses this issue. At the very bottom of the article he included the slides from a presentation he prepared in 2017: “Why We Can’t Do SEO Without CRO“.

In the last slide he wraps up the discussion saying that “helping users first often leads to better long-term ROI”.

A good Searcher Task Accomplishment leads to Searcher Satisfaction, which leads to users put more trust in your name or brand. More trust leads users to visit you often and, ultimately, leads to better conversions.

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

This form collects your details above so we can contact you back in relation to your enquiry. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

Website/Technical Request

Consent

3 + 15 =

Schema WordPress Plugin: Add Structured Data to your Blog Posts easily

Schema WordPress Plugin: Add Structured Data to your Blog Posts easily

Schema markup is a form of microdata (a format to add structured data to your website) that helps search engines to better understand what your website is about, including its pages’ content.

As recently stated by Gary Illyes during PubCon, Google’s approach towards Structured Data is not going to change. This means that, while they have changed their mind for other metadata such as the authorship meta tag, they are keeping Structured Data for the time being.

So, if you have a WordPress website, and don’t know how to add structured data to your Blog Posts yet, we tested an easy WordPress Plugin that uses Schema.org markup and would like to show it to you!

WordPress Schema Plugin: Schema by Hesham

Schema by Hehsam is a quick and easy “set it and forget it” WordPress Plugin that adds structured data to your website.

First good thing that this WordPress Plugin does is to instantly wrap all your Posts and Pages within the BlogPosting and Article Schema.org markup types.

Then, if you fiddle with the Plugins Settings a bit you will find that it will also enable you to choose both an About and Contact Us page. Once you set them up, the Plugin will wrap them within the AboutPage and ContactPage respectively.

Schema by Hesham also supports many other SEO-related WordPress Plugin, including Yoast SEO and will give you the chance to prefer one over the other if you want.

Not catering (yet?) for all the different Schema.org markup types, this plugin is not (yet?) an all-in-one solution for all your Structured Data needs, maybe, but it is very useful if your WordPress website mainly consists of blog posts and pages.

TIP: Using Schema by Hesham when using a Page Builder for WordPress

Schema by Hesham automatically adds part of your content in a Schema.org property called description.

We found out that, if you are using a Page Builder for WordPress or anything that uses shortcodes – such as [button type=“twitter”] – in your Page\Post editor, such shortcodes may end up in the Schema.org description as well.

If you are not sure whether you may have this issue or not, we suggest you to try testing your page using Google Structured Data Testing Tool.

To solve this issue we suggest you to do what follows:

  1. From your WordPress Dashboard select Schema > Types

    How to access the settings for Schema by Hesham
  2. Choose either Posts or Pages
  3. Tick the “Enable post meta box?” box. Fill the Title field the way you want. Select the Description filter from the dropdown menu. Fill the empty field the way you want. Tick the “Create field?” box.
  4. At the top of your Post or Page editor, you will find a new field. We suggest you to fill it with the page’s Meta Description

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

This form collects your details above so we can contact you back in relation to your enquiry. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

Website/Technical Request

Consent

3 + 5 =

Google AMP update: content has to match the Canonical page one

Google AMP update: content has to match the Canonical page one

Starting February 1, 2018, Google will enforce a policy that requires that content in AMP pages has to be equivalent to their original canonical pages. Although Google stated that AMP is still not a ranking signal, we think that this policy is going to negatively impact your SEO if you don’t comply.

The reason is simple: AMP exists to bring a better experience to Mobile users. On February 1, 2017 we discussed whether or not Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) were becoming a new trend in SEO and also reported how Google was already displaying AMP results higher in Mobile Search Results page in the News section.

In the context of a growing mobile market, one can easily figure out that, while AMP is not directly impacting your SEO, it indeed helps you reach your mobile audience better. So if more users find your content, and find it valuable, this will indeed help your overall online presence.

So, are your AMP pages set up correctly?

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

This form collects your details above so we can contact you back in relation to your enquiry. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

Website/Technical Request

Consent

6 + 5 =

Google Mobile First Index to roll out in 2018: how to get ready

Google Mobile First Index to roll out in 2018: how to get ready

In November, 2016, Google announced they were starting to experiment the so called “Mobile first indexing”. 2018 will be the year in which this will effectively roll out, little by little, for all websites.

What is Mobile First Index?

Up to now, Google has crawled websites using their Desktop Googlebot for most of the time. This means that their indexing mostly looked at desktop versions of web pages.

This will experience a huge shift in 2018 when the mobile first indexing will effectively roll out and Google will switch to their Mobile Googlebot more. When this happens, they will index websites looking at the mobile version of their pages first.

Is my website ready for Google Mobile-First Index?

If you have a website with a Responsive Web Design already in place, you may have not much to worry about, since content between Desktop and Mobile versions of your pages is very much likely to be equivalent.

Need a Responsive Web Design for your website?

Still, Google gives us the following suggestions to look at, if we want our website to be ready when the mobile first indexing rolls out in 2018. This will also prevent our website from not showing up as they should in the Mobile Search Engine Results Page.

1) Both Mobile and Desktop content has to have the same quality

If you design your website content thinking of Mobile audience first, then this is going to be very easy to achieve. Anyway, Google wants to make sure “the mobile version of the site also has the important, high-quality content”, which includes text, images (with alt-text), and videos.

2) If Structured Data is in place, it has to be both on Desktop and Mobile versions

Structured Data (such as Schema.org markup) is growing more and more important for SEO as it helps Search Engines to better index your content (often generating snippets such as Rich Results).

If you have them in place on your website, it should be both on the mobile and desktop version of the site.

3) Metadata has to be equivalent on both Desktop and Mobile versions

As for everything else, metadata such as page titles, meta descriptions and ALT text on videos and images has to be equivalent across different versions of your website.

4) For internationalisation, check hreflang links on separate mobile URLs

When using link rel=hreflang elements for internationalization, link between mobile and desktop URLs separately. Your mobile URLs’ hreflang should point to the other language/region versions on other mobile URLs, and similarly link desktop with other desktop URLs using hreflang link elements there.

5) Make sure your hosting server can handle potentially increased crawl rate

This does not affect websites that use responsive web design, as they don’t have different website versions hosted on separate hosts (such as m.example.com).

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

This form collects your details above so we can contact you back in relation to your enquiry. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

Website/Technical Request

Consent

2 + 9 =

2 smart steps to improve your website performance

2 smart steps to improve your website performance

  • You want to get the most visitors to your website;
  • you don’t want to be excluded from Google searches on smartphones;
  • you don’t want visitors to see warning messages that might drive visitors away from your website.

If these three sentences resonate with you in any way, you may want to give a look at these two smart steps to improve your website’s performance.

1) Equip your website with a Responsive Design

Responsive Design

Responsive Design makes sure that browsing works fluidly across all screen sizes from desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. This is done by building your website in a manner that presents differently to different screen sizes, so the website visitor has a very positive experience no matter what size screen they are looking at.

2) Get HTTPS, setting up a SSL to secure data on your website

Adding the S for “Secure” to your web address will both improve your ranking and avoid warnings such as “this site may not be safe” when visitors arrive. Adding the “S” requires a Secure Socket Layer that encrypts data transferring to and from your site from visitors and adds authentication to your website that says it is safe for visitors.

Need help to set up a Responsive Design or SSL on your website?

The rise of the mobile-first design approach

You may now be wondering how did we get here.

From 1996 to 2014, it was all about growing businesses into deciding that they should have a web presence. Some did it just to be there (in case they might miss something). Then, as time went by, more and more businesses took to a web presence and grew their effort to maximise its effectiveness.

Finally, with the rise of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, more and more people shifted towards them, moving away from desktop computers.

Amazon, Ebay, Netflix, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and other social networks and services have been strong drivers of bringing more and more users online as everyone now can connect to the web reaching out their device in their pocket.

The role of Search Engines

Search Engines such as Google, as their algorithms grow more and more sophisticated, want to provide their users the best possible experience when searching for something through their service.

Aware of the rise of mobile browsing, this means that a website has to:

  • be easy to browse from any device;
  • keep their users privacy safe.

Mobile-first design approach

On April 21, 2015, The rise of mobile devices in the online browsing market, led Google to roll out the so called “Mobilegeddon” algorithm update. This update gives priority – in mobile Search Engine Results Page – to websites that display correctly on mobile devices.

Last January, Google started issuing a penalty to those websites that display intrusive popups on their users’ devices.

The list goes on.

Safety through HTTPS encryption\SSL certificate

HTTPS encryption has been declared to be a ranking factor since August 2014, although people are getting more aware of it only just lately, when major web browsers started to clearly show in their URL bar whether a website has such encryption in place or not.

On Chrome browser, for example, you will now see to the left of the web address:

  • Secure

  • Info Info or Not secure

  • Dangerous Not secure or Dangerous

For website owners this can be a big negative. Someone is just about to visit your website and they are now being warned away, because “you are HTTP and not HTTPS!”.

Again, the focus here is on the visitor first and the website owner second.

For websites that are just information – this appears at first to be a bit strong but adding the “S” to HTTP adds a Secure Socket Layer to ensure data is encrypted and therefore protects the website visitor. This matters whether they are simply browsing your website or entering personal details and other sensitive information such as credit card details, etc.

Now, the bottom line is that if you do not have a HTTPS on your website – visitors are likely to reduce due to warnings and lower rankings.

If you do add HTTPS (using a Secure Socket Layer) then you are seen to respect your potential website visitors and you are rewarded by Google and the browsers by not having warnings showing to visitors.

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

This form collects your details above so we can contact you back in relation to your enquiry. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

Website/Technical Request

Consent

12 + 1 =

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!

This form collects your details above so we can contact you back in relation to your enquiry. Please see our privacy policy for more information.

Website/Technical Request

Consent

14 + 3 =