On the 5th of October 2023, Google rolled out its highly anticipated core update. As an experienced Marketing & Brand Director, I've digested the mystery of Google Algorithms, and am ready to share this informative guide on how this Google update can help or hinder your online presence, and also share with you valuable tips to help you navigate navigate through these changes.
Understanding Google's Core Updates:
Google's core updates are major algorithm changes that aim to improve search results and enhance overall user experience (UX). These updates WILL significantly impact your website rankings, visibility, and organic traffic. It's crucial to stay informed about these updates to ensure your online presence remains strong and competitive. There is no doubt, you will need to make some tweaks to your website, how you write content in order to make sure this Core Update helps your digital footprint get bigger and not hinder what you're trying to achieve.
Why does Google keep changing their algorithm?
We've all heard the expression "if you keep doing what you've always done, you'll keep getting what you've always got". No matter what we do - our business, our jobs, our habits - this is true! So Google making changes is no different than when you go to the supermarket and discovering your favourite things are now not where they used to be. Supermarkets do this for a reason - to make you buy more.... and the internet and Google are no different. If they leave everything the same, you won't discover the new stuff that has just arrived at the store, you won't discover the cool new brands, imagine if you had always shopped for the same stuff and never visited the Dairy Milk Chocolate isle.... ? So that's basically why Google changes algorithms - it's their way of moving things around their supermarket and making all us Marketing Geeks work a bit harder to get noticed and to improve what content we share with the world - and with the advent of AI and new tools, then we absolutely need to address new technologies, formats and information structures.
But not all change is bad - and whilst this Google Core Update will without doubt give us 'Geeks' a few challenges, it really is also massively helping us by putting great content front and centre - if like me, you write from a position of experience, knowledge first and try and answer lots of your prospects and customers questions, then this Google Core Update will pay dividends for you! Here's why...
Key Features of the October 2023 Core Update:
1. User Experience Focus: Google's latest update places a strong emphasis on user experience. Websites that prioritise user-friendly design, super-speedy load times, and mobile responsiveness are most likely to see positive impacts on rankings.
2. Quality Content: The update rewards websites that provide high-quality, relevant, and authoritative content. Focus is heavily weighten on creating valuable content. Addressing your audience's needs and interests will improve your website's visibility.
3. E-A-T Signals: Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) continue to be crucial ranking factors. Establishing yourself as an industry expert, building backlinks from reputable (independent) sources, and showcasing genuine customer reviews and testimonials will all enhance your website's E-A-T signals.
Top Tips to Optimize Your Online Presence with the update:
1. Enhance User Experience: Prioritise user experience by optimising your website's loading speed, ensuring mobile responsiveness, and improving overall navigation. Conduct regular audits to identify and fix any usability issues. And if you think your agency or dev team have made your site Mobile responsive - make sure you go and test it... so many websites we look at profess to be mobile responsive but have massive holes in functionality. Get 100% mobile tested - from end to end as a customer would use the site!
2. Create High-Quality Content: Focus on producing well-researched, informative, and engaging content that resonates with your target audience. Incorporate relevant keywords naturally and avoid keyword stuffing. Oh and shall we mention AI here?? AI is a great tool for reseach - but it's not you and Google can and will spot it! If you want or need to use AI tools, make sure you use it for reseach and as a starting point - make sure you fact check EVERYTHING and make sure you re-write your text so that it is authentic and what your customers would hear if they were chatting to you on the phone or face to face - When someone reads you content, make it sounds like you, has your values and your tone of voice.
3. Build Authoritative Backlinks: Earn high-quality backlinks from other great websites within your industry. Guest blogging, participating in industry forums, and collaborating with influencers can help you establish your website's authority in the market you play in.
4. Make the most of Social Media: Engage with your audience on social media platforms to increase brand visibility and drive traffic to your website. Share valuable content, respond to comments and messages quickly, and encourage customer/prospect created content to build a sense of community. Get your customers and prospects engaged - they will be your best ambassadors and sales team!
5. Monitor and Change: Keep a really close eye on your website's performance using analytics tools. Regularly monitor your rankings, organic traffic, and visitor behavior to quickly spt areas for improvement and change your strategies & content accordingly. Don't be lazy - create content and enjoy doing it!
To summarise, Google's Core Updates are significant moments for businesses and website content creators - and this one is no different. But this one is quite special - as it fixes some of Googles previous deviations from focusing on content and gets us back to a strong emphasis on user experience, providing great content, and E-A-T signals. By prioritising these key focus areas and implementing the tips outlined here in this Brand Alchemy Consulting Blog, you can enhance your online presence, improve your website's visibility, and ultimately drive more organic traffic and conversions for your business.
Don't forget - stay informed, adapt to change, and continue to provide valuable content to your audience and you will thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.
Need more help with your marketing and ready to to discuss how Brand Alchemy Consulting can support your business, then get in touch!