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Every year Google completes a core update to ‘improve’ their ranking processes for relevant user searches – don’t confuse this with the core web vital changes. This essentially means the goal posts are adjusted for businesses owners to be able to achieve favourable real estate on top of the search results for their website. Google’s core search engine optimization (SEO) update is occurring in two parts, across the months of June and July. We have outlined below the SEO actions you should take to keep abreast of these updates: 

  1. Avoid immediate big website changes

  2. Browse a variety of observations

  3. Monitor what’s happening to your organic traffic

  4. Content: Would you want to read it?

  5. Hygiene check your website for technical errors

  6. Make your website mobile-friendly

  7. Keep an eye on your website’s page load speed

Avoid immediate big website changes

During the SEO core update, many businesses will see the traffic on their website fluctuate. Do not get overconfident or panic – you should avoid acting too quickly. Remember there is a very quick sequel to June’s core update, that can cause further volatility. Stand your ground and opt for incremental changes that improve the overall user experience; some of these changes you will find below. 

Browse a variety of observations

If you have been managing your SEO efforts in-house it is a sensible idea to take advice from a variety of online sources, including conversations individuals are having on forums and SEO blog articles. I was always told someone in the room will always need the answer to the question you just asked – don’t be afraid to engage in the support of fellow business owners and marketing specialists. Please note that SEO updates can vastly differ across certain industries, so not all changes will be applicable to your specific industry. Be cautious in the changes you make.  

Monitor what’s happening to your organic traffic

Now is not the time to shy away from getting into the nitty-gritty of the data on your website. Often these core updates can take their time to reveal the true impact of the changes. If your traffic is climbing, you have the luxury of riding these good times out. If you are in the unfortunate category of losing traction, keep an eye on your core search queries via Google Search Console and Google Analytics, so you are able to identify the problem areas on your website so that you can concentrate your efforts on those specific areas. 

Content: Would you want to read it?

Maybe you are already on top of the content optimizations on your website, or maybe this has been a wake-up call. Content quality is a huge factor in your organic rankings – the powers that be want you to be genuinely helpful to users who find your website, to improve the level of engagement. You should be asking yourself, is the content unique to your website? Is the content interesting enough to be shareable amongst their peers? Does your website content demonstrate genuine enthusiasm and trustworthy representation on the topics you are covering? Is the content structured in a way that is easily digestible to the reader and well presented?  If you answer no to any of these questions – it’s time to jazz up your content calendar and give the people what they want. 

Hygiene check your website for technical errors

Incremental technical flags can soon add up – the less pretty side of marketing I must say. As Google is not very forthcoming with specifics on what their algorithms rank more important than others, it is best to get into a good habit of regular technical website audits, and making amendments accordingly. Are you giving meta titles the slip? Ducking away from alt tags? Or maybe Sidestepping broken links? Well simply don’t! 

Make your website mobile-friendly

You are probably fairly bored of hearing this now, but we are a fast-paced generation of aimless scrollers and this will not be changing anytime soon. Users are searching on mobile, Google is ranking you based on your mobile website – it makes sense for you to align with this way of thinking too. When was the last time you looked on your website from your cell phone rather than a desktop?  Often business owners are putting off making their website fully mobile responsive as it can be a daunting task, but this could be at the long term detriment to your organic rankings. Our advice would be to fix any issues you can with this, and if this would require a full website redesign to start planning this for August. 

Keep an eye on your website’s page load speed

Although not a core mentioned factor for this particular 2021 core update we recommend you comply with Google’s obsession for speed! Your website should load within 5 seconds. Sometimes business owners can make the mistake of thinking this is fine, as they are loading a cached version of their website (saved to your computer already). We recommend, as a starting point, to use Google’s Lighthouse score to see how your website ranks. One of the most common page load speed errors that we see as an agency is unoptimized images – be sure your images are not larger than they need to be by finding a website compressing plugin (website dependant). 

More updates to follow!

In the meantime, if you are feeling a little out of your depth don’t hesitate to contact our team for a FREE SEO overview and to discuss the level of support you might need.