Google released a new algorithm in late summer, designed to improve users’ search results. Dubbed “Medic,” this algorithm was rolled out from August 1 to October 1 and seeks to help ensure that users get the best fits for their search terms via Google. While just hearing the term “Google update” can strike fear in the hearts of many online marketers, these Google updates can reward those who follow “the rules” and provide regular, useful content and don’t try to game the system.
Many of the websites hardest hit by this update were health and healthy living websites. However, no site is immune to losing ranking during these periodic Google realignments. As always, Google’s official line is that they won’t comment on any specifics of the algorithm and that web administrators should try to “fix” their sites and instead concentrate on providing a quality experience for their users. (By the way, the “Medic” moniker is not an official title; it came from a web journalist.)
While Google’s advice is generally sound, there are a few things that you can do to improve your site’s overall usefulness and thus improve or solidify your search engine rankings. Remember that these updates aim to make sure users are getting quality results from their queries and Google is getting more and more adept at sorting out those sites that have credibility and answer a user’s question as opposed to those that are just trying to take advantage of the current “rules.” Gaming the system is, at best, a short-term strategy, one that will likely send you to Google “Siberia” on the next update. It’s not a strategy we recommend.
How you can make your website even more attractive to Google in a post-Medic world
1. Focus on search intent.
Since the intent of the Google Medic update is to make sure users find results that are applicable and credible for their topic, it’s essential for you to keep your content on the subject. If you jump around from topic to topic or interject your pet rants here and there on your site, Google will get confused as to what your site is about and move you down in the search results accordingly. Also, make sure that your page beat, your load time, is fast. You can test your speed by going to Pingdom.com. Google is now focusing on mobile users, so a good page beat is increasingly essential. Lastly, disavow those garbage links. You can’t prevent sketchy sites from linking to your site, but you can disavow any affiliation with them. You can do this right from the Google console.
2. Create an About Us page and link to it frequently
Having an “About Us” page is another way to create credibility for your site. We recommend linking to it from every page. Your footer is the right place to do this.
3. Create author bio pages for your writers
Another way to beef up your credibility is to create bio pages for all of the people who write from your website. Then link these bio pages to the bylines on the individual articles.
4. Have a customer service page.
Google also rewards sites for having a customer service page. Also called a “contact us” page, this page provides all of your company’s contact information, where users can get a hold of your team to answer their questions or concerns, as well as thumbnail bios of your team and expected response times to their communications.
5. Move your reviews to other sites.
Are you still posting customer reviews to your website? If so, it’s time to move these to a review site, such as Yelp, TripAdvisor or Google. Posting these testimonials on your site makes you look a little bit like a slick sales type in Google’s eyes and jumbles up your content and page layout, making more confusing for Google to ascertain the subject and goal of your website.
6. Mention your awards
We didn’t use to be a fan of posting awards and vendor logos on individual websites. However, we’ve changed our mind. These awards and judicious use of vendor logos, where applicable, help give your website the credibility that Google is seeking.
7. Constantly improve your content.
While these other elements are indeed helpful, the most important thing you can do to keep your website ranking well and attracting new users is to improve your content constantly. “Constant is king” is not just a catchphrase; it should be every web marketer’s mantra. While how to continually enhance your MSP website is worthy of an article by itself, a few, quick things to concentrate on include always adding good, thoughtful, useful content; mixing up the format and including text, videos and images; making including internal and external links and be extra careful with your punctuation and grammar. If you’re a fan of clickbait (and you know who you are), stop it. This practice will end up sabotaging all of your other (good) SEO practices and send your site down, down, down in the search results.
If you’re still having trouble getting your ranking where you’d like it to be or if you are stuck and just not sure where to go, give us a call at Ulistic at (863) 451-3088 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For only a few hundred dollars a month, we can put a great marketing plan in place. That way you don’t have to worry about remembering all of these tips; we’ll take sure of it for you and allow you to concentrate on your customers.
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Stuart Crawford serves as Creative Director and CEO with Sebring, FL Ulistic, a specialty MSP Marketing firm focused on information technology marketing and business development. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience pertaining to how technology business owners and IT firms can use marketing as a vehicle to obtain success.
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