How To Rank Higher In Google. Part 3 – What is Rank Score and How to track your progress?

In the last blog I taught you where to get backlinks from and how to structure your anchor text. So now that you have great content and links headed back what’s left. Well essentially that is entirely up to you. You could continue to do this with each blog you write or just leave it to do it’s own thing. But what about tracking your progress?

Well there are a few things that can track your SEO growth.

  • Rank Score
  • Alexa Rank
  • Google Analytics

Each of these, will tell you something different about your SEO progress and whether of not it is truly as effective as you want it to be.

What is Rank Score?

I briefly touched on this in the earlier post but it is a large factor in SEO. There are a few different rank scores across the web, like SEO Power Suites Domain Strength or Moz’s Domain Authority. While they have different names they all tell us pretty much the same thing.

Most third party ranking scores are based off of Google’s very own PageRank, named after one of the founders of Google – Larry Page. PageRank is a algorithm used by Google to determine the importance or authority of a webpage. The higher the score the more important Google thinks the page is. Therefore the more highly it is ranked.

So how do PageRank work?

Well PageRank ranks web pages according to their importance, or ‘link popularity’ -determined by the number and quality of the page’s backlinks. The idea is that every page on the web has a vote (that can vary in weight, depending on that page’s own Rank), and that it can cast its vote for other pages by linking out to them. The weight of each vote is diluted in proportion to the number of links on the page.

For example let’s say page A has a Rank of 10 and links out to 5 other pages. According to the original Google PageRank formula, Google would consider that 85% of the page’s PageRank gets passed on to the pages it links out to. Thus, each of the 5 pages it links to receives 8.5 divided by 5, or 1.7 out of the page’s original score of 10.

In basic terms the more authority a website has the more power its backlinks holds and the easily it will rank. PageRank is built up with the good quality content and high powered backlinks. With this in mind and some good foundation content you can really watch your Rank Score grow.

Remember all we have spoken about in the previous blogs when it come to attaining backlinks and don’t forget about social media. While sharing your content isn’t going to directly effect your ranking, it will get you some more recognition.

What about Alexa Rank?

Alexa Rank is a global traffic rank given to a website on the basis of how well it is performing relative to all the sites in the entire world. Simply put, the lower the Alexa rank, the better the estimated traffic to the site. For example Google has an Alexa rank of 1, but if your site has a score of over 100,000 is not bad as it may seem, as this is your ranking amongst the billions of sites worldwide.

Alexa is a good way to track your progress, check your Alexa rank every 3 months and see if your rank has improved. Check out your own Alexa Rank.

Will my website build effect my rank score?

Unfortunately, yes. If you have a badly built website you may end up working much harder simply to gain a few steps up. When Google looks at your website it doesn’t see the beautiful fonts and pictures, that we see. It sees the code of your website, the bare bones of it.

Often if your website was made by an online website builder the code will be terribly messy. This is due to the fact that these website builder use pre-built templates. These templates are then covered in more code to change the colours and make it fit your brand. While the final result may look beautiful to a human it is far from it to a Google bot. So much so that your ugly code may result in your hard work being ignored by Google and ultimately your SEO may be a waste of time.

So what if my code is already good?

Well then you will be fine and Google will pay you all the attention you deserve. But what does your site look like to humans. If your site is ‘aesthetically challenged’ then while you may rank highly actual humans may ignore you.

Ultimately you want a site that is coded well and looks great to humans too. While it will cost you more, a custom built website will be much better for you in the long run.

Site Speed

Another factor to take into account is site speed. How fast pages load and whether or not your pages load correctly on mobile phones.

Luckily for us, Google supplies us with two services the first of which is Page Insights.

This tool scans your site’s coding and give you a report. Covering your site speed and mobile friendliness. With Google Insights you can identify ways to make your site faster and more mobile-friendly.

The second tool they provide is The Mobile Speed Tester

This tool differs from Page Insights as it focuses solely on mobile access and does not look into the actual coding of your site. It also covers much more information and tracks how you compare to other websites in your industry.

Both of these tools are hugely useful as over half of all web traffic is now on mobile and if you load time for your website is slow most people will give up and go elsewhere. Site Speed has also recently been identified as one of the factors Google uses for ranking so improving your site speed can help hugely with your SEO rankings.

Check out your site on Google Insights  and Mobile Speed Test now.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is possibly my most favourite tool. Not only is it updated constantly and so it’s arguably the most reliable and comprehensive tool, but it’s also free!

Google Analytics is prefect for tracking everything on your site. Plus it’s super user-friendly. You can set up all kinds of views, goals and filters to completely customised it for your needs. You can track everything from gender to interests about the people that come onto your website. As well as what pages they are looking at and where they have come from. This is prefect for tracking just how popular a blog you have written is

If you set up Google Search Console as well, it opens up even more great features for Google Analytics. Including being able to track the exact keywords that are bringing people into your site. The more you use it the more you will wonder how you could ever do without it.

Sign up to Google Analytics here.

Its called Search Engine Optimisation not Google Optimisation

The thing you need to remember when it comes to ranking is that Google is only the very tip of the iceberg. Do you really just want to know how to rank higher in Google? Or is there more you could be covering. There are hundreds of search engines out there and Google may not even be the best one for your company. YouTube, Yell, or Pinterest may be a better use of your efforts.

Find where your customer base is and discover what they are really looking for from a business like yours.

Before you start your own SEO work, you need to ask yourself a few questions first.

  • Why do you want to rank higher in Google?
  • Do you want more customers or maybe more online recognition?

SEO cannot ever promise you an increase in sales but it can definitely promise an increase in website hits and if you content can stand up to size then sales should naturally follow.

Remember whatever you decided to focus on for your SEO it is a constant job. You must stay up to date with your rankings and follow the trends. As well as keeping on top of algorithm updates from Google themselves. (Follow us to stay up to date with the changes). Like anything SEO needs maintenance and cannot simply be left alone.

We hope that this series has helped you along the way with understanding and actioning your own SEO. If you would like any more information or would like to see about getting professional SEO work please get in touch.

Good luck with ranking higher and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

How To Rank Higher In Google. Part 2 – Where to get Backlinks?

Last time we talked about Backlinks and what they were, as well how they help you to rank. So you may now be thinking where to get backlinks and improve my overall rankings?

Where to get backlinks from?

Well if your content is good and you are promoting it on social media then you should start getting some organically. Unfortunately Social Media Shares, Likes and popularity hold absolutely no value to search engine ranking, however there are still a few places to collect backlinks for yourself. Here are the 5 simplest to gather:

1. Directories

Directories are easy to find and there a literally hundreds of thousands of them out there. Create a profile and of course a link to your site. If you can find niche directories that either focus on your geographical area or your industry, this will mean they are more relevant and therefore more powerful.

2. Blogs Comments

Some blogs don’t allow this and many give NoFollow links however there are still some that do. Find blogs that cover your industry and comment on their blog along with a link to your site. Do not spam though, make useful comments and make sure you fully read the article, and are actually contributing to the blog whether you agree with the content or not.

3. Editorial Links

Editorial Links are links your gain from writing off-site on a blogging platform. Sites such as Blogger offer a service where people can post their own articles to the site. Your name will be included with a link to your site in the editorial notes. These can often be quite useful and hold some good value as the site offering this often have high authority. This is not to be confused with Guest Blogging.

4. Forums

Like Blog Comments and Directories, the more relevant to your site the forum is, the more powerful the backlinks you gather will be. Actually contribute to the forum though, don’t use it as a advertisement and try to avoid ever selling your services. Just help people out or answer questions, have your site URL in your signature but avoid doing much more as you may get flagged for spam. Simply prove you are the fountain of knowledge in your industry.

5. Guest Blogging

This, like editorial links is where you post a blog on someone else’s site as a guest blogger. This is different to editorial as you will generally be in communication with the site owner and therefore you can have full access to edits. Also the blog will likely be in the same industry as you and therefore hold more power than an editorial link. These are the hardest links to get (unless you have a close personal friends with the authority sites handy), however if your Blog Comments have been used fully the blog owner may recognise your knowledge and invite you to guest blog.

What about Anchor-Text?

Anchor-text is the text that makes up a link. Not to be confused with the link itself.
https://Clockworkmoggy.com – This is a naked link with no anchor text.
Clockwork Moggy – Web Design, Branding and SEO – This is the same link with key-worded anchor text.

Anchor text used to be incredibly powerful as you could tell Google what a page was about before it even looked but with the last few Google updates this is not longer the case. Google has decided it doesn’t like to be told what to do and so now sites with too many backlinks using key-worded anchor text have be penalised for spamming. Now it is recommended to use either naked links (like the one show above) or branded, where you use your company name as the anchor text.

Like this –  Clockwork Moggy.

An optimum Anchor Link percentage was recently released to help people position their backlinks correctly.

  • Branded anchor text: Such as your company name: 70%
  • Naked link anchors: IE Images, or standard hyperlinks: 20%
  • Generic anchors: IE ‘Click here’: 5%
  • Latent Semantic Indexing, partial match anchors: IE synonyms of your main Keywords or Long tail keywords: 1-5%
  • Exact match anchor text: Your exact Keyword: less than 1%

With all this in mind make sure you are targeting the right sites. You should start to see a improvement in you rankings.

Don’t forget to check out our final blog in this series – What is Rank score & How to track your progress?

How to Rank Higher in Google. Part One – What is SEO?

Over the course of this blog series we hope to teach you a little about the mysterious world of SEO and ultimately how to rank higher in Google. Helping you understand both how it works and how to action it yourself.

So how do you rank higher in Google search results? The simple answer to this question is Search Engine Optimisation. Search Engine Optimisation or as it is more often known as, SEO, is the process of optimising a piece of content for ranking. SEO consists of a number of processes but at a very basic view SEO is just 4 simple steps.

  1. Research Keywords. Find a keyword that is relevant to your company and that lots of people are searching for each month. Avoid using generic terms such as ‘Builders’ instead use ‘Builders in London’.
  2. Research competitors. Find out who is currently ranking for this keyword. Read their content, how do they write? Is it good? What does their website look like?
  3. Create a piece of content around this keyword. Be it a quality blog post or a service page, just make sure that it is significantly better than what is currently ranking for the Keyword.
  4. Gather backlinks. Arguably the most difficult step. Make sure that they are relevant for this content and your business overall.

And that’s it.

Of course the actual implementation of this is a little more difficult but it is certainly nothing magical.

How to Rank Higher in Google. So how exactly does SEO work?

Well there are a few factors that search engines like Google, take into account when it comes to determining your rank. Google is a little secretive on what exactly these are, claiming to have over 200 hundred ranking factors. But luckily for us we know the ones that really make the difference.

1. Content

The specific content on a page is a huge factor in not only where it ranks but what it ranks for. If you want to rank higher this is where you need to start.

Google has what are known as bots. These are little pieces of programming that run around the web searching people’s websites. When you ‘Google’ something and head onto a website, you are not actually looking at the live internet but rather a indexed version made by Google. Google won’t tell us exactly how often these Bots crawl the web but we know that pages with higher ranks scores get crawled more often than those with a lower rank.

Content is so important, you can’t expect to write a boring post and still rank. You need to make sure that you are putting out quality interesting content. Things that your customer base want to know. People often ask me “How often should I blog?”. This not really the question they should be asking. How often you blog is irrelevant. I know people who blog once a week but never rank for a single thing and I know people who hardly blog once a month but rank highly every single time.

When writing make sure you have researched your keywords correctly. Try to answer a question. Make yourself the knowledge base in your industry and avoid selling yourself constantly. If you write quality content you are more likely to impress people and they may just give you an all important backlink.

People often complain that their job is too boring to write interesting content about, but I have never once found this to be true. While you may think this, your customers may not. They have questions about your job, about how you do it or even how to do it themselves. Don’t be afraid to tell people how to do it themselves. It proves you know what you are talking about. Studies have shown 74% of people who research how to complete a job themselves end up getting professional help in the end. Then when it comes to choosing that professional they are more likely to return to you.

Stand out as interesting, informative and overall knowledgeable.

2. Backlinks

Backlinks are hugely powerful. Backlinks are links coming for someone else’s site to your own. As I said the number and quality of backlinks are one of the main factors Google uses to determine your rank.

Search Engines looks at backlinks as a way to determine the quality of your site. As it stands to reason that a site pushing out high quality content is more likely to be linked to by others, than one that does not put the work in.

When it comes to backlinks there are two attributes they are given – DoFollow and NoFollow.

DoFollow

DoFollow links are followed by Search Engine bots and therefore can give power/authority to the site they lead to.

NoFollow

As the name suggest NoFollow links are not followed by Search Engines and so hold no SEO value.  All Social Media links are NoFollow.

You want to have more DoFollow links than NoFollow links. Of course there is different types of backlinks and each holds a different amount of power.

  • Top Level backlinks – These are backlinks from the home page of a website. These backlinks hold more power than those from secondary pages within a site.
  • .GOV backlinks – Any backlink coming for a website with the domain of .gov in the UK hold huge amounts of power as Search Engines know this is a government website and therefore their link holds a large amount of authoritative power.
  • Relevant site backlinks – These are arguably the most powerful backlinks of all. These are backlinks coming from sites that are within the same industry as you.

Whenever I run my SEO workshops I usually use this analogy for Relevant site backlinks:

There is a restaurant critic who runs an extremely popular food blog, he blogs high quality and high ranking content so his site hold a lot of authority. One night he goes out to a brand new restaurant and has a fantastic meal. He writes a blog about it and how much he enjoyed the meal, along with a link to the restaurants website. Because of his popularity and high rankings the link he gives to the restaurant will allow their ranking to improve greatly. Another day he has to take his car to the garage and the mechanic does a amazing job and fixes his car. He later writes a blog thanking the mechanic and adds a link to the garage website. Even though this link if from the same blog. This link will hold much less powerful than the link to the restaurant because it is not relevant to his site.

This is why the relevance of backlinks can make such a huge difference when it comes to ranking higher throughout the web.

For more SEO information check out the next part in the How To Rank Higher in Google Series – Where to Get Backlinks?  Or check out our Online Marketing page.

Why a ‘website coming soon’ holding page is not necessarily a good idea

Whether you are having a brand new website designed and your old one is down or you have yet to have a website put up at all you should never put out a ‘website coming soon’ page.

You might think that with your brand new all singing, all dancing site on its way it’s best to let your users know and put the old site out to pasture. But this is really not the case.

They destroy user experience

While your old site might be unattractive or simply awful to use, putting up this page is even worse. While your old site might be terrible it could still hold value, still allows your users to read a little about your or find your phone number etc.

But when users are instead dumped in front of a single page with just the words “Website coming soon!”, they grow frustrated. While those words may excite you, they certainly do not elicit the same feelings from your potential client.

Google doesn’t like it

Not only do they destroy user experience and add absolutely no value to your business whatsoever but they completely nuke your SEO.

Google will index this page of just three words and it will not be impressed. If you previously had a site full of content and now have a single page any rankings your held will not only fall through the floor but will be incredibly difficult to build back up again after the new site is finally launched.

Google wont care that the new site is much prettier than the last, it will only care that you had single empty page for so long and will penalise you for a long time after for that fact. You will have to start from zero all over again.

What about new companies?

There is the misconception that as a new company you need to put something up as soon as possible, to let people and search engines know you are now around, but this is not true at all.

A ‘Website coming soon’ page will simply not rank and would you really want to point any potential clients toward it anyway?

If you haven’t ever had a website before and the first sign of your company, Google sees is a practically empty page it will be none to pleased. You will rank at the bottom of page 5000 and even when the new site goes live you will be unlikely to move much from that place. To Google, not only are you brand new, but for months you had nothing but a single page, you are hardly going to be it’s most favourite website.

As a brand new company you may – maybe – could – might, get away with having a ‘coming soon’ page but it is hardly going to help you, your company or your rank. But if you are absolutely convinced you want on just make sure it is pointing towards your Social Media pages and that those pages are buzzing with useful content for your clients.

Latest Google Algorithm – 8th March 2017

Penguin is dead! Long live Fred!

“Fred” (Unconfirmed) — March 8, 2017

Google rolled out what appeared to be a major update on the 8th of March 201. Widespread reports were heard from across the SEO community of the impacts of this update, with many sites effected with huge crashes in their user ship and lost in website revenue.

Google Spokesman Gary Illyes jokingly refrred to the update as Fred in a Twitter exchange with SEO blogger Barry Schwartz, and from there the name stuck.

Based on the evidence and data taken taken from the most affected sites, it appears the update targets ad heavy or link heavy, low value content and affiliate sites.

Our Advice:

So keep your content relevant, useful and interesting.
Avoid having more than 5 outgoing links on each page unless absolutely necessary.
Don’t write about the same subject over and over, find new things to blog about.
Keep your site up to date,
But most importantly make sure your website is as appealing to users as possible.

All Hail Fred!

Not secure websites, SSL security certificate are becoming more important

This is a quick post to let you know about an important change that Google are making to their web browser Google Chrome. You may have noticed the new Not secure notice at the top of your browser in the url bar on some websites:

not-secure-1

Chrome’s latest updates adds the notice to all pages which have a login area, request passwords or take credit card details. Ultimately Chrome will show all websites as non-secure that don’t have a security certificate regardless of needing a password. Chrome is the most popular web browser with 73.7% of all web traffic being viewed on it but It’s quite likely that the other web browsers will also follow suit in the near future. You can read more about the change on Google’s blog.

not-secure-2

To secure your website and remove the Non-secure notice you will need to install an SSL security certificate.

What exactly is an SSL security certificate? I hear you ask. SSL certificates are little data files that connect a cryptographic key to an organisation. When installed an ssl security certificate activates the https:// at the beginning of your domain name and allows secure connections from a web server to browsers. Generally SSL is used to secure things like credit card transactions data transfer or logins, you often see them used on social media sites and when you make a payment via Paypal.

Websites without SSL security certificates will continue to work as normal but the non-secure notice may put people off of login in. Even though most eCommerce stores use payment gateways like Paypal which navigate clients away from your website to take payment on their own secure server and don’t store credit card or payment details on your server that nagging notice may put people off from getting that far. It will also effect membership site and blog comment login areas.

SSL security certificates normally cost around £30 a year +, however the non-profit Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) have started https://letsencrypt.org/ where you can get a free SSL security certificate.

You will need to make some alterations to the .htaccess file to force browsers to use the secure route and insure the site is only accessible through the secure gateway. You’ll also need to update the path to all media files and images throughout the site. When everything is done correctly your site will appear with a Secure notification and a little green padlock like this:

not-secure-3

If you’re interested in installing a security certificate for your website and would like our help we can manage the process for you for and are currently offering the service for a one of fee of £50 to our existing clients. If you’re not already one of our clients but would still like our help get in touch we’ll take a look at your site and quote you a one off fee.

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Does Your Website Sell Your Products?

Building a website that looks and feels great is only fraction of the purchasing process. Your online store has to give customers more than a few pretty web designs to look at before they are willing to cash out.

A website should create a sales funnel. This includes components that explain where shoppers need to go to find what they want and make it easy for them to get there. At every stop of the process regardless of which page they enter your online store.

Navigation is the first step to creating a user-friendly website. And this includes mobile users. Actually, your website has to be built specifically for mobile-users. Because Google says so.

Furthermore, websites need to rank high in search engines. Your online store therefore has to be user-friendly and encourage visitors to hang around and explore.

Before you can expect to sell your products or services, pages have to be relevant to the end-user’s search terms, provide content (information) that offers value and make you appear like a trustworthy firm.

Use eye-catching graphics

Email-logoA web design needs to look cool, but at the same time represent your brand. The colours and typography you choose are just as important as the images.
Visuals should ideally support the textual content on the page and communicate to customers. If you’re selling products, use high-quality images that make the product look appealing. Or at the very least, pique the viewer’s curiosity.

Product descriptions

Consumers want information about your product or services. Your product/service pages should therefore provide as much detail about the benefits of your product as possible. Customers want to know what they will get when they buy your product.

As a minimum, Google demand 300-words per page, otherwise it is treated as ‘thin content’ and tanked lower down the search engine results. In other words, buried.

An advantageous method of structuring content is to highlight the best features using bullets. Underneath the bullets, write short paragraphs with subheadings that describe the benefits.

Earning consumer trust

Websites might give your business visibility in the online world, but essentially you are still a faceless firm. And that makes it difficult for online shoppers to trust you will produce what you promise.

You will alleviate fears by providing customer testimonials – both on your site and on third party review sites if they are relevant to your business. Take advantage of third party reviews sites whenever possible.

You can take customer reviews one-step further by publishing a portfolio of your work (if you are in the creative field) or by writing case studies. You can do the latter in blogs and on a dedicated sales pages on your website.
The more credibility you earn with customers, the more you increase your chances of guiding them to the check-out. You will only be successful in making online sales if your website is geared to be a selling machine.

If you have already gone to the expense of building a website, don’t settle for a substandard design that does not sell. If you need to build a website, make sure you have the right elements in place and increase your chances of making a sale.

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7 Reasons why Online Marketing can benefit you

Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing, SEO, it all can seem to much when you already have a business to run and yet the importance of it all is growing more every day, as more and more potential clients head online to find the services they need.

If you’re unsure of what Online Marketing really is, or have already had bad experiences with it there are plenty of factors to consider before ignoring one of the largest growing digital industry entirely. To help, we at Clockwork Moggy thought we’d share a few of the top reasons we recommend every company big or small use Online Marketing.

1. Press You Control

As a business owner you have so many channels that you already own. Be it your own website through blog posts, Facebook post or Google reviews. All these channels give you the position to showcase the benefits of your services or products better than ever before.The ‘Press’ you create is followed by the customers who already love and trust your business making your post updates, discounts codes and major announcements made through social media even more effective.

2. Customer Support

This is the biggie for any modern company. Customer service is more important than ever. Now that clients from all over the world can see you, your business and your services at a click of the button. They expect you to communicate so much more. With properly managed social media not only are your customer able to ask you question about products and services but you are also able to ask them what they think about products, pricing or updates. It is a much more efficient way to communicate with you client base, after all Social Media is public so other potential clients can see just how helpful and friendly you can be. Besides responding to a Facebook comment or sending a tweet is far easier for clients than filling out questionnaire on their experiences.

3. Tracking your Competition

Spying. Okay so it’s not quite James Bond, but Online Marketing is a great way to keep an eye on what the competition in up to. The fact is, a modern customer is likely to look you up numerous times though hundreds of different channels before ever actually making contact with you. If you don’t have the right online assets the odds of them not only finding you but making a sale with you is next to none.
The trick of course that any Online Marketer will tell you is to launch campaign and makes sure you SEO is up to scratch and lastly make sure all your clients are giving you shining reviews everywhere they can.

4. Return on Investment

The return-on-investment for a full online marketing package is incredible. Most companies will charge you a few hundred pounds a month and for that you can spread your company’s brand reach to thousands more customers through organic Google search and Social Media, talk with leaders in your industry through blogs or LinkedIn and ultimately build up a stronger market base.

Better yet, online marketing can be monitored. This allows online Marketers to quickly move with the times and leave behind anything that is not working for you or your business. Allowing you not only see how effective your assets really are but also drop any that are not working.

5. Opportunities

Most company use a combination of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, blogging and the perfect search engine for them give their marketer more to work with than traditional advertising would. Allowing for more clients to see them, more clients to interact with them and therefore more opportunities at a sale.

6. Targeting your preferred Market

If you have a strong online presence across multiple platforms and a strong direction with your online marketing, you will be able to target specific groups of customers. Facebook and Google allows you to promote your business page to certain cities and demographics. Meaning the people most likely to buy from you are the people that are seeing your brand the most. Another reason why online marketing can have a much higher return on investment for smaller, local businesses than traditional marketing would.

7. Positive Brand Awareness

Lastly but probably the most important one of all, brand awareness. Businesses that have a strong online marketing strategy can position themselves higher up in search results in places that make a difference to their business, appear more professional to customers and fully reach out to the markets that really matter to them, all the while building a stronger brand.

We hope this helped explain the importance of online marketing for any modern business for more information or a help with your own online marketing, check out our service page or feel free to contact us.

Google Fix AMP Reporting in Analytics

Given Google’s intent to make the internet mobile-friendly, the company has been a long time fixing the reporting feature for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in Analytics.

However, the search engine giant has now announced an AMP filter has been added to Analytics so marketers can test the performance of all AMP pages on mobile devices.

Google did add an AMP filter to its free Search Console Analytics tool back in May. But strangely, the metric did not include the core results. It only reported on the lead stories that appear in the top carousel section.

Reporting on Top Stories only allows publishers to follow news stories, which made reporting on AMP pages practically useless for most marketers. The feature should yield better results now you can filter AMP article results across the board.

ampWhat is AMP?

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is an initiative led by Google to speed up load times for mobile phones users. Because many mobile handsets are not typically connected to fast internet connections, wait times increase.

One of the reasons a website loads slowly is because it has too much code. Every action, feature and graphic requires a code. These are programmed using either HTML, CSS or Javascript.

Whenever you visit a website, each code has to communicate with a server. So the more codes, the longer the communication takes. Hence, websites with a lot of codes take longer to load. In essence, codes disrupt to the performance of a website and negatively affect the user-experience.

To help avoid these problems, Google initiated the AMP Project which is an open source platform where developers can access stripped down HTML codes that do not require as much communication with servers. The result is faster loading websites.

Why do you need AMP?

Google ranks websites based on a number of metrics. Some of the most important metrics are user-engagement. Therefore, if visitors to your website are not hanging round and exploring your online store, search engines will determine you are not providing a good user-experience and rank you lower in search results.

Google says that over 50% of searches are performed using mobile handsets. This means there is over a 50 per cent chance your website will be performing slowly on mobile devices. And if it is, you compromise your ability to climb search results.

Furthermore, Google plans to introduce a mobile-first search index in the early part of 2017. The new directory will rank websites based on their performance on mobile phones rather than desktop PC’s.

This news is a forewarning to online businesses to ensure your website performs well on mobile handsets. And that includes using AMP codes to ensure your webpages load promptly on mobile handsets.

The switch to a mobile-first world will be disruptive. However, online businesses have little option other than to take prompt action – otherwise you risk losing the search engine standings you have worked so hard to build.

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