What Google wants, what Google Needs, whatever makes them happy and sets you free!
If you read that singing it like Christina Aguilera, then my work here is done. Listen, Google is going through some things. They have been for a while. They are narrowing their focus on users, not the entities that occupy their landscape. We like to call this the Google Experience. Why? Because we are basically at the mercy of Google and we need to obey.
Think about this from the perspective of these major companies. For the last however many years, Google has been sucking up Data like Daniel Day Lewis drinking up your milkshake.
Why is this important to them? Well, it helps improve their bottom line now and years into the future. Knowing what you like to buy, knowing the questions you have, and resources that you seem to gravitate the most towards to solve them. All in order to hyper-focus the absolute best options for each intent those users are making.
By doing this, Google solidifies themselves as the problem-solvers, millions and millions of people rely on each and every day.
Google loves to be secretive about this stuff, like the Caramilk freakin secret. So all of us who try to really dig deeper into the mix, there are usually mixed, split, and some pretty diverse ideas. Everything I am touching on in this article is simply my interpretation of what I believe. These interpretations are from years of testing and analyzing countless websites.
So if you own a local business, please read this and have a serious thought about what you need to do on this digital journey coming up.
Googles Shift to Page Experience
Years ago, your website could be a heap of trash, provide little to no value, but still be the shining light beacon in your town for whatever it is you are doing. RIP those years. RIP stuffing my pages with Keywords and calling it a day. RIP not having a mobile-friendly website.
Any idea why all of those things above are changing? Well, they all provide a pretty crappy experience. These shifts have been happening for a while, this isn’t a brand new thing. Each Google update sheds more light on the advancement of this focus on the experience.
Think about it like this, we have two restaurants, both are the same Italian diners, you order the same pasta at both places. Place A, it takes 25 more minutes than you were told to be seated, and when your cold pasta comes out, you pull a giant hair out of it. Yum….Place B, gets you in early, serves you free bread, food is prompt and it comes out piping hot. Most people are likely to pick B, I would hope anyway.
So think about this now with Google. All of these things above still apply but on a digital front. Think about these places as your website. I’m going to pick on Place A again here. So place A, serves you up an ugly site, with little to no information about what is you’re searching for, and takes forever to load.
Good experience, or bad experience?
Place B quickly gets information in front of the customer, has in-depth content that keeps them reading and, keeps them on your website. All while looking great, employing the right calls to action, and enriching the user experience. Impressed with such information, the customer then proceeds to take a look around. Maybe the about us page, or maybe your services pages.
It is critical now that these elements are correctly orchestrated on your website. Slow reactions to a user’s intent will crush your CTR’s and signal this terrible experience to the overlords. Check out this gif below, I mean this is straight from Google’s evaluating page experience for a better web
Why content will matter more than ever for Local SEO
So, we explained how things like usability will begin to wreak havoc everywhere. But we absolutely need to touch base on the core element on why that person came to your site in the first place. They have questions and they want answers now! It is such a simple idea but very few businesses are really looking at this element on their website.
Think about your local business for a moment, okay? Let’s say you are a landscaper. What are things people want to know that could be related to your business and your service offers? Cost? 10000%. Do they want to know about specific kinds of lawn maintenance? Definitely. Think about the questions someone might ask to find what it is your offer. If you can answer these on relevant pages, then provide more information that could extrapolate on that, then you are doing a phenomenal job by providing resources that definitely get noticed by that potential customer.
At this point through their journey, if you solve all those nagging questions, they are much more likely to reach out and talk about estimates, quotes and how to get started. That is a beautiful experience, no? They are happy, you are happy.
How to Tap Into The Google Experience Right Now
Great Content with User intent in mind = Longer page interactions, better bounce rates, and likely better click through rates. Ensure your site is quick and loads effectively. It doesn’t have the win the 100-meter dash but it should for sure be under 5 seconds. Some people will tell you it has to be a set time or else, but that isn’t what matters.
Google doesn’t have a stopwatch, but if the cause of the site being terribly slow, and the information not interesting enough for them to wait, then all of those signals I just mentioned are going to be bad news, and Google is going to start being aware of these poor experiences. Then it’s back of the line for you and your website.
Lastly, review your site on mobile and desktop, see if you can find any issues or discrepancies that could be hurting the experience. If a button doesn’t work, if a page is loading really bad on your phone. It is time to clean up the issues now and get things in line.
So this is where I believe we are heading ladies and gentlemen. There isn’t much we can do to change it, we can only go with the flow. So if you are someone that values this, then you know it’s time to take action if you haven’t already. Building your positive user experience now is something that will set your business up for future success and longevity in the digital world. If you would like to discuss your journey and the steps you need to take to get onto the right path, contact our local SEO Experts, and book your free discovery call!
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