2018 has already started and many of the strategies for this year are surely defined or to be defined. So let’s review a bit what are the four things you have to take into account to be able to be in the vanguard at the SEO level in 2018.
Some of these things are not new since they started one or two years ago but they are gaining strength and relevance when it comes to putting together an SEO strategy. Namely, they are:
- Schema Markup
- Meta descriptions XL
- Load speed
Let’s go first.
AMP comes from Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is an initiative of Google that is already some years old but that during the end of 2017 evolved in a way that implies contemplating it for our SEO strategy.
To put it in simple terms, AMP is a light version of our mobile website. We say light because several of the resources that are used for this version of the pages are hosted by Google and because many of the resources that we are accustomed to use to build a page may not be available according to the AMP specification.
The idea of AMP is to be a lightweight and very fast version of our mobile site, with the aim of loading extremely fast. To do this, Google makes use of its CDN (Content Delivery Network) that stores resources and makes them available as quickly as possible. Even CACHE copies of these pages and prefectch are made so that when you touch the search result the experience is extremely fast.
We believe that this initiative is very important especially for e-commerce sites because we give the user a super-fast experience to access our site and be able to make a sale.
As an extra, in 2017 at the Google Summit in NY and they informed that AMP was going to expand in order to be used as Landing Page in the AdWords campaigns. This novelty has all the sense of the world and is something that was already announced as an official at the end of 2017.
We have been talking about Schema Markup for some time, but we can see that its adoption is quite slow. It may be because initially, it was cumbersome to have to edit the existing HTML in order to add these micro-labels. However, for some months now, it has been possible to implement it using a JSON, giving the same results but without having to put so many hands between the HTML tags of our pages.
The use of Schema Markup continues to be restricted to several verticals, although its possibilities are gradually widened. For e-commerce sites, news, recipes, movies, Schema Markup is an almost mandatory point.
By using Schema Markup we increase the chances that the search results will be “enriched” with more information, drawing more attention, improving the CTR of our organic ads and therefore, capturing more traffic.
SOME EXAMPLES OF SCHEMA MARKUP IN ACTION:
Meta descriptions XL
Historically, when optimizing the meta tags of a website, there was a rule that said that a meta description should not exceed 150-160 characters. With the design changes that the SERPs had, then that limit was not for quantity of characters but for the number of pixels.
But at the end of 2017, longer meta-descriptions were enabled in the SERPs, going from 150-160 characters (approx) to 270 characters (approx).
Nothing new under the sun. Google has long been obsessed with the loading speed of sites. That’s why initiatives like AMP arise, right?
On an average, a site takes more than 10 seconds to load on a mobile device in a few countries.
The speed of loading a site, especially mobile, is key to give a good user experience, generate more sales (or records or whatever the intended goal) and make the web channel, a real channel.
If a person enters a store and the seller is slow to serve you, that potential buyer is not only going to go without spending a penny but his experience with the brand will be undermined, causing him to lose interest in returning in the future.
This same experience is what you have to take care of on the websites. A slow site discourages sales.
And all this is key in the mobile world where everything has to be NOW, HERE and NOW. The patience (and its connection speed) of a user in a cell phone is much lower than that of a user sitting in front of his computer. That’s why you have to always test the website and your experience from the cell phone. A good way to test this is to use Google’s Test My Site that checks our website under a 3G connection (the most common) to see how long it takes to load and how much can be improved.
In SEO it is said that “Content is the King”. And we could not agree more. But you also have to remember that next to a king there is a queen, and in this case, it is the user’s experience.