On Episode 1 of the Help Me Grow My Business Podcast, Localsearch Head of SEO Mike Andrew reveals how to know if your website has been affected by a Google Update.
With the (formerly May) June 2021 Google Page Experience Update fast approaching, Mike’s insights into how the update will impact your website, how to prepare and how to know if you’ve been impacted will help you tremendously.
Top 3 Ways to Know Your Website is Impacted by a Google Update
1. Web pages disappear from web results or drop in rankings.
For someone who isn’t experienced in search engine optimisation (SEO), the first sign your website has been impacted by a Google update is you’re not appearing in search engine results. There are tools which will show you this, but you can also do manual searches on a browser set to incognito if you believe this may be the cause of some of the signs your website is impacted by a Google update below.
2. Enquiries through your website drop-off.
If you’ve optimised your website correctly, there should be a number of ways for someone to contact you through your website, including through click-to-call, forms, live chat and more. Noticing a drop-off in enquiries through these methods from organic traffic is a clue your website isn’t appearing where it should or as much as it was in search results.
An easy way to keep track of enquiry methods is through a customer relationship management (CRM) system or by setting up conversion goals in Google Analytics. Conversion goals can be setup to show when someone performs a specific action, like clicking on a certain button or submitting a form.
3. Impressions in Google Search Console decline.
Mike advises you can (and should) add your website to Google Search Console, a free platform which tells you what the search engine thinks of your website. It can be difficult to navigate and tell what data you need to look at, but your impressions and impression-to-click ratio is something to be mindful of.
Impressions are when a web page from your website has been shown on search engine results. A click is when someone has clicked on that impression of one of your web pages on results for their query. If there is a change in how many impressions you’re receiving or the percentage of clicks to impressions, it could be a way to know your website has been impacted by a Google update.
What to Do If Your Website is Impacted by a Google Update
1. Perform a website audit or have one done.
The first thing you need to know if you believe your website has been impacted by a Google update is to find out why so you can create a plan of action. This will include needing to:
- Assess content quality, quantity and freshness.
- Check page speed and stability.
- Audit backend for unnecessary code.
- Analyse on-page elements, like pop-ups, images, etc.
If you do not have the time or knowledge to do this thoroughly, because there is a lot to consider, reach out to an SEO specialist.
2. Create a strategy.
Once you know why your website is impacted by a Google Update, you want to create a list of fixes and action them. This may include:
- Publishing and updating quality content regularly.
- Optimising your website to improve speed and stability, including working on images, code and more.
- Updating plug-ins.
- Ensuring SSL is current.
- Optimising the layout of the website for user experience.
3. Assess your results and repeat.
Ensuring your website isn’t impacted by Google updates is unfortunately a never-ending task. So, once you’ve implemented some changes, monitor your results and adjust as needed. Results can take time to be seen (sometimes 3 or more months), but by using evergreen strategies, you can help ensure your website doesn’t get impacted, and could even benefit from updates.
4. When in doubt, ask an SEO specialist.
Like not everyone can build a house, fix a car or do hair to perfection, not everyone can do SEO, or has the time to do so when running a business. This is why SEO specialists, like Mike Andrew at Localsearch, exist.
If you need help, our award-nominated SEO services at Localsearch are here to support you. Contact us for more information.