2018 Google changes & new rules – time to review your business website?

While you may not be aware of it 2018 Google changes and GDPR issues have raised new issues which website owners need to be aware of.

Put bluntly, these changes could see your website losing search places to your competitors, which can impact on website traffic and ultimately sales, or result in a large fine.  We’ve summarised the major issues for business websites below:

GDPR rules

How GDPR rules affect your business website

While most of our customers already contacted us before the new rules came into force in May, and are now compliant, it’s worth a fresh mention.

If your website cookie policy is not GDPR compliant, the first thing you will hear is if someone complains.

If you aren’t sure whether your current policies and website notices are compliant, we will be happy to conduct a free check and let you know if any website changes are needed.

 

SEO – 2018 Google Changes affecting Website Rankings

2018 Google changes which can affect your business website rankings

Customers who track their website positions through our SEO service or another provider will be able to tell if the new changes are affecting them immediately, although chances are you won’t notice because our experts tend to work proactively.

However, most customers are not tracking their rankings and won’t notice any changes until sales and enquiries start to suffer.

The good news is that we understand the 2018 Google changes and know what to do about them.

The biggest 2018 Google changes which can potentially affect website rankings and traffic are:

Mobile responsiveness

in plain English, if your website won’t work as well on a mobile phone as it does on a desktop, your rankings are likely to fall.  Google aren’t being mean, it’s simply because 50-60% of all web searches worldwide are now done on a mobile device – Google don’t want to direct their customers to a site that doesn’t work well on mobile.

How to check your site for mobile responsiveness: 

You can test your site yourself on Google’s tool to see if you will be affected – click here.

SSL Certificates

SSL stands for secure socket layer, which is probably meaningless to the average user.  However, when you conduct online transactions, any computer in between you and the server can see your credit card numbers, usernames and passwords, and other sensitive information if it is not encrypted with an SSL certificate.  When an SSL certificate is used, the information becomes unreadable to everyone except for the server you are sending the information to.  If you don’t have an SSL certificate for your website, Google are starting to flag search results with the warning ‘not secure’ – definitely bad PR from a trusted search provider.

How to check if your site has an SSL certificate (h4)

If your site has SSL, your site address will be https:// instead of http://.

 

Google Images

The most recent update, which took place only in September, concerns optimising images on your website.  This makes things like image titles and alt tags have more relevance.  Google have, of course, done this to improve the relevance of image searches, however it seems to have a bigger influence on overall site rankings, too.

There isn’t an easy way to check this, however if you notice rankings are falling, ask to speak to our SEO team.

 

How to fix your website if it is affected by the 2018 Google changes

While all of these issues could affect your website ranking and performance, they are easy to fix by a website developer and we’ve helped hundreds of clients already.  It usually costs far less than you think and saves money in the long term.

Free website health check

We build websites with long-term business relationships in mind, and always look to support our customers where possible.

If you are short on time and would like us to give your website a free health check for these issues, please get in touch.   We’ll let you know if we find anything and give you peace of mind if we don’t.  Either way, the review is completely free and costs nothing.

To book your free review, please call us on 01656 773388 or contact us via our web form.  We’re here to help!