Want to find the best SEO companies in New York City?
You’re on the right page. Our independent rankings give you the lowdown on which agencies are the best in the City and why.
We base our rankings on verifiable data that’s in the public domain, so you can be sure you’re getting transparent information. Having collated and analyzed the data, we make it easy for you to find the right SEO agency for your business.
Our ranking criteria are listed below, so you can see how our top 10 have earned their places. In the meantime, take a look at the SEO companies in New York City that can put your business on the map.
Top 10 Best New York City SEO Companies for 2020
- Main Street ROI (28 points)
- SEO Services New York (25 points)
- Mimvi SEO LLC (25 points)
- Ironpaper Marketing (24 points)
- Path Interactive (22 points)
- Sure Oak (22 points)
- Mindsaw (22 points)
- Top Notch Dezigns (21 points)
- Four Dots (21 points)
- HTML Pro (21 points)
1. Main Street ROI – Award-Wining New York SEO company
High domain authority and over 250 outstanding reviews ensure Main Street ROI pip competitors to the post when it comes to being crowned the best SEO company in New York City 2020. Based in Chelsea, the firm specializes in working with small businesses and delivering local SEO services.
If you’re a startup or a growing business based in NYC, it’s well worth taking a look at what Main Street ROI can offer. Active since 2010 and a verified Google Premier Partner, their mission is to ‘help small businesses thrive, regardless of their budgets’.
As well as providing search engine optimization this digital marketing agency, pay per click Google ads, Facebook ads, social media marketing, and web development. Main Street ROI has an educational element to its SEO strategy too. You can enroll in courses, read eBooks, view webinars, and take part in masterclasses if you want to learn more about using digital marketing to help your business succeed.
Committed to helping small businesses triumph, monthly SEO fees start at $500, although you can opt for a one-off SEO audit for $300. With custom strategies and budgets this New York SEO firm wants to make sure, businesses across all industries can find valuable guidance and support in search results with Main Street ROI.
2. SEO Services New York, NY
Founded in 2009, SEO Services New York has 113 SEO campaigns to its name and has attracted interest from Clutch, Agency Spotter, and TDA, amongst others. Having received an array of awards, it’s no surprise to see them securing the #2 spot in our rankings.
Despite having a relatively low number of do-follow links pointing towards the site, their stellar reviews and impressive total traffic figures ensure SEO Services New York remains one of the best SEO companies in New York City.
Delivering PPC, SEO, content marketing, and consultancy and training, you can outsource your digital marketing services to their in-house team or request that they share their expertise with your own staff. Ideal for businesses of any size, SEO Services New York is based in the City but works with local, national, and international brands.
3. Mimvi SEO LLC – Years of Experience to Boost Conversion Rates
Delivering ‘SEO That Works’, Mimvi SEO features highly in our rankings due to the combination of moderately high domain authority, a decent number of do-follow links, fast page speeds, excellent site security, and positive feedback from their clients.
Potential clients can benefit from an SEO audit, so it’s a great opportunity to gain feedback from their in-house team and decide whether their strategies are right for you. Guiding clients through website design, SEO, pay per click ad campaigns, and online reputation management, they offer a comprehensive range of services that can benefit any business.
With a heavy emphasis on local SEO, Mimvi SEO positions themselves as specialists within the NYC and Long Island regions. For brands based within these areas or businesses that want to target these geographical locations, Mimvi could be the ideal growth partner. If you are a business owner looking for an effective marketing strategy or web development, or e-commerce SEO campaign click the “contact us” link on their website.
4. Ironpaper Marketing – Online Presence in Organic Search Results
Specializing in SEO, Ironpaper Marketing is a full-service agency that can complement effective SEO with a range of other services. From content marketing and lead generation to web design and conversion optimization, you can access everything you need to grow your business under one roof.
Their in-house team of marketers, analysts, engineers, and writers focus on Analytics, Agility, and Action to secure results on behalf of clients. Finessing the customer’s journey by aligning sales and marketing strategies, a data-driven approach is behind every decision made and every action taken.
Founded by Jonathan Franchell in 2003, the team now consists of over 30 in-house specialists working from two locations: NYC and Charlotte. Having achieved a 3000% lead increase for a B2B company, a 716% quarter on quarter increase in qualified leads for a telecom management firm, and a 500% increase in sales for a non-profit organization, it’s clear Ironpaper Marketing offers impressive results across a range of sectors.
Clocking in with the highest domain authority in our top 10, a high rate of traffic, and a staggering number of do-follow links, they’ve certainly earned the right to be classed as one of the best SEO companies in New York City.
5. Path Interactive – Premier New York SEO Services
If you’re looking for an SEO company with credentials, Path Interactive will catch your eye. As well as being a Google Premier Partner, the firm is a Bing Ads Accredited Professional and a Facebook Marketing Partner, as well as being accredited with Salesforce, Marin Software, and Conductor.
Furthermore, members of their management team deliver industry-leading education via the New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies. In addition to this, Path Interactive delivers corporate training programs in social media and SEO, so you can ensure your own in-house team shares their skills, talents, and expertise.
With so many strings to their bow, it’s easy to see why Path Interactive is recognized as one of the best SEO companies in New York City. As a full-service firm, they offer SEO; paid search; display and digital media; social media; creative strategy, design and development; analytics, and Amazon marketing services.
6. Sure Oak – SEO Expert Help & Organic Search Results
Also securing their place in the rankings with 22 points, Sure Oak positions themselves as ‘A New York SEO Agency for Bold Dreamers’. Located in the Flatiron District, Sure Oak offers a wide range of SEO services. From technical audits and advanced keyword research to competitor analysis, content optimization, and link building; everything you need to improve your Google rankings if offered in-house as part of their SEO package.
With case studies reporting 582% growth in organic traffic via link building and on-site optimization, page 1 rankings for 17 competitive terms for one client, and a 538% increase in organic traffic in just two months, new clients can look forward to the same level of service and comparable results.
However, you don’t have to become a fully paid-up customer to see what Sure Oak can offer. The feature free SEO tools on their website, so you can analyze your web pages, check your domain authority, and generate meta tags to gain more insight into your current rankings and what you need to do to improve them.
7. Mindsaw – Marketing Efforts for Your Brand Awareness
Another agency that achieved 22 points in our unbiased rankings is Mindsaw. Committed to ‘Helping Your Business Grow’ Mindsaw fall somewhere between a bespoke SEO agency and a full-service firm. In addition to their top-level SEO services, you can rely on their in-house team for logo design, video marketing, website design, and social media marketing.
In addition to this, Mindsaw offers dedicated local SEO services and packages aimed at small businesses. If you want to grow your company or are targeting particular geographical locations, these specialisms could help you to achieve your goals in a relatively short amount of time.
In terms of our own rankings, Mindsaw earned its place with stellar on-site SEO, respectably high domain authority, and an array of outstanding client reviews. If you’re eager to see why so many clients rate them highly, they offer a free telephone consultation, so you can find out more without being put under any pressure.
8. Top Notch Dezigns – New York City-Based Marketing Agency
Taking a multi-channel approach to digital marketing, Top Notch Dezigns is a full-service agency that aims to optimize conversions and gain brand loyalty. Using SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, link building, user experience optimization, pay per click, and content marketing, their work is carefully monitored, measured, and analyzed to keep every business owner updated every step of the way.
Founded in 2004, the firm has over 15 years’ experience in the industry and has expanded its services to provide top quality digital marketing to a range of clients. Hailed as a Top Web Designer by Clutch in 2018 and receiving three awards from Design Rush in the same year, Top Notch Dezigns has also been a winning recipient as the Davey Awards.
Whether you’re looking for branding, app and web development, web design, or pure SEO, their range of services ensures they’re well-placed to provide the expertise, tools, and talent your business needs.
9. Four Dots – Search Engine Optimization in New York, NY
Receiving 21 points in our rankings, Four Dots specializes in helping small to medium-sized businesses attract wider audiences and increase their online exposure. With over 60 in-house specialists, the agency has content creators, strategists, and technical experts on hand to create effective campaigns on behalf of their clients.
Their SEO services include blogger outreach engagement, backlink analysis, and Google penalty removal. This is complemented by a range of additional services, including online reputation management, PPC ad management, website design, and content creation.
Offering free SEM tools and their very own Academy, Four Dots don’t just provide you with great results; they give you the knowledge, tools, and expertise you need to achieve them yourself.
10. HTML Pro – Web design and New York SEO Services
As HTML Pro slides into our top 10 also receiving 21 points, it’s clear just how much competition there is amongst the best SEO companies in New York City 2020. As the name suggests, HTML Pro is predominantly a web design and development agency, although they’ve broadened their specialties to include a range of other services.
In addition to SEO, they provide social media marketing, paid advertising, graphic design, app development, and a range of IT solutions. If you’re looking for an agency who can design, create, and maintain your website, they might be a good fit for you.
As well as being an accredited Google Partner, HTML Pro is an UpCity Certified Partner and Shopify Partner, so you can rely on their credentials when it comes to boosting your Google rankings and performance.
With dedicated services for small businesses and a range of on and off-page SEO tools at their disposal, HMTL Pro offers all the web, IT, and SEO solutions a company could need.
To ensure our rankings are independent, unbiased, and verifiable, we use data that are available to the public to collate a score for each company. Assessing elements that have an impact on rankings, we look at six broad categories and give each company a score of 1-5 for each category.
The elements used within each category include:
- Loading speeds
- Domain authority
- Number of Google reviews
- Average Google review score
- Site security
- Whether the website is mobile-friendly
- Total traffic to the site
- Number of do-follow links pointing to the site
Once each element has been analyzed and every category is given a score, companies can achieve a possible total of 30 points. As you can see, our top SEO company in New York City soared to the top of our rankings with an impressive 28 out of 30 points.
Start sending inquiries today
If you’re looking for the best SEO companies in New York City, this list gives you a great place to start. In a digital era, finding the right partner to increase your online profile is essential. With so many companies claiming to deliver great results, it’s crucial to find an SEO agency that can do what it claims.
To find the best fit for your brand, take a look at what each company offers, review their case studies, and get in touch to determine which ones can offer your business the best results.
40 + AMAZING Email Marketing Statistics (for 2020)
Do you want to get an overview of what is happening in email marketing right now? Do you yearn to discover what types of emails are most successful, and what the future holds for this marketing type?
Well, then you have come to the right place. Indeed, below you will find statistics on each of the following categories:
- Email marketing and customer engagement
- The impact of emails on conversion rates
- The use of emails in customer support
- Whether customers prefer email to other forms of communications
- The future of email marketing
You’ll also find a brief introduction and summary on each section and a final summing up at the end. So what are you waiting for? Roll your sleeves up, crack your brain open, and get into some seriously sexy email stats!
1. Email Usage & Engagement
Anyone telling you that social media has killed off email marketing is sorely mistaken. Indeed, with so much potential to nurture relationships with customers and acquire new ones, email marketing is most definitely still alive and kicking.
Oh, and did you know that email marking is one of the most cost-effective kinds there is? Something that makes it pretty much vital to any successful and on-budget marketing campaign. Yep, that’s right email most definitely still holds its own in the world of marketing, and you can see there are plenty of stats to prove it below:
- 3.9 billion globally used email in 2019 (Statista).
- Global email users will grow to 4.3 billion by 2023 (Statista).
- In only 2019, 293.6 billion emails were sent and received per day. (Statista).
- It is expected that the number of sent and received emails will grow to over 347.3 billion daily emails in 2022 (Statista).
- Welcome emails get opened 82% on average (GetResponse).
- You can boost orders by 69% by sending three abandoned cart emails. (Omnisend).
- 35% of marketers send customers between 3-5 emails every week. (Not Another State of Marketing)
- Over the last year, 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement (Not Another State of Marketing, 2020)
- 31% of B2B marketers report email newsletters are the top way to nurture leads. (Content Marketing Institute, 2020)
- Over 350 million dollars was spent on email advertising in the US in 2019. (Statista, 2019)
2. Email & Customer Support
There is plenty of noise about live chat and chatbots in the customer service sector right now. However, before you swap all of your customer service provision across to these tools, it may be worth taking a pause. The reason being that the stats show users still want to communicate, interact, and solve their problems via email. Indeed, email is an essential part of the customer service process. Just check out the stats below that prove it!
- Email remains the most used digital customer service channel, with 54% of customers using email customer service in 2019. (Forrester)
- Response within the hour is what customers expect when they send an email to a business. (Toister Performance Solution).
- 62% of customers want to use email to communicate with a business. Beating phone, live chat, and contact forms (HubSpot Research)
- 57% of customers prefer to contact companies via digital media such as email or social media rather than use voice-based customer support. (Ameyo)
- 45% of executives with web or mobile self-service capabilities report noticeable reductions in phone inquiries, and 39% report less email traffic. (Information Today)
- 81% of retail businesses say reply on email for customer acquisition (Emarsys)
- 80% of retail businesses depend on email for customer retention. (Emarsys)
3. Email & Conversion Rates
While conversion rates for email marketing may not be quite as high as in 2018, the figures and the ROIs show that the email approach is still successful, a great deal of the time. Of course, a more targeted approach is preferable here, with triggered and segmented emails doing best.
- The average email conversion rate was highest in 2018 at 18.49%. (Barilliance)
- In 2020, the average email conversion rate remains high at 15.11% conversion in 2020. (Barilliance)
- Emails accounted for 19.8% of all transactions. Only paid search (19.9%) and organic traffic (21.8%) did better. (Custora E-Commerce Pulse)
- 306% higher click-through rate is what you can expect from Triggered Email Campaigns– vs. non-triggered emails. (Barilliance)
- 36% of total email revenue comes from segmented emails. (Barilliance)
- For every $1 invested, you can expect an average email ROI of $38. That is a 3,800% increase. (Barilliance)
- B2C marketers using automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50%. – (eMarketer)
- Conversion rates are used by 60% of marketers to evaluate an email’s effectiveness. – (DMA)
- Click-through rates can be raised by an average of 14% (and conversions by an average of 10%) by using personalized email messages – (Aberdeen.)
- Email has the highest conversion rate (66%) for purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message – (DMA)
- Conversion rates rise by 28% when a call to action button rather than a text link is included in an email. (Campaign Monitor)
4.Consumer Preferences With Email
Do customers like emails from your business? That is the critical question here. After all, you won’t want to send them if they will do more harm than good. Of course, the stats show that emails are still a very welcome form of communication from the users’ point of view and that they are associated with a range of other benefits as well, as you can see from the info below.
- 80% of respondents said email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention. (eMarketer)
- The type of email with the best customer response rate is Email My Cart at 22.64%. (Barilliance)
- 43% of consumers will choose whether to open an email based on who sends it. (MailChimp)
- 43% of email users will report spam if they don’t recognize the senders’ name or email address. (MailChimp)
- First thing in the morning is the most popular time for consumers to check their emails, with a whopping 58% doing so. (Optinmonster)
- 60% of consumers prefer email over any other promotional channel. (Optinmonster)
- Users check their emails for deals from brands at a rate of 44%. (Optinmonster)
- After receiving a marketing email, 60% of consumers have made a purchase. (Optinmonster)
- Consumers hope for rewards when signing up for marketing emails at a rate of 85%. (Disruptive Advertising)
- Users open 40% of all cart abandonment (SaleCycle)
5. Email Forecasts & Predictions
What does the future hold for email marketing? Well, the answer, as you can see from the numbers below, is many things, including an overall rise in email daily usage. More personalization and better targeting are likely too. At the same time, marketers are likely to show more respect for customer privacy. Perhaps most notably, email marketing shows the potential further to increase business ROI by a massive 22%!
- By the end of 2022, over 347 billion emails per day will be sent and received. by the end of 2022. (Statista)
- By 2023 global email use is predicted to reach 4.4 billion. (Statista)
- By 2021 email clients such as Gmail will readily accept video, and it will be commonly used for email marketing. (Jarrang)
- Expect to see an increase of personalized images in emails in 2021, such as live-data weather reports. (Jarrang)
- Hyper-targeted emails will become the norm. (Campaignmonitor)
- Interactivity and animation are set to become the next significant trend in email marketing. Designmodo
- In the coming years, marketers will focus more on subscribers’ privacy, embracing privacy laws like GDPR or CCPA (Litmus)
- In 2020 and beyond, email personalization and segmentation will be increased and boost ROI up to 22%. (Litmus)
Despite the rise of newer forms of marketing, emails still have an essential role to play. Indeed, they continue to promote engagement in healthy numbers. Not to mention that they help to foster quality connections with potential customers.
Customers also prefer email contact when it comes to customer service, which is, of course, a massively important aspect of customer retention that shouldn’t be ignored. Indeed, providing the most positive experience for your customers by communicating with them in the form they choose is just good business. The reason being that you are much more likely to be able to present them with additional buying opportunities later on.
Target and segmented email continue to show excellent promise for high rates of conversions too. This means that if it’s an effective marketing strategy you are looking for, email is the answer.
Customers also continue to like emails over most other forms of communications. That they continue to open and respond to them, and they enjoy deals and rewards delivered via email. However, privacy is a significant concern for most users, and businesses need to respect this if they are to optimize their email marketing results.
Finally, things seem bright regarding what we can expect from email marketing in the future. Indeed, we can expect developments such as integrated video and personalized images to be commonplace, which will only make email marketing even more effective than it already is!
Role of featured snippets in website traffic boost
- Featured snippets account for a 35.1% share of all clicks.
- The featured snippet and knowledge panel SERP give a better click-through rate together.
- Users click on featured snippets that seem “informative”.
- Users who prefer the regular search results listings don’t click on featured snippets.
- “People also ask” boxes are an unpopular choice showing the lowest amount of clicks.
- 24% of users consider a featured snippet as an ‘Ad’ and don’t click on it.
Featured snippets are probably the first thing people see when they perform a search query. Acquiring the position ‘zero’ on the SERPs, the featured snippets dominate the page and immediately capture the attention of the viewer.
However, does it make an impact on the visitor? Do the featured snippets get more clicks when compared to the top results? How does the audience perceive them?
To answer these questions and more, we at Engine Scout recently conducted a study and analyzed how featured snippets influence searchers’ behavior and overall experience.
The methodology applied for the featured snippet study
In our study on featured snippets, we collected data from 3552 testers, who were asked to look at four different SERPs with snippets. They were required to make a search on Google related to a specific keyword and make a selection from the results.
To collect an unbiased opinion, featured snippets were not mentioned anywhere in the survey.
There were three choices for the testers to choose from: Ads, featured snippets, and regular result listing.
They were later asked which section they clicked on to estimate the Click-through rate (CTR).
What is a featured snippet and how does it boost website traffic?
The featured snippet is a summarized extract from a post that answers the user’s ‘search query‘ most accurately. It is placed above all the Google search result listings, occupying position zero.
This means no matter what your website’s ranking for a certain post if Google chooses a featured snippet from your post, it will appear on the top.
According to Ahrefs, it is 99.58% true that Google will only consider your content for a featured snippet if it is already ranking on Page #1. The other 0.42% pages that Google considers account for their ‘People also ask’ box SERP feature. This feature only receives a total of 6% click shares, for the same reason.
The ‘concise and direct‘ nature of these featured snippets motivates users to click on them. According to our study, they account for 35.1% of all clicks which translates to getting ‘extra traffic‘ to your website.
Optimizing a post to rank for a featured snippet can be tricky. Any content can be worthy of becoming a ‘Featured-Snippet,’ including a paragraph, a list, table, or even a video.
Try these three quick strategies to win more featured snippets that get clicks to your website.
1. Include direct answers to a search query in a paragraph snippet
Paragraph snippets account for 82% of the total featured snippets.
These snippets give the most relevant response to a query in a paragraph form. They usually also display a pertinent image alongside or above the text.
Here is an example of how Google shows a paragraph snippet when asked about ‘What is SERP?‘
2. Make the best use of keywords in your paragraph
Attaining the first rank in Google for a keyword requires quite an effort.
Enriching your optimized content for featured snippets with the right keywords increases your chances of that ‘Position Zero‘ in the SERP.
Try to include question-oriented keywords in your content. People find search results with keywords resonating with their question as “trustworthy” and “informative.” This is the primary reason why they prefer a featured snippet over all other organic results.
Take a close look at your competitor’s featured snippets for some inspiration. Make a list of keywords that have triggered a featured snippet for them, and make your content surrounded by these keywords.
Several online tools can lessen your workload by retrieving information and keywords from the competition’s snippets. You can use them if you find it time-consuming to manually optimize your content for featured snippets.
3. Include a knowledge panel in your content marketing strategy
A box with information relevant to a search query appearing on SERP’s right panel is called a Knowledge Panel.
It only appears when the search is about an entity, for example, business, person, or location. The information inside this box lets the reader know about the entity and gives them a way to reach out to it.
Featured snippet alone offers a close competition to the organic listing for the total click share.
But pages ranking for both the featured snippet and the knowledge panel outperform the organic listings for the CTR. A double featured snippet leaves behind the CTR of organic listings, getting 42.1% of the total click share.
Therefore, it is an added benefit if you strategize your featured snippet to trigger a knowledge panel.
For reference, check out this post to see how Gennaro Cuofano structured his featured snippet with his Amazon author page reference. Google considered this reference and used it to display a knowledge panel alongside his featured snippet.
The other side of the story
Featured snippets can sometimes work opposite to their intent.
According to our study, 24% of users confuse featured snippets for Ads.
Therefore, merely optimizing content to target the featured snippet doesn’t ensure a high CTR.
Google keeps altering its interface to make the Ad label on the paid search results barely noticeable.
As featured snippets also acquire the top position on SERPs, it is very natural for someone to get confused and not click them.
According to Dr. Pete Meyers, the Marketing Scientist at Moz:
“The lesson for SEOs is that we can’t just target a feature — we need to understand query intent, what our buyers expect from that feature, and how they perceive that feature.”
Try to make your content look like a straightforward, quick answer to a query with images for references to appear very different from an ad.
Google introduced the featured snippet to make it easy for searchers to find relevant answers quickly. With voice search technology becoming a common search tool for half of the smartphone users, featured snippets catered to the trend and enabled users to read the answer out loud.
To make Google identify your content worthy to pick snippets from, you have to optimize your content so it’s relevant and appropriate for voice search SEO, so it helps to bring in more traffic to your site.
What you need to know and five steps to prepare for 2021
- Google page experience metric goes live in 2021.
- Rewarding pages that offer a better user experience.
- The signal measures a site’s performance, security, and mobile-friendliness.
- To prepare for 2021, get a fast web hosting service, optimize your content for mobile users, and install security measures (firewall, SSL, etc.).
- Avoid pop-ups and whole screen banners that restrict the visitors’ access to content.
The newest search ranking benchmark that’s cooking in Google’s development lab is the Google page experience metric.
In short, this upcoming metric aims to measure (and rank) the overall responsiveness and user experience of websites that show up in Google’s search results.
Google plans to introduce this metric alongside the current ranking factors. However, there isn’t an exact date announced when this metric goes live.
As Google’s developers officially state in their blog:
“The ranking changes [Google page experience] described in this post will not happen before next year , and we will provide at least six months notice before they’re rolled out.”
You still have plenty of time to react. However, we suggest planning ahead and implementing some of the best practices as soon as possible.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect from this ranking update and how you can prepare your site from the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) perspective.
Elements of the Google page experience metric
Google is mainly building the new metric upon the Core Web Vitals that their Chrome team launched earlier this year.
The overall goal with Google’s page experience metric is to ensure the Google Search users are getting a mobile-friendly, safe, and straightforward browsing experience.
Let’s look at each element that contributes to the page experience metric.
1. Core Web Vitals
Google developed the Core Web Vitals because the average user enjoys fast and seamless web surfing. They also created a Chrome User Experience Report, which you can use to evaluate your site’s current performance according to these signals.
The Core Web Vitals consist of three separate signals:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – quickness of the largest content piece’s loading time.
- First Input Delay (FID) – responsiveness to the user’s clicking, scrolling, and typing.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – visual stability of the page.
To tick a box in each of these signals, your pages’ LCP should be below 2.5 seconds, FID below 100ms and the CLS score less than 0.1.
2. Mobile-friendly site
Google already favors sites that are optimized for mobile users, and rightfully so.
Research conducted by Statista reveals that there are an estimated 3.5 billion smartphone users this year, with this number growing to 3.8 billion in 2021. It’s safe to say that sites that aren’t mobile-optimized will miss a lot of traffic.
Therefore, it makes sense that Google only wants their search to display mobile-friendly sites.
Google puts a lot of emphasis on security and weeding out potentially harmful sites from their search results. After all, if the top search results harm users, it won’t look good on Google at all.
One of the signals with the upcoming page experience metric concludes if the indexed site contains any malicious or deceptive content. Some straightforward examples are malware, spyware, social engineering scams, and false information.
To get a sense of how this works, check out Google’s Security Issues report. You can also scan your website to see if any issues pop up at this time.
Following the security topic, Google also prefers secure sites with a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. Visibly, the difference is between http:// and https:// (where the latter is SSL secured) in the website’s URL.
The SSL certificate’s job is to encrypt any data that travels between the user and the servers. Even if a cyber attack occurs, the hackers are unlikely to make sense of the data.
If you’ve used the Chrome browser, then you might have come across a security warning with a suggestion that the connection is not secure. This is mainly due to the site missing an SSL certificate.
5. No intrusive interstitials
Last but not least, Google aims to punish sites that aggressively keep the visitors away from quickly accessing the content they are looking for in the first place.
The main culprits here are the pop-ups that cover the entire screen, are difficult to dismiss, or keep popping up while consuming the content.
However, disclaimers, cookie usage information, age-sensitive content confirmations, login dialogs, and reasonably sized banners aren’t going to affect your ranking.
Five steps to optimize your site for 2021
Google’s new page experience metric isn’t going to substitute the current ranking elements. It becomes an additional ranking factor, but the most essential part from an SEO perspective is still the quality of the content.
Still, since the page experience metric IS going to affect the ranking results, it’s a great idea to know what you can do to prepare.
Here are a few steps you can take to get your site ready for 2021.
1. Get an excellent web hosting service
Your site’s performance is already one of the key ranking factors today. Either you have a server in-house or using a hosting service, it’s wise to make sure your site is fast and responsive.
You can analyze your site’s responsiveness with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool or use a website performance monitoring tool such as Pingdom.
Additionally, you can check out sites that gather and share performance data on web hosting providers.
2. Keep your page’s size lite
Images go hand-in-hand with today’s websites. However, overstuffing your web pages with visual content is going to make your site slow.
There are a few ways to approach this problem, depending on the nature of your site.
You can optimize your images and make them weigh less by using an image compressor such as ImageOptim. If your page is already content-heavy, consider spreading the largest items to multiple pages within your site.
Alternatively, you can use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) such as CloudFlare to cache your content closer to the visitor’s access point.
3. Optimize your site for mobile
As we proved earlier, the world is heading rapidly to mobile. It’s not enough for your users to access your content with their smartphones; they also expect your site to adjust to the smaller screens.
Therefore, your site needs to be mobile-optimized.
The good news is that most modern website creation platforms, such as WordPress, already have mobile-friendly templates that don’t require extra coding efforts.
You can quickly test if your site is mobile-responsive by using Google’s Mobile-Friendly testing tool.
4. Install security measures
Website security definitely deserves a separate article to cover all the bases, but let’s only focus on Google’s perspective.
First, don’t knowingly add any malicious scripts or deceptive content to your website.
Secondly, protect your site from malware and other hacking attempts by adding a firewall. While it’s not clear yet if Google will check your site for a firewall, you should have one in place either way.
And finally, install an SSL certificate that encrypts your data since Google is already keeping tabs on if a site is secure or not. However, most of the modern hosting services already include an SSL certificate with their plans.
Overall, investing in website security is worth it for peace of mind and from the SEO perspective.
5. Tone down or remove large pop-up banners
Google considers anything that keeps its users from accessing the content they search for as a nuisance.
Therefore, a piece of straightforward advice – don’t put a giant banner on your site. Make the promotion more subtle, and you won’t have any problems with Google.
As a reminder, cookie information, age-restriction policies, and login dialogs are the exceptions. Although, please don’t go overboard with these either for the sake of user experience.
Google’s page experience metric will become one of the search ranking signals in 2021, but there isn’t an exact launch date yet.
Still, you can start preparing your site for the upcoming changes. Even if it’s unclear how much weight this new metric has on the search results, offering your visitors a great user experience is a substantial value on its own.
Start by testing your site’s performance, security, and mobile-friendliness. The results give you a pretty good idea of what to tweak and add to your site.
However, remember that the most important ranking factor is still the quality of the content.
Gert Svaiko is a professional copywriter and mainly works with digital marketing companies in the US and EU. You can reach him on LinkedIn.
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