Unfamiliar with the term “interstitials”? They could be ruining your lead generation. In this article, we focus on Google Best Practices For a Business Blog.
Google Best Practices For a Business Blog
First things first: This is nowhere near a comprehensive guide to Business Blogging. There are books for that. OR you could hire the experts at Webit 101.
In this short guide, Webit 101 takes a look at Google Best Practices for a Business Blog. Here we look at the most important…
Top 5 Google Best Practices For a Business Blog
SEO – The primary reason most businesses blog, it to have that content show up in a Google search. So pay attention to the Page Title, Meta Descriptions, Keywords, Image Descriptions and Alt Tags, Header Tags, Categories, Page Tags, Authorship, Internal/ External Linking and more. For a complete take on SEO and Content Marketing see the Webit 101 Guide to Content Marketing.
Mobile Friendly – A blog post typically heads out to social media outlets, which means it’s more likely to be seen on a smartphone than a computer. It absolutely must be mobile-friendly per Google Best Practices. If not. you are spinning your wheels. You can test your page HERE.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words – It is easy for humans to see an image and comprehend exactly what it means, but it isn’t as simple for search engines.That’s where the Image Title, Alt Info and Description come into play. Plus, they help tell a story. In social media, it’s can boost your interaction by up to 600%. The same holds true on a business blog. Use images and video. Create a You Tube Channel for your business and link to that so it plays in your blog directly from You Tube.
Sharing – Sure, your website may have links to social media on your main “front” page. But what about your blog? Can someone just share your new business blog post to their favorite social media channel with one click? If not, again, you may be spinning your wheels needlessly,
Lastly, even the Google Webmaster Blog has an official page on Interstitials.
Just Say No! to Interstitials.
A little background – Over two years ago, Google began a mobile-friendly label to help users find pages where the text and content was readable without zooming and the tap targets were appropriately spaced. Additionally, in 2015, Google began using mobile friendliness as a ranking factor in search result pages.
On August 23, 2016, Google officially announced what observers have thought to be the case recently; interstitials are now a “negative ranking factor”.
Why is this?
What is an “Interstitial”?
Ever tap on a search result on your phone or tablet only to find just as you began to read the first sentence, the screen darkened and loaded a big fat ad asking you to download a mobile app, join a mailing list, follow on a social network, become a subscriber to something, etc.?
Recently we have seen many examples where these pages show intrusive interstitials to users. While the underlying content is present on the page and available to be indexed by Google, content may be visually obscured by an interstitial. This can frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content that they were expecting when they tapped on the search result.
Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. To improve the mobile search experience, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.
Here are some examples of techniques that make content less accessible to a user:
- Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
- Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
- Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.
So on a nutshell, if your website, or indexed blog post has non-compliant interstitials, you will be degraded in web searches. Yes, even the ones that load as users begin to scroll down the page. All that work on your blog, making the entire site mobile-friendly, creating content for Google to index, so you can get a leg up on your competitors — only to be knocked back in the rankings due to your interstitials.
Google also makes a point that they will not be degrading interstitials for cookie agreements, age verification or other “legal” issues, as well as smaller interstitials that take up much less space.