Web Design  and Search Engine Optimization in 2020

After an extremely busy autumn building many new sites and helping companies, we’re heading away for a break just before we head into the holiday season. 

I started thinking about how our website design and search engine optimization business has changed, and how website design and search engine optimization has changed and what is in store for 2020.

From the 30,000 foot level, (which is where I am as I write this ) both website design and search engine optimization have gone mobile, in a major way.

What's New About Web Design and SEO in 2020

What I mean is, mobile-enabled websites have become critical this year, and I do mean critical.

People are spending more and more time on mobile platforms. And when they do, they are viewing and watching things, listening to things like music or podcasts, communicating with others, looking at maps (usually Google’s or Apple’s), buying products, reviewing products, services, restaurants, and other businesses.

Take a look around as you walk along a city street. Probably more than half the people you see, have a phone in their hands.

Tablets are also huge. My wife, just as an example, has her iPad open throughout the evening as we’re watching TV, and I usually have my Chromebook open as well.

That’s just reality as we’re heading into 2020.

So having your website design, not just mobile-friendly, but mobile-beautiful just makes sense for any company or organization. It’s where more than half of the viewers are. And Google is taking it very seriously.

Another interesting development is how Google is embracing, maybe even “enforcing” mobile web design.

If you go to Google Maps (Google My Business) and search for a business, usually you’ll get the business listing showing up with information like name, address, phone number, custome reviews, hours of operation etc.

Most companies that pay attention to their listing, also put their website on the Google My Business listing.

It used to be when you clicked on that link, google would immediately transfer the person over to that website, and you’d leave the map, and see the entire website.

Now what they are doing, if people are on a mobile device,  they are showing a smaller popup with a mini page of the website, and the actual map still active in the background.

Here's an example of what our site looks like when on an iPad, and clicking the domain name from Google My Business – Maps. The full screen is the actual iPad screen, but you see that the website is presented in a mini window overlayed above the map and the Google My Business list. And you can scroll down through the site.

Our site is optimized for mobile so it displays pretty well.

If your website is mobile-friendly, it will look good. If it’s not, it will be compressed into that small window, and won’t be that good to look at.  

We recommend you look at your own site on a mobile phone, to get an idea of how it will display.

So think about that. Everyone that's on a mobile device that goes to your link via the Google My Business map listing will see your site, whether good or bad, in a smaller than normal, mini pop up window presented over the map.

So you better make it mobile-friendly, or what we do, which is making them “mobile beautiful”

This massive change, is also why google penalizes your website in it’s search engine rankings if it’s not set up properly for mobile.

At Cambridge Digital Marketing, every site we create is optimized for mobile phone, tablets, laptops and desktop computers to ensure your both website design, and search engine optimization are ready for 2020 and beyond.

They want to present sites that work,  that are fast and that are fully mobile-enabled, not just because that is what Google wants, but that what the market wants.

Another major change as we head into 2020, is Google is plugging some holes as people constantly try to game the system to have higher search engine rankings.

In mid-November, some of the changes have meant a significant lowering of their search rankings, and as much as a 70% drop in the web traffic those sites are getting.

As yet there hasn’t been a big announcement as to what they did, but they did a lot.

There have been over 3000 changes in Google’s search algorithm this past year.

As was the case before, reviews on your Google My Business listing are important.

Equally important, is how you respond to those reviews. 

I think the best practice is to reply to each and every review. That should help a lot, and it looks good too, as people are searching for your type of product or service.

I don’t think people are expecting perfection as they look over your reviews. But certainly they are looking for good.. 4 stars and above on average, and more so they are looking at how you respond to them as well.

I sincerely believe that is what Google is looking for too.

If you have too many negative reviews and fail to respond to them, before you know it, Google won’t be showing your listing.

It’s just common sense.

And sometimes, even an organization as large, and dominant as Google uses some as they determine how they operate, and how they present your listings to the marketplace.

And I’m pleased to say, common sense, and business sense is what we use at Cambridge Digital Marketing as well, to assist our clients in future growth, whether it’s through their website, the search engine rankings we achieve through our services, not just in 2020, but beyond, as the market continues to change.