How to Post Announcements on Your Website & Not Hurt Your SEO
Business as we know it has changed, at least for a little while. With the onset of the coronavirus crisis businesses worldwide are adapting to protect the health and well-being of customers, and the public at large. Many, such as those in personal services industries (e.g., physiotherapists, salons, etc.), have had to suspend operations altogether. Others are limiting hours, offering curbside pickup, or have implemented some kind of virtual offering.
Likewise, companies are scrambling to implement policy or service updates on their website to inform clients and potential customers of service changes as they deal with the crisis.
This does raise legitimate concerns about the potential impact of these notifications on SEO and ranking. After all, most will appear prominently in one form or another on the website homepage, prime SEO real estate.
So will announcements negatively affect your website's SEO?
The short answer is, probably not.
It's safe to say Google expects to be coming across highlighted COVID 19 notifications on business websites. Indeed, recognizing their importance Google recently created an announcement infrastructure for Google My Business, and has even developed custom structured COVID 19 announcement markup for use by government, educational, and health organization websites. Likewise, website notifications signal activity on the part of businesses to inform and protect customers and the public at large.
However, this doesn't mean website owners should throw caution to the wind. While we can assume Googlebot will be trying to work around and/or separately identify COVID 19 announcement content, we still want to as much as possible ensure the authority of our core business content in the website and the document structure. Google is smart, but not infallible.
So How Can We Add Announcements To Our Website?
There may be no on-size-fits-all for posting an announcement. It depends on how your website is laid out, programming and the importance of the announcement. Don’t make your website about the announcement. While you may have very important information to convey, don’t let that overpower what you do. The last thing you want is for Google to misinterpret what your website is about.
Here are some tips to consider when adding an announcement to your website:
Linking to Announcement Pages
If you can, we would recommend having a button or link text alert on the home page, with the announcement on a separate page. Try not to put too much text on the home page related to the announcement. You can make the link a nofollow link and have the announcement page as a noindex s the Googlebots don’t even know about it.
Formatting of Announcement
As much as possible, text content contained in meta content, heading tags, etc should not change or be displaced. These are elements that should be reserved to words core to your business as well as the flow/logic of your document. Don't, for example, replace your homepage HTML title with "Acme Company COVID 19 Announcement"!
Depending on your business, an announcement may be extremely important, and require high prominence. While Google is typically averse to pop-ups, or 'interstitials,' COVID-19 announcements would be an example of what Google refers to as "responsible use" of this intrusive content delivery technique. advantage of a popup is that the content will not disrupt your overall document structure.
The key for an announcement is to get your point across quickly and strongly, without adversely affecting your SEO. Nothing is ever 100%, but by following the tips above, you stand a good chance of telling the world without sidetracking Google.
Cityline Websites is a website and online marketing company based in Vancouver Canada. The company has been in business since 2002, serving over 500 clients during this time. Our team helps small businesses primarily in web design, SEO (search engine optimization) and online advertising.