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Brand Signals

Periodically, we write micro-blogs about elements that are influential in search engine optimisation (SEO). These are short snippets that would help you increase your sites’ visibility within search engines.

#5 Today’s blog is about…Brand Signals

Searching for Brands

When looking for something specific online, people often search for brands. If your brand is searched for directly, it demonstrates to search engines that your website is considered a ‘real’ brand. This has the potential to increase your sites credibility, generating more traffic. With the potential to increase sales and conversions.

Anchor Text

Your brand name anchor text must be simple yet strong and effective. It helps if it is short so people have a higher chance of retaining the information.

Social Media Is Essential

It is expected that brands have social media pages such as, Facebook, Twitter etc. In terms of Facebook, if your businesses posts have a lot of likes then you may be considered a popular brand. Whereas on Twitter, if you have a high amount of followers it could be an indication that you are a popular brand. It’s important not to forget about LinkedIn as it has been said that most ‘real businesses’ have a company page on there.

Brand Mentions

Most of the biggest brands in the world are mentioned in the news. This forces more people to notice them. As well as reaching out to a target audience they might not normally target. On the first page of page of some brands websites, they have a feed of all the top stories they have been mentioned in.

Your Location

A real business would have an office. Google usually looks for data based on your location to figure out the kind of brand you are.

We hope that you have enjoyed reading this micro-blog. If you have any enquiries about how we can support your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Back-link Factors

Periodically we write micro blogs about elements that are influential for effective search engine optimisation (SEO). These are just short snippets that will help you to increase your search engine visibility.

#4 Today’s blog is about… Back-link factors.

Linking Domain Age

It can be more powerful to link an older domain rather than a newly registered domain.

Number of Pages Linked

The total number of linking pages can have an impact on rankings. Even if they are from the same domain. Links that are from a separate c-class IP address suggest a wider range of sites are linking to you. Potentially, helping you with your rankings.

Anchor

Back-link anchor text can provide a more accurate description of a website than the web page itself. Anchor text isn’t as important as it was before, but, in small doses, keyword anchor text sends strong signals regarding how relevant your site is.

Number of Root Domains

The number of domains is one of the key factors according to Google’s algorithm. It shows that the more domain names there are on a site, the better your position.

Links From Competitors

It can be more valuable for a page’s ranking for that particular keyword to have links from other pages that fall under the same category within SERP.

If you have any questions about how we can help improve your SEO, please contact us today.

What Impact Will Voice Search Have On Digital Marketing?

There’s no doubt that voice technology is going through major changes at the moment and getting more and more popular as it gets more accurate. With the new year fast approaching, lets take a look at what the future holds for voice search.

First let’s see what people are saying:

Statistics

Over the past year, almost 60% of consumers have used voice search to find information about local businesses. Some reports claim that around 45% of people use voice search to find local businesses. Out of these people just under 30% then use the information they have found to visit that company’s website. By looking at these stats we can see that out of everyone conducting voice searches there is a high percentage of these people following up on the information they’ve found by visiting websites. This makes it potentially very interesting.

2019

According  to a recent survey, 50% of people said they were likely to use voice search when looking for restaurants and cafes, followed closely with supermarkets and food delivery services. So, the future for the food industry at least looks promising.

2020

It has been predicted that by 2020, 50% of all internet searches will be done using voice search. Quite a claim. Not only this but, 30% of searches will be carried out without a screen at all. If we take a look at Google, we know in excess of 60% of searches are done via mobile phones or tablets. According to Googles own statistics one in every five mobile searches have been completed by voice. So, just over 10% of their mobile searches are voice queries. Realistically, for this prediction to become true, Googles voice searches would need to increase by at least 20% within the next two years.

The Future

Due to the fact that voice search has had such a rapid incline, analysts have predicted that voice search is going to have a huge effect on digital marketing so it makes sense to start looking now at what that could entail.

Featured Snippets

  • Over the course of the next year, it is likely that voice search will have more of a focus towards featured snippets. Regardless of the type of voice controlled device you have, it will deliver the answer to your question by reading this information of a featured snippet. As of now, you have to ‘earn your featured snippets’ and as voice search continues to develop, the value will increase. It is near enough impossible to do this over night. Hence why it is so important that your business stays one step ahead at all times.

Mobile Friendly

  • Voice search happens on mobile phones and tablets more than any other devices. This is why it is so important to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.

Local Businesses

  • As we have already established, there are a large amount of people who use voice search to find local businesses so voice search is likely to increase the value to local SEO which is going to help boost website traffic, potentially leading to more sales. By ensuring that local SEO is a priority, you are increasing your chance of your business being noticed.

Impacting Digital Marketing

  • Voice search is going to become a digital marketing must. It cannot be overlooked as each month there are estimates to be over one billion searches done via voice. Ignoring this is going to be detrimental to your businesses future.

The statistics that we have used are only a prediction of what may happen, but judging by recent surveys and data we can expect that the future will look something like we’ve predicted.

If we can help you with any of your marketing needs to prepare for the future, please contact us today.

How Long Does SEO Take To Get Results?

There are so many factors surrounding SEO. So, the question of ‘how long does SEO take?’ is a difficult one. These factors are constantly changing. Therefore, it is important you stay up to date.

It is impossible to pin point an exact time frame for how long SEO is going to take. However, we can roughly estimate. Your competitors,l content and links are the three main areas that can effect the time process for SEO.

Content

The quality of your content is extremely important. You need to ensure that your content stays on track, remaining relevant to your topic. Your content needs to be long enough to provide a solution for a users problem.

Myths Vs. Reality

It was considered that posting a lot of content all at once would raise a red flag to search engines. This was because it was seen as ‘unnatural’. However, this has now been ruled out by Google.

People believe that the age of your domain name can have a huge impact on SEO. However, whilst an aged domain can help, it’s probably not why a site ranks so well. Remember that older sites have had more time to focus on their SEO. Understandably, they will probably have a higher ranking.

Tips:

If you have created a lot of content for your site, it is better to publish it by spreading it out over an even time period. It portrays the idea to search engines that your site is still relevant which may help your keep your current ranking or slowly move up over time if people are frequently visiting. This may even send out signals to search engines that your site is providing a positive user experience. It could even encourage users to visit your site again, improving your ranking.

Competitors

Regardless of the industry you are in, you are always going to face competition. You may have already noticed that if your competitors are strong on SEO then it is going to take some time before you start seeing your own results. The more competition you have, the harder it can be. If a company is in high demand, it cab drive them in to a niche. Potentially, leading to an increase in competition. At this point, they may offer competitive deals, which would mean they are taking up a larger part of the market. When a company is extremely successful in their business, they can afford the best SEO professionals to do their marketing for them. So, they would have more time to focus on the core of their business.

Inbound Links

Links still play a huge role within SEO. However, their impact on how long SEO takes is dependant on a few other factors. The more links that are on your website, the more likely you are to have SEO success. But, if you link websites that are of a low quality to your own, then you may actually be damaging your ranking. It is important to ensure that you are using quality links from websites that are relevant to your industry. By doing so will stop search engines from getting confused about the content of your website. This is to ensure that it is relevant to a users search criteria. 

Earning Your Links

The speed that you earn links is also a factor because a fast increase in links could indicate an unnatural way to manipulate ranking. This is also known as link farming. Usually, if you earn relevant links of a high quality the faster you’re likely to rank. Your growth should be stable and developed overtime. Providing that your link building tactics follow Google’s guidelines it should gradually happen naturally.

So, in answer to the question, ‘how long does SEO take?’. Well, it depends on the above factors but if you perform SEO well and on a regular basis you should see results within a 3-6 month period.

Remember that SEO is constantly evolving. There is no way you can just stop after a few months otherwise your competition will overtake you.

If you have any questions today about SEO then please contact us today.

Google Algorithm Updates August – September 2018

Here is what we know about a few of Googles algorithm updates during 2018.

The Speed Update

Back in July this year page speed became a permanent factor in SEO in respect to mobile searches. This has been referred to as the ‘Speed Update’ and mainly affects pages that aren’t delivering a fast enough user experience. It is going to affect these pages because search engines want to ensure that they’re meeting the needs of its users. If your website has a high ranking but isn’t necessarily fast then search engines may no longer ‘honour’ your current ranking position. Unfortunately, for websites that aren’t giving their users the quickest experience possible their ranking in search engines will likely be lowered.

How Site Speed is Affecting SEO

People need and expect to find what they are looking for very quickly. Speed has been a factor when it comes to SEO for a while now although the signal was mainly targeted at desktop searches. If you have a slow website then the chances are that your search engine ranking will pay the price. Despite the technology that is used to build your site, this rule applies to everyone. So, to ensure that your site gets the highest ranking it possibly can, you need to make sure your site is as fast as possible.

What Customers Expect

According to surveys, practically half of web users want a site that loads in no more than 4 seconds. Ideally, less than this. If the site hasn’t loaded within up to 8 seconds, they tend to give up and look elsewhere. Almost 80% of people who shop online said they would not return to a site if they knew they had to wait too long for it to load. Just under 50% of these people would also share their bad experience.

Not only are slow sites losing these customers but they are also losing the opportunity to expand their business with that users friends, family and colleagues as the chances are that they are going to share similar interests with these people. This is bad for you as your brand will be gaining a bad reputation. Possibly, without you even knowing. Hence why is it so important that you ensure every SEO factor, such as page speed, is meeting the expectation of your website visitors.

If you would like more information about SEO please feel free to contact us at any time.

How is User Interaction Effecting Your SEO?

We periodically write micro blogs about factors that effect your website SEO.

#3 Today’s micro blog is about…User Interaction

Website Traffic

Google gathers data from Chrome to find out how many people visit a site and how often and considers sites that have more traffic to be of a higher quality. It’s a fact that sites with a lot of traffic generally rank higher in Google and website visitors tend to trust a site more if it is ranked higher in search engines. If your site has repeat visitors then you may also get a boost in your SEO rankings.

Site Comments

Comments on your pages can be a good indication of user interaction and Google have stated that comments on your website can help increase your SEO rankings.

Bookmarks

If someone has bookmarked your site in Google Chrome then the chances are that your site will have a boost in its search engine rankings.

Time Spent on Your Website

Google will pays attention to the amount of time your visitors spend on your site. The time they spend on your website says a lot about the site and your brand. If there is a longer amount of time spent on your site it probably contains a lot of interesting content. This portrays the idea that your site is relevant to the users’ search. Conversely, if people don’t spend much time on your site it’ll give Google the idea your site doesn’t meet the criteria of the search, therefore, pushing your website further down in it’s rankings.

 

How Outbound Links Effect your SEO

We periodically write micro blogs about factors that effect your website SEO.

#2 Today’s micro blog is about… Outbound Links

Effects on SEO

It’s a pretty well known fact nowadays that ‘inbound’ links (getting other websites to link to your own website) can have a very positive effect. But did you know your website should also contain some ‘outbound’ links?

Why Create Outbound Links?

The whole web is based on links and what goes around comes around. Links benefit your neighbour, your suppliers, your customers and of course your website visitors. Linking to other sites that contain content relevant to your visitors is adding value and your visitors are likely to appreciate your site as a valuable source of information. Google can also look at the sites you link to and use them to determine what your site is about. If your site is based on a particular subject but you link sites with the opposite content, Google can get confused. It may believe your site is based on your link rather than your content.

Linking To Too Many Sites

Even though incorporating links in your website can have a positive outcome, linking too many times can have a negative effect. Too many links can take away the focus on the main content. This would effect your SEO which could potentially divert traffic from your website, effecting your business.

We hope you enjoyed today’s micro blog. Please call back regularly to see what topic is covered next.

And the Title For the Worst Retail Website Goes to Homebase

Which? have run a survey to determine the best (and worst) online retail website of 2018. They asked over 10,000 people to tell them about their online shopping experiences over the course of a six month period. The respondents gave feedback based on how satisfied they were with their experience and whether or not they would recommend it to a friend. Each response was then used to create a score of each site.

At the very bottom of the list was Homebase with one of their competitors, B&Q, following closely behind. Homebase was given the lowest score of 55%, while the store at the top of list, Lizearle.com, had an impressive 94%.

Shoppers expect to receive the highest levels of customer service both in store or online. It was noted that the sites with the highest scores offered a personal service along with high quality items and fast delivery. Stores scoring low scores were found to have confusing and in many cases slow websites.

So, what makes a good e-commerce website?

  • Usability

It sounds crazy but there are still retailers out there (some of them large ones) who create difficult to use and confusing websites. Customers want a website to be fast and easy to use. Site design is of course important but you need to remember that people are there to buy  PRODUCTS, not look at pretty colours. Look at eBay and Amazon, two of the worlds largest and most successful e-commerce sites yet neither would win awards for looks. You will need to ensure that every page/product is easily accessible, that every link works and that checkout is slick and easy.

  • Mobile Ready

In this day and age, almost every thing is done on mobile devices so lets focus on why it is great for an e-commerce website. The majority of people use their phone to surf the internet. They are going to want a website that is adapted to their smartphones and tablets as it will be easier for them to use. Google expects sites to be mobile friendly or your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) will probably suffer. You need to provide the best user experience possible. Going mobile friendly (Responsive), allows you to do this. To find out more about why going mobile friendly can benefit your business, click here.

  • Social Media

Social media is a huge market place almost guaranteed to contain your target demographic. Including your social media links in to your website has many benefits, one of which is that you are able to form a bond with your customers. Social media gives e-commerce brands the opportunity to show authenticity and portray an emotional connection with their products.

  • Security

Having security features shows that you are a legitimate business. It’s a well know fact that customers trust websites more if they are secure. It provides them with additional piece of mind knowing that any information they give is safe. There are many security related features that your site can have such as an SSL certificate, encrypted usernames and passwords etc.

  • Clear Delivery Charges

One of the main reasons for abandoned shopping carts is unexpected delivery charges. It is better to be upfront with how much you charge for shipping so that customers are aware of what they are about to pay. On many websites, delivery charges or discount codes are often displayed at the top of the screen, easily noticeable as soon as you visit the site. According to another survey, shoppers spend up to 30% more when free shipping is included.

  • Easy Return Policy

Shopping online can be difficult as you have no idea what your product is going to look like. This is because all you’ve seen is an image. It’s estimated that almost a third of online purchases are returned. This might sound like a lot but, over 90% will buy from your site again, if it is easy to return items. Not that many online customers actually check the return policy before buying. Therefore, it should be made clear to every customer if possible.

  • Presentation

Presentation is vital with e-commerce and first impressions are lasting impressions. Having a visually unpleasing website can put a customer off at first glance. When creating your website, you should think about the customer first. You’ll want to think about how you want them to feel when they look at your site. It is your sites’ presentation and how the overall look that reflects your brand. You will want to consider both aspects from your customers point of view and your business. Remember to link your presentation to your usability as they are both equally important. Consider professional photography – images of bad resolution can be just as off putting as bad website navigation.

  • Detailed Product Descriptions

As your customers won’t have your product physically in front of them when buying online it’s essential to provide a detailed enough description. Not just good images. For your customers, it gives them an insight in to what they are purchasing. If it’s clothes you’re selling, include a size chart, explanation of material and colour. If it is furniture then measurements should be included. When selling skin care products, people will need to know ingredients included. This is to ensure they aren’t allergic to your product or have any bad reactions. By taking the extra time to add detailed descriptions you could increase your sales. Not to mention save yourself a lot of bad feedback.

  • Fast & Simple Checkout

Online customers don’t like long and complicated check outs. You don’t like long and difficult ques in-store right? Online is just the same. It is estimated that you could lose up to 70% of purchases because of the check out process. It also helps if you have more than one payment method as customers will sometimes have a preference. If your only payment method is PayPal then you’re limiting your client base as not everyone will have a PayPal account or know how to use it. You should have a clear ‘Check Out’ button, site security displayed, images of product in the cart with sizes shown. In case customers are confused at the check out, it helps to make the ‘support’ button noticeable.

  • Search Engine Friendly

SEO is vital for any website but probably more so for e-commerce websites. In order for your site to get traffic and ultimately sales, you need to be on the first page of search engine results. It is all about creating the best experience for your users to keep them coming back time after time. To find out more, visit our blog on The Importance of SEO.

For any further information about how we can support your e-commerce website, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

 

How Your Domain Name Can Effect Your SEO

Periodically we write micro blogs about key elements for effective search engine optimisation (SEO), just short interesting snippets that all help to increase your search rankings.

#1 Todays blog is about your… Domain Name.

Domain Age

Google have acknowledged that domain name age is a factor in search engine optimisation. As a general rule of thumb an older domain name will rank better than a newer domain.

Length of Domain Registration

Valuable domain names are often paid for years in advance. As opposed to spam domains that are normally registered for the minimum period. Google therefore takes in to account your domain name registration period.

Key Word and Key Word Position Within Your Domain

Having the featured key word in your domain name and preferably as the first word of your domain name can give you an edge in SEO.

Domain Previous History

A domain name with a troublesome history such as linked to spamming or multiple owners could be an indicator to Google that your site is not to be trusted. Therefore, may not rank as well.

Why You Should Be Using Email Marketing

As a successful business, you should always stay in regular contact with your clients; your competitors will be that’s for sure. Frequent communication helps to keep your company fresh in their minds and if you want to grow you’ll need to target new clients.

One of the most cost effective ways of achieving both of the above is by Email Marketing. Effective email marketing campaigns keep your customers updated and remind your clients that you’re there.

Although social media can be an effective way of engaging with your demographic depending on your product or service, an email has much more of a personal touch. This will make customers believe you are specifically talking to them. Email marketing is often a form of marketing that is neglected, so here are a few reasons why you should consider using it.

A Personalised Touch

Email marketing is effective because you can send out marketing campaigns that are addressed directly to your customer, i.e. ‘Hello John’. This personal touch makes them feel valued within the company compared to just another spam email. Around 80% of customers say that if they received an email personally addressed to them they would be more likely to take an interest in what you’re selling. Segmenting your email lists is the best way to increase the personal touch. By doing so, you are grouping your customers into categories based on their interests. In the long run, it is going to make it a lot simpler for you.

Call to Action

There is an increased chance in customers purchasing a product when they feel like they have invested. Encouraging your customers to open your email, you are starting the investment process. By incorporating links in to your email campaigns you are leading customers to the conversation. The first email that you send out might not be completely successful. However, the more emails you send out over time should lead to an improvement in sales and conversions. Marketing gurus say you need to send out up to 7 times before someone buys or engages.

Email Marketing is Cost Effective

Email marketing is one of the cost effective forms of marketing available. According to a survey earlier this year it has one of the highest ROI’s for organisations of all sizes. You can even schedule your email campaigns to be sent out at specific times so you can focus on other work.

Reaching Out to Mobile Users

The majority of people these days are using their mobiles to send and respond to emails. More emails are now opened on mobiles than on desktops. In any aspect of marketing it is important that you are where your customers are, as you’ll want to capture their attention day in, day out. Your customer will expect you to be where they are. The average mobile user checks their email inbox 3-5 times a day so, every so often an email will remind them of your business, encouraging them to get involved.

Boosting Website Traffic

Sending the first email it is almost like giving them a preview of your business and using links to your website will increase your website visitors. This is every company’s aim as it will most probably increase sales. Your email doesn’t have to be long and full of information because if they’re interested, they’ll click on the link to find out more.

Real Time Statistics

Good email marketing software tells you who’s opened your emails and even which links they’ve clicked on – powerful stuff! Once customers are on your website, there are other elements such as Live Chat which can capture their attention further.

We are the owners of Real Time Mail, an email marketing software that is available to you. With our software, you will be able to send out emails quickly and easily. For any further information, please contact us. We’d be more than happy to help.