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If you already understand SEO, then you’ll understand the importance of content and link building for increasing the visibility of a website in the search results. However, often when link building is discussed, it is the process of acquiring links from high-quality websites that gives your website more authority.

The process of link building can be time-consuming and lengthy, however, it is very rewarding in SEO as it signals to Google that your website is a quality resource for users. Therefore, when it comes to marketing strategies, you’ll often find that good quality content and link building are key components to improving your SEO.

So how can internal link building help?

Internal link building can be often neglected in SEO strategies in favour of securing links from other websites, however, internal linking is still very important.

Internal linking on your website involves connecting pieces of content throughout your website to form an overall structure. This structure then signals to Google your most important pages that are worthy of linking to. As a result, you can build links to your most important pages with valuable content, which will improve your SEO.

Unlike external link building, with the right anchor text, you can better navigate both search crawlers and users around the website and won’t be penalised for over-optimization.

To get a better understanding of your current internal linking profile, Search Console can provide you with an overview of your top internally linked pages and allow you to identify areas of improvement.

Once you have improved your link building both internally and externally, you are likely to see improvements in your overall SEO strategy and give your website more credibility and authority.

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When it comes to SEO, the importance of good quality content has been stressed countless times. Good quality content helps to bring more users to your site and increases your visibility in SERPs.

So why would you not implement a good content strategy as part of your overall digital marketing strategy?

If you have an e-commerce website, it is most likely that your main goal is to sell a product or service. However, whilst content may bring attention to what you are selling, it can also potentially deter sales when not used effectively.

To understand how beneficial added text is to your e-commerce website, it is first important to identify the purpose and user intent of those who land on the page. For example, if the purpose of your page is masked with unnecessary content, then it can prevent users from actioning their original objective.

However, if you are providing information that is beneficial to the user and supports their intent, then additional content can help push sales and conversions.

If you are unsure about the level of content to add to your e-commerce site, there are alternative methods of adding content without bombarding the user such as internal linking, which gives the user the option of reading additional content if it supports their user journey.

As long as the call to action isn’t lost on the page you are trying to convert users with and the content is informative and relevant, then you are in a good position for conversions.

In summary, to understand just how beneficial added text would be on your e-commerce website, it is important you first understand the user’s intent. Once you understand this, you will be able to tailor your content to be informative and beneficial to the user, to aid them on their consumer journey. As a result, this will enhance the user journey and increase your chances of conversion.

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Last week, Google announced they were introducing a new feature to Google Images that will present advertisers with more opportunities to engage with users.

The new feature allows advertisers to use sponsored images, that the user will be able to interact with, to receive details of the buyable products within the image.

If you’re familiar with Pinterest, you’ll be aware they rolled out the same concept three years ago and have achieved great success with their product identification shopping tags.

The new feature has stemmed from a rise in visual search with 62% of Millennials favouring visual search over all other new technology. This can also be seen by the success of shopping tags on Instagram, which is very popular in combination with their Instagram stories.

So what does this new feature mean for users?

The user experience is greatly improved by this new feature, by presenting them with items ready to buy based upon their initial image search.

Many users admit to looking for inspiration for their purchases through Google Images and therefore by having the shopping feed present, this can aid their user journey allowing them to reach their desired purchase faster.

Also by combining Google Images with sponsored posts, there is a less intrusive nature about the advertisements as the user has the option to interact with the images for further details.

And how does this impact advertisers?

Through highlighted shopping feeds present on Google Images, image queries can now allow advertisers to promote their products and be able to capture the consumer’s attention at the early stages of their purchase journey.

The shoppable ads on Google Images also create more opportunities for businesses to achieve conversions and engage with the consumer, other than through Google Shopping, Google Ads and their website.

Once the new feature has been implemented for a while, we should be able to assess how beneficial the new feature is to both users and advertisers.

However, following the success of similar concepts on Pinterest and Instagram, it is anticipated that the new feature will be popular on Google too.

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If you want to understand what people are searching for and how this relates to your business, you need to understand keywords. Keywords are words and phrases that describe the topics you write about whilst also identifying what people are searching for.

It’s incredibly important to undertake keyword research to be able to bridge the gap between your content and your audience. And we all know just how important a good content strategy is to SEO, so if you’re looking at updating your keywords, you want to make sure you’re targeting the right terms.

The old SEO technique of keyword stuffing is a thing of the past, and now more often penalised than rewarded. So where do we begin?

The first step to targeting the right keywords for your website is to brainstorm the kind of information your user needs. If you are a business owner, you will already have a great understanding of the niche information your consumers will be searching for and therefore have a foundation to begin upon.

Following this, Google Analytics and Search Console are your friends. Through the acquisition section, you can find search queries that will help you refine your keyword list.

A great strategy to refine the perfect keyword list to target is to monitor your user activity. For example, see what hashtags your users are using when they’re sharing on social media or particular topics that frequently arise in your blog comments. By forming a keyword list based on user activity, you are sure to capture relevant and important terms that will bring in traffic to your website.

Now you’ve got a keyword list, you need to understand the competition you have. You want to put effort and time into writing content about the keywords you know you will be able to compete in the rankings for.

Just because users are using a particular search term, doesn’t mean you’ll always rank for it. So to ensure you target the right keywords after forming your list, you should keep up to date with your keyword research every so often to keep up with the changing market.

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Even if you know nothing about SEO, it’s highly likely you’ll have come across featured snippets before whilst searching on Google. Featured snippets are excerpts from websites selected by Google that best answer a search query. For example, as seen by the screenshot below, I entered a simple search query asking “can I travel to space?”

Firstly, you’ll see the featured snippet presented from iexplore which answers my question right away without having to enter any website.

In fact, these results are often referred to as organic zero as they feature after the paid ads at the top of the SERPs results. This was introduced by Google in 2014 in an effort to provide useful information to answer search queries much quicker.

Featured snippets are pretty good if you have a good content strategy to target consumer queries related to your business. However, they also prevent some users visiting a website altogether once their query is resolved.

Following this featured snippet, you can also see a “people also ask” box which provides other queries users have searched for that is related to my initial question. Now in terms of SEO, you may have optimised your website to detail everything about travelling to space. But will it show above or be included in the featured snippets?

The better content strategy you have, the more likely Google will select information from your website to present to the user in position zero. In fact, the majority of featured snippets retrieve their content from one of the top 10 positions in SERPs.

So is it worth targeting featured snippets? If you want to feature above the organic results then yes it is definitely worth optimising your content to be selected for a featured snippet. However, if you provide the user with all the information they need in the snippet, they may be unlikely to seek out more information on your website.

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At Aqueous Digital, search never sleeps, and neither does Google.  Google is consistently reviewing its methods of ranking and how users employ SEO techniques. The result is to provide the best user experience by ensuring the correct information is displayed when searches are made.

2018 saw multiple algorithm changes that impacted SEO such as:

Brackets Core Update: Focused heavily on content quality. Which we discussed in our previous post titled why good quality content is important for SEO.

Mobile First Index: Suggested Google is migrating sites gradually to mobile first indexing.

Mobile Speed Update: Mobile speed became a ranking factor for mobile results.

Chrome Security Warnings: Chrome marks all non-HTTPS sites as not secure.

Medic update: Saw an impact on the ranking factors of health websites in particular.

These 5 updates from Google were very influential to ranking factors and SERPs in 2018 and therefore we are anticipating the next major changes for SEO in 2019.

Here’s our top 5 SEO changes we anticipate to see in 2019.
  1. Optimising content for voice search will become necessary as its popularity grows.
  2. User experience will become a stronger ranking factor.
  3. With mobile first indexing and mobile speed considered an important ranking factor for Google in 2018, we expect to see mobile optimisation as a priority for all websites in 2019.
  4. Featured snippets will become more significant for answering search queries, therefore it may be much more difficult to compete in the rankings.
  5. Search intent could impact the SERP’s ranking meaning keywords are not enough to be shown in search and helpful information in content will be much more impactful.

These are only our predictions for 2019, but of course there are many other changes to SEO we could expect to see – or be surprised by in 2019!

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Firstly, happy new year!

After returning back to business now the festive fun is over, many organisations will be assessing their current strategies and what they can improve to make more of an impact in the new year. One important strategy that has known to be effective for enhancing your SEO is high-quality content. Therefore, we have assembled the reasons why good quality content is important for SEO and why you should implement a good content stratgey.

What is good quality content?

If you have your own business, whether that be small or large, you want to attract the largest audience possible and have people engaged with your site. One of the key ways of attracting an audience is through good quality content on your website.

Good quality content is defined by Google as useful and informative information that is credible, engaging and original. Good quality content has consistent instances of keywords related to your business and provides value to your audience.

Google SERPS

Having good quality content on your website is an important ranking factor for Google. The topics of your content are crucial and it’s important you spend time getting them right as the more content you publish on a certain topic, the higher the content topic will rank in Google SERPs.

You want your content topics to be reflective of what your business offers and as a result improve your chances of conversion. This is very important if you’re in a competitive market and need to be higher up in SERPs to attract business.

If ranking higher in the Google SERPs is not a good enough reason to implement good quality content on your website, then improving the user experience should be.

Consumer Engagement

Every day, users make countless searches trying to find the information they require before purchasing products or services. If you have good quality content on your website, that can be used as a resource for customers to turn to for their queries, you have already captured their attention.

It’s relatively straightforward, provide your customers with good information and receive many site visitors in return! So if you’ve not adopted a good content marketing into your business strategy, it is definitely worth investing in to improve your SEO.

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Over the Christmas and New Year period, Aqueous Digital will be operating on skeleton staff.  This means, general support will be available but to a very limited degree.  Please find below our operating hours:-

When closed, email only to:
agency@aqueous-digital.co.uk

Monday 24th December – Closed
Tuesday 25th December – Closed
Wednesday 26th December – Closed
Thursday 27th December – Closed
Friday 28th December – Closed

Monday 31st December – Closed
Tuesday 1st January – Closed
Wednesday 2nd January – 09.00 – 17.00
Thursday 3rd January – 9.00 – 17.00
Friday 4th January – 9.00 – 17.00

We would also like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, prosperous New Year for 2019.  We look forward to working with you and thank you for your continued support.

From all the team at Aqueous

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According to the 2018 Global Digital Report, more than 3 billion people around the world now use social media, which is a 13% increase year-on-year. The popularity of social media has expanded beyond personal use, with businesses using the platforms as a cost-effective solution to their advertising requirements.

There are a lot of articles which detail why you should implement social media marketing as part of your overall strategy for your business. However, there are also negative implications to utilising social media for your website which you should be wary of.

Social media channels are very effective for presenting a consistent brand image to the consumer, but when your channels differ to your website this can be damaging to your website performance.

For example, if consumers are engaged with your social media content and look to your website for more information, the inconsistency in the brand image could navigate users away from your site, increasing the bounce rate. Therefore, if your business information isn’t presented on a single webpage, you are losing out on potential customers.

Furthermore, having social media channels for your business is a great foundation for creating backlinks to your website. The more backlinks your website has, the more important and popular Google believes it to be.

As a result, backlinks are very influential in improving your Google ranking and search visibility. However, if the backlinks you are creating on social media are deemed as low-quality by Google, this will negatively impact the performance of your website in the search rankings. You can find an article we have discussed previously on how important backlinks are here.

Additionally, how you use social media for your business is a decisive factor on whether it will help or hinder your website. A major benefit of social media is how it can be used to handle customer service enquiries regarding your business.

However, delivering poor customer service on social media platforms can have a very negative impact on the customer journey. For many consumers, social media is one of the first places they visit when checking out a business. Therefore, if you deliver poor customer service on your social media platforms, this could deter potential customers away from your business and away from looking for more information on your website.

Therefore, if you are implementing social media marketing as part of your overall marketing strategy, you must understand how to effectively use social media to prevent it from damaging your business.

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The first website launched way back in August 1991 and since then, websites have been a huge contribution to conversions for businesses. But with consistent advancements in how we use the internet, will we really need websites by 2030?

Take social media for example, many platforms allow you to create pages for your business to inform and connect with your target audience. You can even list the products and services you provide with the added benefit of engagement with your customers.

Many small businesses even use social media platforms to conduct their business, taking orders and payments without the need for a website.

Now, with more and more users engaging with social media through mobile devices, it is likely that users will be browsing through an app created for the social platform. Therefore, if social media continues to grow, it could be possible that customers turn to social business profiles through apps instead of websites in the future.

It is also anticipated that in the future, people will be exposed to more Artificial Intelligence (AI) devices such as Amazon’s Alexa. Customers can order items through Amazon, book taxi rides, compare prices and so much more all through voice-control. As AI improves in the future, this could reduce the need for websites as customers will be able to gain all the required information through an AI device and voice-control.

However, on the occasions that you do need to do a Google search, it may not be a website you need that offers the product/service/advice you require. Some services are now be provided through Google without having to access a website. For example, if you are booking flights, Google will detail entries from different airlines and their prices with options to book without accessing their website. Should this continue for other services in the future, this could make websites redundant.

It is therefore apparent that as technology is advancing, this could have an impact on how users use the internet in the future, which may result in a lesser need for websites by 2030.

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