Now I’ve had a fair amount of time to work out the new algorithm I think I have a fairly good idea what has changed, why and what we can all do about it.
Quantity, Not Quality
Google is trying to push for quality content and not landing pages – specifically tailored for CRO (Conversion ate Optimisation) , they want people to actually read and engage with the content, and for that reason I would say that the Bounce rate, Click Through Rates & Time on page are all metrics which are being watched closely.
Better quality = More CTR’s and the longer people will stay. It makes a lot of sense – but if your aa content writer it doesn’t mean you have to write the same amount – 1 quality article could do it for a month.
Google do not want you dominating the same products on different pages anymore and is giving preference to one page with all of the information. This also a lot of sense
With the latest update they’ve been watching the keyword cannibalism – effectively using the same keyword in two places, it could be two sites or two pages or posts, this causes Google an issue when indexing because it’s not sure which page to index and rank.
Key Tip: Do not sell any type of similar products on another site (even if it’s a new IP, etc) they will find out and it will cause you problems. If you are, I would not touch it until there was an issue.
Keywords become LESS important? What?
Yup, you heard it first.
They are important – of course they are, but Google is now being smart and not taking your word for it but a number of other factors. Content is important but the main keyword, only needs to be said once in the H1 tag.
Before, if you wanted the keyword to rank it would be at least 3% – that’s changed quite a bit and what we are finding now is Google trying to combine pages.
UI/ UX & Content
If you were a customer, looking at most “news” pages would make you u-turn at 100 miles per hour. Google have started to drum it into peoples head (first with mobile) that UX and UI is really important. And it will effect your SEO.
URL does not contain full keyword and tries to rank for multiple phrases instead of different pages.
After the H1, you will note – that keyword is not mentioned again, purposely. I would also say if you have a couple of copywriters that bang out 4-5 articles a week on top 5 “X” then they need to completely re-adjust the SEO strategy.
There is no SEO value in articles unless it will attract readers. Also, that way you get to re-market to them. Win-win. Just remember it hardly rocket science – look at #1-10 are doing and look for the similarities.
For the haters ….. Please note, this is with zero backlinks.
Landing Pages / Content Pages
More focused, 3-4 keywords maximum. With your main one in the H1, Title and Meta Description. Mention no more than this.
Images / Videos / UX
Google like content with better content
Over Optimisations is becoming a big deal
Google don’t want over optimisation that includes backlinks
We start by examining your current SEO rankings via and analysing what is driving these results. This is called a technical SEO audit and it should be the foundation of any new strategy.
By understanding your start point, we have a baseline from which targeted activity can be measured and evidenced for success. Because no business is the same, we then create a tailored strategy that is entirely designed around your current position and your desired endpoint.
Yes, we want to see more relevant traffic coming to your site – but ultimately the primary objective is conversion maximisation. To optimise this, we carry out technical tests such as A/B testing which helps to pinpoint the right strategy.
By constantly testing each SEO activity, we can prove its effectiveness, or adjust it for results. We can always demonstrate measurable results to our clients and this is one of the cornerstones of our own delivery.
As part of our full audit of your website, we will research the keywords that your customers are using to reach businesses like yours and then assess how well they have been used on your website.
This will form part of your content strategy, designed to provide valuable content that your customers need – and that helps search engines to rank you for relevant search terms.
A good content strategy links with your social media activity, which we also support in order to deliver integrated, impactful results.
We will assess your website to check that it is working exactly as your customers want it to. This means that when traffic comes to your site, it reaches the right landing pages, sees the necessary calls to action and then is more inclined to convert.
We can advise and help implement tools that assist with these conversions, such as live chat features and streamlined customer journeys. This work keeps customers and search engines both happy!
Our technical team will also carry out work in the back-end of your website to ensure that it is fully populated, optimised and indexed in a way that search engines can read and identify.
This helps to ensure that you are ranking correctly for all relevant searches and not missing out on easy wins because of overlooked technical requirements that can be easily missed.
Local, Social and Mobile search
Our expert team are up to date with all of the latest requirements and opportunities for online marketing offered by search engines, including the need for local search optimisation, mobile optimisation and social media integration.
Again, we will deliver strategies that bring you clear and measurable results – making you extremely glad that you invested in our services!
Moz’s “domain authority” metric – which is widely regarded by SEOs as one of the most vital tools for valuing domains in relation to their Google ranking position – is set to undergo a significant update in March.
At present, Moz relies on a complex linear model in order to assign domain authorities, but will switch to a neural network.
The upgrade is intended to help strengthen the reliability of domain authority by helping to filter out paid and spam links, counter link manipulation, and improvements to the understanding of websites which don’t currently rank for any keywords at all.
Domain authority (which is most commonly abbreviated to “DA”) has been relied on by SEOs ever since Google removed their PageRank metric.
Domains are assigned a score, ranging from 1 to 100, predicting how well a website will rank in search engine results. This tends to lead to the conclusion that the higher the DA, the better a site will rank.
However, DA has long been the subject of debate; Moz are not connected with Google, so there is no guarantee that a DA is genuinely reflective of ranking ability.
Moz have also emphasised that the updates should be seen as a relative metric, rather than a reliable standalone metric that can assess the value of a domain at a glance. Some experts have even gone as far as describing DA as a “distraction” for SEOs.
Nevertheless, the changes to DA are significant and will need to be adapted to by SEO professionals over the course of the next few months.
Backlinks beat content marketing for search engine optimisation, hands down.
Having been an SEO expert for over 10 years, I have tested hundreds of theories on content strategy and back-linking based on a variety of ranking factors. Getting to the top of a results page always seems to come down to the number and quality of backlinks. I cant see any other way of Google can rank websites without using backlinks as a major factor.
Each time I’ve ran a test (which includes monitoring by Google Analytics, Agency Analytics, SEMrush and other software I have personally developed), I check the rankings. I typically conduct these on different sites to minimise outside interference. Internal linking is great to pull people in for search – but still has very little value in terms of link equity. Articles are great for searches but again, you need backlinks to your article for it to rank well.
Case Study: Repurposing Site Templates
In 2015 I ran around 100 satellite sites that were all based on the same template. At one point, we surpassed over 5,000 leads in a week.
Here’s an example of a template we used for WordPress development. With only about 400 words in total, the content was totally insufficient. Even though it was terrible, we used this same template was over and over again, at least 500 times.
Some may call this technique unethical; others might say it’s just working the system. I’m not sure which is true, but we were providing people with a service that they wanted, so everyone won.
At the time, Google didn’t value backlinks or domain authority. Rankings where dependable all about refreshable content. Since Google’s algorithm values sites that are updated all the time, I added each new each inquiry that came through to the site (with any personal details removed). Using this technique caused domino effect, each enquiry would be pushing each locality and the site further up the rankings.
In 2015–2016, we ranked at the top of searches for any phrase with a locality such as WordPress Developer in Brighton, or SEO Agency London for every single city in the UK. In the footer I included all of the towns in the UK. For each local phrase I looked up, we were dominating.
Then, the inevitable happened: we were blocked by Google. All of my excellently designed sites were removed. Since leads ranged in price from £1 to £30, you can imagine how it felt to lose all of that work overnight.
Looking back, this strategy never could have lasted forever — we realised this when Google implemented substantial changes to its ranking algorithm.
Shifting the Priority
Backlinks were one of the biggest changes Google implemented. The concept had already been around, but it became Google’s main focus. Now, pretty much everything is based on the number of backlinks and the quality of the backlinks.
Domain authority is “a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank. Domain Authority is calculated by evaluating multiple factors, including linking root domains and number of total links, into a single DA score.”
To be honest, I can’t think of a better strategy but similarly to the system I built, though, backlinks can also be manipulated.
Today, I focus on the complete opposite strategy I used to: quality backlinks from bloggers that provide real value. Google still bases most of its metrics on backlinks. I haven’t updated any of my sites in six months, but creating a number of new backlinks allows them to be stay ranked on the first page. It’s frequently said that content is absolutely essential, but this phenomenon proves that’s not always the case.
An important point I would like to stress is that structure is more important that the backlinks. If you have the wrong structure, your site will not rank well. Focus first on structure and then on backlinks. When I refer to site structure I am talking about the skin and bones (i.e. HTML & CSS) – this should be W3C valid (https://www.w3.org/Consortium/).
Think of Google as a human, reading through a book, the book is your website (code). If you have lots of unnecessary pages – they would just ignore them, or skip them (potentially missing very good content). This is pretty similar to Google’s behaviour, if Google cannot read the code (Book) easily, it will just rank it badly or could ignore it completely. The templates worked so well because they had such little code – Google loves this.
Lately, Google has been putting a lot of pressure on the mobile side of web design and development. Since more users than ever are accessing the internet from mobile devices, mobile first design is an important strategy to consider.
Make sure that you’re using Google AMP (accelerated mobile pages) or responsive website design and your pages follow all of the Google Speed Test suggestions.
The Problem With Backlinks
Many people make a huge amount of profit from creating sites and simply posting articles on them. I run another company called Influence Monster that provides quality bloggers, to people trying to find backlinks that are of high quality.
Influence Monster focus on quality, and target bloggers who write great content rather than providing a link. I have started to include Instagram, Twitter and a number of other social platform’s as well.
I actively check every site we add to the website and it’s getting increasingly hard to find high quality blogs. At this point, most blog sites feature guest posts rather than content from an in-house copywriter. Google is starting to pick up on this trend. We personally lost 11,000 backlinks not too long ago.
After experiencing a major issue with one of the top outreach providers on the market, I created Influence Monster. We are still working on the site day in and day out. Our company offers a safe way to ensure that the blogger gets paid, the brand or agency receives the service they require, so it’s a win-win situation.
Backlinks need to be relevant. For example, technology blogs need to link to technology companies. Many service providers are not doing so. Instead, they’re creating content in a way that’s as cheap and as fast as possible.
– Google is Smarter Than You: Let me tell you with 100% accuracy. That if you have two sites with the same keywords, and you slip up once. i.e. Link the same GA accounts, link the same Webmaster accounts, have the same WHOIS information, the same IP, the same DNS or maybe the same MX records. Google will find out. Do not target the same keywords on multiple sites. Google will find out, and penalise you heavily for anything even remotely related.
– Structure: Before anything – don’t bother with SEO if your site is not optimised. Bootstrap? Yeah I am afraid that’s not great. Anything with 1,000’s of lines of code doesn’t play with Google. Want to test the theory yourself? Create two sites, one without Bootstrap (or Frameworks) and one with and see which one ranks better.
– Content: Unless you’re a pro, use copywriters. It’s not worth your time to have someone write articles for you unless they qualified and trained. For example, our company has an SEO training section.
– Length: Content should be around 600-900 words. The average target is much debated, but I’ve done extensive research and have found very little difference between having 600-1000 words on back-linked articles.
– Link Text: Vary the link text each time rather than making your strategy obvious. Provide real value to users. Most of the time, no one will read an article unless you’ feature them on a high DA site.
– Choose the Right Sites: Make sure sites you create backlinks on are in the same industry. Try to avoid sites with lots of top ten lists and guest blogs. Sites that advertise the least provide the best backlink juice, but you’ll have to pay them more. Google specifies no more than 3 ads. Read through the site thoroughly, and consider whether they’re providing valuable links.
Content will provide you with better value over time if you use keywords that people are searching for in your blogs. This SEO strategy takes a long time, but backlinks can rank your site very quickly.
Put simply and in a summary –
The site structure is the most important part of the website for Search Engine Optimisation. Anyone who says otherwise most likely doesn’t understand SEO, actually I would go as far as saying they don’t know SEO at all.
Content is important but not as important as Backlinks – sites can rank without constantly updating content. Content is good for pulling in users but not really pushing up the rankings.
Backlinks are still king for ranking – That’s been the case for the last 10 years and I cannot see this changing.
What do you need to do?
Sort your site structure before thinking about back-linking and then find quality bloggers that can backlink in your specific category.
Jason Parker is Managing Director of Calibre
Google call-only adverts have proven popular with business owners and PPC professionals in recent years.
As the name suggests, call-only adverts display only in searches conducted on devices that are capable of making phone calls; the goal of the adverts is to encourage users to immediately call a business by merely clicking on the ad.
Due to their unique nature, call-only ads have always been small; the goal, after all, is to encourage a user to click to make a phone call rather than to peruse an ad in depth. As a result, the character limits have always been relatively restrictive; just 25 characters were allowed in the prominent headline, and 80 characters in the description.
While call-only ads have been successful at these sizes, some marketers felt that these size limitations were a little restrictive.
However, Google have recently announced a roll-out that solves the small size of call-only ads once and for all. Marketers will now be able to create two 30-character headlines, while descriptions are expanding by ten characters.
As well as the size limit changes, call-only ads will undergo a slight rearrangement: the business name will now move to the description line. Google Ads state that this change has been made in order to allow users to create more effective call-to-action headlines.
While the extension of the character allowances has been well-received, the change to the placement of the business name has seen a more subdued reaction. As a result, those who use call-only adverts are recommended to thoroughly test the impact these changes may cause, and – if necessary – make adjustments where necessary.
Facebook Ads Tutorial 2019 – How to capture your target audience and re-market effectively
Facebook is a social media platform that quite a lot of companies struggle to advertise on. If you’ve not read my previous article, please do so before reading this one.
Firstly, I would say it’s probably the best most difficult platform to advertise on – the reason being is that you’re not trying to be sold to like PPC. This means you cannot approach people with services unless you know they are interested.
People never want the sales pitch straight away – what your after is visitors on the site to start off with, this get’s you a Cookie – and not an edible on!.
Cookies will link that person visiting to your site and stay in Facebook’s database. Once that’s done, then you’ve got them. So the question is, how do you real people in? Well that’s an easy one – write content that people want to read.
Stop the paywalls and stop the White Papers – they drive people mad. Give people information for free without asking for an email. Every five seconds. It’s annoying as hell and people will not come back to your site. Not only that, but Google actively penalises sites that do this. This is the full Facebook Ads Tutorial updated for 2019.
Facebook Ad Example
Obviously, what has worked for me will not work for everyone, so keep that in mind. Campaigns, the same campaigns, re-run and sometimes they don’t even work for me. Facebook is all about low budget A/B testing. And it’s painful.
One word: Videos. Videos always win over images, on every single campaign I have run. Use bright colours and make your point quickly. As you can see here I’ve made a very quick statement, if people understand backlinks they will ignore this article, if they don’t they will want to read the article. There’s no sales pitch.
I’ve found that targeting business owners that are actively engaged in reading articles have the best engagement and come back time and time again. People who want to read real articles about how to improve the marketing on the site without the sales crap come back. Give people free content without restrictions.
The way that I have implemented it on Calibre is promote content. articles that are useful to people (like this one) – and not click-bait. No white-papers, Landing Pages or Email pop-ups – people are getting wise to this.
You’ll notice on the Calibre site all of the information is free, we never ask for an email address or “wall” any content. A really good example of a “wall” is Neil Patel’s blog, he’s great at what he does – not doubt about that, but within 2 seconds – you have a massive “wall” that asks you if you want to audit your site. That really puts me off.
My ethos is simple: If your good at what you do – people realise this through the content you distribute and they want to work with you, it’s a way of verifying that people are legitimate and they understand what they are talking about.
With Influence Monster, my influencer marketing tool – I have completely removed the walls. Pretty much every other outreach service makes you sign-up before you get a glimpse. Why? Because they are annoying as hell.
Free Content – Your Joking Right?
Giving content away for free proves that you know what you are talking about and gives people an understanding of how much of an “expert” you are in the field. People click on articles that will help them, not ads.
If you want to setup your first campaign, I would highly advise reading my first article on using Google Analytics as s starting point.
The most important thing is that you get people on your site, once people are on your site – they are captured by Twitter Re-Marketing, Google Re-Marketing, Facebook Re-Marketing and so-forth, obviously make the audience relevant but don’t go mad (this will push up the cost per click).
You want people on your site. The most important thing about putting articles out is not focusing 100% on your target audience, the reason? Cost.
If you start targeting really specific people and groups, you’ll be paying £2-£3+ a click and the idea is to get your brand exposed for as little money as possible.
To give you an idea, the normal CTR for social is 0.91%, this campaign – although not CTR had a 8.82% result rate with a cost of £0.08p per result. This means getting your brand seen. Videos always work better than images in my opinion.
Facebook Ads Re-Marketing
Once. Someone has been on your site, they have read your article (or articles) and now they have an active interest in your company. Now it’s time to start pushing the “selling part”. Generally, I combine this with an article with
a sales pitch. i.e. Read More About Backlinks. We can help with a fully managed service at £x p/m.
When re-marketing always take your conversion data from Google Analytics – that will give you 90% of your target audience.
Get people that have purchased (Engaged)
Focus on Decision Makers only (MD’s etc) make sure it’s their job title not an interest, there’s a big difference
Use the Phone Features – You want people with an up-to-date phone
Display Networks – Always had poor performance from display networks. Do not bother.
Remove the normal suspects from all campaigns i.e. China etc.
I have to say Desktop Facebook works much better for Calibre. I’ve actually had very little campaigns that have run really successfully with Instagram and this is due to Instagram having very limited dat.
It relies on the link between Facebook and connected accounts. I tend to find the leads from Instagram are low value. That said, if you’re a clothes brand, it’s worth trying.
There are a lot of bots on Instagram (I mean a lot) and I find that that eats away at your budget. I also find the data sometimes to inaccurate i.e. target 18+ from X area. If you’re a newbie to social ads, stay clear of Instagram and the display / audience network.
Facebook is probably the most difficult platform as it requires a lot of thinking, effort, landing pages, content, etc – you have to stand out from everyone else. You have to A/B test to the extreme to see what works and what doesn’t. Make sure each campaign is no. more than £5-10
Whatever you do, do not setup an impression campaign, make sure it’s website clicks. Facebook default to impressions to make more money. I made this mistake once and it was costly!
Video – 8.82%
Image – 6.32%
I hope this has helped – If your want to discuss a Facebook Ads Campaign, let me know!
Search Engine Optimisation is the process of creating web pages that are recognised by search engines as high-quality results to display for visitors searching for your products, services, and information.
Many people think that there are tricks you can use to see your website skyrocket to the first page of search engines like Google, and while this may have been the case in the past, the truth is, there is no tricking Google in 2018.
What’s All The Fuss About?
Digital marketing agencies often try and sell less tech-savvy consumers on terms like SEO, PPC, SSM, On Page, Off Page, etc, and it can be a confusing task to know what it actually takes to get your site to rank well with search engines.
You might not even need more traffic from search engines, and while that seems hard to believe, if you sit down and truly set your goals for success online, you might find it to be true. So, are there actually any universal truths relating to SEO and your website? Read on…
Content is king
The truth is this: Regardless of whether or not you need more traffic from search engines, the only way you are going to see good results from your online efforts is by having great content. Search engines like Google and Bing work hard to make sure that visitors find what they’re looking for, and all but disregard sites that have little to say about their products and services.
Furthermore, your existing and potential customers are less likely to pay attention to you if you try to pass off a site that is lacking good and relevant information. Getting to know your own brand is the first step in creating good content, and you’ll need trusted partners along the way to guide you.
More work to do
With the rise of smartphones and tablets came changes to the way people view content, this means you should be thinking about your site’s ability to perform well across all platforms with internet access. In addition to the obvious reasons why you’d want as many people as possible to have access to your site, engines like Google and Bing are deciding where to place you in search results based on these factors also. There is always more work to be done.
Where to start
Finding a trusted SEO Agency to help guide you through the process of SEO is your first step toward success. We’d like to help you explore your options, contact us when you’re ready to talk.
Everyone knows Local SEO is an important element when it comes to optimising your website – it’s a must-have for both small and large businesses in a world where you can find just about anything from your smartphone or browser.
But if your business is local, you might not have even considered Local SEO as an important part of your brand strategy. After all, you’re advertising on a local level. But in fact, it’s more important than ever for all businesses to invest in SEO, and here are just a few reasons why.
The way we buy has changed
From plumbing services to mattress purchases, the way we shop for things and find the right choices and prices for us has changed dramatically over the last few years.
As Search Engine Land reports, SEO has a large influence on our research/buying cycle – simply because when it comes to parting with our money, we’re more likely to invest time into research than ever before.
Your competitors are already doing Local SEO
According to Forbes, your competitors are probably already using SEO – and it could be damaging to your business if you don’t follow suit.
Even if they are not already working on their SEO, the opportunity to get ahead of the businesses you’re competing with in your area before they begin their own Local SEO campaign can be invaluable, giving you a leg up and the opportunity to win more work.
Local SEO results are more convenient for your customers
Modern consumers and customers want to be able to access, book services or buy items with the least resistance possible, and a positive customer experience is a must to retain customers long term.
Being able to simply search for your business, whether it’s for a specific item they need in their local area or a service they need in their postcode, is invaluable to your business when it comes to gaining customers who already know what they want.
If you’re a local business looking to invest in SEO Expert, there’s never been a better time to start.
If you want to beat your competitors, gain more customers and ensure your services and products are easy to find online, contact us today to begin your SEO journey.
With the rise of digital marketing, the way we deliver and consume information has massively changed. This has also led to a huge increase in the amount of technology which is available to assist in managing the various platforms. If you’re looking for ways in which you can add value to your company’s online marketing, read on for some top tips.
Marketing automation tools allow you to schedule activity ahead of time. This could be an email triggered by a form submission or after a specific amount of time, eliminating the manual process of following up with leads. Similarly, tools that schedule social media posts can be helpful. They allow you to plan posts ahead of time to keep your social channels ticking over, even when you’re tied up with other things.
Online advertising allows you to target specific audiences based on what they search for, their interests and behaviour. You can choose target keywords so that when someone uses a search engine to look for something, you will be the first thing they see.
Furthermore, you can target people on social media based on what they like, what groups they are in and even based on a look-a-like audience of one of your competitors. You can also re-target people who have visited your website, so that adverts for your product/services appear on other sites that they visit. This is massively beneficial, as it gives the impression that your brand is everywhere and keeps you at the forefront of potential customers’ minds.
With so much noise online, it’s important to have a brand which is recognisable and streamlined, and most importantly looks good across all technologies. Marketing agencies are often useful for helping to create a strong brand and design strategy to project a professional image of your company.
With so many different devices used to view websites, it’s important that your website is easy to use and looks good on all platforms.
Search engine optimisation
Advances in technology mean that the way we search for information has completely changed. Online search engines are now most people’s first port of call when looking for answers or information. Therefore, it’s important to have your website optimised so that it appears high up the search engine results. Fresh content, unique copy and targeted keywords are key contributors to how your website will appear in search results.
You’ll know yourself how rare an occurrence it is that you’ll look past page one of search engine results before moving on to something else, so it’s worthwhile to optimise your website. Again, if you don’t know where to start, don’t worry! Enlist the help of a Marketing Agency in Brighton and you’ll be ranking high before you know it.
Video is a great tool for digital marketing. It’s favoured by most online platforms, and most importantly it’s a great way to reach customers with valuable content. When was the last time you were scrolling through social media and paused to watch a video just because it started playing and caught your eye? If the answer is all the time, you’re not alone! Top tip – make sure you add subtitles any videos you create. Not only does it make them inclusive, but it means if people pause and watch, even if they don’t click, they’ll still get an idea of what you’re about.
With so much technology available today, it’s key to stay up-to-date and relevant.
Whether you’re going it alone or enlisting the help of a marketing agency, there’s no time like the present – so get started today!