Fibre Marketing offers SEO services to businesses across the UK. We're a Cheltenham based SEO agency, offering search engine optimisation. Read about experiences, tips, tricks and information on Internet Marketing.
A Google snippet or featured snippet is a small summary of your website on the Google results page. It offers small segments of detailed information with the aim of helping a Google user choose if he or she should visit your website. It is programmatically chosen from your web pages. If you are wanting to land a featured snippet, you’ll have to optimise your content, conduct some keyword research and answer the questions that your target audience are looking for.
Where Are Google Snippets Coming From?
Information is extracted from what a reader sees on your web page. If the Google algorithm indicates that your website offers an answer for a Google user’s question, then the answer will be presented on the featured snippet.
The snippet shows directly under the paid ads, but before the rest of the search results on the SERP (search engine results page).
The snippets come in a range of formats:
Is There Anything I Can Do To Affect Snippets?
There is nothing you can do besides offer a suitable level of information or content on your web pages. For example, if your web page has a single image and a single line of text, then there is not very much for the website to go on.
To optimise your content for featured snippets, there are many things you can do. But it all comes down to content.
Keep your content concise. And make sure it’s quite specific as well. Add bullet points or short paragraphs (the average length of a paragraph snippet is 45 words), as these will help user retention.
Answer the questions that people are asking. Your content needs to provide the information that they are looking for, so do your research (the ‘People also ask’ tab on SERPs are useful for this) and lay out the answers searchers want on your page.
Do your keyword research. Try and fit a range of keywords with a decent search volume into your content – just make sure you don’t spam, else you’ll likely be penalised by Google. It would also help if your keyword research included a mix, such as long-tail keywords and questions.
Are there any search terms that usually give featured snippets?
There are so many search terms that generate featured snippets. While many are questions, a few short searches do frequently show them as well, such as ‘definition,’ ‘vs,’ and ‘recipe.’
Build an Online Brand
If you want your website message and your Google snippets messages to match up, then simply brand your website correctly. If your website is not sending mixed messages, then your Google snippets will not transmit mixed messages. There is nothing wrong with website wackiness, but do not break or bend your brand principles. If you make a claim, then live up to that claim consistently and your online brand will hold.
Creating good meta descriptions for your web pages is essential. Doing so gives you an advantage in search engine results. While it’s true that Google does not use meta descriptions on their own when determining search engine rankings, click through rates are used. Good meta descriptions help to improve these click through rates.
This is why meta descriptions are an important aspect of SEO. So what do you need to do, to create good meta descriptions for your web pages?
What is a meta description?
Let’s start by looking at what a meta description actually is. In basic terms the description is a summary of what is included on the page. If keywords that are being search for are included in the meta description it will be shown on the search results page. When a meta description is displayed it can help to influence the decision of the person searching as to whether they click through to a website or not.
You can see why creating good meta descriptions is so important. They can greatly increase the amount of traffic to your website. This is why it’s essential to create well thought out and well-crafted meta descriptions for your web pages. There are several factors that you need to take into account when you are doing this.
1. Pay attention to the number of characters
In the last couple of years Google has increased the number of characters that it displays in the snippet on the search results page. However the number of characters displayed can change at any time. You need to ensure that the important information is displayed. Therefore it’s a good idea to stick to 155 characters when creating a meta description. It’s also worth noting that searchers should be able to get a good idea of what the page includes within the first 130 characters.
2. Provide an accurate overview of your website with the homepage meta description
The meta description for your homepage should provide an overview of what your website is about. Remember that you need to be precise while also being concise. Including the right information is important because it will help attract the right people to your site. You do not just want people to click through to your site you want them to find what they looking for when they get there. Making sure that this happens reduces your bounce rate and improves engagement with your website.
3. Make sure that the description is compelling
It’s important to remember that the meta description is your opportunity to attract people to your website. This is why you need to make sure that the words you include are enticing and compelling. Your aim is to get people to click through to your website so you need to provide them with a reason to do so.
4. Make meta descriptions specific
It’s often easier to create meta descriptions for product and services pages than it is to create a meta description for the homepage of your website. This is because you can be specific about the product or service that the page is about and you do not have to discuss the business as a whole. Being specific is important because you want the person who is searching for a product or service to know that your business is the right choice for them.
5. Talk about the benefits of a product or service
When you are creating meta descriptions for your product and services pages think about the benefits that the product or service can provide. This could be solving a problem for the searcher or making their life easier. Include this information in your meta description for the page.
6. Use language that promotes actions
Remember that the aim of your meta descriptions is to encourage the searcher to click through to that page of your website. In order to make this happen it’s useful to include words or phrases that act as a call to action. Doing so helps to increase the amount of traffic to your website. This is an important aim of your SEO.
7. Talk about your USP
The Internet is a vast marketplace so you are going to be facing competition when it comes to attracting people who are searching online. Think carefully about what makes your business different from the others. This is your unique selling point or ‘USP’. Make sure that you include details of this USP in your meta descriptions.
8. Use a unique meta description for each page
When it comes to creating meta descriptions for your website it’s important to remember that each meta description needs to be unique. If you do not make sure that this is the case you could find yourself being penalised in search engine rankings.
9. Do not stuff meta descriptions with keywords
Although you do need to include keywords in your meta descriptions, you should make sure that you do not stuff each description with a bunch of keywords. The meta description has to make sense on its own and not just be a lot of keywords thrown together. If you do stuff your descriptions with keywords your website could appear to be spammy and you could be penalised for this in search engine rankings.
Creating good meta descriptions can seem like a daunting process, especially when you are trying to run a business at the same time. Getting expert help with the process could be the solution. The team at Fibre Marketing is happy to help with creating meta descriptions for your website. Speak to us about your requirements and we will tell you about the help that we can provide.
We have a fantastic opportunity available for someone to join our fast growing team.
Fibre Marketing is an SEO Agency, offering organic search services to businesses across the UK.
We work with some of the largest organisations in the UK and across Europe.
We’re looking for someone to join us on a part-time basis to assist in our content outreach strategy. The individual will aid in making contact with website editors and pitching content ideas. The role will also require the individual to partake in generating content ideas and pitching ideas to website editors.
Other duties will include:
Editing content to fit the clients content strategy
Building strong relationships with website editors
Negotiating with website editors & influencers
Adhere to best practices set internally
Keeping up to date with the changing SEO environment
Attending team brainstorming meetings to discuss influential content ideas
The individual requires the following skills:
Excellent written English & communication skills
Proactive and motivated
Ability to work on multiple projects and manage time effectively
All training will be given
All candidates are required to attend a non paid trial day (10am – 4pm)
Hours of work will be discussed during the trial day, however the minimum required is 2 days per week.
Please apply by completing the below form, we require name, email, brief covering description and a CV URL.
If you are a human and are seeing this field, please leave it blank.
Fields marked with an * are required
We are unable to allow file attachments, could you please share a URL where we can access your CV. Free services such as https://wetransfer.com/ can be used.
What makes a good blog can be broken down into four segments. Firstly, there are the different forms success takes, secondly there is the marketing boost that all successful blogs need, thirdly there is surprise, and fourthly there is targeting. This post covers all four elements of a successful blog, and also offers a little bit of advice about trying to replicate the success of others.
Success Has Many Forms
Take YouTube as an example: Pewdiepie holds the record for the most total viewers on YouTube, and it is just one guy who used to upload every day; then, take Lemmino. He uploads once per month at the most, and he has the most loyal followers. Both are working alone, both are incredibly successful, and yet both use a very different method for achieving their success.
The key to blogging success seems to be “Experimenting.” i.e. trying out a bunch of different ideas until you find the thing that works. Many times, you are surprised by what works and what does not.
For example, there was a blog aimed at teenage boys, and the web master tried everything from fight videos to hilarious comic strips. He tried every cliché in the book to attract teenage males. Yet, the web master had his biggest run of success when he posted opinion pieces on local issues, but he put a joke or funny comment in every third line of his blog. That simple format attracted more of his target demographic than all the gun-violence posts he ever uploaded.
Your Face on A Billboard
You may have the highest quality blog of all time, but if nobody sees it, then it nobody interacts with it, which means Google ranks it as number 120,000 on its results. You will need to give your search ranking a boost from time-to-time with search engine optimization. Just like putting your face on a billboard, you need to draw a little attention from time-to-time if you want to generate sustained success for your blog. Get people interested by optimising your website and its content for Google, and then, if your blog is good, it will be carried by its own success.
Think of the keywords that you want to rank for. The headlines you’re creating. Do you need visual content? Remember, do not keyword spam and do not make your post too long. People have shorter attention spans – keep content between 500-1,000 words, and use subheadings (H2s) and bullet points if necessary.
What Makes A Good Blog?
Targeting and surprise. Sadly, these are two elements that are often confused by bloggers and people in the publishing industry.
Targeting means you need to produce content that your readers are actually interested in. Your blog needs to fit your niche, and thus needs to appeal to those who are interested in it, while pushing away everybody else. It is the “pushing away” part that most bloggers mess up – many try and create content that would appeal to anyone in the hopes that they gain more traffic. The fact is that if you wish to target certain people, then you have to alienate others. need to alienate some people if you want to target others.
This also means that you need to have a thorough understanding of what your target audience wants and write directly for them. If you’re stuck for ideas, type in some keywords that you’d like to rank for, and look at the questions from the ‘People Always Ask’ section on the search engine results page (SERP). That’s what your target audience are searching, so make sure your blog has the answers.
Secondly, surprise means “unexpected.” It doesn’t mean click-bait titles, it doesn’t mean shock news, and it doesn’t mean being unorthodox.
Examining the Success Of Strangers
You should do learn from your success because they offer the most powerful lessons.
Should you learn from the success of others? You probably shouldn’t. Most people have no idea why they succeeded because they spend too much time examining why they failed and not why they succeeded. Secondly, repeating somebody else’s success is often harder than building a successful blog using your own trial and error.
A wise person examines the success of strangers and takes its lessons on board, but maybe doesn’t try to replicate the success directly.
The main aim of any business website is to attract interest in the brand. From this interest, sales of products and services can be increased. This is why creating a business website that works is so important. It’s your way of establishing a global shop window, where people can see what your business has to offer.
Establishing a website is not the full story though. If your website is not indexed by Google, it will not appear in search results, where you want it to be. As we recently reported, there has been a recent issue with sites dropping out of the index due to a bug. This has led to problems for businesses who have missed out on potential custom as a result. Although this recent issue is a glitch that is being resolved, it’s possible to have ongoing issues with indexing if you do not have a proper understanding of how important it is.
What is site indexing?
It’s important that you have an understanding of site indexing, in order to realise how vital it can be for your business. The process of indexing involves Google searching the web for pages to be added to the Google Index. It’s this index that is used to produce results when searches are made online.
Websites need to be structured correctly, in order to be indexed and to appear in search results. This means that there needs to be an efficient sitemap in place and that tags need to be correctly added to enable Google bots to find the content and index the page correctly.
Why is site indexing important for your business?
Knowing what site indexing means, you should be able to get an idea of why it’s so important. In order for your business to show up in search results, the pages of your website need to be indexed. Any pages that are not indexed are not available to be presented in search results. The pages exist but no-one can find them, so they are not of much use.
You need to make it as easy as possible for Google to find your online content so that all of the information contained on your website is added to the index.
Keeping check on your index status
As can be seen from the recent issues caused by a bug, just because your website pages are added to the Google Index, this does not mean they will always remain there. The recent problem was a temporary one, but there can be issues which cause your pages to drop from the index more permanently. If you do not realise that this has happened, you may be wondering why traffic to your website has dropped.
The simple fact is that if the pages of your website drop from the Google Index, no-one is going to know that they exist. This makes monitoring the index status of pages a vital exercise.
As we mentioned at the start of this article, the main aim of having on online presence is for your website to attract people to your business. You want them to visit your site, and see all of the good content that is there; and you want them to go on to invest in your products or services. This is not going to happen if people do not know that your website exists, because it does not show up in search results. No matter how wonderful your website content is, it does not matter if the pages are not indexed. You need to make sure that it’s easy for Google to find, and navigate through, the pages of your website, so that they are added to the Index and can be produced in search results.
Last week, Google’s own John Mueller was put in the firing line in front of a vast audience in Auditorium 1 at Brighton SEO last week (12th April 2019).
The session started as quite relaxed, with questions such as ‘What are your responsibilities as a webmaster trends analyst?’ and ‘What does success look like for the team?’ But after a few minutes, Hannah Smith began asking John about vital matters such as user data, the recent de-indexing bug, featured snippets and plenty more. Here are some of the key takeaways:
User Signals as a Ranking Factor
Hannah asked John if Google uses user data, such as clicks and bounce rates, as a ranking factor.
John answered that he doesn’t think they do, but instead they use them to analyse the algorithms in general. They’re just not part of the algorithm itself.
Google uses user signals to evaluate the quality of algorithms, seeing which trends are correct by observing where people click. John said that, for one specific search query, it could go in many different directions. So essentially, user data would be too noisy a signal, too easily spammed.
Clarity on the recent indexing bug
Carrying on from algorithm updates, Hannah also asked what exactly happened with the Google indexing bug, which recently caused the de-indexing of many websites. There has since been speculation that this was the result of an algorithm update gone wrong.
John responded that it was merely a technical issue that was not caused by an update. He also stated that when something goes wrong at Google, they try to make sure that it isn’t visible, but that isn’t always possible.
He confirmed that the issue is now resolved and that if any URLs are still not indexed, then you can submit them in Google Search Console.
Google’s Link Graph
Many major websites are now nofollowing all external links, a recent trend that does impact Google’s link graph, as John confirmed. He said that it’s a shame as it affects their ability to pick up new content.
However, he also stated that he understands that certain sites, such as news sites, see SEOs as a hassle, messaging them to add links. But, this kind of thinking isn’t so great for them, as links still play a role in finding useful content online.
The Role of Featured Snippets
SERP features, such as featured snippets, are valuable for websites, as if they are featured in a snippet, their site is highlighted and the traffic is sent to them. This is because the information in a snippet isn’t always complete, and so users click on that website to read the rest.
There have been some complaints that these snippets take clicks away from websites, as there are instances when the snippet presents the information that the user wants, and so they don’t need to carry on their search.
John stated that Google are not taking clicks away in these types of situations; all they are doing is helping the user find their desired information a lot faster.
The Role of Voice Search
The popularity of voice search is growing, and webmasters are now trying to optimise their sites for this. However, it can be tricky as there is so much that we don’t know.
John recommended purchasing a device with voice assistant, so that people can start to understand how it works. He also believes that if the content on your site is high-quality and easily accessible, there is no need to make any certain changes.
We had a fantastic time at Brighton SEO last week, and we cannot wait to return.
Optimising your presence online is essential if you want your business to be as competitive as possible. Making sure that your Google My Business listing works as effectively as it should is a major part of this. It makes sense to use this vital tool to its full effect as it does not involve any financial expense to your business and it can help you to feature highly on Google Maps and in Google’s overall organic rankings.
You can choose to do all of the work to optimise your Google My Business listing yourself, or you can work with professionals. This can have benefits for you, as professionals have experience and expertise in working with tools such as Google My Business.
Whatever decision you make about dealing with the optimisation of your Google My Business listing, you need to know what is involved.
Make sure your Google My Business profile is complete
You need to remember that this is a device which is being used to help people find your business. This means that you need to include all important information in your profile. The information that should always be featured includes:
The address of your business.
Your phone number.
The hours that your business operates. Do not forget to include details of any special opening hours which may apply on bank holidays.
The operating category of your business, so that people know what you do.
A description of the role of your business.
How to find your premises.
How people can buy your products or pay for your services.
This is your opportunity to tell people about your business, so use it wisely.
Include photographs of your business
Google My Business listings that include photographs usually receive more click-throughs, and more other forms of contact. People like to see what your business look like. Make sure to include photographs that show the inside and outside of your premises.
When you are choosing photographs to use, it’s important to opt for quality and relevance. Do not just decide to use photographs that you already have, if they are not clear or do not accurately represent your business. Have some up to date photographs taken, that show people what your business is all about, and what they can expect when they visit.
Pay attention to your reviews
People can leave reviews on your Google My Business listing, and if these reviews are good, they can have a positive impact on your rankings. The best way to get good reviews is to make sure that you provide a high standard of service. Make sure that products are delivered on time and that services are carried out as promised. You also need to ensure that good customer service is at the centre of everything that you do.
Whether the reviews you receive are positive or not, you need to make sure that you respond to them. People like to feel that they are being listened to. Acknowledge people who are pleased with your service, and say thank you. If people have suggestions, say that you will take them on-board, or explain why it’s not possible to do so. If someone is unhappy with your service, say that you will contact them about the issue. The exact response you give will depend on the situation.
Keep your listing up to date
Once you have created your Google My Business listing, you need to make sure that it’s kept up to date, in order to ensure that it works as effectively as it should. If your address or telephone number changes, do not forget to make the change to your listing. Likewise, if you add to your services, tell people about it. Doing this work helps to make sure that your listing is optimised as all times.
Google My Business is an important tool to use, when it comes to advertising your business. It helps people who are looking for your products or services, in your area, to find you. Make sure that you include all of the relevant information about your business, including photographs. Once you have created your listing, do not forget to update it every time there is a change that people need to know about, in order to help them find your business.
Anyone who is involved in digital marketing and a business’s online presence will know how important SEO is to the success of its website. SEO is the key to your website being found online, and it is therefore essential that you get it right.
The world of SEO, however, is ever-changing. With new trends, new tools and new algorithms coming out all of the time, it is easy to overlook things and make mistakes.
By dealing with these mistakes, you can give your website a new lease of life, enhance your SEO and see your website shoot up those search engine rankings.
Seven of the most common SEO mistakes which are made include:
1. Not using Google Search Console
Google’s Search Console (or Webmaster Tools as it used to be called) has been gifted to webmasters to give you everything you need for good SEO. Search Console allows you to monitor your site with regards to SEO, submit content for crawling, see the search queries that people are using to find your website and check backlinks.
It is also where they would be able to communicate with you and advise you of any problems – such as manual penalties, crawling errors, any malware that has been detected, and increases in 404 pages.
Everyone can sign up to Google Search Console, meaning that you don’t have to guess anymore. You should also sign up to Bing’s Webmaster Tools who can also give you similar information about your website’s performance on Bing.
2. Not getting the H1 tags right
It can sometimes be difficult to understand when to use H1 and H2 tags. More than just a font size or making a page look nice, H1 and H2 tags tell the search engines what your pages are about. If you don’t use them or aren’t accurate in the way that you use them, you will be giving the wrong information to the search engine, and, ultimately get penalised because you are not giving their searchers what they want.
Use the H1 tag as the title of your page, and only once. Make it clear and related to the information that is being given – like the title of a book. Any sub-headings should then be made under the H2 tag, and then H3 for sub-sub-headings under H2 and so on.
3. Not using the Google Keyword Tool
Another useful tool from Google is the Keyword Tool. This gives webmaster details about what queries people are making before they are directed to your website. Keyword research allows you to see what is and isn’t working, and then change your content accordingly.
It is important to remember that businesses with a big online presence are likely to be focusing on the most popular keywords, so try to focus on long-tail and low completion keywords to get your presence higher.
4. Not having great content
Good content is all about creating trust and authority. As Google continue to develop their algorithms, content is no longer about stuffing it full of keywords, but more about being useful and interesting.
Make sure that you have a good content marketing strategy and that the content is well written, packed with information and something that people will want to read.
5. Not having a plan
It is important to be consistent when you are posting content for SEO purposes. Search engines hate inconsistency and the best way to be consistent is by having a plan.
Creating a publishing schedule which details how many times you will be publishing content and having a few back up articles which are ready to go will help you stay consistent and help push your website to the top of the search engine rankings.
6. Not having internal links
Internal links are crucial to good SEO. Not only can they direct your visitors to other pages on your site – which can help you to engage with them better, but internal links will also show the search engines about other pages that you have.
It is easy to create an internal link from any content that you have, and both your readers and SEO rankings will thank you for it.
7. Having a slow website
We all know how infuriating a slow website can be. It is enough to put people off reading it, making your bounce rate higher, which in turn will lead to lower SEO rankings.
Check that your loading speed isn’t being affected by the formatting on your website and seek help if you can’t make any difference to your website’s speed.
Getting your SEO right is no mean feat, especially as the criteria keep on changing. But there is a lot of help out there – even through the tools that search engines are supplying, and by making a few changes, you could see your website charging up to the top of those search results.
A website that reviews credit cards will have little use for long-tailed keywords. The name of the credit card being reviewed is the most powerful keyword. The second most powerful keyword is the name of the credit card followed by the word “Review.” SEO revolving around these keywords would help a financial website business thrive.
However, a website giving tutorials on the Blender 3D animation program will benefit from long-tailed keywords that span into questions, and it will benefit from the content, questions, and answers contributed by followers in the Blender community. Such a website will even draw traffic from long-tailed keywords embedded in questions that people have asked on its forums.
2 – Google Images Appreciates Long-Tailed Keywords
Stop underestimating Google images. If people cannot find what they are looking for, they will check Google images and Google videos. In fact, many times, people cannot remember the name of what they are looking for, so they will enter a search phrase and check Google images to see what looks familiar. Title your images and include descriptive Alt text, and this will act as your long-tailed keywords.
Also, as a side note, try creating your own images, either through graphic design, photography, or both, and then add them to your website because they will rank higher on the Google images search engine results, as Google recognises when you have copied an image from another online source. Also, images are handy for people who are aiming to improve their mobile SEO.
3 – Marketing Companies Are Leveraging Long-Tailed Keywords
Do not misunderstand, there are marketing companies that are concentrating on smaller key-phrases, but they are only doing so with businesses that thrive on smaller/popular keywords. For example, if a marketing company is promoting the new Suzuki Katana, then the keyword “Suzuki Katana” will be the most powerful keyword. However, many marketing companies are refocusing their efforts towards long-tailed keywords and they are doing very well.
4 – Long Tailed Keyword Movement Is More Stable
The shorter and most popular keywords are heavily contested. One week, on Google’s first page, the keyword “orthotics,” the SERPs are full of different results that may not always be what you’re looking for, as shorter keywords provide broad results and thus more competition.
However, if you enter the long-tailed keyword, “Best orthotics for climbing,” then you are more likely to see a smaller range of results on the first page of the SERP (search engine results page). This means there is less competition, and that it’s quicker and easier to rank at number one.
5 – Google Suggestions Are Long-Tailed Keywords
Type in a few words, and Google generates suggestions based on what it thinks you want. The Google suggestions function is the reason why long-tailed keywords are so powerful. Google suggestions are written as sentences, and these sentences may act as long-tailed keywords in and of themselves, and/or they contain usable long-tailed keywords.
It is often a good idea to search Google for your web pages and steal a few long-tailed keywords from the Google suggestions that are generated.
Conclusion – Experience Teaches the Best Lessons
Your own experience will verify what you have read here. As you upload content and you search for suitable images, you will see your own images appear for the oddest long-tailed keywords, and you will notice how the keywords you stole from Google suggestions seem to generate consistent traffic.
Experience will teach you what is working and what is not, as SEO is fluid, dynamic and shifts whenever user interest shifts.