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For many years magento ruled the roost in the e-commerce world. There has always been other contenders for example Open Cart, OScommerce, Zencart, Prestashop , Xcart and others that have fallen by the wayside. Newer hosted arrivals like Big commerce and shopify have all cluttered the market to make picking your first e-commerce system a complex task.

The three non hosted (because Shopify vs Big Commerce will be coming soon for hosted ecommerce seekers) main players in e-commerce essentially are magento and woocommerce and open cart but this guide will purely be looking at Woocommerce v Magento.

There is not necessarily one right solution for you when it comes to e-commerce because different platforms bring different benefits and different negatives but you need to look at your own company’s needs and then pick your system based on that.

Both platforms have their own groups of fanatical supporters generally people are to be news on that platform for years and know all its nuances and strengths and weaknesses.

Is Magento or Woocommerce more expensive?

Magento is a far more expensive platform to develop; ecommerce expert Andrew at SEO leaders has been working with magento pretty much since the earliest version one came out and describes it as a complex but very versatile platform. The development skill and time needed to produce a like-for-like store is much heavier with magento.  Woocommerce on the other hand has a lot more developers available because it is such a popular platform and it also has a lot of capacity with plug-in availability and plug-ins are also far cheaper. Whereas you can potentially find a developer for your woocommerce project on freelancer doing the same thing for a Magento project is highly unlikely to be successful, such is the knowledge and costs of development.

Years of experience developing Magento tell us that you need a team of developers who are all very conversant with your site, your business goals, your product ranges, and the functionality that you are seeking from your site.

Both platforms are completely free, however there is an enterprise and cloud version of Magento which is more for medium to large businesses; the Magento suite is owned by Adobe inc. This means that only the open source version of Magento 2 is free. The commercial versions run to big cost in annual cost alone (development cost is on top of these prices!) See our price table below to see how much Magento 2 Enterprise and Magento Cloud cost:

Magento 2 Cost Comparison Table
Gross Sales Revenue Magento 2 Enterprise
Edition (EE) Cost
Magento 2 Enterprise Cloud
Edition (ECE) Cost*
£0 – £760,000 £16,726 £30,412
£760,000 – £3,801,000 £24,330 £41,817
£3,801,000 – £7,600,000 £37,000 £60,000
£7,600,000 – £19,000,000 £57,000 £91,000
£19,000,000 – £38,000,000 £95,000 £145,000

* Numbers here are based on quoted on the Magento book pricing. As a company, they are very transparent in saying that the combined cost of hosting and Enterprise licensing is negotiable. These costs are Annual prices.

Magento 2 CE inherits a lot of the platform-wide architectural improvements made in the Magento Enterprise products, with notable exceptions around its scalability, promotions, merchandising, security, loyalty, and of course customer support.

Both products support unlimited products, both operate on a theme-based system, both have development communities behind them; however woocommerce is far more amateur owner friendly in many areas with free plug-ins available whereas magento is much more commercial and nearly all good plug-ins are paid and more expensive to buy and integrate. Building a fully featured custom store in either package will require development work, but much less for Woocommerce.

The flip side to this is that a lot about Woocommerce is a pain to manage for any stores over a reasonable amount of products (like 100!). It is after all a plugin for WordPress, whereas Magento has been developed from day one to be a bulletproof ecommerce system

Magento website traffic capacity vs Woocommerce traffic capability

Some people have debated whether woocommerce can stand up to the same level of traffic and order processing is Magento. What you need to ask yourself here is what does your website currently have in terms of traffic? do you have 1 million visitors per month and thousands of transactions per day?

If that is the case then it is very likely you will be looking for an enterprise level solution liek Magento Cloud however many huge sites run on Woocommerce with no problem at all. In fact over the years as certified Magento developers we have found Magento can be quite clunky and is a hard system to optimise on many different levels with one change in one area having massive potential knock-on effects to other parts of the site structure which all takes time to bugfix.

In summary our advice would be to go for woocommerce unless you have a really big budget and grand plans; or are already running a very busy site; granted it is not solely designed for e-commerce like Magento is , so some of the reporting and other things like product management are not as advanced as Magento but can be made with a bit of work to do absolutely everything you will ever need.

Is Magento or Woocommerce best for SEO

The flipside of this is because it is designed as a content management system it is inherently better for SEO and it will not take you hours to add one article to your blog or integrate a fishpig extension to get WordPress to run inside your Magento shell, where then you cannot use any plug-ins apart from specific ones you then buy from the fish pig store. Don’t get me wrong, fish pig is a fantastic Magento developer but it can get very very arduous and time-consuming and as a small medium or even a large web business your time can be better spent on promoting and bringing customers to your site rather than trying to fix and maintain your store all the time. Magento one is going to remain being supported with security updates until June 2020 but it will not have any further developments apart from by developers within the community after that date. It is for this reason that if you are going to use Magento then you should always use Magento V2 which is a complete step change from Magento 1.9.XX which is the latest major versions of the Magento evolution.

Can any developer work on Magento or Woocommerce

In summary we would say no. Our developer pool includes certified Magento developers with a wide range of skills. Proper Magento developers usually work primarily on Magento, so if anyone says ‘I can do anything with Magento or WordPress’ they are probably best avoided because Magento demands sole focus for full custom projects; and Magento architecture and WordPress architecture are very different.

The flipside of this is that WordPress has it’s own expert developers (yes we have WordPress gurus too!) because it is such a capable and amazing CMS there will always be some good talent to work on any customisations you are wanting, or just contact us if you want some expert help.

Conclusion – Do I use Magento or Woocommerce for my ecommerce site

This is an answer that changes based on where you are at now.

If you are a sole trader or small budget with a low budget (even if you have big goals, your budget is the key factor initially) then we would advise Woocommerce everytime. We can get you up and running with a secure woocommerce store on your own domain name for a very reasonable amount.

If you are an established business, or a startup with a good budget, then we would lean towards Magento 2 CE due to it’s massive power, speed and infinite customisation capabilities.

We build a significant amount of Magento 2 stores and have a large amount of experience between our developer team of 6 Magento certified developers (plus our other experts); while this is a much more expensive option to build a custom site in, it really does give you a very strong ecommerce foundation indeed to build a significant business on.

What are the on costs of Magento and Woocommerce

For all but the most tech savvy business owner, a Magento store will require some maintenance on an ongoing basis by competent developers, WordPress is less onerous but will certainly need attention on at least a weekly or bi-weekly basis. For example, updating plugins is an essential part of keeping your store secure, but on the odd occasion one update can break other features on the site, and then you can be requiring a skilled developer pretty darn quick.

The post Magento v Woocommerce which is best for ecommerce appeared first on .

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What is Javascript then? What is Java?

For any budding web developers, Javascript is a programming used that was developed in 1995 by Netscape to connect Java with various scripting languages.

Javscript and Java are two different computer languages, both developed in the same year. Java is object oriented that essentially means it can run on it’s own in a server environment. It is a very versatile and powerful language that is also a hard one to learn. If you know C++ or C# then your skills should be transferable to make the switch much easier. Java runs on many machines all over the workd, from enterprise systems, android apps, payment processing technologies and all manner of other software. It is also big in the IoT arena which has become a very popular and growing industry as of late (internet of things).

Conversely, Java script is a lightweight text based programming language that is designed to run within a web based application environment.  It was originally meant to be a Java addon, but it soon took on a life of it’s own and become one of the three main pillars of any web development project; the other two being html and css.

Javascript is designed to integrate into html and all major web browsers support this, though many offer the option to disable js if preferred.  But Java needs to be compiled before it will run in web based environments.

Coding in and using Javascript

The good thing about .js is that you don’t have to be a coder to be able to use it in your web code as there are numerous prewritten javascripts available online, that perform various functions. This makes basic javascript integration as simple as copy and pasting into your code.

Javascript only needs a plain text editor as it is an interpreted language (eg it is interpreted on the fly by the browser)  but something like Markdown editor can make the task a lot easier.’

Javascript V HTML

JS and html are essentially complimentary languages. HTML being a markup language which defines static webpage content. It is the underpinning language that gives a webpage it’s content.  Javascript works within the html and performs dynamic tasks within the webpage, for example a search box or animation of some type. Javascript is included in to an html page by using a tag that calls the .js file.

JS can often be in multiple files included in the same webpage, and on other webpages within a site. On page SEO needs to factor in js load times, and sometimes lazy load (or delayed load) is required to give the best user experience.

PHP V Javascript

PHP is a tried and tested server side language that enables data transfer from server to application and back again. Calling a phpinfo.php file like this can tell you what version of PHP is running on your webserver. Many CMS (content management systems) use php like wordpress or the less popular drupal or joomla.

PHP is the most common server side language used in web apps bit the burgeoning use of node.js is gaining a strong following as it is more streamlined than PHP.

The post Javascript and Java – How do they work in html applications appeared first on .

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How much does SEO Cost? SEO Pricing Models Explained

Determining the cost of SEO can be a real problem. While the cost should not be the deciding factor in choosing an SEO agency, it is still important nonetheless. Comparing costs can be difficult as well with some prices being quoted at an hourly rate, one off prices for a project or monthly retainer contract prices, through to pay on performance structures (which are only applicable to PPC in all honesty due to the huge amount of factors in the other seo areas).

SEO Leaders have conducted this study and discovered that SEO prices range from as little as £20 per hour to over £250 per hour for a large seo agency in London.

Monthly contract prices range from as little as £199 per month through to a £5000 and upwards. The median pricing we found was around £2000 per month which for a cheap (relatively) agency would bring you about 33 hours of professional SEO services (based on a cost of £60 per hour).

SEO pay on performance is another method of payment used mainly in the Pay per click area. This is prices on a pre determined level of results that could be an increase in product sales, or levels of new customer signups and so on.

These examples may help to outline why the question of ‘how much does SEO cost’ is not an easy question to answer.

SEO Pricing Structures

In order to understand SEO prices you need to understand the variety of pricing models that proper agencies or freelancers use. These can vary between an hourly rate to single project prices and your financing may determine your most suited type of provider.

Hourly Rates

This is most common among freelancers, single owner and operator SEO companies and small/medium SEO agencies. The benefits of an hourly rate allows for greater amounts of flexibility in financing a project for smaller businesses and also greater flexibility on the work done on a project (eg/ working to a budget of XX hours and get as much as possible done in key areas).

Fixed Retainer

This pricing model involves a set cost for SEO over an agreed contract length. This is usually based on an hourly rate and a set number of hours per month. Small local SEO packages may run from around £299 to £499 a month, with other common SEO amounts running from £999 to upwards of £10k per month for larger projects. This is usually for a minimum of 6 months due to the time intensive setups needed for professional SEO or digital marketing projects. Additionally, results in SEO projects are only reliably measured in 3-6 months and upwards in some more competitive markets so this pricing model keeps that fact in mind. It is used most commonly used in mid size and larger SEO agencies but is also becoming widely used in smaller agencies due to the complexity and time intensive requirements of a quality SEO campaign.

Project Cost Model

Another pricing model that is mostly used by mid size and large size agencies. It works by defining the projects scope prior to starting it and creating single work elements with a fixed cost (or multiple elements with a fixed cost assigned to each). Generally this will use a day rate or hourly rate which factors in the agencies operational costs (software and service costs, staff costs etc) plus their profit margin; more complex factors are often arrived at in the agency calculating their rate, for example the clients size and potential for providing other ongoing work (if they have multiple companies under a group for example).

Paid by Results

The paid by results pricing model is only really applicable to Pay Per Click projects because SEO has too many variables outside of a digital agencies control to make this a realistic payment method for anything other than PPC.

Any company who is promoting ‘guaranteed position 1 results’ is doing most likely two things.

1/ Not telling the truth

2/ Breaking Googles webmaster guidelines which can get your website penalised or worse, removed from Google’s index.

In the event this happens (a Google manual penalty) it can be very expensive and laborious to try and get it removed, not to mention the lingering damage that a previously penalised site is thought to retain as time moves on (essentially a black mark against its name in Google hidden notes).

SEO Credits

This is a newer type of pricing structure that involves a client purchasing an amount of monthly credits that can be redeemed against a ‘menu’ of digital marketing activities on an ongoing basis. This gives the client a degree of flexibility in how much they spend each month but it can be problematic in allowing an agency to create a flowing and strategic campaign.

Any SEO campaign should be well planned as there are so many different areas to address in even medium competition markets in current times.

Having effectively a pay as you go approach means an agency can only plan one month at a time and if you don’t have the credits, they may not be able to undertake what they consider to be the most important issues

Do all SEO companies charge upfront for their services?

It is usual for any professional SEO company to charge upfront for any work undertaken. For example, if you have a monthly SEO package, you will be invoiced prior to the work being undertaken and usually an amount will be requested for expenses; for example press release services, any design work required, software or plugins related to website development work and so on.

Likewise for web design projects (in a full service agency like SEO Leaders for example) you will be required to pay an amount upfront prior to starting the project, usually 50%, then another 25% (approx.) at a predetermined second stage, then the remainder and any requested extras on completion of the site.

Which type of SEO company should I use? Here’s the Pros and Cons

Not all SEO companies are equal and very often the size of the company will strongly influence how their pricing structure is determined.

The Freelancer

This is at the cheaper end of the price range for seo. Normally a freelancer will work on multiple small projects doing everything themselves in the aim of providing a ‘full service’. Good freelance SEO’s usually become successful agency owners so this route has it’s caveats but can work well for small local companies seeking to be visible in local search results. This is clearly budget friendly for a small business with rates starting at £35 and upwards for even the cheapest semi competent freelancer.

Freelancer SEO pricing

Pricing : Usually an hourly rate starting from £35 per hour or lower cost monthly packages from around 10 hours or £350 per month.

Advantages: Perfect for smaller companies or businesses with a tight budget who want to take their first digital steps. A good freelancer can usually get the basics in place and begin a digital marketing campaign for you. It also gives the business owner direct contact with the person doing the work which can be a plus point.

Disadvantages: The old adage ‘buy cheap buy twice’ is very much applicable to SEO services and digital marketing. If things are done wrong, particularly using nefarious means to try and inflate short term results; untold damage can be done to a companies digital presence, that can be far more expensive to undo than having it done right in the first place.

Low spend of £350 per month doesn’t buy enough skills, resources or time to deliver great results, so don’t expect a miracle.

Inevitably a freelancer will not be able to afford the multiple professional cloud based and software SEO packages that a proper agency will be able to fund (some of these can run upwards of £1500 a month!), this is a significant disadvantage before the freelancer even starts. Additionally, a freelancer does not have any accountability (eg/ a guy or girl in a bedroom or home office won’t have insurance or a business reputation to protect) and this can mean major problems if things go sour in the working relationship.

Lastly, a single person cannot hope to cover all the bases that a full digital marketing campaign needs to be involved in; hence their suitability for small business, small goals work.

The Small SEO Agency

A small SEO agency would usually consist of between 2 and 10 individuals including support staff. Generally they will handle multiple smaller SME campaigns and by definition will be aiming at a small amount of keywords within an SEO campaign. A good quality small seo agency will also be hot on addressing technical onpage SEO issues, undertake some low level link building and the occasional small content article depending on time available and working efficiency.

Small SEO Agency Pricing

Pricing: Usually an hourly rate starting from £50 per hour or monthly retainer packages ranging from £500-£2000 on average.

Advantages: Due to size constraints a small seo agency is usually a specialist agency who only focus on SEO and don’t really utilise other marketing channels. They will be a small team with ideally a sharp focus on what they can do and what they can’t do. They will typically be fast in responding to client needs and have a shared pool of knowledge and skills that will be utilised within projects.

Disadvantages: Being a single channel agency (SEO only) they don’t have the broader knowledge of how the different digital channels integrate and benefit each other. There is without doubt a few competent agencies at this level (I know a few of them!) it is usually the price band that delivers low value for money because client expectations and project outcomes are very seldom aligned.

The Mid Size SEO agency

Many mid sized agencies offer a multi channel approach to their digital marketing and will have teams covering different disciplines of search marketing.

There is a larger investment in terms of training and software or cloud based tools, which as a result means the level of knowledge and insights from this will be significantly more when companies to the average smaller agency or freelancer (certainly against a freelancer who is outpriced for many critical tools right from the outset).

Very strategic in their project planning while remaining flexible in their pricing and approach, would be a key facet of a good mid size agency.

Medium Size SEO agency pricing

Pricing: Monthly retainers or contracts based on average day rate/hourly rates or spread over project cost. Extras are billed on top as hourly rate. Day rates from £500 per day with a minimum monthly spend of £2000 and upwards. Sometimes the medium size agency will do a project cost pricing plus extras.

Advantages: A mid size agency will again have a larger team and usually different team specialities. This bring a cohesive complete digital marketing solution that is needed to take on bigger brand projects or highly competitive industries. They have more professional tools at their disposal, more complexity in the information they can collect and analyse and are more strategic in their approach to a project, it’s variables and deliverables and outcomes. Measuring the success of a mid size SEO agency project is done as regards the increase in brand value, awareness and return on investment over and above purely keyword based rankings.

Disadvantages: Having a larger team will usually mean that not all people on the team are equally qualified or experienced. There will inevitably be some inexperienced or trainee staff on the project and you are reliant on the agencies more senior staff to monitor and manage these staff effectively to ensure your project is safe from any potential mistakes.

Also you will be paying more than you would for a smaller agency as the mid size agency will have larger premises, more overheads and more staff to pay.

The Large SEO Agency

 A very strategic and segmented approach that puts the client at the centre of everything. Generally large agencies will be used to working with Blue Chips and other demanding medium sized and large companies or PLC’s , that demand the maximum possible resources and are not too concerned about the cost. Winning at all costs is a fundamental strategic outcome for large SEO agencies if they wish to be successful. The competition is hot and the marketplace fierce (yes, the small and medium agencies are competing in the same arena too, just usually with slightly smaller brands).

Using the latest and greatest cutting edge tools, software and usually with very posh ‘creative’ style offices you would expect a large agency to be using all manner of audience profiling, heavyweight content marketing, big social marketing teams and connections (using the likes of socialchain.com),  user needs analysis, all manner of UX professionals, a solid web development team, Organic Search staff, Google specialists (analytics, Google Ads, local search etc) and more.

The Large SEO agency will live by Key Performance Indicators and that is how they will measure your projects success along with Return on Investment.

Large SEO Agency Pricing

Pricing: Monthly retainer or monthly contract pricing (plus extras) or a fixed project cost in some instances.

Price range: Starting at £10,000 month and upwards or on a project cost basis (both plus extras)

Advantages: Often attract the top talent in terms of developers, managers, data science experts, marketers and creatives and experiences and portfolio are very high among more senior staff. The Large SEO agency has a client base that will make smaller agencies very jealous; usually because they have built up a reputation for delivering results and have contacts in all the right places (certainly to reach the status of large agency)

Disadvantages: Very expensive which rules out a lot of companies being their clients, but then they don’t want the ‘smaller fish’ as their USP comes from being top tier, top price.

Do these gargantuan agencies deliver value above that which a smaller seo agency can provide? It depends on the project but in many cases, it is unlikely to be the case. With a big budget to work with a very sharp small/medium size agency can white label work out to their contact’s in the industry to cover bases they can’t cover fully in house.  The top talent pool isn’t by any means all at the big agencies; in fact, some of them left to setup their own agencies!

What decides the cost of SEO?

 How exactly does an SEO company or digital marketing agency come up with their pricing model? What goes into the pricing proposal they send you?

SEO is a very confusing and technical industry that gets more complex almost by the month with hundreds of different factors at play. For those uninitiated with digital marketing it can be hard to discern what they actually need and what they will be getting.

Putting a proposal together for an agency is a skill set in itself, here are some of the factors to be aware of when you are thinking of signing up for a seo analysis or a proposal.

Your companies current situation and goals

The actual cost of SEO is effectively a financial investment that improves your business from where you are, to where you want to be. The vast majority of initial or basic SEO proposals are an analysis of your current organic rankings, your web presence and website, your companies link profile, social media activity and status; and on a more local level , citations and local relevance. There is of course a myriad of other factors that need analysing, for example your budget is important to know, as is the industry or niche within which you operate. These two factors need to be aligned in terms of realistic achievable goals.

Analysing the competition vs available budget

For example; a finance company starting out with a 10 year old website and no social presence wanting to rank for high traffic national finance terms would require a big budget, whereas a local tradesman with a website that ranked on page 2 for some relevant local searches but wanted to make to actually being seen on page 1, would require a smaller budget.

Additionally, the highly competitive markets will require a big budget over a longer durations vs low competition markets needing a lower budget over potentially a shorter time period.

Be under no illusion though; a proper SEO campaign is not something that is ever really ‘finished’. Granted, the main bulk of the work may be done over the first 6 – 12 months but websites and SEO strategies constantly need attention and improving with ongoing work to be effective in competitive marketplaces (and even in less competitive ones.). At the end of the day, if the competition are improving their site and digital profile all the time, you need to be doing the same to not get left behind.

Your companies needs

How much your SEO costs really depends on your needs. Some companies are not wanting a long term contract to have their SEO done by a professional agency. Quite often, here at SEO Leaders we get asked to use our specialist skills in certain areas of SEO, for example a backlink cleanup / backlink detox or negative seo repair service; comprehensive SEO audits; or the use of our awesome Google penalty recovery service.

Large companies very often have an in house SEO department, particularly online based big businesses. Very often this type of company may seek help from the top tier seo agencies for help with specific areas of their work. For example they may want help in onpage technical SEO from people who do that day in day out (we do!) where as smaller companies are generally looking for an all in one SEO solution as it’s cheaper to outsource than to pay staff salaries. Particularly when you need such a talent and knowledge base to offer a comprehensively effective service like some of the best mid size agencies. We are biased but we would certainly say that SEO Leaders fit’s into that category without a doubt!

How fast do you need the work?

 It’s not only what work you need doing that affects the price, but how urgently you need it doing. Most successful agencies will have their talented teams timeslots filled for months ahead, often well over 6 months ahead. If a project is ‘please drop everything and help us’ urgent, this will naturally be reflected in the price.

SEO Account Manager?

 In the big SEO agencies there is normally an account manager hierarchy and the cost of the project will increase or decrease depending on the credentials and experience of the account manager you want to manage your project. This is reasonable; after all, you wouldn’t expect to pay a junior barrister the same as a 25 year experienced QC to represent you in court, would you?

 

Things to be wary of when getting SEO work done. Too good to be true? Cheap, fast, good

 

This old saying is very much applicable to SEO. There are no shortcuts that will work longterm and SEO is nearly always a long term game. We talk about results in weeks and months, rather than days for many areas; particularly high competition ones and ecommerce SEO in busy markets.

As a result, cheap SEO is not going to be good SEO. Buy cheap buy twice? If only it was that simple. Picking a sub par bargain basement ‘SEO company’ could land you with an algorithmic penalty or a manual penalty, and this can have long term detrimental effects on your site, particularly manual penalties since you will likely be removed from the google index!

As a result, undoing bad or cheap SEO can be very time consuming indeed, and often far outweighs the cost of having things done by a professional agency in the first place.

There are no guarantees in the SEO industry

Anyone that is giving guarantees that they will rank you ‘guaranteed number one in Google’ is not being honest with you (or has no idea what they are talking about) and should be avoided at all costs.

 There isn’t a static number one spot any more, or very rarely. Even the most established sites can get uprooted from their long term P1 spot on a regular basis, and they will proceed to jiggle about up and down the SERPs where they may eventually settle back into a top 3 place, depending on the reason for the upheaval.

The same thing applies to promising speedy results. Unless a blatent onsite technical error (or errors) is the root cause of a ranking issue, fast results are not a likely scenario in the current digital industry and fast and long term results are most definitely not going to happen together.

Its not all about price!

 Cheap SEO is almost universally bad SEO. There are no shortcuts in the modern SEO industry, and where there are shortcuts, they very rarely provide longevity and can in fact cause your site to be penalised and banished to the dark areas of cyber space that will ensure it is never found and certainly doesn’t add value to your business!

What you will often find is that people offering cheap seo will be outsourcing it to freelancers from abroad, who have no idea what they are doing and are usually involved in archaic spammy practices from years ago (that don’t really work now either), designed to give a quick boost to rankings before google algorithms catch up and a long term slide or penalty is received. The best case scenario is that your money will have been wasted and no perceivable change will be seen with your online properties.

Making that decision

Pricing up for SEO projects can be very complicated and it only fair that you can ask the agency what they are planning to do with your purchased time.

Any good agency will be able to give you a rundown of what time is allocated to where; the depth this will go to depends on the scale of the project and your budget. Don’t forget though, you do..

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Google is bringing in changes to allow people to ‘mute’ pop ups that are targeting them to buy products from websites they have already been to.

Reminder Ads

This type of advertising is called reminder ads and they essentially target which products a person has previously bought online and they then promote these all over the web, essentially following that person around reshowing them products they were previously interested in.

Google has said that these reminder ads ‘are useful’ (to who exactly? Their bottom line profit  quite possibly!) but they wanted to give people “more control” over what they actually see online.

So now Google plans to make these individual reminder adverts muteable on sites that use Google ads. Unfortunately, adverts that are muted will be replaced by other adverts, we are unsure at this stage if they will be non personalised ones or not.

Is this enough of a change?

This causes some concern for consumers, because Google isn’t actually changing anything from the sounds of it. Merely allowing you to mute invasive tracking adverts, to be replaced by potentially different invasive tracking adverts. There will be no way to opt out of seeing all reminder adverts by default, apart from using a good ad popup blocker.

The change will be initiated as part of an update to Googles advert settings which are available to anyone with a Google account.

Once the change is implemented the user account dashboard will show people which companies are currently targeting them with these invasive reminder ads, that are based on products they may have innocently viewed previously.

Not the first time Google has introduced ad muting

Google first rolled out a “muted this advert” feature back in 2012, which again, does nothing very good apart from hide the advert that you do not want to see, this feature is used in millions of browser experiences every day.

Reminder ads from huge companies like Facebook or Amazon will not be affected with this change, which is a shame as it would be good to have an industry wide blocking feature on these very invasive tracking ad campaigns.

The post Google bringing in “mute” option for its invasive targeting ads appeared first on .

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What is the Google Medic Update?

So on August 1st 2018, Google rolled out an algorithm update that was loosely coined ‘the medic update’. This term was suggested by Barry Schwartz of Seroundtable  and was so named because it was initially said that a very high proportion of Medical related sites had been hit with some massive players literally seeing their search traffic nuked overnight by Google.

As a professional SEO this update has had a lot of us scratching our heads, because the quality of the SERPS has not actually improved seemingly, which was the alleged intention of the update.

Danny Sullivan of Google confirmed that this was a broad scope core algorithm update in his tweet on the matter

This doesn’t really give much information to webmaster as is typical of Googles updates, but these are some areas that you should look at to cover your bases. Typically there is a whole range of issues that have been address in this update, and finding out which ones are relevant to your own site requires a full drilldown of your current site and it’s profile.

How to succeed at SEO on Google + dealing with the fallout from the medic update

There are 11 Critical Factors you should focus on:

1 – Target the right search queries

2 – Make your site very crawlable and accessible for Googlebot

3 – Quality and number of backlinks

4 – User intent satisfaction (does your webpage satisfy users? low bounce rate?)

5 – Unique Content (are all your articles unique?)

6 – Expertise, authoritativeness and Trust (EAT)

7 – Content Freshness

8 – Click through rate

9 –  Page Speed

10 – Fully responsive and built for mobile devices

11 – Domain age and Domain Trust

Because the medic update hasn’t really matured a lot we are not going to start coming up with spurious theories on ‘how can I fix my site after the Google medic udpate’ just yet! The reasons for this are varied but primarily because we do not yet know what the main areas behind this update are. The medic update was titled as such because it seemed to affect a large proportion of medic sites, indeed a survey done by seroundtable of 300 sites asked webmaster what industry they were in and almost 50% were in the health space. This led to a belief that EAT was a large part of the update, as shown in the excellent write up by Marie Haynes here which mused that YMYL (your money your life) sites may have been the focus of the update.

That article however was in the early days of the update and a broader scope of sites has since been shown to be affected. But could it be EAT as the main driving factor behind ranking loss?

It is possible. in the health sector, but other SERPS that we have been analysing in different sectors show wildly varying results, with low quality single page sites outranking true quality content on more establised sites..

Here is how the above 11 factors can affect your site and how to address them

1 – Targetting the right keywords is crucial in building or improving traffic to your site. There is no pointing in ranking high for a query that nobody is searching for. I advise using longtail pro or semrush for your keyword research.

2 – On page SEO is another crucial area to ensure your site is maximising it’s SEO potential with Google and the other search engines.

3 – Backlinks – Always a contender for one of the key areas of being ranked by Google, regardless of what their PR machine says. You can read our guide on backlinks soon.

4 – User intent in short this means your content needs to make a good user experience, does it provide the information and experience that are valued by a visitor?

5 – Unique Content – More and more content is being rehashed on the internet, regorged, rewritten and reposted. You need to provide content that is truly unique and that creates a valuable resource.

6 – Expertise, Authority and Trust – this section deserves many pages on its, own, which we are working on. For now though, be sure you have a full author page about you and your authors, list qualifications, credentials. experience, and links to prudent resources that prove these. For example if your a University Law Professor, be sure to link to the academic page about you on the university website.

7 – Content Freshness – Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people ignore it. Adding and refreshing content at regular intervals really does work.

8 – Click through rate – This relates to people reading your adverts or copy, and clicking through to continue their journey on your website. An essential area to master.

9 – Page Speed – a definate ranking factor but our real world tests shows some old, established sites with terrible page speed and on page optimisation still ranking in position one. This though is due to their authority and age, and unless your site is a big authority site, ranking p1 for many keywords, then you need to make your site as fast as possible. We will be making guides on this, including speccing a suitable server/hosting package and optimising your site.

10 – Google has moved to mobile first indexing and in doing this, put even more weight into a site being mobile responsive (fully) and offer a perfect mobile and tablet experience. Your site will be ranked in the SERPS on its mobile position once it is moved to mobile first indexing. You can use the Google Mobile Friendly test to see how your site performs.

11 – Domain Age and Domain Trust – a factor that plays into the whole ranking algorithm in a big way in our opinion.

12 – Random ranking factor. This is the secret sauce of an SEO and Google. Yet no SEO on the planet, even the best can say precisely what causes it. Our experience shows however that there is an element of randomness in some sites ranking better than others, even when their other factors (the 200 plus ranking factors) are worse than the sites they outrank happily.

The post Google Medic Update – August 1st 2018 | SEO Leaders appeared first on .

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Google is bringing in changes to allow people to ‘mute’ pop ups that are targeting them to buy products from websites they have already been to.

Reminder Ads

This type of advertising is called reminder ads and they essentially target which products a person has previously bought online and they then promote these all over the web, essentially following that person around reshowing them products they were previously interested in.

Google has said that these reminder ads ‘are useful’ (to who exactly? Their bottom line profit  quite possibly!) but they wanted to give people “more control” over what they actually see online.

So now Google plans to make these individual reminder adverts muteable on sites that use Google ads. Unfortunately, adverts that are muted will be replaced by other adverts, we are unsure at this stage if they will be non personalised ones or not.

Is this enough of a change?

This causes some concern for consumers, because Google isn’t actually changing anything from the sounds of it. Merely allowing you to mute invasive tracking adverts, to be replaced by potentially different invasive tracking adverts. There will be no way to opt out of seeing all reminder adverts by default, apart from using a good ad popup blocker.

The change will be initiated as part of an update to Googles advert settings which are available to anyone with a Google account.

Once the change is implemented the user account dashboard will show people which companies are currently targeting them with these invasive reminder ads, that are based on products they may have innocently viewed previously.

Not the first time Google has introduced ad muting

Google first rolled out a “muted this advert” feature back in 2012, which again, does nothing very good apart from hide the advert that you do not want to see, this feature is used in millions of browser experiences every day.

Reminder ads from huge companies like Facebook or Amazon will not be affected with this change, which is a shame as it would be good to have an industry wide blocking feature on these very invasive tracking ad campaigns.

The post Google bringing in “mute” option for its invasive targeting ads appeared first on .

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