Find out what is going into our 2015 SEO cocktail.
You may have heard of the phrase, “SEO” in a boardroom, or in business generally and wondered what on earth does this phrase mean?
Seo, simply stands for, search engine optimisation. We are going to walk you through the basics of Seo. Each year the blend changes slightly and things get shaken up, to keep you up-to-date we have published this 2015 SEO guide.
We see Seo similar to making a cocktail. That is not to say we employ alcoholics conducting our online marketing strategies here, equipped with fuzzy vision. No sir, instead we see Seo as a blend, a blend of various different approaches, which come together into a potent mix. If SEO is carried out with care and expertise, it can indeed intoxicate your audience, with a desire to purchase a product or service from you.
Cocktail shakers at the ready? Good, let’s begin explaining what Seo is all about and what we think should go into the mix. To make a winning knockout combination, for your business you need to use this as taster to beginning your journey into understanding SEO.
Just like making a cocktail, get the ingredients wrong, or overdo on one aspect and this can leave a nasty taste in your mouth. This is the same for SEO, you must learn when to add an amount of one aspect and adjust the mix until all the aspects are just right.
What is Seo? “Content marketing”.
If “Content Marketing” was a cocktail what would it be? We think a “Woo Woo”…
Jokes aside, content marketing is your most powerful weapon you can wield over your direct competitors. If constructed in the right way, your websites content can keep your users on your website for longer and persuade them into converting into making a purchase from you.
So what exactly is content marketing?
1. It can be powerfully written “Ever green” content for your websites pages.
This can take the form of writing engaging copy, for your areas of your websites that rarely change. Content which does not expire over time, we call “ever green” content as it works all year round and for a long period.
Your websites pages should contain appropriate information and contain them all important “keywords” that relate to your business. But do not go mad with keywords, if you “key word stuff” your page, which means over use key words, you could attract the attention of a penalty! Which will demote your site.
2) Think blogging, and blogging with a passion.
Blogging is a very important aspect of SEO, you can also use a news or article section to your site for similar effects.
What a blogging section allows, is for you to on a regular basis to write content related to your company, on a routine and a frequent basis.
By blogging, you are adding relevance and you are sending trust signals, what your business is all about and communicating to the search engines that you are an authority in this area.
Of course rubbish content = rubbish results, so you must spend time crafting your work, so that it addresses the right audience in the right way, easier said than done!
3) Think about content that is different, that stands out and that will stick your audience to the page for a long time.
A lot of companies write content, as if they are robotic, by this we mean they punch out content as a matter of routine, guides, information, info-graphics just for the sake of it. We see this approach here as out dated and a complete waste of time.
So what do you need to do instead?
You need to write content that is different, that is unique to your business and write less but write more quality and work which holds real substance. Take the time to find out facts, figures anything that will hold a good user experience and hold your visitors to your site for longer than your competitors.
So if your competitors are still writing articles like, “10 facts you need to know about anything” we would say this looks like content being constructed just for the sake of it!
Instead find out who in your company has the most knowledge on an area you wish to write about, and engage their thoughts.
Most of all ask yourself the questions your visitors are looking for answers too.
So instead of self promotional company waffle, answer questions, give away free information.
You will in return keep traffic on your site for longer, this will place your site over time in a higher authority bracket which will gain you over time more business. It is simple, if you think copying the competition will get you where you need to be, you are simply wrong if you still think this in 2015. Every business is unique, and so should your web presence. Best of all you do not need to pay over the odds neither, we have SEO packages starting from just £169.99 PCM.
What is SEO “Link Building?
Just like the Godfather cocktail of scotch and amaretto oozing authority and power so should your links do the same! Your back-links must show, you are an influencer, some one to be respected just like the Godfather.
So what exactly is “Link building?”
Link building is obtaining links to your site which send “Link juice” or “Link authority” back to your domain, via a link on a separate authoritative domain pointing back to you.
Imagine you are a car dealer in an area say Cardiff, you all sell the same model’s as other dealers in the area, how would Google or other search engines know who to rank higher or lower? A major ranking signal is therefore your ability to gain powerful, quality links from other trusted websites.
So say your car dealership, now received a back link from a motoring magazine, or just received a link from a site stating you show “customer excellence”, this will send powerful trust signals to the search engines (This is good).
How is this achieved?
Obtaining back links many consider the hardest part of SEO, no body of worth will want to link to you unless they are given a good reason to do so. Of course money can buy you what ever you want, but we would advise never buy back links! If you resort to this we think here you are going about things the wrong way, and to be frank the lazy way.
Okay okay, so how do I get these powerful trusted links?
The answer is simple, but in practice it is much more difficult. You have to use your industry knowledge to leverage links. People want to know what you know, they need that information, another site will want this info, and in return will provide you with a back link.
SEO Out reaching, what’s this all about then?
You must out reach, this is simply contacting websites you want links from, and you must influence and persuade your socks off!
Imagine for a second again, you are the car dealer, you are sitting in your office looking over the lot, scratching your head thinking, why is no one finding me online? Well if you think creatively you could come up with some low cost yet powerful links, which could make your website more visible.
You could for example write a guide, “how to service your car in under an hour”, or “which cars today in the budget sector, offer the highest safety rating. There will be people searching for this information, therefore there will be websites who need such articles from you.
You put the two together and you start forming powerful links, that point back to your site.
Major search engines will start to pick up you are an influencer, an authority someone to listen to, so you will start climbing the ranking positions.
What are the down sides this sounds like a piece of cake, what do I need an SEO company for? Huh?
Link building takes large amounts of time couple this with if you do it wrong, or get sloppy then your site could incur a “site penalty” which will place you back where you started, or worse not ranking at all!
For those wanting to find out more about avoiding penalties, you need to research the “Penguin Penalties via Google”, we have written an article on this here: “Penguin”.
So I am listening, I want links, my cars are not shifting I need to know where to get these links!
There’s no strict rules of where you must go, just avoid earning bad quality links!
Think about where your customers are looking, car review sites etc, so you need to aim high and work your way through who has a good quality website. If you go buying links or getting links from anyone, this is a dangerous business, you will have a poor quality back link profile, which will do more damage than good. Also correcting messy, ugly looking back link profiles can be costly.
So just like a dodgy mechanic, saying, “oooo this is going to cost you, to correct this mate” you could encounter the same from some SEO companies, you have engaged to correct your back-link profile. So our advice, but we would say this, employ a professional from the start. We have monthly SEO and Online Marketing packages starting from just £169.99 per month.
If Social Media Optimisation was a cocktail, what would it be? We think it would be a “Jägerbomb!”
Like a Jägerbomb the short drink makes a powerful impression, in a short amount of time. You must achieve this also with your social media campaigns.
We see so many companies writing on social media, any old occurrence within the company, why we are unsure, but we know from experience this simply does not work, and you could be preaching to an empty room.
What method or strategy should my business be adopting on social media platforms?
Some businesses think it is a good idea to get on as many social media platforms as possible. We would advise unless you have unlimited resources, to just concentrate on being good on one or two. We think here, that Twitter is great for any size company to communicate to their target audience.
How is a great social media presence achieved?
Good question. Do not think for a second that vanity and “showing off” should be your social media strategy, this again is out dated, played out and just wont work.
What do you mean by showing off on Social Media?
Some companies believe that social media is just a way to communicate to the competition they are doing well, we believe this will get you no where, and simply reinforces a “cold war like mentality” of posturing without showing any real ambition.
Okay so what should I do?
You have knowledge, creativity and you need to get over a message, sit down and think carefully who you want to target. This is not obvious as you might first think.
For example if I am a car dealer, most will first start hacking away at social media about promotions on cars. Will this approach really work? Probably not, if you want a car you will not start off looking within social media, you will enter your search terms into a search engine and then narrow down the search to where you would like to get the best information that meets your requirements.
So if you do sell cars, it would be better to try and influence who will make your site one of “higher authority” so it will appear higher in the search results.
So this is where you must think creatively…
Think creatively on Social Media, this does not mean think expensively either!
So for example, think what will my target audience want, what is most likely to get my business recognition from other authority sites to mention me.
With a low cost camera you could each week go out in a different car, road test it yourself, show the interior off on Youtube. This will all help create a better user experience for your audience, it may also gain you recognition from auto magazines for being different. Creating your own road test will provide insight into the cars you sell and may give you that edge over the competition.
This as opposed to posturing and making statements like “ABC Car dealership sells its 100th car last month”, so what! Your target audience needs information before it can buy from you, so to be showing off your sales figures does not provide the target customer a reason to come to you other than your selling a lot of cars. Selling a lot yes, but you may not be meeting that customers needs and questions head on.
Social Media in a nut-shell.
o Think creatively.
o Make an impact.
o Make people laugh.
o Make them want to share, re-tweet and take action.
o Do not follow the crowd.
o Do not show off.
Now let’s take a look, at the major search engines spam fighting algorithm changes and filters!
Search engines are interested in providing quality results, for there users, because of this over the years many have developed updates, this is so that they can filter out poor quality websites.
Let’s start by looking at Google’s Panda updates.
Google’s Panda updates were a search filter, that weed’s out poor quality content on the web.
Poor quality content could be websites which have duplication issues, or are just plain “content thin” or maybe just hold a poor quality user experience, through way too many ads!
Therefore this clever Panda, is able to decipher which web-pages offer a quality user experience and which ones do not.
Websites which are not unique, original, or hold a good user experience could be deemed as being “low in quality” and weeded out through the Panda sequence of update’s.
Google’s Panda updates started on February 24, 2011, the sequence of roll-outs and changes to the search filter, have occurred ever since.
What can you do to stay on the right side of this Panda?
You must generate unique quality content, that holds a good user experience! You must not generate content specifically for the search engines benefit, instead you must think-will my audience really enjoy this content or not?
You must avoid duplication, or other poor practices such as “spun content” also. You must spend the time researching and evaluating information, so that you provide accurate and unique content to your audience.
Quite possibly, you would like more information about Google’s Panda update, we would highly recommend Search Engine Land’s multiple articles on the subject especially this one. Google’s Panda update’s.
Google’s Penguin Updates
If only these pesky Penguins could be bought-off with a few tasty fish-bits, life would be much simpler!
Google first launched its Penguin sequence of updates on April 24th 2012, this update was primarily focused on targeting “spammy” and low quality back-link profiles.
That is to say, the update actively targeted websites which used poor quality techniques to build back links, these sites could be penalised by the Google Penguin update once it had discovered these links pointing to your website.
As previously mentioned with the Google Panda updates earlier, Google is focused on increasing the quality of search engine results. Therefore by a removing website’s that aim to manipulate the search engine results, through low quality back links, can now be targeted directly by this update to increase the quality of SERP’s overall.
Google Penguin updates primarily focused on looking at the following areas, when determining the quality of your back link profiles:
Over optimised keyword and keyword stuffed anchor text – Google will look at the diversity of your anchor text, to actively determine if possible “Black Hat” or manipulation of the anchor text profile has occurred.
That is to say if you had 1000 back links, all with exact match anchor text, stating “Seo Cardiff” for example, then this could look dodgy, well dodgy! As this sort of anchor text, does not look natural at all to the search engines.
Paid links – Google has always strongly frowned upon paid links, it is always better to build a natural looking back link profile, and never too buy links from any other domains.
It can seem tempting, you know the competition have more links right? So buying them seems… well easy, right? Wrong!
Never be tempted into buying links- if the website your buying off is selling them to you, then they are most probably, selling to everybody else too! You don’t want your site associated with these sort of websites.
If you do purchase back links then you run the risk of being hit by a Google Penguin penalty, it is that simple!
An abundance of low quality websites directly linking to you – If you can imagine that most online marketers crave high quality and authoritative back links, so on the opposite end of the spectrum are low quality back links.
Low quality backlinks can therefore dilute and muddy the water, when you are trying to send clear signals to the search engines, that you are an authority within your chosen industry.
Therefore low quality links are a headache, that can drag the authority of your website down. Not to mention the work that can go into sorting out the mess low quality links can cause! Disavowing is long and tedious work!
Outdated link building practices – Many online marketing and search engine optimisation companies of yesteryear, believed that the more links the better, and went actively building links like mad! This approach is definitely not true today, you should only look to earn high quality back links.
So link building methods such as building links through the “comments section” of website’s is definitely a dead and buried Seo technique!
Other forms of building back links such as “spammy press releases” or writing content on websites which look’s like “content farms” are definitely outdated practice’s also.
Remember when link building or monitoring your back link profile, you only want relevant, high quality websites that link back to your website.
Never take the approach of the more back links the better, and never take the approach of building links through outdated processes.
After reading this you may want to check the health of your own back-link profile, we would highly recommend shooting over to Majestic SEO, there is even a free option with this back-link tool.
Google Hummingbird Update
Google are thought to have started using the Hummingbird Update around 30 August 2013, yet it is thought that the actual change, was reported to be in place on 26 September, this was the official start date.
How did this update come about, and why is it needed?
It is thought that the next progression for search engines is for searches to be more natural, in regards to how we interact with the search engine.
That means that we may start asking questions to a search engine like we would ask a question to a friend or family member.
Therefore the questions are becoming much more “conversational” and much more fluid, to reflect these changes, the search engines needed to update.
This is reflected in the Hummingbird Update and also understanding natural speech, when it is presented through to the Google search engine.
Google’s Hummingbird update, allows the search engine to better understand user intent and the meaning behind search terms.
This update looks at the whole search string, to better understand user intent and to bring back higher quality results.
Therefore instead of focusing on a few select keywords, the search engine will look at the whole search string, and sentence to better grasp user intent.
The intention of this algorithmic update therefore, is to actively promote web-pages that better answer a searches query and allows questions to be answered, rather than ranking websites which just relate to a few keywords placed within the search string.
Search Engine Roundtable, reported that Google’s Hummingbird update affects 90% of searches! This shows the scale of this algorithmic update, and its impact on search engine optimisation.
How Semantics feeds into the Google Hummingbird Update.
Many search engine optimisation companies have become fascinated with the Google Hummingbird update, because it is interconnected with what we believe to be the future of Seo which is Semantic web.
Semantics is the understanding of entities, across the web and how these interconnect and relate to each other.
This basically means that Google or more precisely its Knowledge Graph can build an understanding of entities, which can be anything from a business, person or even an occurrence.
Through this understanding, the search engines are allowed a greater insight into what an entity is all about.
Through this understanding, the search engines are allowed to make a more informed judgement, how to rank an entity within the web. Therefore your connections that you have made with other entities can determine your influence and authority for example.
Many find this fascinating within search engine optimisation, as in the past back links have been the main influencer in terms of passing authority to a website.
We are now possibly seeing a shift into the Semantic Web where your connections through mentions or social influences, could determine your ranking positions within the future.
Amit Singhal spoke in a fascinating video published on the BBC. Within this video it was stated that Hummingbird, Google’s Knowledge Graph and also Artificial Intelligence are all steps to better understand natural language to present higher quality results to its users.
It is also widely considered that Hummingbird update is the first major and hugely significant algorithm update change to the search engines in such a massive way since 2001 and Google’s Caffeine update.
Although it could be argued that Caffeine update was primary focused on indexing pages faster and the Hummingbird Update is either much more significant impact through presenting higher quality search results.
It has been commented that Google’s Hummingbird update allows an increased understanding between understanding concepts and relationship between keywords or synonyms. This understanding has allowed increased quality in terms of the search results, and also more highly focused search results, when you enter more complex search strings.
An insight into the mechanics of the Google Hummingbird update
A fascinating article published on “Seo By The Sea” presents the possibility that Hummingbird is also a “query expansion” or could be considered a “broadening approach”.
It is stated on Seo by the Sea that this update may allow longer more natural language queries to be understood by the search engine. The full article can be read here.
It is interesting as Seo by the Sea presents the idea of “synonym identification”, based on “co-occurring terms”. This would tie into the idea of Semantics and understanding the relationship between “entities”.
What you can do to better develop your website to ensure chances of ranking better within the Google Hummingbird landscape.
Make it attractive
It’s important to create meaningful and visually attractive content.
Google is all about satisfying a users queries and presenting the information in a way which is likely to best engage a searcher.
It’s therefore important to create content which engages your target audience, this could be through engaging copy, videos or illustrated through graphical representation which allows an easy understanding of the information presented.
Make it accurate.
We think in the world of the Hummingbird Updates and the Semantic Web that websites could be rewarded in terms of how factually correct and informative they are.
Therefore we believe it is important to balance getting interesting facts packed into the information you are trying to present, as well as making the information engaging.
We believe that the future of Search Engine Optimisation is in Semantics, we think that websites should develop a strategy for this new form of web design. For that to happen you need implement structured language, or structured data so that the search engines can better read this information.
We think is vitally important that websites mark-up key information on their websites using such tools as Google’s Data Highlighter for example.
We also think that incorporating key data into content which can be accurately assessed by the search engine’s as being factually correct, we think has merit within the Semantic Web.
Google’s Pigeon Update
Google launched a change to its local search algorithm, which was codenamed “Google Pigeon update”. This update was introduced on July 24, 2014.
It is thought that Google’s update has a better understanding of businesses locations and provides more pin-point accurate results, centered around your search.
It is thought that Google’s update improved its understanding of how to rank pages locally, based on improved understanding of location signals.
What’s for sure is that the Google’s update dramatically changed the face of the search results for local businesses.
Perhaps the most dramatic impact was within the Google Business or local places section of the search results.
Traditionally we think of Google Local Business listings as a “seven pack” or “three pack” of local business listings. It has been widely commented that Google’s Pigeon update dramatically reduced the number of businesses listed, within the local business listings.
It’s more important than ever, that if you run a local business that your business citations are consistent across the web.
It’s very important that your businesses “Name, Address and Phone Number” are consistently shown across the web, with no discrepancies!
Google and other major search engines will use this information, to increase its confidence that your business is where it is stated to be- by cross-checking across the internet.
It is therefore very important to get this information right, and to amend any old information that may still be cited across the web.
The rise of the Local Directories
It could be argued that many search engine marketers, for a long period prior to the Pigeon Update ignored the use of local directories as a significant ranking factor.
The fact is because of Google’s Pigeon update it can be beneficial for some businesses to utilise local directories, to possibly increase their websites visibility.
What’s the purpose of the Google Pigeon Update?
Purpose of the Google Pigeon update is to enhance the user experience for local search results.
Google has changed its algorithm in terms of local search and how it assesses businesses relevance and location in terms of where the searches are made.
By having a more in-depth understanding and pin-point accuracy of location, Google is able to present local businesses in close proximity to where a searcher is making their search query.
Google can therefore better understand citations, semantics much better appreciating a businesses purpose in a location and therefore in presenting more accurate and focused results.
What can a small business owner do to enhance their websites visibility?
We think it’s important that you organically develop your website, in a way which naturally mentions the primary area in which you do business within the content marketing work you produce.
For example we think it is important within content marketing work to naturally mention where appropriate, your primary location, for example like Cardiff or Bristol.
We think it is of huge importance not to over optimise your content, in terms of mentioning your areas where you do business, it is very important to naturally write your content.
We would also advise that you make sure that your businesses citations are consistent across the web.
That mentions of your business in terms of its address and Phone Number, Businesses Name for example are all consistent.
But you also should clean up any old information, which may be on the web, which states old business addresses for example. You should update this information, to reflect your current address of your business.
We also think that it is important to naturally comment about areas that you wish to do business in, which are in close proximity your businesses location.
We therefore think it is important to naturally and organically mention nearby cities or places in close proximity to your business.
Again this should be done in a natural context, and not overused, as this could potentially attract the attention of Panda update if you were to over-optimise.
Optimising Your Website for Mobile Devices
We can all appreciate the uptake of using mobile devices, to purchase and find business information online.
Many believe that mobile devices are the future battle ground of search engine optimisation.
It is important that your website is optimised for mobile devices, as potentially you could be throwing away business, if you are not offering a good “user experience” on such devices.
Google’s Mobile Update
On April 21, 2015 Google will launch an algorithm change, focused on promoting websites on mobile devices, which are mobile friendly.
There has been much commentary on this particular update, Search Engine Land an authority within Seo, says that the update will affect a “page by page basis, and in real time”.
What’s for sure is that the update will begin rolling out April 21, 2015.
It is well worth reading the current news and information on the mobile friendly update’s, which are published on Search Engine Land. Current news, and updates can be read here.
Search Engine Land reports that your website is either mobile friendly or it is not.Previously some argued that there were levels of “mobile friendliness”, to a website, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. A website is either deemed mobile friendly or not. To check if your site is mobile friendly you should check here: “Google’s tool for checking if your site is Mobile Friendly”.
What do the Search Engines think about Search Engine Optimisation techniques?
It’s all too easy for us to say that investing in Search Engine Optimisation is a great idea, we would say that, right? So don’t take our word for it, we have posted here a video featuring Matt Cutts, who is head of Google’s Web Spam Team.
In this video Matt talks about the search engines views on search engine optimisation techniques:
Google has Focused its Efforts on Promoting Mobile Friendly Websites, on Mobile Devices.
Google has commented that as people change their search habits, to mobile devices, the algorithms have to adapt and change to suit these usage patterns of their users.
Google has commented that this update will affect search on a worldwide basis, many believe that this will have a significant impact, on search engine results.
We wrote an article a couple months back, describing how to make your website more mobile friendly. This article is definitely still worth a look- Mobile SEO
What Can I do to Make my Website more Mobile Friendly?
If you have a common CMS platform, such as WordPress it can be as easy as adding a “plug-in” to your website to make it mobile friendly.
If your website is not on a content management system, CMS, then you may require the services of your web developer, to make the necessary amendments to your website, in order to make its mobile friendly.
It’s important when making your website mobile friendly, to think about the basics of Search Engine Optimisation.
The basics could be considered to be things like “page speed” and also making your website “user friendly”. For example you must consider that the viewing area on a mobile phone is very small, you should allow your users to navigate your website in an easy way.
It’s also important to make your website optimised for mobile devices viewing areas.
Large images dominating the screen should be avoided. Small fonts should also be avoided, and also large amounts of unnecessary text.
We think that your mobile web experience should contain the relevant information, yet keep to the point.
You also need to think about “load speeds”, although many mobile devices are equipped with 4G technology in the UK, large video files or large high-resolution images, can still take a long time to load- causing user frustration.
The Basics of SEO
We are now going to look at some of the basics of Seo.
It’s very important to carry out “Keyword Research”
Allot of companies carry out search engine optimisation but without doing any proper investigative work, into what are the correct keywords, for that business type.
As you can imagine allot of companies think that the more content on their website the better.
But if this content lacks in meaning, and does not target specific keywords, then you could be wasting your time!
It’s important therefore to carry out keyword research.
Competitor Keyword Research
You may want to carry out keyword research, in regards to what words your competitors are using.
Title tags are simply tags that you put throughout your webpage, to send signals of what that particular pages content is all about.
This is sometimes referred to as the website’s header tags.
For example if you were writing an article about places to visit within Bristol, you may use your six header tags, to name local attractions or places of significance within Bristol.
When you have carried out competitor research, you will gain an appreciation for what key terms your competitors are using to draw in traffic to their website.
From this information you can then start using your keywords sensibly, within your content marketing, and your own header tags throughout your website.
It’s important to note that once you have your keywords that you should not over optimise your website with these chosen words.
Google has got very clever in understanding the meaning of pages content, so a few keywords will go a long way.
Over optimising your website with keywords is called “Keyword Stuffing”. Keyword stuffing could attract a penalty to your website through Google’s Panda updates if you were to overuse keywords.
Title Tag Optimisation
As earlier mentioned, it is very important to optimise your title tags correctly and in an organic way.
This basically means to send out the correct signals to the search engines, of what you’re particular pages content is about- do this in a way for your users, and not for the search engines.
If your website is not currently utilising title tags throughout each page, you should be.
Make an assessment of your website and look at the content on each page and make sure that this is reflected well through title tags.
Again don’t over optimise with the title tags, write the title tags in a natural way which will inform people visiting your website what the content is about, and allow them to skip sections to get to the part they want to read.
Therefore adding six different variants of the same keyword is not for users and it is most probable, that this is for the search engines, this is the practice of search engine optimisation, that you should try and avoid.
What are Alt Tags?
Alt tags are descriptions used to mark-up pictures, to tell the search engines what the pictures are about.
For example you may be a “used car dealer”, as a lot of cars look the same to the search engines, it may be a good idea to mark your photos up with “alt tags”.
Therefore anyone searching for a specific make or model of car, will be assisted through the use of alt tags, this will send a clear signal to the search engines what this particular model that people are searching for can be found on the your page.
Although Google is very smart, it recently launched a form of Artificial Intelligence and computer learning program, that allows it to know what exactly is displayed within a photo. You can read more about this here.
So if you run a business selling a specific object, it is not wise to mark-up every single picture with the same description, as this does not accurately describe the picture. Because Google will know what is in the picture, help them out further, if a car is a lexus, mark it up as such, it may help a searcher find your page!
So if you sell cars mark-up each picture as a specific make and model car, don’t just leave it to default, and call every picture a “used car” as you could be doing an injustice to your seo campaign.
Take the time to write accurate and factual content that has been well researched.
Google likes to present quality content that provides a good user experience. We think the future of SEO is presenting facts, and making your website as accurate as possible. We think that webpages of the future could be ranked on how accurate they are, as opposed to how many links they have pointing to them.
Search Engine Land, presents in a very interesting article explaining where “knowledge based trust” could be a future ranking signal. Are facts the future of SEO?
To assist in this you can make sure that all the content is accurate, and up-to-date on your website.
Some believe Google is actively using Artificial Intelligence and the Semantic Web. Through this recent technology breakthrough Google is enabled to understand facts and entities a lot better.
Google therefore has what is called a “Knowledge Vault”, when it understands facts and information on a wide array of entities, it can update its Knowledge Vault.
Entities could be anything from people, places all things.
Therefore Google will know the facts about a lot of common information already out there on the web, to make sure your website is accurate you need to make sure that factual information is correct so that Google can cross check this information with its databases.
Optimising Meta Tags and descriptions
Often a lot of people ignore and see little importance of Meta Descriptions on their websites.
Meta descriptions although carry little search engine optimisation significance, still tell people within the search engine results, what a particular page is all about.
So if you have done all the hard work of getting your website ranking well within Google, why be lazy at the final hurdle?
You need to write engaging Meta Descriptions, for every single page of your website, which clearly shows what that particular pages are about this can increase your click through rate to your website.
Everybody’s focusing on gaining links, what about linking out?
When you think about it the search engines are a complex information and data retrieval system.
Even if you are a strong authority within your business sector, you still need information from other sources, so you can stay abreast of news and changes within your industry.
For this to happen you will take in news and information from the outside world.
When you are taking in this information and using it on your own website to inform your own target audience, you should link-out to resources and articles that you have found of interest.
This does two things, it allows your users to be signposted to other quality resources across the web and also tells the search engines exactly where you got your information from and why you’re content can be considered of good quality.
Produce Search Engine Optimisation Friendly URLs
If you have a content management system, then it is very easy to customise your URL’s so they are Seo friendly.
So you’re asking what exactly are Seo friendly URLs?
They are basically URLs, which carry significant words which tie into the content on that particular page.
So for example, if you are writing about a football article, you may want to follow your web address with a few words summarising what that particular pages content is exactly about.
It is very important again not to over optimise your URLs, but also do this for your users and not for the search engines benefit.
It can be an easy way of marking up your webpage, to show exactly what that page are specifically about.
So if you sell for example a football shirt for a particular team in a particular size, it may be beneficial to mark-up your URL, with this information, rather than letting the CMS or your web designers come up with a URL, which makes no sense to the search engines at all!
Don’t cloak your content, don’t try and fool the search engines!
It’s a very old practice in search engine optimisation, to keyword stuff, your page and then hide this from the users that visit that particular page.
For example you may want your page to rank for “construction companies” within Cardiff, for example.
You may then go keyword stuffing everything to do the construction industry and builders and the geographic area onto a particular webpage, in order to try and make it rank high.
You may then make this content invisible, by making the text the same colour as the background for your website for example.
This is called “cloaking” in its most basic form, don’t fall into this trap, as the search engines frown upon this technique and if caught your website will be penalised.
Google has an update called the Google Panda update, which will be actively looking for this type of practice.
Don’t Duplicate any of your content across pages!
When constructing a website it can seem tempting to copy and paste, the same content across multiple pages, in order to fill out blank spaces on your website.
Don’t do this! Every page should be unique, you should write content specifically for each page, even if it does take a large amount of time, you still need to do this.
You need to make the time to write content that is tailored specifically for that pages content, this will help your search engine optimisation, making it more focused and exact to what a particular page is all about.
Don’t duplicate content– below we have posted a video published via Matt Cutts, which is the head of the spam team at Google. Matt talks about issues regarding duplicate content across the web, and clarifies the issue’s surrounding duplicate content.
Many e-commerce websites fall into the trap of duplicating content.
For example you may be selling shoes, yet to copy and paste a generic description about black formal shoes across every page selling such an item, would be a mistake.
Instead you need to take the time to write a small amount or a large amount of content, about each particular shoe and place this on each page.
Calls to Action
It is very important to get your calls to action correct.
It’s very easy for web designers to get caught up in the aesthetic appearance of your website.
Yet if you don’t make it easy for your visitors to convert, in terms of getting in contact with you, or buying something, they may simply just bounce off your website, onto your competitors.
It’s a fine balancing act, you have to combine a good user experience, getting over the correct information and also making sure that you capture your target audiences interest enough to convert, while making that easy to do.
If you are a small business owner we would highly recommend throughout your websites embedding email contact forms throughout every piece of major content.
We would recommend making it easy for your prospective visitors to get in contact with you.
If you have your email address hidden on the footer, then your target audience has to go looking for this information, this is not good for improving your conversion rates on your website!
If you like our approach to how we carry out SEO or Online Marketing in Cardiff and Bristol why not contact us today.