Is Keyword Research Important?

I’m going to provide two answers for this:

 

The short answer – Keyword Research is very important.

 

 

The long answer – Keyword Research is very important for the following reasons. Let me explain why!

 

The SEO Benefits of Keyword Research

 

When you’re looking to improve your SEO ranking or give yourself an SEO ranking if you’re launching a new website, keyword research will help you find exactly what you should be targeting.

 

Say, for example, you’re an Accountant and want to increase your ranking. You need to identify what keywords are driving traffic to your competitors.

 

By using tools like SEM Rush, you can identify what keywords your competitors are using to get to one of the top 3 spots.

 

It’s really important you try to get the best ranking, as 60% of all Organic clicks go to the top 3 search results!

 

Bad Keyword Research (Or None at All) Can Have Bad Consequences

 

If you’re ranking on page 56 of Google, or not even ranking because you’ve just launched, you can say goodbye to any kind of Organic traffic.

 

When you’ve assessed that because you haven’t got any keywords on any of your pages, or on your blog, you’ll understand why your keywords are very important.

 

You’ll essentially become the Wally of the World Wide Web’s version of “Where’s Wally” – except no one’s looking for you…

 

Make sure people are looking for you and finding you with a good use of keywords, which can be found doing keyword research!

 

As an example, my keyword for this blog is “Keyword Research”, and I’ve included it 8 times. I could probably use it more, but then I start becoming spammy, and that’s not good either!

 

 

Image credit to Walmart

5 Simple Ways You Can Make The Most of Your SEO!

SEO is the Bread and Butter of Digital Marketing. Actually, I think I’m selling it a bit short. SEO is the Club Sandwich of Digital Marketing.

Stay with me.

It’s got your standard Bread and Butter, but it’s also got so much more! You’ve got all that additional goodness sandwiched between 3 slices of delicious Bread.

You need to truly understand the amazingness that is SEO to fully get the most out of it, and I’m about to give you 5 tips on how to get more out of your SEO optimisation.

Define what you really want

Do you want to improve your SEO ranking? You need to know what you really want in order to get more from your SEO Marketing.

Are you looking for more traffic, brand visibility, ad impressions, and sales, all of the above?

Instead of telling yourself or your team that you want to “rank well for X Y Z keywords”, what you should be saying is “We really want to generate at least 500 more leads in the next 6 months”

Getting specific is the only way to improve!

Don’t segment SEO away from everyone else

Remember the days when the SEO side of things was just in their own little bubble? Now it’s time to burst it.

If you want your SEO to thrive, it needs to mingle with every internal company resource you have, whether that’s copywriting/editing, design, web development, PR etc.

You have to think that all your marketing efforts and your website developments are going to impact your Google ranking, so not only do your SEO team need to know about it, they need to be involved.

Be(come) a brand

Do you want to be THE brand? You don’t need millions to make it happen, just good SEO marketing.

You need a well-designed website that works on both desktop and mobile, an active Social Media account with an engaged audience and posting great shareable content.

Combine that with mentions from industry websites and blogs, and voila! You’ve got some free help for your SEO optimisation and Google ranking.

You need to become worth talking about and worth sharing and searching for!

Stand Out For the Right Reasons

It’s 2017, there are multiple versions of everything. That’s great for customers but bad for us.

The attention span of customers is shrinking, and they are spending less time looking around.

You need something that says “Pick Me” instead of “Me Too”. If you don’t do something different with your layout or content, Google will penalise you and you’ll lose your Google ranking.

Don’t be cheap

We’re not saying that you need to focus all your budget on SEO, but SEO optimisation is an investment that is worth more than just a little amount of time and money.

Long-term, SEO is still the best online marketing investment you can buy!

It needs to be of high quality though if you start with it low it won’t last. It’s like building your home on shaky foundation, it’s going to break eventually and come crashing down.

When I say don’t be cheap, you need to make sure you hire high-quality writers, designers and web developers to create link worthy content.

Adding Google Analytics to WordPress in 5 simple steps

Adding Google Analytics to WordPress in 5 Simple Steps:

Google Analytics is a VERY USEFUL tool for digital marketers around the world. It can tell us many things about our website and the statistical data it provides can’t be disputed. Not all websites have this holy grail of marketing and to be honest it really surprises me. IT IS AN ESSENTIAL.

It’s time to tell you exactly how you can adding Google Analytics to WordPress in 5 simple steps.

Step 1 – Create a Gmail (or sign-in if you already have one)

You’ll need a Gmail account to be able to sign up with Google Analytics.

Go to the url: www.analytics.google.com

If you have an existing Gmail account, it will look like below, so just go ahead and sign into your Gmail.

Gmail Log In
However, if you don’t currently have a Gmail account then you’ll have to make one. 

When you get to the screen above, where it says “sign in with a different account” it will say instead say “create account”. Follow the simple steps and you’ve made your Gmail!

Step 2 – Sign up for Google Analytics

Once you’re done and signed in you’ll reach a page that looks like the one pictured below.

Google Analytics Sign Up
Hit that “sign up” button!

It should take you to this screen.

Step 3 – Fill in the boxes

New Google Analytics Account
After selecting the “website” option under “new account”, now fill in the boxes (they’re very simple).

Once you’ve filled everything in, click the “get tracking ID” button. Then a small pop-up should appear which will present you the terms and conditions.

After reading the T&Cs, click “I agree” and it should take you to the admin panel!

Step 4 – Locate your website tracking code

If you scroll down, you’ll see your website tracking code. It’s time to implement it!

Google Analytics Tracking Code

Step 5 – Implement your tracking code

We’re going to focus on 2 ways to implement your tracking code. These are:

  1. Plug-in method
  2. Direct paste method

Plug-in method:

There are many plug-ins which make the job of integrating Google Analytics to your WordPress website drop dead easy. 

Here’s one, but feel free to search around for yourself!

Direct paste method:

Copy and paste the code you received earlier (step 4) into your header.php.

For those that don’t know how to locate their header.php, follow this mini-guide:

  • Log-in to your WordPress admin panel (back-end of your website).
  • Navigate to “appearance”, then click editor.

wordpress-editor

  • Locate the Theme Header (header.php) – it’ll be on the right side, you may have to scroll down a bit.

Header.php

  • Lastly, locate the “</head>” tag and insert your code just before it. Like so…
    Wordpress Header Script
  • Once the code has been implemented, click “update file”.
  • After a few minutes, go back to where you copied your tracking code from to check if the code is properly placed and that you’re receiving data. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: It normally takes up to 24 hours for Google Analytics traffic data to come through.

Thank you for reading. Get adding Google Analytics to WordPress ASAP because you’re missing out on so much!

Google are penalising websites with intrusive interstitials

The latest Google penalty comes as a bit of a good surprise – Google are penalising websites with intrusive interstitials:

It’s no secret Google are constantly updating their algorithms to accommodate for users and give them the best experience possible. After all, the sole purpose of Google’s existence is for the user to get to where they need to be whilst having the best experience possible.

In light of this, Google are penalising websites with intrusive interstitial.

Hooray, finally a win we can all get behind (intrusive interstitial ads are annoying for the most part)!

What are interstitials?

Before we carry on, a small portion of you are probably making this face right about now:

Chris Rock huh
So, let me show you exactly what interstitials are. Ever seen something like this pop up when you’re trying to browse a website on your mobile?

Interstitial Ad Example
They can either come in ad form, or could be some sort of legal notice or requirement (ie cookies usage or age verification).

RELATED: Want to become a Google search master? <- Then click to begin your quest!

What counts as “intrusive”?

Glad you asked! Google have issued this official statement:

“Although the majority of pages now have text and content on the page that is readable without zooming, we’ve recently seen many examples where these pages show intrusive interstitials to users. While the underlying content is present on the page and available to be indexed by Google, content may be visually obscured by an interstitial. This can frustrate users because they are unable to easily access the content that they were expecting when they tapped on the search result…To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”

The following Image gives you a visual representation of what’s not okay:

Bad Google Interstitial Ads

Making your content “less accessible to a user” makes you vulnerable to a penalty. Furthermore, here are examples Google gave:

  • Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
  • Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
  • Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.

As aforementioned, if there is a legal interstitial, you’ll be fine. Heck, even having an ad that’s reasonably placed is fine, just stray from being intrusive.

Good Google mobile interstitials

Again, they have gone on to add more detail:

  • Interstitials that appear to be in response to a legal obligation, such as for cookie usage or for age verification.
  • Login dialogs on sites where content is not publicly indexable. For example, this would include private content such as email or unindexable content that is behind a paywall.
  • Banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space and are easily dismissible. For example, the app install banners provided by Safari and Chrome are examples of banners that use a reasonable amount of screen space.

Remember to comply because businesses have already seen ranking lost. It’s been a long time coming and Google are penalising websites with intrusive interstitials so it’s time to get with the standard and comply! Give us a call on 0121 285 1100 and dial extension 1 or simply email us at [email protected] and let’s talk. We can drive your business in the right direction ensuring you’re penalty free. Pick up the phone or email today!

Do you think this was a good play by Google? Comment below!

5 top tips for creating the best content without even trying

Creating the best content without even trying

Every business will need social media to help build their brand awareness, and define their audience for those social channels as well. But what do you do once those tasks are done?

Create branded content!

That way you can share this information with your target audience, while still directing them to your website. The best way to do is to establish a blogging platform into your website.

But how can you create content that people will want to read? We’ve got some top tips for you to help create great content!

 

  1. The idea

Always the starting point for any blog is, what is my unique idea? While unique ideas are rare (it is seriously hard to find something that has no search results) you can still take a classic idea and put your own personal spin on it.

For example, you Google “How to create great blog content” and you see all 128 million results appear before your eyes – that’s a lot of competition!

Intriguing blog titles

As you can see, the first page is chock-a-block with amazing content to help you write content – but they all have taken to putting their own spin on it!

The first one appeals to the complete novice, the next one appeals to the formulaic person, and the third one is provoking an emotional response!

While the content may be the same in the end, their approach is different! Make sure you find your unique approach before you even start writing!

 

  1. The research

You either love it or you hate, but you will have to do research if you want your idea to blossom. The amount of times I have gone to write a blog, only to turn it completely on its head after researching!

When we say research, we don’t mean that you need to find every single point you want to make, just find a common point raised within your research and go with that!

Research is also great to find out if your topic is hot or not! Is your idea being talked about right now? Then write about it now! Topic looking a little bit cold? Then still write it, but sit on it until it is hot!

The best way to see what’s hot and what’s not is Google Adwords.

Google Adwords

Here’s a great example of someone using Google Adwords to help with their research!

They’ve typed in their product and it’s produced ad groups that contain lots of keywords. You can see it’s also showing you how many average monthly searches these ad groups get.

While the best monthly search may scream “pick me!” make sure it has relevant keywords to your brand.

When you start to look at the individual keywords within these groups, you can start to see what topics people are searching for, and create content around that!

 

  1. The title

What drew you in to this blog? Was it the closing paragraph? Was it the convincing social status that went with it? No, you saw the title!

The title is the sales person for your blog. They are on the front line, drawing in the audience (you) to learn about the information inside (our bit!)

Studies have shown that blogs that go viral usually contain numbers, digits and lists. They also define what the article is about, demonstrate the value the blog will bring them and bring excitement! Address the reader directly as well and you’ll be sure to get a click!

Some great examples of great blog titles include:

  • 10 Reasons to Create a Twitter Profile
  • How to Write a Tweet: Tweeting 101
  • Create an Eye-Watering Infographic in Minutes
  • 15 Social Media Tools You’ll Love to Work With

 

  1. Structure

So you’ve got your great idea (well done!) and done your research (congrats!) and even thought of the catchiest title (I am very impressed!). Now what do you do? You start writing?

Hold up, take a step back!

You need to think about the structure of your post. Do you want a big standard blog? Or do you want to make things interesting? Maybe that blog would make a great infographic? Or add some additional images and make it a gallery post?

You need to establish what will get your point across the best? Are you educating your audience, starting a discussion or entertaining them? These all have very different presentation styles!

If you’re trying to talk about something that involves a lot of statistics, an infographic is your way forward! They are a fantastic way of getting lots and LOTS of numbers across without boring anyone!

If you’re showing off the latest building work you’ve done, try and be creative with the visuals – don’t just describe the new designs, show them off!

 

  1. Images

You’re going to need something to accompany all that great content you’ve written!

Images are a great resource to help guide your audience through what you’ve written without losing them. If someone were to see a giant block of text, they’ll click right off and you’ll lose an audience member.

Always try to source the best quality images for your blog (it only deserves the best!), but if you can’t afford Shutterstock, there are plenty of ways to get some free quality images, if you’re willing to do some scrolling!

Places like Pexels and Google Images are great for getting copyright free images. That way you don’t have to worry about upsetting the photographer!

Avoid Copyright Issues with Royalty Free Images

For Google, you will need to put certain search parameters in to avoid copyright issues. To do this, you need to do the following:

  1. When you’re on Google Images, click on “Tools”
  2. Go to “Usage Rights” and select the drop down menu
  3. Click “Label for Reuse”
  4. You should now be able to use any of the images showing up now!

So that’s the basics you need to get your business started on its content adventure! Good luck, soon you’ll be creating the best content without even trying!

Another Google Core Algorithm Change on its way?

It seems there may be another Google Core Algorithm Change to come…

The dark forces at Google may be at it again with yet another Google Core Algorithm Change, just when we thought we fought them off with mobile friendly websites and fast loading web pages! If you haven’t checked your organic search traffic for the past couple of days, perhaps you should put this at the top of your “to do list”.

Your site’s ranking may have plummeted (or skyrocketed up) which means it’s imperative for businesses to know where they currently stand in terms of organic ranking! Google hasn’t come forward and said anything, but there seems to be a whole lot of chatter within the search community, with a few key indicators pointing towards a change in Google’s CORE search algorithm.

A lot of Digital Marketers are convinced that there was a Google Core Algorithm Change based on 2 main facts:

  • Organic rankings fluctuating.
  • Forecasts from influencers (Moz, SERP metrics etc).

Organic Rankings Fluctuating:

People will argue that rankings are constantly fluctuating, so they’ll be quick to dismiss this as a key indicator. Well, to those people we say that the fluctuations weren’t specific to any industry. In fact, multiple businesses from various industries saw their ranking change, some more drastically than others. The following two tweets show that this possible change is something NOT to be ignored:

 

(Granted, the above is just an update and not a core change, but still goes to show how detrimental Google changes can be).

Moz Forecast:

Many search ranking tools are showing signs of “spikes” which indicate possible changes in Google’s organic search algorithm. One of the most notable of all these is the Moz forecast. According to Moz themselves, Mozcast is:

“a weather report showing turbulence in the Google algorithm over the previous day (or see the 5-day history on the left). The hotter and stormier the weather, the more Google’s rankings changed.”

The forecast which went out on Thursday 1st September was significantly higher than any others that same week. The numbers were previously averaging from anywhere between 70-85, however, on the 1st September it shot up to 108 degrees!

Mozcast

As mentioned earlier, many other tools like SERP Metrics and Algoroo were displaying similar behaviours, which means there may well be another algorithm change from Google coming soon. What are your thoughts? Comment below and let us know!

#inthezone 25: What it takes to be a champion!

What it takes to be a champion

Welcome back to #inthezone guys! Can you believe it’s been over a week since #DigitalZone? Well, neither can we! Oh how time does fly. You’d probably think that since #DigitalZone finished we’d be at the office, sipping orange juice in our chairs with feet up on the table relaxing…how wrong you are! It’s been another hectic week, let’s tell you all about it:

So, firstly we wanted to go over something inspirational. You probably heard or watched one of the biggest underdog stories in the football world, or the sports world altogether for that matter. Yes that’s right, Leicester City won the Premiere League! Coming in to the season, the odds of them winning were 5000:1, so if you put £1 on Leicester City, congratulations because you just won 5 grand. In short, NEVER write someone off, it may come back to bite you! Before we finish up talking about Leicester City’s big triumph, we want to keep you updated on everything that’s been happening at Wow Zone.Mr Mango Delivery Website Launch

Like we stated earlier, we haven’t put our feet up and stopped working. Contrary to what you might believe, it’s actually been very busy at Wow. How have we been keeping ourselves busy, you ask? Well, the launch of the famous Mr Mango Delivery’s website was the main stressor. Some of us had to put in extra hours to ensure the launch ran smoothly…and smoothly it ran! Please, go to the website and show some support. They have an AMAZING offer on rice, a 20kg bag of Basmati rice for ONLY £8.99. We’ve enhanced the user experience and everything is just so much better! Click here to go on to the new Mr Mango Delivery’s website!

In other news, we have another huge announcement to make! We’ve almost secured a new client, and they’re a huge business! 2016 is not only the year of the Mango, but also the year we push ourselves to completely new heights. As you can imagine, we’re not allowed to say much about it yet, but we’re almost there and will hopefully have more details for you in the near future. For now though, we’ll settle for a small scale celebration. We’ve been so busy we haven’t even celebrated the success of #DigitalZone yet…embarrassing, right?

Coming back to the topic of Leicester City, it’s not only just a victory, but also a huge statement. What is that statement? In the real world, it doesn’t matter what the odds are. As long as your work ethic is on point, you have dedicated teamwork, you have strong leadership and your goal is the same; you’ll come out on top! Furthermore, you may not always come out with the result you wanted, but if you stick with something and remain consistent, the world is your oyster! Aaaaand THAT’S what it takes to be a champion! This can easily be transferred to businesses, make sure your team is united for a common purpose and there’s nothing you can’t achieve! Peace out folks, this is it for this week’s #inthezone 🙂 See you next week!

4 Great Magento SEO Tips

Magento SEO Part 2

SEO is becoming increasingly important in this extremely competitive, business world. Basic SEO knowledge can go a long way for many businesses. With great, positive impacts such as increased traffic, increased sales and higher brand awareness, you’d be mad not to take advantage. So this lead me to make a sequel of my first SEO article to provide you with a few more ways to improve your #SEOGAME! Not to worry, it won’t be a horrific sequel like Transformers 2 or anything. Moving back on to the topic of SEO…There are many things you can do with Magento to enhance your #SEOGAME, Here are my 4 great Magento SEO tips:

1) Write descriptive/relevant page titles:

Page titles are crucial for your #SEOGAME (okay I’ll stop using the hashtag now). Pages with descriptive (and relevant) content are far more likely to appear in a user’s Google search results. So for example if you wanted to sell a dining table, you wouldn’t write just “dining table”, you’d write something like “Rustic solid Oak dining table 150CM x 100CM”. Be as descriptive as you can to attract a wider variety of searches.

2) Keep on top of off-page SEO:

Magento is a fairly easy ecommerce platform to optimize for search engines, however it is still bound by the laws of SEO. In order to gain a ranking (this most applies to people in a competitive market) you can’t neglect off-page SEO. A combination of both on-page & off-Page SEO makes for a deadly combination against your competitors. A good example of off-page SEO is social media. It can be a powerful tool when implemented correctly, unfortunately many people do not use it to its full advantage. Another element people lack is mentions from their industry influencers. For example, if you were in the marketing industry, a mention from Moz would be extremely valuable as it is relevant and can be worth a huge amount of visibility!

3) Integrate Google Analytics into your Magento site:

Using google analytics can really boost your SEO. Knowing where most of your traffic is coming from can be extremely valuable to say the least. If you know where most of your traffic is going you can allocate more resources to that certain area or more specifically, that single landing page. If you’re not already using the basic features of Google Analytics then you should most definitely question your sanity, then when you’re done with that, go create an account. After doing this, get it integrated with your Magento site to heighten your approach to SEO.

4) Get some good Google+ local product reviews:

When devising a local SEO strategy, the word “reviews” should be a regularly used word. Reviews are a key element for local SEO. Not only do they affect your ranking for Google’s local search results, they heavily affect peoples’ buying decisions. This makes them equally as important as many other factors included in local SEO. Even with a top local search ranking, you may be skipped out by the potential customer for simply not having any reviews. The user may want to base their decision on an unbiased, third party review as opposed to the “sales-y” description you provide for them.

These are just 4 of many great ways to up your SEO game, comment some of your favourite SEO methods below! 🙂

Magento SEO tactics

SEO Tips & tricks to implement on your Magento website.

In an infinitely expanding online world, it can be difficult for companies to get the attention they require to grow. Businesses in this day and age are using little tricks everywhere to ensure they stand out from the crowd. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an important consideration for anyone selling online. You might find that simple techniques like changing Meta descriptions/titles or adding alt tags to images (basic SEO tactics) can go a long way. For those of you who don’t know what SEO is, it’s probably best you turn your computer off, sit in silence and try to figure out where it all went wrong.

Why is it important to optimise my site?

With an ever expanding business market, it’s always nice to be noticed. This is the very essence of SEO, improving visibility so your ideal customer is able to find you with ease. Still can’t comprehend the importance of SEO? Well, in simple terms, better SEO = more potential conversions…Now, that got your attention didn’t it?

Tips & Tricks

  • Updating your current version of Magento: A good place to start optimising is simply installing the latest version of Magento. If you wish to maximise Magento SEO results, it is imperative that you do this, it’s as simple as that. For other Magento related information, and to find out about their latest updates it’s probably a good idea to follow their blog.
  • Changing URLs: Automatically generated URLs can be too long, and may sometimes contain store codes. This is not good Magento SEO practice and if this problem occurs you’ll need to manually change this. To exorcise these cursed URLs on Magento, go to system (located at the top of the admin panel) then click “configuration” which appears on the drop down menu. It’ll take you to a page with a menu on the left, click “web”. Then, finally click where it says “Add Store Code to URLs”, select no…

Magento store code URL changer

You’re welcome. ­­

  • Image alt tags: This element isn’t Magento specific, but quite often it can be found that product images are ignored and not exploited to their full ability. Since Google cannot recognise what an image entails, an Image alt tag (or alt tag) is a small description of the image given by its creator. So if someone took a picture of a tennis ball, you’d expect their alt tag to be something like “Green tennis ball” (depending on how sane they are). By simply having a keyword-rich image alt tag, you can benefit from an increase in site traffic, higher SEO rankings and more. Want to reap these benefits? Then stop neglecting those poor images begging to be optimised.
  • Page speed: With Google noticing the ever-rising increase in the use of mobile/handheld devices, it announced its favouritism for mobile-friendly sites. A quick loading, responsive website will be more favourable to Google and so you might find yourself ranking higher providing your site meets these conditions. Slow, unresponsive sites tend to have a higher bounce rate, and a higher bounce rate means lower ranking on Google.
  • Blogging: It has been proven time and time again that blogging is a great way to bring in that little bit of extra traffic to your site. Industry specific articles (bringing in targeted audiences) mixed with hot topics/trends can impact your business substantially overtime. It’s important to note that people are more likely to remember your brand if your blog posts provide some kind of value.

Using these five tricks in conjunction with each other will definitely see some kind of return (if done right). Increased website traffic, lower bounce rates, higher click through rates and higher rankings for search engines are all positive signs. Good luck with your optimisation!

 

What is PageRank and How Can You Use PageRank in Your Link Building?

PageRank

As Wikipedia has probably already told you that PageRank was named after Larry Page, the co-founder of Google. It may also have told you that it is a ranking scale that takes into account the amount of inbound links that a webpage has, as well as the amount of outbound links there are coming from the webpage. From this, a webpage’s PageRank is determined. The PageRank equation can be expressed as shown below:

PageRank equation

This equation basically shows that when another webpage links back to the webpage in question (u), that page’s total PageRank is divided by the total number of outbound links on the page. This is then the amount of PageRank that is transferred over to page ‘u’ (often reffered to as ‘link juice’). The equation then gets the sum of all of the PageRank that is being transferred to page ‘u’ from the set of webpages that link to it (Bu). This then makes up the total PageRank for the webpage ‘u’.

Hopefully that hasn’t confused you too much because, in essence, it is a fairly simple idea, however; PageRank isn’t the ‘be all and end all’ of link building. Not only that but Google keeps these figures very closely hidden, so it is extremely hard to find out your exact PageRank. Google does, however, periodically post an inkling into what kind of PageRank a webpage as through the Google Toolbar PageRank (TBPR), which is ranked between 1 and 10 (10 being the best).

Continue reading “What is PageRank and How Can You Use PageRank in Your Link Building?”