Artemis has been taking steps to become a more environmentally conscious company, and this is something we are taking very seriously. The Electric Car Scheme offers a fantastic opportunity for us to encourage staff to move to more environmentally-friendly electric cars.
At Artemis, we recognise the impact that we, as a business, have on the environment. We believe it is the responsibility of companies to do as much as they can to reduce their carbon footprint and make environmentally conscious choices.
We have made a number of changes to do our part. These have included opting for Fairtrade and environmentally-friendly cleaning products for our office, using recycling schemes, going virtually paper-free and more.
Offering our staff electric car leasing as a part of the Electric Car Scheme is the latest step in our efforts to go green. Switching to an electric vehicle saves five tonnes of carbon per year.
How does the Electric Car Scheme work?
The Electric Car Scheme is a salary sacrifice scheme that allows employees to lease any electric car of their choice. The key feature is that fixed monthly payments are taken from the salary before any tax or National Insurance is paid.
This means that the savings on the car can be significant – between 32 and 62% cheaper than a standard electric car lease.
Functionally, the scheme then operates the same as a standard car lease, so the concept is familiar and easy to manage. It is also significant that while this is a company scheme, the vehicle is not considered a company car, and the car can be used for personal or business use.
We are always looking for more that we can do more for the environment, and will continue to explore ways that we can make our working environment greener.
Artemis is an SEO and digital marketing agency with years of experience and expertise. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do for you, please get in contact with our knowledgeable team today.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns have been extremely tough on businesses in all industries. Those that have managed to keep their head above water have almost certainly lived through an extremely volatile marketplace and faced challenges that they never expected.
However, there is hope on the horizon. Restrictions are being lifted, and the rollout of the vaccine has been speedy. This has given businesses the opportunity to plan towards a successful year. To do this, you need to start to think about what you are going to need; and it is really worth considering the benefits of great business branding.
Branding evolves naturally over time, but if you don’t take the time to think about it and refine it, the essence can be lost.
So, now is the perfect time to give your branding a good spring cleaning. Freshen it up for the year ahead and enjoy a more prosperous 2021. Here are five ways that you can refresh your branding this spring.
Consider your target audience
Your brand tells your audience the kind of business you are, but that works in reverse too; the wrong branding can put people off your products and services. This is unfortunately sometimes the case for organisations, as the audience can change over time, while the branding stays the same.
When you come to freshen up your branding, it’s worth really thinking first about who your target audience is. There have been big changes to many marketplaces over the Covid-19 pandemic – you need to be sure that your position in the market is still reflected in your branding.
Formulate your brand guidelines
Your branded materials can get diluted over time. If you have different people working on graphic design, social media, web design, email marketing and all the other various channels, it can be natural that each person will put their own spin on the best way to market the company. That’s why you need to clearly set out your brand guidelines.
Consistency is vital in branding. Create a document that clearly sets out guidelines on the fonts, brand colours, logos, and use of imagery. This allows all elements of your marketing – whether in-house or external – to be consistent.
Update your logo
Your logo is important. You might have had your logo for a long time, and may feel that it has some level of brand recognition. But it is also worth noting that if all of your competitors have stylish, modern logos, it can leave your company looking out of place and behind the field.
If now is the time to have your logo redesigned, you can incorporate elements of the previous iteration, whilst refreshing the look of your business. This can double as an excellent time to rethink or just tweak your brand colours.
Get your branding work done professionally
Any branded work looks best when it is done professionally. Just because you have used Photoshop a couple of times doesn’t mean that you are ready to make high-quality branded materials used for your marketing work.
If you don’t have the tools in-house to have graphic design work or other specific branded work carried out, it’s definitely worth outsourcing.
Rethink what you offer
Your products and services are a big part of your branding too. With such big changes occurring due to the pandemic, it’s only natural that you might to consider rethinking some of the things that your business offers.
This is because it ensures your company still occupies the same area of the market that it did before – you have to evolve with the times. For example, marketing agencies need to be aware of the massive upsurge in interest in eCommerce platforms. Failing to offer eCommerce expertise as a digital marketing business could now leave your brand looking outdated.
At Artemis, we offer a full range of branding services, from logo design and professional photography to customised web design incorporating all of your brand guidelines. If you would like to learn more about how we could freshen up your brand, contact our experienced team today.
What’s a simple way to rank higher on Google, get more people onto your site, increase conversions, and improve user experience? Increasing your page speed.
Yes, it’s not hard to understand why page speed has become a really significant factor for websites in recent years. It is championed as vital by SEOs, web designers, UX specialists and virtually everyone who knows anything about digital marketing.
And if you’re not impressed by opinions, the numbers don’t lie: around 53% of customers will abandon a page if it takes more than three seconds to load up.
If you’re not making page speed a significant priority in your website, you need to start now.
Great for Google, better for customers
It has been well-known for long time that the rate at which a page loads is a ranking factor with Google. That means if your page loads faster than your competitors, it is more likely to rank above them in the results.
These days it isn’t easy to find quick wins to boost your ranking in a short space of time – but making your pages load faster is definitely a simple and effective way to do it.
Even better is the fact that it has a huge impact on visitors to your site too. We spoke above about the 53% of customers who will abandon a page entirely if it takes longer than three seconds to load up (more than likely resulting in them heading for one of your competitors).
So, if you can reduce your page loading speed to under three seconds, you can effectively get access to over twice as many visitors as you did before. There aren’t many simple changes that can offer that kind of value.
It’s about to get even more important
If that wasn’t enough to make page loading speed matter, Google recently released news that will make it even more important.
The search giant took the unusual step of announcing its plans for an upcoming update to its ranking factors. A brand new factor was unveiled, and it is known as Core Web Vitals. It is due May 2021.
Core Web Vital takes the concept of the page loading speed ranking factor and broadens it out across three separate aspects. These look at:
How long it takes for the page to load
How long it takes for user to be able interact with the page
How long it takes for the page to become stable
They are broken down into quite technical sounding titles: largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay (FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS).
Largest contentful paint
This refers quite simply to how long takes for the page to load. Specifically, Google is looking at the largest element on the page and how fast it loads up. We’ve already spoken about how visitors get very frustrated by long load times, so it is not surprising that this will remain an important ranking factor.
According to the update, Google considers an LCP of under 2.5 seconds to be good, and anything over 4 seconds to be bad.
First input delay
The FID section of the Core Web Vitals looks at how long it takes for you to be able to interact with a page. This could include anything from clicking a link or button, or clicking to enter text into a search bar.
In this case the ideal time Google is looking for is under 100ms – while over 300ms is considered to be bad.
Cumulative layout shift
We’ve all had that most frustrating experience: a page loads up and you immediately see the link or content that you want to click. But just as you attempt to click it, the page shifts slightly, which inevitably means you click something different and maybe end up leaving the page. This is a poor user experience and it is something Google is attempting to address with the CLS aspect of the Core Web Vitals update.
Issues like animations and images that have been incorrectly formatted can have a big impact on CLS. Here, the score that Google considers to be good is 0.1, while a score of higher than 0.25 is bad.
We’ll soon be releasing a blog on the things that you can do to increase your page loading speed and bring your website in line with Google’s Core Web Vitals in time for the May 2021 rollout.
If you are interested in getting this done as quickly as possible, get in touch with the team at Artemis. We are experienced SEO professionals with years of expertise improving websites. We would be happy to help you reduce your page load time.
While user experience and customer experience may sound like different terms for the same thing, nothing could be further from the truth. There’s a distinct difference that marketers and businesses should be aware of when targeting audiences, particularly where web design is concerned.
A good web designer knows how to bring in the wider context of the customer journey into their work, considering each stage from research through to purchasing a product or service. But they’ll also need to incorporate features that enhance the user experience as well. Here are the key differences between user experience and customer experience.
What is User Experience?
User experience focuses on the overall experience that someone has with a product, whether it’s a website, an app or something else entirely. For someone designing a product, this means looking at the visual impact of it as well as how easy it is to navigate and use. It also encompasses factors such as page loading speed and interactivity.
These vital signs form part of the page experience ranking signal that has an impact on search engine rankings. The overarching goal of user experience is to ensure that the user has a positive journey from start to finish.
What is Customer Experience
The scope of customer experience is much broader than user experience, as it extends beyond just using the specific product. It encompasses all channels and touchpoints that the customer has with a brand, from customer service to the sales process, advertisements, product delivery and more. In order to influence a positive customer experience, all facets of a brand’s strategy need to be aligned.
How UX and CX Work Together
A great example of seeing how UX and CX work in conjunction is an online retailer that sells spectacles. The user experience side of this process would involve the potential customer creating an online account – the navigation and visual layout of the site impacts how easily they can do this and whether they are able to fulfil their objective.
But perhaps the user finds the process of inputting their prescription and size details confusing and complex. This is where customer experience comes into play.
The user then speaks to a customer service assistant who can tend to their issues quickly and provide a positive experience through explaining the process, even offering a discount for their next purchase.
This is an example of negative UX but positive CX, but of course, the situation can easily work the other way around as well. For any business, consistency is key and it’s important that both UX and CX are carefully considered for a positive brand reputation.
How Can UX Be Used to Improve CX?
User experience has enormous influence over customer experience and there are strategies that brands can employ that will help them ensure that all customers have a positive user and customer experience when dealing with the business.
Firstly, it’s important to ensure that users have easy access to contact details. This includes plenty of clear and visible calls to action, easy contact forms that are quick to complete and live chat options, as well as prominent contact details so people can get in touch.
It’s also vital that users have a quick route to purchase and a streamlined journey that makes it as simple as possible to research the product or service they need and checkout.
From an online perspective, quick page loading speeds, visual stability in the form of consistent page features and mobile-friendly websites all contribute towards a positive user and customer experience.
You want to ensure that customers are able to interact with your brand as easily as possible, not just online but also in person as well, so that they have a stress-free interaction without any frustrations.
It’s important to balance both user experience and customer experience in all areas of your business. Not only does this help influence your brand’s reputation with audiences but it’s also important to SEO and page rankings as well. Having a combined knowledge of SEO, UX and CX makes a massive difference to the success of any marketing strategy, so it’s well worth investing time into.
At Artemis, we are specialists in both customer experience and user experience and we would be happy to help you optimise your site for both. Get in contact with us today to learn more.
Lockdown 3 – the sequel that no-one wanted. There were hopes that with 2020 behind us, we had also seen the last of the Covid-19-related lockdowns that have made life so challenging for businesses. But it now seems that we might be looking at another extended period where many businesses are not allowed to open their doors, and others can only offer their services and products remotely.
This has meant that a large number of companies have started to look into the possibility of offering eCommerce, even if they had previously relied entirely on their location and physical premises for their income.
If you are new to the idea of selling products and services online, don’t worry – plenty of people are in the same boat. And the good news is it can be actually relatively easy to get started.
Picking the right platform
Businesses that want to sell products and services online do not need to go the expense of having to create an eCommerce website from scratch. Thankfully there are platforms that are designed specifically for eCommerce. This means that you don’t need to be technically gifted to run a business website.
Over the course of the pandemic, Shopify has grown rapidly in popularity. This is a platform that is geared towards smaller businesses and those just starting out in the world of eCommerce. Shopify sites are relatively easy to manage and maintain. At Artemis, we are Shopify Partners, so we have extensive experience working with businesses using Shopify to run their eCommerce sites. (Look out for a more in-depth blog on Shopify coming soon).
For larger businesses or those looking for a greater range of features from their site, there are more advanced offerings such as WooCommerce, which runs through WordPress.
Getting the right eCommerce platform is important – picking a more affordable option can leave larger businesses without access to the features and services they need to maximise their profits while choosing a more complex platform can be a needless expense for a small company at the time when every penny counts.
Write content for humans
If you’re just starting out making a website and writing up content for your products, it can be tempting to write the kind of content that you think will help you rank higher on Google. Yes, it is important to target the right keywords, but it is even more vital to make sure that your content actually reads well for your customers.
Failing to do so can actually harm your business in the long-term. Not only can customers be put off by low-quality writing, but Google also won’t be impressed if visitors aren’t engaging with your pages.
Work with professionals when you need to
Creating a website focused around eCommerce comes with a lot of different challenges, and if you’re not especially familiar with the digital landscape, it can all get a little overwhelming. Thankfully, help is at hand and there is plenty of technology and digital marketing agencies and professionals who have extensive experience working on the eCommerce websites of businesses.
Don’t try to do it yourself if you don’t have the experience. There are many facets of launching a business online, from web design and SEO through to social media and managed PPC campaigns.
For any business, SEO plays a crucial role in online success. But it’s especially important for small businesses looking to grow and expand their reach. Taking your business online is all about maintaining a positive and consistent presence and carefully considering your campaigns in order to maximise their efficiency.
What’s more, with the rise of online services now in the wake of the pandemic, it’s never been more critical to utilise technology in the right way. In this post, we’ll take you through some of the main points you need to consider when shifting your focus online and everything you need to know about the importance of SEO.
Write Great Product Descriptions
Product descriptions play a key role in helping your customers understand the benefits of a product as well as improving credibility and helping your audience find specific the products they’re searching for. If you’re relying on a loose, fluffy copy that isn’t descriptive or detailed, you could be missing out on a prime opportunity to convert.
Ensure that all of your product descriptions are engaging, detailed and include keywords to help boost the SEO benefits for search results.
Provide Easy Navigation
There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to search for a product on a site and not being able to find what you’re looking for.
So, a top tip for taking your business online is to prioritise the user journey and ensure that they have a positive experience from start to finish. One way to do this is to take a look at your analytics data and check that visitors aren’t dropping off at any stage before making a purchase. If they are, you can make amendments to your content or layout to help streamline the journey and make your site easier to navigate.
Keep Shipping Information Clear
Abandoned baskets could provide a clue as to how noticeable your information about returns and shipping charges are. If you’re getting customers to the checkout stage and then losing them at the final hurdle, you may want to assess the visibility and accessibility of information regarding delivery times, charges and returns processes.
No-one wants to go through the process of making a purchase only to be turned off by the prospect of a hefty shipping rate.
Take Advantage of Cross-Selling
Websites provide a great opportunity for upselling and cross-selling, so make sure that you’re informing customers of similar products that may be of interest. It’s well worth including links to related products to customers who are ready to buy, such as ‘People who liked this also liked…’.
Not only does is increase sales revenue and customer satisfaction but it can also help improve the overall customer experience by informing them of products or services they otherwise wouldn’t have known about.
An area of SEO that is often overlooked is images – they are an important part of site loading speeds and can also improve search rankings. For eCommerce businesses, image SEO should be a huge focus, so make sure that alt tags are included, sizes are optimised for quick loading speeds and that captions are relevant.
Consider Chatbots for Better Customer Support
A great customer experience is key to any business but especially those in the eCommerce sector. Chatbots can be a great addition to your site in helping to guide users through the buying process and helping them find what they need. It can also free up valuable time from your staff in answering frequently asked questions. Live chat delivers real-time assistance to customers who want to check details before they make a purchase and has been proven to increase order value and build better customer relationships.
Check Your Hosting
No business wants poor hosting that lets them down the moment they start to receive a boost in web traffic, so make sure that you choose a reliable hosting company that can support your business through busier periods. Cheap web hosting is a false economy and can cost your company in the long run, not just in sales but also with regards to your reputation, so don’t be tempted to scrimp in this area.
From the strategic placement of internal links to optimised images and a clear user experience, small businesses have a multitude of opportunities to boost their SEO performance and enjoy online success.
At Artemis, we specialise in the high-quality SEO for small and medium-sized businesses – we would be happy to help you take your business online. Contact us today for more details.
Google has officially announced that they are in the process of rolling out a new broad core algorithm update, which they are terming December 2020 Core Update.
Core Updates from Google typically take around two weeks to roll out entirely and the company has indicated that this one will likely be completed over a similar time frame. This is the third Core Update to be rolled out in 2020.
A strange time for an update?
The timing of the Core Update has drawn criticism. These updates do have the potential to be disruptive for businesses – and this is especially true over an important trading period like the run up to Christmas.
There has been an outcry on Twitter and other platforms regarding the timing of the rollout – with many saying that this is the wrong time for it, especially with regard to business challenges over the COVID-19 pandemic.
What does the December 2020 Core Update mean for you?
As is the case with all updates, it won’t be clear exactly how it will affect websites until the rollout is complete and the update has had some time to settle in.
Core Updates often result in ranking fluctuations, but ensuring that your website is technically sound and has great content is an important way to minimise this.
As always, at Artemis, we are monitoring our clients’ rankings and stats closely and will act quickly if there appear to be adverse effects of any kind.
Google’s own advice for what to do as a result of the Core Update remains largely unchanged – focus on great quality content, provide value to users visiting your site, and offer expert advice and insight in your field.
Get more information
If you’re concerned about how the December 2020 Core Update might affect your website, the team at Artemis can help.
We are SEO specialists with extensive experience helping our clients maintain strong rankings and even improve their positions through Core Updates. Contact us today for more details.
At Artemis, we pride ourselves on staying up-to-date with very latest changes and innovations in SEO and digital marketing. One new addition to Google’s products and services is Google Local Services Ads – and it could have huge ramifications.
Google Local Services Ads launched in the UK at the beginning of October. They have been around for a while in the US and Canada in 2015, but the service has now officially been rolled out in Britain. These ads offer an incredible opportunity for small to medium sized businesses in particular, providing access to some of the top spots on Google on a pay per lead basis rather than pay per click.
In this guide, we’ll explain how these ads work and why it is vital that local businesses start using them as soon as possible.
What are Google Local Services Ads?
Local Services Ads allow local businesses to connect more easily with searchers and provide a great opportunity for collecting leads. They occupy a coveted position at the very top of the SERPs but are presented in card form rather than the usual text ad for even greater visibility.
What’s more, these cards stand out thanks to the green ‘Google Guaranteed’ check mark that sets them apart from other businesses. For local service providers, such as plumbers, electricians or cleaners, these ads offer a fantastic opportunity for increasing revenue and brand visibility, as well as making it easier for users to connect to local services quickly.
Local Service Ads sit outside the realms of Google Ads and Google My Business – it’s a separate product entirely that provides leads to the advertiser who can then respond to calls or messages directly through the ad.
It delivers a seamless experience that means users don’t actually have to leave the SERPs in order to get in touch with a provider, which in turn can boost conversion rates if utilised correctly.
An incredible opportunity for businesses
Google Local Service Ads presents a unique and unmissable opportunity for businesses to capitalise on this new area of the market. The companies that were first to make use of Google Ads were able to have enormous success – and this is a very similar opportunity, but based around local search.
Your business can have the phone ringing with genuine enquiries within days of signing up. And if you’ve been put off by the cost of Google Ads in the past, it’s worth pointing out that in the US, where Local Ads have been around for longer, the cost per lead has shown to be around 50% lower than on traditional PPC.
How to get the ‘Google Guarantee’?
Businesses that want to be Google Guaranteed and receive that green tick of approval need to pass Google’s background checks. They also need to have their license if relevant and insurance details verified.
One thing to note is that businesses who operate as a franchise or have field operatives working for them will need each individual to go through these checks too.
It is also worth pointing out that the ‘Guaranteed’ tick can just as easily be removed as it is given, so diligence in this area is critical.
How does the ranking work?
Unlike the standard search strategy, there are no keywords at play here. Google relies on different indicators when ranking businesses, such as location and your review score.
This is where businesses that have an existing Google presence will have a head start over other companies. While location is naturally out of the advertiser’s control, it does help to maintain an up-to-date business profile.
This includes the business name, location, a phone number (this comes with a tracking number for data analytics), business hours, reviews and any unique selling points you want to highlight, which ideally will include your Google Guarantee.
Which businesses can benefit?
Google has confirmed that the vertical markets included in the UK launch include:
Garage Door Repair
HVAC (Heating, ventilation and air conditioning)
Why Local Service Ads matter to businesses
Going forward, local service businesses will essentially comprise their own SERP subset, set apart from the usual search results. This offers a distinct advantage in having ads for businesses that can maintain positive reviews and visibility to their local market.
But managing your responses is key – in order to keep receiving notifications, businesses need to be able to respond as quickly as possible in order to stay part of the ranking algorithm.
There are numerous benefits to Local Service Ads, not least the prime spot it provides above regular text ads that delivers excellent exposure for local businesses. It’s also a great opportunity for connecting to people searching for your services, resulting in higher quality leads.
Businesses using these ads only pay for leads related to their specific business or services, and the ads show up across all searches, including mobile, tablet and desktop. When compared to standard search ads, Local Service Ads are easy to set up and they don’t require keywords or creativity to manage – the information is simply pulled from the brand’s business profile.
This is an extremely rare opportunity to take advantage of a new Google service that many of your competitors won’t be ready to capitalise on. Google Local Service Ads could mean higher conversion rates, less time wasted seeking out customers and increased exposure for your business.
With an easy management platform and the chance to connect to high-quality leads, it could mark a great difference for local service providers in the future.
At Artemis, we understand it is absolutely crucial to keep up with the latest changes to Google in order to benefit our clients. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help business manage their Google Local Service Ads, as well as their other SEO concerns, please contact us today.
Standing out from the crowd in the world of business is critical and it’s precisely for this reason that branding is so key – it defines your business and is how people identify your company. But branding has been seriously overlooked as a tool of SEO and digital marketing. So, what is it about branding that makes it so crucial and what role does in play in SEO?
What is branding?
In the minds of many, branding is just the colour scheme on your website or what your logo looks like. But while these elements are important, there’s far more to branding than just visual details. When branding is done well, you’ll find it woven into the very fabric of your business, from customer experiences to your values and reputation. Tone of voice and messaging, values and personality all fall under the umbrella of branding. In other words, there are non-tangible elements to your business that your branding is responsible for, which help a customer pick you from the crowd.
How can branding help SEO?
Google uses algorithms to decipher where a website needs to land in the search results. There are various factors that play a part in this ranking system, from the keywords used and the quality of the content, to links, time spent on page and how quickly a page loads.
The good news is that each of these elements can be tracked and tweaked easily for a higher success rate. Branding is one of these elements, but the difference is that it works indirectly, making it harder to measure. But that doesn’t detract from the importance of it when it comes to page ranking. Here are some of the reasons ways branding affects SEO.
A boost for your inbound links
Inbound links from authority domains are one of the main ways that Google determines search engine rankings, but these links need to be relevant and placed naturally in-context; they need to be earned through editorial merit rather than traded or purchased. When links are included from a trusted, respected brand with a strong reputation, click-through rates will typically be higher due to more people being attracted to the site, which is great news for your business.
It encourages social sharing
Social proof accounts for a small but significant percentage of ranking factors. In the same way that inbound links indicate that your brand is trustworthy and reputable, a greater volume of shares on social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram equates to increased visibility and reliability in the eyes of Google.
Click-through rates are enhanced
Click-through rates, check-ins and clicks to call are all behavioural cues that tell Google your business is a trusted establishment. For example, if a dependable site ranks lower on the page but users skip higher results to click through to the link that’s believed to have the most dependable information, Google will push this result up in the rankings as it can see that it’s the business that people trust most.
Branding and SEO can help shape your reputation online
The Search Quality Rating Guidelines set out by Google mention reputation on numerous occasions, particularly in relation to ‘what outside independent sources say about the website’. What this proves is that what others say about your business is just as, if not more, important than what you say about yourself, whether that’s in the form of news articles, forum discussions or third-party rating sites.
Having a great brand reputation sits at the heart of this and it goes a long way towards where your ranks. It’s for this reason that brand mentions are so critical – when your business has strong branding and a great reputation, more people are naturally going to mention you.
But while brand mentions are important, so is SEO. The two work together to boost your position in the rankings, as those higher up in the SERPs are more likely to be trusted than those several pages back. In order to build brand awareness and see a positive return on investment from your SEO strategy, you need to develop your branding and vice versa.
A thoughtful and considered brand-building strategy will boost your reputation as a business but it will also support your SEO efforts. Both SEO and branding are critical to any business success, impacting your visibility, sales and profits. When strategising, it’s important that these two factors are developed in harmony with one another for the best results.
At Artemis, we are specialists in SEO and we understand how to use branding to maximise your website in order to boost conversions, sales, and profit. Get in contact with us today if you would like to learn more about our SEO services.
The rise in the importance of local SEO has been dramatic – once only a small niche in search, creating content and optimising for local search terms has become essential for businesses with any kind of physical presence. 46% of all searches are looking for local information, which shows just how vital it is for any business to ensure that they rank well around location-based terms.
Content writing has an important role to play in the deployment of your local SEO strategy – and many of the most useful ways to improve your rankings are commonly overlooked. Here we take a look at how written content can boost your local SEO.
Optimising your Google My Business
Google My Business has become a vital aspect of local SEO, as Google has looked to encourage businesses to provide it with the most up-to-date and accurate information about the company. GMB is considered to be Google’s specific tool to help businesses appear as they should in the listings – and an authentic and updated GMB profile should be rewarded with a position in the sidebar space.
But content can also play an important role in optimising your GMB profile to ensure that the description of your business includes relevant keywords and phrases. These won’t affect your search rankings in any way, but they can help your profile stand out and reinforce to potential customers what you do.
Strengthening meta descriptions and title tags
Sometimes overlooked, meta descriptions and title tags are still important – especially to local SEO. When a customer makes a location-based search, they are shown the SERPs and at that point in many searches it is still only the title tag and meta description that provide any information about what is contained on the page.
A well-written meta description should include the location term you are targeting so that it shows up in bold in the SERPs. And a strong title tag reinforces and reassurances the potential visitor with what they are clicking on.
Expert local content
Google is getting smarter and is increasingly learning what constitutes great content on a website – and how to best serve up that fantastic content to searchers. Writing remains an absolutely invaluable form of content that is useful not only from Google’s perspective, but also for the user. Providing great local content related to your industry can be a huge benefit from a local SEO perspective, as Google begins to associate your site with valuable local information.
This could include anything from educational content to local events and news – anything that is relevant to your business and incorporates the local area. Creating this kind of content is a fantastic way to discover a market niche that can bring visitors back to your site again and again. Spend some time conducting research into who your local customers are, and what they are interested in. This will allow you to develop a smart content strategy.
Content for local intent
It is also important that you should create pages and support content around local keywords and search terms. This is vital in narrowing the competition for the terms and reaching the audience that you are interested in. Ultimately, Google needs a good number of signals that your website serves a local audience – when the algorithms understand this, they are more likely to rank your page highly for local results.
It is important here that you should utilise local schema markup as this is still underutilised by businesses; this can be a great way to gain competitive advantage over them.
Local link building
Links are still arguably the most vital currency in SEO – and this is no different in local SEO. In fact, it is magnified. Local links have fantastic relevance to your business, as Google is able to understand that a local site linking to another is a great indicator of the quality of that site. The sophistication of Google’s algorithms continues to grow, so the importance of gaining high-quality local links will only become greater.
Creating excellent resources and useful content is still an excellent way to earn high-quality links back to your site from authoritative local websites.
Reviews are absolutely essential to local businesses, so it is no surprise that they carry a lot of weight from an SEO perspective too. But many businesses can be accused of not really doing enough to encourage customers to provide reviews of their products or services.
However, high-quality content writing can help here too. Smart messaging and strong calls-to-action (CTAs) can have a huge effect on customers, and can be the difference between them leaving a five-star review for your site, or clicking away.
Writing for specialist local directories
There are many directories that your business should be listed in as a matter of course – this differs by industry but could include anything from TripAdvisor and Yell to Yelp and Thomson Local. But many businesses fail to utilise strong local directories with a good reputation. These can be an extremely valuable place to list your business.
On these directories you will need a short description of your business, and content writers can create these for you. Good business descriptions should include all of the relevant details about your organisation. And in case you’re thinking of copying the text from your homepage, be aware that many directories will not allow the use of duplicated content.
Content writing has a major role to play in all aspects of SEO, and it is certainly true of the work you are doing to get your business ranking on local search terms. It is a great idea to work with specialist content writers who understand the needs of SEO, as well as how to write excellent content.
And of course, it should also be stated that while content is extremely important, there are a huge number of other elements that make up a strong local SEO strategy. At Artemis, we have years of experience in SEO, keeping up-to-date with best practice and helping businesses with all aspects of digital marketing.