Four SEO quick wins every site can implement

In general, SEO is much more about building for the long-term, rather than quick wins. At Artemis we take a measured and engineered approach to optimising sites, but we understand that getting results is what’s truly important. There are some things that almost every website owner with limited time can do that will make a big difference to rankings, performance, and, ultimately, sales. Here are four quick wins that virtually every website can implement today.

1. Optimise your images

Page loading speed is still an important factor in search rankings, and given that there are so many things that anyone can do to improve their page speed, there really is no excuse not to make changes. One of the best things that you can do is to optimise your images and compress their file sizes – you’ll still have stunning images, but they will take a fraction of the time to load.

This is even possible with large banner images, which you might typically think of as being very large file sizes. Take a look at our blog on how to successfully compress large images for a real quick win for your page loading speed.

2. Make mobile your priority

Mobile search is a big deal. In 2017, mobile accounted for more than 50 per cent of all web traffic generated across the world. And yet the vast majority of marketing and digital staff interact with websites at work through the use of a desktop or laptop. This can give you a skewed perspective on how your site looks and performs.

The important move here is to understand your Analytics data. If your website receives a higher proportion of traffic to its mobile site, then you should be spending more time working on the mobile version, rather than the desktop. To get into the habit it can be a great idea to have staff spend a whole day of work accessing the site and working exclusively through tablets and smartphones. This can provide a huge insight into how user-friendly the mobile version of your site is which will give you countless ideas for how to improve the site’s usability.

3. Fix 404s immediately

Site errors can be a huge problem for SEO. For example, a 404 page error is a guaranteed way to increase bounce rate and is a terrible user experience for customers. Unsurprisingly Google and other search engines see 404 errors as a red flag and even just a few of them can see your whole site tumbling in the rankings.

Use a site crawling tool such as Screaming Frog regularly to find rogue 404 errors and fix them as soon as possible. You might be surprised at how many you have if you have never taken a look before.

4. Refresh your content… even if it performs

We have known for a long time that Google loves to see fresh content going up on a site. But what do you do if you’ve had a page for a time and it’s still doing well, even if the information isn’t quite as good as your competitors?

It might sound counter-intuitive, but even your top performing content needs to be regularly refreshed. The crucial aspect here is keeping the content as up-to-date and relevant as possible. Google loves to see content that is well received by users and provides answers to their questions.  As Google begins to utilise artificial intelligence more and more in its analysis of pages, it will become better at understanding whether your content is actually useful and engaging for your customers. This will increasingly affect rankings. Improving your content now can help to ensure that you keep your position or improve.


Artificial Intelligence and Search Engines. Part Two: Changing SEO

In Part One of our series on artificial intelligence (AI) and search engines, we looked at how AI is changing the way the users search and how search engines function. Welcome to Part Two, where we will be taking a closer look at the ways in which the SEO industry will have to react to AI and what it will mean for your website rankings on Google.

For as long as there have been search engines used by millions of people, there have been advantages for those websites and businesses that have been able to influence the rankings in their favour. As early search engines used relatively crude methods for determining results, it was historically relatively easy to optimise a site. However, over the years, algorithms have expanded and become more complex. AI is just the latest factor in this constantly evolving process. And to understand how AI is changing SEO, we need to first understand how SEO has evolved over time.

How SEO has evolved – a brief history

Today, SEO is big business: companies are willing to spend significant portions of their marketing budget to attempt to rank above their competitors in Google’s search results. The earliest recognisable search engines emerged in 1994 and the algorithms they used in order to rank the websites were fairly basic. Factors such as how many times a website used a specific word, whether that word was in the URL and the meta data, were crucial in determining where websites would be placed. This meant that a website owner simply had to ‘stuff’ their pages and their URLs with keywords to rank well – early SEO was simple.

The first major advancement in the intelligence of search came when they began to factor backlinks into their algorithms. When Google launched in 1998 it was revolutionary in the way it ranked pages because it looked at the internet as a whole, not just the content on the one website. It was able to see which websites were linking to others, and it recognised these links as an important factor in determining the importance and relevance of a site – akin to the way that a university essay cites sources. However, initially the algorithm worked on a relatively basic premise – the more links that a website had pointing towards it, the more valuable and powerful was deemed to be.

early Google search

This led to a situation in which if websites wanted to perform well in Google’s search results they could continue to utilise keywords, but also boost their site further by building a huge number of links, regardless where these links came from. For a period of time this was standard practice. However, when Google realised that many businesses were using these sorts of underhand tactics to receive an artificially-inflated ranking, they deciding to do something about it. This saw the launch of two large scale updates to Google’s algorithm: Panda, promoting the value of high quality content, and Penguin, punishing sites with large numbers of links coming from poor quality sites.

This is where SEO became a far more complicated and delicate process, and website owners and SEO specialists had to think very carefully about everything they did to a website to ensure it wouldn’t fall foul of the new rules.

A more advanced algorithm

The fallout from Penguin and Panda was enormous, and it indicated that Google was going to be continually refining its algorithm to attempt to make it impossible to manipulate or artificially enhance a website’s position. The next major update, which was known as Hummingbird, focussed on a shift towards natural language.

While webmasters and site owners had become used to using text and content to serve a purpose (to drive sites up the rankings), Hummingbird placed a greater preference for sites that used ‘natural’ language. This meant that websites that were filled with useful and interesting content ranked higher than those that simply contained a good density of relevant keywords.

There is no doubt, then, that Google’s algorithm was evolving and becoming more advanced with each change. But at this point they all had in common that there were ideas that were programmed into the algorithm by humans. However, this changed with the deployment of RankBrain.

The rise of RankBrain

Google began using RankBrain as a factor it is search results in 2015. It is an AI system that is considered to be the third most important ranking factor, behind content and links. RankBrain uses AI to analyse words and phrases that it has never seen before – it can then make a guess at the meaning of the phrase based on similar phrases. This means that it is extremely effective at showing relevant results even if it does not necessarily understand the query.

As search has become more conversational and in the form of long-tail, complicated questions, this AI is designed to help the algorithm translate the questions into something it can understand and provide search results for. Data from previous search queries is fed into RankBrain and it is uses this data to learn how connections are made between topics. It is also able to spot patterns between searches that might appear unconnected.

This is one of the first examples of AI being used to improve search results, but this begs a question: how should website owners optimise their sites for an algorithm that is learning by itself?

This is good news for SEO!

It might seem as if the addition of AI to Google’s algorithm spells trouble for those in SEO – after all, as AI learns more about websites and what kind of content a user is searching for when they use a particular search query, it becomes much harder to manipulate or influence the system in any way. However, on closer inspection, this is actually excellent news for SEO – or, more specifically, those businesses using ‘white hat’ SEO techniques.

Reputable SEO agencies and experienced professionals already know the steps that they need to take to ensure not only that their site will rank well in search results, but also won’t fall foul of penalties under the algorithm: focus on creating the best possible content and achieving links that the website deserves.

However, it has always been frustrating for white hat SEOs when they can see competitors utilising black hat techniques and getting results without being punished. Not only will AI reward reputable and genuine SEO, it will make it easier for search engines to spot poor practice. AI is definitely bad news for those agencies and companies using underhand methods to artificially inflate their rankings.

SEO

What this means for content creation and link building

Let’s take a look at what Google itself describes as the two most important ranking factors in its algorithm: content and links. These will be affected by the rise of AI.

For example, Google’s is AI becoming better at recognising the difference between genuine high quality content and simply average, non-duplicated text. This means that those websites that create the best possible content that is genuinely useful and interesting to their audience will see the rewards. This effectively means that the best advice is to carry on with the same plan that Google has been recommending for a long time: create amazing content that answers the questions of your audience and provides value to the reader.

In terms of links, things have moved on dramatically from the early days when a link from any site would do. And yet, links remain a vital aspect of determining the quality of a website. This means that websites that focus on gaining strong, earned links from powerful and relevant sites will continue to see a benefit.

Additionally, as we have seen with RankBrain, Google is getting better at understanding search intent – what the user is trying to achieve with their search term. This comes from the AI being able to more clearly understand what a user means when they type in a query or use voice search. From an SEO perspective, you can take advantage of this by tracking how visitors use your site and drawing conclusions from the behaviour of those who convert.

How to prepare your site for AI

So, what should you do in order to prepare your website for the increasing use of AI in Google’s algorithms? The truth is that AI itself will not make any changes to the way that the algorithm operates – nor will it change Google’s priorities. The use of AI is to make it easier for Google to meet its main goal: providing the best possible search results for its users.

This means that to prepare for AI you simply need to follow the same advice that Google has been suggesting for a long time. Firstly, create the best possible content that is going to be genuinely useful and informative for the user; never has the phrase ‘content is king’ been more relevant.

Remember additionally that AI is constantly getting better at understanding natural, conversational language. This means that when you create your content you must always do it with a human reader in mind. Gone are the days that you could trick the search engine with content that was ‘optimised’ – if Google spots content that looks forced or unnatural, it will be able to tell the difference.

You also need to ensure that you are earning your links. With the help of AI, Google is getting better at noticing patterns and trends. So if you are still engaging in the practice of buying links this is something that Google will notice, more so than ever before.

Finally, it is more importantly than ever to stay up-to-date with what search engines are looking for from sites. As Google and others increasingly utilise AI it will make them more capable than ever to enforce their algorithms. So it is vital to stay ahead of the game. Working with experienced SEO professionals is crucial, as the development of AI in search is fast and it can be easy to get left behind without expert advice.

Google Analytics

We hope you have enjoyed our series on artificial intelligence and search engines. This is still very much an emerging field and an exciting part of the future of SEO. Please check back to the Artemis blog regularly as we will be updating our content which further specific developments in AI and search engines, as well as providing insight into all areas of SEO best practice.

And if your business could benefit from our SEO expertise please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us today.


Man on a laptop

How to perform a content audit

Man writing content on a laptop
Performing a content audit can be extremely valuable. It can help you to improve your website and plan marketing activity, and it is something that almost every business could benefit from. Here at Artemis we regularly carry out content audits for our clients – if you are interested in having one conducted on your site by professional content and SEO specialists, please get in contact with our team today. In this blog we look at some of the benefits of content audits and how you can carry one out for yourself.

What is a content audit and what is its purpose?

A content audit takes a look at all of the content on a website to assess its strengths, weaknesses and performance. It is an evaluation of data and key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you to understand how well content is doing the job it is intended for, as well as gaining insight into how content could be improved and to guide potential new content creation in the future.

More than just an inventory of the current content on a site, a good content audit establishes the performance of all aspects of content and helps to guide future marketing activity.

Understand your goals

To get as much as possible out of a content audit, it is first important to understand why you are performing it and to establish the goals you are hoping to achieve. There are many different reasons to carry out a content audit:

  • SEO – you may be conducting an audit to help you to identify areas of potential improvement for search engine optimisation (SEO). In this case it would be important to focus closely on aspects such as keywords, image optimisation, word count and current page rankings.
  • Content marketing – it could be that you want to gain insight into the success and failures of your content marketing. Here you could take a look at visit metrics, social shares and user behaviour.
  • Conversion rate – you might be most interested in improving the conversion rates across your site – a content audit can help to achieve this too

Create a spreadsheet listing your content

The first step in the actual auditing process involves finding all of the content on a website. This is where it can be useful to use a crawling tool such as Screaming Frog, as this will find all of the URLs associated with a site and provide them as a list, along with helpfully listing many of the relevant details about a page – such as its word count, headers and more. Many of these tools allow you to export the list in full, so this can allow you to easily create a spreadsheet with the content details you will be needing.

A more time consuming process could be to manually enter all of the pages and their details into a spreadsheet. Clearly for larger websites this would be impractical, but it might be possible if you are auditing a smaller site.

Analyse your data

Gathering relevant data is also an important aspect of your content audit. You will need to utilise various tools to pull in key facts. As discussed above, this will depend on the goals of your content audit, but you may wish to get data such as the last time the page was updated, how the page ranks on Google and how many conversions or goals that the page has achieved over a set period.

Once again, how you analyse the data is based entirely on the goals you are trying to achieve from your audit. But as an example, if you are looking at the conversion rates of your content you might be able to look at key metrics such as average time on page, bounce rate and completion of goals.

You can then see which pages are doing well, and which need improvement. It might be prudent to arrange the pages by those which get most clicks, so that you can focus your future content work on the areas of the site that are most active, but that convert at the lowest rate.

Look at the competition

You can take your audit further than the current content on your site by examining the content of your competitors as well as the most popular content found in the subject matter. Tools like Buzzsumo allow you to explore content in a niche to understand which is the most successful. No matter why you are carrying out your content audit, it is always beneficial to understand exactly what you audience is looking for.

If you would like to learn more about content audits or you are interested in having one carried out, please contact our experienced team today.


Temp office construction

Let there be light!

 

It’s great to see walls smashed through for windows and doors in our new additional temporary office.

 

 

Our new temporary office is under construction and when complete it will serve as our base for the next 12 months while our new permanent office is being built.

 

Come back to our blog or visit our social media channels for updates on the construction progress.


Hotjar Interface

How to turn visitors into customers with Hotjar

There are many ways that you can optimise your website to improve its position in search rankings. But for some businesses, the real challenge is turning visitors to the site into customers. To do so it is important to find the areas on your site that could potentially be used more effectively and generate more conversions from the traffic you are currently receiving.

Hotjar is an increasingly popular tool that can be used to help websites generate more enquiries or leads. It does this by collecting user data and feedback which enables you to fully understand where the web and mobile traffic is focussed on your site, and how you can benefit from it.

Whether your website is used for ecommerce or for referrals, you need to know which pages or actions can create the most leads. Hotjar uses tools like heatmaps and recordings to help you better understand and manage your website. But optimising a website for an increase in traffic or conversions can be tricky. Here are our quick top tips on how to use Hotjar effectively to increase conversion rates and turn your visitors into customers.

How heatmaps work

Hotjar’s heatmap feature essentially monitors a user’s movements and engagement across a website or on specific pages. Heatmaps are capable of showing users’ behaviour on a page and are useful for understanding where your visitors are clicking and how far they are willing to scroll down a page for more information.

It is important to then highlight where your users are often clicking to and how you can then essentially turn that into a lead or improve in other areas of the page. This can work really well for a ‘Contact’ page you’re looking to improve, whether it is by looking into how your form is shown or guiding you to whether your buttons and other elements are creating a potential barrier for users.

Hotjar Heatmaps Image
In the image above you will see an example of how users behave on the Artemis homepage. Interestingly, the majority of clicks received on the homepage can be found on the ‘About Us’ and ‘Contact Us’ tab. This can also show the areas that your visitors aren’t clicking onto that much or not at all, it gives you insight into what you need to focus on more or on how you can improve elements such as call-to-action buttons, forms or general content.

Hotjar Heatmaps - Artemis Homepage Image
However, heatmaps are capable of more. The image above shows the movements of your visitors across the page and what users are more drawn to. It can also highlight the ratio of most mouse movements compared to the clicks from the previous image, which again, can indicate on how to gain leads from certain elements such as buttons, forms and opt-ins.

Record targeted pages

One of Hotjar’s most powerful features is recordings. The recording feature can enable you to see how visitors are interacting with your website. It does this by collecting and storing visitor session data and actively records a user’s movements.

It’s not as scary as it sounds… Each event is tracked as a different session and allows you to play it back and watch how visitors are behaving on your website and which pages they are going to. Through analysing the data you have collected to see how users are interacting with the site, you can essentially build or change the site around them.

It is important to understand how a user navigates around a website, you can see your visitors’ journeys and how they digest content along the way, especially for an ecommerce site when the focus is on the products you are trying to sell.

How does recording pages help me?

Recordings can help you answer a large number of questions on the user experience and usability of your site, such as:

  • What barriers exist on my website? And how can I fix them?
  • What is driving people to convert on my page?
  • Are users ignoring my CTA buttons? Are they even seeing them?

It’s important to define the changes you need to make to a page, even if it means a small increase in clicks, especially to a targeted page such as a contact page. It means you can build or change the website around your visitors and make the user experience better, especially if there is a barrier blocking their way to another page. It is great to understand these challenges and how you can fix them.

And even better is the fact that you are not limiting: you can record both static and dynamic pages along with shopping carts and logged in areas.

Understanding how Hotjar forms work

When you have contact forms on your website, it is important to check whether you are actually receiving any conversions or interactions for what you have featured on a targeted page.

Hotjar Form Reports can provide you with an in-depth view of how each of your forms are collecting data and if they are converting traffic from them. Sessions are collected for each form and you will be able to analyse how long each user is spending on a field or whether they abandoned the contact form altogether. It is good to understand how they interact with it and if there are any challenges they are facing (e.g. a ‘Submit’ button not working correctly).

Hotjar - Forms Image
In the image above you can see the rate of sessions and drop off along with interactions for each field, making it easier to understand how to can improve a form or see what barriers your visitors could be facing.

Hotjar is becoming an increasingly popular tool that can help a website generate more enquiries and lead to more conversions. Artemis have many years of digital marketing experience and can provide expert help to enable your business to reach a wide yet targeted audience of new and existing customers. Contact us for a free Hotjar consultation.


Healthy food in a bowl

Artemis staff volunteer for #PlasticFreeFriday

Friends of the Earth have launched their #PlasticFreeFriday campaign, encouraging individuals and businesses to commit to one day every week where they do not use any form of single-use plastic.

At Artemis we thought that it was a fantastic idea, and as a part of our responsibility to the environment and sustainability, members of staff have volunteered to be a part of the campaign – eliminating single-use plastic on Fridays (as well as being mindful of plastic usage the rest of the week).

Friends of the Earth

 

There is simply so much single-use plastic that inevitably ends up in landfills and then gets into the world’s oceans. Single-use plastic includes everyday items such as wrappers, sandwich packets, bottles, plastic straws, disposable coffee cup lids, food bags, plastic cutlery and much more.

Making small changes, such as going plastic-free one day per week can help change behaviour and raise awareness to the cause and the challenges.

PlasticFreeFriday tip

 

Check out the Friends of the Earth campaign for some great tips about how to go single-use plastic free, either on Fridays or as often as you can!

Artemis takes our commitment to the environment seriously. We utilise recycling boxes, recently investing in a coffee-pod collector to make it possible for us to recycle more effectively. We also exclusively use eco-friendly cleaning products, use as little paper as possible and are always looking to implement greener policies in the office.

Artemis coffee pod recycling

 

Join us for #PlasticFreeFriday!


Computer code

Artificial Intelligence and Search Engines. Part One: Changing the Way We Search

Over the course of our two-part blog series, we will take an in-depth look at the growth and progression of artificial intelligence in relation to search technology. In Part One we will examine how artificial intelligence is changing the way that people utilise search engines. In Part Two we take a look at what these changes mean for the SEO industry and the way your website ranks on Google.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a buzzword around SEO for some time now. For a number of years, SEO professionals have postulated that AI would have a huge role to play in the future of the industry. But this all looked a long way off in 2012, when Google was struggling to get its most advanced AI software to even recognise whether or not a cat was present in a video.

Over the past few years there have marked improvements in the technology to the point where we are seeing AI systems integrate seamlessly into people’s lives. AI assistants on mobile devices and computers have become commonplace – Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are just two examples attempting to show how clever they are. AI has slowly been colonising search engines too. And while it’s certainly no secret, the growing influence of AI on Google has taken some search professionals by surprise. But to understand just how AI is affecting the landscape of SEO, we must first establish the ways that AI is influencing and altering the ways that people use search engines every day.

Computer code

Understanding artificial intelligence

AI may well be the future of search, and therefore being able to understand AI and interpret how it works is an important challenge for businesses and search engine professionals. Firstly, it is useful to understand what AI actually is and how it is applied to search engines.

When we talk about AI, we are referring to the attempts to make machines do the things that human minds can do. Machines are typically extremely efficient at being able to do the things that they are told to do, but cannot do things where they are asked to make decisions or utilise skills such as creativity or problem-solving, which we think of as intrinsically human.

Essentially it is asking machines to learn from their own experiences, rather than learning from things that they have been told by their programming. This has taken many forms, from computers that have learned to play chess better than Grandmasters to cars with the ability to drive themselves.

AI is used within search engines a number of ways. The most of obvious use is in the augmenting of algorithms used to rank websites in order to more effectively offer high quality search results. But AI is also used in a variety of situations that you might not realise when you browse on your phone or search on your laptop.
To understand these, we need to take a closer look at the different types of artificial intelligence that are used by Google, Microsoft, Apple and other technology giants who are leading the field.

The progression of artificial intelligence

There is a lot of talk of AI in modern settings, but when you attempt to understand how it is used within search engines you come up against the problem that the term ‘artificial intelligence’ is simply far too broad. AI can simultaneously refer to the earliest beginnings of the concept, the modern day technology that influences our lives right now, and the myriad possibilities for the future. It is important, then, to break down the phrase into more manageable concepts.

You might not realise that AI dates back to 1956 when computer scientists coined the phrase. In its infancy, AI pioneers dreamed primarily of machines that could mimic all aspects of human intellect – think of androids in science fiction films. Today, however, those at the forefront of the technology realise that the advantages of AI actually come from much narrower forms.

Machine learning

Rather than trying to produce AI that mimics the human experience, pioneers look for opportunities where AI can perform difficult or time-consuming tasks that we previously have relied on human minds for.

This is where we first encounter the phrase ‘machine learning’. Machine learning is a form of AI where a computer is programmed with algorithms to learn and improve at task by being shown a large amount of data. For example, if you could program a computer to understand what letters look like, it could then scan images for words. While impressive feats were accomplished with this form of machine learning, it would still encounter problems.

For example, if the first letter of a word was partially obscured, leaving the letters “E-L-L-O” a computer would not be able to recognise what most English-speaking humans would know instantly: the word is ‘hello’. It was for the same reason that Google was struggling to get its AI to recognise a cat in a video – it worked some of the time, but if the images were obscured, the AI simply was not advanced enough to recognise cats effectively.

Deep learning

It was relatively recently that the concept of ‘deep learning’ was introduced. This is a form of machine learning in which computers are exposed to a huge number of images and use something called neural networks, which examine different elements of the image to ascertain what it is. With the advent and advancement of modern computers, it is now possible for a computer to analyse millions of images and learn from its mistakes. Deep learning is currently the most effective form of AI.

This shows us, then, that what we truly need for successful AI is actually a very large amount of data that can be fed into a machine and allow it to learn. This is, in part, why Google is able (and will continue to be able) to use AI so effectively – the company simply has access to such a huge amount of extremely rich data to provide to its AI systems.

Man on smartphone and laptop

Revolutionising the way we search

So, what does the use of deep learning AI mean for the future of search? The truth is it already having an enormous impact in ways that you might not even have noticed. For example, if you have ever searched using Google Assistant (starting by saying the phrase ‘OK Google’ aloud) you may have watched your device interpreting the words you are saying. It is cleverly able to ignore hesitations and recognise natural speech patterns.

For a glimpse into just how advanced Google’s speech recognition has become, take a look at this video where Google Assistant takes a query from a user about making a women’s hair appointment and then actually makes a call to the salon in order to get the appointment booked, mimicking human speech and understanding the nuances of the conversation.

Interestingly, Google has even able to understand the difference between the ways that different generations interact with it. For example, Generation X learned to use search engines in a way that was functional, for example typing in a query like “cheap Spain holidays”. On the other hand, Millennials now interact with search engines with more natural questions like “where is cheap to go in Spain in June?”. This change has only come about because AI has grown to the point where Google is able to understand this kind of conversational language, and is able to provide relevant search results based on these sorts of queries.

There are also practical search applications for the deep learning image analysis discussed above. One innovation that Google is working on is image searching as a shopping tool. For example, if you are interested in buying a specific belt, Google can then use its image search for images of people wearing similar belts and establishing the kinds of jeans that are typically worn with the belt – it can then make recommendations to you for jeans that you can potentially buy alongside the belt.

The challenges

Of course this is not to say that Google’s AI has reached its peak – nor that current AI technology is without its limitations. For example, it is likely now that the case that Google does not truly understand why its algorithm ranks websites in a particular way. This means that if a business feels that hard done by in Google’s search results, the company may no longer be able to provide a rational explanation for why a particular site ranks the way it does. Given the importance of Google to businesses across the UK, this might seem like a worrying prospect.

Additionally, it has been established that even with deep learning techniques, AI can be tricked or make mistakes. For example, Google’s image classification AI was tricked into believing a 3D printed turtle was a rifle.

There have even been concerns that AI is not able to think ethically in the way that humans are able to. For example, in late 2017 Facebook’s AI algorithm was discovered to have created anti-Semitic advert topics that users could target. This embarrassment forced Facebook to introduce human reviewers into something that had previously been a process that was completely automated by AI.

How will AI affect SEO?

Given the enormous variety of ways that AI is influencing search, it is clear that it will play a huge role in the SEO industry. In Part Two of this blog series on artificial intelligence and search engines we take an in-depth look into how AI is changing SEO.


Person typing on laptop

Five tips for creating evergreen content

Writing evergreen content
Evergreen content is sought after by digital marketers and businesses because it is more likely to remain valuable over a long period of time. This makes it more valuable for SEO than short-term content, potentially helping to improve your search engine rankings as well as continually bringing in new visitors and users to your site.

If your business can create a piece of evergreen content that answers questions and provides useful information to potential customers, it can additionally be a valuable tool for building your brand and profile. Here are five tips you can follow to create fantastic evergreen content for your website.

Content that stays relevant

The traditional form of evergreen content is anything that covers a topic where the information will not change over time. This means that you write the page once and then it will remain relevant for many months or even years. Take an example like ‘A Guide to Driving Safely’ – the basic information on road safety and smart driving will likely remain the same for a long period of time.

On the other hand, something like ‘Five Upcoming Apps You Need to Know About’ clearly has a defined time period where it is relevant, but it is unlikely to be useful or interesting a couple of months after it has been written.

So when you are planning your evergreen content, take the time to choose topics that are going to have the longest shelf life. An article giving user advice on the iPhone X, for example, will have a shorter shelf life than one that gives user advice on mobile devices generally.

…Or content you can refresh

There is a second form of evergreen content that you can create – that is content that needs to be periodically updated. For example, a list of upcoming SEO and digital marketing events can be evergreen as long as it is continually updated. While this kind of evergreen content takes a little more work than the other, it can be just as effective.

In fact, it can be hugely valuable if you can get users to return to your page because they know it is an often-updated piece of useful information.

Put your evergreen content centre stage

It is important to make sure that your high quality content gets the attention that it deserves. Too many websites will create a fantastic piece of evergreen content only for it to be hidden just a few days later as they post more content to their blog. If you are going to create your content as a blog it is important to make sure that it is still easy to find.

For example you could have a ‘Top Posts’ section in your blog to ensure that it stays near the top of the main page, and in the case of refreshed content, you can always re-post it to bring it back to the top of your blog. Additionally you can re-post the content on social media regularly to give it extra focus and attention.

Understand the different forms of evergreen content

There are lots of different kinds of content that you can make evergreen. If you are struggling to come up with ideas, here are some of the most popular:

• ‘How to’ guides
• Beginner’s guides
• Case studies
• Original research
• Lists of resources
• Useful products or software
• ‘History of’ a topic
• Top tips and advice
• Tutorials
• Glossaries

Create content that matches your brand

Finally, remember that one of the most important aspects of evergreen content is that it can be a tool for promoting your brand. Make sure that you write your content in your brand voice, so that people can associate that content with you.

Here at Artemis, we have a dedicated in-house content writing team to help our clients achieve the best possible content for their business. From writing web page content to blogs and articles, why not contact us to find out how we can help?


Email marketing

Is Email Marketing Effective?

Email marketing

Whether you’re using email marketing to reach your tailored target audience or to find potential new customers, there are effective techniques that are ideal for increasing higher open rates and engagement for any campaign. Many businesses rely on automated emails such as sign-up forms and welcome emails (which can be key!) rather than actually planning a strategy on newsletters and how they could drive traffic to your website.

Creating the perfect email newsletter can take time and planning, especially when you want to maximise your open rates as much as possible. Here are five great tips for producing a targeted email.

1 – Content

With content, it’s always best to start with the subject line, as this can potentially have an impact on your open rates in general. Subject lines are important with any email, especially when they’re centred on promotions, sales or new products. Bearing that in mind, it’s best to check there’s something to inspire the subscriber to open the email in the first place, while ensuring it isn’t something that would go straight to the junk folder.

When it comes to better performing subject lines, always remember to include engaging taglines, correct spelling, correct capitalisation and a repetitive call to action.

As for content within the email itself, it’s always best to add information and keywords that you want your subscribers to read about. Ideally, this should relate to the subject line you’ve created beforehand.

But, how much content should you add? Less is more, in most cases.

When adding content to an email, it’s best not to go overboard with packing it out as much as possible. Most of the time, the user won’t scroll too far to read or potentially click on any offers or promotions.

At Artemis, we recognise that writing good content is a skill that not everyone possesses. If you need help with effective email marketing writing, we have a talented team of in-house content writers at our disposal. Why not call 01444 645018 to find out more?

2 – Action-Oriented

When creating newsletters, one the most important things to include is a Call to Action (CTA). Like websites, these are used to grab the user’s attention and can be worded to highlight the link to the promotion or new products.

A few examples of these are:

Shop now
Buy Now
Learn More
Read More
Register Now

How many CTAs should you add to your email?

While it’s tempting to add as many as possible CTAs, this really isn’t recommended. If there are too many CTAs within an email, users may feel overwhelmed and simply won’t know which CTA to follow. Ideally, keep it minimal and include engaging actions in various colours and placements to click, so it’s not too overwhelming.

3 – Imagery

Images within an email are just as powerful as the content and CTA; they can really help with what message you’re trying to send to your target audience. Every image included in the email should be high quality as the majority of subscribers that open a newsletter who see a blurry or broken image won’t continue on any further. This most importantly applies to your header image as it’s the first thing the user sees.

How many images should you add?

Like CTAs, it’s always best to keep images to a minimum. If your email is filled with mostly images and little text, you’ll likely find your newsletter go straight to the junk folder. Always add images that are related to your brand, email subject and any highlighted products.

4 – Mobile Optimisation

With a growing percentage of subscribers reading their emails through a mobile device, it comes as no surprise that newsletters would need to be responsive for the increase in users to those devices. Yet, many emails are designed on and for desktops, making viewing a newsletter on a mobile much harder.

Many email clients now offer newsletters to be automatically optimised for mobile once created, and the same principles apply to websites that are mobile responsive.

How do you know if your email is responsive for mobile?

Ideally, you would need to test this first before sending out any emails. There are ways you can do this with different providers so you’re able to see how your content, images and CTAs would align on a mobile. If you find you need to scroll along or expand the page to view all of it then you know it’s not mobile optimised. However, with easy implementation you can make your emails more readable for different screen sizes.

At Artemis, we are constantly preparing for Google’s Mobile First Audit, focusing on mobile speed, design and user friendliness. For a friendly chat and expert advice, please get in touch.

5 – Personalisation and Targeting

Many people are unaware that personalisation for emails can be successful for any sender; 74% of marketers say targeted personalisation can increase customer engagement over time. It’s important to understand how personalising a subject line or targeting segmented subscribers can improve open and click rates.

Overall, the subscriber feels more relevant when an email is less generic and more targeted to them. In order to achieve this you can include their name as well as promotions and offers segmented just for them. This enables you to have a clear audience for products and the offers they would be interested in.

What personalisation should you use?

The use of a “first name” within the content is strong enough to make the user feel more engaged in the newsletter itself, feeling that that the email is more for them rather than being generic. Personalisation can also be great for re-engaging your subscribers. Use automated reminders as a way to send out email offers to encourage users to come back to your website.

Email marketing is a hugely important tool that can help your business generate more enquiries, and more sales. Artemis have many years of digital marketing experience and can provide expert help to enable your business to reach a wide yet targeted audience of new and existing customers. Contact us for a free consultation.


Writing good content

Six tips for perfect product copywriting

copywriting

 

Whether you’re creating brand new content for an ecommerce site or just refreshing your product pages, it’s worth spending some time to get the copy right. Too many businesses copy and paste the product description from the supplier’s site or just free write whatever comes to mind when they come to upload to their site.

But a good product description can be the difference between a customer buying with you or continuing their search elsewhere. Here are six great tips for perfecting your product content.

1 – Understand your audience

To write the perfect product copy, you need to know who you are writing for. Ask yourself: who is the product for and who is most likely to buy? It’s unlikely that you would use the same style of writing for aspirational millennials as you would for pensioners. But it’s also worth looking deeper into your buyer. Are they style conscious? Bargain orientated? Highly educated? When you have a real understanding of your audience, you can start to make decisions on style and tone of voice.

2 – Research your product

You also need to really understand your product and where it sits in the marketplace. Don’t think about getting started on the writing until you have conducted thorough research into the advantages of your product compared to the competition.

Talk to whoever you need to – take the time to call or email the manufacturer or supplier to get the most relevant details. This is the stuff that will make your product stand out from the crowd and promote sales.

3 – Write for humans

Of course it’s necessary to be aware of search engines and how to optimise your product content effectively – but don’t fall into the trap of writing for the benefit of Google. Firstly, Google’s algorithm gets smarter every day, and what it really likes to see is good quality content. But also because the true value of product copy is its ability to convert.

Yes, search terms and keywords are important but there really is no good in having people landing on your product page if they never actually, you know, buy the product. Focus on writing the best possible content for human beings to read, that is what will get you the sales.

4 – Don’t get caught up in word counts

There is a lot of talk about ‘thin content’ on the internet. It’s certainly true that pages with too little content can perform poorly in Google search results, and sites should always be aiming to improve their content. But remember too that we are talking about a product page. Ultimately, if they have landed on a product page, they are here to make a buying decision. This means that your content needs to be concise, crisp and lead them towards making the purchase.

No, your content should not be too short, but don’t ramble on making the same point over and over to reach a round 500 word count. Use as many or as few words as you need to sell the product to the audience and leave it at that.

5 – Be original

Filling your product page with cliché sales nonsense will do nothing to promote sales at best, and annoy your potential customers at worst. It’s a much better idea to take your time and create snappy content that someone will actually remember. Make them laugh or present your product in a way they haven’t thought about before. It will make a real difference.

6 – Use emotive language

Too much product content perfectly describes the individual features, but forgets to explain what it actually does for you. Consider the difference between describing an office chair as being ‘ergonomically-designed’ compared to content that explains the chair contains ‘back support to keep you in complete comfort’.

The difference here is the use of emotive language – the kind of language that allows the customer to understand how fantastic it is to own the product.