Five members of the Artemis team attended the September 2019 edition of BrightonSEO – one of the world’s largest SEO conferences. With around 4,000 people estimated to be in attendance, and more than 80 talks, there was plenty to see and learn. And while we didn’t get to see everything, we did enjoy some fantastic presentations. Here are some of the talks that we enjoyed the most.
Undoubtedly one of BrightonSEOs most renowned and popular guest speakers, Greg didn’t disappoint with his talk on entities and the future of SEO. With a slideshow brimming over with horror movie references, Greg talked about how brand building and traditional forms of marketing are set to become an important SEO issue – especially for local businesses. His recommendations were to focus on relationships and utilise Google My Business to its fullest extent.
Check out his SlideShare here, not only for the fantastic content but for a great list of films to watch!
Keen to dispel comparisons with his namesakes including The One Show host, and the American conspiracy theorist, Alex provided a practical look at supporting content – pieces that complement the main asset in a campaign. Rather than putting all of your efforts into one piece, Alex recommends creating multiple pieces of content that support and reinforce the main asset you are working on.
Stacey’s talk took a fascinating look at alternative ways to generate links other than link building; especially focusing on websites with smaller budgets. One key factor involved understanding seasonal events and how to tie them into your campaigns. And rather than putting money into infographics, you should look for new and interesting ways to present data – flourish.studio offers some great examples of this.
Highlighting that Facebook is putting a much greater emphasis on groups, Marie provided some great practical information for businesses that might look to leverage groups to their advantage. Companies can be linked to groups – but they should not use these groups as an advertising space. Instead, think of them as an open community.
Tim Soulo’s talk focused on the importance of semantics, and very interestingly showed how a piece of content can get a lot more traffic if you carry out proper keyword research into the topic, and ensure the piece goes into detail. He recommended that rather than targeting one specific keyword with a high search volume, it can be more effective to create content that is picked up by a broad variety of key phrases.
A highly engaging speaker, Paige’s glossary of SERP features was insightful for anyone interested in organic traffic.
This talk was a real showstopper. Dana discussed using the CID as a custom dimension in Google Analytics, which allows you to attach sessions to requests and improve attribution without having a big CRM or reporting tool. This help focus on what converts as well as actually sells; not just website ‘conversions’, but actually those that bring in revenue.
At Artemis we love to take the time to keep our SEO knowledge up-to-date, and given that BrightonSEO is only 10 minutes away from our base in the West Sussex countryside, we attend as often as we can. If you would like to learn more about what we can do for you, get in contact with the team at Artemis today.
At Artemis we recently celebrated our 15-year anniversary – we’ve been in business since 2004, offering expert SEO and digital marketing services to small and medium sized businesses across the UK.
We felt that now was the perfect time to unveil an exciting range of new services, many of which have been requested by our clients. These services perfectly complement our current marketing offerings, and allow us to expand our variety of digital services to both existing and new clients.
Many clients have asked us in the past for services including video, photography, and design work, and historically we have recommended external partners – but the feedback has been clear: now is the time to bring these services in house.
We understand the importance of superb video and photography content for use on client sites and in off-site marketing materials, but great quality work needs to be available at a price point that suits our clients.
With that in mind, Artemis is now proud to offer exceptional video and photography services. Offering everything from promotional videos and tutorials to interviews and live streaming, we can combine our marketing skills with superb visual content to produce stunning work including graphics, overlays, subtitles, and more. Our videos can help develop customer confidence and increase conversion rates.
Great photography on your site is also crucial. Our new range of photography options include headshots for staff members, enticing ecommerce and product photography, and business branding – all essential in showing off the professionalism of your organisation.
We have also ramped up our in-house design and creative services and can now offer our clients a full list of options ranging from graphic design and logo creation to corporate merchandise and even full rebranding work.
These services are a crucial part of modern digital marketing and truly complement our current offerings.
If you are interested in learning more about what Artemis could do for your business, please don’t hesitate to give our team a call on 01444 645018 or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When a visitor arrives on one of your landing pages, you want to make a brilliant first impression, and the best way to do this is with fantastic written content. Your site content can make the difference between a conversion and a missed opportunity, so it is something you need to take your time over and ensure that you are getting right.
David Wells, Senior Content Writer at Artemis, takes a look at how to write for business websites, and some of the techniques that you can use to improve your landing pages.
Focus on the benefits
When businesses write content, they can often make the mistake of focusing too much on what makes their products or services great. It’s so common to see landing pages waxing lyrical about the business itself and what makes their products better than the competition – and the fact is, this won’t do anything to impress customers.
Visitors to your site are savvier and smarter than ever before, they have immediate access to all of your competitors, so they already understand the features of the product.
Whether you are selling B2B or B2C, the only thing that your customers really want to know is how your product/service will benefit them.
Your landing page content needs to show them how it is going to make a difference to their lives – focus on the result of using your products, not the theory of what makes it better than your competitors.
Take a look at a great example from swimming pool manufacturers Compass Pools. The unique selling point of the company is the unique material that the pools are made from. But rather than focusing on the material itself, the company sells its pools due to the benefits: cleaner water, energy efficiency, faster installation, and a longer warranty.
Test how your content performs
The theory is one thing, but how your content actually performs in the real world should be the driving factor in how you write it. Take the example from conversion rate optimisation (CRO) specialists here, who will A/B test pages to find out which is the past effective way to present a product.
To do this you should write two versions of the content – using one for a specified period of time, then switching to the other.
You can then analyse how to different versions of the content perform for your site. Whilst doing this you should look at issues such as how well customers converted on the site, as well as how the content affected your search rankings.
This process should be continuously repeated to help you refine the content and find the most effective option.
Use eye-catching statistics and numbers
It is important that your landing page does a fast job of impressing the reader. One of the best ways to do this with content is to use statistics and numbers that draw the eye. Customers are more persuaded by information that is supported with evidence.
Anyone can make claims on their website, but not everyone has relevant and detailed statistics that they can quote. If you have got numbers that show off the effectiveness of your products or services then you should be using them.
It’s a technique that we use at Artemis on our homepage. We are proudly ranked the no.1 SEO company for small businesses out of more than 1,300 organisations across the UK.
Just saying that we are the best isn’t going influence many, but when we can back it up with statistics from independent review site FreeIndex, it’s much more impressive.
Don’t be afraid of user-generated content
When many businesses think of user generated content, they think about reviews. And reviews are an extremely important feature for your pages. In fact, statistics released by Moz indicate that 67 per cent of consumers are influenced by customer reviews, which shows just how valuable they are to someone making a decision on whether to buy on your site.
However, there are still websites that are shying away from user generated content – perhaps preferring to retain full control over how products and services are represented.
But this can be a mistake, as it can add a huge amount of value and an outside perspective to your pages.
It is vital that you create content for your landing pages that is going to convert. And when it comes to conversions, nothing is as effective as simplicity.
Customers like to be able to instantly understand products, and online copy necessitates the use of shorter sentences and words; this is especially true when optimising your content for mobile devices.
Take a look at how Apple markets its new iPhone XR – the sentences are extremely short and the concepts are simple.
At Artemis, we have years of experience in creating exceptional content for businesses to help them increase their web traffic and improve conversion rates. If you are interested in working with us, please get in contact with a member of our friendly team today.
Did you know that your business’ website security directly affects your SEO? Google sees many of the effects of a hack or breach as a negative ranking factor. This means that cybersecurity is not only important for the safety of your business data and assets, it can also affect your traffic from Google and other search engines.
In this blog we take a look at how the damage and disruption to your site caused by a cyberattack can cause you to slip in the rankings. If you have seen your positions drop as a result for a cyberattack please contact us today for information on the SEO services we can provide to get your business back into a strong position.
Hacked site warning
You have probably seen a Google listing with a warning message that reads ‘This site may be hacked’ similar to the image below:
This is never good news for a website, as it means that Google has noticed that the site is showing signs of having been compromised by cybercriminals. It’s worth pointing about that this will see a very negative effect on your traffic, as the message could put visitors off clicking on your page.
In terms of your SEO too, this is a real cause for concern beyond the challenges of dealing with the potential hack itself. Firstly, we know that the behaviour of users affects search rankings – if your site is hacked and not being clicked, this indicates to Google that you are being ranked incorrectly and are a less useful result.
This means that sites that Google believes have been hacked will very quickly see a drop off in their rankings. The damage to your SEO is greater the longer the message is attached to your site. You can have the warning removed from your site by contacting Google via Search Console to request they review your site. However, it is important that you do something about the hack first.
Content changes on hacked sites
You might assume that the only reason that a cybercriminal would look to compromise your site would be to steal data. However, this is not the case at all – cybercrime has a large range of goals and objectives.
According to a recent study from GoDaddy, 73.9 per cent of cyber-attacks against websites are SEO-based. Sites are hacked and the content is changed with various tactics being used such as adding outbound links to a website, creating new covert web pages, or even configuring the site to show something entirely different to Google.
There are also examples of terrorist organisations and other nefarious groups hacking websites in order to spread propaganda. Other common site modifications include using compromised sites to send spam emails or mine cryptocurrency.
No matter how a site is modified, it can cause seriously reputational damage in the eyes of Google. This can lead to you losing hard earning ranking positions, or even be penalised if links to dangerous sites, or irrelevant content are discovered by crawlers.
The importance of a secure connection
It was back in 2017 that Google Chrome began labelling HTTP websites as ‘Not secure’ – and while at the time sites were not being punished in any other way by this label it was a signifier to the SEO community that having a secure site was something that was going to become very important. The message referred to sites that were using HTTP rather than HTTPS; those not using password encryption, and are therefore less secure.
Initially the ‘Not secure’ label was a problem for SEO only due to the fact that it could put off potential visitors from staying on your site. But Google has since confirmed that the message is now a ranking factor, so it can be losing you traffic in multiple ways if you do not make the switch over to HTTPS.
Bad reviews of your site
Reviews are becoming increasingly important as a ranking factor on Google – the search engine has its own Reviews section and customers and visitors are invited to leave comments about the site. If a site builds up a number of negative ratings, it can start to see the site fall in the rankings. If your website is hacked in any visible way – such as with content changes or warning messages as mentioned above, visitors may start leaving negative reviews.
These reviews hang around and can have a huge impact on your site and your business. This is another reason why it is critical to invest in cyber security for the sake of your SEO.
It should be noted that Google will remove negative reviews against your site in certain circumstances when the reviewer has contravened the guidelines. For example, if someone has used illegal or racist language, or if they have created a number of similar reviews against similar businesses to yours.
Downtime is bad for your SEO
If you suffer any kind of cyber attack or data breach it is almost inevitable that your site will require a period of downtime. It is necessary to take your site down as you seek to understand the extent of the incident, address any damage, and establish how the attack occurred. This is a very important period of your business as you will need to take the time to clean your site – but it can also leave you in a position where you are offline for a significant period of time.
Downtime for a period of minutes won’t affect your ranking, but when your site is offline for hours or even days at a time you will start to see significant rules in your ranking positions.
What does your business need to do?
It should go without saying that cybersecurity needs to be a priority for your business, both as a function of keeping your data and assets safe, but also to protect your Google rankings. Every business and organisation needs to take appropriate cyber security advice and implement relevant defence measures to minimise the risk of a successful attack.
At Artemis, we are an SEO agency that understands the importance of powerful cyber security measures. We understand the need for a holistic approach to SEO and digital marketing – we would love to talk to you about the services we provide so contact our friendly team today.
Traditionally, SEO and PPC have been seen as very separate entities – rivals competing a bigger slice of the digital marketing budget in any given organisation. Your company’s organic search specialists will argue that SEO is a long-term strategy with better value for money and lasting effects that make a difference for your business. But those interested in paid search will counter: PPC is immediate, and it always gets results.
Of course, they are both right: SEO and PPC can each be effective strategies and can often work harmoniously for a holistic approach to digital marketing. But it is perhaps not recognised often enough that aside from working together – there is actually much that SEOs can learn from PPC practice and data.
Lack of communication between SEO and PPC specialists can be a hinderance to the success of a business. So, in this blog we will take a look at how your SEO department can utilise PPC data and insights effectively.
Learn faster than SEO
As has been mentioned, PPC is typically seen as a ‘faster’ form of digital marketing. This is due to the fact that while the SEO work you do on a website can take months before you see a significant improvement in your rankings (and therefore, traffic and sales), PPC ads can bring in customers in minutes.
Clearly, then, there is an opportunity for SEOs to learn where they need to target their next campaign. For example, if your business is moving into a new product area, using PPC ads can tell you very quickly the kinds of products and pages that work successfully. Test product pages individually to see which ones perform the best. Long-term SEO can then be planned around these pages, as there may be more potential for conversions in them.
Understanding the metrics
PPC data can provide you with an absolute gold mine of useful information on how pages perform. Click through rate and conversion rate are two vital metrics that can be extremely easily tracked through a PPC campaign – you can take many insights from the campaign.
Look for pages with a high click-through rate but a low conversion rate. It may be the case that the advert here is misleading, so when visitors click through, they don’t find what they are looking for. Alternatively, it may be the case that the advert piqued the interest of the visitor, but the page failed to live up to expectations. These can offer great opportunities to improve these pages.
Check how your high click-through/low conversion pages fair through organic traffic – if the conversion rate is low here then the problem is clearly with the page. Low quality pages can be a big problem for long-term SEO – and simply by comparing the PPC data with organic data you can learn whether a page is a problem, or if the issue is elsewhere.
It was once easy to understand which search terms were generating the most revenue for your business. However, updates to Google Analytics made it far more challenge to access this data in a meaningful and useful way. It has become necessary for SEOs to effectively take an educated guess in order to establish the best converting keywords for their site.
However, if you are also running a PPC campaign then there is no need to guess. A PPC specialist will be able to easily obtain a search term report for your account that will include a full range of useful metrics including, impressions, CTR and, yes, conversion rate!
You can then take this useful data and understand which terms are the most effective. This is just one example of PPCs sometimes having access to information that a pure SEO specialist might not realise is available.
Practical examples for how you can use PPC data to inform SEO
There are plenty of practical of examples of things that the SEO team can start doing immediately in order to benefit from PPC insights.
Faster A/B testing – we have already mentioned that one of the major benefits of PPC over SEO is that it works faster. This gives you the opportunity to carry out any important A/B testing at a much faster rate than what would be possible for SEO. While SEO A/B tests might take weeks or even months to come up with preferred options, PPC campaigns can find out in days.
Use best performing ad copy to inform meta titles and descriptions – it is also worth noting that when a particular PPC advert works well, it can be sensible to use this to inform meta titles and descriptions. If a PPC ad that mentions ‘award winning service’ and it is performing above better than other ads, then it is definitely worth using this phrasing in your meta description.
Calls-to-action – getting your calls-to-action right can make a huge difference to the success of a site. PPC ads tend to use a much broader variety of CTAs than standard pages, so they are constantly testing their effectiveness. Take a look at which CTAs convert best, and then roll them out.
But… be aware of the pitfalls
Of course, there is the potential to be ‘false positives’ within PPC data that, when applied to the site generally as an organic search tactic, will not be effective. There can be many reasons for this – perhaps visitors coming to your site through CTA-heavy adverts are more primed to convert than a visitor casually searching on a term you rank well for.
The best advice then is to take ‘too good to be true’ data with a pinch of salt. What works for PPC often works for SEO but it is not always the case. You can use high performing PPC ads to inform content strategy, but be aware that organic search comes with its own challenges so it is always advisable to work with specialists.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.