The Latest on Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm – Due To Roll Out on April 21st

Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm is released on the 21st April, so we’re interested to see what this means as far as SEO is concerned and what else can be expected.

The mobile-friendly algorithm, which Google confirmed will roll out over the course of a week, will be on a page-by-page and real-time basis. So how can you be sure if your page is going to benefit?

Big Expectations

This is one hell of an algorithm update as far as Google are concerned, with the impact likely to be much more significant compared to the likes of Panda and Penguin. It’s no surprise that there are plenty of webmasters out there who are sitting anxiously on the edge of their seats in anticipation for the release.

A Google+ hangout that took place on Tuesday brought up the new algorithm update and a number of important questions were answered in the process. Here’s what we found out:

  • There are no set degrees of mobile friendliness, which means you will be judged on whether you are mobile friendly or you aren’t. It’s as simple as that.
  • The easiest way to discover whether you are currently mobile friendly is to check live mobile search results and see if you have the mobile-friendly label attached to it. You can also use the mobile-friendly testing tool to match live Google search results. Mobile usability reports in Webmaster Tools may be delayed based on crawl time.
  • The algorithm will take between a few days and a week to roll out on a global scale.

The Dates

So firstly, the 21st is more of a guess as the algorithm will take a few days or so to roll out. It’s not unheard of for algorithms to take a little longer than expected, so we can’t be too sure on the dates just yet.

You Are or You Aren’t

Now comes the interesting part. This is an on-or-off algorithm that works on a page-by-page basis, but you have to be mobile friendly to see any benefits. In other words, it doesn’t matter how mobile friendly your pages are.

Some of the criteria mentioned in the Google+ hangout were small font sizes, tap links being spread out and content being readable from a mobile viewpoint. However, it was also stated that there were over 200 different factors that will determine whether you are, or indeed aren’t, mobile friendly.

Are You Mobile Friendly?

The easiest way to see if you are mobile friendly is to check for a mobile-friendly label in the live mobile search results. The label confirms Google understands you are mobile-friendly.


Optimising Keywords Effectively in 2015 – What’s Changed?

When it comes to optimising keywords, content is widely overlooked despite it being the driving factor. It is likely to be the difference between your prospects choosing you ahead of your biggest competitors.

Advertising involves referencing and reminding people that they need to be up to date with the latest products. On the other hand, mass marketing puts us under pressure as we have to appeal to a much wider audience.

It’s impossible to appeal to everyone through short advertising ploys, so I guess that’s why websites with quality content need to exist…

The Wrong Kind of Optimisation – The Dangers and History of Keyword Stuffing

It all comes down to how you utilise your website of course, with many people optimising keywords the wrong way for some years before Google told us about their latest algorithm.

People were insistent on marauding through keyword research data in an attempt to learn every synonym in existence; hoping to use the same fundamental keyword in whatever piece of topical content that was being written. This lead to problematic, keyword-heavy content.

In some cases written content wouldn’t have anything to do with the keywords being thrown into the mix.

After Google introduced its Freshness algorithm we were seeking the best rewards through consistent uploading of fresh content.

Regular Updates Brought About Results

However, this didn’t necessarily monitor what that content was about, as Google were far more interested in discovering whether or not you were regularly updating your website. This wasn’t the road the SEO industry wanted to pursue, so what was it that changed?

Panda’s Influence on Quality Content

Search marketers went through a prolonged period of frenzied content creation after they realised Google weren’t penalising the quality of their written work whatsoever.

Google made the mistake of presuming search marketers would think it obvious that their content would need to be good even though poor content was working just as well.

Google needed to come forward and clarify the issue and they did so with the introduction of their latest Panda algorithm last year, which, instead of targeting just thin and duplicate content, would target thin and duplicate content that offered little or no value.

Making it to the Top

It’s essential that people realise the importance of detailed, comprehensive and informative content that answers all the questions of their audience, as this could ultimately get them to the top of Google’s search rankings without having to build another link.

Links are still an important part of the marketing process but if you’re consistently in the top 10, you’ve probably got enough links to make it to top spot.

The importance of appearing on other publications that you’re audience regularly read up on or visit is vital as people won’t do their research on just the one site. An example would be having your products reviewed elsewhere by influencers.

Search Is Growing

So when it comes to written content and optimising for keywords, it’s important to remember that your content must be relevant to the users’ intent.

Your internal links will only get you so far if you haven’t yet updated the way you see content, while your external links remain vitally important as, with smartphone ownership going through the roof, more and more people are searching all over the place.

Satisfying as many searchers in one go is what the cleverest SEOs will hope to achieve in 2015, especially if they’re hoping to rank for the biggest terms…

 

 

 


Mobile Friendly Search Results Going Postal

Evolving Mobile Search Results

Yesterday Google announced that they will be introducing into their algorithm more mobile friendly results, not a huge surprise in itself as they have been pushing webmasters, developers & site owners through Google Webmaster Tools messaging to clean up our sites and evolve with the way the web is evolving (read:Google).

The message is now loud and clear and they have been kind enough to even give us a date! I say kind because in my entire history as an SEO at being awoken by search algorithm changes or algorithm updates, it has always been after the fact. Sometimes subtle hints that they may be moving towards improvements but never a date!

So what happens to a site that is not “Mobile Friendly”?

A picture paints a thousand words. During December data for Mobile Traffic started playing havoc with my senses on a client site. I searched high and low for technical reasoning and found no answer, it was not until I noticed updates coming out of Dejan SEOs Algoroo that made a little more sense, it was not just this site, it was many and it was hidden amongst the “Penguin Double Take”, “Panda Refresh” & “Penguin Tweak & Rollback”.

Mobile Friendly Testing

That image is taken directly from Google Analytics with the “Mobile Traffic” segment applied & compared to the previous year (December 1st – January 17th). In that particular example the data drop was at 61% of mobile traffic. Now consider around half of most sites traffic is mobile & tablet. Quick maths – using the above as an example we have just over a quarter of the sites sessions obliterated.

As a proactive SEO agency Artemis contacted all clients that were not mobile friendly or responsive to let them know their next course of action, we did that back in December & now the majority are close to migrating to their new mobile responsive sites or they already have, our priority has always been our clients so our switch has had to wait until last :sadface: but we too will be ready!

So what do you need to do?

Firstly Google has the tools to help

  1. Guide & Getting Started with Mobile Sites
  2. Use their Mobile Testing Tool
  3. Compile a Mobile Usability Report

April 21st is the official launch date where the algorithm will be updated.

So what happens to sites that do not make the switch?

Batten the SEO Hatches

In a nutshell your organic search traffic will feel the pinch along with your revenues & leads generated.


John Mueller Tells Us More About Google’s Stance on "Whitelists"

If we take a look back at the good old days when Matt Cutts was still head of web spam at Google, you might remember something he spoke of in March 2011 relating to exception lists, also known as “whitelists”.

whitelist

Cutts explained that while Google did use whitelists, they existed on a per-algorithm basis. If you caught up with John Mueller’s Google+ webmaster hangout on Tuesday, you might have heard him addressing the issue surrounding exception lists once again.

No Exception Lists for Panda & Penguin

What we found out was that Google uses whitelists for some of its algorithms but Mueller specifically said that there weren’t any exception lists in place for Panda or Penguin.

“For the most part we do not have a whitelist where we can say this web site is okay and we can take it out of the algorithm. For a lot of the general search algorithms, we do not have that ability”.

Why Exception Lists Are Needed

Mueller went on to say that there were some scenarios were they did have whitelists, mostly for the odd individual case. He explained that, with algorithms such as SafeSearch and for false positives on adult content, they do have that ability.

It’s quite clear that leading sites feel the early effects of any newly introduced algorithm or algorithm change and there’s very little Google can do until the algorithm is refreshed.

If you’re interested to hear what was talked about regarding whitelists, start the video provided below at around the 25-minute mark.

“it wouldn’t be feasible to handle them (search queries) manually”

Matt Cutts was asked by SearchEngineLand’s News Editor Barry Schwartz back in March 2011 whether Google used exception lists and the former head of web spam explained that whitelists were necessary for the odd search algorithms that weren’t 100% perfect.

“Our goal is to provide people with the most relevant answers as quickly as possible, and we do that primarily with the computer algorithms. In our experience, algorithms generate much better results than humans ranking websites page by page. And given the hundreds of millions of queries we get every day, it wouldn’t be feasible to handle them manually anyway”.

Cutts went on to say that ideally, Google didn’t want to maintain their exception lists at all but emphasised the fact that search was “still in its infancy, and our algorithms can’t answer all questions”.

If you’re looking to improve your ranking in Google to help boost the success of your online business, call Artemis today and take advantage of our free consultation service.

 

 


8 Factors That Determine Quality Content

Quality content is now a top priority, but what exactly do we need to look out for when separating the very best content from the rest? Quality content is now one of Google’s biggest ranking factors, so it’s essential that we’re able to identify what it is that makes content stand out.

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To give you a better idea of what Google are after, here’s a list of characteristics every piece of content you write from now on should include.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Google introduced some clever algorithm updates that search for authoritative content through keyword synonyms and other related phrases, so stuffing your content full of keywords has essentially become a major backwards step.

You can make it easier for search engines to understand your content by structuring your keywords effectively across the page.

Strong Headlines

We rarely shy away from an opportunity to demonstrate our creative skills through clever headings and subtitles, so it’s a shame when you realise that readers don’t have time to work them out. Your titles need to be strong, clear, relatable and a realistic length.

Keep Your Audience In Mind

Do your best to write for your audience rather than your peers, in which case you should be thinking about what your audience wants to read.

Avoid lots of technical jargon if you know they aren’t all that familiar with complex industry terms and avoid talking down to an audience primarily made up of industry professionals.

Will It Be Shared?

Content needs to be built around plenty of share value, so it helps to consider whether or not your social media followers would have an interest in it. Try reading your content back as a consumer to see whether or not it talks to you.

Word Count

A ranking factors study from Searchmetrics suggested that the ideal word count for a page of content was 1000 words. However, there’s no strict set of rules you need to follow as far as word counts go, although Google does seem to favour longer, heavier content pages.

Proofread (Always!)

It’s quite easy to miss typos; no matter how much experience you have proofreading content.

You could lose significant credibility as a writer for constantly failing to pick up on your mistakes. It’s not always a bad idea to let someone else read your work before sending it out.

High Quality, Natural Links

You should only ever link to reputable, high quality sources and this is something any experienced SEO will be aware of.

However, your links should also come from natural phrases within the text, so not just standard terms such as “click here” for instance.

A Compelling Layout

Bulky text isn’t a good look, so use every ounce of creativity you’ve got to design a content page that’s well structured and appealing to the eye.

Avoid long paragraphs and throw in a few additional headers and bullet points, especially when listing. The most imposing images are best placed at the top of a content page.

There’s plenty of additional changes you could make to your content writing style in order to improve your ranking capabilities, but the characteristics mentioned above are certainly some of the most important when trying to get the upper hand with Google.

If you’re looking for unrivalled SEO results from a company that’s always up-to-date with the latest algorithm changes at Google, get in touch with Artemis today.

 


Building Up Your Brand for 2015

Small businesses are currently going through a phase of focusing on their brands instead of trying desperately to build more links as they look to succeed further in the world of search marketing.

The days where you could build a selection of target keywords and start ranking have long gone, with social media presence, pay-per-click advertising, user-friendly web design and SEO all essential parts of the process.

branding social media

It’s now all down to how much you can impress Google, so a brand that’s well constructed is far more likely to rank well. Unfortunately, small businesses don’t necessarily have the resources other businesses have and may well have to carry out the entire branding process themselves.

It’s not uncommon for small businesses to build their own brands though, so all it takes is a little bit of hard work and dedication before you’ve got a brand that’s capable of success. Here’s what you need to prioritise:

Engage in Social Media

There’s no better way to assert yourself as an industry leader and showcase your expertise than through social media. Joining a community of industry experts gives you the chance to tell everyone what your brand is about and lets you engage with potential followers, clients and customers.

64% of marketers are integrating social media into their marketing plans today, while 65% of marketers witnessed an improvement in search rankings after investing a minimum of 6 hours per week in social media, so it’s important that you jump on the bandwagon as quickly as possible before you get left behind.

Come Up With a Logo

You won’t get anywhere with a brand unless there’s something your followers can recognise you by. Logos have always been a crucial part of branding as they demonstrate what your business is all about. People don’t have the attention span in the modern day to focus on something that’s not going to be instantly recognisable.

Your logo will feature on everything that’s associated with your business, from your website and promotional materials to your business cards. Consistency is essential when branding as clients can easily lose faith if you aren’t coping with basic aesthetics.

Participate in Charity Events

Adults in the UK donated a staggering £10.4 billion in 2012/13, so it’s no surprise that charitable events are regarded as one of the best ways to build a brand within a community.

So much is donated to worthy causes because they help small businesses as well as those who need it most. As a brand you’ll get plenty of exposure and your business will gain huge amounts of awareness as a result of your participation. Don’t forget that people are attracted to the prospect of working with small businesses who like to help others.

We have over 10 years of experience delivery unrivalled SEO results here at Artemis, so be sure to get in touch with us if you’re hoping to push the success of your brand even further.

 


Artemis Internet Marketing Part Of The UK Government Growth Voucher Programme – Get £2000 Towards Your SEO

 

Artemis Internet Marketing is UK Government Growth Voucher approved, with the Department for Innovation Business and Skills introducing the programme as a means of helping SMEs to gain all the strategic advice they need to help their business grow.

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The programme will run for 15 months from February 2014 and covers everything from recruiting and leadership to digital technology, cashflow and finance.

You can apply for your Growth Voucher and see your funding input matched by up to £2000 if you are eligible. The scheme will cover half of the cost of your SEO e.g. a £4k project will only cost you £2k.

You can find out more about the Growth Voucher programme and check your eligibility by visiting the government site or by getting in touch with us.

As accredited marketing experts, we can offer you all the expert advice and information you need.


Artemis Christmas Message

 

Artemis would like to wish every one of our clients a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. It’s been a pleasure working with you all over the last 12 months and the entire office was certainly very grateful for the wonderfully festive gifts we received over the last couple of weeks. We look forward to a highly productive 2015 that is devoted to achieving the very best for your online business. See you all in the New Year!

merry_christmas_greeting_card_on_red_background_by_123freevectors-d4hqop2

 


How SEO Campaigns Change Over Christmas

We’re getting ever closer to the big day and for many online businesses the process of drawing in customers this month has been the predominant goal.

Online shopping has been a hugely popular choice for many consumers this year and business owners have done everything they can to take full advantage of the festive season through heavily planned and thoroughly scrutinised SEO campaigns.

present

Online retailers are always looking forward to introducing their own unique SEO campaign to entice a wider audience.

We’ve seen a hugely competitive retail market this year whereby many of John Lewis’ rivals have stepped up their game and introduced many a heart-melting advertisement.

With the popularity of the festive season growing every year since the first Coca-Cola advert in 1943, we’ve looked at three specifics associated with a successful Christmas SEO campaign.

Social Media

Keeping your social accounts up to date with Christmassy-themed posts and putting a festive twist on your social media advertising is a great way of supporting your new SEO strategy.

The more social media accounts you use to spread the word the better, so make sure you take to more than just Twitter when introducing your products to the world.

Time

Unfortunately, it’s no good coming up with a Christmas strategy at this stage in the year, so any last minute plans you might have to make your products a little more festive are going to have to be brief.

The biggest retailers make the most of 6 months worth of planning from the research phase all the way through to executing their new strategy. You simply won’t have the effect your hoping for if you start too late.

Product Prioritisation

Not all your products will have the same effect as others over the Christmas period, so it’s important that you prioritise certain products that are more likely to sell.

John Lewis were hugely successful in selling plushy Penguins this year as a result of their latest advertisement, so you need to consider what products of yours are more likely to attract the attention of your consumers.

Get in Touch

Christmas can prove to be the most productive of times for many online businesses and we know exactly what it takes to adjust any SEO campaign to meet the demands of your clients.

If you’re interested to find out more, call us today and our friendly team will be happy to help.


Are Traditional Writers Plagued By The Modern Demands Of SEO?

I recently came across an article that outlined the impact SEO has on the quality of written content. It was argued that, despite persistent historical criticism stating the opposite, SEO was more than capable of enhancing the calibre of our web-based writing.

writing-336370_640The writer sarcastically introduces their article by denouncing the use of SEO within high quality content, citing ‘awkward, keyword-stuffed phrases’ in the deriding opening paragraph.

It seems SEO has received plenty of unmerited condemnation in the past with regards to its effect on quality content. Perhaps it remains an easy target for many an infuriated writer who struggle with the ever-changing demands Google likes to throw at us.

The article I read this week stated that anyone who feels SEO is disrupting their standard of content should be classed as “not a very good writer”, although I find this harsh in the sense that SEO is a rapidly growing and developing industry practically dictating the paths which skilled and ambitious writers must now follow in order to succeed on their website.

We want to know if SEO has changed content writing for the better and whether we should feel despondent about compressing our content with a plethora of regimenting keywords from now on.

Prioritising SEO

As writers, we have to understand that prioritising SEO with keywords is crucial to the success of our website and that Google wants to see as much keyword-ridden content as possible. We spend much of our time acknowledging our own work; concluding that this is exactly what the reader wants and anything else wouldn’t live up to expectations.

What SEO gives us is the opportunity to discover more about our audience and what it is they want to be reading, thus improving our use of vocabulary (as well as keywords) within that specific sector.

We might be using the right words and providing our audience with an excellent source of information that’s plentiful, insightful and appealing to any industry expert but are the writers out there finding it easier to produce high quality content as a result of this?

The point of SEO and Google’s newfound ideology is to have clients, customers, fans and enthusiasts leaving with a superior amount of knowledge and ideally with everything they’d hoped to obtain, but those of us who venture to supermarkets once or twice a week know full well how difficult this is to achieve.

Instead we take something that’s just as appealing, albeit different, or nothing at all. If we can somehow formulate this similarity between websites and supermarkets, there could be a valid reason to support writers who feel oppressed by the often manipulative characteristics of Google algorithms that offer very little in the way of compromise.

Of course, it won’t help a website achieve its potential if we search too vigorously for the opportunity to shun keywords wherever possible. Instead, we need to avoid circumventing and utilise the benefits of meeting SEO requirements. So how do we do this?

SEO Does Generate Ideas

The article I refer to at the start of this post helped me find the origin of what is widely regarded as a seasoned writer’s nightmare.

Generating ideas for content can be debilitating at times and if there’s anything out there that has the potential to blemish a consistent writer’s portfolio, it’s discovering up to the minute topics to write about.

Analytics provides us with a monumental amount of topics covering everything from e-books to on-site content.

It’s now easier than ever to find similar topics using related search results provided by search engines and sufficiently fuel the part of our brains that allows the creative juices to flow.

SEO – Turn It On Its Head

“I’ve just written the best piece of content I think I’ve ever had the pleasure of completing, what without all those problematic little keywords to hold me back…”

“Great, how many views does it have?”

It’s important that we don’t embarrass ourselves and forget that anything we do write must have the pleasure of being read. This is probably the clearest reason yet why writers should be embracing SEO instead of uncovering its distinguishable flaws.

We effectively organise content, we learn how to incorporate the right terms and we adopt new styles of writing. We couldn’t just expect someone to stumble across the work we do either.

SEO and Writers Unite

There’s no debate that keywords and SEO are systematising from a writer’s point of view. However, what’s taken away from us is given back in the shape of something a whole lot more valuable in the modern world; recognition.

For the traditional writers out there I say this; there’s always something new to learn and written content is fast becoming a huge part of SEO, so embrace it as early as possible and you’ll have forgotten the substance behind your quarrels faster than you can type out a troublesome old keyword.