How your customers can add content to your website

As marketers, we can spend all day writing about our fantastic products and services; how it works, what the benefits are and answering FAQs. But customers are increasingly savvy – they understand that any company can create great marketing copy, and where can they find content that they can really trust; customer generated content, of course.

“More than eight-in-10 global respondents (83%) say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family. But trust isn’t confined only to those in our inner circle. In fact, two-thirds (66%) say they trust consumer opinions posted online—the third-most-trusted format.” – Nielsen

Word-of-mouth marketing should be at the forefront your online strategy. Embrace user-generated content with effective strategies including testimonials, case studies, social media feeds, enabling comments and social sharing.

User generated content

Testimonials

A classic; written testimonials. There are plenty of tools available to help you collect and manage reviews. Choose from third-party suppliers or review plugins to generate review ratings, testimonial sliders, rating badges and more.

  • Ask your customer directly, share with them how delighted you’d be to receive their feedback.
  • Make it simple, provide customers with a direct link and ensure the process is as straight-forward as possible; the less a customer has to do, the better.
  • If you have physical premises, setup in-shop tablets to collect reviews then and there, ideal for service providers.

Case Studies

Create ‘case studies’ by working with your customers to share how your business helped them. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase your work and how your products or services have impacted the lives of your customers.

  • Consider the title of this section, ‘case studies’ isn’t necessarily the most enticing tile. Consider ‘recent projects’, ‘customer stories’ and ‘clients we’ve helped’.
  • Introduce your ‘case study’ with a testimonial from your customer, whether it’s captured on video or written in a quote, this creates an engaging introduction for your potential customers.
  • Briefly outline the challenge or problem, relating the story to other users.
  • Provide a summary of results, driven by facts, statistic, graphs or photographs. Use colourful, custom images. A picture is worth a thousand words; even stats can have visual appeal.
User generated content

Social Media

You’ve probably spent months, even years building great social profiles by engaging with customers daily. Don’t miss the chance to showcase this social proof on your site using social feeds. You may even increase your social follower count at the same time – it’s a win-win.

  • Add social feeds to your site, pulling through social engagement. All those likes and comments you’ve received demonstrate just how popular your brand is.
  • Start a #hashtag campaign on Instagram and add the feed into your website. Push bright and vibrant user-generated content to your website.

Enable Comments

Written a great blog post recently? Allow your customers to express thanks and contribute thoughts by enabling comments.

  • Enable comments in WordPress discussion setting.
  • Allow for nested comments, letting customers interact with each other and allowing you to reply directly.
  • Communicate with customers, keep an eye out for any questions they have or show your gratitude for their engagement by replying.

Social Sharing

Whether it’s a product, service or post give your user the option to share the page on social media or email it to a friend. Pages with high levels of social sharing help to capture users’ interest by portraying positive engagement for other users.

  • Add social sharing buttons to your posts and products.
  • Demonstrate social proof by choosing social sharing buttons that display the number of shares received.

It’s all about the conversion

Combine user-generated content with clear and bold requests to users. Improve your conversion rate by capturing users who have engaged with your content.

  • Add calls-to-action to your case studies
  • Tell users to share your page.
  • Take the next step after checking out a ‘Recent Project’

Keep track of your feeds, ensuring content displayed on your website hits the mark, but don’t be afraid of a challenging review or comment. Embrace the opportunity to show customers that you care by replying and resolving.

Enjoyed this topic? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts about customer-supplied content.


Boost Your Conversion Rate with 5 Simple Website Changes

It goes without saying that conversions via your website are vital, but many websites skip simple tricks to boost their conversion rate.

Before changing your website, you’ll want to understand and measure the levels of enquiries your website currently generates by setting up tracking. You can do this by setting up goal tracking in Google Analytics (ideal for contact form tracking). For email and telephone numbers, you can use Google Tag Manager.

1) Include Telephone and Email Links in your Header

Make it easy for potential customers to find your contact details by including your phone and email details in the head of your website. Ensure these are clickable. With some basic HTML coding, you can set up click-to-call and click-to-email in minutes.

For click to call use the HTML example below:

<a href=”tel:+441444645018″> 01444 645018</a>

For UK numbers, always use the country code +44 after tel: as this ensures your click-to-call phone number will work internationally.

For click-to-email use the HTML example below:

<a href=”mailto:info@artemis.marketing”>info@artemis.marketing</a>

2) Contact Forms

Including a contact form on your website gives potential customers the opportunity to get in touch there and then. These are fantastic for businesses that provide quotes or need to understand requirements of their client before purchase.

For WordPress users, Gravity Forms provides a user-friendly form builder with features that include email auto-responders and a selection of 30+ form fields, although it’s important not to get carried away with the field options. Try to limit your contact form to vital information. For many this includes the name, email, phone number and comment box. The fewer elements a potential customer has to fill in, the better.

Add a contact form to your contact page and your most popular landing pages. Careful integration of contact forms into your design can work wonders to your conversion rate, making it easy for potential customers to find.

3) Calls to Action (CTAs)

A Call to Action spurs potential customers to take the next step, whether that is adding a product to the shopping basket, reading more, or submitting a contact form. You’ll find many businesses have become creative with their CTAs, combining their unique selling points to create CTAs potential customers can’t help but follow.

Netflix, for example, demonstrates this perfectly. “Watch anywhere, cancel at any time. Join free for a month.”

Netflix - See Whats Next

4) Offer Proof with Reviews

If you already have a number of reviews on a third party site, you’ll likely have the option to embed reviews on your website, just like Trusted Shops demonstrate. This is a quick way of adding reviews directly from customers to your website.

If you don’t already have reviews stacked up on a third party site, it’s never too late to start. For more immediate application, you can use snippets of the thanks and positive comments you’ve received from customers in emails or letters. This often works best when you can provide a case study about a customer’s experience of the service or product they received.

5) Unique Selling Points

There’s no doubt that hidden in your content somewhere on your website are some unique selling points, but they are no good to you unless you make them stand out. Applying your USPs as a heading or enlarging the font size and weight of your unique selling points should be the absolute minimum.

Try embedding the USPs into the design of your website and if you really want to show off your USPs, always place them above the fold.

A few ideas to get you started.

John Lewis


John Lewis Site Buttons Image

Secret Spa


Secret Spa Image

Ryman Stationary


Ryman Stationary

Final Thoughts

Remember, always measure your changes through event tracking. This will allow you to understand what contact method your potential customers prefer, what CTA they respond to best, and what page and device they are converting on. Collecting this data will help you to continue making the right conversion rate optimisation to your website.

Get the Support Your Website Deserves

If you need further support with your conversion rate optimisation, we’ve got many more tricks up our sleeve. At Artemis, we work closely with our clients to understand the desired customer base and create unique strategies to suit you and your website. Get in touch for a free consultation to discuss our technical, conversion rate and opportunity reports.


3 Schema Markup Tricks You’ll Thank Us For Later

Have a website? You should apply Schema Markup.

Why? schema.org is a powerful optimisation technique which will help search engines to understand what the data on your website actually means. It applies structure to your data and content, allowing search engines to display featured (or rich) snippets.

Working with local businesses, we’ve tested quite a few Schema Markup features and want to share three of our favourite schema tricks.

Organization/LocalBusiness

If you visit schema.org/LocalBusiness you’ll find a number of properties you could apply within your Schema script. You can get quite specific with the type of LocalBusiness you have with a range of business categories to choose from. Here’s a small selection: AutomotiveBusiness, EmploymentAgency, FinancialService, FoodEstablishment, HealthAndBeautyBusiness, HomeAndConstructionBusiness.

You can include a vast range of information about your business, from your logo, opening hours, to awards and even vatID if you really wanted to. To get you started, we’ve provided some basic Schema Markup we’ve tried and tested – You’re welcome!


 

QAPage

FAQ’s provide valuable content that search engines want to understand, whereby they can deliver informative answers to users. Google frequently delivers rich snippets to user’s queries with a helping hand from Schema Markup.

If you have an answer to a question that you want to appear as a rich snippet, just like the one below, you’ll need to apply Schema.

You might come across a few different ways to Markup your FAQ’s, but here’s what we suggest to keep things simple:

Microdata

JSON-LD

AggregateRating

Ever wondered how to get stars next to your listing on Google’s search? You’ve guessed it; Schema. This could possibly be our favourite use of Schema Markup, but there’s no guarantee it’s going to display… Not ideal.

If you want a shot at displaying your ratings you’ll have to follow Google’s Guidelines including:

  • Refer clearly to a specific product or service
  • Reviews should be readily available to users
  • Ratings should be used with a 5-point scale
  • Reviews must be sourced directly from users, not from other sites

As always, there are a number of properties you can display within your Markup, which can be found on schema.org/AggregateRating. In its simplest form, you should include:


 

How to apply Schema

We recommend two options:

  1. Applying the script directly to your webpage using Microdata to Markup content you’ve displayed.
  2. Using Tag Manager with JSON-LD script.

You’ll find many examples of the two scripts on the schema.org website, luckily there are also many free tools which will help you to write the code.

After you apply the code make sure you check your work with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool!

Getting the hang of Schema Markup

Like most code, there’s a bit of getting used to it required. The wrong placement of a comma or choice of property type will result in an error. Once you get the hang of it, we know you’ll thank us later. After all, there’s nothing more exciting for us SEO’s and website owners than seeing improvements in your search engine ranking performance or content appearing as rich snippets.


Top Tips For Optimising Images on Google My Business

Many businesses lack a diverse range of images on their Google local listings, yet they are an essential element to having a well optimised Google My Business listing. Google’s algorithm will look fondly on a business with a range of well optimised photos. It’s so important that GMB Insights will even tell you how your photos perform against competitors in your local area.

Business Photos

Your image dashboard can be found by logging into your GMB profile and clicking on photos in the menu.

You will first be asked to add a Profile, Logo and Cover Photo to your local listing. Your profile and logo should both be different and measure to 250 x 250 pixels. The best dimensions for your cover photo are 2120 x 1192 pixels.

Once you have uploaded these, click the ‘What are these?’ link. This will allow you to select the photo you recommend to show first on Google Maps and Search. Make sure to keep track of what image is being pulled through on Search in your business knowledge box, Google will typically show the latest image you uploaded.

GMB Image Dashboard
Neither Google or potential customers are interested in stock photos, it’s highly recommended that you use real photos which ‘tell the story of your business’ as Google’s guidelines stipulate.

Google's Guidelines GMB

Image Optimisation

For best practice, here are Google’s guidelines on what size your images should be:

  •  JPG or PNG
  • Max 10 KB and Min 5 MB
  • At a minimum 720px tall and 720px wide
  • Your photo should represent reality and be well lit. Do not make excessive alterations.

Photo Categories

At its basic level, depending on the business category you have chosen, you will have 5 image categories which you are encouraged to fill out. These usually include:

  • Interior Photos (of your office or shop)
  • Exterior Photos (of your office or shop)
  • Photos at Work
  • Team Photos
  • Additional Photos

You should add a minimum of three photos into each segment.

GMB Image Dashboard - 3 Photos


Don’t stop there

Once you have uploaded your well optimised and real life images, you need to ensure you manage and check your photos and insights.

Periodically adding more images to these categories is a great way of keeping your profile active, a necessary strategy to ranking well as Google suggests ‘business with recent photos typically receive more clicks to their website’.

GMB Tip
In December 2016, Google My Business added insights for photos. Ensure you keep track of your GMB Photo Insights, you’ll be surprised just how many of your photos have been viewed, but most importantly keep track of your competition in the ‘photo views’ section. You can also view the photo quantity in comparison with business like you, a great metric to judge if you should be adding more images to your profile.

GMB Photo Views
As we mentioned before, you should keep track on which image Google is showing on Maps and Search as it is subject to change to the latest image uploaded.

GMB Flag ImagesBeware! Anyone can add photos to a business’s location and those photos are likely to display on search. If it’s a malicious attack the images are unlikely to be anything to do with your business. In this case, you will need to flag the images to Google, this can take a few days to resolve. Click to enlarge the image and look for the flag. We recommend flagging the image by three different accounts at a minimum.

If you would like further advice or a free consultation about your Local SEO get in touch today, we’d be happy to help.


Why Google Reviews are Fundamental to your Business

You won’t be shocked to learn that online business reviews are one of the most influencing factors during a consumer’s journey. Consumers are actively researching about products and services on Google, with 3.5 billion searches per day you need to make sure your business has a fair chance of being found. Reviews on Google could be the first point of contact consumers have with your business, so it’s important to ask, are your reviews ready to spark a sale?

Let’s clarify a few terms:

Google’s Local Pack will display the most relevant businesses to match your search query and the location specified or what’s near you. See below how a search for ‘restaurants in London’ shows where the restaurants are located and important details such category, opening times and of course reviews.

local-pack

 

Google’s Knowledge Panel provides a brief description of a business, photos, and all the important details. It often includes interesting information that Google has collected such as popular times to visit. You will find a business’s Knowledge Panel when searching for the business name but only if they are verified on Google Plus.

knowledge-panel

 

Getting your business on Google

One of the first steps to getting reviews on Google is to set up a verified business profile on Google My Business. Fill your profile with images and get active on Google Plus by sharing posts.

As Google continues to innovate local search, the sooner you start working on your Google Local Profile the better. You could soon find your business featuring in Google’s Local Pack, giving potential customers a quick insight to your business vs your competitors. You will also see your own Knowledge Panel on Google providing consumers with important information before they even visit your website.

Next step, get your reviews

Make getting reviews part of your after-sales strategy. Include calls to action on your website, customer emails, newsletters and if you have a shopfront then make a sign. However, there is no better way of obtaining reviews than personally requesting them.

Your customers can leave a review via your Knowledge Panel, Google Maps Listing or Google Plus Profile. Just look for the little box ‘Write A Review’.

Keep in mind the following:

  • To get stars, you need at least 5 reviews
  • For your business to be found in the Local Pack you’ll likely need to invest in Local SEO
  • Consider how many reviews your competitors have
  • When you get a review, thank your customer or address any concerns they might have highlighted

Positive reviews are essential to your local SEO but there are many other factors that influence your position within the Google Local Pack. If you are concerned about your ranking position we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your concerns. Call today on 01444 645018.


Google Confirms: Penguin Update Imminent!

 

facebook-google-confirms-penguin-4

 

John Mueller, a webmaster trends analyst at Google, recently announced they are working on the announcement for the launch of the latest Penguin algorithm; version4.0. Yes, you did read that correctly, they are working on the announcement itself, which may or may not mean they have finished work on the actual update. It could also mean the update may have already been fully tested as Google is not known for announcing something before it happens. It has been almost two years since the last Penguin algorithm update which rolled out in October 2014, however, in the interim time there has been a great deal of talk about the functionality of Penguin being written into part of the main Google search algorithm and so negating the need to ever run a specific update again.

Skip to the 44 minute and 30 second mark for announcement…about the announcement itself.

For those of you who may not know the Penguin algorithm is designed to identify poor quality and unnatural backlinks. A site that is hit by a penguin update can be severely penalised and knocked a long way down the rankings across a wide range key terms. Many sites which were penalised by Penguin 3.0 have attempted to clean up their backlink profile using Google’s disavow tool in preparation for the next update, in hope they may recover from their penalty but it is still a point of some debate whether or not it is even possible to regain old rankings after a penalty.

It remains to be seen what the announcement will bring and some people are even suggesting Mr Mueller may be playing a slight prank on a lot of over eager SEOs by describing the work on the announcement itself rather than the update. Throughout all of this current wave of debate the critical fact remains that link building is critical for good rankings and taking short cuts leaves sites at great risk. After all, why sit around hoping for an update that might fix a mistake made by you or your SEO agency when you could have avoided the penalty in the first place by sticking to top quality links.

If you would like to discuss this subject or any other SEO concerns, contact us today.

Keep a look out on our blog or social platforms for further updates as our SEO Team keep up to date with SEO news, day and night.