3 Reasons Why SEO is Important for E-Commerce Sites

An effective SEO strategy that is solid and reliable is absolutely essential if any e-commerce site is to be successful in the long term. Whether your company is a miniature start-up or a global firm, SEO is what maximises the profitability of an e-commerce website.

The following reasons for SEO’s importance I the world of e-commerce come from a background of hard data rather than intuition, so you should take note of them when preparing your future SEO strategies…

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Cost-Effectively Growing Your Bottom Line

Your efforts will always be more cost-effective when you are marketing strategy and sales are based around market and competition, thorough analysis of your situation and a tailored plan that complies with available resources and strengths.

The most competitive industries you may be forced to buy costly banner ads but with effective SEO you are less dependent on this traffic. While you still have the option of buying ads, effective SEO is a reliable way of ensuring your sales and profit continue to run smoothly. Traffic from organic search is free and that’s why SEO is so popular these days.

The successful e-commerce sites of this world take advantage of SEO and combine it with stuff like content marketing and social media marketing and various other marketing activities. Ultimately, you’ll achieve more by spending a lot less.

SEO Determines How Many Customers Find You

If you look at your analytics tool and identify where most of your traffic, sales and conversions come from, you’ll find that organic search is usually a top source of revenue. Profit-producing traffic is primarily driven by Google and if this isn’t the case for you, you are almost certainly making some mistakes down the line.

Nearly 90% of consumers now rely on search engines to clarify their purchase choices and if you don’t have an effective SEO strategy at your disposal, you’re probably invisible to a plethora of potential buyers.

It’s tempting to sit pretty on the organic search you get from Google but e-commerce sites can go so much further with a top quality SEO strategy that expands sales and revenue tenfold.

The Effects of SEO Last for a Long Time

SEO is the main provider of results that are cost-effective, targeted and measureable, as well as long-lasting. You can’t stop SEO in its tracks – it doesn’t quite work like that.

Paid advertising may give you the idea that pulling the plug results in a dramatic drop in traffic. SEO on the other hand just keeps on rolling. An effective SEO strategy improves itself year on year, so there’s no clean slate and starting from scratch.

You can use what you did last year to improve consistently and ultimately dominate or even own your particular niche.

 

Artemis Marketing has over 10 years experience delivering unrivalled SEO results for clients that include global e-commerce sites through to local campaigns for small businesses.

Get in touch today to find out how we can help your e-commerce site take the next step to achieving more revenue.


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…

 

 

 


Looking at Learning about SEO

When I was first tasked with the job of ‘learning more about SEO’ in order to improve my content, it seemed like an impossibly daunting task. Although I’m a relatively fast learner, I had never before dared to delve into more technical elements of how Search Engines work and until recently I have been perfectly content with my ignorance.

However it is becoming more and more important to keep up with Google’s latest algorithms in order to make sure that your SEO remains on track and up to date. After all, if your site or business is penalised by Google, boom, there goes a sizeable chunk of your traffic and subsequently, your business. Fewer visitors mean less custom for your site, which is never good for a commercial business!

As Told by Google

So in order to ensure that your site remains green listed by Google, everything has to be running smoothly and in accordance with the mysterious guidelines set out by Google. This includes the site content, as this is what Google and all visitors to your site will see once they click that link. Actually even before they click that link, they’ll see a meta-description hopefully pointing them in the right direction, so content is very important in keeping your site at the top of Google’s Listings!

We need to make sure that our content appeals to both Google and our site visitors so it is important to know what is relevant and what isn’t when it comes to adding in the key terms for your website. On site content needs to be:

  • Rich in related keywords  but not over-saturated with keywords
  • Written with your audience in mind (informative if needs be, using key terms and phrases etc.)
  • Written so that it reads well and is is inclusive of those outside your potential intended audience
  • Broken up into clear paragraphs with good headings.
  • Relevant to your business!
  • Written with a call to action at the end (such as call now or contact us here)

There are more but those bullet points are just what I can think of off the top of my head. What is important is that you don’t just write what you want willy nilly and then post it online without checking it through. There are limits to what you can feasibly do with your content, and limits to what is acceptable by Google’s standards so it is important to keep these in mind.

Starting off – The Scary Part Broken Down

Starting off learning about any topic that is as random and constantly changing as SEO can be quite a challenge, particularly if you don’t quite know where to start. There are countless resources available to those who look for them, you just need to pick a starting point and try to springboard from there.

The trouble with learning about SEO is that it is always being updated as Google learns new things, but of course in order to learn from the past we must also look into its mistakes. In fact any book about SEO is often out of date by the time it comes into print, but that doesn’t stop it from being useful as an entry point into SEO.

I personally have started with the infamous Dummies series in using “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) For Dummies”, but there are a wide range of options available, including Google’s own Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.

The worst part about learning a new thing is worrying about it, so get started today and stop your worrying! It is easier than you think!


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.

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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.

 


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.

 

 


SearchMetrics Annual SEO Ranking Study – Content Tops the Tree of Essential Ranking Factors

SearchMetrics have released their annual SEO ranking factors and it’s one of the most detailed yet, with a number of additional factors now included such as fresh links, bounce rate and the time spent on a site.

“Content Is King”

Last year SearchMetrics used their study to highlight the importance of good content as well as on-page optimisation, so it’s no surprise to learn that content has once again dominated the ranking factors this time around. So to start things off, how does the process of analysing SEO ranking factors actually work?

SearchMetrics visit 300,000 URLS that appear in top search results and carry out a detailed examination of their specific properties. In order to get the results, they have to look at how these factors correlate with Google rankings. Here’s what the results came up with this year:

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Content

Content has proved to be one of the major factors associated with top rankings, as high quality, relevant content seems to rank better on average. Good content is identified through the regular occurrence of related terms, a higher word count and an abundance of integrated media amongst other things.

What Was Found?

  • Length of content is still on the rise
  • Internal linking has become an important factor
  • Two new features included in analysis: Proof and Relevant Terms

Backlinks

Backlinks are described as ‘crucial’ by SearchMetrics due to the amount of new, revised features that are now providing even better results. You simply can’t get enough of them, especially those of the highest quality.

What Was Found?

  • Number of keyword backlinks going down
  • Quantity AND Quality now very important

User Signals

It was expected that there’d be a relationship between click-through rates, bounce rates and time spent on a site and this was confirmed after user signal rates were measured for the first time.

What Was Found?

  • Bounce rate lower for top ranking sites
  • Click-through rate and time on site much higher for top ranking sites

Social Signals

There have been a few noticeable changes to how social signals has had an effect on rankings over the last year, with slightly less correlation for top ranking sites and a slight rise in average values.

What Was Found?

  • Correlation values regarding coefficients out of the social sector decrease
  • A slight growth in the average total number of signals per position

Technology

It’s evident that a well optimised page will certainly contribute to a good ranking. This could be anything from short loading times on a page to outstanding site architecture and an optimal internal linking structure.

What Was Found?

  • Site architecture, internal linking, loading times and meta tags are all hugely important
  • Too many keywords can have negative effects on onpage technical SEO

 

 

 

 

 


Content Getting You Down? Why Articles Need To Avoid Keywords And Focus On Relevance Instead

We already know Google’s preferences when it comes to article writing. There’s been quite a rush for high quality content since Google’s Hummingbird algorithm came into play, after the vast majority of the internet saw a drop in search ranking because their content wasn’t informative enough. The question is, how can you improve your articles to meet the demands of the Hummingbird algorithm?

Keywords mean nothing anymore, or at least they don’t have the same effect as they would have in the past. When it comes to writing articles, you need to make sure you aren’t filling it up with things that people aren’t going to be interested in reading. In a way, Google is conforming to the demands of the skilled writers as content becomes more and more important.

If you do decide to do your own content despite witnessing a huge drop in page rank for your past work, you’ll probably need to shift your attention to how helpful and informative something is.

Interestingly, Hummingbird has resulted in questions ranking far better than standard phrases. A standard phrase would be something like “football club Chelsea”, whilst an actual search query would go along the lines of “which football club is based in Chelsea?”  This is all because information and relevance take centre stage nowadays.

If you’re finding that Google keep penalising your articles, it’s probably time to search for someone to write for you that knows exactly what the Hummingbird algorithm is after. It’s quite easy to throw in dozens of keywords without realising, whether you’ve done an outstanding article or not.

When it comes to writing content here at Artemis, we look to deliver the best in conjunction with Google’s demands so that your site ranks as well as possible. We know the importance of making articles far more user-friendly, interesting and helpful to the reader, so you can count on our content team here at Artemis to get the job done efficiently.

Contact us today to learn more about our expertise with SEO and how we can improve the page rank of your site.


Matt Cutts On Separating Authority From Popularity In Page Rank

In a recent vlog, Matt Cutts brought up the issue of separating page popularity from page rank. It’s something that many people have questioned as past Google algorithms have looked to target popular pages for search queries, although Cutts was quick to suggest that Google would be introducing algorithms that would search for true authority in the future.

Cutts explained that “popularity is a measure of where people go, whereas page rank is much more of a measure of reputation”. His example was that porn sites, whilst attracting a lot of traffic, would hardly ever be linked back to, so there was little authority with these sites. On the other hand, government based sites that don’t have much popularity often have plenty of authority.

Cutts explained that Google currently had some algorithmic changes in the pipeline that would look to make the most of authority rather than popularity. The changes would try and figure out which sites were best for the specific queries being searched by looking at the authority of the source.

Therefore, if someone has worked tirelessly providing information on a website about the travel market, then they have the authority to rank higher in Google. Whilst this site may not be visited often, it is far more likely to provide the answers to a search query to do with travel. This all means that more attention will be focused on specific content on pages and not just the popularity of a page.

Overall, Cutts was trying to address the issue by explaining that page rank was not down to popularity. His news regarding the new Google algorithms is also encouraging for those of us who have put the work in to become excellent sources of information for specific search queries, so the hard work could pay off in the future.

Make sure you get in touch with Artemis today for a free consultation regarding a successful SEO campaign for your online business.


Why Branching Out With Blog Content Could Cost You

If you think being creative with your blog content will only bring about good internet marketing results, you might be left disappointed. A lot of people have various different topics that they would like to include on their blog but it turns out that Google could penalize you for branching out too much.

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We don’t all have incredible amounts of knowledge about various topics, so we can usually slip by this particular issue without incident. However, some of us have looked to make the most of some inspired guest bloggers to get our content noticed elsewhere and this is where Google will look to take action.

It seems there’s no way round it either. If you’re attracting attention from guest bloggers, you’ll probably need to consider losing links back to their page. Of course, you’ll have a tough time persuading guest bloggers to contribute if they aren’t getting anything beneficial for their blog or profile in return.

The issue has come to light after SEO Twitter user DocSheldon responded to Matt Cutts regarding his website being penalised for using topics that didn’t match his websites usual content. Cutts argued that Google’s manual webspam notice was “on point” when issuing a penalty to DocSheldon because Google are ultimately trying to knuckle down on spamming.

So what if the content on blogs, however far from their usual topic, is perfectly legitimate? It seems that Cutts was trying to defend Google’s webspam-fighting techniques by pointing out that DocSheldons guest blog post had nothing to do with his “SEO copywriting blog”, even though it arguably had a lot to do with it, as the Twitter user pointed out:

Twitter Cutts Sheldon

So it seems the only answer is to try and focus your content on things that actually relate to your site, but you certainly can’t be blamed for trying to branch out a little and make the most of useful connections between two or three different topics.

It’s up to us to decide whether or not Google are being far too strict with this whole guest blogging situation and, judging by Cutts’ responses on Twitter, a lot of people might share that opinion.