We’re delighted to announce our sponsorship of local football team, Hurstpierpoint FC. The Artemis offices are based on the outskirts of the beautiful Sussex village of Hurstpierpoint so it made perfect sense for us to support the local team.
Hurstpierpoint FC have been the village team since 1886. They currently play in the Gray Hooper Holt LLP Mid Sussex Football League Division 1. Home games are played at Fairfield Recreation Ground in Hurstpierpoint and the club trains weekly at the Burgess Hill Academy.
The club played in the Mid Sussex League for the majority of its early years, but became a founder member of The Sussex County Football League (SCFL) Division Three. Their best season so far was reaching second in SCFL Division Three in 2010/11. With us as sponsors we hope they’ll make it to the top this season!
Pre-season training is underway and the team is looking forward to the start of the 18/19 season. Manager, Dudley Christensen and assistant manager, Stuart Ritchie are feeling optimistic. Pre-season started with a 2-1 win and a 5-3 loss against a strong Southwater FC side. Despite the loss of one game, Hurstpierpoint put in two solid performances.
Our brilliant designer, Aaron Thomas is working on the graphics for the new football shirts. We can’t wait to see the big reveal and see the team in action. We promise to share more news with you soon!
At Artemis Marketing we are really proud of our developing relationship with local charity Kangaroos, who run fun clubs, activities and trips away for children and young adults with learning disabilities in Mid Sussex. We are delighted to be supporting a charity making such a difference to people’s lives in our local community.
We were invited to attend the Kangaroos’ fashion show fundraising event at Bolney Wine Estate café last Thursday. The event was organised by Kangaroos volunteer, Jackie Flynn along with Helen Hitchcock, owner and founder of clothing company, Sakala. As always, Kangaroos’ fundraising coordinator Samantha Norgate was on hand to offer her support.
The fashion event was organised to raise funds and the profiles of two very worthwhile causes – Kangaroos, and the charity arm of the Sakala clothing range, Helping Elsewhere, which funds and runs a number of Indian and Nepalese educational and development projects in and around Goa.
Eight of us lovely ladies from the Artemis team jumped at the opportunity for a night out and a chance to be involved yet again in raising money for great causes. And what a fantastic evening it turned out to be.
The night kicked off with a glass of the Estate’s own wine, which we enjoyed while we heard more about the evening ahead. We were treated to really heartening tales of the charity work being carried out in India by Sakala’s founder Helen Hitchcock. This is a woman with an incredible heart doing wonderful things in India, as well as supporting great local causes here in the UK, such as Kangaroos.
While we topped-up on wine and ordered some great tapas food from the Bolney kitchen, we watched the fashion extravaganza showcasing a beautiful range of ethically-produced Indian cottons from Steyning-based Sakala. The clothes were modelled by a team of lovely ladies, while Sakala’s founder Helen gave us a running commentary on the styles and detailing.
After the show we were able to browse the clothing, jewellery and homewares collection and buy (and boy did we buy!). Sakala’s clothing is defined by a range of wonderful ethnic prints. The pieces, ranging from harem pants to kaftans, dressing gowns, pyjamas, scarves and dresses, are quite simply stunning, beautifully made and perfect for the latest British heatwave! Arbonne, botanically based beauty products, were also on offer, as well as a range of essential oils.
As if that wasn’t enough, massage and beauty therapist Ingvor Hicks offered taster Ayurvedic facials and head massages using Neals Yard products, which enabled us to wind-down the evening perfectly before making our way home.
A percentage of ticket sales from the event went to Kangaroos, as well as proceeds from the raffle, massage treatments and 10 per cent of Sakala clothing, jewellery and homeware sales on the night. Kangaroos were able to raise £455, which was match funded by an individual donor to make the total raised a very respectable £910.
We were delighted to have been invited and to have contributed to this fund raiser for much-needed funds towards the running costs of Kangaroos. As well as offering our presence on the night, we contributed two great hampers as prizes in the raffle, thanks to the generous donations from everyone in the Artemis Marketing team.
The event, attended by Kangaroos supporters, parents of children who attend the clubs and friends of the Sakala brand, was a rip-roaring success. It was a relaxed evening in beautiful surroundings with brilliant company and all for a great cause. We are planning a fundraising picnic to raise more money for Kangaroos over the summer and we’ll be doing a sponsored walk in the Autumn.
Samantha Norgate, Community Fundraising and Communications Officer at the charity, said “the importance of local businesses supporting our charity couldn’t be stressed highly enough. With funding and grants being squeezed, the support of the local business community is essential for future fundraising. Many children and young people in Mid Sussex and beyond benefit hugely from the services provided by Kangaroos and to many families we are a lifeline.”
Our fundraising activities for Kangaroos kicks off with The Greater Haywards Heath Bike Ride on Sunday 15th April 2018. We’ve assembled a team and we’ve started the training. We’re really proud to be supporting such a worthy charity in our local area and are looking forward to a fantastic fun day of cycling in April. Come along and support us if you can. We will keep you posted on more of our fundraising activities soon.
In the future we’ll look back on 2017 as the year when the transition from a “mobile first world” to an “AI (artificial intelligence) world” truly began. In terms of SEO news and significant algorithm updates it was a very quiet year; but in the background the influence of AI was really starting to be felt.
This is the most significant change to organic search results since Google first appeared on the scene in 1998, with its link based “PageRank” algorithm, which changed the face of online search and the Internet practically overnight.
Just a couple of years after Google started, we were building our own websites and ranking them successfully based on Google’s algorithm. The focus back then was always on having great content and great backlinks.
Even today, great content and great links are the fundamentals of good SEO and at Artemis we do this incredibly well. However, there is now so much more to ranking a website and in generating traffic to it.
Looking back just 2 or 3 years ago we didn’t have to worry much (or as much) about other ranking and SEO factors such as:
• Mobile indexing
• Secure websites
• Artificial intelligence
• Structured markup
• Featured snippets
• Click-through-rates from search
• Time on page
• Fast loading pages
• Mobile search behaviour
• High value pages
• Local listings
• Knowledge boxes
• Increased number of ads in results
It is no longer enough in SEO to just optimise a title tag and a meta description, add some keywords to a page and leave it at that.
SEO, historically, has been about the manipulation of the search results, particularly through targeted backlinks. Today, this is much, much harder to do. Results can be “manipulated” to a degree, in the sense that if you optimise a page perfectly it should outrank a competitor page of similar ranking value.
However, as we’ve seen several times now, if the page isn’t actually “good enough” it will quickly get demoted again by Google as it learns that users aren’t finding the page helpful.
The manipulation of the search results is now firmly in Google’s hands with their ever more powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The impact of AI on search is huge and it’s going to get stronger and more powerful by the day.
What does it mean for SEO in 2018?
Google’s AI is learning and understanding what is good, what is popular and what truly deserves to be featured in those 10 key results on page 1 for any given search result.
Every page on every website needs to be worthy of a top ranking for a given search term. The ranking success of a page is based on getting the right:
1 – Relevant content
2 – High quality backlinks
3 – User intent
4 – User behaviour
Points 3 and 4 were never ranking factors before AI became a part of Google’s ranking algorithm, but today they are hugely important. Coupled with this, Google’s move to a “mobile first” index, which is already rolling out, means that 2018 may see some of the biggest changes to search results that we’ve seen for some time.
Here at Artemis, we have already been implementing strategies in 2017 for our clients to benefit from the changes to an AI focused mobile internet and we will be continuing and adapting these strategies during 2018 to maximise rankings and traffic to our clients’ websites.
Our continuous testing and foresight enables us to stay ahead of the game, ensuring that our clients benefit from this during the most significant change to the face of organic search in years.
We are excited about this new era of SEO and look forward to helping you succeed online in this new AI mobile world in 2018!
What an interesting year in SEO 2017 is already proving to be! So far we’ve seen a lot of changes.
From the jokingly named Google Fred update to the increased dominance of local and personalised search, to our faster than ever push into a mobile-only world. Then there’s the speed of voice search adoption.
But there’s much more coming.
Here are my Top 5 trends to watch for the remainder of 2017. All are interconnected and cannot be viewed in isolation. Nothing in SEO operates in its own separate silo.
AI and RankBrain
Google’s RankBrain and algorithmic machine learning continues to dominate.
Ever since the Hummingbird update, Google’s emphasis on semantic search is never-ending and evolving at a tremendous pace.
Google even took the unusual step of confirming that RankBrain was the third most important ranking factor after links and content in 2016. This importance has only increased throughout the latter half of 2016 and into 2017.
It’s so all-encompassing and fast-moving that only true quality will dominate SERPs (search engine results pages). Which is great.
UX (user experience), CTRs (click-through rates), aiming for the ‘long click’ and the resulting engagement metrics should be high on your watch list.
The increasing importance of personal branding
The web is about people. It’s about us.
So that means having an outstanding About Us page; having a description of who you are; and a statement on just what makes you stand out from the competition. These are essential.
You need to build a personal brand as a core strategy for SEO. To establish trust.
Pictures and especially videos will be a central focus for Google for the remainder of 2017 – and well into the future. Having a team video and/or personalised photographs is no longer a choice, it’s a necessity these days.
If you show yourself as an approachable and friendly person, visitors will trust you much more readily. This will drive ever more traffic and conversions to your website.
Even social media platforms such as Facebook have been honing their algorithms in favour of personal posts (as opposed to brand posts).
In the future more businesses will choose the personal approach to gain success.
User Experience Optimisation (UEO) and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)
To a varying degree, user experience has always been important to SEO. Google ranks sites that are properly set up for mobile devices, that load quickly and where users spend a long time on a page.
This year we will likely see even more focus on user experience, especially on mobile devices. So focus on the traffic you already have to offer people much more than they expect.
Page depth, time-on-site, CTRs, and pogo-sticking are all things to work on.
If you offer true value you will notice the difference and soon know the full benefits of your efforts.
Personal digital assistants will become more sophisticated
Thanks to personal digital assistants the opportunity for new types of search and more advanced forms of conversational queries is huge.
Excellent tools such as Cortana and Siri have enhanced our user experience, made our lives easier and massively increased the number of verbal searches and enquiries.
For the rest of the year, we’ll see these tools become even more smoothly polished and capable of offering even more useful features. And that means excellent new ranking opportunities that have to be brought into play.
Voice search has the potential to really shake up the SEO industry.
The need for speed: a fast-loading user experience
It’s no secret that speed really matters.
Research has shown slower loading web pages are associated with higher bounce rates, and up to 40 percent of visitors are likely to abandon your site if it loads in longer than just three seconds.
Speed will be of even more importance in the coming year. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) pages help and will be of increasing importance in the future.
There are so many other interesting technologies on the horizon as well – such as HTTP/2 and Google’s new open source JPEG encoder Guetzli, which are just two to keep a keen eye on.
Knowing who your customer is and what they want is the big change this year. Not just with SEO, it’s where the entire digital strategy will be directed.
You need to meet, match and exceed searcher’s expectations. To achieve this you have to understand your target audience better than ever before.
Google’s aim is to provide the most relevant website to the search entered.
Going big on word count is not working as well as it used to, not when short videos and images can be so much more attractive. Done well, they can deliver what you want to say and what customers want to know much quicker.
So, keep it simple! Give users what they want, let the search engines do their job – and it will all fall into place.
In 2017 it’s time to focus on providing true value.
Content is not King. Search engines only care about your content in so far as it answers searchers questions. In the last few years especially, the web has become one huge answering machine. People query search engines and search engines attempt to answer these questions by providing results. Simple. Not really.
As we saw in the introduction to semantic search article – A search engine takes our queries, tries to understand the words, and delivers the same results a human would – the same results a friend would give you. And not just any friend, a close friend. A friend who understands you, who knows your current and previous locations, who knows your tastes and preferences and most importantly, knows your intentions.
These days, your website doesn’t just have to target keywords, you need to meet, match and exceed searcher’s expectations. To achieve this you have to understand your target audience better than ever before.
This pogo sticking can have a dramatic effect on rankings.
Pogo sticking, Long and Short Clicks
A long click is a sign of user satisfaction. It’s a sign of expectations and intentions being met.
Many people mistakenly confuse a ‘long click,’ with low bounce rates. Although the two metrics do have some correlation, they are still very different.
Popular resource pages (think Wikipedia & Stackflow) and blogs often have high bounce rates. People come in, find what they need and leave again. Or in the case of blogs, they read the latest post and leave. They have no need to carry on searching. And that is the key. Their intentions have been met.
They have no need to ‘pogo-stick’ back to the search results and click on other results.
This pogo-sticking is an easy metric for Google to calculate and keep track of. It also provides a very clear indication of user satisfaction.
When a user is actively choosing another website from the SERPs to get the information they are looking for, this shows Google that your content is not good enough and doesn’t deserve to rank for those queries. It also shows Google which websites should be ranking above yours.
If this becomes a common occurrence on your landing pages, search engines will notice these short clicks and your rankings will decrease. (this natural voting system is far more transparent in PPC and makes up a large part of the Quality Score).
How do you Match and Exceed Searcher’s Expectations?
In our semantically themed world, you have to understand your clients, understand their questions, their queries, you need to know what goes on in their heads. First and foremost, you should put yourself in their shoes.
What questions would they have before taking a decision?
A good exercise is to get a piece of paper and write down the most common questions you hear from your clients. Get everyone involved, ask all the members of your team for their feedback.
Break these queries down for each one of your products and/or services and then look at your existing content. Are you addressing these questions? Are you addressing them fully? Would users need to go somewhere else to get the information they need? – to one of your competitors.
This ‘completeness’ is so important these days. It’s the difference between a long and short click.
Optimising Existing Content
Pick a few underperforming pages. I tend to pick ones that drive some traffic, but could/should drive more, ones that often rank on the second page of SERPs and have low click-through-rates.
Select the individual pages, adjust the timeframe to the maximum 90-day of queries and filter by impressions. These are the queries that are landing on your page and they often give you great insight into people’s intentions.
Sometimes it’s not immediately clear and you need to dig around a bit, but usually, you’ll find a true mine of information.
Does the Content on your Page Satisfy User Intent?
There are various ways to address this. And we’ll be covering them in later articles.
A quick fix is to amend title tags and meta descriptions. By including these big traffic driving queries in your title tag (particularly near the beginning) or within the meta description, you will increase click-through-rates and drive more traffic. At least in the short term.
But remember, this traffic needs to be sustainable and you need to aim for long clicks.
It’s very important that title tags and meta descriptions are not deceptive. They need to fairly reflect what a user is going to find on that page. If they don’t, people will quickly bounce off, ‘pogo-sticking’ back to the search results, causing the whole page to lose rankings.
A far better solution is to provide real value to searchers. By having the best content, by being helpful and answering all their questions clearly and fully.
Content is no longer King. The new King is the long click.
Keyword research starts a successful online presence and marketing campaign. But what is it? How can you do it better and what does it actually mean?
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is about what people type into search engines to find what they need. It is essentially the gathering of search terms which are firstly relevant to your website and secondly that people are actually using. For example people who wish to buy a bicycle may type in the word bicycle into Google’s search box.
How do I find more information on keywords?
Google has a handy tool called Keyword Planner which you can access if you setup a Google Ads account. You can use it in different ways to give you keywords ideas and their search volume. The Keyword is the term typed into Google and Search Volume is the amount of times that keyword is typed into
Let’s run through an example. If I owned a Bicycle store and wanted to research keywords where would I start? How about the words around Bicycle? Would you target cycle, bicycle or bike? If we look at these words in Google’s keyword planner we can see the results below:
We can see in keyword planner that bike and bicycle have search volumes of 33100 and cycle has a much lower volume of 6600. What is interesting is that by also searching for the plurals bikes is also a top volume term of 40500. We might therefore think about targeting the keyword bikes more than we would cycles.
Competing for a search term like bike on its own will be extremely competitive. Let’s say our example business is actually a specialist in children’s bikes. So we need to think around the word children and bike and research the combinations of children, kids, boys and girls with the bicycle words.
Avg. Monthly Searches (exact match only)
boys mountain bikes
It is interesting to see the difference between some of the plurals and how much more search volume there is around girls than boys. But what about delving deeper into what are known as long tail keywords such as a coloured girls children’s bike?
Avg. Monthly Searches (exact match only)
pink girls bike
pink kids bike
kids pink bike
pink girls bikes
pink girl bike
pink girl bikes
pink girls bicycle
pink kids bikes
pink childs bike
kids pink bikes
pink kid bike
pink kids bicycle
pink childrens bikes
kids pink bicycle
pink girl bicycle
pink kids bicycles
We can see above that the keywords “pink girls bike” has the most potential traffic. By taking these journeys through the keywords we can start to build a strategy and target the keyword that has the potential to drive the most traffic.
What should I do with this information?
The information can help create the strategy for the website in terms of content, how to describe the service being offered in the most valuable way and most importantly how to drive relevant traffic to the website. For example, when creating a website you can group related keywords into categories and think about creating category pages on the website to target that specific market. In the example, we might want to think about creating a page targeting the words pink, kids, girls and bikes. By creating content that’s relevant with associated terms like pink girls bikes, this in turn will help the website rank for the shorter keyword searches “bikes” and “girls bikes” where the larger search volume is, while also obtaining high rankings for the specific long tail search. Also, by targeting the long tail keywords around pink girls bikes it might be that you are targeting people who have the intention to buy rather than people who are just researching the topic.
In summary keyword research essentially helps create and refine a website to market itself to the people searching for it. If you know how people are searching for what your business provides, you have found your market.
Search engines are changing and they’re evolving faster than ever before. Have you ever felt that Google knows exactly what you are looking for? That you are being prompted with suggestions that are eerily close to what you have in mind? Sometimes even before you’ve finished typing your query. How does Google understand your thoughts so well? How can it possibly know what you’re looking for? Welcome to the world of semantic search.
Semantic search is one of the most exciting developments of our time. It is also one that is levelling the playing field between large and small businesses. Now, even small businesses have a place in the search results – a place where they can attract visitors and triumph.
What is Semantic Search?
The word semantics comes from Ancient Greek and involves the study of meaning. Attempting to find meaning is nothing new on the internet.
Indeed, Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the modern web, originally coined the term semantic web, which is defined as “providing a common framework that allows data to be shared and reused across application, enterprise, and community boundaries.”
Although the theory and concepts behind semantic search are fairly easy to grasp, their very mechanism and the mathematics behind them are incredibly complex.
We are moving from a web of things to a web of people. From strings to things. Gone are the days where you can hide behind a large faceless portal and expect to build trust over the Internet.
The Knowledge Graph
The knowledge graph is often referred to as the brain behind semantic search.
Amit Singhal, the head of the Google Search team, retired last week. His replacement is John Giannandrea, none other than the man behind the Knowledge Graph, the recent Rankbrain update, the so-called Hummingbird algorithm and most of Google’s artificial intelligence initiatives in the last few years. With John around, AI and semantics will undoubtedly remain the major focus for Google.
John, like most techies, is a huge Star Trek fan. Anyone who’s ever seen an episode of Star Trek cannot help but be impressed by the computer onboard the Starship Enterprise – you know, the one that responds to voices, and that gets increasingly intelligent over time. The computer that ‘understands’ what you are asking it.
This is exactly where Google is headed. The search engine takes our queries, tries to understand the words, and delivers the same results a human would – the same results a friend would give you. And not just any friend, a close friend. A friend who understands you, who knows your current and previous locations, who knows your tastes and preferences and most importantly, knows your intentions.
Central to this new understanding is the Knowledge Graph.
The knowledge graph uses fuzzy logic, which was first identified in the 1960s by Dr. Lotfi Zadeh, professor emeritus of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. Fuzzy logic is a way to introduce “degrees of truth” into mathematics. It ascribes a mathematical value to logical variables, rather than a straight binary “yes” or “no.” Unlike traditional boolean logic, fuzzy logic allows Google to introduce probabilities into its calculations.
Each time you query Google, the results appear via semantic search, in the form of a list of possible answers. Google attempts to interpret the meaning of every query, by using all the information it has on you (for example, your location, search history, preferences, associations, friendships, your friends’ reviews, shopping history, the content of your emails and much more). It does all of this in order to give you answers based on your intent. Something which Google has become surprisingly good at over the years.
What can small businesses do?
When you think of semantics, you have to think about transparency and understanding. Semantics is all about you and the reasons you started your business in the first place. It’s about putting your passion on display and showing visitors what makes you stand out. What makes you special? And more importantly, why should visitors give you their business? First and foremost it’s about building trust.
Semantic search is so all encompassing and vast, that any attempts to manipulate it are doomed to failure. As a small business with limited time and resources, concentrate on the basics. Having a carefully optimised website, with a strong local presence and valuable content. Content that is going to help people. Content that is going to answer their questions and built trust.
It’s of little surprise that one of the most visited pages on any website is usually the ‘about us’ page. More so for e-commerce sites. People relate to people, they want to know about the people behind the site. A carefully thought out and written about us page goes a long way to building confidence.
Key Points for Small Businesses to keep in mind
What makes you special?
How do you stand out from your competitors?
Which qualities do you have that will make people trust you?
Think about your target demographics, the people you are trying to reach, your potential customers, what kinds of questions might they have? How are you addressing these questions?
Are you addressing these questions using the language your target audience would use?
Identify the problems that your business will help solve. How will you go about solving them? What solutions do you offer?
It is now more important than ever to provide real value to the end user. To take full advantage of semantic search, we have to go back to our basic values.
In other words, we have to provide value, answer visitors’ questions and exceed their expectations. The goal is to establish trust and build lasting relationships. As Tim Berners-Lee also stated, “The Web does not just connect machines, it connects people.”