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…

 

 

 


Why Do Big Brands Struggle With Local SEO?

Despite the fact that local search is widely regarded as such an important part of SEO, there are still many big brands who struggle to get to grips with it.

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Local SEO Is VERY Important

The importance of local SEO hasn’t gone unnoticed but it seems that, due to the significant benefits of regional exposure and brand recognition, local SEO has been pushed to the back of the priority list in the past.

Big brands tend to have more money and should probably outrank others because of this but their struggles don’t seem to be going away, so what are the mistakes that big brands are making when it comes to local SEO?

Badly Managed Data

The first big mistake that big brands make is that they don’t manage data well enough. Let’s take retail enterprises for instance. During the co-ordination of names, addresses and phone numbers, they also have to process and confirm images, website URL’s, menus, services, store hours and much more which can severely compound the data management process.

How to Fix the Problem:

The best way to cope with this problem is to put the data management process first and think of better ways to organise it. Store all the information you gather in a secure database, such as a cloud and provide administrators, managers or specialist personnel with the authority they need to update the stored information regularly.

Inaccuracies 

Another big problem is not keeping up-to-date with listings and profiles that you make. It’s important to remember that big brands are widely noticed on a digital basis, so having profiles that are out of date on third-party sites such as Google, Yahoo, Foursquare and Bing can cause serious problems in the long haul.

An important local ranking factor is the normalisation and cross verification of local information. This process helps Google to know what (in relation to retail enterprises) stores to show first in search results.

How to Fix the Problem:

If you’re keen to sort out inaccurate profiles and listings, you need to verify all your locations again. If you’re not quite sure where to start with this, try using Google My Business and simply manually import all the listings. This might seem like quite a tedious process but it is certainly well worth it in the long haul.

There are a few other aspects to consider besides the examples provided above in order to be successful with local SEO. These include:

  • Clicks from search results – requires a good meta description or, for franchise brands, structured data mark-up

  • Site speed – loading times and positive user experiences are also essential

  • Mobile-friendly pages for every location – every page for mobiles should be detailed and again provide a positive user experience

There are many different ways big brands can change to dominate local search listings and some of the most important things to consider are poor data management and inaccurate or older profiles.

Other solutions include fast loading sites, good meta descriptions, accuracy and up-to-date profile listings.


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

 

 

 

 

 


DuckDuckGo strike deal with Apple – Will feature as a default search provider on iOS 8

We’re not too far away from the release of Apples new mobile operating system iOS 8, which has a few new additions including a surprise default search engine.

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Remember DuckDuckGo? It was a search engine we blogged about a few months back, bringing to light its user-friendly setup which includes a focus on enhanced user privacy, something Google has been targeted about for some time now.

Well it turns out that DuckDuckGo will feature as one of a select few default search engines in iOS 8, so you can now reap the benefits which include “smarter answers, less clutter and real privacy” according to the search engine itself.

With the latest iPhone instalment being mooted as part of an Apple press conference that takes place a day before the release of iOS 8, there’s a chance many more people will be hooked onto the idea of making DuckDuckGo their default search provider.

DuckDuckGo is still massively out of its depth when it comes to running alongside the likes of Google and Bing but is there any chance it could overhaul its competitors in the future?

As it stands, the main appeal of DuckDuckGo has to be its guarantee of user privacy, especially with online privacy becoming a major story over the last few years. A survey conducted by SearchEngineLand found that over 90% of people were concerned about online privacy.

It’s realistic then to assume that, with the help of iOS 8 and the latest iPhone, DuckDuckGo could gradually push its way towards the top and overhaul a competitor such as Bing entirely.

It might not be a bad idea to check out how your site is doing on DuckDuckGo. In fact, Artemis can offer you unrivalled SEO services and advice to help you rank effectively in Google. Get in touch today to find out more.