For anyone interested in learning more about how a search engine decides what results to serve up for a given search query then Google has released this simple overview video, if you’ve no understanding of indexing and algorithms then this is an easy non tech introduction.
Google My Business (GMB) is an increasingly important part of local SEO. It is no longer enough simply to fill in your profile and leave your GMB listing as it is – your listing should be regularly monitored and updated in order to ensure that potential customers are seeing the correct information.
One of the most vital elements of managing your GMB listing comes in responding your GMB reviews. Anyone can leave a review about your business, so it is important that you respond positively to a good review, or provide information and your side of the story in the event of a bad one.
Here we take a look at some of the reasons that it is now crucial to your business to respond to any GMB reviews that you get.
The first reason to respond to GMB reviews is simple: freshness. From an SEO perspective (and from a customer’s perspective) it is good to see that the business takes an interest in what people say about it. It is an indicator that this is a real business with real people.
Google recognises when GMB profiles are updated, and responding to customer reviews is definitely a positive from the search engine’s perspective.
Optimising for keywords
On the subject of SEO, responding to customer comments and reviews also gives you an unusual opportunity to optimise for keywords. When you take the time to reply to the reviews you should make sure that you find a way to add in key phrases for your business.
As with all aspects of SEO, you should never ‘stuff’ your keywords – just use them in a natural way during your reply.
Google likes to see reviews
It’s not only for optimisation reasons that you should be responding to Google reviews, however there’s a final SEO point to be raised here. Remember that Google likes to see reviews of websites – it’s an indicator that these websites are being used – it also likes to see businesses responding.
Ultimately, this is a feature that Google has added, so it is something that it wants websites to get involved with.
Dealing with bad reviews
Of course, it is great to see positive reviews about your website, and you always want the feedback to be good. But it is natural for businesses to also receive negative reviews. Firstly, don’t take it personally – all businesses get negative reviews, and remember that a customer is 21 per cent more likely to leave a review after a bad experience than after a good one.
When you respond to a bad review, you have the chance to present your side of the story. This can actually be a great way to show this customer that you do care about their experience, and from a broader perspective, your willingness to interact with customers is a good thing.
Check the reviews are real
It is important to also make sure that the reviews that you are getting are real. Responding to negative comments is important, but if you suspect that a review is not genuine, there are steps that you can take to remediate the situation. You can dispute GMB reviews that you believe may be fake, as posting a false review is a violation of Google’s policy.
It is always good to have people talking about your business – it means that you are making a name for yourself. Responding to your GMB reviews is an encouragement to your customers to leave comments. Customers enjoy it when they see their reviews responded to.
Managing your GMB listing has never been more important – but it can be a very time-consuming job, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience. At Artemis we manage the GMB listings of many of our clients, and we would be happy to do the same for you. For more information get in contact with our friendly team today.
Images are an extremely important part of your website, not only from an SEO standpoint, but also in terms of conversion rate optimisation (CRO). As you prepare your site to convert more often it is vital to take a look and what you are currently doing with images, and what you could be missing out on.
Here we take a look at some of the ways that your website can use images (and make better use of them) to improve your conversion rates.
Image size can have a huge effect on CRO for a number of reasons. And one of the major challenges here is finding the right balance between small file size and high quality, both of which can influence your conversion rates.
From a size perspective, it is ideal to have images that are 100kb or less. Images that are much larger than this can significantly slow down your website loading speeds. When pages load slowly it has a very negative effect on conversions; one study found that pages that load in 2.4 seconds have a 1.9 per cent conversion rate, while at 4.2 seconds that number had nearly halved to less than 1 per cent.
However, of course it is also necessary to have images to the correct quality. In some instances, if you need high resolution images it can be acceptable to use larger file sizes – however, it is best to keep these images off of your key landing pages.
One smart way to use images to improve your CRO is to place calls-to-action (CTAs) in them. Making images clickable and including text in the picture can be a powerful way to foreground the next step in the process for the customer. It also gives you the chance to make your CTAs more descriptive, so that customers know where the next click will take them.
Having descriptive CTAs is recommended by Google as a valuable part of improving the user experience (UX) on your site.
Showing off your credentials
If your business has any kind of professional accreditations or industry standards then it is a very good idea to show images of these on your website. Displaying your credentials shows off to potential customers that you are trusted at the service that you provide.
It also gives your website a more official and professional look – so ensure that these images are visible on your homepage.
It is important to use unique images wherever possible. Remember that some customers will engage more with imagery than they will with text, so you should try to use as many different images as possible when they are appropriate with the page.
However, it is also crucial that you shouldn’t overload your site with images. Aside from adding to the page loading time, it can also be overwhelming visually and have the opposite effect on your conversion rates.
Are you interested in learning more about conversion rate optimisation? At Artemis we have years of experience using images to improve websites. If you would like to learn more about what we could do for you, get in contact with us today.
Local SEO is absolutely essential to location-specific businesses. There are many things that businesses with real world premises need to be doing to help them climb in the rankings and get more traffic to their site.
If your local SEO isn’t what it could be then it could be a great idea to perform a local SEO audit. This can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, and get the little things right. Here are 12 questions that you need to answer in order to perform the ultimate local SEO audit.
1. Is your GMB listing up-to-date?
Google My Business (GMB) has been one of the most important tools for business looking to optimise their local SEO. In your GMB listing you need to have up-to-date information for your address, opening hours, and contact information.
The number of no-click searches now hovers around 49 per cent – indicating that customers are finding what they are looking for without having to click on anything. From your business’ perspective this means that your GMB information needs to be perfect, as many who search for your website won’t be clicking on to it; just taking the details from your GMB listing.
2. Are the photos professionally taken?
Your photos are your chance to show off your business in the best possible light, so it is important that you upload fresh, professionally-taken photographs from time to time. This could be a way to differentiate your company from competitors, and leave potential customers with a more positive opinion on your business.
Make sure you have a range of photos including images of your premises, products, and even staff at work.
3. Do you have reviews that need managing?
If customers are submitting reviews about your business on your GMB profile, this can be very good news. High quality, positive reviews from genuine customers improve the visibility of your business and lend credence to your work or products. But whether reviews are positive, neutral, or even negative, it’s a great idea to respond to them.
Google likes to see companies responding to reviews – but customers like it even more. It shows that you are a real business with real people, and that you care about making a good impression and being professional. Remember that negative reviews don’t necessarily indicate a bad business – it may simply be a customer with mismatched expectations, or perhaps a one-off mistake was made. Apologising, if appropriate, and being honest about the situation are the best courses of action.
4. Is your description optimised with keywords?
Take a look at your GMB description. Firstly, ask whether it presents your business as it should. But additionally, consider whether it is optimised for the keywords and phrases that you are targeting. Your description is a free text box, so you can add plenty of information about your company while promoting major services and products.
5. Are all your locations set up?
If your business has more than one location, you need to make sure that all of these locations are setup correctly. This is a very common mistake for businesses, and it can cause real problems for customers who might struggle to find one of your locations. Alternatively, customers might not even be aware that one of your locations exists.
6. Are you posting regularly?
Regular posting is an important freshness signal for Google. GMB posts don’t take a great deal of time to create and post, but they show Google’s algorithm that your listing is regularly updated and managed. Additionally, GMB posts are a chance for you to promote your message to potential customers.
7. Does your GMB listing match your website?
The last thing that Google wants to see is a website and a GMB listing that give customers mixed messages. This means that it is essential that you take the time to make sure that the information that you have written into your GMB listing actually matches what’s on your website.
Sometimes businesses will be so preoccupied with improving their GMB listing they’ll enter more up-to-date information without also updating their website itself.
8. Does your listing compare favourably to your competitors?
Of course, an important part of your local SEO efforts is taking a look at what your competitors are doing. After all, if you are doing all the right things, but a competitor is doing a better job by putting more time or budget into the work, you will need to up your game if you want to succeed in the rankings.
Regularly check your competitors’ GMB listings to see how they compare with your current output.
9. Is your LocalBusiness schema setup?
Schema is becoming an increasingly important feature for local businesses. With LocalBusiness there are more specific types of schema that can be used as necessary and relevant to your company.
10. Have you tested your schema?
You can easily check your schema using Google’s own Structured Data Testing Tool – this can show you what you have and whether it is working.
11. Do you have local backlinks?
Getting high quality links is well known as one of the most important aspects of SEO, but it is vital from a local SEO perspective that some of these come from local sources. Whether this is other local businesses, or local business directories, or authoritative news sites, having links from a similar location to your business is seen to be a big positive by Google.
12. Is your website optimised with location targeting?
Ensure that your website has references to your location not only in the text on the site, but across all areas that can be optimised: page headings, meta descriptions, and title tags.
Conducting a local SEO audit is just the first step in the process. Once you have completed this, you’ll need to continue maintaining your GMB profile, as well as performing regular updates and upgrades to your content. If you are looking for help with your business’ local SEO needs – Artemis has years of experience. Get in contact with us today for more information.
Five members of the Artemis team attended the September 2019 edition of BrightonSEO – one of the world’s largest SEO conferences. With around 4,000 people estimated to be in attendance, and more than 80 talks, there was plenty to see and learn. And while we didn’t get to see everything, we did enjoy some fantastic presentations. Here are some of the talks that we enjoyed the most.
Undoubtedly one of BrightonSEOs most renowned and popular guest speakers, Greg didn’t disappoint with his talk on entities and the future of SEO. With a slideshow brimming over with horror movie references, Greg talked about how brand building and traditional forms of marketing are set to become an important SEO issue – especially for local businesses. His recommendations were to focus on relationships and utilise Google My Business to its fullest extent.
Check out his SlideShare here, not only for the fantastic content but for a great list of films to watch!
Keen to dispel comparisons with his namesakes including The One Show host, and the American conspiracy theorist, Alex provided a practical look at supporting content – pieces that complement the main asset in a campaign. Rather than putting all of your efforts into one piece, Alex recommends creating multiple pieces of content that support and reinforce the main asset you are working on.
Stacey’s talk took a fascinating look at alternative ways to generate links other than link building; especially focusing on websites with smaller budgets. One key factor involved understanding seasonal events and how to tie them into your campaigns. And rather than putting money into infographics, you should look for new and interesting ways to present data – flourish.studio offers some great examples of this.
Highlighting that Facebook is putting a much greater emphasis on groups, Marie provided some great practical information for businesses that might look to leverage groups to their advantage. Companies can be linked to groups – but they should not use these groups as an advertising space. Instead, think of them as an open community.
Tim Soulo’s talk focused on the importance of semantics, and very interestingly showed how a piece of content can get a lot more traffic if you carry out proper keyword research into the topic, and ensure the piece goes into detail. He recommended that rather than targeting one specific keyword with a high search volume, it can be more effective to create content that is picked up by a broad variety of key phrases.
A highly engaging speaker, Paige’s glossary of SERP features was insightful for anyone interested in organic traffic.
This talk was a real showstopper. Dana discussed using the CID as a custom dimension in Google Analytics, which allows you to attach sessions to requests and improve attribution without having a big CRM or reporting tool. This help focus on what converts as well as actually sells; not just website ‘conversions’, but actually those that bring in revenue.
At Artemis we love to take the time to keep our SEO knowledge up-to-date, and given that BrightonSEO is only 10 minutes away from our base in the West Sussex countryside, we attend as often as we can. If you would like to learn more about what we can do for you, get in contact with the team at Artemis today.
Getting your site to rank well on Google for your top search terms takes a lot of time, talent, and effort – but just getting into a good position doesn’t mean that the hard work is done. You have managed to get a potential visitor’s attention by appearing in the right place; but they’ve got other options to click on in the SERPs. You need to ensure that your listing is as enticing as it can possibly be.
Your meta description is the last chance that you have to make a great impression on this (potential) customer, and convince them to click. A simple test conducted by SEMrush found that a longer meta description increased the click-through rate by 36 per cent. So, despite the fact that meta descriptions are not considered to be a ranking factor by Google, they can be seriously important for your website.
Here, we take a look at 11 great tips to help you optimise your meta descriptions to get more clicks.
1. Think about intent
You need to consider the intent of the customer when they are making their search query. If the query is transactional (such as “book Barbados holiday”) you need to inspire the customer to click, showing off that the product you offer is the best in the listings.
If the query is informational (such as “best time to visit Barbados”), you need to give users an idea of the topics that are being covered to confirm what you’ve written about is what they want. It’s also an opportunity to show what content you’ve got which your competitors don’t.
2. Ensure your key phrase is used
There is no SEO benefit to having a meta description optimised with the key phrase that your page is targeting. However, when someone searches for a phrase it will be in bold in the description, making it stand out, reinforcing your meta title text, and therefore more likely to encourage a click on your listing.
3. Use Search Console data
It is important to ensure that you are optimising your descriptions for the right key phrases. Take a look at your Search Console data and establish which keywords you are appearing for which you are not currently optimising for. It may be the case that you can incorporate related keywords into your description.
4. Consider emojis
Emojis in SERPs are very much a reality, and they can make a big difference to your click-through rate. There are a wide range of options if you’re trying to grab the attention of a user such as ticks, stars, eyes, and more. Of course, this will only be relevant to you if the audience you are targeting is likely to respond positively to the emojis you use.
5. Check out the competition
It’s a great idea to take a look at what your competitors are doing with their meta descriptions. How are they constructing them, and what are they using them to say? Of course, it is important to note here that part of what you are looking for is opportunities – take notice of the things that your competitors aren’t doing, so that you can stand out in the listings.
6. Consider it an advert
Think of your meta description as an advert for your page – it needs to be a hook; a catchy line or two of copy to win over the market. The most effective meta descriptions are succinct, to the point, and remain within your brand style.
7. Leave out unnecessary information
Don’t put miscellaneous information in your meta description. Having a phone number in it may seem like a good idea, but at this point the user probably doesn’t know who you are or have enough information (yet) to get in touch directly. So, take a different approach and ease them in. Remember, you should have your GMB set up to include the phone number if people are searching directly for contact details.
8. Is it a locally targeted page?
If you are targeting a location then you need to make sure that you have the name of the area, town, or region in your description. It reaffirms to the user that you offer a local service.
9. Stick to the limit
It is always recommended that you don’t go above a limit of 155 characters – any characters beyond this point will be cut off and leave your meta description looking unfinished.
10. Write like a human
It can be tempting to cram as much information into the meta description as possible, but remember at all times that it is only going to be humans reading it. This means that you need to focus entirely on what humans like to read.
11. Include an action word or a question
It is best to make your meta descriptions dynamic, and you can do this by posing a question or suggesting an action. For example, adding in a CTA such as ‘book a free trial today’ helps a potential customer understand the path to converting.
As with any changes to your website, it is always best to test different variations of the changes (such as to your CTAs or wording choices) in order to find the solution that works best. You might be surprised at the things that work in your meta description – they may not be the first thing you think of.
At Artemis we specialise in all aspects of SEO, including the use of high quality meta descriptions. If you would like to learn more about what we could do for your business, please get in contact with our team today.
It wasn’t very long ago that the concepts of SEO and user experience (UX) were entirely unrelated disciplines. Today, however, they are intrinsically linked. Creating a fantastic UX is not only important for boosting conversions and increasing sales – it can also positively affect where your site ranks.
As Justin Aldridge, Technical Director at Artemis, says:
“It makes complete sense. Say the actual result for a search serves up a website in position four, it may actually be the most relevant result for the query, but the website isn’t necessarily the strongest, meaning that it doesn’t rank higher.”
This shows that Google is beginning to understand the difference between a powerful website and one that contains fantastic information. Aldridge clarifies:
“RankBrain can test and see the effects of serving up that website in a higher position. It can then see if users find it more useful than the results the main algorithm would normally serve up before it.”
Only around 55 per cent of companies are conducting UX testing on their website, and this can be a major issue because of how important good UX has become to all aspects of business. In fact, according to Google itself “RankBrain, the AI system introduced as part of Google Search in 2015, works by monitoring the semantics of user queries – and users’ behaviour when they’re presented with results”. This means that it is using every means at its disposal to understand how users want to interact with websites. It is important, then, to start investing more time and effort in UX.
Google’s UX playbooks
Google is so serious about the importance of UX that it made available a range of ‘playbooks’ that help companies to improve their sites. These playbooks cover different types of sites across various industries, including finance, ecommerce, travel, and more. Something that this shows is how different aspects of UX are more important on specific types of site.
It is relatively rare for Google to share very specific advice and guidance on what webmasters should do with their site, so this is definitely worth paying attention to.
So here we will take a look at some of the insights that Google has offered, and examine how they can be used on your site to improve your UX, broken down into important sections for your site:
Homepage and key landing pages
Google places a great importance on the CTAs on your most important landing pages. Google’s top advice here is that you should have descriptive CTAs – in other words, a CTA that explains what will happen when you click – and that your CTAs should be above the fold. Additionally, if phone calls are important to the business it is advised that phone numbers should be click-to-call.
There are also recommendations that automatic carousels and slides should be removed. There is some evidence to suggest that just 1 per cent of users will click on slider or carousel content.
In terms of optimising forms for a better UX, Google makes simple recommendations – literally. The advice here is to simplify the process as much as possible. Use autofill, reduce the number of fields and mark required fields clearly with an asterisk.
It is also recommended that if you have a dropdown on your form with more than four options, you should instead opt for buttons. Another option is to use steppers, sliders or open field input rather than having dropdowns with a large number of options.
Menu and site navigation
You should show a consolidated menu at all times, and this menu shouldn’t take up more than one fifth of the screen. This consolidated menu should include a hamburger dropdown as well as a store locator button (if your physical location is important). Additionally, for the menu itself, all of the options should be visible on one page, and main product categories should be ordered by traffic volume, while subcategories should be organised alphabetically.
The site search feature can sometimes be overlooked by webmasters and SEOs, but Google’s UX playbooks reaffirm its importance. It is suggested that including a search feature is essential and that it should be easily visible on the homepage.
It is also considered important that your search feature should include auto-suggestions and spelling corrections, as these can easily return failed results.
The Google playbooks also make a number of suggestions for the conversions stage of the customer journey. Interestingly, one of the most important is that sites should not redirect customers to the checkout when they have clicked ‘add to basket’, as this can actually put potential customers off buying.
Additionally, it is important to ensure that customers are able to checkout as guests. This is because more than a third of customers will exit checkout if they find out that they need to create an account in order to buy.
Always A/B test your changes
Finally, it should be noted that when you are coming to make changes to your website in order to improve UX you should ensure that you always A/B test everything you do. This means having two versions of your site and deploying them over a fixed period of time, and then measuring the difference between the two. This can help you to understand whether your changes are having the desired effect.
If you would like to learn more about how great web design can improve UX please get in touch with the team at Artemis today. We’re specialists in SEO and UX, and would love to help you get more from your website.
Sussex Business Times recently published at article written by Artemis Business Development Manager Matt Rosine providing advice on choosing an SEO agency. Here we present the article in full:
In an industry where jargon and meaningless statistics are too often used to mask a lack of any discernible work, we feel our clients deserve a measure of success that is based on ROI, not numbers.
So, it is with this in mind I wanted to put together some useful questions for any business to ask when searching for a new SEO/Digital Marketing agency. By getting clear answers to these questions you will be in a far better position to make an informed choice rather than being overwhelmed by a sales pitch and impressive numbers often pulled out of the air.
Like many business owners and employees these days, you are probably sick to the back teeth with being offered SEO services via junk email or poor quality sales calls. It is a sad fact of the digital age that unscrupulous people feel they can make a quick buck from what is often a confusing and unknown world.
However, in among this confusion there are some very good, hard working, and highly skilled SEO agencies offering businesses a real means to reach out to customers and dramatically improve both traffic and enquires.
If you are looking to move into this type of internet marketing, there are a few simple questions you can ask that will easily weed out the “churn and burn” scammers from the top-notch search marketers.
How do you report the work you do?
This is a fundamental factor for any business looking to spend money with an SEO agency. If you pay for a service, you should be able to see what that service entails and what work has been completed each month.
It is all too common for an agency to simply say they have done the work but insist sharing any details would compromise them. This is, frankly, an unacceptable response often used to cover up the fact no work has been done at all. Would you really be happy to work with anyone who cannot account, in detail, for the time you pay them for?
“A good agency should show you historic results and case studies and give clear evidence of success without making promises they are sure not to keep”
How do you report results?
Another huge factor in making sure you’re getting value for money is how the results of the campaign are reported to you. Gone are the days of just searching for yourself and seeing if you ranked higher than yesterday. Google recognises your searches and will invariably show your site above others because you are on it all the time. You need an accurate measurement of ranking gains to justify your spend. A good agency should have dedicated software that will clearly show each term’s movement over time. This should be accessible to you at all times and not just a screenshot sent once a month.
Do you promise results?
This is a very counter-intuitive thing to consider, but not when you are aware of the environment in which it sits. Google is constantly changing how it works to make sure users get the most suitable and useful results. This means it is impossible to predict what factors it may include in the future when selecting results. The job of an SEO agency is to pre-empt, protect and ensure client sites profit from these changes in order to grow their rankings. When you consider this, it’s also important to remember any kind of guaranteed results is at best hopeful and at worst simply made up.
A good agency should show you historic results and case studies and give clear evidence of success without making promises they are sure not to keep. A skilled agency will be confident enough to tell you they will get results as fast as they can, but they cannot 100% predict what Google will do nor how much your competitors might suddenly spend on SEO.
There are many more factors involved in choosing a good SEO agency, but these three questions should give you some idea of the type of people you are dealing with. You should also try and speak to some of their existing clients, and make sure they have a non-compete agreement in your area so you don’t end up fighting your main rival and both paying the same company. Also ask if they outsource work or do it all in house.
Outsourcing is fine but ideally it should only make up a very small part of the work on offer, otherwise you are just paying a middle-man for work with quality you cannot control.
All of the team here at Artemis hope you’ve found this blog useful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me personally if you have any questions, or if we can help in any way: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you know that your business’ website security directly affects your SEO? Google sees many of the effects of a hack or breach as a negative ranking factor. This means that cybersecurity is not only important for the safety of your business data and assets, it can also affect your traffic from Google and other search engines.
In this blog we take a look at how the damage and disruption to your site caused by a cyberattack can cause you to slip in the rankings. If you have seen your positions drop as a result for a cyberattack please contact us today for information on the SEO services we can provide to get your business back into a strong position.
Hacked site warning
You have probably seen a Google listing with a warning message that reads ‘This site may be hacked’ similar to the image below:
This is never good news for a website, as it means that Google has noticed that the site is showing signs of having been compromised by cybercriminals. It’s worth pointing about that this will see a very negative effect on your traffic, as the message could put visitors off clicking on your page.
In terms of your SEO too, this is a real cause for concern beyond the challenges of dealing with the potential hack itself. Firstly, we know that the behaviour of users affects search rankings – if your site is hacked and not being clicked, this indicates to Google that you are being ranked incorrectly and are a less useful result.
This means that sites that Google believes have been hacked will very quickly see a drop off in their rankings. The damage to your SEO is greater the longer the message is attached to your site. You can have the warning removed from your site by contacting Google via Search Console to request they review your site. However, it is important that you do something about the hack first.
Content changes on hacked sites
You might assume that the only reason that a cybercriminal would look to compromise your site would be to steal data. However, this is not the case at all – cybercrime has a large range of goals and objectives.
According to a recent study from GoDaddy, 73.9 per cent of cyber-attacks against websites are SEO-based. Sites are hacked and the content is changed with various tactics being used such as adding outbound links to a website, creating new covert web pages, or even configuring the site to show something entirely different to Google.
There are also examples of terrorist organisations and other nefarious groups hacking websites in order to spread propaganda. Other common site modifications include using compromised sites to send spam emails or mine cryptocurrency.
No matter how a site is modified, it can cause seriously reputational damage in the eyes of Google. This can lead to you losing hard earning ranking positions, or even be penalised if links to dangerous sites, or irrelevant content are discovered by crawlers.
The importance of a secure connection
It was back in 2017 that Google Chrome began labelling HTTP websites as ‘Not secure’ – and while at the time sites were not being punished in any other way by this label it was a signifier to the SEO community that having a secure site was something that was going to become very important. The message referred to sites that were using HTTP rather than HTTPS; those not using password encryption, and are therefore less secure.
Initially the ‘Not secure’ label was a problem for SEO only due to the fact that it could put off potential visitors from staying on your site. But Google has since confirmed that the message is now a ranking factor, so it can be losing you traffic in multiple ways if you do not make the switch over to HTTPS.
Bad reviews of your site
Reviews are becoming increasingly important as a ranking factor on Google – the search engine has its own Reviews section and customers and visitors are invited to leave comments about the site. If a site builds up a number of negative ratings, it can start to see the site fall in the rankings. If your website is hacked in any visible way – such as with content changes or warning messages as mentioned above, visitors may start leaving negative reviews.
These reviews hang around and can have a huge impact on your site and your business. This is another reason why it is critical to invest in cyber security for the sake of your SEO.
It should be noted that Google will remove negative reviews against your site in certain circumstances when the reviewer has contravened the guidelines. For example, if someone has used illegal or racist language, or if they have created a number of similar reviews against similar businesses to yours.
Downtime is bad for your SEO
If you suffer any kind of cyber attack or data breach it is almost inevitable that your site will require a period of downtime. It is necessary to take your site down as you seek to understand the extent of the incident, address any damage, and establish how the attack occurred. This is a very important period of your business as you will need to take the time to clean your site – but it can also leave you in a position where you are offline for a significant period of time.
Downtime for a period of minutes won’t affect your ranking, but when your site is offline for hours or even days at a time you will start to see significant rules in your ranking positions.
What does your business need to do?
It should go without saying that cybersecurity needs to be a priority for your business, both as a function of keeping your data and assets safe, but also to protect your Google rankings. Every business and organisation needs to take appropriate cyber security advice and implement relevant defence measures to minimise the risk of a successful attack.
At Artemis, we are an SEO agency that understands the importance of powerful cyber security measures. We understand the need for a holistic approach to SEO and digital marketing – we would love to talk to you about the services we provide so contact our friendly team today.
What is schema?
Schema is a type of structured data that allows search engines to better understand a website, page, or elements on a page. Schema markup is code that can be added to a website to define specific types of information and data. The schema allows search engines to understand and display specific pieces of information in the SERPs, known as rich snippets. These rich snippets are visual and can increase click-through rates as they make your web page stand out from others.
Different types of schema
There are hundreds of different types of schema. Which you use will depend on your type of business, what information you have on your website and what you want to promote within the SERPs. Some of the most common types of schema markup include:
- Review and AggregateRating
- Q&A / FAQ
What schema should I use?
The type of schema markup you use will be determined by a few factors.
Firstly, your business type. What kind of business you are? If you are a local business mostly serving a geographic area, you should start by using the LocalBusiness schema as this tells Google you operate locally. Whereas if you are an online ecommerce store, you would be more likely to use Organization schema to highlight key contact information.
Secondly, what kind of information do you have on your website? Do you have Q&A or FAQs? Do you have products? Do you have reviews from Google or use a third-party review website like Trustpilot? Do you run courses or events? This information can all be marked up with schema.
How do I generate schema and add it to my website?
Once you’ve decided what information you want to mark up, how do you go about getting the schema code? And how do you add it to your website?
To generate the Schema code, you can go to the Schema.org website and find the type you are looking for. This can be a bit overwhelming, so an easier way to create the code is to use one of the ‘schema markup generator tools’ that are available online – these create the schema for you. There is also a Google markup tool you can use to help create schema based on page items. You can also take a look at one of our previous blog posts by my colleague Sara to see examples of what the schema code actually looks like.
Schema is available in different formats; JSON-LD, Microdata and RDFa. At Artemis we use JSON-LD for all of our clients.
Once you have the code ready, you can test that it works in the Google Structured Data Testing Tool. Run the schema through the code snippet and it will highlight any errors or warnings. Once any errors or warnings have been fixed, you are ready to add the schema to your website. We would recommend testing the schema again once it is live.
You can also monitor schema in Google Search Console, and there have recently been some new reports launched that allow you to keep an eye on the following; FAQ, how-to, events, products, logo, recipes schema and more.
Examples of rich snippets in Google
Here’s a few examples of websites using schema effectively, producing rich snippets in the SERPs:
1. John Lewis using Product and Review schema to highlight price, availability and product rating:
2. Into The Blue using FAQ and AggregateRating schema:
3. Songkick using event schema for upcoming concerts:
4. BBC Good Food using recipe schema:
Schema can be a bit fiddly at times, but the more you use it, the easier it gets. If you have any questions about schema or would like some help with adding schema to your website, we’d love to hear from you.