London Big Ben

The big picture – what to do with bigger images

London Skyline Test Image - Original

In one of our recent blog posts, we took a look at image optimisation and some great online tools to reduce the file size of your images. In that post, we suggested that the ideal file size for images should be 100kb or below. This is because big images with large file sizes can slow down your website, which is a key factor for site optimisation – as well as keeping users from leaving your site to go somewhere else.

However, getting your image to this file size isn’t always achievable. In fact, there are some cases where you might not want to lower your image to 100kb at all. If you’ve got a big hero image that needs adding, then it is more than likely that reducing that larger image to 100kb will lower the overall quality of the picture.

When should images be 100kb or less?

So, you might now be wondering when you should actually aim to get your image to 100kb or less. Imagine you are working on a service page for your website, taking our previous blog post about image compression as an example. If you are putting an image in a content area like this, it doesn’t need to be very big. This includes the actual dimensions of the image, as well as the file size itself.

Say you have taken a great photo of one of your recent projects, and you want to include a preview of that on your service page. The photo itself probably looks fantastic, but you don’t need to squeeze in print quality images from a HD camera into a small section like this. Take a look at the file size and the image dimensions before you upload it to your page. You can check this easily by right clicking and going to the properties and details section of the image. If it is really big, try and reduce this to fit the area it’s going to be put. If you don’t have Photoshop, you can use a free tool like Pixlr.com or GIMP.

When should images be over 100kb?

Again, you should always aim to keep your file sizes low. In some cases however, this is not an option – and as mentioned, reducing the file size can have an impact on the quality of the image. If you are adding a big hero image, or maybe a gallery of photos to show off a recent project, then the image dimensions and file size are naturally going to be bigger. Still, you don’t need to upload images that are several MB in size. This is going to have a notable impact on your site speed if you do.

Try some of the tools from our previous post to see if you can get your file sizes down. There are a lot of great, free tools out there on the internet that can reduce your file sizes. Some of them also include a handy tool that let’s you preview the image as you adjust the size. This way, you can see whether the image quality is getting too low for your liking. You should also think about the dimensions of the picture you want to use. Does it fit the section you’re trying to put it? Does it need to be several 1000 pixels wide by several 1000 pixels high? Reducing the dimensions can also help to reduce the file size.

Be smart

In summary, you just have to think about what’s best for the image that you’re uploading. Try and get the file size down as much as you can, but keep an eye on the quality of the image. See if you can reduce the image to an appropriate size. WordPress and other Content Management Systems might automatically scale down your images on the page itself, but it will still be loading the full-size image. A small image within your text doesn’t need to be several MB in size, neither does a larger image.

If you would like more advice on image optimisation, or any other SEO concerns that you might have, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.


Man on a laptop

How to perform a content audit

Man writing content on a laptop
Performing a content audit can be extremely valuable. It can help you to improve your website and plan marketing activity, and it is something that almost every business could benefit from. Here at Artemis we regularly carry out content audits for our clients – if you are interested in having one conducted on your site by professional content and SEO specialists, please get in contact with our team today. In this blog we look at some of the benefits of content audits and how you can carry one out for yourself.

What is a content audit and what is its purpose?

A content audit takes a look at all of the content on a website to assess its strengths, weaknesses and performance. It is an evaluation of data and key performance indicators (KPIs) to help you to understand how well content is doing the job it is intended for, as well as gaining insight into how content could be improved and to guide potential new content creation in the future.

More than just an inventory of the current content on a site, a good content audit establishes the performance of all aspects of content and helps to guide future marketing activity.

Understand your goals

To get as much as possible out of a content audit, it is first important to understand why you are performing it and to establish the goals you are hoping to achieve. There are many different reasons to carry out a content audit:

  • SEO – you may be conducting an audit to help you to identify areas of potential improvement for search engine optimisation (SEO). In this case it would be important to focus closely on aspects such as keywords, image optimisation, word count and current page rankings.
  • Content marketing – it could be that you want to gain insight into the success and failures of your content marketing. Here you could take a look at visit metrics, social shares and user behaviour.
  • Conversion rate – you might be most interested in improving the conversion rates across your site – a content audit can help to achieve this too

Create a spreadsheet listing your content

The first step in the actual auditing process involves finding all of the content on a website. This is where it can be useful to use a crawling tool such as Screaming Frog, as this will find all of the URLs associated with a site and provide them as a list, along with helpfully listing many of the relevant details about a page – such as its word count, headers and more. Many of these tools allow you to export the list in full, so this can allow you to easily create a spreadsheet with the content details you will be needing.

A more time consuming process could be to manually enter all of the pages and their details into a spreadsheet. Clearly for larger websites this would be impractical, but it might be possible if you are auditing a smaller site.

Analyse your data

Gathering relevant data is also an important aspect of your content audit. You will need to utilise various tools to pull in key facts. As discussed above, this will depend on the goals of your content audit, but you may wish to get data such as the last time the page was updated, how the page ranks on Google and how many conversions or goals that the page has achieved over a set period.

Once again, how you analyse the data is based entirely on the goals you are trying to achieve from your audit. But as an example, if you are looking at the conversion rates of your content you might be able to look at key metrics such as average time on page, bounce rate and completion of goals.

You can then see which pages are doing well, and which need improvement. It might be prudent to arrange the pages by those which get most clicks, so that you can focus your future content work on the areas of the site that are most active, but that convert at the lowest rate.

Look at the competition

You can take your audit further than the current content on your site by examining the content of your competitors as well as the most popular content found in the subject matter. Tools like Buzzsumo allow you to explore content in a niche to understand which is the most successful. No matter why you are carrying out your content audit, it is always beneficial to understand exactly what you audience is looking for.

If you would like to learn more about content audits or you are interested in having one carried out, please contact our experienced team today.


Hotjar Interface

How to turn visitors into customers with Hotjar

There are many ways that you can optimise your website to improve its position in search rankings. But for some businesses, the real challenge is turning visitors to the site into customers. To do so it is important to find the areas on your site that could potentially be used more effectively and generate more conversions from the traffic you are currently receiving.

Hotjar is an increasingly popular tool that can be used to help websites generate more enquiries or leads. It does this by collecting user data and feedback which enables you to fully understand where the web and mobile traffic is focussed on your site, and how you can benefit from it.

Whether your website is used for ecommerce or for referrals, you need to know which pages or actions can create the most leads. Hotjar uses tools like heatmaps and recordings to help you better understand and manage your website. But optimising a website for an increase in traffic or conversions can be tricky. Here are our quick top tips on how to use Hotjar effectively to increase conversion rates and turn your visitors into customers.

How heatmaps work

Hotjar’s heatmap feature essentially monitors a user’s movements and engagement across a website or on specific pages. Heatmaps are capable of showing users’ behaviour on a page and are useful for understanding where your visitors are clicking and how far they are willing to scroll down a page for more information.

It is important to then highlight where your users are often clicking to and how you can then essentially turn that into a lead or improve in other areas of the page. This can work really well for a ‘Contact’ page you’re looking to improve, whether it is by looking into how your form is shown or guiding you to whether your buttons and other elements are creating a potential barrier for users.

Hotjar Heatmaps Image
In the image above you will see an example of how users behave on the Artemis homepage. Interestingly, the majority of clicks received on the homepage can be found on the ‘About Us’ and ‘Contact Us’ tab. This can also show the areas that your visitors aren’t clicking onto that much or not at all, it gives you insight into what you need to focus on more or on how you can improve elements such as call-to-action buttons, forms or general content.

Hotjar Heatmaps - Artemis Homepage Image
However, heatmaps are capable of more. The image above shows the movements of your visitors across the page and what users are more drawn to. It can also highlight the ratio of most mouse movements compared to the clicks from the previous image, which again, can indicate on how to gain leads from certain elements such as buttons, forms and opt-ins.

Record targeted pages

One of Hotjar’s most powerful features is recordings. The recording feature can enable you to see how visitors are interacting with your website. It does this by collecting and storing visitor session data and actively records a user’s movements.

It’s not as scary as it sounds… Each event is tracked as a different session and allows you to play it back and watch how visitors are behaving on your website and which pages they are going to. Through analysing the data you have collected to see how users are interacting with the site, you can essentially build or change the site around them.

It is important to understand how a user navigates around a website, you can see your visitors’ journeys and how they digest content along the way, especially for an ecommerce site when the focus is on the products you are trying to sell.

How does recording pages help me?

Recordings can help you answer a large number of questions on the user experience and usability of your site, such as:

  • What barriers exist on my website? And how can I fix them?
  • What is driving people to convert on my page?
  • Are users ignoring my CTA buttons? Are they even seeing them?

It’s important to define the changes you need to make to a page, even if it means a small increase in clicks, especially to a targeted page such as a contact page. It means you can build or change the website around your visitors and make the user experience better, especially if there is a barrier blocking their way to another page. It is great to understand these challenges and how you can fix them.

And even better is the fact that you are not limiting: you can record both static and dynamic pages along with shopping carts and logged in areas.

Understanding how Hotjar forms work

When you have contact forms on your website, it is important to check whether you are actually receiving any conversions or interactions for what you have featured on a targeted page.

Hotjar Form Reports can provide you with an in-depth view of how each of your forms are collecting data and if they are converting traffic from them. Sessions are collected for each form and you will be able to analyse how long each user is spending on a field or whether they abandoned the contact form altogether. It is good to understand how they interact with it and if there are any challenges they are facing (e.g. a ‘Submit’ button not working correctly).

Hotjar - Forms Image
In the image above you can see the rate of sessions and drop off along with interactions for each field, making it easier to understand how to can improve a form or see what barriers your visitors could be facing.

Hotjar is becoming an increasingly popular tool that can help a website generate more enquiries and lead to more conversions. Artemis have many years of digital marketing experience and can provide expert help to enable your business to reach a wide yet targeted audience of new and existing customers. Contact us for a free Hotjar consultation.


Statistic on a laptop

Crawlability and the basics of SEO

It’s an ever-elusive acronym: SEO. But what is search engine optimisation? In truth, it’s probably the case that no-one truly understands how search engines evaluate internet content. It’s an ever-evolving game and the rules are continually being redefined. Particularly in our new AI dominated search world.

Even those at Google sometimes struggle to comprehend how their algorithms index a piece of content, especially when there are more than 200 ranking factors. SEO brings with it new ideas, new knowledge and new concepts. Google’s AI bots decide what content to show for what search query, it’s just a matter of understanding the language used to communicate this content across the internet.

To understand SEO, we need to first understand crawlability.

Man on laptop

What is crawlability?

Before Google can index a piece of content, it must first be given access to it so that Google’s crawlers (or spiders) – the bots that scan content on a webpage – can determine its place in the search engine results pages (SERPs). If Google’s algorithms cannot find your content, it cannot list it.

Think about a time before the internet. We had listing services like the Yellow Pages. A person could choose to list their phone number for others to find, or choose not to list a number and remain unknown. It’s the same concept on Google. Your web page (whether that’s a blog post or otherwise) must offer permission to crawlers so it can be indexed.

Robots.txt files: how do they work?

The internet uses a text file called robots.txt. It’s the standard that crawlers live by, and it outlines the permissions a crawler has on a webpage (i.e. what they can and cannot scan). Robots.txt is a part of the Robots Excursion Protocol (REP), which is a group of web standards that regulate how robot crawlers can access the internet.

Want an example? Type a website URL into your search browser and include ‘/robots.txt’ at the end. You should find yourself with a text file that outlines the permissions that a crawler has on a website. For example, here is Facebook’s robots.txt file:

robots.txt

 

So what we see here is that a Bingbot (a crawler used by Bing.com) cannot access any URL that will have ‘/photo.php’. This means that Bing cannot index on its SERPs any users’ Facebook photos, unless these photos exist outside of the ‘/photo.php’ subfolder.

By understanding robots.txt files, you can begin to comprehend the first stage a crawler (or spider or Googlebot, it’s all the same thing) goes through to index your website. So, here’s an exercise for you:

Go to your website and search your robots.txt file and become familiar with what you do and don’t allow crawlers to do. Here’s some terminology so you can follow along:

  • User-agent: The specific web crawler to which you’re giving crawl instructions (usually a search engine).
  • Disallow: The command used to tell a user-agent not to crawl particular URL.
  • Allow (Only applicable for Googlebot. Other search engines have different variations of bots and consequently, different commands): The command to tell Googlebot it can access a page or subfolder even though its parent page or subfolder may be disallowed.
  • Crawl-delay: How many milliseconds a crawler should wait before loading and crawling page content. Note that Googlebot does not acknowledge this command.
  • Sitemap: Used to call out the location of any XML sitemaps associated with this URL.

Crawlers (spiders): what do they look for?

A crawler is looking for specific technical factors on a web page to determine what the content is about and how valuable that content is. When a crawler enters a site, the first thing it does is read the robots.txt file to understand its permissions. Once it has permission to crawl a web page, it then looks at:

  • HTTP headers (Hypertext Transfer Protocol): HTTP headers specifically look at information about the viewer’s browser, the requested page, the server and more.
  • Meta tags: these are snippets of text that describe what a web page is about, much like the synopsis of the book.
  • Page titles: H1 and H2 tags are read before body copy is. Crawlers will get a sense of what content is by reading these next.
  • Images: Images come with alt-text, which is a short descriptor telling crawlers what the image is and how it relates to the content.
  • Body text: Of course, crawlers will read your body copy to help it understand what a web page is all about.

With this information, a crawler can build a picture about what a piece of content is saying and how valuable it is to a real human reading it.

But here’s the thing…

There are more than 200 ranking factors that a crawler will consider. It’s a complicated process, but so long as your technical checks are in place, you have a great chance of ranking in the SERPs. Backlinks, for example, are extremely important to determine how authoritative a piece of content is, as is the overall domain authority.

SEO is nothing more than about ensuring your content has the correct technical checks in place. It’s about making sure you give a crawler permission in the robots.txt files, that the crawler can easily understand your meta tags, that your page headings are clear enough and relate to the body copy, and that what you provide your readers is valuable and worth reading. And this last point is quite possibly the most important: value is everything. Because let’s face it, if an algorithm isn’t going to read your content, a human certainly won’t.


snail-on-a-mouse

4 quick tips to speed up your website

Snail on a Mouse
Your website might have an amazing design, be well optimised for conversions and get good levels of traffic but there is one issue that could make all your hard work go to waste: your site speed is too slow.

The time it takes for your website to load is now one of the most important factors that affects how well it converts. With the industry focus having shifted firmly onto mobile search by users who have little patience and demand near instant search results, a load time of 5 seconds can result in up to 25% of your search traffic bouncing and going to one of your competitors instead.

And we don’t want that, do we?

The good news is that there are some pretty straightforward things you can do to speed up your website. However, before you start tinkering, it’s a good idea to benchmark your current load time first. There are many tools available to help you do this – we recommend using GTmetrix, Pingdom Tools or Google’s own tool PageSpeed Insights.

Once you have established your benchmark, take a look at these 4 simple ways of making the necessary improvements to your site. In our advice, we’ve focused mainly on WordPress websites but you should be able to implement these solutions on most websites.

1 – Get the right web hosting service

Let’s start with the basics. If your web hosting is poor, then frankly none of the tips mentioned below are going to make any difference. This is a key area to get right from day one – but what is ‘right’? There are so many different types of web hosting – shared hosting, reseller hosting, VPS hosting, dedicated hosting – with some services costing as little as 99p while others will set you back over £100 a month. Which to choose?

When it comes to hosting, the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ couldn’t be more appropriate. Cheap 99p-type deals will most likely be on second-hand servers with thousands of other websites hosted alongside. While this may be sufficient for, say, a small blog that gets a handful of visits per month, higher traffic levels won’t be able to cope and your website will crash.

As an absolute minimum, a website that is used to advertise a service should be hosted on a VPS (virtual private server) to give you more control over the hosting. With ecommerce websites, it’s important that they’re hosted on a dedicated service designed to deal with large volumes of traffic and that is secure enough to handle payment transactions.

2 – Optimise your images for web

When a website is built, it is best practice to upload any images in the required size, i.e. the size that will actually be displayed on the site. However, this doesn’t always happen. Often, the developer will upload images in whatever size they’ve been supplied, perhaps scaling them to fit using CSS. This is far from ideal since large image files (1MB+) can seriously slow down your page load speed.

WordPress does a pretty good job at resizing, and of course there’s always Photoshop. In addition, there are a number of free online tools you can use to compress images, such as tinyjpg which allows you to upload up to 20 images at a time and gives you the optimised images as a download, ready to use on your site.

Also available are plug-ins such as wp-smushit but these won’t give you as much control as resizing manually, and if you’re not happy with the image quality you’ll have to restore a back-up and re-upload from scratch, which is neither user friendly nor time efficient.

3 – Implement browser caching

Caching is a way of telling your browser to store certain elements of the website, such as image and CSS files, so they don’t have to be loaded every time. Implementing this is probably one of the quickest ways to improve your site load time.

There are literally hundreds of WordPress plug-ins to help you do this, the most popular being W3 Total Cache. It works straight out the box and you can also tweak the settings to enable more advanced caching, such as minifying CSS and JavaScript.

Some servers offer settings such as gZip and other caching plug-ins, but these vary depending on the server type, operating system and web host. It is certainly worth contacting your host to ask about any additional settings they may be able to activate for you.

4 – Maintain your WordPress plug-ins

It should go without saying that any WordPress plug-ins that you use should be kept up to date at all times. No doubt you are aware that any failure to do so puts your website at risk of being hacked. But did you also know that old plug-ins using outdated scripts can lead to your site slowing down?

What’s more, unused plug-ins in WordPress will sometimes still load, and may use the database, even if they’ve been disabled. A by-product of this is that your site will take longer to load. Make sure that any plug-ins that you don’t use are completely deleted from the website.

At Artemis, we’ve been helping businesses to get the most out of their websites since 2004. From local campaigns for small companies through to global ecommerce sites for international brands, our capable SEO team is fully focused on achieving tangible, measurable results for each client. Why not get in touch to see what we can do for your website?


brighton-wheel-and-sky

Who needs Photoshop? Top Tips for Image Compression

London Skyline Test Image - Original

Great images can be one of the most important aspects of your website from a user perspective. They can help sell your products, tell visitors what your business is all about and make your website look appealing. However, if your images aren’t done properly then this could have a negative impact on the performance of your site, as well as your rankings in the search results.

Huge images with massive file sizes will slow down your website – and if your site doesn’t load fast enough, people are going to leave. Site speed is also a major part of Google’s mobile-first index, so it’s important to get this right.

Let’s say your business operates across London and you want to use the above image of the London city skyline on one of your pages. Great! However, the file size for this image is too big. Without running it through online compression tools or using image editing software, this file is 183kb. That’s almost twice the recommended amount for optimisation purposes. Ideally, the image should be 100kb or below, although that’s easier said than done for some larger images.

Luckily, there are a few tools available online for free that can help lower the size of your images. We’ve taken a look at some of them below:

Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)

London Skyline GIMP Preview Image

If you don’t have access to Photoshop, you could always try this handy image editing software. Available to download for free, GIMP can help compress and optimise your images. You can resize the actual images dimensions so they fit the size needed for your website, as well as reducing them to the recommended level of 72dpi (Dots Per Inch). As you can see from the image above, this lets us get the London skyline image to 97.8kb, which is a perfectly acceptable file size for uploading to your website.

TinyJPG

London Skyline Test Image - After Tiny JPG

If you don’t want to download an image editor, there are a few image compression tools online that you can use for free. TinyJPG is a great example of a free online tool that can help get your file sizes down to an acceptable size. You can also compress multiple images at once, although there is a limit to how many you can do in one session.

Take a look at the image above for example. We tested our London skyline image to see how effective TinyJPG would be. Conveniently, the site gives you a comparison, showing the file size before and after compression. This reduced our image to a total of 79.5kb, which is fantastic in comparison to the original file size.

Optimizilla

London Skyline Test Image - After Optomizilla

Optimizilla is another great (and free!) online image compression tool, similar to TinyJPG. Just like TinyJPG, you can compress a number of images and then download them all once Optimizilla has done its job. Unlike TinyJPG however, Optimizilla shows you a preview of your images once they have been compressed so you can see if you’re happy with the results. If your images haven’t quite gotten below the 100kb benchmark, you can also adjust the quality with each one using the provided quality slider to the right of the previews. This also lets you see how the image would be effected as you play with the slider settings.

As you can see, Optimizilla does a brilliant job of reducing file sizes. With Optimizilla’s compression alone, the image was reduced to 117kb. We were able to reduce this further using the quality control slider, reducing it to a grand total of only 69kb. Thanks to the image previews, we can also see that the image quality is seemingly untouched compared to the original.

More top tips and advice

One thing to keep in mind when trying these tools is that you might see different results depending on the image you’re trying to compress. While we had the best result using Optimizilla with our example, we have had mixed results in the past. For example, in some image tests GIMP has come out on top. It’s always worth trying different tools to see what will give you the best outcome for your image.

If you’d like more advice on optimising your images, take a look at our blog post here for more of our top tips. Alternatively, get in touch with us today to discuss this subject or any other SEO concerns you might have.


Desktop barchart

Boost Your Conversion Rate with 5 Simple Website Changes

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

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

1) Include Telephone and Email Links in your Header

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

For click to call use the HTML example below:

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

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

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

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

2) Contact Forms

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

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

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

3) Calls to Action (CTAs)

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

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

Netflix - See Whats Next

4) Offer Proof with Reviews

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

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

5) Unique Selling Points

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

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

A few ideas to get you started.

John Lewis


John Lewis Site Buttons Image

Secret Spa


Secret Spa Image

Ryman Stationary


Ryman Stationary

Final Thoughts

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

Get the Support Your Website Deserves

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


Mobile Matters

Why Mobile Matters

Mobile Matters

 

In 2016, a study found that the number of people browsing the internet on their mobile overtook desktop for the first time ever. Another article from Search Engine Land found that nearly 60% of search queries were made from mobile devices. The message is clear: mobile matters, and speed is key.

Think about how often you use your mobile to search for information. Now think about how many potential customers might be looking for your business. Ranking highly in Google will help put the spotlight on your website – but poor performance on mobile will turn perspective clients away.

For example, imagine you’re out and about and you want to find out more about where you’re going. Or maybe you’re looking for a café near you or the nearest hardware shop. You pull out your phone, load up Google and click on the first result – but it’s loading too slowly. Think about the last time you were in this situation, how long did you wait before leaving the site and trying another link? Most of us don’t wait very long.

We’ve grown to expect information on our phones at a moment’s notice, and having to wait just simply won’t do. 53% of people will leave a mobile site if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. If your website doesn’t load quickly on mobile, this will also impact how many people will try and come back.

A study from Google last year showed that 79% of visitors who are unsatisfied with site performance are less likely to buy from the same site again. Whether you’re running a large e-commerce site or a website for your local business, this attitude from mobile users will have a major impact on visits and returns to your site.

Mobile performance is continuing to become more and more important to businesses and SEO. With Google’s mobile-first index continuing to loom on the horizon, it’s now more critical than ever to make sure your site loads quickly on mobile.

Contact us

At Artemis, we are constantly preparing for Google’s mobile-first index and focusing on mobile speed, design and user friendliness. If you would like to discuss this subject or any SEO concerns, get in touch with us today. Visit our blog often for more updates from our SEO Team.


What is Schema markup?

3 Schema Markup Tricks You’ll Thank Us For Later

Have a website? You should apply Schema Markup.

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

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

Organization/LocalBusiness

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

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

Schema Script

QAPage

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

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

Google Featured Schema Snippet

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

Microdata
Microdata

JSON-LD
JSON LTD script

AggregateRating

Stars rating

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

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

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

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

Schema script

How to apply Schema

We recommend two options:

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

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

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

Getting the hang of Schema Markup

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


Mobile First SEO

Top 5 SEO trends in 2017

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.

Mobile First SEO

 

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.

Having moved on from its days of poetry and reading romantic novels, Google’s AI technology is getting better by the day.

It’s very hard to optimise for RankBrain.

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.

In conclusion

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.