Are Traditional Writers Plagued By The Modern Demands Of SEO?

I recently came across an article that outlined the impact SEO has on the quality of written content. It was argued that, despite persistent historical criticism stating the opposite, SEO was more than capable of enhancing the calibre of our web-based writing.

writing-336370_640The writer sarcastically introduces their article by denouncing the use of SEO within high quality content, citing ‘awkward, keyword-stuffed phrases’ in the deriding opening paragraph.

It seems SEO has received plenty of unmerited condemnation in the past with regards to its effect on quality content. Perhaps it remains an easy target for many an infuriated writer who struggle with the ever-changing demands Google likes to throw at us.

The article I read this week stated that anyone who feels SEO is disrupting their standard of content should be classed as “not a very good writer”, although I find this harsh in the sense that SEO is a rapidly growing and developing industry practically dictating the paths which skilled and ambitious writers must now follow in order to succeed on their website.

We want to know if SEO has changed content writing for the better and whether we should feel despondent about compressing our content with a plethora of regimenting keywords from now on.

Prioritising SEO

As writers, we have to understand that prioritising SEO with keywords is crucial to the success of our website and that Google wants to see as much keyword-ridden content as possible. We spend much of our time acknowledging our own work; concluding that this is exactly what the reader wants and anything else wouldn’t live up to expectations.

What SEO gives us is the opportunity to discover more about our audience and what it is they want to be reading, thus improving our use of vocabulary (as well as keywords) within that specific sector.

We might be using the right words and providing our audience with an excellent source of information that’s plentiful, insightful and appealing to any industry expert but are the writers out there finding it easier to produce high quality content as a result of this?

The point of SEO and Google’s newfound ideology is to have clients, customers, fans and enthusiasts leaving with a superior amount of knowledge and ideally with everything they’d hoped to obtain, but those of us who venture to supermarkets once or twice a week know full well how difficult this is to achieve.

Instead we take something that’s just as appealing, albeit different, or nothing at all. If we can somehow formulate this similarity between websites and supermarkets, there could be a valid reason to support writers who feel oppressed by the often manipulative characteristics of Google algorithms that offer very little in the way of compromise.

Of course, it won’t help a website achieve its potential if we search too vigorously for the opportunity to shun keywords wherever possible. Instead, we need to avoid circumventing and utilise the benefits of meeting SEO requirements. So how do we do this?

SEO Does Generate Ideas

The article I refer to at the start of this post helped me find the origin of what is widely regarded as a seasoned writer’s nightmare.

Generating ideas for content can be debilitating at times and if there’s anything out there that has the potential to blemish a consistent writer’s portfolio, it’s discovering up to the minute topics to write about.

Analytics provides us with a monumental amount of topics covering everything from e-books to on-site content.

It’s now easier than ever to find similar topics using related search results provided by search engines and sufficiently fuel the part of our brains that allows the creative juices to flow.

SEO – Turn It On Its Head

“I’ve just written the best piece of content I think I’ve ever had the pleasure of completing, what without all those problematic little keywords to hold me back…”

“Great, how many views does it have?”

It’s important that we don’t embarrass ourselves and forget that anything we do write must have the pleasure of being read. This is probably the clearest reason yet why writers should be embracing SEO instead of uncovering its distinguishable flaws.

We effectively organise content, we learn how to incorporate the right terms and we adopt new styles of writing. We couldn’t just expect someone to stumble across the work we do either.

SEO and Writers Unite

There’s no debate that keywords and SEO are systematising from a writer’s point of view. However, what’s taken away from us is given back in the shape of something a whole lot more valuable in the modern world; recognition.

For the traditional writers out there I say this; there’s always something new to learn and written content is fast becoming a huge part of SEO, so embrace it as early as possible and you’ll have forgotten the substance behind your quarrels faster than you can type out a troublesome old keyword.



Google Reveal Plans for Child-Friendly Search Results

Google has started work on child-friendly versions of their services, from Chrome to the search site itself. A US-based report states that Google are developing these modifications in an attempt to provide parents with more security when children are surfing the web.


“The big motivator inside the company is everyone is having kids”

Pavni Diwanji, Google’s vice-president of engineering, is leading the project and told USA Today a little more about what to expect from their child-friendly version of the search site, stating that the new modifications would be designed for children up to the age of 12. There is still no news on a release date for these modifications.

Child-Friendly Search Results

One of the examples Ms Diwanji put forward revolved around search results and how search terms such as “trains” could provide and prioritise child-friendly results such as “Thomas the Tank Engine” when children were using the search site instead of sending them in the direction of ticket booking sites.

Improved Online Security for Parents

As well as child-friendly search results, Google are also developing tools that let parents monitor their child’s time surfing the web, including the sites they visit and how much time they are spending online. While there are already Safe Search tools available for parental use, it’s believed Google’s plans will take child safety a whole lot further.

Potential Hurdles

Google may come unstuck at some stage during the development of these site modifications however. This is down to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (Coppa) in the US, which specifies the amount of data that can be collected about children and what it can be used for.

Why Do Surveyors Need a Mobile Friendly Website?

WHY DO (1)

Google Announces Update To Mobile Search

But What Does This Mean For Surveyors? 

With more and more people turning to Google when looking for a building surveyor,  Google’s most recent update means it’s become more important than ever for Surveyors to have a website that is mobile friendly.

From the Surveyors we currently work with, we have found that…

  • In-between 24-36% of their visitors are viewing their website from mobile phones 

In a world that’s constantly on the move, Google searches from mobile phones are at an all time high. And the surveying industry seems to one of the best examples of the case in point.

What all the above tells us is that people are sitting in the estate agents on the high street waiting for their offer on a prospective property to be accepted, and while they wait they will take out their mobile and search on Google for a local surveyor.

And the financial reward for being at the top of that search result is staggering. – View case study

As of the 18th of November 2014 Google has started to roll out a “Mobile-friendly” label in their search results on mobile phones.


This will impact on search engine rankings in favour of those surveyors with a mobile friendly, responsive website.  (see image above)

For more information about what it takes to have a “Mobile-Friendly” website we have written an informative blog post here.

Artemis have years of experience of working with a wide range of Surveyors, for more information on the surveyors we’ve helped take a look here.  

If you’d like more information or would like to know more about how Artemis can help surveyors, you can give us a call on 01444 645018 or email Or just fill in the contact form to the right hand side of the page and let us get in touch with you.


Another Great Testimonial!

We’re approaching the Christmas season and the office was feeling particularly festive this week when we received yet another positive review from a hugely satisfied client. It goes without saying that receiving testimonials from clients towards the end of the month makes the journey home all the more satisfying.

RMA Surveyors were delighted with the work we’d done for them in terms of assisting their SEO and we felt privileged to work with such a friendly, positive group of people. Here’s what Iona Mountain had to say on behalf of RMA:

Since working collaboratively with Artemis to assist our SEO, we have undoubtedly seen an increase in our leads and an impact in our Google ranking. Once sceptical about SEO companies, Artemis has proved us wrong! They are always willing to talk things through and provide recommendations to ensure the very best for our company. We never thought that a form would be so effective in bringing us new leads – a simple recommendation but worth its weight in gold. In addition, Artemis re-designed our website, which is now functional, easy to navigate and looks good too. We would recommend working with Mike and the team. 

You can visit the Testimonials section of our website to get a better idea of how our reputation has soared since we began providing our SEO services. You can get a free consultation from us today or call us on 014444 645018 for more information. Thanks again to RMA Surveyors!

Google should be broken up, or so Euro MPs say

800px-Google (1)

We all know Google is certainly not a small company, for many people it is so big they consider it a public service rather than a private enterprise. This often leads to dismay when Google change something, even cries of “they can’t do that!” Well, as we know, they can do whatever they like, just the same as McDonald’s could start charging £100 for one fry or launch a swan burger.

It seems recently though Google’s magnitude has been causing some concern in political circles too, the search giant have been accused of favouring their own services and companies in search results over that of possibly more suitable offerings from unrelated companies. Clearly as a private concern Google is entitled to offer up whatever results it feels correct, after all, its existence is down to it offering good results. If it stops doing that it won’t be popular and so won’t continue to be the most successful search engine.

Taking into account the companies rights to act as they so please there is still some worth in the Euro MPs suggesting Google should be broken up. As I mentioned, the brand has become so big that users sometimes fail to recognise it’s commercial position and as such don’t take the results in a commercial context. This does give some credence to the claim then, that by prioritising its own services Google is actually not acting responsibly.

The European parliament has voted for the break up, much to the dismay of various US trade bodies, but as it stands the final decision lies with the EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

This all stems from a case brought in 2012 by Google competitors taking issue with how, among other things, Google displays its vertical search engine services, uses content from across the web in their own services like reviews, and how Google sells its ads around search terms. Initially there were a number of concessions put to Google that they turned down, and so the case rumbled on. The recent revival and vote is suggesting the only way to resolve the issue is to simply break up the company thus dividing the search business from advertising and other commercial services. The aim, or at least the suggestion here is that it would allow room for other businesses to move in and offer similar services.

Whatever happens, and the likleyhood is that not much will for some time, Google will continue to innovate and dominate search and its ancillary services for the forseable future. But nothing is forever, and the digital world has shown us time and time again that new comers can change the world, remember Yahoo?… only just!

Is Your Site Mobile-Friendly For SEO?


It can be quite frustrating having to go through a website on your mobile phone that hasn’t been optimised for mobile devices. In fact, it’s probably one of the most frustrating things consumers have to deal with when surfing the net on the go.

Poor Text, Link and Image Visibility

What’s the point in accessing a site using your mobile if the text is practically impossible to read, the links are barely visible and the images are hardly recognisable?  Well, Google have decided that enough is enough and revealed a useful addition to search results will be introduced in the coming weeks specifically aimed at those using mobile devices.

Criteria For A “Mobile-Friendly” Page

Those of you that are avid Google users on your mobile phones may have already noticed that Google has started to introduce a “Mobile-friendly” label in their search results on mobiles.

The ever-reliable Googlebot will now analyse a selection of criteria before stating that a search result is “Mobile-friendly”. You’ll be able to see the label alongside the meta descriptions in the search results.The criteria that a web page must comply with in order to be classed as “Mobile-friendly” are as follows:

  • Software that is uncommon or not regularly used on mobile devices i.e. flash will be avoided
  • Text must be readable without the user having to zoom in
  • Links need to be far enough apart so that it’s not an absolute nightmare trying to tap the link you’re actually after
  • The content on the page needs to be sized automatically so that scrolling is no longer necessary

You can use a Mobile-Friendly Test provided by Google to see if your site complies with the set criteria. Google have stated that they are keen to ensure mobile users have “a better mobile web experience” and that they are “experimenting with using the mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking signal”.

Why Is A Mobile-Friendly Website Important?

There’s no doubt having mobile-friendly pages available on your site will only increase traffic and improve the overall performance of your online business.

The capabilities of modern mobile devices allow access to detailed and concise content. Potential clients are using their phones on public transport to access web pages more than ever before, so you could be losing out on a significant number of potential enquiries.

We Can Help

We’re always up to date with changes such as this one here at Artemis and something like this certainly can’t go unnoticed if we’re to get the very best results for our clients.

To learn more about mobile-friendly pages and how they can help your site, make the most of our free consultation service.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, no our site isn’t responsive yet! We’re working on it now and we’ll be writing a blog post about what it takes to make a website responsive.

Bright FM Awards 2014 Highlights

Artemis were proud to present the award for Best Business in Sussex at the Bright FM Awards 2014 last Friday night with a multitude of local businesses in attendance. We thoroughly enjoyed a fabulous evening which saw plenty of well-deserved awards handed out.

Below you will find a collection of snaps from the Bright FM Awards Evening. Everyone here at Artemis would once again like to congratulate all the deserved winners on the night and thank Bright FM for a superbly organised and enjoyable evening:

mike bright fm awards

bright fm matt

Artemis Bright fm award

Panda 4.1 – The Reaction So Far to Google’s Content-Focused Algorithm Update

Since Google started rolling out Panda 4.1, it’s quite clear that the phrase “content is king” has plenty of substance to it. It’s not only a case of clearing up dated content anymore but also enhancing web pages you might have reviewed in the past so that they slot neatly into the bracket of high quality, substantial, relevant content.

Panda Update

The importance of high quality content is only going to increase in the future, with many sites who have made changes witnessing significantly improved rankings as a result. Sites that still have noticeably thin content pages are losing their grip and have started to fall away in terms of search rankings, but this is to be expected as Google look to point searchers in the right direction with the utmost accuracy.

“Content is King”

So what exactly does a web page need to meet the requirements of Panda 4.1? Here’s a quick list of bullet points that outline Google’s demands:

  • Plenty of Content (we’re talking substantial amounts of high quality, informative and relevant text)

  • Videos

  • Images

  • Maps

  • Other enticing features

If you’ve made these changes already but heard about another site being penalised for something they knew nothing about, you might still share a few concerns regarding what Panda 4.1 actually looks to penalise. It turns out you’re not the only one, with Google’s John Mueller using the Google+ hangout to address numerous questions surrounding the formidable algorithm update.

Should We Get Rid Of Ageing Posts?

An intriguing question was put to Mr Mueller that focused on the existence of extremely old content on a site (content that is practically old enough to be archived).  Many blogs start out much weaker than they actually become, yet many site owners overlook the idea of getting rid of blog posts that are quite a few years old.

Google+ user Marie Hayes asked Mr Mueller “If a site has thousands of old blog posts that rarely get read, could this impact them negatively in the eyes of Panda? Should we be noindexing old blog posts?”

The reply was intriguing, as Mr Mueller seemed to suggest that there was a possibility a site could be penalised for keeping this kind of content on a site. Here’s what he had to say:

“This is, I guess, a tricky topic because to some extent, it makes sense to keep an old archive of things. But on the other hand, if you’re looking at these old blog posts and you say these are really low quality posts, then it might be worth cleaning that up. But in general, our quality algorithms do look at a site overall so we try to look at everything across the site. And if there are parts that aren’t really relevant, that are kind of older, and kind of there for a reason but not really the primary reason for your site, then that’s something we try to take into account as well.

So just because you have these old blog posts where maybe you were doing a news announcement from 2001 and that’s still on your site, that’s not something I’d necessarily noindex just to clean things up. But sometimes it might also be that these old blog posts are really low quality and kind of bad, then that’s something you would take action on. So just because they’re older, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re good or bad in any specific way.”

Here’s the 55 minute Q&A that includes Mr Mueller addressing the issue of low quality content:

Content Will Always Be Important

It’s an interesting question with a complex answer that might have people wondering if they should start going through ancient, low quality blog posts. All we know is that content is and will continue to be a huge player when it comes to search ranking.


Auto event tracking in Google Tag Manager to trigger goals


The Problem

A very common issue with a lot of sites was that to be able to track a successful form submission we would recommend a unique URL following the form submit. Many Content Management Systems whether they are bespoke or off the shelf sometimes forget that bit and it is a PITA to get set up, costly or you wait an age. Google Tag Manager addresses this issue with ease thanks to a number of event listeners, not just for forms. We have Click Listeners (yes we really can track which elements within your page are being clicked), Link Click Listeners and so much more. For the purposes of this guide we are going to solve this common problem with a Form Submit Listener. It may seem a little in depth but with a little practice you can have this set up inside 10 minutes.

What is Google Tag Manager?

If you are not familiar with what Google Tag Manger is yet, don’t sweat it, we all start somewhere. In a nutshell it is a Tag Management System (TMS). All of your external tracking scripts, click to call, facebook pixels, remarketing, Google Analytics and a whole host of others all managed in one place.

Why Google Tag Manager?

A reduction in code bloat, faster pageload times and a new kind of marketing agility that gets at insights so much quicker. We are not talking about getting rid of developers here we are talking about working with them but not interfering with all that HTML and fancy jquery stuff over there.

A little background about me and GTM

It has been known that I am a little bit of a fan of Google Tag Manager (GTM), from talking to clients, colleagues and anyone who would listen … they quickly glazed over, nodded and let me get on with it. Sometimes I forget myself and event the guys here at Artemis are calling me a geek. That came as a bit of a shock as both Mike and Justin here have been internet marketers since just after The Right Reverend & Lord Sir Berners-Lee invented our playground.

The Solution

  1. Google Tag Manager
  2. Google Analytics

Get started

  • Within your GTM container create a new Tag
  • Within this empty Tag give it a name then select the Tag type “Form Submit Listener” within “Event Listener”

Firing Rules

Now we have the basic Event tag set up we need to decide when this will be fired. All Tags need firing rules, an instruction as to when to get to work dependent on the pages you tell it to fire on. In most instances we fire the Form Submit Listener on all pages.

Google Tag Manager comes with a default “All Pages” firing rule out of the box and in this instance we select this rule for what we need and click save.

  • Back within the main Tag we can go ahead and click save, that’s all we need to do in here.

Creating a Form Submit Listener Tag

Now we have a basic Form Submit Listener set up we can now concentrate on a specific event, in this case a contact form submission.

So again we click on “New” and “Tag”

  • Give the tag a name

Within Google Analytics select “Universal Analytics” (if you have not upgraded yet now would be a good time, you will be automatically upgraded soon enough but better to get it done now.)


Once selected you have a little configuring to do, don’t panic though, it’s mostly self explanatory!

Access your Google Analytics account and grab your tracking ID (under Admin > Property Settings) (link to GA property ID)


Back in GTM paste in your copied tracking ID and now we need to define the event. It’s up to you how you describe it but we will be revisiting this step near the end.

Select “Track type” & “Event”


You will then be faced with the following fields which I have filled in for the purposes of illustration, you can enter in the first 2 fields whatever you choose. The Label field in this instance though has been defined using the Macro {{element url}} the reason I have used that macro is in this instance I am listening for a form being submitted but the form is on every page of the site and I want to know which page that form submission has come from.


OK so if you have made it this far without shouting at me you either have the patience of saint or you take this technical stuff in your stride. Take a break, go for a run, see where you rank for that vanity term you keep staring at every day in the hope that it will move.

Ready for the next part?

As with the previous Tag we need to set up a rule for where this event will be fired, go ahead and click add on the firing rules


This time around though we need to create a new rule as we are going to be listening for specific form. The reason we do this is because there can be multiple forms within a site from internal search through to newsletter subscriptions. We need to define which one we are listening for so we set up the macro to match the form submit listener we created previously using “gtm.formSubmit” and creating the second rule that listens for the ID of the form that we want.


If you do not have an ID within the form then that is another task, otherwise you can listen for the form if it also matches a number of other elements not just the ID including class, target, text and a number of other macros. Finding what to match it against takes a little digging ion the HTML but it’s a lot easier if you are already using the Webdeveloper Chrome extension 🙂 In my case I have used the ID of the form as the trigger (I had to create it as it did not exist).


Clicking on save for your firing rule brings us back to the Tag, we’re all done in here too so we can go ahead and click save here as well.

This will bring you back out to the GTM container and now we need to test that what we have set up actually works! To do this first we need to create a version & publish the container.


Now for the fun part!, what do you mean that was no fun?

Within your Google Analytics account for the site you are setting the auto event tracking up for navigate to Reporting > Real Time > Events.


Now switch back to your site and complete a test form and submit it, then switch back to real time events again in Google Analytics and watch the magic of what you have created unfold before your eyes!


Now we have the auto event tracking set up we need to set up a goal that will be matched when this event is fired. To do that within your Google Analytics account navigate to your goals (Admin > Goals (within the 3rd column))


Click on “New Goal”


Give your goal an easily recognisable description (I have seen some interesting descriptions over the years) and select the “Event” radio button then click on next step.


Remember those fields you set earlier in Google Tag Manager? Aye well you need to have them match in this part for the goal to be considered matched against the event


Once the text in the fields tallies up click on “create goal” label is not necessary in here unless you explicitly gave it a label. You can now cool your head with a nice beer, oh you’re in an office? I will have one for you. Now we just wait for data! over time you will have an overview of how the site is performing for that 1 specific goal. But let this be the beginning! Why not set up auto event tracking to trigger much more than just your contact form!

Failing that why not put the whole thing on autopilot so you can have an overview of events in a custom report? That is a post for another day as I wanted to combine it with using auto event tracking using Google Tag Manager to listen for external broken link clicks (how geeky is that?).

If you get stuck leave a comment, if you would prefer the team here to do the heavy lifting pick up the phone and one of the lovely people here can arrange it all so that we get to do it for you!


A guide to creating event tracking that will fire a goal within Google Analytics without stressing your developers out with yet another task.

First image credit Dasheroo

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.


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.