A question that many businesses ask; is how to rank locally for their chosen search terms. Google has over 250 ranking factors in its sophisticated algorithm, some better known than others. Getting citations for your business online is a part of local search strategy and is identified as being a key ranking factor. However remember that doing citations alone will not cover all of the factors that need to be addressed in your local strategy.
Some of you might not know that Google+, the search giant’s copycat attempt at offering a social media platform, turned 5 recently. According to one of Google’s engineers, Ivan Yudhi, G+’ birthday is stated as being on June 2011 on Wikipedia. See his post here:
I’m not sure that many users will be celebrating its birthday, as let’s be honest it was only ever a half decent effort and never took hold in the social media space compared to the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn. Ivan mentioned Google+ is still heavily used by photographers due to its ability to allow folk to upload high res pictures (a great thing), but ask yourself when was the last time you used Google+?
It seems many outside of web marketing – and even a good few in our industry – just do not see the attraction of Google+ and likely leaving their G+ accounts to gather dust.
I wonder what Google+ will look like on its 6th birthday?
If you track what is going on in the SEO industry, you may have heard of RankBrain and wondered what all the recent fuss has been about in the past few weeks. Or maybe not… especially if you leave SEO to the experts.
But, the time has come now for you to start to get a grasp as to what the truth is with Google RankBrain.
It came as no surprise to us that they did this, but rather than jump on the bandwagon and look to forecast in panic what will happen with PPC and organic SEO results we decided to wait until things settle and then report back.
I’ve peridocally advised clients it would be a good idea to move their HTTP websites to HTTPS versions over the years, mostly for their peace of mind and that it would become a de-facto standard online.
That seems it might be the case in the near future.
Word has it that Google’s internet browser, Chrome, is in the running to mark websites ‘Insecure’ that do use HTTP. In my opinion this makes it a leading priority for your website. Chrome is a popular browser and this could affect people visiting your site if they see it marked “insecure”. You could see a downturn in online sales too.
For your peace of mind and for your website visitors security it is time to get serious about moving your site to HTTPS.
The process in theory is quite simple, particularly for smaller sites. The common pitfalls are placing your pages in the HTTPS folder but leaving images on the non https part of the site. This then causes notices in a users browser that your site is using insecure resources on a secure page, again a trust and conversion killer.
If you’re unsure of the requirements then give us a call on 01793 766040 or you can find out more here from Google.
Optimising websites for better rankings is no longer just a case of shoehorning in your keywords into your page content and praying to the Google gods that it will work for you. Suffice to say if your copy isn’t optimised at all or really badly targeted and you add in a few phrases, then this will help but will it really propel you into higher overall positions enabling you to gain more traffic and leads? Not really.
So what to do?
Well Google has kindly released its general Quality guidelines (fully updated for 2015) for its Search Quality Rating Program. I have spent some time pulling out the key information you need to bear in mind if you want to improve your chances of ranking highly.
Indeed a good question you might ask.
It has been called Google Webmaster Tools for roughly 10 years now (though in our office it was abbreviated to just “Dubya-T”) and to many outside the industry it seemed a tool for those geeky, bearded types who look after websites and like to “peek under the hood” a lot.
Google believes that by changing its name to Google Search Console it makes it more approachable and usable as tool to anyone who cares about their search marketing, not just those beardy webmasters.
With the mobile friendly google update deadline just passed (April 21st), we wrote about this here, online marketers are keeping an eye out to see if rankings and online presence are affected with this algorithm as it is rolled out. Search Engine Land have put out a preliminary list of the ‘winners and losers’ of the big players, although it is very early days. Google themselves have reported on the 21st April that there was a 4.7% upturn of websites complying with their mobile friendly rules – read what they say about it here.
So since everything seems to be about phones this spring, I thought a little round up of the latest news and gossip on smart phones would be topical.
Before we start to show you the best and most creative 404 Error Pages we can find, first let’s explain what a 404 error is:
When a visitor reaches your site via a link from another site but finds that the page no longer exists then they should be directed to a custom 404 page that explains the page cannot be found, you can then offer them to look at other sections on your site to keep them engaged as a visitor.
Improving your site can help ensure a quality experience, rather than leading to user frustration, so if you don’t have a 404 page as inspired as the examples below yet then we recommend you go get one!
As you probably know Google is pushing webmasters to significantly improve their websites mobile experience, and now they are requesting that your online forms are made easier to fill out for someone on their mobile phone.
According to the firm it is apparent that many website owners have been marking up their site forms for auto-completion by way of Google’s “autocomplete” feature included in their Chrome browser.