Looking at Quality Content

Looking at Quality Content
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘quality content’ bandied around, especially in the context of ‘Google loves quality content’. But what does this phrase really mean? How can a machine learning algorithm determine whether an article is ‘good’ or not. Well it will never judge for personal taste of course, but there are some technical things you can do to make sure your content is deemed worthy, not just to anonymous digital spider crawlers but also real human readers too.

1) The most important element when it comes to creating content that ranks highly, write for human readers, not search engines. Increasingly Google is moving away from giving keywords top priority when it comes to ranking signals and is instead giving preference to the user experience.

How do you achieve this?

2) Don’t overstuff your page with keywords and phrases, while shoe-horning in as many variations as possible. Instead write something a reader can genuinely engage with and enjoy or learn from. This is what will keep a visitor on your page, navigate further around your site and ultimately share your very well written content.

3) Grammar and spelling: an obvious one sure, but it’s vital to double-check spelling and grammar with a thorough spell-check AND proof-read from a fresh pair of eyes. Google will probably spot multiple glaring mistakes, but more importantly if you’re making multiple typos then visitors will trust your content less.

Readability

4) It’s worth checking your content against the Flesch reading ease test. This will give your content a score based on how well it can be understood by readers. Although this hasn’t been explicitly stated by Google as a ranking signal, Yoast uses the test in its WordPress SEO tool and it’s certainly something to consider when you’re trying to improve readability.

You probably want to be aiming for a readability score above 60%.

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readability score

Yoast also offers a number of other recommendations to improve the readability of your text, these include:

5) Keep your sentences short. Make sure that no more than 25% of your sentences contain more than 20 words.

6) Keep your paragraphs short. Make sure each paragraph doesn’t exceed the recommended maximum of 150 words. It’s worth double-checking that any lengthy paragraphs are covering only one particular topic.

7) Use an active voice. Only 10% of your sentences should be written in a passive tense.

8) If using subheadings, make sure the number of words following each of the subheadings doesn’t exceed the recommended maximum of 300 words.

9) Try to make sure that roughly 50% of your sentences contain a transition word.

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transition words

Formatting

10) White space: when writing for the internet, break up your paragraphs as often as possible. Lots of white space makes reading text on mobile phones a heck of a lot easier (more than half of most websites’ traffic comes from mobile), and clearly formatted articles are used as a Google ranking signal.

11) Opening paragraph: this shouldn’t be longer than one or two sentences. Make sure the thing you’re writing about is mentioned in the first sentence (i.e. your focus keyword or phrase). I like to bold the first paragraph to make it distinct.

12) Subheadings: use plenty of subheadings to break up the text. Follow a logical order of h2 and h3 tags.

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h2 and h3 tags

13) Bullet points and numbered lists: these help break up the text and makes a page more readable. Remember: nobody ever skips bullet-points.

Length

14) It’s perhaps time to ditch the long-held notion that the minimum word count should be 300 words per post.

The latest research from Searchmetrics on ranking factors indicates that Google is moving further towards longer-form content that understands a visitor’s intention as a whole. Short posts naturally won’t be going into anything in great detail, so length is an obvious signal.

According to Searchmetrics, the average text length of the top 30 pages increased by 25% since 2014. Posts in the top 10 exceeded a word count of 1,285.

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Paid Search Click Through Rates Rise by 38%

Paid Search Click Through Rates Rise by 38%
According to data collected in Q3 2016, paid search CTRs have risen 38%, mainly in thanks to Google killing off its right-hand-side ads back in February. More advertisers have also started to use Google’s new extended text ads, accounting for 29% of search spend in September.

q3 2016 search spend

These stats are taken from Kenshoo’s latest analysis of more than 750 billion impressions, 13 billion clicks and $6 billion (USD) in advertiser spend. One of the major advertising trends in the last few months has seen online retail advertisers increasing their use of specialised product-focused ads on Facebook, Instagram and Google.

Video advertising on social media has also increased dramatically and mobile continues to be a key driver of growth.

Here are some more stats from the research:

Spend on Dynamic Product Ads on Facebook and Instagram, introduced in 2015 to help online retailers promote multiple products through social, has nearly doubled (up 95%) since Q4 2015. DPA now makes up more than four out of every ten clicks (42%) and 21% of spend on online retailers’ social ads.

Search advertising spend on retailers’ Product Listing Ads (PLAs), which include product images and information appearing in the “Shop for” boxes in Google search results, has shot up 87% in a year.

PLAs now account for 37% of online retail search clicks and 22% of spend, with 59% of clicks coming from smartphones.

Spend on social video ads, available on both Facebook and Instagram, has increased 155% in a year and video now accounts for 22% of social ad spend
CTR on social ads is up 21% since last year.

Social ad spend directed at mobile has increased by 61% YoY with mobile devices now accounting for 70% of all paid social clicks.

In search, mobile spend and clicks are up 39% and 48% respectively since last year. Mobile now accounts for 35% of all search spend and 43% of all clicks.

search stats from q3 2016

For more information, check out Kenshoo’s latest infographic.

Quick Guide to Internal Linking

Quick Guide to Internal Linking
The online Search Engine Watch website has published a guide to internal linking which we thought could be of interest to our website visitors. The practice of internal linking has many advantages, that can help your site improve its metrics and the user experience.

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1) Internal links can help navigate people around your site in a more targeted fashion.

2) Internal links can keep people on your site, particularly if the links are relevant to that particular webpage.

3) They provides your audience with further reading options, and if they continue to click around your site without leaving, this can help reduce your bounce rate (the percentage of people who left a given page on your website without viewing any other pages.)

4) Internal links help Google crawl and index your site. The Google bots that are sent out to fetch new information on your site will have a better idea of how useful and trustworthy your content is, the more they crawl your internal links.

5) Search engines will see that some of your webpages have more internal links pointing towards them than others, and will therefore judge them as more important.

6) The higher the authority of a page on your website, the more valuable its internal link becomes.

7) According to Starcom’s Jason McGovern, internal linking is one of the few methods we can use to tell Google (and visitors) that a particular page of content is important.

From a strategic perspective, it helps webmasters bridge the ‘authority gap’ between their most link worthy content and their most profitable content. For instance you can use a link from an evergreen post with lots of search visibility and traffic to promote something relevant your business needs to raise awareness of.

8) Broken links send a bad trust signal to Google, as it makes your site look incompetent or irrelevant at best, poorly maintained or abandoned at worst.

Considering Anchor text

9) By using clear anchor text (the clickable highlighted words in any give link) it helps improve your ranking for certain keywords. If we want this article to rank for the term ’internal link guide’ then we can begin linking to it from other posts using variations of similar anchor text.

This tells Google that this post is relevant to people searching for ‘internal link guides’.

10) Some SEOs recommend varying the anchor text pointing a particular page as Google may see multiple identical uses as ‘suspicious’.

To view the complete article click here: Search Engine Watch.

Importance of Marketing in the UK

Importance of Marketing in the UK 
As we head toward the busy Christmas period, many businesses still don’t seem to realise just how important Internet Marketing can be for their respective business. It can literally help make or breaks a business. And at this time of year, the sales generated by effective marketing can make or break a business!

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Marketing is an integrated communications-based process through which individuals and communities discover that existing and newly-identified needs and wants may be satisfied by the products and services of others.

Internet marketing also referred to as i-marketing, web marketing, online marketing, or e Marketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet. In another word, we can also say Internet marketing is targeted… you will reach your target market with internet marketing.

There are several news sites that will speak and tell about all the latest on the Internet marketing business. If there were any change in the marketing trend, you would instantly get to know about it. Blogs make a great source of information. You will find many well-written and informative blogs that will give you all the information and knowledge concerning the Internet marketing secrets. The Internet works as a well-established education system giving you all the knowledge that you seek.

Around the world online/ Internet Marketing continues to grow with more and more of the marketing spend moving online. It can say that Internet marketing is certainly the way of the future. The Internet has brought many unique benefits to marketing, one of which being lower costs for the distribution of information and media to a global audience. Internet marketing is relatively inexpensive when compared to the ratio of cost against the reach of the target audience. Companies can reach a wide audience for a small fraction of traditional advertising budgets. By this process your will be able to identify and quantify the market, and have the opportunity to increase your: Sales, Market Share and Brand.

Furthermore, marketing effectively online requires the right kind of preparation for your website. Many sites fail in that they generate traffic but they lack the kind of relevant content that retains the visitor, educates the prospect, and/or encourages the prospect to take action.

When people gather research online for an immediate or future purchase, they want ease and efficiency—or they’ll leave the site and go elsewhere.

In developing your next online marketing plan, follow these key steps to success: Identify and research your Market, Plan for the best site for an action , Position yourself in the marketplace by utilising several marketing methods and last but not least be prepared to follow up and close deal.

Choosing & Researching Keywords

Guide to Choosing & Researching Keywords
It can be difficult to choose the keywords that describe your company and its products or services so that users will see your website when they perform an online search. Obviously, you want people who are searching for what products or services you provide to find your website near the top of the search engine results pages, so how do you achieve this?

keywordThe answer is “by using keywords and key phrases in your website content.” These are the words that people type into search engines when they are looking for something.

Choosing and researching good keywords is a process that takes several steps that can essentially be broken down into the following stages:

Initial keyword Research
Have a brain storming session with your staff and, if possible, customers. Ask other people for ideas, too, including your family, try to get as many opinions as possible. You will often discover that what you consider your optimal key phrases are not those typically used by your customers.

Use Key Word Research Tools
There are several online keyword research tools that offer information about the number of times users perform searches for specific words. These can help you identify key phrases ‘related’ to your products or services that might help generate quality traffic to your website.

Selecting of Key Words
Use the research you have done and select the most appropriate key words that is likely to deliver the best results for your business. Note this may mean you choose a key phrase that isn’t the most searched for (which will probably be the most ‘competitive’ in terms of achieving a page 1 result on the web) but which will bring you high quality traffic in numbers that should help generate you business.

Analytics
After you’ve chosen your keywords and optimized your site, you need to perform measurements to see whether it’s delivering the amount of traffic and conversions you expected. You can use this information to make adjustments and refine your keyword strategy.

The above represents a fairly basic overview of choosing effective key phrases for your website and the web is full of more in depth articles and guides to help you.

For more information on choosing the right key words for your website call Direct Submit and see how we can help you make the most of your Internet project.

Stan Timmins and Sons Tree Surgeons

Stan Timmins and Sons Tree Surgeons
Direct Submit are pleased to announce they are working with Stan Timmins and Sons Tree Surgeons who operate throughout the whole of the North East from their operational base just off the A19 (South East Northumberland) along with their offices in Alnwick. This means they can undertake work across a large geographical area which includes Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Alnwick, Morpeth, Whitley Bay, Hexham, Haltwhistle, Durham, Stockton on Tees and Darlington.The comapny has over 50 years experience in the horticultural and arboricultural industry and is a Fellow of the Arboricultural Association.

stantimmins

An expert in garden design, arboriculture, nursery work and all aspects of amenity horticulture, Stan Timmins worked for many years in Newcastle Parks Department where he won gold and silver awards at RHS Tatton Park, BBC Gardeners World, and RHS Chelsea. His RHS Chelsea design depicting the Lindisfarne Gospels is now permanently displayed on Holy Island.

They offer a comprehensive range of tree surgery services including:

• Formative Pruning.
• Crown Cleaning / Deadwooding.
• Crown Reduction.
• Crown Lifting.
• Storm Damage Work.
• Sectional Dismantling of Dead, Dangerous and Diseased Trees.
• Large Tree Removal.
• Hedge Maintenance.
• Ivy Removal / Severance.
• Site Clearance.
• Stump Grinding / Treatment.
• Target Pruning.
• Veteran Tree Management.

They can be contacted on 07966 207280 or  01670 825089 or by visiting their website at http://www.stantimmins.co.uk.

If you would like assistance in promoting your business and services across the Internet then why not visit the Direct Submit website or telephone 0845 2722350 and let us help you make your website work harder for you.

Still Use the Disavow Tool for Bad Links in Google

Google: Still Use the Disavow Tool for Bad Links
During a keynote speech at Pubcon last week with Gary Illyes and Eric Enge, one of the questions came up about about real time Penguin, since Penguin now discounts bad links. He asked specifically how the new Penguin affects the disavow tool. “My question is about the Penguin update, where you’re discounting bad links.  How does that impact the disavow tool, should you still do that?”

Gary Illyes’ response was very clear. “Yes, you should use it, yep, you should use it.”

A few people have been pretty vocal that people should no longer use the disavow tool and suggesting that all disavow files should be removed. And this despite Google repeatedly stating that this is a particularly bad strategy and that Penguin did not change their disavow recommendations.

Removing disavows can also have other unintended consequences well beyond Penguin.  Google has also been clear that Google uses links for other parts of the Google search algo – presumably including the bad links too – and that site owners should still disavow links as needed.  And if a link was placed in a disavow for Penguin reasons, those links would be very likely to result in a link based manual action too.

Google Confirms New Mobile Search Index Coming

Google Confirms New Mobile Search Index Coming
Google has confirmed that it will create a separate search index specifically for mobile within the next couple of months. This new search index will become its primary index and although Google says it will maintain a separate index for traditional desktop searches, this will no longer be the dominant resource and the mobile version will be the most up-to-date.

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The change was confirmed by search analyst Gary Illyes at the Pubcon digital marketing conference in Las Vegas. The search engine ignited speculation that it would launch a mobile only index at a previous conference, SMX East in New York City, last year. Illyes was again the person who broached the notion of a separate index for mobile search but said only, “…please don’t assume we won’t have different indexing for mobile. We are still experimenting, but it may happen”. Fast forward 12 months (almost to the day) and ‘may’ has become ‘will’ though Illyes refused to be drawn on exactly when the change can be expected. He did concede that it would be in the next few months, but an exact date hasn’t been confirmed and no additional details given.

The precursor to the separate index confirmation came with a stat. After taking to the stage to deliver his keynote address, Illyes noted that more than 85% of Google’s search results are now mobile friendly. This has led the search engine to drop the ‘mobile friendly’ tag (presumably because it’s now in the majority). Following hot on the heels of that news came the headline story – that Google was developing a mobile first index. Historically, the desktop was the main reference point but, given the 85% stat and the fact that more than half of all internet searches now come from a mobile device, Google is prioritising accordingly.

What are the ramifications of this news?
The news has potentially huge ramifications for webmasters, especially those who have been slow to adopt a mobile first mindset. It means that anyone with a site which isn’t fully optimized for mobile devices will likely suffer in the search results.

Even for those with fully functional mobile sites, there are likely to be some repercussions because mobile versions of main desktop sites tend to be smaller by their nature. In order for a site to perform well on a mobile device such as a tablet or desktop, some design and content compromises have to be made. For most, the desktop version of a site will be bigger than the mobile version. This could mean that some optimization signals are lost when the index switch happens, potentially meaning a drop in rankings.

Some analysts have also wondered what this news means for structured markup since it isn’t always considered worth adding to a mobile version of a site.
The good news is that the switch appears to be at least a few months off so there is time yet to get your mobile presence in order.

Local SEO – Helping Locate New Business

Local SEO – Helping Locate New Business
The economy is finally recovering, people are buying homes again and, with spring here and summer just around the corner, more and more people will be taking advantage of the warmer weather to tackle projects around the house or flat that are best done in weather when one can have one’s windows open for ventilation. These often include home renovations for which homeowners call upon skilled tradespeople to carry out most or all of the work.

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This is all good news for tradespeople targeting a local market, but there’s something else to consider: that local market can be challenging to reach through the phone book and through traditional forms of advertising because people aren’t using the Yellow Pages like they once did for locating people who can do household repairs, fix the air conditioning or plumbing and so forth. As with everything else, people are now doing simple Internet searches (local SEO) to find everything they need.

This is particularly true now that smartphones have become the norm. If your potential clients have Android phones, for example, you want them to be able to find your details simply by typing in “plumbers Newcastle” or “home renovations North East” from the Google search field on their phone.  The right key phrases will do the job just like magic.

This magic is called Search Engine Optimisation or SEO.

How SEO works is simple: the mysterious powers behind the Internet and major search engines such as Google and Yahoo rank the results of certain keywords, and top-ranked results based on those keywords or key phrases are displayed most prominently in search results. Going back to the plumber in Newcastle example, let’s say that you already rely somewhat on word-of-mouth advertising and have been recommended by past clients who remember which street your business is located on. Since the odds do not favour the presence of multiple plumbing companies on the same street, a key phrase such as “plumber (street name) Newcastle” is likely to reveal only one accurate search result, and this is the one that will lead today’s Internet- and smartphone-savvy individuals in Newcastle who have plumbing problems to pick up the phone and call you for their repairs.

But how do you gain this type of visibility on the Internet, you ask? In brief, you do so by developing relevant online content that Internet users will be directed to when they type in relevant keywords and key phrases. The expertise of an Internet marketing consultant can be invaluable to your business if growth is what you desire.

Direct Submit Internet Marketing Services has been developing SEO marketing campaigns for businesses across the UK for over a decade. Our client-focused Internet marketing services are highly effective, even on a small advertising budget, and will have a significant impact on the growth of your small business for a fraction of the cost of television or other, more traditional forms of advertising. By taking advantage of our service, you can expect to see your business grow and revenues soar.

For more information on how we can help you develop your local SEO marketing campaign, call us today on 0845 272 2350 and let one of our Internet marketing consultants help your Internet marketing and SEO project make your business more successful than you ever thought possible.

Shop Local and Make the Right Choice

Shop Local and Make the Right Choice
Whether you’re looking for a handmade wedding cake, the location of a nearby beauty spot, or a local tradesman to help with looking after your garden – you’ll find the small shops and local businesses all likely listed on the Internet in the Search Engines.

What’s more, as many of us now search online for that business or service we are looking for, then for a local tradesman or business then you really do need to have your business online. A fairly simple website that won’t prove too costly is all that is typically required. Often referred to as a ‘Brochure Website’, such a website provides content that describes what you offer together with relevant contact details.

Call the Local SEO specialists, Direct Submit now on 0845 272 2350 and ask them about their well proven and very costs effective SEO services. After all, shouldn’t your website be working harder for you.