Popularity of Search in the UK & Beyond

Popularity of Search in the UK & Beyond
Do you know which search engine is the most popular in the UK and beyond? Obviously Google springs to mind but Bing has made some seriously surprising inroads into Google’s territory, managing to snatch a considerable chunk of the search market in the US and UK.

However, before we look at the data first of all let’s redefine what a search engine is:

“Search engines are programs that search documents for specified keywords and returns a list of the documents where the keywords were found. A search engine is really a general class of programs, however, the term is often used to specifically describe systems like Google, Bing and Yahoo! Search that enables users to search for documents on the World Wide Web.”

Search Market Share
According to Net Market Share (as of April 2017) the global marketing share percentage, in terms of the use of Search Engines heavily favours Google, with over 77%. This again reinforces that fact that Google are the market leaders, however it also highlights that the “Others” such as Yahoo, Bing and Baidu etc still hold a large audience and it would be silly to simply ignore them. It’s interesting to note that Google’s large market share is still on the increase. Last year we saw a 67% market share for Google, so Google has taken another 10% of the market from its rivals in just the past 12 months.


Internet Search Numbers
The number of people using internet search engines is increasing year on year is reported as 6,586,013,574 searches a day worldwide.

Breaking this down using the above Market Share chart and the data from Internet live stats, below you’ll find the number of daily searches per Search Engine.

Search Engine Searches per day
Google 4,464,000,000
Bing 873,964,000
Baidu 583,520,803
Yahoo 536,101,505
Other (AOL, Ask etc) 128,427,264

It was several years ago now that Google announced that we had passed the tipping point whereby the number of Mobile searches had taken over that of Desktop stating “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.”

The graph below highlights the rate at which Mobile has surpassed Desktop search, specifically in this instance in the form of Local Search i.e. users searching for local businesses.

 

It Pays to be Listed in the Search Engines
So it obviously pays to have your website well ranked in the major search engines. A simple look at the numbers of searches per day involved should be reason enough. If you’re not listed, just think how much potential business you could be missing out on!

SEO is a concept that continues to play a vital role in business website management on a daily basis and for businesses that have leaner marketing budgets; SEO can be a cost-effective and worthwhile solution that will address your need for online exposure.

Including SEO in your overall online marketing campaign will enable you to draw more quality traffic to your site.

Direct Submit Digital Marketing Services
We’ve helped many Businesses grow and develop their respective online presence. Find out how we can help grow your business by speaking to one of our Marketing Services Advisors and learn more about how Direct Submit can help grow your business!

Direct Submit prides itself on the underlying process by which we approach each and every SEO project we are involved with. We understand that each client will have specific, individual needs and our approach in creating and implementing the correct SEO strategy is vital to the success of the SEO project. This approach and attention to detail is what has helped Direct Submit become a leading Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) company. Call us today on 0845 2722350 and get your website working harder for your business.

Use Long-tail Keywords to build Short-tail Rankings

How to use long-tail keywords to build your short-tail rankings
Some SEO professionals may advise you not to bother chasing rankings for competitive keyword terms, but columnist Stoney deGeyter believes that you can build your authority for these keywords over time by focusing on the long tail. In this published article he outlines a positive way to use long tail keywords in your SEO project.

If you have a relatively new or low-authority website, then you know how difficult it can be to rank for high-volume, short-tail keyword phrases. Heck, any competitive keyword can pose a challenge, even for well-established sites.

I often hear experts talk about going after the low-hanging fruit of keywords. “Forget about the short tail,” they say.

I agree that that going after the low-hanging fruit is a good strategy, but not at the expense of those highly competitive phrases that will drive some great traffic to your site. Rather, it’s that low-hanging fruit that paves the way to ranking for those more competitive phrases.

Very few searches are truly unique

When it comes to search terms, there isn’t a whole lot new under the sun. Google says that 15 percent of all queries they get have never been used before, but that doesn’t mean it’s unique in the true sense of the word. Let’s assume, for example, that neither of the following searches has ever been entered into Google:

  • how to eat a lemon without cringing
  • how to eat a lemon without making a face

Are either of these terms really unique? Well, according to Google autocomplete, they are relationally similar to these:

And that tells us that even if my two made-up phrases fall within Google’s 15 percent of “unique” queries, we can see that it’s only the particular query string itself that’s unique, not necessarily the sentiment behind it.

And it’s that intent that gives us a goldmine of optimization opportunities.

Optimize for topics, intents and desires

Search any given topic, and you’ll uncover hundreds, sometimes thousands, of keywords. Those keywords represent different things searchers want to know about that topic. One look at a 100+ keyword list and it’s easy to see why you can’t possibly optimize a single page for every (relevant) keyword on a given topic.

This is where you need to segment keywords into groups, each group representing a similar intent. Good SEO and usability dictate that each intent requires a unique page of content to satisfy the searcher’s needs.

Let’s look at a simple set of short-tail phrases:

20,200 monthly searches, according to Moz

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to keyword volume data from Moz, these two phrases alone garner over 20,000 searches per month. And while they may not be the most competitive keywords you can find, they’re important to this industry — which does make them competitive.

But that set of keywords spawns other keywords with differing intents:

The green group is easily optimized on the same page of our core terms. As for the rest, if you do the quick math, the total monthly search volume represents only about 10 percent of the volume of the main group. But this is a small sample — four groups out of dozen grouped possibilities. Add in the rest of the researched keywords, and you get much closer to the 20K number of the core terms.

Breaking out your short-tail keywords into related groups of long-tail keywords makes for some good keyword targeting, provided you have (or can create) the pages and content for them.

Don’t throw out the short tail

Many people may tell you to ignore the short tail. It’s competitive, too difficult, too costly and so on. And, yes, those are all valid points. But the key is not to focus on the short tail exclusively, but rather to use the long tail to build up relevance for the short tail.

And, in truth, this is a rather simple process. Let me introduce you to a little thing I call “Optimize the Long Tail.”

In my process, you want to optimize not just for some of the long-tail phrases — you want to optimize for all of them. Find all the keywords in a given topic that have similar meanings, group them together, and find or create a page to optimize.

Another quick example: Say you find a few keywords for your product with the following qualifiers: discount, clearance, sale, closeouts, surplus, cheap.

You see a pattern to those? They all have similar meaning, which means they can be optimized together. Simply build a page where you put all your discounted stock for quick sale.

But no discount page would be complete without a link back to your main product page. After all, if the item they want isn’t discounted, they may just go ahead and buy it at full price. So add in your text link to the short-tail optimized page.

And then do it again with other keywords of similar intent. And then again, and then again, and then again.

In fact, you may want to optimize out one entire short-tail topic page before moving on to your next short-tail topic. This might mean five, 10, or even a couple dozen pages, but each page optimized for a similar-intent long-tail group provides a link and power back to the short-tail keyword that you want to rank for.

Patience is key

It’s important that in all of this, you exercise patience and have realistic expectations. Optimizing a dozen long-tail phrases won’t automatically get you traction on the short-tail phrase you really want. You still have to build authority to all the pages. Without authority, you’re just not going to rank for those short-tail phrases, regardless of how well you’ve optimized.

But optimizing out all those long-tail pages is great for authority-building. Get those pages to rank on their own merits, and with each page addition, you’ll be building on top of the existing authority you have.

You still have to market and promote and provide value. (Don’t ever forget to provide value!) That may take years, but eventually you’ll see your efforts pay off.

And the beauty of it is, while you’re optimizing long-tail in order to achieve short-tail, you’ll see the traffic and sales build. Even those less frequently searched long-tail phrases can add up to 50 to 100 percent of the traffic you’ll get from the short-tail phrases. And that’s what makes long-tail a crucial part of your strategy. They may drive less traffic per term, but they’ll drive just as much traffic in total.

Quick SEO Guide for Small Business

Quick SEO Guide for Small Business
Almost every small business will have been told or read about the importance of search engine optimisation to their business. But for many small businesses, the question we often hear is “this doesn’t really apply to me,” or, “We’re just a small business and SEO probably isn’t important for us.” However, just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking at applying good SEO practices to your website as part of your marketing strategy.

Make your website SEO friendly
Although SEO can seem quite technical and time consuming, there are a few basic issues you can make to your website that will help to increase your search engine optimisation.

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
With the number of people using their smartphones these days to search for a product or service, it is very important to make sure your website looks good on a small screen as well as a traditional computer screen. This is an ever increasing area of search and you will be missing out if you ignore this.

Always look to include good content
No matter how big or small your business is, whether you hire someone to do this for your or you handle it on your own, good content is crucial when it comes to SEO. Your content includes the information on your homepage, your “about” page, your product pages, etc. You want your content to be well-written while being mindful of your carefully chosen keywords that describe your business and mention it by name.

But that’s not all. Having a blog on your website can also help in a few different ways. First, it creates more opportunity to boost SEO by using your keywords and other relevant content so that your ranking can improve. Overall, it helps to build trust with your existing customers and is a way to attract new ones.

Inbound link management
Another way to make to improve SEO is by having good links. Google in particular will often use an inbound link as a measure of credibility and trust. Just be sure that you’re linking appropriately; links should be visible and relevant to your business. Linking to your social media pages is a great way to get started! Or, link to other local businesses, and ask them for a link in return.

SEO is a concept that continues to play a vital role in business website management on a daily basis and for businesses that have leaner marketing budgets, SEO can be a cost-effective and worthwhile solution that will address your need for online exposure. Including SEO in your overall online marketing campaign will enable you to draw more quality traffic to your site.

Looking at Search Engine Relevancy

Looking at Search Engine Relevancy
The leading search engines look to provide the most relevant results to a searchers query, however complicated or simple the search query may be. The process involved for each search engine in the provision of these search results is entirely down to their own respective search algorithms. No one can be sure what these are, although the SEO community try to understand and work these out, it’s highly likely the algorithms will never be fully understood.

However there are search factor based around relevancy that we can all be sure influence search results. These include a searchers location, search history, content and much more. Also, Search engines typically assume that the more popular a site, page, or document, the more valuable the information it contains must be. This assumption has proven fairly successful in terms of user satisfaction with search results.

However, perhaps the key metric of relevance is how well you actually solve the problems that your audience are experiencing. If your content answers a query in an effective manner, then you are delivering precisely the sort of user experience that search engines want to promote.

Increase Your Website’s Domain Authority

Increase Your Website’s Domain Authority
Domain Authority is a measure of how well a website is likely to perform in search engine results. It’s a search engine ranking score developed by Moz to give an overview of likely site performance. After Google deprecated and then stopped publishing PageRank, DA became one of the go-to replacements.

As search engines and their algorithms become more refined, more ranking signals have emerged to help rank sites and order them so searchers can find what they’re looking for. One of these is domain authority.

In layman’s terms, domain authority is a website rating. The higher your domain authority, the better your website in comparison to other websites. Unlike SEO, a higher domain authority won’t directly affect your PageRank, but it is an indirect metric that can help you determine how your website fares compared to others. If a site has a higher domain authority, that is an indication that it will rank higher than comparable sites.

Domain authority is a metric developed by Moz. It was designed to be a prediction of a site’s rank on a search engine results page. Domain authority scores are measured from 1 to 100 and higher scores are better. A lower score means you’re less likely to have a favorable rank on a search engine. However, a lower score also doesn’t mean that your website is necessarily bad.

One of the primary drivers of domain authority is your link profile. As with SEO, the type and number of sites with links to your domain matter a great deal. MozRank and MozTrust are other metrics that go a long way to determining how high your domain authority is. Moz explains that there are many different factors that influence domain authority because it is meant to measure how a site will rank in Google search results. Google uses many factors to rank and so, too, does Moz.

Raising your domain authority can help you rank higher on a search engine results page, because the same things that raise your domain authority also improve your SEO. Improving your link profile goes a long way toward raising your domain authority. So how can you increase your domain auhority?

Number of Backlinks
Increasing the number of backlinks from quality sites will raise your score more than other factors. Keep in mind, though, that you must keep your focus on quality sites. If you use low-quality sites, it can actually hurt your domain authority and SEO.

Link Diversity
Another way to make your link profile work for you is to diversify it. If you’re getting most of your links from the same sites or types of sites, look elsewhere for new links. Consider ones with different domain extensions or locations around the world. It’s important that these sites are high-quality as well.

Internal Link Structure
Make sure you’re using strong internal links on your website. Blog posts that reference one another should be linked together. Topics that reference others you’ve written about should be linked so readers can easily get more information. A strong internal link structure can offer link juice while also raising your domain authority.

Disavow Negative Links
Sometimes spam sites or low-quality sites link to your domain without your consent. Google offers a Disavow tool that allows you to remove the connection to your site. Removing negative links can help raise your domain authority because it removes any penalty for these low-quality associations. You can also contact the websites that link to your site and ask for those links to be removed.

Optimise Your Pages
If you haven’t already optimised all your title tags, image tags, images, and content for search engine purposes, do it now. Your search engine optimisation helps improve both your PageRank and your domain authority, and therefore it is essential that your page is optimised.

Getting Started with Twitter Advertising

Getting Started with Twitter Advertising
Twitter can be an effective platform to advertise your business. Over the past few years, Twitter has expanded its promotion types in order to encourage more brands to promote their business through its platform. The different promotion types and varying campaign objectives have engendered an increased interest in Twitter ads. According to eMarketer, 41% of people on Twitter purchased products following exposure to an ad in the preceding 30 days. This brings out a great opportunity for brands to explore the best ways to test Twitter advertising. The first step is to understand the different types of promotion, the campaign objectives, but also the target audience.

Twitter is powerful in starting a conversation, influencing people over purchasing decisions, or simply setting up new trending topics. All of these can be valuable for brands trying to increase their reach, engage with their followers, drive traffic to their site, or promote a new offer. Twitter ads are highly useful provided that they are used to target the most relevant audience in a way that they will genuinely connect with.

As with organic social media, different types of content can be more successful, with creative and authentic messaging giving you the best chance of success.

The various different targeting option can help brands to custom-build the perfect audience for each campaign. It may take some time to know how each type of targeting can help your campaign, but the testing with a smaller budget at first can ensure a message is sent to the most relevant audience. Not every campaign will necessarily be successful at first, but Twitter’s focus on offering best practice tips and new advertising features will ensure that your effort and patience pays off.

To read more about setting up how to get started with Twitter advertising visit the Search Engine Journal posting ‘How to get started with Twitter advertising’.

Google to Introduce Eight Trust Indicators for Publishers

Google to Introduce Eight Trust Indicators for Publishers
The online SEO journal, Search Engine Journal, Continuing its effort to guide searchers toward credible content, Google has announced plans to introduce eight new trust indicators. Google’s first step toward labelling news stories was came last year when the Fact Check tag was introduced.


Most recently, Google has added publisher Knowledge Panels to better educate searchers about the sources they’re getting news from. Google’s next step will be to introduce eight additional trust indicators with assistance from the Trust Project.

The forthcoming trust indicators are designed to help readers identify credible journalism from less-trustworthy content— such as promotional material or misleading information. Information provided by the trust indicators will also let readers know what type of story they’re about to read, who wrote it, and how the content was put together.

In order to accomplish this effort, the Trust Project is working with over 75 news organizations from around the world.

Here is a look at the eight trust indicators:

> Best Practices: Who funds the news outlet, their mission, and their commitments to ethics, diverse voices, accuracy, making corrections, and other standards.
> Author Expertise: Details about the journalist.
> Type of Work: Labels to distinguish opinion, analysis, and advertiser (or sponsored) content from news reports.
> Citations and References: Access to the sources behind the facts and assertions in a news story.
> Methods: Process and motivation behind pursing the story.
> Locally Sourced: Lets people know that the story has local roots, origin, or expertise.
Diverse Voices: A newsroom’s efforts to bring in diverse perspectives.
> Actionable Feedback: A newsroom’s efforts to engage the public in setting coverage priorities, contributing to the reporting process, and ensuring accuracy.

These indicators are not yet ready to be displayed alongside articles that appear in Google News and Search, but the search giant confirms it is being worked on.

In the meantime, conscientious news publishers can embed the schema.org markup into the HTML code of their articles. That’s one way to ensure you’ll be ready when the indicators do roll out. The new trust indicators will work like the ClaimReview markup used for fact-checked articles.

Time to Get Your Website Noticed

Time to Get Your Website Noticed
There are people out there searching for your products and services and because of this it makes sense that you want to appear as high in the search engine rankings as possible for a target phrase. However, there are other reasons you would like to rank well in the Search Engines, other than just because you want them to click through to your website. In fact, there is a certain amount of value in simply appearing in search results for terms directly related to your business.

Many small business owners have a website, but simply having one these days is not enough. Your website will need to get traffic before it can get you new customers. Although there are numerous channels available for growing your online presence and getting discovered on the web, SEO (search engine optimisation) is one of them that every small business owner should incorporate. Search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo are an excellent means for clients to search and find your website on.

SEO does just this: it’s the practice of optimising a website through enhancing its relevance and prominence to increase the traffic the website gets from search engines. It’s a beneficial marketing strategy for getting clients to visit your website and gain exposure.

SEO is a powerful marketing tool if done correctly and every business with a website should have an SEO strategy in place. How you decide to approach the task of SEO is up to you, but having at least some SEO tactics in practice will start you on the path to the first page of search results. Because the web is such a popular place that clients look for products and services, SEO is a powerful tool that small local businesses can’t afford to ignore.

Time to Get Your Website Noticed
Direct Submit prides itself on the underlying process by which we approach each and every SEO project we are involved with. We understand that each client will have specific, individual needs and our approach in creating and implementing the correct SEO strategy is vital to the success of the SEO project.

This approach and attention to detail is what has helped Direct Submit become a leading Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) company. Call us today on 0845 2722350 and get your website working harder for your business.

Google & Website Security

Google & Website Security
Because of website hacking and personal data theft in recent years, most Internet users are aware that their sensitive information is at risk every time they surf the web. And yet, although the personal data of their visitors and customers is at risk, many businesses still aren’t making website security a priority. Enter Google.

The folks over at Google are known for paving the way for Internet behavior. Last month, they took a monumental step forward in helping protect people from getting their personal data hacked. The update they released to their popular Chrome browser now warns users if a website is not secure – right inside that user’s browser. While this change is meant to help protect users’ personal data, it’s also a big kick in the pants for businesses to get moving on making their websites more secure.

Google’s Chrome update
On October 17, 2017, Google’s latest Chrome update (version 62) began flagging websites and webpages that contain a form but don’t have a basic security feature called SSL. SSL, which stands for “Secure Sockets Layer,” is the standard technology that ensures all the data that passes between a web server and a browser – passwords, credit card information, and other personal data – stays private and ensures protection against hackers. In Chrome, sites lacking SSL are now marked with the warning “Not Secure” in eye-catching red, right inside the URL bar!

What’s the impact on businesses?
Because Chrome has 47% of market share, this change is likely noticed by millions of people using Chrome. And get this: 82% of respondents to a recent consumer survey said they would leave a site that is not secure, according to HubSpot Research.

In other words, if your business’ website isn’t secured with SSL, then more than 8 out of 10 Chrome users said they would leave your website.

What’s more, Google has publically stated that SSL is now a ranking signal in Google’s search algorithm. This means that a website with SSL enabled may outrank another site without SSL.

Social media and SEO: It’s complicated

Social media and SEO: It’s complicated

In the past, Google have made contradictory statements regarding the role of social media in their ranking algorithm. On the one hand, they have stated that social media pages are indexed in the same manner as other web pages, and that social links therefore count as links. But on the other, they have stated that social metrics do not constitute direct ranking factors. Over at Microsoft, the guys behind Bing have said that they too consider the authority of social media profiles (e.g. Twitter profile metrics) and mentions across numerous social platforms in their search engine. Can we 100% say that social metrics have a direct impact on search engine rankings? Probably not. However, if we look at the potential of social media’s influence on search engine rankings the story is different.

The leading online SEO journal, Search Engine Watch, have published a comprehensive article on Social Media an SEO, from where this psosting is taken. The authors view is that we should not be worried about whether links from social media platforms are valued in the same way as a link from a high quality and highly relevant website. Instead we should look at the benefits of utilizing social media to help boost ranking signals that we know search engines care about. We should also bear in mind the impact of social media on the landscape of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Focusing on any one particular ‘SEO metric’ is as old school as MySpace. SEO has evolved into far more than just keywords and links. Great SEO acts as a core function to any holistic, integrated digital marketing campaign. We should consign the days of marketing departments operating independently to the history books and focus on the often significant benefits of integrated campaigns. Having said that, there are a few SEO metric-specific boosters that social media can provide.

Will social metrics ever be a direct ranking factor?
From our research, it is clear that there are some pretty large problems associated with search engines using social metrics as a direct ranking factor. These include limited access for robots to crawl the platforms and therefore understand social authority, and the prevalence of fake profiles or ‘bought likes’ which are likely to be viewed in the same light as paid links. In short, there is currently too much provision for manipulation of these metrics for search engines to bank on them. Will this change in the future?

Considering that Google and Facebook are two of the largest companies in the world, vying for the attention of us all, we don’t see them joining hands, opening their doors and singing Kumbaya around a campfire together any time soon.

Social media has its own benefits
Whether or not Google or Bing count social metrics as direct ranking factors is somewhat of a moot point. Social media and SEO should be working together, sharing content or utilizing engagement metrics as data for future content creation.

Lest we forget, businesses can benefit from revenue generated directly from social media regardless of its influence on search rankings. Social media campaigns should be focused primarily on generating their own success, with SEO considerations as a secondary (but still important) consideration.