Google Local Services Ads

Google Local Services Ads Receive 13% of All SERP Clicks
A new local search study finds Google’s Local Services ads (LSAs) account for 13.8% of all SERP clicks. In addition, the very presence of LSAs affects the number of clicks for all other SERP types.

Google Local Services Ads Receive 13% of All SERP Clicks

BrightLocal monitored 5,500 local searches to compile this data, studying where people click on local SERPs as well as their reasons for doing so.

Here is a summary of key findings from the study.

LSAs affect all clicks
When LSAs are present, clicks on all search types are affected compared to when LSAs are not present.

Around 25% of all clicks are on paid results when LSAs are present. When LSAs are not present, only 14% of clicks are on paid results.

That’s a difference of over 10% of clicks on paid results, based on whether LSAs are present or not. 

LSAs affect clicks on organic results
Organic results typically receive the most clicks of all SERP types, but they see a drop off when LSAs are present. When LSAs are not present, Organic results usually receive around 50% of all clicks.

Targeted SEO Marketing for your Business

Targeted SEO Marketing for your Business
Working with an SEO company should be a transparent and collaborative process, that’s why at Direct Submit we don’t hide behind technical jargon. We provide an insightful interpretation of your data with every report and our team is always on hand to personally talk you through progress achieved.

Targeted SEO Marketing for your Business

Our intimate approach is completely scalable, whether it’s working with a sole trader or building a close working relationship with a larger company. Our tried and tested methods will not only get your site ranking well in the search engine results pages but will help it stay there.

We work with our clients to understand their business today and where they want to position themselves in the future.

Simply put, our approach to SEO will is built around:

» Key Phrase Research

» Website Analysis & Compliance

» SEO Promotion & Marketing

» Linking Strategy

» On-going Monitoring & Maintenance

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 to targeted SEO 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.

How to Start Content Marketing: A Guide to Creating Content for SEO and Lead Generation

How to Start Content Marketing: A Guide to Creating Content for SEO and Lead Generation

How to Start Content Marketing
Content marketing is the process of creating textual content or interactive media that attracts readers to your site, and in turn, leads to potential customers who may purchase your products and services.

How to Start Content Marketing

Content marketing and SEO are so intertwined these days, that content marketing is an essential strategy you need to execute in order to gain new traffic, leads, and future customers. Content marketing involves creating high-quality content that helps potential readers, which in turn, leads to Google indexing your content and then sending traffic to your site. You can also gain traffic from social media sites, such as Pinterest, Reddit, and Facebook. Content marketing is one of the most effective forms of lead generation there is, because it ensures a source of potential customers who’ll read your content daily and possibly purchase your products or services.

This is why investing in a solid content marketing strategy is a necessity for your business. In this guide, we’re going to take a look at how to start content marketing, and the best practices you should ensure in order to maximise your success.

1. Plan Your Articles

What would your customers like to read about? No matter what domain your business is in, there’s sure to be an area of expertise that your content can help out with. Even if you believe that this isn’t the case, you just need to do some quick research, and you’ll quickly realize that any business domain can create topical, help-worthy articles.

For example, if you’re a plumbing company, think of the variety of dilemmas that the everyday person would encounter in relation to drainage, pipes, and plumbing. You could write a series of articles around maintaining excellent drainage, or about un-blocking a sink, etc.,

Google will index this content, rank it in their search results, and when readers arrive on your site, if it helps them in some way, you’ve established mutual trust with this reader, and if they feel they need to hire a plumber, they might go to your business or remember your company’s name should the time come. Google often serve local results that are close to the user, so it’s likely that those readers will also be local.

To get maximum benefits out of content marketing, you should make a content marketing plan that involves writing one article a week for three months, so make sure you have titles and brainstormed about thirty ideas.

2. Employ the Use of Effective Keyword Research

However, not all article titles or keywords are created equal, so you need to research the potential profitability of the keywords within your titles.

Select the main words from each of the article titles you’ve created, and then plug them into the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.

You’ll then get metrics on how often these keywords are searched monthly. If less than a hundred people a month search for your keyword, then it’s unlikely that your article will generate traffic, but if over a thousand people a month search for that very keyword, and you rank on the first page for that keyword, then a constant supply of people coming to your site will be a certainty.

However, you also need to ensure that the websites ranking for your chosen keywords are also surpassable. Large, influential websites and news outlets often have entire marketing teams dedicated to creating high-value content and optimizing that content with SEO, so it can be difficult to surpass these sites. You need to check if there are any smaller blogs ranking for your chosen keywords that can be easily surpassed. Do they have low quality content? Or are they relatively unknown, or have little reader engagement? These are all metrics that show your content can surpass this content with the right optimizations.

I’ve worked with blogs for years, and the one mistake that prevents them from succeeding in gaining traffic to their content is the lack of keyword research they do, hence they target keywords that are rarely searched, and then wonder why their site is not getting traffic despite ranking highly for that keyword.

3. Write Your Content

Next, you need to start crafting the piece of content that targets the keywords you’ve chosen.

Make sure to address all questions the reader might have. Does your article adequately surpass reader expectations, and does it do everything the title promises?

Here are some key tips to make sure your content is stellar:

  1. Is the article longer than 1500 words? If so, your article will also rank for long tail keywords (these are search terms with more than fifty characters), and Google’s spiderbots will also gain more contextual understanding into what your article is about, helping your article gain more trust in Google’s eyes. By writing at least 1500 words, your article will go into extra depth, which is incredibly useful to your readers, and it helps keep them on-site longer. If users enjoyed the article, they might want to subscribe to a newsletter of yours, where you can potentially send them marketing emails. The content you create is the pillarstone to establishing trust with the user.
  2. Try embed a YouTube video in your article. Most readers will be interested in watching the video, and this will increase your reader’s overall time on site. It will also add a dynamic aspect to your article, and adds another form of media to your article.
  3. Include as many images as you can, in order to add some dynamics to the overall article. However, never search for images on Google Images without enabling a “Free to use commercially” license filter in Advanced Search. Otherwise, you would be using copyrighted content, and the image owner could make you liable for your use of the image.

Instead, try public domain imagery, that is, imagery which you’re allowed to use anywhere, even commercially, without attribution. You can find public domain imagery on Unsplash and Pixabay.

You can also adapt imagery with Canva, by adding text or captions, even cool icons, to the imagery you use. These imageries that include text are a popular hit on Pinterest.

4. Promote Your Content with Influencers and On Social Media

Next, you need to get as many readers onto your content as possible, by utilizing effective marketing techniques.

  1. Spread the word on social media. Try sending a link to your content on Reddit, if it has any “viral” appeal or would be something comical that users would want to share or visit. If your article has a lot of imagery, Pinterest users would find a lot of appeal in your content, and would be sure to pin your images. One article I created went viral on Pinterest, simply because it contained a Made For Pinterest (a graphic containing the title of the article in the foreground) graphic, and I received over half a million views for this article alone.
  2. Get in contact with influencers in your field (you can find these influencers on BuzzSumo), and ask them to link to your article in any link bundles or resource sharing articles they have. These influencers are likely to have a lot of visitors arriving onto their content, so this can provide a way for interested users to also find your site.
  3. If you’ve followed the steps above, you should start ranking in search results within two to three weeks after publication. It can take a couple of months for traffic to really start increasing, so make sure to be patient, and keep optimizing your content as you wait.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this guide has provided you with a concrete roadmap you can use in order to get started with your content marketing strategy. You’ll see that it does take time and work, but once you have a weekly plan, make sure to stick to it, and keep producing new content, as well as promoting old content.

You’ll notice a traffic increase with time, provided your content is of high quality and engages its readers. This will lead to more shares, more time spent on page, and therefore your search rankings will also increase.

The State of SEO 2018

The State of SEO 2018 Survey Highlights

A new ‘State of SEO 2018’ report released by Zazzle Media has revealed that SEO is becoming a key area for the majority of marketers in the UK, with seemingly more prominence given to the sector than ever before. The inaugural State of SEO Survey approached over 30,000 UK marketers for their views on the industry as well as their personal knowledge levels of the intricacies of the sector.

The State of SEO 2018The survey revealed that 88% of marketers believed SEO was an important element of their marketing plans, with over 60% of these going as far to say the that it was an extremely important factor in the success of their marketing operations.

 

It seems that this belief in the sector is paying off:

> 77% said that SEO has increased the amount of leads
> 79% felt that SEO had improved their brand awareness
> 48% said that SEO had decreased the cost of customer acquisition for them

Despite these positive indicators, there is still a lot of work to do before SEO becomes second nature for many marketers.

A third of marketers surveyed said they did not have the budget to achieve their desired objectives in SEO, whilst 9% of marketers still consider SEO as not important at all to their online marketing efforts.

Whilst 71% of those surveyed felt that their organization’s knowledge of SEO was ‘expert level,’ this survey revealed that marketers are still struggling to keep up with the fast paced changes in the sector, revealing some sizable knowledge gaps.

Managing director of Zazzle Media, Simon Penson, commented on the findings: “Our survey shows that there is an encouraging appetite and appreciation for SEO in the marketing community, despite a few hang ups concerning the fast paced nature of the sector. I know from personal experience how much change is part of the DNA of this wonderful industry.

If you’re not comfortable with it then you usually find the door quickly. But such a pace of change does create significant challenges for those attempting to ‘keep up’ with the very latest approach and tactics required to win.”

To rad more about the State of SEO 2018 survey, visit the Zazzle Media website.

SEO: How It Works and What You Need To Know

SEO: How it Works and What You Need To Know
Search engine optimisation is the process of enhancing your website’s overall structure and content so that it targets profitable keywords in search results, and ranks highly for those keywords, allowing your company to generate more leads, more customers, and ultimately, have a higher profit. If implemented correctly, SEO can bring a constant stream of traffic to your website, leading to continual lead generation.

SEO: How It Works and What You Need To Know

With excellent optimisation and profitable keyword targeting, a website’s traffic can easily double, over the course of a few months. In fact, SEO can determine the overall success a website will have in the long term.

SEO spans a variety of sub-disciplines, from link building to content creation, and even reaching out to social media influencers.

However, carrying out SEO on your website should be a long-term strategy rather than a quick fix. It should integrate with the core foundations of your website, so that you can build from that solid foundation, rather than make patches to an already shaky one. Search engine optimization should be integrated into every aspect of content creation, copy writing, and website design.

In this article, SEO: How It Works, we’re going to check out how SEO works and the measures you can take to make sure that your website is optimized.

How Does It Work?

Whenever you create a page on your website, it’s going to contain keywords that’ll tell Google exactly what your page is about.

Google have bots that crawl the entire surface web. So after you publish your page, and you link to it from another already indexed page, a spiderbot from Google will arrive on your page, crawl all of its contents, and determine what keywords or search terms your page should rank for.

Your page, as well as its targeted keywords, are then indexed in Google’s database, and when a user types in search terms related to your page, your page will appear in search results.

The success of your SEO integrations will largely influence where your website will rank in search results. Google will rank the websites they deem to offer the greatest user experience first, ie: pages that have a track record of retaining users, engaging users, and offering a fantastic user experience.

In search results, most users don’t stray past the first page, so if your page ranks on page ten for a keyword, then the likelihood of the user finding your page and clicking the search result is extremely slim. In fact, the real majority of users don’t go beyond the fifth search result, so ranking in that top five is essential to generating leads and having customers arrive to your site on a daily basis.

The Importance of Keywords

The keywords your website ranks for can often be more important than its position in search results.

For example, if your website ranks in the first position for a keyword that very few people search for, then traffic to your site will be minimal to non-existent. However, if your site’s targeted keywords are searched by thousands of people a day, then you can see the kind of lead generation you’ll be having!

This is why keyword research is essential; it’s safe to say that keyword research is the lifeline that determines the success of any website.

You can check how many users search for keywords via the Google Ads Keyword Planner. Just use your Google account to sign in to Google Ads (previously AdWords) and click on the Tools icon in the navigation bar to see the link to the Keyword Planner.

When carrying out keyword research, you also need to determine competition. For example, what kinds of sites rank for your keywords? Forbes? Highly influential sites?

It can be difficult to knock these sites off their positions, because of the high trust Google has in their content.

This is why you also need to make sure that ranking on page ten for your chosen keyword is a possibility, by looking for smaller blogs and sites that can easily be surpassed.

The key trait you need to build with Google is: trust.

– Do users arrive to your website, stay on it for a few minutes, and then possibly write a comment, or move deeper into your website?

That’s a sign your users like what they see, they find exceptional value in your content, or have had a positive experience on-site.

This metric is checked by Google, and is known as Bounce Rate, as well as time on-site. This increases your trust with Google.

– Do users hit the Back Button as soon as they arrive? This signals that your website offers a poor user experience, or that the content you provide is of a low quality. These kinds of metrics will alarm Google, and they may not value your site as highly; hence, your website loses trust, and may drop in search engine rankings.

It might also signal that your website isn’t optimized for mobile, and has provided a Desktop site to a user using a phone. This is poor UX in general, and is an instant turn-off for users. You can make your website mobile by using Bootstrap or media queries in your website’s CSS.

-Does your website take too long to load? If so, this could be a sign of poor structure, or that the website is trying to load too many media-heavy assets or JavaScript files. This leads to poor user experience, and may discourage them from waiting for you site to load in the first place. You can measure the speed of your website, and get personalised and tailored options with Google PageSpeed Insights.

How To Increase Trust With Google

The key to building trust is to write exceptional content, the type of content that answers the user’s query in an engaging, easy-to-read manner and is extensive in both research and fact.

For non-blog-post style pages, make sure your copy is as tantalising and appealing to the reader as possible. What you need most is to keep the user on site for as long a time as possible, as this illustrates to Google that your user has chosen to stay, therefore your page must offer incredible content and has led to a customer being satisfied with the content they’ve found.

For example, you could include a variety of interactive media to add a dynamic, engaging aspect to your content, such as YouTube videos or imagery. You can find public domain imagery on Unsplash and Pixabay. Adding imagery and video will prolong the user’s time on site, and will keep the content engaging and appealing.

Invest in your website’s UI and UX. A seamless user experience will only increase overall Page Time, and your site will gain exceptional trust, and high value in Google’s eyes. As mentioned before, a mobile site is an absolute must in 2018 and onwards, and also make sure that your site is quick to load by reducing your JavaScript assets and other media-heavy content that is unnecessary.

Backlinking

The days of getting hundreds of poor-quality back-links have gone, and user experience has taken its place.

In fact, the whole concept of PageRank (and the key factor that helped position Google at the forefront of the search industry) was to assess the trust Google could have in your website. If other sites linked to your page, then it was a recommendation of sorts, a high appraisal that looked favourably upon your website.

But now, Google have removed less of the emphasis on PageRank, and now also consider other factors in order to measure the trust they have in your site; by seeing how long a user spends on-site and how much they engage with the content within.

Backlinks are still important, however, and you should set a backlinking strategy aside in order to still gain these “recommendations” from other sites.

Guest posting, where you write a blog post for another website in exchange for a backlink to your website, is largely frowned upon in the SEO industry these days, but you can still write content for other blogs and lightly mention your website in the Bio of your Author section. You should aim to get a backlink from a high authority blog at least once a week, if possible.

You can also contact social media influencers to link to your content on social media. This may lead to bloggers and website owners discovering your content, and also linking to it on their websites. As you can see, this can easily lead to a knock-on effect where your traffic will increase, leading to more exposure, and ultimately more high-quality backlinks.

Conclusion to SEO: How It Works

As you’ve seen from this article, SEO is an essential foundation that you need to build upon, and that takes time and practice, but once you’ve refined your strategies, you’ll find out what works best for your site.

Google to Close Google+

Google to Close Google+
Google has said it is shutting down the consumer version of its own social networking site Google+ due to low usage and a bug discovered in March last year that could leak the data of about half a million of its users.

Google to Close Google+

Google to Close Google+
“The consumer version of Google+ currently has low usage and engagement: 90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds,” said Google, which is headquartered in Mountain View in northern California, Xinhua reported.

On Monday it was announced Google to close Google+ in the coming months, seven years after it was launched as a social networking site of its own name brand.

The demise and subsequent closure of Google+ also came as a result of a bug discovered last year but acknowledged for the first time by Google on Monday, and the flaw in one of its Google+ “People APIs” exposed some private user data to third-party developers, including such information as the occupations, genders, ages, and email addresses of many users.

“We discovered and immediately patched this bug in March 2018,” Google said, but the flaw, which has existed since 2015, could potentially affected up to 500,000 Google+ accounts.

“Our analysis showed that up to 438 applications may have used this API,” Google said. However, “We found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API, and we found no evidence that any Profile data was misused.”

The Google+ vulnerability was discovered at a time that almost coincided with the notorious privacy leakage scandal of the world’s largest social media network Facebook, which has been widely criticized for its failure to protect its users’ private data.

Facebook has been under heavy scrutiny about its privacy policy after a British data mining firm Cambridge Analytica was accused of illegally accessing the data of 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was summoned to a hearing in US Congress in April this year to explain the firm’s security measures and how it handled users’ privacy.

Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update this Past Week

Google Search Ranking Algorithm Update this Past Week
Did you notice any changes to your web sites traffic or ranking in Google? Google has confirmed today that it made a “small” algorithm update to its search ranking system this past week. Danny Sullivan from Google said on Twitter “We haven’t had a major update of that nature, but we did have a smaller one this week.”

Google Search Ranking Algorithm Rumour
There was some chatter and rumors of an update that touched down on September 27th. So if you saw your rankings and Google traffic change this week, it might be related to this “smaller” update.

What happened? Google Search Ranking Algorithm updates occur routinely and Google updates its search ranking algorithms to provide the most relevant and useful search results. Sometimes those updates impact a larger percentage of sites and sometimes they impact a smaller percent (%) of sites. This algorithmic update was on the smaller scale, according to Google.

Who was impacted? That is still unclear. Google did not say who or what types of sites were impacted. Google just said it did a smaller update this week and did not provide additional clarity. What should I do? If your rankings didn’t change and you traffic is stable, then do nothing. Just keep doing what you are doing. If you took a hit and your rankings suffered, then previous Google advice has been to just keep working on making your site better. Google’s previous advice was:

“Each day, Google usually releases one or more changes designed to improve our results. Some are focused around specific improvements. Some are broad changes. Last week, we released a broad core algorithm update. We do these routinely several times per year.”

As with any update, some sites may note drops or gains. There’s nothing wrong with pages that may now perform less well. Instead, it’s that changes to our systems are benefiting pages that were previously under-rewarded. There’s no “fix” for pages that may perform less well other than to remain focused on building great content. Over time, it may be that your content may rise relative to other pages.