At its heart, SEO – or Search Engine Optimisation – is about getting search engines to notice your online content amid the billions of similar pages lurking around the internet.
While there are certain behind-the-scenes tricks you can apply to boost your site’s SEO, a key component of any successful SEO strategy is the content itself. Under the current Google acronym, the quality of any given website is determined by its EAT score.
What is EAT?
Eat is a simple acronym, standing for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. These are the three core attributes that Google believes online content should exhibit – at least if it expects to be elevated in the Google search page rankings.
Why does Google care?
While businesses rely on Google to draw more eyes to their products or services, never forget that, from Google’s perspective, their customer is the person looking for things through their search engine. In the old days of the World Wide Web, you could get a web page trending with little more effort than stuffing lines and lines of keywords at the bottom of the page. Traffic would go to the most elaborate keyword-stuffers, rather than more relevant websites.
Of course, those days have (mostly) long gone and each new iteration of Google’s search algorithm is an attempt to improve the user experience [UXP] of their client, the search engine user.
Ironically, the more sophisticated methods employed by website owners to game the system, the more reliant they become on bespoke content created by a real human being. Every time an automated content production solution rears its head, Google cinches the noose tighter about that particular workaround. Hence the importance of EAT.
How can EAT improve my website?
Aside from the obvious benefit of an improved Google ranking, there is much to be gained from concentrating on EAT.
First, by improving the expertise, authority, and trust of your online content, you will get your site noticed more. Google and other search engines may notice first and you will see your content elevated to that all-important first page of search results. This has a knock-on effect. The more people who see your content, the more people are liable to share it through social media. This, in turn, produces backlinks to your own website. Google is not shy to pick up on these transactional links and they, in turn, improve your EAT scoring within the search algorithm.
Perhaps more importantly, being recognised as an authority – regardless of the subject in hand – helps to establish your brand as the de facto place to go for information on a given subject.
Expertise denotes authority, authority breeds trust, and trust improves Google rankings.
What better reason do you need?
Have you heard about the latest Google Algorithm change?
On March 12th, Google released a Core Algorithm Change, which was confirmed a day later by the Google team. But what does this mean and how can it impact your website and your business?
What is the Google Algorithm?
The first thing to understand is the way that Google ranks sites.
The Google algorithm is the way that the search engine weighs up a huge range of different factors and decides which web results are going to be displayed to the searcher, and in what order. The exact nature of the Google algorithm is not known, and it’s always changing as search changes and improves.
This is one of the reasons why you may see keywords move around, despite not making any changes to your site.
Why Do Algorithm Changes Matter?
Now you understand that the algorithm is used to rank web results, it follows that changes in the algorithm will lead to changes in the ranking.
Small changes happen all the time and are rarely confirmed. These are unlikely to make a meaningful impact on your site traffic, especially if you are doing SEO work to improve your positions. Big updates are different.
A big update, such as the core one that we have seen in March, can dramatically affect positions, and this will have a knock on effect to the traffic of your website. Reduced traffic means less customers for your business, which is especially relevant if organic search is one of your main sources of traffic.
When Was the Last Google Algorithm Change?
While small changes take place all the time, the last confirmed change took place in September 2018, and there was one the month before as well, in August. These core updates tend to affect all sorts of sites as they are broader and not focused on specific issues. This can also make them more difficult to engage with.
An example of a more specific update would be the ‘speed update’ in July 2018. This update used the speed at which a webpage loads on a mobile device as a ranking factor. Not only was this algorithm announced at the beginning of the year to allow the website to prepare, but there was also a straightforward way to fix any drops that it caused – improve your mobile load speed! We advised our SEO clients months in advance on how to prepare for this update and provided improvements to several sites.
While the March update is the first confirmed update of 2019, many resources indicate that other updates that have affected traffic have been taking place since the beginning of the year.
Have You Been Affected and What Should You Do?
If you’ve noticed a sudden and sustained change in your positions around the 12th or 13th of March, it’s likely that the core update has made a difference to your site.
With more specific updates, there are normally clear changes you can make to your website which will improve the rankings.
Broad updates like this one are difficult to respond to. Google themselves are often reluctant to discuss these changes because they do not advise making any changes to respond to them.
Our SEO team have been studying the change and keeping up with the latest analysis online. We would advise that the change appears to be in line with Google’s priority of high quality content and a positive customer experience. This should be the foundation of an SEO strategy, and as a result we have seen mostly positive movement for our clients following this update.
SEO is Constantly Changing and We Are Prepared
The nature of search is uncertain.
Updates can take place at any time which may impact your site’s positions.
But uncertainty does not equate to randomness.
Having been in the SEO business for over 18 years, we have seen huge changes in search. It’s important to understand that overall, search engines strive to provide good quality results. While some updates may call for specific action, following best practice and staying on top of your SEO work will always give good results.
Our years of experience have given us an excellent understanding of when to wait for positions to stabilise and when to make changes to boost them. We keep up with all the latest Google updates and recommendations so that we can get the best results for our clients.
If you’d like to talk more about how this or any update has affected your site, get in touch with us today on 0333 332 6396 or fill in our contact form to book a free, 15 minute SEO consultation.
If you have a business in 2019, you need an online presence.
For your online presence to have an impact, you need SEO.
But what is SEO, how does it work and is it worth investing in? At 123Ranking we’ve been in business for 18 years and know how to get your site ranking for those coveted first page positions.
We’ve put together this Beginner’s Guide to SEO to help you get started in understanding the basics. Once you’re ready to learn more, we’ve created an infographic below to help you take that next step and dive into the A to Z of SEO.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is the process of making sure that your site is easy to understand for search bots, so that they can find the relevant information and show your site to searchers who want to engage with it.
Search Engine Optimisation also optimises your site based on the ranking factors that Google uses to order websites in search. This includes factors like loading speed, security and high quality content.
What is SEO Marketing?
Searching online is one of the primary ways that people find services and products that they want. Optimising your site to rank better in Google searches makes it easier for searchers to find your site and discover your services. This is one of the best ways of marketing your business and we would recommend all businesses invest in SEO as part of their marketing strategy.
How does SEO Work?
So how do you actually do SEO and how can you improve the SEO on your site?
SEO works by considering all of the factors that Google uses to rank. It is usually split into onpage and off page SEO.
What is On-page SEO?
On-page SEO deals with working on the back end of your site, so that search bots can easily navigate your site and understand it’s it. It also focuses on providing fresh, high quality content, and clear information.
What is Off-page SEO?
Off-page SEO looks at work that can be done outside of your website, that will improve your ranking positions in search. Sites which have a high number of backlinks, also known as incoming links, from good quality, relevant websites, are seen as more authoritative to a search engine. For this reason, high quality link research and acquisition is crucial to off-page SEO, and can take many forms.
How does SEO Help Your Business?
SEO makes your site more visible in search, for relevant terms. This connects searchers with your site, and drives more relevant traffic to your business. SEO can therefore be a great way to increase customers, business and revenue.
Do I Need an SEO Company?
SEO is a science, not an art, and there are plenty of resources online to help you get started. Making small changes such as increasing your content, making your site easier to navigate and improving the security is likely to see improvements in ranking.
However the world of search is competitive and ever-changing. Research shows that most searchers don’t look past the first five results, and that the first page of results accounts for 95% of search traffic. SEO is also an investment of your time, which means taking you away from the day to day runnings of your business. It is often more worthwhile to invest in an SEO team who can provide proven results, rather than wasting your valuable time testing out different SEO techniques.
Now you know the basics you’re ready to learn more. Don’t let the jargon slow you down, check out our infographic below and you’ll see that understanding SEO is as easy as ABC!
Why is SEO important?
Is SEO dead?
This, one of the top SEO-related searches on Google, reveals the unfair characterisation of SEO in digital marketing. To be honest, SEO is the soul of digital marketing. Had search engine optimisation been dead, digital marketing would have been dead already. In fact, SEO has become an inevitable part of branding strategies of businesses, especially those that seek regional and local search engine rankings.
If you’re wondering about what can SEO do for my business? Here it is!
No matter if you run a retail, small business or services business in the UK, you need UK SEO to reach out to your audiences, boost sales, establish loyal customer bases, and ensure that your sales copies are not overlooked. SEO becomes your regional/local advisor to gather data, create content, and disseminate information based on customer preferences.
SEO serves regional and local marketing purposes for all – from small-sized brick and mortar establishments to large businesses. Collective data from various studies reveals that at least 50% of search engine users look for local businesses. To find a SEO company in UK, you need to know about how SEO serves more than just digital marketing. Have a look and see what is SEO in the business!
SEO for Goal-Oriented Marketing
Why do you need SEO:
- Increase visibility
- Establish brand-loyal customer base
- Create awareness
- Generate leads
In a general perspective, search engine optimisation refers to boosting your website’s ranking for certain keywords. In broader and marketing-based spectrum, SEO brings certain value for your specific business goals. For instance, if you want to create brand awareness and generate more leads, you can choose regional or local SEO tactics, or choose content-specific SEO for establishing a brand-loyal customer base.
SEO for Mindsharing and Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Successful marketers rely on generic marketing for increasing the number of visitors, and mindsharing and word-of-mouth marketing for establishing loyal customer bases.
Bounce rate is the rate of visitors closing the tab or switching to another website without navigating through your website. When your website is optimised on the search engine, the chances of more visitors arriving on your website are higher.
With SEO, the (un-bounced) visitors land on your webpages, they navigate through the website, check its content, search keywords, view products, and perform a few other activities before closing the tab or moving to another website. With each such visitor, you gain more mindshared ratio and increased chances of word-of-mouth marketing. Even if the leads do not complete a purchase process, the information on your website is processed in their minds. This way, SEO converts the leads into potential customers.
Among all traditional offline marketing and advertising techniques, SEO is privileged in a way that it helps earn higher and more consistent ROI. As a direct marketing technique, it does not interrupt the viewers while watching their favourite show. Instead, it appears on the screen only when people search its relevant content.
This B2C relevancy neither bothers the customers, nor needs it to convince them. You can initiate a purchase process as soon as you want in your sales funnel without requiring to create a separate sales strategy. With low investments and high returns, SEO is every marketer’s favourite strategy even after more than a decade of its crowning.
Search engine optimisation is insightful in two ways:
- As you do not have to convince the visitors or attract them to your products, you can create product or service specific content to create awareness or stimulate a purchase process by providing information of your business.
- You can use online tools, such as Google Analytics to get insights about your leads, potential buyers, and customers. You can use the information to create customer-specific content, such as promotional emails and giveaways to boost sales. This information can be used to improve the user experience, your website’s content, functionality, and other website features to improve the experience of your prospects and customers and build a loyal customer base.
Insightful marketing is the essence of making calculated decisions. As digital markets have become densely populated and concentrated, search optimisation in the UK has proven to be the strongest technique to mitigate risk and maximise profits.
Frontline Industry Player and Importance of SEO
Around 92% of the online users do not search content beyond the first page of Google. Among them, at least 33% of the users visit the first website on the first search webpage. SEO can help boost your business in the frontline industry by at least 1.8X. Search engine optimisation helps you become one of the frontline industry players. Along with that, you can build contacts within the online network of the industry with off-page SEO techniques, such as link building, PR and social media.
Why Not Drive in Traffic through PPC? – Organic SEO Vs PPC
Pay-per-click marketing is not a term unknown to any of us. It apparently serves all the marketing purposes: visibility, customer reach, branding, and awareness. Considering this scenario, it is justified for businesses to ask as to why they should not focus on PPC, and prioritise SEO over it. Here, we explain.
Organic SEO is apparently slower, but has longer life. PPC, in contrast, is faster but short-termed. PPC could kick-start your business for short-term goals; however, traffic stops pouring in as soon as you stop paying for the online ads. SEO, in contrast, does not abandon your business and keeps driving traffic even when you reduce the amount of money or effort you put into it.
Simply put, PPC requires a considerable chunk of your monthly marketing budget to keep driving the traffic in. Organic SEO builds and grows with time, but once it is established, it helps you achieve your marketing and branding purposes without requiring a lot of money or effort. Digital marketers recommend organic SEO over PPC, because it is more reliable, goal-oriented, and consistent.
Today, SEO is not the process of optimising your website on search engines. It has become an art of extracting the values associated with SEO, which include customer loyalty, brand and product awareness, increased leads, boosted ROI, and many other values, which you might not want to miss.
Wondering how to find a SEO company in the UK? Get in touch with us now!
Following our blog on Google’s major new ranking shake-up, the search engines latest but unofficial algorithm has been a hot topic in the SEO world.
What Is Google’s Fred Algorithm Update?
The algorithm targets websites that use black-hat techniques, and it is updated on a daily basis. On 7th/8th March, there was reportedly between a 50 and 90 percent decline in organic website traffic which was predominantly content based sites. The search community refers to this update as Google’s Fred algorithm, it focuses on targeting low-value content.
Are You at Risk from Google’s Fred Algorithm?
The types of website that have been affected by the latest algorithm update include:
– A heavy presence of ads
– Content with affiliate links
– Low-value content
– Thin content (i.e. duplicated pages, automated content and doorway pages)
– Low-quality backlinks
– Lot being mobile friendly
Were You Affected by Google’s Fred Algorithm?
Your page rankings could drop if Google’s algorithm sees your content as low value, outdated and containing too many ads. Although the update might not be immediate, it is still important for your business to understand the affects it can have on your website. We strongly advise that you take the algorithm into account when creating new content. Businesses should also consider altering existing content according to the updates of this algorithm.
To find out if your website has been struck by this algorithm, login to your Google Analytics account. If there is a sudden decrease in rankings or organic search traffic on March 8th, it is likely that this is the consequence of Google’s Fred Algorithm.
How Can I Recover from Google’s Algorithm Update?
If you’ve noticed a dramatic decline in your organic traffic or a change to your ranking position, you should consider the following steps:
– Create a diverse range of anchor text to appeal to the search engines. Avoid the use of unnatural keywords when writing anchor text.
– Build links that are relevant to your website and services. A high number of backlinks that are irrelevant and of low quality is likely to result in a poor ranking.
– Check your backlink profile. We suggest using a tool such as Ahrefs to find and remove any questionable backlinks to your website.
– Implement high quality and authoritative content. If the content of your website is old, we recommend refreshing your content by rewriting and adding to low-quality pages. The pages on your site should meet the requirements of Google’s Search Quality Guidelines and Webmaster guidelines.
– Make sure your website is secure. You can do this by applying an SSL certificate to your site. This will encrypts data and communication.
Have noticed a drop in your website traffic or do you suspect that your site has been hit by Google’s latest algorithm? Call our team of SEO experts on 0333 332 639 to discuss our SEO packages.