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Google’s Fred Algorithm: What You Need To Know

Google’s Fred Algorithm: What You Need To Know
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Your page rankings could drop if Google’s algorithm sees your content as low value, outdated and containing too many ads.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.

Tips For Boosting Your Local SEO

Tips For Boosting Your Local SEO
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years about local business, it’s that people still value it – customers as much as business owners. However, that doesn’t mean that online marketing and even local SEO has nothing to do with traditional local business, and in fact the opposite is true.Shopping locally and finding new places to spend leisure time has become fashionable again, if you’re savvy enough to combine your digital strategy with your local promotion. Your local reputation helps your broader online efforts, and vice versa. Here are a few tips that will help you build up both simultaneously.1) Get local publicityAnything you can do to connect with your local audience through respected publications will work wonders for your brand awareness. Most local newspapers have online versions too, so landing a feature in one of these can kill two birds with one stone.2) Get reviews from localsIf your business isn’t listed on Google+ Local, what are you waiting for? You can also get on Yelp, Facebook and other sites depending on your niche. Once you’re listed, positive reviews can help strengthen your reputation and even show up alongside your name in search results. People near your geographical location will value other locals’ opinions extremely highly. Read our article for more tips on how to get more positive online reviews.3) Engage both online and offlineIf you have a good experience with customers in your shop, encourage them to leave a review or get in touch on social media. If someone expresses an interest online, invite them to come and visit you. You should also update all your social media, blog sections and so on to keep up that engagement once you have some. Keeping all lines of communication open will help to build trust!4) Create valuable experiencesAnother way to follow up on a successful transaction is to turn it into shareable content for your digital channels. Share photos and stories with your customers online so they have something positive to remember you by, and this will also help you get seen by their personal networks. Participating in local events and getting involved in the community can really strengthen this.5) Branding is the keyDon’t get too bogged down with facts and figures if your goal is to create an impression and build up your reputation. It’s good to have measurable goals, but you may not be able to quantify the impact your branding efforts are having straight away. As long as you show consistency across all your marketing channels, however, the long term effects can be great.All these factors will help you to build up an online brand, and this naturally leads onto better SEO in your local area, even though most of these don’t directly contribute towards rankings. If you sow the seeds wisely, your happy customers will support you and give you that much needed boost online as well as in the local area.

An Introduction to Google Analytics

An Introduction to Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the most popular tools used by webmasters to monitor their website’s success and identify opportunities for improvement. As part of our SEO marketing services we always ensure our clients have Google Analytics set up, as the insights it provides can be invaluable, even if you are only focusing on cheap, local SEO with a limited scope. It’s important that you understand how to set up and interpret Google Analytics and other related tools if you truly want to get the best value out of your website.The primary function of Google Analytics is to monitor and analyse the traffic your website receives, and no matter how large or small your audience it can provide a large amount of useful data about the people looking at your site. It also tells you about the users who don’t use your site in the way you’d like them to , and provides some pointers on what you might do to improve this, if you know what to look for. Some of the main benefits of mastering Google Analytics include the following:
  • See the total numbers and proportions of users that find your website through different channels, including organic traffic from search engines which is a direct results of your SEO efforts
  • Identify the pages that visitors land on most often, where they spend the most time, and when they choose to exit
  • Calculate and compare your bounce rate, so you can see how many people leave your website immediately and figure out why they might be doing it
  • Check what kind of devices most of your visitors are using to view your website, including PCs, tablets and mobile phones
  • Compare different time periods to measure the effectiveness of any improvements you have made
  • Integrate your e-commerce site with Google’s tracking system so you can track conversions, allowing you to identify the cost of each conversion and see how many of your users actually convert
  • Connect it to your Google AdWords account to monitor and optimise your paid traffic alongside your SEO campaign
Once you’re able to integrate Google Analytics into your routine, you should be able to build up a good understanding over time of how your website really works, and what you need to work on in order to make improvements. You can learn more about setting it up yourself here, with more information available from Google. Alternatively, if you’d prefer us to do all the hard work and let you know what the findings are, we can help as part of our SEO service. If you require a detailed analysis of your website’s traffic and assistance forming a strategy to boost the performance of your online business, you may want to consider our Rank 3 package which includes our most comprehensive level of service and is best suited to SEO for competitive UK markets.

Web Design Trends For 2016

Web Design Trends For 2016
Website design has come a long way since the GIFs of the 1990s, and more recent emphasis has been on flat web design.  Since Google’s drive to become more “mobile ready” last year the main emphasis has been on responsive design websites to cope with this, as it is just as important today for a website to look good on mobile devices, tablets and smartphones as on laptops and desktop computers. This means that the majority of websites are much improved when viewing them on mobile devices and are built with browsing on tablets and smartphones in mind.Many websites today boast wide/fluid background sections along with long, vertical scrolling feature strips and hero sliders.  Parallax sites have also become increasingly common and coupled with the popularity of WordPress, despite its huge theme marketplace, it is now difficult to tell some modern sites apart. With an emphasis on simplicity and functionality becoming very popular very quickly, a bit of individuality has arguably been lost.In 2016, there will be a renewed emphasis on originality, which may come in the form of custom drawn elements along with carefully produced animations and video.  Also, gradients have become less popular while flat design has taken over. Some trends and colours that are emerging as forerunners in web design in 2016 include:White space Going for a simple layout instead of a complex one is the key to keeping your visitors interested. Using lots of images, colours and shapes on a site can make it look cluttered and messy.Pastel colours In 2016 there will be growing trend in web design for the use of less dominant colours, and a move to more subtle, pastel shades. These can be used to create a calm and warming effect on website visitors.  However, they can be difficult to implement well and requires skills to get the right balance between colours and tones. Bold colours can still be used to draw attention to a key area on a page, for example on a call to action button.Long scroll Everyone is used to long scrolling on websites today thanks to mobile devices and smartphones. This technique works well for sites that want to attract users through clear storytelling, and a multi-page site can still be achieved  by breaking the scroll into clear sections.Card Layouts Pinterest is the pioneer of the card layout, and this layout has been adopted and used on many sites because information is  easily presented on them in bite size “chunks”. Each card usually represents one concept, and act as “content containers”, with their rectangular shape making them easier to arrange for different devices.Hero Images Vision is the strongest human sense, so high definition hero images are a quick and easy way to grab a website visitors attention. Advances in bandwidth and data compression means that users won’t suffer from slow loading times. A common layout of a hero image is one above the scroll, followed by a cards-based theme or zig-zagging sections.Typography Thanks to the availability of Google Fonts, websites are no longer restricted to using “Arial” and “Comic Sans” for compatibility. More care will be taken in 2016 with choosing fonts and font sizes, a small bit minimal change that makes a big impact on how a site is perceived.You might ask yourself, “What are the best web design techniques and colour trends for me to follow this year?”.  This will depend on your brand, how these elements work together to portray your brand and how much you are willing to invest in tweaking/overhauling your web design. No matter what’s hot and what’s not, the trend you choose to follow should serve your customers first and foremost – as well as your brand – before anything else.  Contact us today to find out how we can help!