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The-New-Position-1-on-Google-Graphic

The New Position 1 on Google

By Resources, SEONo Comments

It’s every business’ dream to sit at the very top of the Google search engine and steal the spotlight from their competitors. However, what we know to be position 1, has been replaced.

When you ask Google a question, usually a box will appear in the search results at the top of the listings providing an immediate answer to your query. This informative box is known as a ‘featured snippet.

featured-snippet

Beforehand, websites that were in a featured snippet would also organically rank on page 1 too, however recently Google has listened to complaints and has ‘deduplicated’ these search results. This means if a business is featured in a snippet, they won’t be found on page 1.

How can a featured snippet benefit you?

There are a lot of benefits associated with ranking as a featured snippet. Many of these advantages are what businesses fight for on the daily, but by focusing on appearing in these information boxes you can expect to:

1. Steal traffic from the first organic result.

Although a study shows that 26% of searchers click through to the first organic result, another 8.6% of people click through to the URL in the featured snippet. This means the ‘box’ does steal some clicks from the very first result. So in most cases, ranking for this

It also doesn’t matter if you rank page 2 or 5, you can still rank for the featured snippet, making it a cunning way to get to page one.

CTR

2. Optimise your business for voice search.

If you think voice search isn’t important right now, then think again, come the rest of 2020 50% of searches will be made using voice-controlled PA.

More and more people are turning to voice assistants on their phones. It makes sense to try and rank for featured snippets when most Google search queries are genuine questions.

3. Customers consider you a trusted expert.

If you’re at the top of organic search results, people usually immediately trust you. But to be shown in a rich or featured snippet gives you greater credibility. Your advice (Although it should be) is seen as authentic and people usually take the information provided in a featured snippet, sometimes without even navigating to any other site.

How do you rank for a featured snippet?

There are a couple of ways that you can optimise your content to rank for a featured snippet. Since people are asking simple questions, you will need to provide simple answers. This includes keeping the word count minimal, researching common questions asked by the public and ranking your website organically higher. 

1. Do keyword research and aim to cover question-based search queries.

We quite often create content that is engage and formative for the reader, but we don’t tend to offer answers to questions that people may ask. If you want to be discoverable for a featured snippet, an ideal place to start is by optimising your copy for questions above anything else.

2. Browse the ‘People Also Ask’ boxes

When you ask Google a question, a featured snippet quite often gives an initial answer. However, if you scroll down slightly more, you will see ‘People Also Ask’ boxes with similar questions.

Here you can find common questions that searchers ask, and you can choose to create content to accommodate these.

google extra questions

3. Aim to rank on the first page of Google search results.

Being on the first page of the Google search results gives you an increased chance of being featured in a snippet. The majority of featured snippets are found on the very first page of Google SERPs.

Ways that can help rise your SEO performance includes:

  • Diagnosing SEO problems and fixing any penalties
  • Update your website
  • Link-building
  • Improve website speed.
  • Get SSL for your site.
  • Optimise your images
  • Make your pages user-friendly.

4. Add a questions and answers page to your website.

If you are offering products and/or services, a Q&As page is the perfect way to generate trust with your customers. Mostly importantly, these answers have a chance of being transformed into a featured snippet as more people begin to find the answers they need on your site. But remember to keep the answers straight to the point and as a short paragraph.

If a questions and answers page doesn’t suit you though, just follow the other steps mentioned.

5. Use the inverted pyramid format

The ‘inverted pyramid’, also known as the ‘inverse pyramid’ is a style in journalism that tells us how interesting content should be structured. Start off by giving the answer directly, and then continue the article with details that explain the reasons behind the answer.

inverted-pyramid-content

Now to sum featured snippets up.

So if you want to increase your online visibility and get better traffic for your website, it’s a good idea to work towards finding yourself on a featured snippet for a popular search query.

With featured snippets coming above the general organic results, it’s always good to aim high, especially when it comes to the Google search result pages.

The Top 5 Digital Marketing Questions We Get Asked!

By Marketing, SEO, Social mediaNo Comments

Debating whether to start digital marketing? Got some burning questions?

As digital markers, we very much use to questions being thrown at us left, right and centre, and we are always happy to help! But, over our years of experience, we have noticed a few specific questions that continually pop up when discussing digital marketing.

So we thought we would pull back the curtain and reveal some of the behind the scene digital magic. We’ve compiled our top 5 digital marketing questions that we believe should help you if you are thinking of beginning your online branding transformation. (But, before you ask, no not them all! Duh, we can’t give away all our secrets!).

Without much further ado, our top tips just for you!

1. “As a small business, would I really benefit from digital marketing?”

YES! No matter how big or small you are, if you have a business – you need a website. And what does a website need to help it make money? Digital marketing, of course. By branding yourself, you are widening the net of potential customers and amplifying who sees your business.

There are many different aspects of digital marketing – all of which at Geek, we are masters of. From social media marketing, content marketing, SEO and email marketing, paid advertising, the list goes on!

But whatever service you choose, the role of digital marketing is to help get you to be seen among the large crowds online. Whether that is on social media or search engines – marketing builds your brand’s awareness! Through effective digital marketing, you can rise through the ranks of Google and reach the podium of results and attract new leads.

2. “Is email marketing still as effective?”

Do you still receive emails in your inbox? Email marketing may be considered out-dated with other platforms such as social media – but emails are still very much as useful as they always been. If you ponder about it, it could be the most effective!

Think about it – you’re not posting on social media hoping some of your followers will view it, or posting something on your site hoping someone will visit it – you are delivering directly to their inbox. Even if they don’t open, they’ll see your name in the subject line!

3. “Does social media actually help a business?”

Most definitely! It has been proven time and time again, business after business that it does! In fact, not using social media could potentially harm your business. Having an online presence is expected of any company these days.

You can connect with customers; increase awareness about your brand and drive traffic to your website. Social media is no passing trend. In fact, more people follow brands on social media than celebrities! Move over Kim K – businesses are here to break the Internet.

Furthermore, by having an active social media page could lead to social spreading. One person may like your post, then their friend sees this, then their friends, then there’s and so on! See why we say social media is a very effective tool?

4. “What social media should I be using?”

Well, this depends on numerous factors. Starting with, what are your business goals? Are you a B2B or BCB business? The target audience of your business will determine which social media platform you use.

If you are a B2B business, so you wish to be targeting other companies – LinkedIn is the ideal choice for you. On here you can mix with other companies in a similar business sector as yourself. However, if you are looking to target customers, other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are better suited.

If you are a BCB, it is also essential to identify your customer’s persona. Are they a young or old demographic? Are they male or female? All these may seem irrelevant to you, however, to digital markers, these are the ingredients to concoct the perfect marketing plan.

Each social media platform has a different target audience; therefore, by understanding your customer, your marketing will be more successful.

5. “How long does it take to see results with digital marketing?”

Finally, our most commonly asked question…and, to be honest, there’s no definitive answer. But, there’s one thing for sure, digital marketing isn’t a one-time thing. It isn’t overnight. It is ‘in it for long haul’ marketing. Anyone who tells you they can get you fast marketing results is usually up to no good!

Of course, with paid advertising, results can be seen quicker – however, with organic work, it can take anywhere between 3 to 12 months. Plus you’ll gain significant competitive advantages that your rivals can’t beat just by coming along with a bigger budget! You will get your foot in the door, build awareness and achieve meaningful results.

Remember: digital marketing is a marathon, not a sprint! You gotta keep on runnin’!

The likely case that if you’re thinking about these questions, you probably need a digital marketing plan creating! So, why not contact a Geek today?

We can help you build a bespoke strategy for your company and help drive traffic to your website.

But, if you have any more digital marketing question – you have to come and visit us for those all those special secrets.

local campaigns

Google’s Local Campaigns – What are they and how do they help you?

By Business, featured, SEONo Comments

Google Ads introduces a new way to get customers to your storefront.

For people who don’t understand Google Ads itself, local ad campaigns are certainly going to go over your head.

People who are loyal to Local SEO will already understand how this technique can benefit your business by helping people find you in local searches. Local are basically the same, although this is a ‘paid SEO’ tactic.

This form of Google Ads campaign makes it much easier for you to promote your business across the search engine’s largest properties including Google Search Network, Maps, YouTube and Google Display Network.

All you really need to do is add some relevant text, a bid, a few assets and Google will optimise the rest to help your favourable users find you.

How do local campaigns work?

When you decide to set up a local campaign, the first thing you’ll need to define is the shop location you want to display to your customers. You can pre-set this by linking your Google My Business (GMB) account or selecting affiliate locations.

Affiliate locations are extensions that will help you reach consumers when they are deciding what and where to buy. They help searchers find nearby stores that sell your products.

Local campaigns – effective and easy to set-up.

Local campaigns are solely focused on being simple and driving your offline objectives. All you need to do is provide Google with your shop locations campaign budget and ad assets.

Google’s AI (artificial intelligence) will learn your goals and business. The AI will then automatically optimise your bids, ad placements and asset combinations. This is all to ensure you receive optimum performance.

Basically, put a computer will make sure that you get results, crazy eh?

The results you receive will aim to maximise the number of visitors you receive to your shop directly. The campaigns also promote the location of your business across Google’s different platforms.

Where do yourads appear?

Your ads will be approved to appear all over Google’s various properties.

Google Search Network: Groups of search-related websites and apps where your ad can appear. Your ad will appear when someone searches for one of your keywords.

Google Display Network: Your business will appear on various sites across the Internet to users who are interested in your product or services.

Google Maps: As the obvious states, your business will appear on the Google Map when a local search is made.

YouTube: It is frequently ignored when it comes to marketing, but honestly – YouTube can be a great place to display an advertisement for your business.

Localised campaigns are a great start for local business.

What better way to promote your brand by popping up on the search results and websites of interested Internet surfers?

However, we do understand that understanding the fundamentals of Google Ads can be challenging to let alone know how to set up a localised campaign to promote your business.

Luckily, you have these awesome guys called Digital Marketers who do all the complicated stuff for you.

All we need are your budgets and your goals, and we’ll do the rest. We highly recommend considering local ad campaigns if you want to get more customers through the door or ringing your phone.

If paid SEO is your preference for marketing, then feel free to give us a call:

What is this ‘SEO’ stuff? The Guide for Beginners.

By Marketing, SEONo Comments

I know you’ve been looking – so here’s the easy way to understanding SEO. 

This abbreviation will be an important part of your successful digital business – but what does it mean?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) for short is a big part of every business you see on Google (so, yeah billions).

When you have a website made, SEO is the stuff that will come with it. Basically put, search engine optimisation is the optimisation of websites to help Google understand what it’s about.

However, today we want to help everyone understand it.

SEO is one of those things you are never ‘fully knowledgeable’ in, this I because every day it changes. Just like the creator of Photoshop, even he says that he isn’t an expert on his own app.

Don’t fall for these ‘SEO experts’, it changes every day and I don’t believe they’ve become an expert on the new changes after 24 hours. Therefore what you need to look out for are the digital marketers who know how to use SEO.

So, for you SEO rookies we’re going to tell you all you’ll need to know and ensure that you remember it by putting it in the simplest way.

Okay so entrepreneurs, competitors and interested readers, here’s your guide to SEO:

I mentioned it briefly – but what is SEO?

Yes, we know what this stands for, but what is it? SEO is the ‘stuff’ that web designers and digital marketers (or your brave-selves) will implement into a website to allow Google to rank your pages.

Google is a robot, it relies on digital information to process everything and SEO will break down what your website means.

Without SEO, there is no website, well it isn’t on the Google search engine anyway.

SEO is made up of keywords, locations and conjunctions (connectives) that help rank a website under these terms. However, throwing in every keyword you can think of is a bad move.

This is where ‘SEO strategists’ ensure to implement SEO the best way. SEO takes time, research and forward thinking, this is because you want the best SEO for your site.

Onsite SEO

Now, this SEO will be what you find on your website. This is one of the most important optimisations, this is because you’ll need onsite SEO to get your pages ranking.

Also known as metadata, you will need to put together keywords that generate a concise yet short ‘title tag’ and keywords that form a slightly longer yet clear description.

Metadata is what your users will see on the search engine results pages (SERPS). This data will be ranked by Google and tell users what the link will lead them too.

They’ll end up looking something like this:

Organic SEO

You may have seen these two words around quite often and it’s important to consider them. Organic SEO is a mostly ‘free’ way of getting your website noticed by the customers you want.

Unlike paid methods of optimisation, organic SEO typically requires a one-off payment and a month’s worth of website traffic and conversions.

Basically put, although this sounds the perfect way to get more leads and sales, organic SEO does take time. I know many of you don’t want to spare time, however, in the long run, you will see the result you were promised.

So what options of Organic SEO do you have?

Well, there are many, but there’s only one type I want you all to focus on for now and that’s Local SEO.

Local SEO

Let’s say you’re based in London, there’s a lot of competition there am I right? Well, what local SEO does – it gets your website found in local areas.

Break down the search queries to specific towns or smaller cities will help customers find your business much easier.

Local SEO pages are added to your website, here a digital marketer will optimise the page and content to rank for a local search. For example, a plumber can rank for the keywords ‘plumbers in Clapham’ and come up when a user searches this particular enquiry.

Paid SEO

Also known as ‘Google Ads’, paid SEO is the long process of paying to get results, just as Google wants you too. You have PPC and PPI campaigns that will help you get more customers, however, the headache is that you’ve got to pay.

However, even if you are agreeing to pay for amplified SEO, it’s important that you have a strategy behind your efforts. Often, people will ask a digital marketer for help as they know the ins and outs of a successful campaign – but you can attempt it yourself.

It is always best to ask a professional before you commit to Google Ads because you will end up spending a lot of money on the wrong traffic.

A Beginner’s Guide To Duplicate Content

By Development, SEONo Comments

Everything you need to know about repetitive website content.

If you have any idea on copywriting, you will already know duplicate content can penalise a website and affect the SEO ranking. Original content has always been valuable to sites, and this is due to Google’s algorithm admiring the originality.

So, what even is duplicate content?

Basically put, this is content that is plagiaristic or copy that is identical to text elsewhere on your website or others. However, despite the penalisation, there are some types of content that Google doesn’t consider inadequate. This includes print-only versions of the web page or products that are links to different URLs.

As to no surprise, Google’s algorithm isn’t dumb, instead, it is smart enough to recognise duplicate content. Your only option is to create unique and new content each time. If you want to keep your site ranking well in the SERP’s (search engine result pages), then you need to prevent penalisation. Of course, one way to do this is to be original with your copywriting.

How you can find duplicate content?

I understand that not everyone reading this blog may be a copywriting expert. That’s why we have some tools and strategies to help you do this. For one, CopyScape is a useful website that helps people identify duplicate content on their site. This application works by scanning your website for copies of the content and highlighting duplications when found. It’s a simple yet handy identification tool that will help your site prosper.

The reason why Google penalises sites with duplicate content is for two main reasons:

  1. To provide users with the best search experience: Search engines prefer not to show multiple versions of the same content. Therefore compare websites and figure out what the best result is, this then hides other sites with similar content.
  1. Link equity: Instead of all inbound links pointing to a section of content. Links may link to multiple pieces, spreading the equity among the duplicates. Because inbound links are used as a ranking factor, this can impact the search visibility of your content and thus your website.

Siteliner is also an excellent tool for analysing the content of your site. This application will identify areas of the text that have been reproduced elsewhere. However, if you can’t access a content-checker tool, then you can look for your content yourself manually on the Google search engine. Here you can copy and paste in up to 32 words worth of your content word-for-word and see what similar results come up. Also, if you plan on using material from another supplier, it’s essential that you re-write the content into your own words; otherwise Google will detect your efforts.

Fixing the duplicate content on your website

There are several ways to fix your SEO issues that have come from your duplicate content, so let’s discuss them:

301 redirects and rel=’’canonical’’ tags

Implementing 301 redirects is an effective method for fixing your duplicate content. This involves choosing a URL and the sending the traffic from the other URLs which have the duplicate content to the preferred 301 redirects. This method makes sure that your site is taken to the correct page and it also means that pages in your site aren’t competing with another website. If you know SEO, then you will know what I mean when I say to use the rel’=’’canonical’’ tag to avoid duplicate content.

Authoritative content

The most powerful tool for avoiding duplicate content is developing unique copy that you can’t find elsewhere. You can do this by carefully planning your audience and focus then shaping your material around this. I’m not even talking about your articles and website, but also your video content should have some originality to stand out above the crowd and avoid Google’s penalisation.

Hopefully, we’ve given you the gist of duplicate content:

Google has a lot of rules and regulations for websites, and we can’t really blame it after thousands are added each week. So, to keep law and order on Google, the algorithm will penalise your site if you don’t abide. If you find any duplicate content on your website, make sure you attend to this as soon as possible.

The algorithm, however, can also detect when duplicate content is accidental, so don’t panic if you spot such copy and can’t make an instant change to this. Instead, identify the problem, create original text and make the alterations when you can. Since content is the king ranking factors of websites, it’s important to follow this advice and take a look into your website as soon as possible.

map pointer on local map

Google My Business: A Free Way To Generate Brand Awareness and Reliability.

By Resources, SEONo Comments
local search engine illustration

Also known as ‘GMB’, Google My Business is a free tool that lets you manage how your company appears on search results and maps.

Do you ever find yourself searching through numbers of blue links and turning them purple because they don’t offer what you’re looking for? Well, would you be more willing to take a look at the business described on the right-hand side of your search results?

You know what I’m on about, the descriptive box which appears showing pictures, a name and reviews of a business. That box could feature your business.

Adopting Google My Business allows you to determine your business name, location, and opening hours and interact with customer reviews.

But, that isn’t all. You can also find out how and where people are searching, so you can keep track of your conversions.

‘What’s in it for me?’

Even I will admit that we all want to know how we will benefit from a service or product. That’s the nature of being a business owner, or any person for that matter.

Well, I’m glad you asked anyway, there are many benefits that you can reap from starting up a GMB account.

Let’s start with some of the most apparent achievements:

Manage your information much easier

This is where you can take control of how you want your business to look to online users. No longer will you be a link on the Google search results, you will have a box to be creative with.

Businesses who set up a GMB profile are twice as likely to interest consumers. Before we buy, we all want to make sure we trust the company.

Considering the user may purchase directly from your website, they will fear misuse of their personal information. However, if you have verified your business with Google, then you will appear more reputable.

Since you will be showcasing information on your business, which has received confirmation by the online giant, people will trust you. Trust converts to conversions need I say more?

Interact directly with your customers

Good interaction with your buyers will generate a ‘personality’ for your business. Setting up a Google My Business account will enable your company to receive reviews.

Reviews are one of the best assets to display to your online audience. When people are searching for a particular service or product, they will check reviews.

Unsurprisingly, customers will check out the lowest ratings first and see why this has happened. However, although you cannot remove a bad review, how you handle the complaint will determine if the reader wants to buy from you.

person using a laptop device to carry otu a search on a search engine

Alongside the review entries, you can also post photos and so can your customers. Visuals of your company contribute to your reputability, especially if you have set up the location of your business on Google Maps, this will allow people to have a 3D view of yourselves.

Photos receive 42% more requests for directions to your headquarters, and 35% more of customers will click through to your website in contrast to businesses that don’t possess photos.

Build on your brand awareness

It’s a goal for every business owner to get your brand seen and heard of on the World Wide Web. With Google My Business, developing business presence has just got easier.

Do you want to know how your customer found your website? GMB will tell you. Do you want to know where your customers are coming from? Don’t worry GMB has got your back.

You will also be able to keep track on who called you directly from the phone number displayed on local search results.

But, are you still looking to go even further to get your brand out there? Well, you can always easily create and monitor the performance of a ‘Google Adwords Express’ campaign.

The most enticing benefit is the fact it’s free. Yes, there’s no need to put in your credit card details like some of these sneaky businesses, nor are there any hidden small prints.

GMB is a free yet powerful online tool for your business. What could be better than complimentary brand awareness?

I would like a GMB account, how do I get started?

Now for the fun part, some of you may not have time for tedious matters so may hand the setup process to a Digital Marketer. However, you can quite easily create the base for a Google My Business profile in a few minutes.

All you need is a Google Account to start with, and then you follow ‘google.com/business’ and select ‘start now.’

The process is pretty simple, you’ll just need to fill in the main details about your business, and then you can also go back in at a later date to improve upon them.

But, Google My Business is constantly changing.

Yes, only recently has the Google My Business tool had a new update. On Wednesday 12th December 2018, Google revamped the app, improving real-time features.

The new on-the-go profile helps small and medium businesses boost customer engagement.

Say for instance you run a restaurant. Let’s say you are busy on a Saturday night, well now you can create a post, with a picture of the busy restaurant, to engage with your potential customers.

The introduction of real-time presence has given hope to business owners that it will help them attract new and existing customers to use or buy from their company.

But one of the best things about GMB? Let’s say it’s autumn and you want to showcase a temporary product. GMB allows you to display your seasonal offer when a customer searches for your business directly, quite convenient don’t you think?

Well, I think I’ve managed to cover just about everything on Google My Business for the rookies. But, you can become a pro in no time.

GMB’s design helps businesses to get noticed and generate a better, defined online presence.

There are still many more things to Google My Business, but we understand that nobody wants to read a novel.

So, if you need more help understanding GMB, speak with our team!

T: 01733 686100 or email us on: [email protected]

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