Why is link building important for SEO
As the internet gradually expands in reach and value, the conventional methods of link building and SEO are progressively transforming along with it.
Indeed, it has become a priority for any business today to learn the subtleties around creating and executing a high-quality campaign if they hope to thrive in an increasingly competitive online sphere.
What is Link Building?
A concrete definition of link building eludes most businesses the first time they venture into the field. To set things straight, link building is the process by which a business retrieves hyperlinks from other websites in a bid to improve the quality of their own backlinks and increase user engagement.
Usually, an internet user clicks on a hyperlink to easily from one website to another in search of more information, or information related to the content that they are currently consuming.
The Importance of Link Building in SEO
Before understanding the vital connection between link building and SEO, you first need to go back to the basics. How does one create a link|? And how do search engines interpret them in text?
To do this, we will begin by first studying the structure of a hyperlink.
- The Anchor Tag- This is the first part of a hyperlink and it usually indicates to search engines that the text will soon proceed with a link
- Hyperlink Referral- Denoted as “href”, it refers to text inside a set of quotation marks pointing to the URL that the hyperlink is directing the user towards. Text within the hyperlink referral can vary from the URL of a certain webpage, to the address of a file or image that is to be downloaded. The main objective of the link is to direct you to a different page or section to the one that you are currently observing.
- Anchor Text- This is the small section of text within an article that holds the hyperlink. It is usually enclosed within a set of quotation marks and is what a user clicks on when they want to open the link. The text is usually formatted in a such a way that it is unique to the surrounding text; usually underlined in blue to show that it is a hyperlink.
- Ending of link tag- This is the final part of the link used to alert the search engine that the link has come to an end.
That being said, link vital for search engines because:
- It helps search engines find new webpages.
- It lets a search engine determine the exact ranking of that particular page
When assigning an index to the page, the search engine will then analyze the text, as well as the quantity and quality of links that are directed to an external website.
As a rule of thumb, having a large number of quality websites linking back to you means an improved ranking for your website. And a greater ranking translates to more exposure for your business.
As a matter of fact, linking was the predominant factor that Google used in the 1990s to proliferate their influence as the apex search engine in the late 90s. The idea around this business model was to calculate the quality of a particular page depending on the volume of links directed towards it. The metric proved to be a success, and it was adopted as one of the primary signals used by Google to determine a page’s ranking.
Unfortunately, due to unscrupulous link building methods used by some online companies to improve their ranking, Google opted to regularly release Penguin updates to penalize any companies that relied on these underhand tactics to top rankings. When choosing to use a service for link building its important to evaluate what type of links are going to be built.
That being said, it is widely accepted that if all factors remain constant among website pages, links are the final feature used by Google to determine page rankings.
The Concept of Non-Follow
Despite the lucrativeness around link building, not all links are deemed of high quality. In response, search engines created the option of non-follow as shown below:
<a href=”http: //www.concept.com”
The addition of non-follow by websites is used to tell Google not to include certain links while calculating their page ranking. It is an effective method used to discredit certain links that might tarnish the ranking and reputation of a particular business and its website.
One of the primary reasons why a website adopts non-follow is when it does not have complete control over the websites that are directing their links back to them. This can be in cases such as:
- Answers on public online forums such as Yahoo! Answers or Quora
- Comments on blog posts
- Wikipedia pages
In such scenarios, users have the freedom to add links. And because of the high volume of forums and blogs on the internet, it is impractical to determine each and every link and determine its authenticity.
Hence, the non-follow attribute is employed to deter any spammy links from being considered in Google’s algorithmic ranking. Only familiar links affiliated with the company will be whitelisted.
The Benefits of Link Building
As we mentioned earlier, link building is extremely important when it comes to search ranking. That being said, here are the other added advantages of link building:
Foster Relationships Between Businesses
Conventionally, link building requires a business to reach out to relevant blogs and websites pertaining to their industry.
Referral traffic is a great way to boost engagement with new clients. A good link, especially one associated with a high-quality website is surefire to increase interactions with potential clients and advertise your services.
Not only is link building essential for organic traffic proliferation, but also plays an important role in enhancing your brand. When your business is associated with trusted and professional websites online, it is deemed reliable by your target audience, and thus translating to more engagements.
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4 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Google Ads
Google is undisputedly a search kingpin. The company has successfully managed to create a service that suits both users looking for items of interest and advertisers looking to sell their wares.
Through Google Ads, you can come up with online ads to reach audiences all around the world who have an interest in your product. Since the Google Ads program runs on the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising concept, you have to ensure you have funds at the ready for every time visitors click on your ad.
Because there are so many advertising channels out there, it can be a tad bit difficult to determine which one is best for your enterprise. Looking through the web may leave you confused that you ever were because bloggers and influencers are always letting you know why this-and-that are great investment options without caring to elaborate further.
You can count on Google Ads to deliver because businesses make about $2 in income for every $1 they spend in Google Ads.
1 - Instantaneous Results
Truthfully speaking, both Google Ads and SEO are integral in your marketing campaign. When done right, both these tools can help you establish a presence on Google search results. That said, if you’re looking for immediate and stronger results, Google Ads is your best option.
New websites are likely going to find it hard to stand out using only SEO. This is because SEO takes some time before the results start to trickle in. Since the waiting time can last months, you need to elevate your businesses to match up with the larger companies who have already built a name for themselves in your industry.
The best way to do this is by using Google Ads. The program excitingly allows you to get on the very first couple of pages on Google without having to strain much. Once your website is live, you can enable your ad to become visible in as little as 24 hours.
Having said this, we should point out that embracing Google Ads doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to ditch SEO completely. Instead, you need to use Google Ads to enhance your presence on Google whilst using SEO to boost your organic ranking.
With Google Ads, you can discover just how effective the keywords you’ve been using are. Once you get a good idea about which keywords work great, you can tailor your SEO campaign to make use of these keywords.
2 - Measurable
Compared to traditional advertising channels like TV and magazines, Google Ads is highly measurable.
While SEO strategies tend to have a positive impact on long-term campaigns, it’s not easy to accurately determine what actions actually positively impacted your campaign. The same applies to social media marketing efforts.
On the flip side, Google Ads provides you with accurate results on the aspects of your campaigns that made the masses embrace you. It’s relatively easy to operate from a position of strength.
The transparency of Google Ads comes with plenty of PPC metrics which allow you to zone in on all aspects of your marketing campaign, even on a granular level. You can find out the steps visitors to your website took right before they made a purchase. This approach is great if you’re quickly looking to ascertain whether your campaigns are actually worth it.
3 - Better Targeting
In your bid to find audiences interest in your products and services, you don’t want to cast your net too wide and miss out on relevant prospects.
Thankfully, Google Ads allows you to narrow down your targets. This fantastic PPC platform is robust enough for you to feed in multiple keywords and target various demographics according to gender, age, income level, location, and many others.
This kind of reach is fantastic for both small and large businesses looking to establish a foothold in their respective markets. Local companies will also want to get in the act because they can target individuals in their local without a hassle.
Compared to other marketing ventures, Google Ads stands out in the fact that their marketing approach is much more impressive. Their set up allows you to flex your muscle and retarget audiences who have shown an interest in your business. This means you can connect with visitors who checked out your website or that of your competitors. With such remarketing efforts, you can quickly help clients transition from one stage of the sales funnel to the next one.
Having highlighted this powerful feature, it’s evident that you need to incorporate Google Ads in your marketing strategy if you want to make strides forward.
4 - Flexibility
Google Ads offers great flexibility with budgets. You’re allowed to spend whatever amounts you wish to. This kind of control is great if you’re working within the confines of a budget. You can decide to start small before expanding just how much you spend on your campaign. The accelerated spending feature offered by Google also allows you to focus on burning through your budget.
Alternatively, you can make use of Google’s bidding factors to play around with your budget. What this really means is that if you’re only after the clicks, you can elect to only pay for clicks. Anything else you obtain from the campaign, like impressions and brand awareness, will be offered for free.
This kind of optimisation is fantastic because you can manoeuvre with any kind of Google Ads budget without having to worry.
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How Important Is Site Speed For SEO
Site speed is just one of those important metrics that increasingly becoming harder to ignore. Especially in 2019.
Visitors to your website probably don’t have all the time in the world to wait as your page loads. A slow website is not something you want to have, especially if you’re looking to achieve top tier status when it comes to SEO rankings.
While it’s true that search engine optimisation relies heavily on keywords and backlinks, there are other small conditions that need to be fulfilled in order for a website to rank.
Today, Google’s algorithm is built to consider loading time as an important attribute when determining how your website ranks in search results. Once you’re able to identify the weaknesses in your page and make enhancements to bolster your site speed, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to achieve that top spot you’ve always fancied.
Some of the factors affecting site speed include file sizes, plugins, and slow servers. Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, here’s a quick brush of things you need to know.
The Ideal Page Load Time
It takes about 400 milliseconds for an eye to blink. If you can able optimise your page to be just as fast, then, you stand a good chance of tiding the masses over to your side.
Slow site speeds usually negatively impact SEO strategies. This is because targeted customers tend to become frustrated with slow load time and may decide to bounce off your website. According to Google statistics, it takes about 0.4 seconds of load time before users decide to look elsewhere for content.
Essentially, this means that the slower the load speed, the more likely visitors to your page will deem your content irrelevant. With the opposite being true, it makes absolute sense why Google decided to introduce site speed into its algorithm.
Things that Lower Site Speed
1 - Server Performance
While hiring the services of a cheap web host seems like a grand idea, there’s also the downside of slow load time. This arises because such deals usually involve the sharing of servers. When this happens, space and resources that would have been dedicated to your website become spread out to a bunch of other websites.
If you’re looking to achieve fast site speed, then, it’s worth reconsidering your current strategy and adapting better suiting hosts that are capable of handling your business needs.
2 - Outdated CMS
Always check for new updates on your content management system, be it Drupal, WordPress, or Wix. In most situations, updates usually resolve common errors and bugs in the system. When this happens, you usually notice a considerable bump in site speed.
3 - Large and Heavy Images
Gone are the days when dial-up internet dictated the times. Today, users get frustrated whenever websites take forever to load.
Since larger images are certainly going to take longer periods to load, you need to optimise the images that you upload on your platform.
Making tweaks to things like the size of images uploaded and the format can make all the difference. Generally, browsers usually load PNG, JPG, and GIF images super fast. On the other hand, formats like BMP and TIFF are typically heavy which means that they usually cause slow site speed.
4 - Code Density
To ensure that your site speed is not affected by lengthy lines of code, you need to ensure to the backend of your site is not clogged up with redundant code. Else, you may find yourself having to pay the consequences.
5 - Too Many Plugins
If you’re using WordPress for your site, then the odds are you’ve got a number of plugins installed. While plugins are great in terms of functionality, you need not have too many hanging around. This is because every plugin usually makes a file request. The more requests generated, the slower your site speed is going to be.
6 - Minimise Redirects
Think about it, when you’re visiting a new city and want to ask directions, wouldn’t you rather ask a source who points you to a direct location? Exactly.
The same concept applies to websites. Nobody likes being redirected to a whole different page. In a way, it’s like telling visitors to your page to hold on the line as you process something else. Unless you really have to do it, avoid doing it since it may negatively impact your SEO goals.
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Top 5 WordPress Plugins for SEO
Search engines are responsible for plenty of traffic on most websites. Given just how key a role they play, it’s necessary for you to acquaint yourself with the best SEO tips and plugins that will enhance the reception of your website to the masses.
In today’s article, we’ll be looking to share some of the best WordPress Plugins for SEO.
1 - Yoast SEO
People love the plugin because it provides them with a comprehensive solution for all their on-site SEO needs. Using it, you can add an SEO title, a relevant meta description, and slot in some meta keywords for every post on your pages.
The plugin is robust enough to allow for the customisation of titles for your main site, archives, and tag pages. If you’re looking to play around with your content, you’ll love the fact that the plugin includes Open Graph meta data, Sitemaps, Twitter Cards, and the power to ping search engines whenever you make changes tour website.
Some of the standout features of the plugin are:
- The page analysis tool
- XML Sitemaps functionality
- Technical WordPress Search Engine Optimisation
The page analysis is a definite gem because it ensures that you’re always on the right track. Its intuitive interface further adds to the allure.
2 - All in One SEO Pack
This particular plugin offers stiff competition to Yoast SEO. If you’re looking to test out its features, you can opt to begin with the free plugin before you decide to pay for some premium services.
On the premium version, you get access to real-time customer support, plus the ability to join support forums and video screencasts.
If you’re charged with the running of an e-commerce store, you definitely need to try out the advanced WooCommerce support. There, you’ll get plenty of insights about how to better manage your business.
Some of the other amazing attributes are:
- The plugin is intuitive enough for beginners to find their feet and powerful enough for advanced users to keep using it.
- The plugin is translated into 57 languages, this makes it a viable option for a significant population of the world
- If you’re running an agency or a multi-site organisation, chances are that you’ll enjoy using this plugin because of the affordability and convenience aspects.
3 - SEO Framework
This plugin is ideal for those who want to work with a powerful plugin that is able to function without any disturbing ads or upsells running in the background.
The plugin design is simplistic since the developers spent most of their time developing a plugin that is able to meet your website needs. SEO Framework is a great choice if you’re looking to maintain highs speeds on your site without having to spend plenty of time perusing complex SEO articles.
Despite having mentioned that the interface is simplistic in nature, the API is open for advanced users to play around. Having started as a project in the WPMUDEV community, it has morphed through the years to become freely available to all and sundry.
Some other cool features are:
- You don’t need to install a separate comment spamming extension since it’s already available on this plugin
- Most of the SEO configurations are ready-made which means you don’t have to waste time trying to find the most appropriate combination
- There’s a local SEO extension suitable for companies which need to set up and display crucial information about their local enterprise.
- It functions uniquely from other plugins. While most of them are all about the keyword, SEO framework objectively deals with the focus subject. This tends to inspire more natural writing because Google is capable of seeing synonyms in SERPs as one and the same thing
4 - SEOPress
Notably, even the free version doesn’t have footprints. Using it, you can swiftly manage all your meta descriptions and titles with ease.
You can also come up with XML and HTML sitemaps, monitor what your visitors are doing with Google Analytics, and make some optimisations to your tags using Open Graph and Twitter Cards for easy sharing on social media platforms.
In the free version, you also have access to content analysis which is a shining attribute among webmasters. Using it, most of them are able to develop better SEO optimised posts. If you’re a developer, you’ll love the fact that you can make use of more than 75 hooks to tailor the plugin as you’d like.
Some of the features on the premium version include:
- Video and Google News XML sitemaps
- Local business SEO
- Redirections and 404 tracking
- Google Structured Data Types
- WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads optimisations
5 - Rank Math
This great plugin is quite comprehensive. It’s robust enough to allow you to quickly transform your SEO strategy.
Rank Math is able to utilise the functionality of multiple plugins on your WordPress website and streamlines all of them into a single easy-to-manage plugin that is not bulky.
The plugin enables you to easily manage on-page SEO of your posts, products, pages, and a range of other taxonomies. As a webmaster, you also have access to no archive meta tags in a number of other pages.
The beauty of Rank Math lies in the fact that it seamlessly integrates with Google Search Console to bring you all the necessary information you need right inside your WordPress dashboard. Crucial information like keywords to rank for, the search impressions of your website, and errors on your page are all accessible from the admin console.
Other awesome features are:
- You don’t need to install another plugin for breadcrumbs since it comes with the package
- Rich snippets support. You can choose from a range of snippets like Video, Article, Local Business, Recipes, Event, and Product.
- Has a 404 monitor which means you can quickly spot where the errors are
- Clean user interface
- Ability to ping search engines once you make edits
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Technical SEO – 5 Step Checklist
As the saying goes, “Content is King”.
While it’s true that scintillating content is key to enhancing your website’s reception and reputation, you may find your traffic numbers suffering if there are some technical issues behind the scenes.
During the early years of search, marketers and developers focused on their tasks without bothering to learn about what lay at the other end of the fence.
Today, things are different. Marketers need to have an understanding of all the various technical concepts. At the same time, developers also need to know the ins and outs of digital marketing.
An understanding of both technical and creative aspects is needed.
These traits are what make on an effective digital marketer. Once you’re able to recognise the technical faults in a system and all the right buttons to press in case calamity strikes, you have better odds of seeing your website take off.
In a bid to enlighten you on all the key points you need to be conversant with, we’ve prepared this technical SEO checklist.
1. Robots.txt File
To check the robots.txt file, you need to follow:
Google Search Console> Crawl> robots.txt Tester
This robots.txt play an important role. It provides a directive to search engines and all websites need to have one somewhere in their root directory.
For proper functioning, you need to ensure that it is properly formatted. This means that it should only restrict files or directories that you don’t want to see indexed. While at it, ensure that it is included in your XML sitemap layout.
If you’d love to learn more about the workings of the robot.txt file, you can acquaint yourself with some Google recommendations.
Having been in the industry for a while now, one of the errors we’ve encountered one, two, many times usually happens during a website redesign. The dev site frequently gets blocked in robots.txt after the disallow:/ command is used. To avert this and avoid taking your website out of the index, you need to ensure that the disallow rule is done away before your launch the redesigned platform.
2. Canonical Link Elements
It’s not uncommon for website owners to come up with different URLs that come up with similar content. Since this is not a good thing, you can make use of canonical link elements to ensure that a website remains unique.
Often times, canonical link elements are used to ensure that the preferred version of a page remains indexed at all times.
When working with them, there are some guidelines that you need to follow. Ideally, you want them to reference a URL that does not redirect and is indexed. At the same time, the URL also needs to be in the full path, something like http://www.example.com/
A canonical tag that fits this would be”
<link rel=”canonical” href= http://www.example.com/product.php?item=foo987/>
To check this, you can use a platform like Screaming Frog.
With redirects, you can effectively let search engines know that your webpage has permanently relocated to a new location. This comes in handy when there’s a URL change or if a page is deleted.
While there are different types of redirects, we favour a 301 redirect because of SEO purposes. This usually notifies search engines that a page has permanently shifted house.
The best way to handle redirects is by having them redirect to the final destination. Having looping redirect chains is not advisable, if possible, ensure that you minimise the number of redirects.
You can use Screaming Frog and redirect-checker.org to check.
4. Duplicate Content
According to Google, duplicate content is that which can be replicated on your website or on various other web domains.
Whenever pages are duplicated, Google automatically filters such content away from search results. By doing so, they ensure that only distinct information is visible.
Having plenty of duplicate content can harm your organic traffic. Since most instances of duplicate content are unintentional, you can try to create a sense of originality by using canonical link elements.
To verify the status of your website, you can use a platform like siteliner.com.
In contemporary times, it’s crucially important for websites to consider the mobile-friendliness aspect. This becomes all the more necessary once you factor in Google’s mobile-first index.
For the smooth running of operations, you want visitors to your website to have a great experience irrespective of the device they are checking out the content from.
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How Important Are Directory Listings For Local SEO
Directory listings are basically niche/general directories. Their main purpose is to function as an online phonebook for the storage of important information like NAP data (name, address, and phone number), map listing, and website address.
Notably, some directory listings are customised to allow you to share photos of your business, the hours of operation, and other valid data.
It’s also worth documenting that there are various other directory listing types out there which are dependent on how long you’d like your listing to remain active.
You have the option of having your business permanently listed in the directory listing, or over a short period like 1 year. Thanks to the options available in the market, you can choose to use directory listings free of charge or part with a small fee. ClickDo offers a local citation service which will get your business listed on the top 100 directories in the UK, we’ve personally used this service ourselves and highly recommend it to any local business owner in the UK.
Having pointed this out, the onus is therefore on your to ensure that your business is listed on at least a couple of directory listing on the web. By doing so, you’ll be helping your business take that next leap forward.
Best Directory Listings for Local SEO
If you want to learn the ropes on directory listings, there’s a couple of websites that you can’t ignore.
- Google My Business
- Angie’s List
- The Better Business Bureau
- Merchant Circle
- LinkedIn Company Directory
These 10 directory listings serve as a great example of the options in the market. Acquainting yourself with them will help you comprehend the nature of directory listings and delve further into the field.
Why Directory Listings Matter
All the directories are structured differently. As you sample each of them, you may find yourself ranking higher in search engines and build trust with your clientele.
That said, it’s of the essence to comprehend that not all directory listings are created equal. Some of them can give you an edge over the rest. As such, it’s important that you carefully evaluate the nature of your business before zoning in on one.
Quality of Directory
The one trait you need to check out in when reviewing the quality of directory is whether the directory is monitored by a human, or if it has an open submission.
Human monitoring usually has an edge over open submission because there’s some cross-checking of submitted content. To stand out, you want to avoid having your information paired up with plenty of other spam listings.
As a rule of thumb, it’s important to stay away from directories that have a keyword anchor text, directories containing the text “add your link” or “suggest a site”, and low domain authorities.
The Benefits of Local Listings
1 - Brand Development and Brand Awareness
The more accessible your business is online, the more likely people will be exposed to your product offering. As a consequence of this, you’re likely to realise that more people will be making utility of your services and willing to buy the items you’re selling. Brand Development plays a key role in your marketing strategy
On the flip side, if people are unable to locate your website or track it down over the web, there’s a very low chance that you’ll be able to unlock new clients.
Importantly, directory listings also serve as great tools to reach out to specific audiences and capture their imaginations. Who doesn’t want that?
2 - Promote your Products & Services
With directory listings, you can choose to concentrate your efforts on a specific state, town, city, or zip code. Alternatively, you can decide to go big and advertise your products and services internationally. To get the most of your efforts, tools like Google AdWords, Bing Ads, Yellow Pages, and Yelp Advertising, are recommended.
Using these tools, you’ll be able to target specific prospects. Some of these platforms have mass appeal among entrepreneurs due to the fact that they offer free advertising capabilities.
3 - Search Engine Optimisation
Directory listings and SEO are a match made in heaven. Because listings get plenty of hits, it’s easy for businesses to rank higher on search engines. The backlinks from online directories are also high quality since they originate from recognised sources.
Having your business on the lips of everyone is no mean feat. For this to happen, you need to put the word out there in a number of listing directories, social platforms, review sites, and search engines.
The net result? Enhanced odds of customers finding your products and services on the web. Truthfully, there are hundreds of directory listings out there, this means that it may take an eternity for you to go solo. As such, we recommend hiring the services of an established company like ClickSlice to help you with your efforts.
4 - Cheap Exposure and Cost-Effective Method
Interestingly, you can have your business listed on a number of search engines, directories, review sites, and social platforms at no charge.
Before you commit to having your information displayed on such platforms, we advise that you first work on bolstering your profile. Once that is done, you’ll find it easy to make it to the top of search lists when people are seeking specific services and products.
A well-crafted strategy can effectively help you avoid annoying ad pop-ups and keep competitors looking for a slice of your business at bay.
If you want to have your business listed, you can do so for free. Since there’s a greater risk of getting things wrong with this approach, you need to carefully scan the information you provide to weed out the errors. Having a single dashboard from where you can review all the listings you’ve created is also recommended because it facilitates easy management.
Embracing a DIY approach sometimes leaves you vulnerable. In a bid to come up with an excel spreadsheet that lists out all the usernames and passwords of the various search engines, social media platforms, review sites and directories that you’ve come up with, you may find that the information is not accurate.
Having a single dashboard is a safer option because you can keep track of all the changes you make along the way without necessarily having to constantly perform password resets.
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5 Ways To Get The Best ROI From Your Google Ads Campaign
Google Ads – previously known as Google AdWords – is the search engine’s own Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising platform. It’s responsible for over 97% of Google’s revenue, and it’s been a real game-changer for users who want to get quick, easy exposure for their company online.
Businesses use the program to bid for advertising space above the organic listings. Via their Ads account, they can tell Google to display their ads for keywords that are relevant to their products or services, then use these ads to direct potential customers back to a particular page on their website.
They do not need to pay to appear in the search results, but they will be charged a fee every time a user clicks on their link.
As you can imagine, Google Ads provides marketing-savvy organisations with a quick, easy and incredibly effective way of boosting their website traffic and generating more leads or enquiries. The only downside is, these companies need to pay for the privilege – and costs can escalate pretty quickly if the account isn’t being managed correctly.
I’m a smaller business – can I benefit from Google Ads?
Many people think that Google Ads is only suitable for larger companies with big budgets. Trust us – that’s not true.
If you’re in a particularly competitive industry sector, you may need to pay a higher price for ad clicks, because there will be a higher demand for ad space. But we believe that every company can benefit from running a paid search campaign, as long as their account is well-optimised, and they are making the right first impression on the people who are finding their ads.
How can I make sure I get the best ROI from my campaign?
A successful PPC campaign relies on two things:
- Reaching as many users as possible
- Keeping click costs to a minimum.
There are certain tools and settings you can use within Google Ads to maximise your chances of appearing in search whilst paying as little as possible for the exposure.
Here, we’ve listed five tactics that will help you manage your click spend budget and ensure you’re getting the best possible return on investment from your marketing efforts.
1. Choose the right targeted keywords
Keyword selection is an essential part of the process because the key phrases you choose to appear for will ultimately determine who is going to see your ad.
To find the right keywords for your campaign, you’ll first need to think about your user’s intent. Will they be looking for information on a specific topic, perhaps to research a purchase? Or do they want to buy something online? The intentions behind the search will affect the queries they use.
Next, use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to determine how many people are searching for a particular keyword on a monthly basis. The software can be used to generate ideas for your campaign, but crucially, it will also call upon an archive of search data to give you each term’s monthly search volume.
If the search volume is low, your ad will be seen by fewer people. But by the same token, if the key phrase is specific to what you’re offering, you may have a better chance of converting the user into a paying customer.
Pro Tip: Use exact match keywords.
Exact match keyword targeting enables you to reach customers who are searching with a specific keyword (or a close variant of it).
When you set your keywords to ‘exact match’ in Google Ads, you’re making sure that your ads are only appearing for searches that are 100% relevant to the search term you have chosen. You won’t reach as many people using this keyword strategy, but you will only pay for clicks that are more likely to convert into real business. It’s a much more cost-effective way of managing a campaign if money is tight.
2. Target a specific geographical area
If you only supply your products or services to a particular town, county or region, make sure this is reflected in your targeting settings.
You can tell the platform to only display your ads if the user is based in a place that’s of interest to you. This stops you from wasting your click budget on people who live in areas that you don’t currently service.
3. Refine your ad schedule
In the same way that you can restrict where your ads are shown, you can also make sure they are only displayed at certain times of the day.
If you’re a B2B provider that receives most of your enquiries between 9am and 5pm, you can ask Google to list your ad during these times. If you’re an online retailer, and you know that most of your customers are going to be searching for your products after normal working hours, you can change your settings so that your ads only appear in the evening.
And if you have no idea when your customers would normally be searching for companies like yours, you can experiment by testing different ad schedules, then monitoring the data to see which approach has generated the most clicks.
4. Spend time drafting quality ad copy
The copy used within your ad is what’s going to hook your customers in and convince them to click through to your site. It needs to pack a punch, sure – but it also needs to meet Google Ads’ guidelines if it’s going to be considered for inclusion in the listings.
You can find lots of information on how to write winning PPC ad copy here, but in a nutshell, you need to make sure your content highlights what makes you unique; contains one of your targeted keywords; and tells your audience exactly what they need to do in order to either get in touch with you or complete their purchase (depending on your goals for the campaign).
Thanks to Google’s recently expanded text ads, you now have even more space to fill. You can also add a range of ad extensions to your listing to make it really stand out. Click here for a closer look at the different types of ad extensions now available from Google Ads.
5. Cap your daily click spend budget
The best way to prevent overspending is to set an average daily budget for each Google Ads campaign. It’s important to choose a budget that’s sustainable and affordable for your business – but you’ll also need to consider whether this amount will be enough to get you enough clicks to make the campaign viable.
It’s a tough balancing act. If you’re struggling to work out how much you should be spending for the best ROI, we’d recommend asking a specialist PPC manager for help.
Need further help?
The tips listed above should go some way to helping you achieve a better return from your Google Ads campaign. However, there’s so much involved in running a successful PPC account, it would be impossible for us to list all our recommendations in one blog post!
For more advice and expert guidance, contact the team here at ClickSlice. We’ll use our decades of combined experience in using Google Ads to produce a campaign that delivers on all fronts.
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5 Reasons Why Every Business Should Be Investing In SEO
From a business perspective, SEO is one of the best investments you could make. It’s something that you shouldn’t avoid. By embracing it, you’ll be broadening your horizons to experience something surreal.
Over the last couple of years, there have been many changes in the SEO world. Google has many a time revamped the search console with new crawl limits whilst ensuring that they were able to improve upon a couple of their products.
These updates to their algorithms and other ranking factors have only gone ahead to bolster the quality of their service dispensation.
In our guide today, we’ compiled a handy guide that lists out 5 key reasons why you need to put more focus on SEO going forward.
1 - Long-Lasting Results for your Business
To reap the full benefits of SEO, you need to think of it as a long-term strategy. Once you embrace this kind of thinking, you’re bound to realise considerable advancements in your business.
Many people who are new to SEO usually wonder about the length of time necessary for them to rank number one based the keywords used.
Constantly worrying about this one statistic is not the best way to go. Instead of getting exasperated about the lack of changing tides within a month or two, it’s best to be patient for soon enough, the results will speak for themselves.
When starting a new website, you need to be prepared to wait about 6-12 months before you start seeing results. While this may seem like a lifetime, when it’s done correctly, you will be able to maintain your website on SERP which may have a long-lasting impact on your success. The main reason for the duration is because you have to build backlinks to your website to help it rank higher in Google, unfortunately, you can do build 1000+ backlinks overnight. It might be done gradually over time.
If you’re currently running a business, we’re certain you’re already aware of the benefits of having a portfolio to generate conversions. With better search visibility, it becomes easier for you to market your wares to all and sundry. SEO guarantees that you have visibility in SERP, later on, you’ll reap the full monetary results.
2 - Impressive ROI
Provided you have a healthy budget and are actively engaged in marketing your products and/or services, SEO will ensure that you have a great return on investment.
That said, it’s not wise to set unrealistic goals. Instead, you need to budget for about 6-12 months of SEO, else, you might end up losing money. Since you want to benefit rather than lose investments that would have been better spent elsewhere, it’s important that you wait it out. Simply forking cash for a couple of months is not enough to realise the kind of results you want to see.
There’s good data showing that about 40% of revenue is usually sourced from organic traffic. In light of this, it’s best that you put in the work to capture these organic searches. This is quite important when you consider that a significant 18% of local smartphone searches also resulted in a purchase within the day.
3 - Organic Search is usually the Key Source of Traffic
Organic search plays a central role in generating a website’s traffic. Numerous studies conducted show that businesses need to put more emphasis on strengthening organic search. One finding revealed that about 51% of website traffic usually emanates from organic search. Interestingly, only 10% of the net traffic usually arises from paid search, 5% from social media channels and the remainder 34% typically arises from other sources.
In light of this info, it’s evident that search visibility is an integral part of the equation. Google seems to like websites that are trusted by a majority of the population. To ensure that you’re in good books with the search engine behemoth, it’s necessary to conduct frequent website optimisation operations. Doing so only serves to boost your ranking on the first page of search engine results.
4 - Compared to Paid Search, SEO Can Be Economical
When you consider the long-time investment in SEO, it’s considerably for you to promote your business using SEO than other paid search tactics.
True, you may have to pump plenty of cash in the initial stage than most paid advertising strategies. Still, the overall benefits still outweigh paid methods which usually require you to keep handing out money every other month to ensure that you keep receiving traffic on your website.
Compared to SEO, paid search marketing usually has a shorter lifespan in terms of making conversions. Results are only present for as long as you keep making payments. On the flip side, SEO is more a long-ball tactic which puts it as the safer option.
5 - SEO is Quantifiable
With SEO, you can get insights into how your business is fairing from the analytics on your website. The only challenge you’re likely to face is getting the data yourself and deciding the avenues which need improvements.
If you’re a newbie, comprehension of the data may be hard. It’s highly likely that you’ll have to invest plenty of time breaking down the data into tinier digestible pieces before taking a course of action. Experienced SEO analysts usually start things by separating the wheat from the chaff.
Notably, there exists a suite of tools in the market which can help you monitor the performance of your website. ClickSlice recommends Google Analytics as it can easily help you learn more about your audience and their preferences, your major sources of traffic, and how your content is consumed.
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3 Reasons Why You Should Use WordPress as your CMS
It’s always nice to change up every once in a while. Maybe you’ve tried out other content management systems like Joomla or Drupal when you were just starting out. Inevitably, you outgrew these options. If you’re looking for more functionality and a whole new toolbox to play with, then it’s time for a CMS upgrade.
When it comes to CMS solutions, WordPress is up there with the best of them. While other platforms like Drupal get lauded for their active community, Expression Engine is favoured by the technically gifted, and Alfresco quickly converts files into webpages, WordPress still has a charm about it.
If you’re intrigued about what WordPress can offer for your business, take a quick look at the top 3 reasons we you need to embrace WordPress as your CMS.
1 - It’s been around the Block
WordPress made its way into the scene back in 2003, before anyone really knew what blogging or CMS was.
During its early years, the platform was largely a resourceful tool for bloggers. However, as the years rolled on, WordPress remarkably gathered no moss. It’s now become synonymous as the go-to platform for all kinds of businesses.
WordPress is just as popular among programmers as it is for those who aren’t too tech savvy. Interestingly, one stat shows that with each passing day, about 500 new websites are developed using WordPress.
As a platform, WordPress has attracted plenty of people looking to bring their websites up to par. With an impeccable development team driving its progress, WordPress has not slouched in any sense since it came into being.
If you’re in the market for a plugin that will stitch-up and enhances your SEO strategy, WordPress is the way to go. If you’re looking for a unique theme that makes your business stand out, WordPress is all it takes.
In essence, WordPress has you covered in almost every department you can think of. There are a ton of third parties on the platform which have come up with fantastic themes, plugins, and widgets which have quickly become fan favourites.
2 - Simple & Robust
Compared to its contemporaries like Joomla and Drupal, WordPress has a very intuitive interface. All the features they have on offer are quite easy to use. This makes it the perfect platform for noobs in the industry to start out.
Even the most complicated of tasks are heavily simplified for enhanced user experience. This simplicity has really endeared the platform to many users over the years. This WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) concept has been fantastic to their bottom line.
By eliminating the need to code, WordPress successfully tapped into a market that many other platforms hadn’t envisioned. Businesses have been drawn en masse because of this attribute since they are able to save on time and monies that would have otherwise been spent hiring on-staff programmers and web designers. It’s a real treat.
Having divulged all this, it’s quite easy for one to think that WordPress is not robust enough because of the simplification of tasks. In truth, nothing could be further from the truth.
Aside from the powerful functionality, WordPress has a thriving online community who actively engage to provide solutions to issues encountered. It is through such forums that users concerns get answered and development proceeds without a hitch.
3 - Free & Versatile
Wait, did we mention that WordPress is free? Well, it is!
While many other CMS platforms require their users to cough up the dough in advance, WordPress gets availed to users absolutely free. This zero-dollar price tag has been quite effective in attracting so many enterprises looking to make their mark in the market.
That said, it’s worth noting that some of the competition offers free packages, but, most of the plugins that they offer come with a price tag. While it’s true that some WordPress plugins are also available at a price, most of them are free or have an attached freemium version for users to test the waters with.
The fact that you can literally do anything you want with WordPress is also a bonus feature. While the platform was all about blogging during the nascent years, it’s taken in plenty of web developers within its wingspan over the years.
Enterprises love WordPress because anyone with some IT knowledge can update them. Excitingly, it doesn’t take a web development guru to implement a couple of changes to the content.
As a plus, businesses are able to save plenty with WordPress. Instead of having two platforms, one for website creation and another for blogging, WordPress is able to combine both functionalities without the need to outsource elsewhere.
As its evidently clear, WordPress is your best bet if you’re looking for a friendly CMS that will ease your workload. There are also tons of security plugins you can install on your site too to help prevent your site from being hacked by hackers.
Try it out today!
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Best Onpage SEO Tools and How to Use Them
On-page SEO is of the essence because it plays a major role in how search engines like Google comprehend the content on your webpage.
In light of this, it’s is your job to ensure that all the content on your webpage is optimised from a subset of chosen keywords. Once this is enforced, you will find it easy to rank higher in SERP.
When you don’t have good onpage SEO, it becomes harder for you to stand out in your industry. This is especially true when you consider that there’s every possibility that your competitors have already optimised their pages to rank higher in search results.
While you may have a compelling backlink profile and awesome content, you may find yourself overshadowed by others simply because your webpage falls short in onpage SEO.
Key Elements of Onpage SEO
The most vital part of onpage SEO are the actual keywords you decide to target. If the keywords you select are too competitive, you’ll be inhibiting your chances to rank, irrespective of how well you optimise your page. To get a better understanding of what keywords are good to target for your London based business, we recommend to hire an SEO consultant as they will have extensive knowledge and know exactly what keywords are too competitive.
If you don’t then it’s important to conduct proper keyword research. When you do this, you’ll be able to find the best phrases with the highest search volume that you can target.
Having identified which keywords you’ll go with, your onpage SEO strategy needs to be focused on optimising your webpage for those particular keywords and their semantic options.
It’s also worth documenting that you need to sort out your title tag, the header tag, image alts and optimisation in the content itself. ClickSlice can help with that if need.
Here’s a breakdown of the top Onpage SEO tools in the market.
1 - Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer
As divulged earlier, keywords are critically important in SEO campaigns. Not only do they provide you with a target to aim for, but they also guide your optimisation efforts.
While all this sounds quite easy on paper, keyword research can be quite tasking, especially if all you have is the Google AdWords tool.
With Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer, you can ease the workload by a significant fraction. This SEO tool is quite handy in that it allows you to discover new keywords to target whilst showing you all the backlink data. The fact that it enables you to conduct comparison tests on different keywords makes this tool a gem.
2 - SEOCrawler
A number of businesses use SEOCrawler as their key onpage SEO tool. The Site Auditor feature is probably their most impressive asset. With it, you can analyse a page in a swift manner and get updates on page speed, duplicate content, broken links, and keyword optimisation. Impressively, all this is provided in an instant.
With such automation features at your disposal, you can save plenty of time and divert your attention towards more lucrative ventures out there.
The Site Auditor feature also provides users with suggestions on how they can enhance their webpage for more effectiveness. With the changes made, you can monitor just how impactful the changes were on the Rank Tracker.
3 - Copyscape
This neat tool is particularly useful if you’re outsourcing the services of a copywriter for your brand. Since Google favours original content, it’s imperative that the content that’s delivered to you is in no way duplicated from other platforms.
To get started with the tool, all you need to do is paste content into their editor and it will scan its records before letting you know just how unique the copy is.
4 - Google Developers PageSpeed Insight
Cognizant of the fact that an increasing number of people conduct internet searches on their phones, Google has upped the ante by introducing page speed as part of their ranking factors.
In today’s world, websites have to ensure that their pages load fast. When they do, they’re likely to win over a significant section of the mobile community. If you’re looking to rank favourably with mobile users, it’s up to you to ensure that your pages load swiftly after launch.
You can make use of the Google PageSpeed Insight tool to analyse just how fast your page is. The tool does a great job of suggesting a couple of improvement areas that can take your page to the next level and rank higher in SERP’s.
5 - Moz On-Page Grader
This tool does a great job of analysing your webpage and notifying you just how it compares to their specially curated checklist of SEO factors. After analysis, the tool gives you a result that indicates the overall grade of your website with suggestions on how to make enhancements.
The real beauty of Moz On-Page Grader is that it has an intuitive design which makes it the perfect tool for novices. If you’re looking for a tool that will guide you through the ropes of onpage SEO, this is the best way to get acquainted.