6 Ways to Make Your Website More Accessible
The goal of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is to drive organic traffic to your website.
A robust SEO implementation considers both the technical aspects of the website and the content that the website produces.
However, if your website is being shown to users who cannot effortlessly access it, the whole SEO implementation is fundamentally flawed.
The content should be informative, well written, and easy to digest. In addition, the website itself should be easy to navigate and have fast load times.
What Is Website Accessibility?
An accessible website is a website that anyone can use. A vast range of disabilities should be considered throughout developing a website, and catering for those who are visually impaired is imperative.
But website accessibility goes far beyond building a website for those with sight problems. Accessibility should also consider those with physical, hearing, and cognitive disabilities.
Spans Beyond Disabilities
An accessibile website is also imperative for those who are non-disabled.
For example, an accessible website is one that transfers seamlessly between devices. Meaning, a user can access the same level of service regardless of the device they choose.
Additionally, an accessible site functions perfectly during ‘situational limitations’. These include adjusting the contrast for those in exceptionally bright environments and considering those with slow or unstable internet connections.
6 Tips for Increased Accessibility
There are an endless number of tweaks that can be applied to a website to increase its accessibility. Some are relatively quick fixes, and others require a more substantial overhaul.
Establish A Strong Header Structure
Most people who are blind or partially sighted use screen readers to enjoy the content on your website. Screen readers rely heavily on a heading structure to navigate the articles.
Headings range from H1 – H6 and should be tagged accordingly to ensure these screen readers understand them.
You mustn’t style to text to look like a heading without appropriately marking it as one. Otherwise, the reading software will not register the heading, and the content will be challenging to comprehend for those with disabilities.
Each page should only contain one H1 tag, which will typically be for the article’s title. H2 – H6 tags are then used for various subheadings throughout the piece. Usually, there will be multiple H2 headings throughout the content, separating different sections of information. Under each of them, there will be a variety of H3-H6 headings, where appropriate.
Descriptive, Effective Image Alt Text
Screen readers will use the alt text to describe your images to your reader. Without a cohesive description, your reader will have no idea what the image is.
Traditionally, website owners developed a bad habit of stuffing image tags with keywords as a sly way to incorporate them into the article. This was a nightmare for those who accessed the content through a screen reader. Search engines quickly became wise to this tactic, developing strategies to combat it.
Alt text also hugely helps with situational limitations. If a reader’s internet is running slowly and lacks the power to load the whole page, then the alt description will be displayed instead.
Videos that accompany articles and blog posts are becoming increasingly common.
Many readers prefer to consume their content visually, finding this to be a more engaging and entertaining experience. However, for those with disabilities, videos can be completely inaccessible.
Providing a transcript of your content is a relatively straightforward way to boost the accessibility of your site.
Additionally, many people simply do not have the time to watch an entire video. They would prefer to skim the transcript and jump straight to the content they are searching for.
Breadcrumbs are particularly useful for E-commerce websites, which generally have thousands of products across hundreds of different pages.
It refers to the secondary navigation scheme that shows users exactly where they are on the website. Breadcumbs may look something like this:
Home > Clothes > Men’s Clothes > Men’s Jeans
As well as accessibility, breadcrumbs are great for a well-rounded SEO strategy.
Many who are blind or partially sighted may not be able to use a mouse. Therefore, it is imperative that your website can be navigated with a keyboard alone.
Widgets, drop-down menus, and dialogue boxes should all be considered. This is a crucial element of your accessibility strategy that will help prevent segregating a large percentage of your potential audience.
The colours and contrast levels on your website will have a considerable impact on how accessible it is.
People with conditions such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy have a low contrast sensitivity, and therefore will struggle to read web pages where there is not enough differentiation between the colours.
For example, red text on a green background would be challenging to read. In comparison, black text on a yellow background will be much more prominent.
Accessibility and SEO
A successful SEO strategy is not one that merely ticks the boxes prescribed by search engines. Instead, it requires a holistic approach, looking at both the technical aspects of a website and the on-page content.
There is a significant overlap between optimising a website for SEO and optimising it for accessibility purposes.
Accessibility Is The Right Thing To Do
As stated, an accessible website is likely to be one that search engines love. However, we would hope this is not your primary reason for building an accessible space.
You should be hoping to build a community with your product or service. A loyal group of customers who can enjoy your content and support your journey. Without an accessible website, you are immediately outcasting a significant percentage of the population.
Optimising a site, and its content, to make it accessible to the broadest audience can feel like a daunting task. But, it is never too late to implement an accessibility strategy.
For any queries relating to accessibility, or SEO in general, contact Click Slice on 020 3287 3638 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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How to Create the Perfect ‘About Us’ Page
An ‘about us’ page often ends up hidden in a website’s footer, added as a complete afterthought.
When businesses do this, they are missing a powerful marketing strategy.
If used correctly, your ‘about us’ page can become one of the most influential pieces of content across the whole site. Attracting readers and converting them into loyal customers.
What is An About Us Page?
An ‘about us’ page connects your users to your brand. It is a space for you to tell the reader your story, and solidify your brand identity.
This page is a dedicated space on your website to explain exactly what your company does, why you are unique, and why visitors should choose you.
The best ‘about us’ pages are goal orientated. They show the history of the company and the mission that you are working towards.
It is an ideal opportunity to showcase your personality. Whether this is serious, relaxed, or playful – it allows your customers a genuine insight into your business.
About Us Pages Are Notoriously Bad
Companies really struggle to write effective ‘about us’ content.
Whether brands are embarrassed to show off their expertise or simply do not understand the purpose of the page, the space often becomes a jumbled, unstructured mess.
However, without a dedicated page, you will struggle to transform viewers into buyers. Customers care about where their product or service is coming from and want to buy from brands they can relate to.
Therefore, a relatively small amount of time and effort can have a dramatic impact.
Why You Need One
The ‘about us’ page is often one of the most popular pages across many established websites.
Because humans are naturally curious.
You will struggle to create a product, service or concept that is unique. So, visitors want to know why they should choose you above your competition.
We know that no two businesses are the same, regardless of the product they are selling. But visitors want to understand what makes you different. They want a story, and to understand your beliefs and your ethos.
A great about us page solidifies your brand image. It ties together with other elements of your marketing, including your logo and packaging.
What to Include
Your visitors do not want your whole life story, but a little insight into why you formed the company and how it has reached the point it is at today can make a considerable impression.
Highlight the gap in the market you spotted or the problem you solved. Including information about where the passion stemmed from is a great way to build a genuine relationship with your readers.
Your backstory does not have to come in the form of a vast block of text. Infographics work perfectly for this kind of information. Using a timeline to show your company history is fun, easy to read, and a great way to tie your branding into this page.
Explain Your Mission
For example, you might be a clothing company looking to create a completely zero-waste product. This ties together your passion for environmentally friendly products, with a gap in the market for genuinely stylish, zero waste clothing items.
Your mission does not have to save the world. You might simply want to create the best tasting instant coffee there is.
But showing your readers how your beliefs, and your product or service tie together, is crucial.
Introduce Your Team
Some businesses choose a dedicated page for this, but it works equally as well on your ‘about us’ section. It is best to introduce your team with a photograph, their name, their role, and an interesting fact about them.
This allows your visitors to get a great insight into your company and adds a personable touch to an otherwise faceless enterprise.
A Deep Dive into The Company’s Personality
Your ‘about us’ page offers an excellent opportunity to show what is going on behind the scenes. It might be a chance for you to highlight any local initiatives you are involved with, including any charity work.
Rather than a page about your product or service, this space allows you the freedom to share your personality. These details help to build a connection with your audience and set your brand apart from the competition.
Establish Your Credibility
This page gives you the freedom to do a little bragging. Use solid facts and numbers to show exactly why you are the best.
Whether this explains the solution you have created or some facts and figures about the results you have proven – visitors will value your honesty.
You may even choose to include some client testimonials on there. Although we recommend having a separate page for those, a snippet can add credibility to the statements.
Include Contact Information
Although you will have a dedicated ‘contact us’ page, including contact details with your company overview is crucial.
For service-based companies, including a location map will instantly let viewers know if your content is relevant to them. Effectively implemented local SEO means that viewers finding this page should be local, relevant customers.
Of course, an email address and telephone number should also be included on this page, allowing readers to get in touch instantly.
Finally, be Genuine and Authentic
Readers are not searching for a sales pitch. They want something that they can relate to.
With a real-life story, some clever copy, and interesting imagery, your ‘about us’ page can perfectly complement a solid company website. It will engage your audience and rocket your sales.
ClickSlice - A Leading London SEO Agency
ClickSlice are experts in Search Engine Optimisation, focusing on providing every client with a strong return on their investment.
To learn more, contact ClickSlice today on 020 3287 3638 or email@example.com.
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7 Steps to Reduce Your Bounce Rate
A low bounce rate indicates a website that engages readers, encouraging them to explore, rather than turn to the competition.
What is a Bounce Rate?
A single ‘bounce’ is a user who lands on your website, then leaves without looking at any other pages.
So, your ‘bounce rate’ is the percentage of users who click off your website without taking the time to look around.
Bounce Rate Matters
The needs of popular search engines such as Google are constantly changing. However, bounce rate appears to be a common factor considered when ranking websites. Websites that routinely rank on the first page of Google tend to have very low bounce rates.
Perhaps even more significantly, a high bounce rate indicates that readers are leaving your page immediately and are not converting into genuine customers.
Consider the goal of each page. It may be to drive customers to your shop, take them to a service page, or convince them to get in touch. If users are jumping directly from your site, you will not be reaping the rewards in sales.
What Should My Bounce Rate Be?
Unfortunately, this question is completely context-specific. While a bounce rate of 80% is perfectly fine for some companies, this may be disastrous for others.
You should be aware that where the traffic comes from will dramatically impact your bounce rate. Traffic reaching your website from paid advertisements or social media posts tend to have a significantly higher bounce rate.
This is an entirely legitimate reason for a high bounce rate and should not cause concern.
A bounce rate of 50% tends to be a figure many websites aim for, but this should be taken with a pinch of salt. It is always best to focus on improving your own statistics rather than concentrating on what the others are doing.
Be wary of bounce rates that are too low. On the surface, bounce rates of 20% look exceptional. However, these are normally the result of wrongly implemented Google Analytics tools rather than an exceptionally performing website.
How to Improve Your Bounce Rate
User Experience is Key
Firstly, you must consider whether the content on your website is meeting the needs of your readers.
Think about how useful, interesting, and engaging your site’s substance is, and how it will benefit your ideal visitor. Ensure that your design is modern, your images are slick, and your copy is exciting.
Users want to know that you are experts in the field and want to enjoy using your website. They do not wish to view vast blocks of text, which will immediately make them click away.
Short, snappy sentences work better.
Give the users the information they require, without all the fluff surrounding it. Use infographics and photography to break up the text blocks, but always ensure these graphics are relevant.
Videos are also a great way to engage users, keeping them on your website longer and helping reduce your bounce rate.
Whilst this might sound obvious, a surprising number of websites fail to implement a navigation system that is user friendly.
A concise, helpful menu that gives simple directions is essential for any great website. Users need it to be abundantly clear where they should click to find the information they require. Additionally, having a search bar visible from every page on your site will encourage readers to remain, rather than reverting to their search engine.
Page Load Time
A website that loads quickly is crucial to excellent SEO and hugely benefits your website’s bounce rate.
Users are not willing to wait for buffering pages. The average internet user will click away in less than three seconds. Readers clicking away before the page has even finished loading will be catastrophic for your bounce rate.
Include More Calls to Action
If you are a service-based company, your website’s primary aim is to sell that service to your readers. Therefore, it is likely that you need to drive them to a contact page, or failing that, a newsletter subscription to keep them updated on your business.
Users probably find your website through a helpful blog post you uploaded rather than directly on your home page. Therefore, they might not even be aware of your company and the service you offer.
A call to action on every page will help drive them to another screen, converting them to genuine customers and keeping them on your website for longer.
Use a Logical Internal Linking System
We all know the importance of internal links for your website ranking.
It allows search engines to crawl your website and promote it for the most relevant user queries. However, it can also drastically improve your bounce rate.
Users are much more likely to continue reading when there are intuitive, sensible links included.
This is where the best-researched websites shine above the rest.
Besides specific keyword research, you should conduct a regular, thorough investigation into your general target audience. It may be the case that your website is not reaching a readership that is converting into a genuine market.
Optimised content will reach the best audience, which will keep them on your site, which will in turn reduce your bounce rate.
Consistently Update Your Blog
Regularly updating your blog with fresh, relevant content will hugely help to reduce your bounce rate.
Returning users will steadily begin to outweigh new visitors when readers begin to trust your posts and appreciate the value in the content you are producing. Returning users who come to your site directly are much more likely to browse for longer, helping to bring down the bounce rate.
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Building an SEO Friendly URL
Search engines use a variety of tools to assess your website. They need to understand what the content is about to accurately supply their users with the best response to their queries.
Search engines will consider the content itself, the titles and subheadings and the internal links used.
But they will also look directly at the URL. This is an element of SEO that is often overlooked yet can dramatically impact your ability to rank on the first page of search engine results
What is a URL?
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a website address. One element of the URL is the domain, which signifies the website that the page is attached to. The remainder of the URL represents the specific page or post that this unique link is pointing towards.
Think of the domain as the postcode, showing the area in which the page sits. https://www.clickslice.co.uk/seo/.
Whereas the slug would be considered the front door number. Highlighting to the user the exact location they are currently accessing. https://www.clickslice.co.uk/seo/.
An SEO optimised URL is designed to work for both search engines and users. The best will generally be very short, include smart keywords, and always be secure.
A holistic approach to SEO does not focus on one particular element but instead considers a rounded approach. An SEO friendly URL is imperative to complete this and should always be considered when looking at both on-page and technical SEO strategies.
HTTPS Over HTTP
An SSL certificate provides your users and customers with the reassurance they need that your website is secure. When the SSL certificate is installed, the URL will look something like this: https://www.clickslice.co.uk/seo/.
Enabling an SSL certificate means that an encrypted connection will be established every time a browser contacts your website. So, your user’s information cannot be stolen, and their activity cannot be tracked.
Having a secure website verifies your identity to search engines. It legitimises your website, and therefore your company. Search engines see HTTPS as a site with integrity, so it is a crucial ranking factor, integral to solid SEO.
Short links, consisting of 2-4 easy to read words, are generally more attractive than those longer. Additionally, your URL should be no longer than 60 characters.
A consistent URL structure must be implemented throughout your website. This is not only for the benefit of search engines, but it will significantly improve user experience.
Stop words are words that do not provide any context or information to search engines. Stop words include terms such as ’a, the, an, but, what’.
Although it is thought that stop words make up around 25% of content on the internet today, they need to be used carefully when complying with the general rules of SEO.
Using stop words in your URL requires a careful balancing act.
On the one hand, the URL slug should be as concise as possible. It does not need to be grammatically perfect but should include the relevant keywords. A URL packed with stop words is going to be longer and more complicated.
However, the use of stop words will not cause search engines to downgrade your page. In fact, search engines such as Google pretty much ignore stop words. Often it will be the case that your URL will not be readable without the stop words. In this case, you should not omit.
So, wherever possible, remove the stop words. However, please do not remove them at the sacrifice of the slug making sense.
Your URL should contain at least one keyword that you want the webpage to rank for.
Although the requirements for excellent search engine rankings are ever-changing, consistent use of keywords when structuring the URL will only complement your SEO strategy.
However, be sure not to repeat keywords. It is tempting to believe that including the same word twice will boost your chances of ranking for this query. But this will not work.
The easier the URL is to read by humans, the easier it is for search engines.
The URL doesn’t need to match the page title exactly – it will generally be significantly shorter. However, make sure it represents the phrase you are trying to convey.
It is essential always to consider readability when choosing your keywords. It should be apparent to any person when they read your URL what the webpage is likely to contain. Hyphens should separate each word.
Some content management systems automatically generate a URL. If the user does not alter this, it will often consist of a random bunch of letters and numbers. Not only is this extremely damaging for the website rankings, but it also does not encourage users to click.
Your ideal URL will be simple yet compelling, accurately summarising the content that the reader should expect.
Special characters can also cause severe URL problems and often cause links to break – wherever possible, they should be removed.
Use All Lowercase
As with all things SEO, the topic of case sensitivity is much debated.
In some instances, it has been shown that case sensitivity is not relevant for URLs. However, using standardised lowercase text is considered the best practice. It is simpler for the user and machines to read.
Using all lowercase text will also massively help with preventing broken links. Both internal and external links are vital for excellent SEO on a website, and frequent 404 errors will cause massive problems for the relationship between your website and popular search engines.
Finally, using a mixture of upper and lower case has been shown to cause search engines to recognise two separate pages. Although this can be rectified, it means that your work will be viewed as duplicate content; even just for a short period. Search engines will then be reluctant to rank the page highly, preventing readers from accessing your valuable content.
Rocket Your Rankings with a Solid SEO Strategy
ClickSlice are a London SEO agency, who specialise in boosting the search engine rankings of company websites. We take an individualistic approach to SEO and work with businesses to develop a plan that works best for their specific situation.
For more information on how we transform businesses through the power of organic internet traffic, contact ClickSlice today on 020 3287 3638 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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6 Steps for Creating a Secure Website
There are currently over two billion websites on the internet, and it is estimated that thirty thousand of those are hacked every day.
An unsafe website impacts everyone. Not only can it be hugely detrimental to your company, but it will make your users and customers vulnerable. An unsecured website will make their data and personal information easily accessible to cybercriminals.
The reality of an unsafe website is hugely daunting. But, you can take clear and relatively inexpensive steps to elevate your website quickly and allow your users to browse with the utmost confidence.
Choose a Safe, Secure Web Hosting Company
For anyone looking to create an online presence through a website, choosing the right web hosting company is integral to their success.
To choose the best company to work with, you will need first to determine the level of support you require. Hosting levels can broadly be separated into three distinct categories.
Shared hosting is great for small to medium businesses. It allows multiple websites to utilise the same server, making this option much more affordable. However, once your company begins to grow, you may notice some severe performance issues.
When your business requires a little extra, consider upgrading to a VPS. A virtual private server provides a happy middle ground, simulating a dedicated server’s experience whilst sharing the hardware costs with other businesses.
Once your company begins experiencing large volumes of traffic and processing a substantial number of financial transactions; a private server will likely be required. This option provides you with complete control over your website and allows you to implement customisations that meet your business’s demands. The most robust option, which comes with the most substantial price tag.
Alternatively, hosting in the cloud may be a more suitable environment for your business.
An SSL is a secure sockets layer.
It sends a message that your website is safe, enabling your customers to browse and shop on your website securely.
For E-commerce sites, an SSL certificate is essential. It is entirely unethical to allow users to input their bank details without assuring that their information will be kept private. Additionally, it can be logistically impossible to accept many bank accounts without an SSL in place.
An SSL certificate cements your identity on the internet and gives your users peace of mind. It protects users data and allows people to enjoy your site with confidence. Additionally, search engines have made clear it is a crucial factor considered when ranking websites.
Create a Backup System
A website backup is essentially an identical copy of your website data, which might include content, media, and databases.
Suppose your website becomes compromised and is hacked, having a backup means that you can be back online in no time.
Backups need to be regular as if the worst does happen; you need the most up to date version of your site. Consider investigating automatic backups which will ensure you have regular copies of your site.
Many web hosting services offer backups as part of their service. However, the storage on these can be limited, so may only be useful for part of your site.
Alternatively, you may choose to invest in a specific backup service, which sits independently of your website hosting. Finally, various plugins are available across many content management services that can help back up your site.
Whether you have one, or one thousand people who access and update your website; strong passwords are essential.
Stay away from your birthday, your dog’s name, or worse, 123456.
First and foremost, do not store passwords in your browser. Although it makes life infinitely more simple, it is just another way for hackers to attempt to steal your information.
The most robust passwords are long yet memorable. Choose something that is over eight characters, using a combination of letters, numbers, and special symbols. Try to use a phrase unique to you, such as a nickname or term that only you would know.
Do not write your passwords down, and do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
Avoid Excessive Plugins
Content management systems, such as WordPress, offer a vast array of plugins for your website. Some of these can add extra functionality to your site, whereas others simply increase aesthetics.
Whilst all plugins purchased from WordPress will be vetted independently, every addition to your website presents a chance for hackers to access your site. Keep potential risks to an absolute minimum by carefully and strategically adding plugins to your website.
WordPress comes with a set of security measures in place by default and offers a range of plugins to increase your website’s security, click here to see what those plugins are.
Thorough SEO is essential for a website that gets noticed. However, once the traffic starts rolling in, it is vital that you closely monitor it.
It is estimated that close to half of all internet traffic is bots. Whilst some bots are harmless, others can be catastrophic for your business and your customers.
For example, web scraping bots will crawl your website, copying the entire contents identically. This can then fool users into believing their site is legitimate, enabling them to trick visitors into handing over their personal information.
If you have a WAF (Web Application Firewall) installed, monitoring for ‘bad’ traffic will be less of an issue. Without one, however, you need to ensure that manual monitoring is conducted regularly.
You will need to select a tool to monitor your website. Google Analytics is generally the favourite and provides a comprehensive overview of your site, providing you with information regarding the viewers’ location, how long they spend on your site, and their behaviour once on the site.
What to look out for:
- Excessively high or low session duration
- Bots tend to click through the pages on your website at a rapid pace. If you notice a vast number of visits with a tremendously high or low session duration, bots are likely present.
- Abnormally high page views
- A sudden boost in pageviews way above your general average is a clear indication that the users on your website are not genuine.
- Spike in traffic from an unusual location
- A sudden massive influx of users from a particular area is a good indication that you are suffering from bot traffic. This is particularly relevant if they come from a country where the mother tongue is not your website’s native language.
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Why Every Business Should use Social Media Microblogging
There has been a rumour circulating for some time now; that blogging is dead.
This could not be further from the truth.
Blogs are everywhere, with over 150 million on the internet today. Ranging from tech to gardening through to learning languages, there has never been a better opportunity to secure revenue through blogging.
Blogs drive traffic to your website, ensuring your reader receives valuable information as well as being introduced to your company, services, or products.
However, this does not mean it is easy. Building a relationship with your audience is vital to boost your engagement rate and create a community of people who regularly read, share and enjoy your work. An engaged and enthusiastic audience will also help promote your products and services, reducing the amount of paid marketing that is necessary.
This is where microblogging begins to shine.
What is Microblogging?
Most businesses and blogs are already microblogging without even realising it.
Microblogging was coined in 2005 when popular social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook burst onto the scene. Many websites give elaborate, over-complicated descriptions of what microblogging actually is.
Microblogging is the process of creating short, concise ‘articles’ often accompanied by images or infographics. Microblogging is typically done to engage your audience.
Twitter, the founder of microblogging, is perfect for drumming up a conversation. Twitter limits character length at 280. Meaning, you have to convey your thoughts, opinions, ideas, and information in a way that is easily digestible for your readers.
LinkedIn users often produce articles which would be considered microblogs. While they will not contain as much information as a long-form article, they will give the reader a wealth of knowledge and drive them to where the author wants them to land.
Microblogs work well when accompanied by long-form articles and can be used to encourage attention around upcoming content. Additionally, they facilitate a discussion and conversation which allows your customers to feel closer to your company.
Microblogging Allows You to be Consistent
For effective content digital marketing, you need to be consistent. There will inevitably be times where you may not have the time, budget, or access to multiple long-form articles per week.
Microblogging allows you to put out valuable, informative content but in a fraction of the time.
This keeps your brand visible and helps you to beat social media algorithms.
Microblogging is Effective for Time-Sensitive Content
Your brand wants to be at the forefront of current affairs – and creating long-form content is not always achievable, or necessary. It allows your company to visibly show they are aware of trending topics without spending too much time or energy on each one.
Microblogging allows you to give your audience an insight into your personality without the need for a detailed article, particularly useful for small businesses or bloggers.
Microblogging Allows You to Test Your Ideas
Writing a long-form blog post, that is SEO optimised, and formatted perfectly takes time. Yes, blog posts can be extremely profitable, but those with low views will not lead to a strong return on your investment.
Microblogging allows you to see what topics your audience are interested in, and what draws in chatter from elsewhere. Tweets with no replies, mentions, or retweets show that this topic does not resonate with your audience.
A great, and relatively inexpensive way to conduct market research.
The Best Platform for Microblogging
You can microblog on pretty much any social media platform.
They each have advantages and disadvantages, and all work better in different niches.
Do not try to master them all. Spreading yourself too thin will mean your content is weak.
People will not comment; they will not be engaged. For example, Instagram works great for travel. Beautiful pictures grab your readers, and your captions will engage and convert them to your site if that is the goal. Pinterest is great for infographics.
Take your time to experiment with platforms, considering what works for your business and audience. Then put your energy into one or two platforms, where you can share regular, valuable content.
Should you blog, or microblog?
In short, you should be doing both.
Microblogging allows you to quickly catch your readers, maybe over their morning coffee or on the train home from work. Times they might not necessarily be sitting down to read a full post.
Microblogging helps build your reputation and lets your audience understand what your brand is all about.
Create Shareable Content
People do not post because of what it says about you; they post because of what it says about them.
Have you ever logged onto Instagram and seen that every person you follow is posting the same story? It is because they want to show they are in the know, they want to look great.
A viral micro-blog on Instagram must not only be saying something of value, but it must be aesthetic enough for others to re-share it.
Microblogging Allows Better Mobile Interaction
Microblogging allows for more significant mobile interaction.
Around half of all web searches are now done on mobile. Your readers may find it difficult to interact with long-form blogs on mobile, but enjoy accessing the content via social media.
Work with the Algorithms
If you or your business wants to gain traction through microblogging, then work with your chosen platforms. Features like ‘live’ videos on Instagram work wonders to boost your engagement, which breeds further comments, follows and eventually sales.
Leverage hashtags to your advantage. And most of all, be consistent. Whether consistent for you is posting daily, weekly, or monthly. Make a schedule and stick to it.
Final Thoughts on Microblogging
Blogging boils down to what you want to achieve from it.
If you are all about engagement, then microblogging on social media is fantastic. Readers love receiving bite-sized pieces of information and connecting with the writer immediately. It opens up conversations, questions, and allows your audience to interact with each other.
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Why It Pays to Make Friends With Google Ads
Online marketing has been around for, well, nearly as long as the internet. While the internet wasn’t initially intended to be used as a method of advertising, it quickly became apparent that it was the perfect tool to do just that.
The Evolution of Online Marketing
It was in the early 90’s, that business owners began using email as a way of promoting their products. And in 1990, the world’s first search engine, Archie, was developed. WebCrawler came a few years later in 1994, which saw a huge improvement for search engines with a version that could now index titles of a web page as well as its actual content.
Lycos was next to be developed and that was good in its own right, bringing with it the powers of ranking search results based on relevance. Then, in 1996, Google’s search engine appeared. This is the real point at which the whole idea of online marketing really took off.
Why Internet Marketing is Important
In any business, whether you have fierce competition or not, requires a certain amount of marketing in order to get people to see their products or showcase their services. At the end of the day, if people don’t know about a product or service, and they’ve never even heard of it, how can you expect to gain any new customers?
There are various ways in which companies go about marketing their products and services. While some are quite rigid and tend to stick to the same old tried and tested methods of advertising, others are more willing to try new techniques and strategies.
When it comes to marketing, it’s very rare that two companies would ever share exactly the same strategy. While they may employ some of the same techniques or use some of the same mediums, they are almost certain to have completely different campaigns.
Whether it’s an organic marketing method that’s used such as word of mouth of mouth or blog posts, or inorganic forms such as Yell.com or Instagram Ads, it pays to get your marketing mix right early on. This includes the introduction of Google Ads into your marketing strategy.
Google AdWords, or Google Ads as we know it today, was released into the wild back in the year 2000, and since then, has evolved into one of the most prominent and indispensable marketing platforms – period.
When it first launched 20 years ago, there were just 350 advertisers signed up to the program, today there are millions. With a tool like this at your fingertips, as long as it’s used to its full potential can increase your company’s sales tenfold, if not more.
There are many reasons as to why it pays to utilise Google Ads. Here are some of them:
- Wide audience. Anyone that knows the internet knows Google. In fact, it’s now so widely known that Google is even listed in the Merriam Webster Dictionary. The average amount of searches this engine deals with on a daily basis is around 5 That should give you some idea as to the number of potential customers you could reach. In addition to being able to reach such a large number of people quickly, Google Ads also has the capability to allow for a range of targeted marketing. Through the platform you can bid on both broad and narrow search terms to try and get the best results for your business. Bidding on general terms is good as will reach a wider audience. However, this can be costly, depending on who your competitors are. On the contrary, bidding on long-tail keywords may reach less people, but at least they will be people who know exactly what they want.
- Suits any budget. If you’ve been in business a while, then you’ll already know that good advertising doesn’t come cheap. But that’s the old way. Nowadays, marketing platforms such as Google Ads are much more customisable and therefore more suitable for a wider range of businesses and budgets. With Google Ads you can choose how much you want to spend each month, making it easier to set a budget for. If the campaign is a success, and sales are up, you can increase the budget and the intenseness of it. On the flip side, if money is tight, simply lower the budget temporarily. You can also stop it instantly and not pay another penny.
- Full control. While Google Ads is a paid for campaign platform, you still have full control of it. Previously it used to be a right pain trying to get your message out to as many people as possible, fast. With Google Ads, it takes just seconds. You can actually learn a lot about your market too using Google Ads. Through the campaign platform you can gain real insight as to what customer habits are in the industry, including what words they typed to find you, where they’re located, what device they’re using, and what time of the day they search. With this information, you can then tailor your campaign to refine your marketing efforts in addition to adapting or improving upon any relevant products or services. No more wasting money in advertising to those not interested.
- Fast results. Unlike some forms of organic marketing where it takes time for word to get around, as soon as your ad goes live on Google, people will see it and begin to take notice. Regardless of if they buy from you, or even if they click on the link, people will see your name on the ad, and instantly this creates more brand awareness.With extensive experience and expertise, we can help to identify the critical areas you need to target. What’s more – our dedicated team will create, launch and execute cost-effective local SEO campaigns on your behalf.
Google Ads is one of the most powerful internet marketing tools there is. It’s comprehensive, it’s accurate and it gets results fast. And while it’s not a particularly difficult program to use, it can take a while to get used to.
Why not let us take some of the strain and devise a marketing campaign that best suits your needs? Get in touch now and see what we can do for you.
To learn more, contact ClickSlice today on 020 3287 3638 or email us at email@example.com.
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Local SEO: What You Need to Know
If you’re already familiar with search engine optimisation, you’ll know just how important it is for businesses. By increasing your rankings on search engines via SEO, you can reach a wide proportion of your target market. As your website traffic increases, you’ll have the potential to optimise your conversion rate and secure more sales.
What is Local SEO?
So, where does local SEO come in? Local SEO is similar to standard SEO in that it focuses on increasing your search engine rankings. However, local SEO enables you to tie your location or operating areas into your SEO activity.
Essentially, local SEO enables you to hone your search engine optimisation activity. By targeting specific geographical areas or regions, you’re targeting the people who are most likely to use your services. By doing so, you’re already thinking one step ahead and factoring potential conversions into your SEO campaign from the outset.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Take a look at the following example to get a better understanding of local SEO:
A plumber in Essex wants to increase their online visibility, so they launch an SEO campaign targeting the key term ‘plumbing firm’. After getting to the first page on Google, their website traffic skyrockets. However, their conversion rate plummets.
Why? Because their key term (plumbing firm) is relevant to people all over the world. The increase in traffic that firm has gained may originate from anywhere, which means it’s of little practical use. Someone with a leak in an apartment in New York isn’t going to hire a plumber in Essex, for example! Similarly, someone who needs urgent plumbing services in London probably isn’t going to engage with a company operating in Leeds.
By modifying the key term and using local SEO, you can transform these results. Now, the plumber uses the key term, ‘plumbing firm Essex’ and gets to the first page of Google. Crucially, the subsequent increase in traffic is from people who are looking for a plumbing firm in this area. The results are, of course, more relevant to their needs and they are more likely to engage with the company.
As well as securing an increase in website traffic, the plumber also sees their conversion rate improve, which equates to more profitability.
What If You Offer Nationwide Services?
If you operate all over the country or all over the world, don’t assume that local SEO doesn’t apply to you. Local searches have grown exponentially in recent years, which means users are inputting geographical data when searching for online content. Even if your company operates all over the country, you’ll only secure these customers if you meet their search criteria.
With people using ‘near me’ searches to access services and find companies, your SEO activity needs to have a local component in order to reach your target market. If it doesn’t, you’ll miss out on the chance to engage customers who are actively looking for a business just like yours.
Key Benefits of Local SEO
A local SEO campaign can be successful for all types of businesses. To find out why local SEO is so important for your company, take a look at some of the key benefits now:
1. It’s Cost-Effective
When you target local SEO search terms, it’s typically far cheaper than targeting generic versions. There may be a lot of competition for the key term ‘plumbing firm’, for example, but less competition for ‘plumbing firm Aberdeen’ or ‘plumbing firm Essex’. As a result, it will be cheaper to target the local variations, which means fewer costs for your business.
2. You Get Faster Results
As there is generally less competition for local SEO keywords and terms, you get faster results. When you’re not competing against as many other website owners, you have to do less to achieve the same results. Essentially, your rankings will increase more quickly and you’ll achieve your objectives swiftly.
3. You Generate Real Life Gains
Having millions of people visit your website on a daily basis can be beneficial in some instances, providing it equates to real-life gains. For most businesses, it doesn’t. A million visitors won’t generate revenue if they don’t convert. As conversion rates are typically higher for local SEO campaigns, you can generate real-life, quantifiable financial gains when using this marketing tool.
4. Your Content Can Feature in Google’s 3-Pack
Google’s 3-Pack shows the first three listings that match a user’s query on a map and displays your company’s contact details. Local SEO makes it easier to secure placements in the 3-Pack. In turn, being visible in the 3-Pack makes it easier for users to click-through to your site or contact your business directly.
5. It’s a Futureproof Form of Marketing
When you’re creating your marketing strategy, it’s important to think about how user behaviour is changing. The increased usage of mobile devices has led to the growth of ‘near me’ and local searches. With this trend set to continue, you can be confident that local SEO will continue to be an effective way to reach your target audience.
Use Local SEO to Boost Your Business
Now you know why local SEO is so beneficial to businesses, you’ll be eager to launch your first local campaign. But how do you get started? Most companies need to target numerous areas in order to reach users who are most likely to become future customers, which sounds like a lot of work!
While SEO campaigns can require a lot of work, they don’t have to be. At ClickSlice, we use a wide range of digital tools to streamline campaigns and enhance results.
With extensive experience and expertise, we can help to identify the critical areas you need to target. What’s more – our dedicated team will create, launch and execute cost-effective local SEO campaigns on your behalf.
To learn more, contact ClickSlice today on 020 3287 3638 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Launch a Link Building Campaign in 5 Easy Steps
If you want to improve your SEO rankings, you need a winning link building campaign.
Link building is a form of off-page SEO that helps to improve the credibility of your website. Getting links to your site placed on other reputable sites establishes your authenticity and boosts your rankings.
While the premise behind link building sounds simple enough, a successful campaign can be tricky to execute. If you want to get on the first page of Google, take a look at this step by step guide and start building your link building strategy today…
1. Look at domain authorities
Every website has a domain authority (DA). The DA is a number between 1-100 and, the higher the DA is, the more authority the site has. A website’s domain authority indicates how highly it’s likely to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). Essentially, the higher a website’s DA; the better.
Having your linked placed on high domain authority sites will give your own webpages more credibility and have a greater impact on your own rankings. Getting a link on a site with a DA of 70 will have much more effect than having a link on a site with a DA of 30, for example.
2. Assess the audience
Even if a site has a high domain authority, you won’t necessarily want to target it for you link building campaign. The most effective way to build links to your site is to target other webpages that are relevant to your audience.
If you’re an online clothing retailer, for example, you may want to target fashion blogs and websites of well-known publications, providing they’re reaching your intended demographic. This means that your links are more likely to be relevant to the users who are seeing them on the target page. As well as getting more clicks, the relevancy of your content will increase your conversion rate.
Here, you can see why link building is so powerful. By securing a link on a relevant site, you can boost your rankings on Google. By securing link placements on sites that target the same audience, you can organically grow your reach and increase your sales.
3. Build a network
Contacting site owners or editors and asking them to feature your links is one way to start your campaign. However, high DA sites receive numerous link requests every day, so don’t hold out too much hope that you’ll get a positive response (or any response!).
Most sites that accept link placements have an established eligibility criteria and proposal formats. Be sure to read these thoroughly and submit any requests in accordance with the site’s requirements.
Of course, sending out random requests is time-consuming and doesn’t guarantee results. Cultivating a professional network can be a far more effective way to secure link placements, particularly when you’re running an on-going campaign.
If you don’t currently have a network that can provide the assistance and introductions you need, don’t panic. Get involved in industry events, attend exhibitions and trade shows and sign up to online seminars. With the right approach and attitude, you can build a strong network in no time.
4. Write great guest posts
If a website owner agrees to feature your link on their site, they won’t simply display your link randomly. Instead, you’ll need to supply guest content that contains the link you want them to feature. Crucially, this guest content needs to appeal to their users and meet their criteria.
In many cases, your guest content will be displayed with your name and your company name, so it’s a great way to promote your business. If your content is good enough, you might even find that site owners contact you and ask to display your links on their site!
Becoming well-known in your industry or establishing your credentials can transform your business, so it’s well worth honing your writing skills or creating content that prompts discussion. When your guest content is being actively sought out by other site owners, you’ll find it’s much easier to secure link building opportunities.
5. Prioritise quality over quantity
Many people assume that the more backlinks you have, the higher your rankings will be. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Google is savvy when it comes to figuring out whether backlinks are genuine or whether they’re simply being used for SEO purposes.
Securing backlinks to less-than-reputable sites won’t have a good impact on your rankings. In fact, it will cause you to drop down the rankings on SERPs. Similarly, featuring your link on sites that aren’t relevant to your content is likely to have a negative effect on your rankings.
Instead of focusing on how many backlinks you can get, spend your time securing high-quality backlinks. This will enhance your site’s credibility and have the biggest impact on your rankings.
Start Link Building Today
If you don’t already have a link building strategy in place, it’s time to create one. Backlinks are a major ranking factor, so it’s one aspect of SEO that you really need to focus on. Remember – link building isn’t a one-off activity. You’ll need to ensure that existing links remain active and continuously secure new backlink opportunities if you want to maintain your rankings.
As many SMEs don’t have the time or resources to devise, create, execute and monitor a successful link building campaign, they struggle to achieve good SEO rankings. At ClickSlice, we understand the difficulties SMEs face, which is why we offer dedicated link building packages.
Managed by experienced SEO specialists, our link building services are unique to every client and designed to deliver measurable results. To find out more or to launch your link building campaign today, contact ClickSlice now on 020 3287 3638.
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Is Site Functionality Affecting Your SEO?
When it comes to SEO, there is a long, possibly endless list of things to consider. From keyword research to social shares; content strategies and backlinks; images and H tags – there’s always more you can do to boost your SEO rankings. But what about site functionality?
In a race to get to the top of page 1 on Google, most business owners embark on intensive SEO campaigns. However, they tend to focus on things like content, outreach, local citations and social media activity. While these elements are all critical to successful SEO, there is one important area that gets overlooked: site functionality.
What is Site Functionality?
Site functionality simply refers to what your website is capable of and how well it works. If your site’s secure, easy to navigate and free of errors, chances are it’s got good functionality. A website that’s full of broken links and delivers a poor UX, on the other hand, definitely has poor functionality.
Your website is the centrepiece of your online presence, so it’s vital that it impresses visitors and transitions them through your sales funnel. Whatever goal you’re working on – whether it’s increasing brand awareness, optimising conversion rates or cultivating customer loyalty – good site functionality is critical to your success.
However, site functionality doesn’t just have a direct impact on sales and user satisfaction; it affects your SEO too. In fact, site functionality is one of the key areas that Google assesses when ranking your webpages.
By overlooking site functionality when planning your SEO strategy, you’re ignoring one of the most basic elements. Good rankings rely on optimum website functionality. Make this the basis for your SEO activity and you’ll be off to a great start.
Improving Your Website’s Functionality
Optimising site functionality doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. You might find that you’ve already got some of these points covered and, if not, you’ll have the insight you need to turn things around. To find out what changes you need to make, take a look at some of the aspects of site functionality that impact your SEO rankings:
1. Mobile usability
An increasing number of people are accessing the internet via mobile devices. Advances in technology, Wi-Fi and 4G/5G mean it’s easier than ever to get online using a tablet or smartphone. Of course, the reduced cost of data and widespread availability of public hotspots has helped the mobile trend to flourish too.
In fact, mobile internet use has increased so much that Google has switched to mobile-first indexing. Essentially, if your site isn’t mobile friendly, you’re not going to get the top rankings you’re after. While businesses used to rely on two separate sites – desktop and mobile – this approach limits your SEO success and requires twice the work.
By using responsive web design, you can satisfy Google’s mobile-first indexing algorithm and ensure users have a positive UX, regardless of what device they’re using.
2. Site speed
10 seconds might not sound like a long time but sit behind a screen and set your stopwatch. It sure feels like a long time now, right?!
If your webpages take anywhere near to 10 seconds to load, then you have serious functionality problems. In fact, Google has confirmed that a very slow loading speed is a negative ranking factor. This means you could actually harm your rankings by failing to address this issue.
On mobile devices, your site really needs to load in under 3 seconds. However, even loading speeds of 2.9 seconds will only put you ahead of 50% of sites on the internet. Upgrading to a better server or hosting provider is essential if you aren’t getting the speeds you need to rank highly.
If you’re still not convinced, monitor your bounce rate at existing site speeds and check them again when your loading speeds are reduced. Users are impatient when it comes to waiting for a webpage to load and you could be losing a substantial part of your audience simply because your site’s too slow.
3. Website Security
People like to engage with businesses they trust. No matter what industry you operate in, chances are you’ll be asking users to part with information when they visit your website. Whether you’re collecting email addresses for a newsletter subscription or processing sensitive financial information via online sales; users won’t give up their details if they don’t trust your brand.
Most users are aware of the difference between http:// and https:// in a URL, so make sure your security certificates are in order. However, users won’t generally spend time investigating a site to determine its authenticity or assess its security measures. Instead, they’ll rely on the overall aesthetic, functionality and security indicators.
Whatever security measures you take to safeguard your business and your customers, make sure you advertise them! Badges, graphics and imagery are widely available when you implement site security, so ensure they’re displayed clearly. This is particularly important on sites that offer online transactions but, even if you don’t process purchases online, be sure to let your users know just how seriously you take their online safety.
Boost Your Rankings with the Right SEO Strategy
These are just three site functionality issues that have an impact on your SEO rankings. There are plenty more functionality elements that affect your rankings too, so it’s important to take a comprehensive approach when you’re evaluating your site’s current performance.
Once you’ve covered the basics of site functionality, it’s time to begin working on other areas. Both on-page and off-page SEO is critical to overall success, so you’ll need to consider your site layout, content strategy, outreach, PPC campaigns, social media performance, influencer links and much, much more.
If you don’t have an in-house SEO team, chances are you won’t have the time or the resources to implement a sure-fire SEO strategy. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry. At ClickSlice, we specialise in creating, implementing and delivering successful SEO campaigns. To find out how we can transform your business, contact us today on 020 3287 3638 or email us at email@example.com.