Sure-Fire Online Success for Small Businesses
For today’s businesses, having a website is non-negotiable. Whether you’re an online-only retailer or a bricks and mortar service provider, it’s essential to have a web presence. However, merely being visible online isn’t enough to ensure online success.
To turn your web presence into tangible results, you need to be ranking on the first page of Google’s search results.
Over 75% of searchers never go beyond the first page and over 67% of clicks are reserved for the first 5 organic search results.
Although reaching the second or third page of Google can be a great achievement for a new website, it isn’t going to have any noticeable impact on your business. In fact, being stuck on the second page of search results means you’re missing out on…
1. Brand Awareness
When your webpages are consistently featured on the first search engine results page (SERP), users become familiar with your brand. Even if they don’t click on your webpage initially, you’re putting your brand on their radar.
Most people search for similar keywords repeatedly. If your website offers tips on puppy training, for example, new dog owners will be searching for related terms for weeks, months or even years. If your webpages are on the first page for every search they undertake, your brand awareness increases exponentially.
2. Reputation and Influence
No matter what sector you operate in, you’ll want to be known as an industry leader. Establishing your authority isn’t always easy but strategic SEO can make it happen. Users rely on Google to cherry-pick the highest quality search results for them. When your webpages are appearing on the first SERP, users automatically regard your brand as being well-respected, reliable and influential.
This perceived endorsement has a major influence on user attitudes and behaviours, which means users are more likely to interact with your brand if Google is ranking you highly.
3. No Inbound Leads
Businesses rely on incoming leads to facilitate sales. Without incoming enquiries, you won’t increase your market share or grow your business. While some companies generate a portion of profits via outbound lead generation, it’s incoming leads and repeat business that account for the majority of your turnover.
Want to create brand awareness for your business and generate incoming leads? Find out how with our FREE 5 Step Checklist! Here, we tell you everything you need to know to get your website on page 1 of Google and achieve online success. Why wait?
Prior to making any type of online or in store purchase, 88% of consumers conduct research online. With the vast majority of your target market researching related services and products online, your content needs to be front and centre. We already know that over 75% of users don’t go further than the first page of search results, so it’s clear that this is where you need to be to generate leads.
4. Low Conversion Rates
If you’re generating some website traffic but it isn’t converting into sales, you need to find out why. Many businesses assume their SEO is working if they’re getting traffic to their site, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Effective SEO should always benefit your business. Traffic that doesn’t lead to conversions isn’t growing your business. With the right SEO, you’ll achieve an enviable ROI and online success.
It’s no secret that good SEO practices help build great websites. In fact, Google’s ranking algorithms are directly related to the structure and quality of your site content. When your webpages are ranking highly on Google and hitting the top spots, they are going to be optimising your conversion rate too. This, combined with the increased brand awareness and enhanced reputation which comes with ranking on the top SERP, means you’ll be soaring beyond your sales targets and achieving online success.
5. No Website Traffic
Building a user-friendly website and filling it with original, informative content is fantastic for your business but you’re missing one thing: traffic. Without consistent traffic, you aren’t going to generate sales or grow your customer base.
To generate traffic, you’re going to need to rank highly on Google for search terms that are related to your business. Google is the number one search engine and accounts for over 75% of all online search traffic. While other search engines are relevant, Google is the main player when it comes to boosting your website traffic.
Despite this, 91% of websites never get any traffic from Google. With over 1.7 billion websites registered globally, that’s over 1.5 billion that aren’t getting traffic from the world’s largest search engine. It also means there are almost 200 billion sites generating traffic that you need to compete with.
If you want to be amongst the 9% of sites that generate website traffic from Google, there’s only one way to do it: increase your rankings.
Achieving Online Success with SEO Rankings
In today’s digital world, low rankings can be catastrophic for businesses. Of course, it’s hard to overcome the lack of brand awareness, reduced conversion rate and lack of inbound leads that moderate rankings offer. Fortunately, our FREE 5 Step Checklist gives you a sure-fire strategy for online success.
Despite the importance of ranking on page one of Google, very few businesses have the in-house resources to increase their SEO rankings. Currently, Google uses over 200 algorithms to rank webpages, so it takes a significant amount of expertise to secure and maintain the top spots on SERPs.
Fortunately, you don’t need your own SEO department to get the results you need to grow your business. At ClickSlice, we know what it takes to get your website to the top. From in-depth keyword research and content optimisation to online outreach and reputation management; we’ve got the experience and expertise to get your webpages on page 1 of Google.
If you want to increase brand awareness, generate traffic, optimise your conversion rate, enhance your reputation and improve inbound leads, contact us today.
Call ClickSlice now on 020 3287 3638 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
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Featured Snippets: What, Why and How?
If you haven’t optimised your content to ensure you’re appearing in featured snippets, it’s time to get started. When your content is presented to users in the form of a featured snippet, it boosts the authority and reputation of your site by a significant amount.
In addition to this, it ensures your webpages are facilitating new types of searching, such as voice-activated searches. As more people embrace smart technology, you’ll find that snippets become even more important to your search engine optimisation.
Before you can begin to optimise your site, however, it’s essential to know what featured snippets are and why they matter so much…
What are Featured Snippets?
Featured snippets are portions of a webpage which are shown directly on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). When users input a search term, Google aims to give them an answer right away by providing the content they are looking for straight away.
To achieve accurate results and useful answers, Google uses snippets in response to queries which can be answered in a fairly straightforward way. If you search for ‘temperature in London’, for example, Google returns with a snippet telling you the current temperature and the predicted temperature over the next few hours.
Crucially, featured snippets appear above organic search results on SERPs. Sitting directly below AdWords ads and above organic search results, they get prime placement on SERPs.
What do Featured Snippets Look Like?
Featured snippets come in various forms but the most common are:
- Text snippets
- Image snippets
- Video snippets
- List and table snippets
These are fairly self-explanatory, but they give you an idea of how information is presented as a snippet. Below the snippet, is a link to the webpage the content comes from. With a good SEO strategy and flawless execution, it’s yours link that will be appearing as featured snippets in the near future!
Why do Featured Snippets Matter?
When users search for information, they click a link and visit a webpage with the information they want. By optimising your webpages for relevant search terms, or keywords, you could increase the number of users clicking your links and visiting your site.
Now that snippets give users this info on SERPs, however, there is less incentive for users to click on any links at all. While in-depth searches still require users to visit external webpages, simple searches don’t. Instead, Google is satisfying user’s queries by giving the information straight to them on their first results page.
When the information sought by the user is given to them on Google’s search results pages, they have no reason to visit any other webpages. This is why queries which can be satisfied via snippets are often called, ‘no click searches’.
For businesses and site owners who are eager to get users on to their webpages, this change in search behaviour is clearly going to have an impact. The number of users who will be clicking through to websites from SERPs will drop as the accuracy and number of snippets increases.
The users who do click on a search result will be most likely to click on the featured snippet itself. This is why you want your content to appear as the featured snippet.
Furthermore, it is snippet content which is commonly given to users who are searching by voice, rather than text. The number of voice-activated searches is already increasing, and it is expected to rise even more. By optimising your content for snippets and voice searches now, you can get ahead of the trend and establish your site’s authenticity, accuracy and dominance now.
How to Secure Featured Snippets
For any search query, Google only shows one featured snippet. Of course, Google wants to ensure the user’s question is fully satisfied via the featured snippet, so it selects the content which it rates very highly. Essentially, you need to ensure that your content is valued most highly by Google.
This is no easy feat. With only one featured snippet being shown per search, there is a lot of competition to contend with. However, there are steps you can take to increase the likelihood of Google selecting your webpages for its featured snippets…
Improve your rankings
The vast majority of snippets come from webpages that are already in the top 10 of organic search results. By improving your organic rankings, you can greatly improve your chances of being selected to be a snippet. To do this, you’ll need strategic SEO campaigns and consistent SEO activity.
Modify your content
Featured snippets don’t appear on every search. To date, the most common terms to prompt a snippet to appear are; recipe, best, vs, make, definition, windows, can, get, number, cost, meaning, price and chicken. Not all of these will be relevant to your business, but you can certainly modify your content to include some of them.
Alter content formats
We already know what formats featured snippets take, so ensure your content layout fits the relevant structures. By answering common search queries via an easy-to-read paragraph or list, you increase the likelihood of it being displayed as a featured snippet.
Secure Featured Snippets with Expert SEO Help
The fastest and most effective way of improving your rankings and securing featured snippets is to seek expert help. You will need a strategic SEO campaign if you want to beat the competition. Fortunately, our experienced team have the skills it takes to get your site to the top.
If you want to find out more about securing featured snippets, contact ClickSlice now on 020 3287 3638.
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SEO Trends You Need To Be Using In 2020
SEO is an ever-changing field. As search engines modify their algorithms, your SEO strategy needs to change too. To achieve the best rankings, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest SEO innovations.
Remember – rankings aren’t static. Achieving the top spot on a results page is just half the battle. To ensure you stay on top, you’ll need to up your SEO game and implement bespoke SEO campaigns.
To give you a head start, we’ve put together our top five SEO trends to watch out for in 2020. If you want to dominate the results pages for your chosen keywords, take a look at the trends you need to be using…
1. Voice Searching
The way users search for content is changing. As more people embrace Alexa, Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant, voice searches are becoming increasingly popular. However, voice searching doesn’t just alter the method of looking for content.
When people search for content audibly, the terms they use differ too. This means your existing SEO strategy is unlikely to be as effective. To ensure your content ranks highly for both voice and text search, you’ll need to adapt your campaign.
As well as optimising your new content for voice searches, be sure to analyse your existing site structure and content. Tweaking your website to ensure it’s fully optimised for all types of searching will help you to obtain the best rankings.
2. Evergreen Content
A major element of successful SEO is updating your site with fresh, new content. However, topical content may not be the subject of searches for very long. To maximise your ROI, make sure evergreen content is included in your SEO campaign.
Evergreen content is designed to last the test of time – just like evergreen trees which keep their leaves all year round. With consistent search volumes, evergreen content will remain relevant in the weeks and months to come.
This means that users will continue to search for related keywords and your webpage will continue to be at the top of the rankings. With reliable traffic volumes, search engines will continue to rank your site highly. Furthermore, the use of evergreen content and the subsequent traffic you’ll receive will help to establish your authority and credibility.
3. Search Intentions
Keywords and terms have been a critical way to deliver relevant content to searchers. By optimising your content for keywords that are relevant to your brand, you can get your links in front of people who are actively looked for related content. However, search engines are becoming smarter.
In a bid to enhance user experience, Google is beginning to analyse searcher intention. Rather than taking what a user types or says at face value, search engines look behind the terminology used and analyse their search intention instead.
If you can optimise your content to reflect this, you’ll be on to something special. Fortunately, we can do just that. As intent matching becomes more prevalent throughout 2020, you’ll want to be using this cutting-edge SEO tactic to boost your rankings and generate website traffic.
4. Video Marketing
Video content is extremely popular. In fact, it’s the most popular form of content on social media. What’s more, all demographics use video to influence purchases. If you’re a retail business, don’t overlook the importance of video marketing in 2020.
Dedicated video platforms, like YouTube, receive an exceptional number of hits. Currently, over 1 billion of hours of video are watched on YouTube each day. With an additional 8 billion video views on Facebook each week, it’s easy to see just how popular video content is.
For businesses, the potential to use video marketing to increase sales is too valuable to overlook. Smart Insights report that video content offers a higher ROI on social media platforms than any other type of content. Furthermore, 72% of people maintain they would prefer to learn about a product via video, rather than text or images.
Creating video content gives you the opportunity to be an innovative as you like. When using video content for SEO purposes, however, it’s vital that it’s fully optimised. Whether you’re creating video content in-house or using a specialist production team, do make sure it will drive your rankings.
5. Topical Content
Think your topical content can’t be planned in advance? Think again. When structuring your SEO content, it’s important to incorporate topical issues and high-profile newsworthy features. While many businesses attempt to do this, the perceived unexpectedness of big news stories can make it difficult.
In many cases, however, it is possible to predict which stories will be high profile. Using a mix of planned editorial, planned reactive editorial and reactive editorial, you can ensure you’re covering topical events throughout the year.
Both planned editorial and planned reactive editorial content can be scheduled in advance, because we know these topics are going to be covered. Entertainment sites can plan coverage for the finale of major shows, for example, even though they don’t know who will be crowned the winner.
While reactive editorial can’t be planned in advance, both planned relative editorial and planned editorial content can a key part of your strategic and topical SEO.
SEO Success in 2020 with ClickSlice
As well as embracing new SEO trends in 2020, it’s important to keep up with existing ones. From keyword research and image optimisation to link building and PPC ads; there are numerous areas to cover if you want to achieve high rankings.
If you want to achieve SEO success in 2020, get in touch with ClickSlice now. Our SEO specialists are on hand to devise bespoke campaigns for your brand. Using a combination of innovative tactics and in-depth research, we’ll ensure you achieve maximum results.
To find out more now, contact ClickSlice today on 020 3287 3638.
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How Will Voice-Activated Searches Affect Your SEO?
The number of voice-activated searches is increasing all the time, and it’s expected to skyrocket in 2020. As users change the way they use search engines, it’s essential to update your optimisation techniques too.
When users make an audible, or voice-activated, query, the way they search for information changes. A text search may be made up of a few keywords, for example, whereas a voice-activated search is typically longer. Compare these two examples:
Text-based Google search:
‘Best Mexican restaurant London’
Voice-activated Google search:
‘Assistant, where’s the best Mexican restaurant in London?’
Although the user wants to access the same information, the data they’re inputting is different. As you can see, the way users search for information varies depending on what methods they use.
Of course, Google and other search engines are modifying their algorithms accordingly. This inevitably means you’ll need to adapt the way you’re optimising your webpages. If you want to maintain or increase your rankings, it’s vital you recognise this shift in search behaviour.
Incorporating voice-activated searches into your SEO
As user behaviours evolve, SEO follows. We’ve already adapted to encompass mobile device usage and location-based searches. Now it’s time to include voice activated searches in our repertoire. To this, you’ll need to know what factors search engines a prioritising in relation to voice-activated searches.
Once you know the ranking criteria or algorithms used, you can ensure your web pages rank highly for voice-based searches. So, what matters when it comes to audible searching?
Unsurprisingly, the jury’s still out on all the ranking factors for voice-activated searches. Google and other search engines are notoriously secretive when it comes to releasing their ranking factors, which makes it trickier for websites to secure the top spots on search engine results pages (SERPs). However, we do know some of the critical factors that will affect your rankings for audible searches. When you’re optimising your webpages for voice-activated searching, you’ll want to consider the following:
Amp up content marketing
As well as appealing to text-based searches, your content is going to have to rank highly for word-based queries too. Understanding how these two types of searches vary will, naturally, impact how you word your content.
As well as ranking highly for ‘Best Mexican restaurant London’, for example, you’ll need to ensure your content features for ‘Where’s the best Mexican restaurant in London?’, too. Achieving this will require a change in your content marketing strategy.
You’ll need to modify your existing content to ensure it facilitates voice-activated searches and produce new content to ensure both forms of searching are catered for. Going forward, you’ll want to use content that it capable of making your webpages rank highly across multiple types of searches.
Enhance Featured snippets
A well-crafted featured snippet gives you the opportunity to answer voice-activated queries. Use a featured snipped to summarise the answer your webpage provides and you’ll rank more highly for voice-based searches.
The average voice-activated search result in 29 words long. To maximise the effect, keep your featured snippet below this word count and ensure it’s above the fold. You’ll need to make sure you long-tail keyword is included in your featured snippet, as this will certainly affect your rankings.
However, your featured snippet doesn’t have to be a block of text. Google likes H-tags, bullet points and lists, so add these to your featured snippets where you can. A comprehensive featured snipped confirms the quality and relevance of your content in Google’s eyes. As a result, the search engine will offer your content to users when they search for related terms. In other words, your featured snipped can enable you to rank more highly on SERPs, particularly when it comes to voice-activated searches.
Focus on location
Almost a quarter of voice-activated searches look for location-based content. The rise of ‘near me’ searching has affected text-based queries but it’s showing real dominance in relation to audible searches.
When you’re optimising your content to rank more highly for voice-activated searches, be sure to make ‘near me’ searching and location-based content your first priorities. For bricks and mortar businesses, in particular, the use of ‘near me’ searching is a fantastic way to grab custom and increase your market share.
The increased accuracy of location-relevant searches means that users are using this method of searching more frequently. As AI continues to evolve, the data available for location-related queries will only increase. This means users will be able to access even more accurate data via this type of voice-activated search.
By incorporating ‘near me’ searching and local content into your webpages, you can satisfy user demands and meet Google’s expectations. In short, optimising your webpages for audible ‘near me’ searching will get you to the top of the rankings.
Monitoring voice-activated search rankings
We already know that monitoring and analysing your website’s performance is the key to enhancing your SEO. By researching trends, keywords and ranking statistics, you can successfully improve your campaign’s results. So, the same should be true for voice-activated searches, right?
Well, yes and no. Of course, analysing the data produced by voice-activated search results will give you critical insights into ranking algorithms, performance and marketing ROI. However, the tools to analyse voice-activated searches aren’t readily available to users just yet.
Whilst you can access some voice-based search analytics, these are nowhere near as comprehensive or detailed as the data available for text-based searching. Fortunately, help is at hand. With experienced SEO experts monitoring, analysing and enhancing your campaigns, you can use the latest industry programs to access the data you need.
With the information, SEO specialists will craft innovative and effective campaigns. The result? Bespoke marketing activity which makes you stand out from the crowd. Satisfying users and search engines, your search engine optimisation will successfully boost your profile in relation to text and voice-activated searches.
To find out more about optimising your site for voice-activated searches in 2020, contact ClickSlice now on 020 3287 3638.
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5 Things Every Successful Entrepreneur Needs
Today’s entrepreneurs have the world at their fingertips, literally. The internet has made it possible for anyone to become a successful entrepreneur, but that doesn’t mean everybody does. Despite the illusion of fast-tracked success and adoration, being a successful entrepreneur takes more than a bit of hard work.
In fact, the life of an entrepreneur is less glamorous than you might imagine, particularly when you’re starting out. Of course, if you’re willing to put the effort in, you the rewards are spectacular. Want to be your own boss and make it on your own terms? Take a look at the five must-have things every successful entrepreneur needs…
Contrary to popular belief, success doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re looking for a fast-tracked way to make it to the top, entrepreneurship probably isn’t for you. Every ‘overnight success’ you encounter has spent years toiling away behind the scenes to get to where they are now. Furthermore, the path to success is rarely easy.
Whether you’re inventing a new product, launching a new business or creating an innovative social enterprise, you’ll hit stumbling blocks along the way. To be successful, however, you’ll need to find a way to get around them, through them or over them.
2. Attention to Detail
When you start out as an entrepreneur, chances are you’ll be working on your own a lot of the time. Budding entrepreneurs rarely have the budget for staff, fancy offices or vast amounts of equipment. In fact, a coffee machine is probably pushing it. Instead, you’ll be flitting from one job to another as you try to get your organisation off the ground.
Fortunately, the staff, equipment and fancy offices for come along, providing you stick at it long enough to be successful. Entrepreneurs are known for their precision and attention to detail, so if you’re detailed-oriented and organised, you’re already on the right track.
Every element of your product, service or brand is going to be scrutinised. Investors, competitors, customers and clients will be queuing up to assess what you’ve got to offer, so it’s essential that every detail is covered. If you’ve got the tenacity to cover the seemingly minor details, as well as the major ones, it will stand you in good stead for life as an entrepreneur.
3. Work/Life Balance
Entrepreneurs are known for their hard work and you will certainly need to put the hours in if you want to be successful. However, working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week isn’t sustainable in the long term. Many entrepreneurs who devote too much time to their work end up burning out before they can enjoy their success.
If you want to build an entrepreneurial career, you need to find a way to balance your long hours with some form of relaxation. Whether that’s time with family, socialising with friends, hitting the gym or practising a hobby is up to you.
Of course, being an entrepreneur isn’t the right choice for someone who wants to clock out everyday at 5pm or enjoys working part-time. Being your own boss may sound attractive but, in reality, it’s a hard slog with limited downtime.
The trick to building a sustainable career is an entrepreneur is factoring in that downtime and making it a priority. If you can do this, you’ll be able to build long-lasting success in your industry, rather than fleeting fame.
As entrepreneurs tend to work alone when they’re starting out, it can be hard to let go. When things start moving forward, however, it becomes impossible to undertake every task without assistance. Entrepreneurs have a tendency to micro-manage, which is frustrating for everyone involved.
The best entrepreneurs are self-aware enough to recognise their own strengths and weaknesses. What’s more – the know when to call in help. If you’re launching a social enterprise and you’re not a tech wizard, for example, there’s no point spending hours trying to troubleshoot your network when issues arise.
By hiring staff and outsourcing to companies, subcontractors and freelancers, you can build a reliable professional network. This will give you the resources you need, whenever you need them. Furthermore, outsourcing your needs to specialists means you can access their expertise in the most cost-effective way. By doing so, you’re freeing up more of your time, which you can dedicate to your core business activities.
If you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur, you’ll need some form of publicity. Whether you want to be a recognisable face, or you want your brand to become a household name, marketing and promotion is critically important.
In today’s digital landscape, the internet is the most effective way to build a profile and establish a new product or service. No matter what sector you operate in, it’s vital to have a positive online web presence.
Anyone can setup a website, but this doesn’t mean that people will automatically know where to find you. Instead, you’ll need to invest time in promoting your brand online and attracting clients to your content.
Search engine optimisation, content marketing and PPC are all effective ways of doing this. As well as providing long-term results, you’ll find that building an online profile brings immediate rewards too. With the right expertise, you can promote your online profile and see your traffic spike within hours.
There’s a lot that goes into making a product, service or brand successful but publicity is always a key factor. However good your USP is, it won’t sell if people don’t know about. To generate interest, you’ll need the right tools build your profile and engage your target audience.
Launching Your Career as an Entrepreneur
If you’ve got what it takes to become the next successful entrepreneur, ClickSlice can help. Our SEO services are guaranteed to increase your search engine rankings and generate increased website traffic. Want to build your profile and gain maximum publicity? Contact ClickSlice now on 020 3287 3638.
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How Important Is CTR For SEO?
Your click-through rate is one of the most important metrics to monitor. In fact, many people see their CTR as the most important measure of their online marketing campaigns. But what impact does your CTR have on your SEO? Conversely, how does your SEO affect your click-through rate?
With so many aspects to consider, we take a look at the relationship between click-throughs and SEO success. Read on to find out how to enhance your SEO and increase your CTR…
What is CTR?
Your click-through rate, or CTR, tells you how many people have clicked on a link to your website. If 100 people see your advert and 10 people click on it, for example, you would have a click-through rate of 10%.
A well-executed marketing campaign includes persuading users to visit your website or landing page. The first step is getting your advert in front of your target market. A high number of views or ‘impressions’ means that your adverts are being displayed in a good position.
The second element involves increasing the number of people who actually click on your link. With well-written adverts, for example, you can enhance your CTR and see an increase in your traffic.
Increasing your click-through rate means that more people are clicking on links and, therefore, visiting your site. Furthermore, high click-through rates are linked to better rates of conversions too. As well as sending more traffic to your site, a higher CTR should mean that your sales increase accordingly.
Ultimately, a healthy CTR indicates that your online marketing campaigns are working. By hooking prospective customers with your marketing content, you’re enticing them to visit your site. At this point, you can deliver substantially more content and persuade them to engage with your brand.
Does SEO affect click-through rates?
Absolutely. Search engine optimisation determines where your webpages rank for specific keywords. If you’re the first result when people search for ‘bakeries in London’, for example, more people are going to see your advert. When compared to ranking on the third or fourth page, for example, the number of impressions you will receive is dramatically different.
When your adverts receive fewer impressions or views, less people will be clicking on your links too. On one hand, this isn’t too problematic. Consider the following example:
Advert on page 1 of Google receives 10,000 impressions and 1,000 clicks = 10% CTR
Advert on page 4 of Google receives 10 impressions and 1 click = 10% CTR
Statistically, your CTR remains the same in both instances. This means your content is working well and is persuading 10% of users who see your ad to click on it. In reality, however, there is a significant difference between getting one click and getting 1,000!
By increasing your impressions, you can, therefore, increase your CTR too. To achieve this, you’ll need to enhance your SEO and improve your rankings.
Fine-tuning your marketing content will, of course, have an impact on your click-through rate but, if no-one is seeing your ad, then they can’t click on it. By using SEO to rank highly for relevant keywords, you can increase your organic CTR. As a result, your web traffic will increase, as will the potential rate of conversions.
Does CTR affect search engine optimisation?
This one is a little bit trickier but bear with us and we’ll explain. Google is notoriously secretive when it comes to their ranking algorithms. We know that some factors, such as the quality of your content, undoubtedly affect your SEO rankings.
However, Google has been reluctant to confirm or deny all the factors they take into account when ranking sites. This has led to differing opinions over what really matters when it comes to SEO. Despite this, most SEO experts now agree that your click-through rate does have an impact on your rankings.
Search engines set a baseline of how they expect a webpage to perform in terms of CTR. If your ad is current halfway down page two of the search results, for example, Google might expect you to have a click-through rate of 3%.
If your advert starts over-performing and your CTR soars to 15%, for example, Google is going to start wondering why. Furthermore, it will be keen to capitalise on your success and should, therefore, rank your webpage more highly.
Conversely, if Google expects your advert to have a CTR of 3% and you’re only achieving 1.1%, this could send you further down the rankings.
Whilst this hasn’t been confirmed by Google itself, the latest data does appear to show that your CTR will impact on your SEO rankings. Due to this, it’s important to keep your CEO to the baseline level or above it.
Increasing your CTR
In essence, SEO and CTR have a symbiotic relationship. They are innately linked and typically perform best when they are both fully optimised. Due to this, it’s important to implement effective SEO strategies. Similarly, you’ll want to monitor your CTR to determine how successful your SEO campaigns are.
Whilst the relationship between CTR and SEO is important, don’t lose sight of the value of CTR as a single entity. When people are clicking on your links, it means they’re visiting your site. This is the main aim of any SEO activity, so a high CTR should always be welcomed.
To achieve consistently high CTRs, however, you’ll need to put the effort in with your SEO. Fortunately, help is at hand. If you want to learn more about improving your SEO performance, why not get in touch with us?
With in-house SEO experts ready to answer your burning questions, we can provide all the info you need when it comes to enhancing your SEO, boosting your CTR and increasing your ROI! To talk to a member of the team, contact ClickSlice now on 020 3287 3638.
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How important is it to have a responsive website?
A functional website is essential for any business, but how do you ensure your site delivers a great customer experience? Whilst the aesthetic of your site is critical, its development is, perhaps, even more important.
The setup or development of your website is, essentially, the building blocks upon which your online presence rests. A poorly developed site will inevitably result in a poor user experience, or UX. When users can’t access quality content easily, they will deviate to alternative sites.
In fact, it’s estimated that your website has less than four seconds to impress users. If it doesn’t, they’ll be off to a competitor site before your homepage has even finished loading. However, it isn’t just the initial loading times which have a bearing on how long a user will stay on your site. If there is a lag at any stage of their journey, users will disappear from your site as quickly as they arrived.
Assessing website functionality
As users place such a high importance on page loading speeds, it’s become an important factor in determining website credibility. Now part of Google’s SEO algorithms, your site won’t rank highly for any keywords if it’s marred by slow speeds.
Of course, it isn’t just loading speed which has an impact on SEO rankings or user experience. To satisfy users, your content will also need to be easily accessible. However quickly your pages load, they won’t be any use to your audience if they can’t view, engage and navigate around your site.
So, how can you ensure your site delivers a great UX when users are visiting from an endless range of devices? With mobile internet users now overtaking desktop users in every demographic, there are no set display parameters to work with. Instead, your website will need to cater for users visiting on screens ranging from 5” on smartphones to 50” Smart TVs.
Designing an innovative and engaging website can be tricky at the best of times but it’s even more difficult when you consider the variables you need to take into account. Fortunately, there is an effective way to ensure your website caters to every visitor.
A responsive website ensures that your webpages are displayed optimally, regardless of what device a visitor is using. Whether they’re browsing from a smartphone, tablet, laptop or TV, a responsive site delivers your site in the most user-friendly way. Quite simply, it responds to the user’s individual display demands.
Boosting SEO with a responsive website
It’s clear that a responsive website improves the user experience. Capable of displaying your site perfectly to every user, visitors will find it easy to read or view content. Furthermore, navigating around your site will be easy and straightforward, which will reduce your bounce rate.
However, responsive websites bring important SEO benefits too. We already know that UX is critical to high SEO rankings. As a responsive website improves UX, you can gain credibility with Google based on this alone.
In addition, a responsive website helps you to satisfy Google’s newly introduced mobile-first indexing. As Google is using this indexing method to facilitate ranking websites, it’s vital that you adhere to it, and a responsive website will enable you to do so.
Prioritise mobile users with a responsive website
In response to changing user behaviour, Google introduced mobile-first indexing in 2018. Recognising that more people were surfing the net on mobile devices than on laptops or desktops, Google gives priority to websites which are mobile-friendly. In terms of indexing, Google will look at the mobile version of a website before it reverts to a desktop version.
Whilst site owners traditionally ran two different websites to facilitate functional mobile use, this is no longer the case. A responsive website negates the need for a separate mobile version of your site completely.
As a responsive website recognises the user’s display parameters and adjusts your site accordingly, there is no need to develop a second site at all. For site operators, this is welcome news. By switching to a responsive site, you can essentially halve your work. Instead of having to update two websites, a responsive website means you can focus your efforts on one site, whilst improving UX at the same time.
Furthermore, you won’t be penalised under Google’s new mobile-first indexing policy. The search engine understands the flexibility of responsive websites and judges them accordingly. With a responsive website, you’ll meet the criteria of their mobile-first indexing strategy and climb the rankings accordingly.
Creating a responsive website
Choosing to have a responsive website is beneficial for site owners in a variety of ways. Due to this, it’s important to update your existing site to a responsive version as quickly as possible. By doing so, you will enhance UX, reduce your workload and find it easier to satisfy Google’s algorithms. As a result, your rankings will improve, and you’ll find it easier to attract visitors to your site.
Crucially, the enhanced UX delivered by a responsive website means you’ll find it easier to retain site visitors too. With a reduced bounce rate, users will remain on your site for longer periods of time and be more motivated to engage with your content. In short, switching to a responsive website can have a dramatic impact on your conversion rates and, ultimately, your profits.
Your site design and development are the foundations to your online success, so it’s important to get it right. Once your responsive website is up and running, you can begin to implement effective SEO strategies.
To learn more about the SEO benefits associated with responsive web design, contact ClickSlice now on 020 3287 3638.
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Backlinks: Quality or Quantity? Boost Your SEO Rankings Now
Backlinks have been the mainstay of search engine optimisation for years, but in a changing digital landscape are they still relevant? With routine algorithm changes and SEO methodologies, how much should you be relying on backlinks to get you to the top of the rankings? More importantly, should you modify your backlink strategy to increase its efficacy?
What are backlinks and why are they important?
Backlinks are simply links which connect your website to other sites online, but they’re extremely important when it comes to search engine optimisation. Your backlinks help search engines to determine how important, influential and reliable your website is, and this can boost your rankings.
Traditionally, websites benefitted from having lots of backlinks because this helped to establish the site and its content. In basic terms, the more backlinks you had, the more significant your site was. As a result, high numbers of backlinks were a good way to increase your SEO rankings.
Are backlinks still relevant to SEO?
Absolutely. Backlinks still help to establish your website’s authority, and they still play a considerable role in determining your rankings and how search engines view your site. As a form of off-page SEO, backlinks are still extremely important. However, the way backlinks are perceived by search engines has changed in recent years.
The number of backlinks on your site is no longer seen as an indicator of your website’s importance or authenticity. Whilst a healthy number of backlinks may be advantageous when it comes to your rankings, search engines, such as Google, now assess the quality of your backlinks as well.
What is a high-quality backlink?
High-quality backlinks are links high authority domains. Well-known, secure and popular websites are typically deemed high-quality, and they’re often recognisable names. Well-known sites, such as, Facebook, Forbes YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram are all examples of high authority domains, and creating a link between your site and any of these websites would be extremely beneficial for your SEO rankings.
Conversely, lower quality backlinks are connections to websites which don’t necessarily have a high authority domain. These sites may not be as well-established or well-known, and they won’t automatically boost your rankings on search engines either. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid lower quality backlinks in their entirety.
Should you choose high-quality backlinks for SEO success?
The quality of your backlinks is crucial to your SEO success, but it’s important to remember that content matters too. If you want to link to a website which doesn’t have a particularly high domain authority but has original, informative and relevant content, then it could be worthwhile. Whilst you may not gain much from this type of link building in terms of SEO, connecting your users to content fresh and interesting content has its own rewards.
However, it is important to avoid low-quality backlinks, as these could actually have a negative impact on your SEO rankings. Traditionally, quantity reigned when it came to backlinks, and this lead to some unscrupulous tactics. With people eager to boost their rankings, sites were created simply to serve as backlink connections, rather than delivering relevant content.
To prevent falsely inflated rankings, search engines started to pay more attention to where your backlinks were going. Instead of focusing solely on the number of backlinks on your site, Google cares about their value. As a result, the quality of your backlinks became increasingly important, whilst the quantity of your backlinks became less influential.
Does it matter how many backlinks you have?
Yes. Quantity still matters when it comes to backlinks, but not necessarily in the way you might think. Hundreds of backlinks may have ranked you more highly on a SERP (search engine results page) in the past. Now, however, it could do just the opposite.
Having hundreds of backlinks won’t necessarily improve your SERP position. Furthermore, hundreds of low-quality will actually put you lower down on SERPs and damage your SEO strategy. Whilst a decent number of backlinks can be beneficial for your website and its rankings, quality matters. Backlinks will only have a positive impact if they’re high-quality. Of course, backlinks of moderate quality can be valuable too, providing they link to relevant and worthwhile content.
Most users want to know whether high quantity or high-quality backlinks will benefit their site, but it isn’t quite as simple as that. Whilst high-quality backlinks will place your site higher on SERPs, a high quantity of backlinks could actually lower your rankings, depending on their quality.
Like most digital marketing and SEO concepts, the use of backlinks has changed over time. Whereas quantity once reigned supreme, high quantities of backlinks are now only beneficial if they’re also high-quality. As low-quality backlinks could have a negative impact, it’s important to look at the value of each potential link. In fact, focusing on quality before quantity is essential if you want to use backlinks to boost your SEO rankings.
To learn more or to enhance your backlinks today, contact ClickSlice now on 020 3287 3638.
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‘Near Me’ search phrases are the future of Local SEO
Local SEO has increased in prominence recently, with ‘near me’ or ‘nearby’ searches rising almost month-on-month. For bricks and mortar businesses, this trend highlights a shift in the way people are looking for services. In response, companies must incorporate ‘near me’ searching into their SEO strategy.
Users have always relied on search engines to find shops, restaurants and amenities in their area. In this respect, local SEO is nothing new. However, the way users are searching for local services is changing. Traditionally, users would add particular location to specify the geographical area in which they wanted to search. This shift towards ‘near me’ searching has removed the need for users to pinpoint their locale. As a result, it increases convenience and UX when it comes to searching for nearby businesses and services.
What is ‘near me’ searching?
Quite simply, users add the words ‘near me’ to key terms when they’re using a search engine, such as Google. In doing so, they expect to see SERPs showing relevant businesses or services in the current area. If you’re out and about and what to stop for an impromptu lunch, for example, you might enter ‘restaurants near me’ or ‘cafes near me’ to find a selection of eateries nearby.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the increase in ‘nearby’ searches has correlated with the rise of mobile devices. With cheaper data, more functionality and faster response times, mobile device usage has risen across every demographic in recent years, culminating in more people using mobile devices than laptops or desktops.
Currently, almost 90% of ‘near me’ searches come from mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. With the ability to find local services in any area, adding ‘near me’ to a keyword or key term ensures efficiency for the user, so delivers a better UX.
Why are ‘near me’ searches so popular?
The way we use technology evolves over time, and the shift towards mobile devices and voice automation been a significant factor in the rise of ‘near me’ searches. We’ve become used to increasingly intelligent indexing and highly-relevant SERPs, despite providing less detailed search terms and keywords.
‘Near me’ searches are easy for users, and they provide good results. Instead of having to specify an area or maximum distance, users can simply add ‘near me’ to whatever they’re looking for and rely on Google to do the rest.
Furthermore, ‘nearby’ searches are ideal if you’re looking for amenities, products or services in an area you’re unfamiliar with. Whether you’re in a new town, city or country, adding ‘near me’ to your search will give you more information about your immediate area and the amenities available.
Location tracking and ‘near me’ searches
Search engines have sought to track and identify a user’s location for years, although more advanced location tracking has been controversial. Originally using IP addresses to determine your location, search engines now use a range of tracking methodologies to isolate your geographical location. With location tracking more accurate than ever before, the quality of ‘near me’ SERPs has increased, and it’s become a mainstay of local SEO.
In fact, more accurate location tracking has put ‘nearby’ searches on a par with location-included searches. In contrast, ‘near me’ queries offer more convenience and faster searching. As a result, users have embraced this new way of searching for local services.
Local SEO and voice searches
Voice searches and the use voice-activated tech has exploded over the past couple of years. Smart home devices becoming increasingly popular in residential environments is just one example of the trend. Whilst mobile device personal assistants have been around for some time, the improved results delivered by Cortana and Siri have ensured their continued usage.
However, when we use voice-activated tech, we look for things differently. You don’t necessarily type how you speak, so it makes sense that these two search mediums operate differently. To offer accurate SERPs, Google has invested heavily in AI. This technology determines exactly what users are searching for, and which results are likely to be most relevant to them.
Search engines now have a greater understanding of what users mean when they add ‘near me’ to a search. Combined with their ability to pinpoint our real-time location, the results from these searches are increasingly accurate. As a result, users have continued to use ‘near me’ searching at a prolific rate. To date, this particular search trend is showing no signs of slowing down.
What does this mean for local SEO?
Businesses who want to attract local clientele to their premises must engage in effective local SEO, and ‘near me’ searches are a critical component. Whilst search engines can accurately identify user location, they have yet to establish an effective way of determining what geographical areas a website is targeting.
For digital marketers, this means your SEO strategy should still incorporate locations which are relevant to your clients. It won’t take long for Google to find a way to determine what locations websites are targeting, but it’s not there yet.
In the meantime, your content and your page title should still contain the locations you want to reach. This will enable search engines to match your content to users in the relevant area.
However, the change in location searches provides us with crucial information about user behaviour. The improved accessibility and accuracy of ‘near me’ searches increased convenience and enhanced UX even further than before. Now, users can provide less information but receive more tailored and relevant SERPs. Indicative of the move towards more intelligent indexing and results, ‘near me’ searching is just the beginning.
The rise in ‘near me’ searches is underway but it’s not too late to benefit from this new user behaviour. As users continue to search for amenities and services close by, it will be websites and businesses which respond to ‘near me’ searches that will attract users and custom – both online and offline.
To incorporate ‘near me’ searches into your local SEO strategy, contact ClickSlice now on 020 3287 3638 or say email@example.com
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6 SEO Myths To Avoid In 2019
Most website owners know a little about SEO, but separating the myths from the facts can be tricky. With so much information about there, finding genuine techniques to increase your SEO rankings isn’t always easy. If you want to improve your rankings and avoid the misconceptions surrounding search engine optimisation, take a look at our top 10 SEO myths now…
1. You need to submit your site
It’s a common misconception that you need to submit your URL in order to be featured on their SERPs. In fact, Google can pick up domains and websites within minutes of them being registered or going live.
Whilst it can be advantageous to submit a URL to Google if you’ve recently updated your site with great content, this isn’t usually necessary. Generally, search engines will pick up new content quickly, so it won’t take long for changes to take effect.
2. SEO is optional
You don’t have to engage in SEO, but your website won’t get many visitors without it. Studies show that users visit websites by searching for keywords or site names via search engines. Even if a user is actively looking for your site and knows your URL, they won’t necessarily use it. Research confirms that users are more likely to search for you via Google, even if they’ve visited your site before.
If your SEO isn’t up to scratch, you’ll miss out on the top spot in the rankings. As a result, your competitors will take your place. When you’ve already persuaded someone to find you online, don’t waste your efforts by sending them directly to a competitor.
As many users will look for your services or products by searching for relevant key terms, you’ll need to ensure you rank more highly than your competitors in order to attract more users. SEO is the only way to achieve this, so ignore it at your peril.
3. Content is more important than SEO
Content is certainly important when it comes to increasing your rankings and engaging users, but that doesn’t mean it’s more critical than your SEO. You can fill your website with original, insightful and powerful content, but it won’t have an impact if no-one knows about it. Similarly, you can get high-quality backlinks and enhance your SEO rankings, but users won’t engage with your site or spend long visiting if it doesn’t feature fresh, original content.
You’ll hear the expression, ‘content is king’ thrown around, but, in reality, it’s the combination of great content and effective SEO that truly pushes your site to the top of the rankings and keeps users coming back.
4. Social media has replaced SEO
Although social media can be a great way to promote your brand, it definitely hasn’t replaced SEO. In fact, the relationship between the two is evolving all the time. When you promote content via social media, it can lead to people linking to your site, which can be beneficial for your rankings. However, for most website owners, the impact from social media-inspired links simply won’t be enough to make a significant different to your position on SERPS.
Furthermore, Google doesn’t look at how many likes, tweets or posts your social media content gets, so a Facebook post which is liked by 150,000 users won’t directly enhance your rankings either. Despite this, social signals are starting to have more of an impact on SEO. Your collective shares, likes and retweets, as well as your overall social media presence, make up your social signals, and Google does take this into account when indexing your site.
Social media can increase the number of links to your site, which is advantagous. Furthermore, a powerful social media presence can have a positive, if minimal, impact on your rankings. Whilst this is beneficial, neither of these factors is enough to replace search engine optimisation. As a way to promote your company, showcase your corporate personality and engage with users, social media is fantastic tool. To feature highly on SERPs, however, you’ll still need to work on your SEO.
5. The more keywords, the better
Keyword stuffing used to be a common way of trying to improve SEO rankings, but it’s likely to do more harm than good. Using relevant keywords and key terms can be beneficial, as it helps to show that your website content is relevant to the user. However, using the same keywords or terms too many times will result in SEO penalties.
Simply repeating the same keyword over and over again tells Google that you’re only focused on getting users to your site. Instead, you want Google to know that you’re delivering useful and relevant content. Keyword stuffing often leads to nonsensical and hard to decipher content, which is exactly what search engines want to avoid.
Whilst keywords and key terms should be at the forefront of your mind when you’re planning your content marketing strategy, don’t let them detract from your content. With an emphasis on quality and relevance, Google values original and useful content, far more than the same words being used repetitively.
6. SEO is a one-time task
If you think SEO is only for new websites or relaunches, think again. Effective SEO requires regular, if not constant, effort. From creating innovative strategies, employing a range of methodologies and monitoring quantifiable results, SEO is a full-time endeavour.
It doesn’t take long for content to become outdated, links to fail and algorithms to change. This means you need to be updating your SEO frequently. If you don’t add new content, replace broken links and respond to new indexing methods, your SEO rankings will plummet.
For on-going success and online visibility, search engine needs to be an on-going part of your business. Getting on the first SERPs for relevant keywords doesn’t guarantee you’ll stay there. Instead of wasting the effort you’ve put in, maintain your ranking with on-going optimisation. However, maintaining your rankings can be just as tough as reaching the top. You’ll need new strategies, fresh content, updated links and algorithm-friendly updates to ensure you’re getting the most from your SEO strategies, and we can help.
To find out more, contact us on 020 3287 3638 or say firstname.lastname@example.org