SEO spring clean

Keeping your SEO up to date is a vital part of maintaining your website and growing your online audience. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned expert, spring is the perfect time to adjust your SEO strategy with a few easy tips and tricks.

If you want to give your search engine rankings a boost this spring but you're not sure where to start, Designer Website's search engine optimisation specialists have got your back. Here are our top tips for a thorough SEO spring clean.

Identify new keywords

The world is constantly changing, and it could well be that lots of new keywords and topics have become relevant to your business since your last big SEO check-up. You may be missing out if you have not updated your content to reflect up-and-coming trends; roughly 15% of all Google searches are completely new queries, so you might be able to capture a lot of extra traffic if you add extra keywords to your SEO strategy.

Whether you update your existing website copy to address current search trends or add extra content via blog posts, this is a great way to stay ahead of your competitors and give your site a nice spring boost.

Keep things fresh

Think of SEO like dating. When you first starting optimising your website, it's really easy to build your online presence and create new content that helps your site to rank. You might feel genuinely excited every time you publish a new blog post or add an informative new page.

But as time goes on, the thrill begins to wear off. Your content no longer ranks as well as it used to, and fewer people are visiting your site and engaging with your brand. You might even consider giving up and abandoning SEO entirely (though as we recently discussed, this is seldom a good idea!).

If you haven't released any new content in a while, we thoroughly recommend updating your website with some fresh new landing pages or a string of blog posts. It's important to remember how much search engines (especially Google) love fresh new content - as with relationships, a little commitment to your SEO can go a long way!

Minimise duplicate content

Content duplication - where the same piece of content appears on two or more web pages - can have a huge impact on your SEO strategy if you let it get out of hand. Few website owners create duplicate content intentionally, but it can sometimes happen by accident; for example, if you write similar or identical descriptions for two subtly different products, search engines may only index one of those pages, which will prevent the other one from ranking.

Try to make every page on your website unique, and if you can't avoid repeating a significant amount of content across multiple URLs, use canonical tags to tell Google which version you want indexed.

Don't neglect local SEO

If you have a brick-and-mortar business that's open to the public, you need to make sure potential customers can find you. Local SEO is hugely important - it's been alleged that 43% of Google searches are for things in the searcher's local area, and in the USA, an estimated 80% of disposable income is spent within 20 miles of the home.

So make sure your local SEO factors are in shape for spring. At the very least, you should create a Google My Business listing and make sure your company's address and contact details are correct and up to date wherever they appear on the web.

Master Google Search Console

Checking technical issues is an important part of SEO. You've created your new content, you're targeting new keywords, and you've even eliminated all duplication from your website - now you should carry out a Google Search Console check to make sure your website is working as it should.

Search Console can tell you all sorts of useful things, from how many of your pages are indexed to whether your pages display correctly on mobile devices. If you're new to Search Console, Google have some videos to help you learn the ropes, but you might be better off hiring a team of SEO experts to look after this side of things for you.

Remember: it's important to keep your SEO strategy fresh and efficient if you want to maximise your organic search traffic all year round. If you want to get more from your website, the Designer Websites team can help - our SEO specialists work closely with our experienced team of designers and developers to deliver the best possible results for our clients.

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what happens when you stop doing SEO

We create new websites for our clients all the time, and two questions we often get asked are, “do I need to do SEO?” and “how long will I need to do it for?”

The simple answers to these questions are, “yes you do need to do SEO” and “indefinitely or until your business stops trading… whichever comes first!” We really do believe in a long-term relationship with SEO if you want your website to be successful. It’s a bit like going to the gym – you can’t expect to come first place in a marathon if you don’t bother training for it, can you?

If you stop doing SEO – improving key pages, publishing new content, and so on – there’s a good chance that the search engines will gradually lose interest in your website. Google’s algorithm in particular loves fresh content; if you’re not doing SEO any more, you’re giving your competitors a great opportunity to overtake you in the search results. But why does this happen? Let’s start by taking a look at the purpose of SEO is and the reason it’s important.

What is SEO & Why is it Important?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), is the process of increasing the volume and quality of traffic to your website. Unlike paid advertising, SEO looks to improve the performance of your website organically so potential customers can find you easily when they’re looking for products or topics related to your business.

You can see our beginner’s guide to website optimisation if you want to take a closer look at some of the most common SEO strategies. Things like keyword analysis, blogging and link building are used by digital marketers to keep their clients’ websites at the front of the pack. Continually refreshing, updating and fixing things tells Google that you’re an active website worth showing in the search results, perhaps even in the number one spot!

If a client suggests taking a break from SEO or stopping altogether, it can be hard to predict the exact implications it will have for their site. It might not even have any effect at all… at first. But one thing is certain, giving up SEO for good, will inevitably damage your website and its position in the search results pages.

organic traffic drop

For example, this graph (taken from Google Analytics) shows you how one of our client’s websites was impacted when they decided to give up on their SEO strategy altogether. You can see the steady decline in organic sessions that’s been worsening ever since. This shows that while stopping SEO won’t immediately remove your website from the google rankings, it will have a long-lasting negative impact.

What happens when you stop creating new content?

When you decide to stop creating new content, you’re essentially hoping that the online presence you’ve built so far is going to be robust enough to keep things ticking over. Here are just a few things that can happen when you stop creating new content.

  • You’ll stop ranking for new, highly-relevant keywords, limiting the number of people finding your website as they search for terms related to your industry.

 

  • You’ll stop gaining links from websites with authority. If the information on your website is not up to date, no one will want to link to it. Having a strong backlink profile is important if you want your website to rank well.

 

  • People will stop engaging with you on social media. Social media is all about the ‘here and now’ and puts you in contact with hundreds (if not thousands) of customers. If your website ceases to exist in this space, people may think your business has stopped trading altogether.

 

  • You’ll drive away returning customers. If people visit your site more than once and just see the same boring content over and over again, they won’t bother coming back. New content makes people excited about your brand.

traffic drop

One of our clients decided to stop updating their blog on a regular basis and as you can see from the above graph (again taken from their Google Analytics), they started to see a noticeable decline in their organic traffic.

When we highlighted this dip in traffic, the client conceded that blogging was a necessity if you want to grow organic traffic and thus, we started blogging more frequently again.

Once we started publishing blogs regularly, they saw an increase in their organic traffic. In fact, their return to SEO drove more traffic to the site than they had before the dip!

What happens when you stop checking for technical SEO issues?

Besides keeping your website alive on the surface, there is a lot of technical SEO that goes on under the surface to keep your website working properly in the ever-changing search engine that is Google.

There are a few different ways you can keep track of technical SEO issues; for example, you could use an SEO software service like Moz to carry out site audits, check backlinks and keep track of your rankings. The most common tool used to track technical problems with your site is Google’s Search Console. You can read more about Google’s Search Console and how it works here

Here at Designer Websites, our SEO team carry out weekly Search Console checks to make sure that our client’s websites are working as they should be.

Failure to keep on top of your website’s technical SEO can leave a myriad of problems including:

  • Pages not being indexed correctly
  • Server errors
  • Problems with mobile usability
  • Slow page speed

And much more! Google is constantly changing, updating its algorithm and introducing new features, that’s why regularly checking your website’s technical SEO health is so important.

It’s also important to periodically check that other businesses aren’t duplicating your content and publishing it on their own site. When Google sees two copies of the same page, it will only index one (and there’s no guarantee that it will choose yours). All the time and effort you spent optimising your pages to rank for certain keywords will be for nothing if you don’t spot the duplicate content and act on it quickly.

If you do find duplicate content, here’s what you can do:

  • Contact the offending company and ask them to take the content down.
  • Rewrite the content on your own website so that it’s unique.

So, as you can see, deciding to stop doing SEO is going to cause some serious problems later down the line. If you’re not currently doing SEO for your website, we highly recommend you consider it! Learn more about our SEO services here.

Local SEO

What is local SEO?

Local SEO refers to the process of enhancing your local online presence in order to attract more business from relevant local searches. It can be classed as ‘the practice of optimising your brick and mortar business for location-focused keywords and search terms’; such as “web design Barry”.

These searches can be performed across several different search engines, but with 90%+ market share in the UK alone, these searches are typically performed on Google, with the hope of being included in something called the ‘Google Snack Pack’.

The Google Snack Pack, also known and referred to as the ‘local 3 pack’ or ‘map pack’, is the boxed area that appears on the first page of Google search results when a local online search is performed. The Snack Pack box displays the top 3 local business listings most relevant to the search query and contains it’s very own search algorithm and set of rules. But why is it important for local businesses to appear in the snack pack? Let’s find out!

 

Why is local SEO important?

Optimising your local SEO means increased website traffic (if you have a website), leads and conversions since your efforts are placed into becoming more relevant to your base of local customers. It is a way to help smaller businesses compete more effectively against larger national organisations who have significantly greater amounts of resources at their disposal. By focusing on specific local SEO tactics, smaller firms are able to limit the impact of these bigger businesses that often optimise content for broader keywords and search terms and rely on brand recognition, rather than value offerings, to bring in footfall.

Further strengthening the case for local SEO are the fascinating stats that surround it. 46% of all searches performed on Google have ‘local intent’ (SER), “near me” searches are increasing 150% faster than traditional, local-based searches (Google) and 29% of all Google search engine result pages contain a snack pack in the results (RankRanger). 

With all of the advantages and buzz around local SEO, it comes to no surprise as to why so many businesses are battling it out to be included in the local 3 pack. So, what can you do to get in there? Here are the best ways to optimise your business for local SEO.

Improving your local SEO

1.       Create & Optimise Your Google My Business Listing

First things first, to get started with local SEO, you’ll need to create a Google My Business listing. For no charge, this establishes your business’ online presence and means you will appear on Google Maps. Not only will your business appear in search results across a variety of devices, but if Google authenticates your listing as a legitimate business, it could also appear in the sidebar space of a Google search.

 

There are several ways in which you can optimise your GMB listing to ensure Google not only sees your business but chooses it to appear in local search results. These are:

  • Keeping everything consistent between your listing, website & other online listings
  • Filling in every data point available i.e. Name, Address, Bio and Shortname
  • Keeping crucial business data updated such as opening hours and holidays
  • Get more reviews and engage with any that you do get

 

2.       Gain Regular Reviews

The last point that we made above is an important one. Getting your customers to leave glowing reviews about your business doesn’t just help to optimise your GMB listing and presence, but it also encourages more local customers to buy from you. The more footfall that your business experiences can lead to further positive reviews which then helps to build more signals to Google that your business is legit and worthy of ranking highly in local searches. Some tips to encourage your customers to leave positive reviews are:

  • Respond to existing reviews in a professional way, addressing any negative reviews that you may get and thanking reviewers for sharing their positive experiences
  • Asking for a review in-person after a sale has been made
  • Send post-purchase communications asking customers to leave reviews

 

3.       Optimise for Voice Search

Voice search has been rapidly growing over recent years, especially in terms of SEO. Therefore, it is crucial to optimise your content into a voice search-friendly manner, focusing on the way people ask questions when they speak rather than when they are typing. When performing voice searches using specific devices such as an Amazon Echo or Google Home or a voice assistant such as Siri, searchers opt for more long-tail keywords compared with regular search. As a result, you’ll have to adjust the SEO of your content to fit the more conversational tone of someone talking. A good tip here is to focus your efforts on traditional question starters such as who, what, when, where, why and how.

 

4.       Making Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Online mobile searches have also grown in popularity over the last decade with the increase in accessibility to mobile devices. In fact, in 2017, Google released its mobile-first indexing search results that prioritised mobile-optimised content over non-optimised content and even made it their primary index. This confirms the strategy behind optimising websites and content to be mobile-friendly, not just for local SEO, but for SEO as a whole.

Some tips for making your website more mobile-friendly are:

  • Ensure your website loads quickly
  • Use images and website copy only when needed and avoid filler content
  • Use bigger fonts that are easy to read
  • Implement an enhanced user interface for a great experience

 

 

5.       Greater Focus on Local Keywords

One of the most obvious ways to rank for local search results is to focus on local keywords, right? Of course, it is! Google’s own Keyword Planner allows you to filter keyword searches based on location, so you can get a better idea and understanding of the popular search terms for a specific area. This enables you to form a list of relevant local keywords that you can target to give yourself a better chance on ranking. Once you have these keywords, you can begin to implement content, meta tags and URLs to match.

Another great tactic that you can implement to increase local SEO results is to include mentions of location-specific landmarks and hotspots in your site’s content. For example, if your business offers web design in Cardiff city centre, including references such as “web design near Cardiff castle” could also bolster rankings in local search results.

 

6.       Implement Location Pages or Location-Focused ‘About Us’ Pages

If your business operates in more than one location, then location pages are a must. These pages allow you to target very specific location-based keywords around a main keyword e.g. “Cardiff decking” and “Slough decking”. At the minimum, each of these pages will need to provide the following information:

  • Opening hours
  • Name, address and phone number
  • Reviews
  • Promotions
  • Google Maps location

When adding these pages to your site, it’s important to remember that standards SEO rules still apply and content should be unique.

If your business only operates in one location, then having an ‘About Us’ page that focuses on local, relevant information is imperative. If you run a coffee shop, for example, your About Us page is the perfect place to provide information that you supply the coffee and cakes for local fundraisers each year. This reaffirms your commitment to your local community and provides potential customers near you with confidence in your business, which can lead to increased levels of business and many of the aforementioned benefits such as positive reviews.

 

7.       Take Advantage of Online Directories

Websites such as Yell, Yelp, YellowPages and Foursquare are online business directories that help to get your business name, address and phone number (NAP) on the web, which is one of the most important, if not the most important element of local SEO. NAPs act the same way as backlinks do to a website and let Google know that multiple places on the web are talking about or mentioning your business. The key thing to remember when adding your business to these online directories is to ensure that all information remains consistent.

Online business listing should include the following basic information:

  • Accurate business name, address and phone number which is consistent across all directories
  • A backlink to your website if you have one
  • A thorough description of your business

 

8.       Build High-Quality Backlinks

According to Moz’s 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors study, ‘link signals’ were ranked number one and number two respectively in the most important factors for ranking in local organic rankings and the local pack and snack pack. Link signals are backlinks that point back to your website, so it’s important to get as many of these as possible, however, you do need to focus on their quality more than anything. The more relevant and authoritative the backlink is, the greater the signal is going to be to Google that your business is legitimate and also relevant to the local search being performed.

Some tips that you could follow to create high-quality backlinks to your website are:

  • Guest blogging on reputable websites that have a high domain authority
  • Produce high-quality content on your website that others want to link to
  • Engage with local businesses and influencers to link back to your website

 

SEO is a fast-moving and ever-changing industry, so you never know when Google will introduce new and innovative features to its search engine results page for local searches, but they are more or less guaranteed. Therefore, it is vital to keep on top of changes that can impact your local SEO. By starting off implementing the above eight points, you will ensure that your business not only takes advantage of lucrative local search opportunities but builds a solid platform that can be taken forward and progressed further when new and exciting local SEO features are announced.

Want to know more about how Designer Website can help your business with its local or national SEO, be sure to visit our search engine optimisation page today to see the professional and quality SEO services that our team of experts can provide. You can also get in touch with us if you require anything else!

 

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For amateur and professional bloggers alike, the art of SEO is one that must be practised and perfected in order to ensure your content performs to its fullest potential.

That being said, to the untrained, non-SEO aficionado, the optimising content for search engines can seem like a daunting task.

Luckily, it can be a lot easier than you would think; optimised blogs that are ready, willing and able to perform aren't just reserved for those that have a computer science degree.

 

seo basics, seo for bloggers

 

SEO for Bloggers

Neglecting to implement the SEO basics can act as the ultimate anchor that’s guaranteed to drag your content down the pecking order.

To help your blog soar to the SERP heights it deserves, try implementing these simple SEO basics into your content and turn your underperforming blog into a Search Engine Optimus Prime.

 

Need for Site Speed

If your idea of reducing cookie size is to bite it in half, chances are you won’t know how to minify HTML or make AJAX cacheable either.

Luckily, there are simple ways to help boost the speed of your blog page and perhaps the easiest of these is to optimise your images.

Most bloggers will be well-aware of the benefits of imagery within a blog and include them accordingly, so optimising these images is vital.

Compressing the image file can work wonders, as can appropriate resizing; however, be sure to scale outside of HTML.

Finally, name the file appropriately and make the most of the Alt Text, ideally using relevant keywords in both.

 

Beverly Hills Copy

Reading copy online can be notably different to reading in print, particularly when it comes to article length.

While a chunk of text on a page may seem manageable, seeing a long, scrollable block of text can be off-putting, often leading the visitor to either skim-read or potentially not read your blog at all.

As such, quality copywriting is key and layout is never more important. To sum it up in a sentence, don’t waffle, be engaging and make the most of space by breaking up your text.

In addition to improving the quality and readability of your content, top-notch copy will also keep readers engaged in your blog for longer.

The resulting “time on page” and “session duration” stats will ultimately lead Google to the conclusion that you’re producing Grade A content (which hopefully is true!) and reward you accordingly with a better ranking.

 

Back-Link to the Future

How many times have you fallen down the YouTube rabbit hole, watching countless related videos only to wind up a million miles away from where you started? Such is the power of related content.

Internal linking is your blog’s very own rabbit hole, allowing your readers to easily navigate from the original blog to topics of relative interest with ease. Best of all, it keeps your readers engaged with your content for longer and, most importantly, keeps them on your site.

It’s also an inherently easy way to share link equity around your site; however, this shouldn’t be taken as an opportunity to shoe-horn in as many links as possible. Aim to keep your links as relevant as possible to the original post, ideally linking related anchor text within the body of the blog.

For example, a blog on a motoring site about legal tread depth would be perfect to link from an article about changing a tyre. Conversely, it’s probably not the best blog to link to from a blog about fashion.

 

Clash of the Titles

While it may seem obvious, it’s worth covering all the same – optimising your meta titles is vital when it comes to SEO.

If you’re targeting specific keywords, it’s a wise move to include your most relevant one in the title itself. If you’re writing a blog around the subject of the Atkins diet, there’s no reason that phrase shouldn’t be the title itself.

While the headers to become less impactful as you go down the line (H1s to H2s to H3s, etc.), incorporating keywords into your main headings and titles can reap many rewards.

It’s also important to remember that excessively long titles will become truncated, leading to what is, essentially, half a title.

Aim to keep your titles under 60 characters to ensure your blog title makes the cut without taking a cut.

 

URL-Raiser

Much like the title of the blog, another easy way to make your blog SEO friendly is to optimise the URL.

A URL that’s excessively long and/or full of random numbers, letters and symbols does no favours to anyone: from the person reading it to the person writing it and search engine bots in between.

A keyword-rich URL that’s concise, accurate and readable is key. This can help enhance visibility and social sharing, while it can also contribute to better SEO performance due to the fact that URLs are commonly used as anchor text via copy and pasting.

A link to sampleblog.net/URL-advice is pretty self-explanatory, even if the title of the blog itself is not present, increasing the user experience as a result. Conversely, ambiguous URLs can be off-putting, deterring clicks as a result.

 

 

For more SEO tips and blog writing advice, check out our SEO blogs for further details. Alternatively, why not drop us a line and find out all about our professional SEO services at Designer Websites? Call now on 01446 339050 or click the button below to get in touch online.

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The world of SEO is a lot like the world of fashion: if you want to stay relevant, you’ve got to keep up with the latest trends.

For SEO specialists, that means staying abreast of the latest Google algorithm updates and failing to do so can see you fall behind as a result. What’s more, continuing to use outdated SEO techniques can not only be ineffectual, it can even result in you being penalised as a result.

While the list of ageing SEO tactics grows with each passing year and every additional algorithm update, there are still a few old-school SEO techniques that continue crop up, despite their ineffectiveness.

Here are a handful of the most common outdated SEO offenders still prevalent in 2019.

 

outdated seo, seo techniques

 

Exact-Match Domains (EMDs)

Exact-match domains are essentially examples of websites where the web address itself is rich in keywords and describes what the site itself does.

For example, a business that focuses on student housing in Cardiff may have opted for a domain like studenthousingcardiff.co.uk. Think of it as the Ronseal effect – it does exactly what it says on the tin.

EMDs were once deemed to be a fool-proof SEO tactic, allowing sites to scale the SERPs like Sly Stallone in Cliffhanger. However, their effectiveness has since plummeted and the popularity of EMDs has fallen dramatically… like John Lithgow in Cliffhanger.

Nineties movie references aside, EMDs today are more of a deterrent than an SEO tool, appearing spammy and illegitimate to both Google and Joe Public alike. This can, in turn, hinder conversions and make link building more difficult.

 

Exact-Match Anchor Text

Exact-match anchor text is hyperlinked text that matches the exact desired keyword or phrase of the page. While sparing use can be…well, useful, overuse can be extremely detrimental to your site.

Exact-match anchor text can be seen by Google as a tell-tale sign of deliberate link building and, as such, can be deemed to be search engine manipulation, resulting in your page/site being penalised.

To avoid incurring a penalty, try to create natural links related to the anchor phrase by either opting for a partial match or an unmatched linkable phrase.

For example, if the exact match keyword is “Halloween costumes”, a partial match could be the phrase “Check out our range of Halloween costumes”.

Meanwhile, a safer bet would be to link the phrase “Check out our variety of spooky fancy dress options” – relevant yet completely unmatched.

 

Dedicated Pages for Keyword Variations

While the old-school method of targeting a single keyword on a specific page may have worked in a by-gone era, Google’s ever-evolving algorithm has luckily put this process to bed and tucked it in tight.

Thanks to the increasingly clever semantics of Google’s Knowledge Graph, the search engine is now able to take into account relative words and phrases that correspond to the search term.

The arrival of RankBrain – Google’s cutting-edge AI system – allowed it to understand the user intent even further, providing even more relevancy and accuracy in the search results.

If you have created singular pages for keyword variations in the past, keeping such superfluous content can be an issue and actually hinder your positioning in the SERPs.

If possible, merge the content and remove the surplus pages, placing their desired relevant keywords in positions of prominence within the surviving page.

 

Writing for Bots

Another classic way of attempting to boost Google rankings is to tailor your content to appeal to Google bots, keyword stuffing and shoe-horning phrases in wherever they will fit (and even where they won’t).

For example, once upon a time, a blog targeting the keyword term “writing for bots” may have looked like this:

“Writing for bots is great for SEO. If you’re thinking of writing for bots, check out our guide on writing for bots to help you uncover the secrets of writing for bots.”

Thankfully, this form of content manipulation has been largely eradicated, allowing the content itself to flow naturally and freely in a far more logical and readable way.

Think of it as the digital equivalent of forcing an impressive phrase into your French oral exam. While it may tick the box in terms of application, the phrase itself can be extremely out of place contextually and stick out like a sore thumb in practice.

Bottom line: write for the individual reading it, not the bot combing it, to ensure your content is extraordinaire and not a whole lotta bof.

 

Irrelevant Links

Google is continuously updating its system to keep spam to an absolute minimum, with algorithm changes constantly evolving the way it processes our search requests.

In the pursuit of backlinks, some SEO strategists will opt to link to any content regardless of quality, provided it garners reciprocated backlinks to their site. Nowadays, if this happens to enter spam territory, it could spell trouble.

Relevant backlinks that are relative to your target demographic, your business or your market, providing useful user information can help improve your SEO standing.

Conversely, off-topic, irrelevant links that have nothing to do with your content can have an adverse effect and attract penalties from Officer Google.

 

For more information on outdated SEO techniques and the best tips for today, why not check out our other SEO blogs? Alternatively, drop us a line on 01446 339050 or use the button below to get in touch online.

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A&L Scrap Car Dealers Website

A&L Scrap Car Dealers, the new addition to A&L Vehicle Recycling, is a family-run scrap car dealership located in the heart of Barry, South Wales. With more than 10 years’ experience within the scrap car and recycling industry, A&L provides professional and reliable services that their customers within the local and surrounding areas can trust. A&L’s business has been developed throughout the years on the excellent recommendations of their loyal customers in both scrap car and scrap metal services. However, without an established online presence apart from a few listings in local directories, A&L weren’t fully able to reach a wide range of customers that could elevate their business to the next level. That’s where we came in!

How did we help?

A&L approached the team here at Designer Websites as they were looking to build the online presence that the company desperately needed. Having been without a website, potential customers were having to find information on the company and the services that they provided via directory listings or through the business’ Facebook page, both of which contained scarce details. We were tasked with creating a functional website that delivered the important information about the company and the services that they offered as well as integrating a quote system that potential customers could use to discover the value of their car if they were looking to scrap it.

As A&L had no previous website, our design, SEO and development team had to work from scratch to deliver what was needed. As a result, comprehensive keyword research was conducted in order to identify industry-specific search terms, so that pages could be designed and created to include optimised copy and SEO. This enabled A&L to better capture online searchers and rank highly within search engine results. Once the design and copywriting were complete, we created the unique quote system that allowed users to input their car’s registration number and receive a free, no-obligation quote for the value of their car. This was developed in-house with every step of the process carefully curated, including a postcode lookup, which helps populate address fields. The quote system has been integrated with https://ukvehicledata.co.uk/pricing in order for accurate and reliable vehicle data to be pulled and displayed to the user.

We are proud to announce that the new A&L Scrap Car Dealers website is now live and can be viewed here!

If you are interested in having an existing site re-designed or having a new, bespoke site developed for your business, then please feel free to get in touch with the Designer Websites team below.

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Wading through the muddy waters of Lake Google can be a troublesome task at the best of times, particularly when it comes to SEO.

Regular algorithm changes habitually move the digital goal posts, making the ability to adapt and react a vital part of the job for any self-respecting online marketing with an eye for SEO.

Naturally, the sheer volume of competition makes it difficult to swim to the surface of the SERP rankings, leaving you to jockey for position in an extremely crowded pool.

While it can be tempting to take shortcuts, the purest approach is often the one that has the longest lasting effects and they don’t come much purer than White Hat SEO.

So, dust off your ivory caps, mount that high horse and head for the moral high ground, as we take a look at the ins and outs of White Hat SEO.

 

white hat seo,white hat seo tips,white hat seo techniques,what is white hat seo

 

What is White Hat SEO?

If you read our last blog on Black Hat SEO techniques, you should know all about what not to do and which SEO tactics to avoid. From keyword stuffing to invisible text, it’s a dark art and one that can also be pretty risky.

This underhanded approach of manipulative methods and sneaky shortcuts will only work for so long before you inevitably get found out. The resulting penalty can see your site plummet down the search rankings and possibly even banished from the SERPs altogether.

On the other hand, there is White Hat SEO. The Ying to the Black Hat’s Yang, White Hat SEO offers Google-approved SEO strategies that play by SEO rules and regulations. White Hat SEO tactics are the best way to create an ethical online listing that isn’t in danger of falling out of favour.

 

Examples of White Hat SEO Techniques

Now we’ve identified what White Hat SEO is, it’s only fair that we paint a full, snowy picture to completely illustrate its squeaky-clean, albino goodness.

To help keep your SEO plan righteous, virtuous and, most importantly, effective, here are a few examples to keep you on the White Hat straight and narrow.

 

Keyword Research

Like any job, doing your homework before you jump in can reap many rewards and SEO is no different. Modern KW technology makes it relatively simple to identify a laundry list of keywords for you to sprinkle within your content in order to keep it ranking and relevant.

However, it’s important not to go overboard. There’s a fine line between keyword inclusion and keyword stuffing, and overuse of keywords could see the former become the latter with seamless ease.

Additionally, try not to choose keywords that are hugely competitive. The greater the demand, the less likely you are to rank. Instead, target long-tail keywords for a better chance of hitting the jackpot.

 

Quality Content

In the world of SEO, content is truly is king and quality content will rule the roost long after it’s first penned (especially if its evergreen). As such, creating well-written content that’s readable and engaging is one of the most effective White Hat SEO techniques there is.

While it can be time-consuming, providing original content that is relevant and useful to your site visitors can translate into serious results. The top 10 blog listings on Google typically comprise of 2000 to 4000 words, so don’t be afraid to dive deep into the subject matter.

Creating unique content about topics you fully understand and have expert insight to can help establish you as an authority on the subject, making your content both original and sharable. Which leads us nicely to…

 

Link Building

Backlinks are Google’s main indicator of which site page is most reliable and relevant to the search term, and therefore most worthy of a high SERP listing. As a rule of thumb, the more backlinks a page has, the higher it will rank on Google.

Backlinks can be gained ethically by writing testimonials, guest blogging and creating partnerships with other sites. Meanwhile, creating original, authoritative content that’s sharable is also a great way to organically bolster your backlinks.

 

Business Listing

In its never-ending quest to provide increasingly accurate results, Google also takes into account the location of a business when displaying SERPs. This can particularly helpful for those looking for local services.

For example, a Brummy on the hunt for a restaurant in Birmingham probably isn’t going to be interested in a steakhouse in Birmingham, Alabama. As such, Google weeds out the irrelevant and reports back with the most applicable geographical results.

Adding a Google My Business (GMB) listing for your company is a great White Hat technique in ensuring local SEO. Meanwhile, it could also attract additional traffic through Google Maps’ “near me” function – a tool used by 82% of overall smartphone users (rising to 92% for Millennials) according to figures published by Uberall.

 

For more information on White Hat SEO techniques and how to avoid Black Hat SEO, drop us a line on 01446 339050. Alternatively, drop us an email using the button below.

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Any business owner or content provider will be well aware of the importance of SEO when it comes to online visibility. The better the SEO, the stronger your page will be in terms of SERP rankings.

However, like any arduous process, there are always going to be those who seek out shortcuts in the hopes of getting from A to B quicker and with as little effort as possible.

Welcome to the world of “Black Hat SEO” – the black market of page ranking; the seedy underbelly of content manipulation; where businesses go to achieve digital dominance by any means necessary.

If you’re thinking of going rogue and donning a black hat in your quest for SEO supremacy, you may want to think again. It isn’t without its risks and short-term gain could very easily result in long-term heartache.

 

black hat seo, what is black hat seo

 

What is Black Hat SEO?

In the halcyon days of the western cowboy movies, the heroes and the villains were commonly distinguishable by their choice of headwear. For the purpose of black and white cinematography, the colours of choice were logically monochrome: the good guys wore white, while the bad guys wore black.

So, perennial silver screen hero, John Wayne, would typically be found sporting a milky Stetson, while someone like Lee Marvin would don an inky, villainous crown. For a more recent example, see Christian Bale and Russell Crowe in 3:10 to Yuma (FYI: top film!).

From an SEO standpoint, the same rules apply: “white hat SEO” ethically relies on human audience behaviour as opposed to the search engine’s, while “black hat SEO” focuses on manipulating the search engine and breaking the rules, all while showing two fingers to search engine guidelines.

 

Examples of Black Hat SEO

The dark arts of Black Hat SEO come in many forms, from the glaringly obvious to downright devious. Here are a few examples of the most common offences and how to spot them.

 

Spam Comments

If you’ve ever read a blog or online article with a comments section at the base, chances are that you’ve come across comments comprising of nonsensical fluff that’s completely irrelevant to the preceding post.

The comments section is a veritable playground for Black Hat SEO tacticians and typically filled with more spam than a war-time lunchbox.

While this was somewhat effective in the mid-2000s – resulting in follow links and flowing pagerank to your site for the priestly sum of zero – this process has since been found out, making the minimal benefits hardly worth the bother.

The net is now largely wise to these tactics and spam comments now offer no follow links, while many websites have removed the ability to embed comment content altogether.

Nevertheless, playing the law of averages, the more spam comments of this nature, the more referral traffic you can expect to receive, albeit of a questionable nature of varying quality.

 

Duplicate Content

Content created in a copy/paste manner can be used to deliberately manipulate search engine rankings in order to generate more traffic to a chosen site. While this can not only negatively impact the user experience, it can also detrimentally affect the original site.

Search engines universally prefer unique content to duplicated text and typically won’t show multiple forms of the same content in the SERP. As such, twin copy replicated elsewhere can become problematic and leave certain pages omitted from the results page.

Duplicated content can confuse the search engine, making it difficult for it to know which result is more relevant to a given search. In turn, this can have an adverse effect on ranking and a knock-on effect on traffic as a result, while it can also dilute link equity as well.

 

Keyword Stuffing

As the name suggests, keyword stuffing is the process of overcramming certain buzzwords and phrases into your page in order to maximise its visibility for those particular terms.

While, on the surface, this may seem logical, it can quickly degenerate into a smorgasbord of spam that not only seems unnatural but, at times, can become almost unreadable.

Spamtastic copy often makes little sense and, needless to say, is not user-friendly, negatively affecting your user experience, tarnishing your credibility and ruining the professional presentation of your site.

 

Invisible Text

Perhaps the sneakiest of all the examples on this page, invisible text takes keyword stuffing to another level.

This method uses coloured text on an identically coloured background, camouflaging it from visible view.

As a result, the site still ranks for the chosen keywords present in the hidden copy, yet the text remains unseen to the site visitor.

 

Black Hat SEO Tactics to Avoid

Naturally, Black Hat SEO tactics aren’t without their risks. Playing against the rules is essentially playing with fire when it comes to your website ranking. While you may get away with for a while, it’s only a matter of time before you face a serious burn.

Black Hat tactics can result in notable damage to your page’s long-term performance, while repeated offences can see your site banned from certain search engines entirely (although this punishment is admittedly quite rare).

More typical ramifications commonly result in a site receiving a serious demotion in the search rankings, nullifying the Black Hat tactics in one fell swoop. Meanwhile, the risk of digital banishment is an ever-present danger if you repeatedly stray to the dark side.

To avoid your Black Hat strategy turning into Black List misery, we recommend steering clear of these short-term fixes and instead focusing your time and efforts on conventional White Hat methods that don’t draw the ire of the SERP police.

 

For more information on Black Hat SEO tactics and the effects of unethical SEO, drop us a line today on 01446 339050. Alternatively, get in touch using the button below and find out more about how we can help you achieve SEO results the right way.

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SEO tips,SEO mistakes,how to avoid SEO mistakes

 

Remember that scene in Rambo IV where the Burmese soldiers throw landmines into a murky pond before forcing the villagers to walk blindly into those same muddy waters?

No? What do you mean you’ve never seen Rambo IV?! It’s a classic!!!

Well, for many content providers, that scene pretty much sums up the world of SEO in a nutshell. The landmines are SEO mistakes, the villagers are the content providers and Google is the Burmese Army, eagerly waiting for you to put a foot wrong.

Luckily, your pals here at Designer Websites are playing the part of John Rambo, equipped with our trusty bow and arrow of SEO tips to help you make it through those waters unscathed.

The fact is, SEO can be a real minefield: one wrong step, misguided keyword or neglected precaution could see your content go up in smoke.

Don’t wait for Google to draw first blood; take the SEO war straight to their door with this standard-issue survival guide to SEO.

 

Common SEO Mistakes

When it comes to SEO, the forever-changing, ever-evolving Google algorithm makes staying above water in the SERP a never-ending task.

Even those with an ironclad strategy and bulletproof knowledge can find themselves caught out from time to time, especially when it comes time for an algorithm change straight out of left field.

To help you stay ahead of the curve, here’s a handful of the most common SEO mistakes and how to avoid them.

 

Poor Planning

Jon Bon Jovi once sang, “I don’t know where I’m going, only God knows where I’ve been”. If JBJ applied that same mindset to SEO, he’d make for a pretty poor digital marketer.

In the world of SEO, strategizing is a key part of the process; failure to plan and neglecting to track your performance along the way can lead to a myriad of issues down the line.

How to avoid

Create an organised SEO strategy and track its KPIs. As the old saying goes, “proper planning and preparation prevents p**s poor performance”. Meanwhile, the beauty of tracing KPIs is that it allows you to refocus if certain aspects of your strategy aren’t up to scratch. If one area of your approach shows signs of weakness, don’t be afraid to amend accordingly, take action or change course.

 

Creating Duplicate Content

Duplicating content can be extremely detrimental to SEO. Worse still, duplicating content can also be extremely detrimental to SEO.

Jokes aside, mirror-image text can lead to search engine confusion, preventing or delaying indexing. This kind of digital déjà vu is a common offence for e-commerce sites, often due to the sheer volume of their product catalogues; however, that’s not to say other content providers are immune.

How to avoid

Keep content unique across the board. While it can be tempting to copy and paste content from A to B when a common theme allows, the most effective way to avoid duplication is to simply be original. Whether it’s product copy or a meta description, fresh wording can make all the difference. Conversely, it’s important to stay consistent when it comes to ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­things like URLs – e.g. avoid interchangeable use of caps – as this can also confuse the search engine.

 

Targeting the Wrong Keywords

Another common mistake is that many content providers try to run before they can walk when it comes to keywords. If your site sells football boots, chances are your listing is not going to compete with SportsDirect anytime soon.

Targeting keywords with a huge search volume is not something to hang your hat on, particularly for newer, younger websites. It’s the equivalent of walking into a gym for the first time and trying the lift the heaviest dumbbell – start light and work your way up.

How to avoid

Don’t try to cover every keyword in your chosen topic; instead, try focusing on less competitive keywords. This will allow you to gain traction from a less crowded marketplace, building your site reputation which will then allow you to effectively target high-volume keywords down the line.

 

Ignoring Old Content

In the fast-paced world of digital marketing, it’s easy to get caught up in the rat race and settle into the “new content” production line. However, overlooking existing content on your site can be an easily avoidable error.

Historical content that is past its sell-by date is like hoarding an old collection of insignificant newspapers: no-one’s going to read them, they’re cluttering up space and, for all intents and purposes, they’re virtually useless in their current state. But they don’t have to be…

How to avoid

Much like a newspaper, you can recycle your content to breathe new life into an old post. If your historical content still holds relevance, simply upgrade with new stats, figures and information, updating its design and potentially adding new imagery/video. Better still, a simple factual facelift necessitates less work which presents a higher ROI.

 

Neglecting Internal Links

If you’re publishing copy on your website or blog and not linking internally to other relevant pages on your site, you’re seriously missing a trick. Any time you publish new content, it’s wise to keep in mind ways you can link this to other content within your overall site (or group of sites).

If your target audience is viewing your content, you’ve already done the hard work. The reader is clearly interested in your content by their very presence, so redirecting them to other relevant pages can be effortless. Think of it as a street promoter enticing you into a club with the promise of free entry. Once you’re in the venue, it’s far easier for the bar staff to shill the BOGOF cocktails.

How to avoid

Write your content with your existing content in mind. If your subject matter is close to that of another, find ways to weave your secondary page into the copy and link appropriately. It’s also a good idea to link to your most authoritative pages; this is a great way to build link equity in your new page while further bolstering the existing page you’re linking to.

 

Only serving Google

It’s easy to lose sight that Google isn’t the only search engine online. There’s no denying that it’s certainly the biggest, but it’s definitely not the only game in town.

Bing and Yahoo are common alternatives; however, if you think outside the box, it could play into your favour massively.

How to avoid

Did you know that YouTube is the internet’s second biggest search engine? Video content is on the rise and only likely to grow in the coming years, according to industry forecast reports from Cisco.

Building your brand on YouTube can be a great way to kill two birds with one stone: getting ahead of the competition in a growing medium, while also capitalising on a commonly overlooked search engine.

 

For more SEO pointers, why not head over to our SEO Tips blog for some insider insight? Alternatively, for additional information, drop us a line using the button below.

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When it comes to implementing keywords into your site copy, blog content and social media, knowing where to start can be a headache in itself - particularly if you don’t have a good keyword research tool to help get the wheels in motion.

Sadly, many of the best keyword research tools are paid, subscription-based services – which is all well and good for big companies that can afford it, not so great for Aunt Lily and her humble, home-made cupcake business.

Luckily, help is at hand. More specifically, help is directly in your hands!

 serp seo

What is SERP?

Okay, first things first, let’s go back to basics – what does SERP stand for?

SERP is an acronym for “Search Engine Results Page”. This is where the web results of your search term will be displayed in list form, ranked by their relevance to what you’re looking for. This is also typically accompanied by additional paid ads that also relate to the terms you searched.

A high-ranking, keyword-rich site page, blog or post will, in theory, climb the SERP rankings and sit high on the list. Meanwhile, unoptimised text will find itself relegated to darkest depths of the bottom pages – where no man wants to be.

Think of your site as a magazine on a newsstand. Great SERP SEO will see your site taking pride of place, proudly displayed front and centre for all to see. Meanwhile, poor SEO would be akin to stuffing it at the very back of the top shelf, hidden behind a couple of dusty, old blue mags.

 

Using SERP to optimise content

To keep your content from dancing in the dark like an uncoordinated extra in a high school musical, it’s important to keep your SEO skills sharp. This will help shine a spotlight on your content and bump it up to the main stage of the top results pages.

How do we do that? We’re glad you asked! Some of the most relevant keywords and phrases are available literally at your fingertips – you just need to know where to look.

 

SERP-rising results

The art of manipulating SERPs is a great way to make Google do the all the leg work when it comes to SEO research. Better still, the process itself is virtually effortless.

Finding great keywords that are relevant to your subject matter can be as easy as hitting the “enter” key. Simply run a Google search for a term relative to your needs and watch nature take its course.

This process can instantly return a myriad of keywords and phrases that have already passed the Google green-light, leaving them ripe for the picking.

Say, for example, you run a dog food business. Typing “cheap dog food” into Google will immediately spit out a bowlful of meaty SEO results dripping in keyword Marylebone jelly.

Follow these three easy SEO tips to keep your content standing tall as top dog.

 

"People also ask"

The “People also ask” box is typically found towards the top of the results page when you enter your search requirements.

So, using the example of your fictional dog food business, a search for “cheap dog food” would return relative search questions along the lines of “What is a good dog food?”, “What is the best cheap dog food?” and “How much does a dog cost a month?”.

These terms can make for excellent headings in your blog and logical H2s that won’t seem forced. The queries are relevant, the subject matters are ideal and the answers can be seamlessly weaved into your content in a manner that also naturally promotes your product.

For example, if you were to include “What is a good dog food?” as a H2 in your blog, you could easily relate the accompanying content back to your products in smooth transition by saying:

“A good dog food should include a variety of key canine nutrients. Mut Mix 2000 includes all the vitamins and minerals your furry friend needs for a healthy, balanced diet.”

This way your copy remains relevant, you’ve plugged your product nicely and still included the keyword phrase in a high-profile position as a H2. Hot dog!

 

"Searches related to"

Much like the previous section, another great area of inspiration is the “Searches related to” list. This can be found at the bottom of the SERP, comprising of eight similar searches related to your topic of choice. This is essentially a mini list of searches that Google believes the user may find helpful, should they wish to expand on their search.

The results can range from alternate searches to more detailed queries into the same term; for example, that “cheap dog food” search could return “cheap dog food online” or “dry dog food” in the “Searches related to” section. As Google has already identified these terms as relevant to your search, they logically warrant inclusion in your copy.

Meanwhile, the octet of “Searches related to” results can also provide businesses with valuable market research of what your customers are actively looking for in relation to a product. Related searches – such as “cheap dog food 15kg” and “cheap dog food in bulk” – give an insightful glimpse into what your target audience wants, as well as their buying habits, so it’s worth keeping that in mind if you don’t already provide such products.

 

"People also search for"

This next batch of insider info is a little trickier to come by as it doesn’t immediately appear in your search results; however, it’s still fairly straight-forward to access.

Simply type in your search term and click on one of the relevant results. Once through to your site of choice, navigate back to the SERP to trigger the “People also search for” box. This should now appear below the aforementioned site listing in the SERP.

This box typically includes six highly relevant results that mirror your search and, by proxy, mirrors the behaviour of your customer/target audience. This is very similar to the “Searches related to” list yet still a useful and insightful tool nonetheless.

If patience isn’t your strong suit and bulk lists are what you’re after, there a number of programmes, plug-ins and extensions readily-available online that enable you to simply extract the list of “People also search for” phrases in one go (such as this). These allow you to effectively harvest these lists for SEO purposes without the need to meticulously scour Google.

 

So, there you have it: three easy ways to optimise your content at the click of a mouse without parting with a penny. For more SEO tips, check out our Simple SEO Tips for 2019 or drop us a line using the button below.

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Voice Search & SEO

It’s pretty safe to assume that what was once dubbed a ‘fad’ that was destined to fade away, has now surpassed all expectations and has become a staple in the lives of millions of people across the world.

Over the past few years especially, voice search has experienced a monumental increase in use and popularity offering online users a different way to search the internet and gather the information they need, with 55% of teens and 41% of adults using voice search more than once a day (Google) and voice search alone growing 35x since 2008 (KPCB). The growth of voice search isn’t expected to slow down either, it is predicted that by 2020 50% of all searches will be made by voice (Comscore).

But why has voice search grown so much? Lets’ take a look!

There are 2 main reasons behind the rise in popularity:

  1. Searching with your voice is faster than typing - According to Bing, searching with your voice is 3.7x faster than typing. With faster searches comes faster results, so there’s no surprise as to why more people are choosing to use their voice rather than a keyboard.
  1. Voice search is perfect for mobile searches – The popularity and increase in accessibility to mobile devices have, in turn, resulted in the increase of voice search. With 60% of mobile searchers using voice at least ‘some of the time’ (Stone Temple).

 

The features of voice search

Searching with your voice is very different from searching through typing, so naturally, its characteristics and features are going to differ from traditional search. This is something SEO’s will have to bear in mind and consider if they are to cater for this new, emerging search market and take advantage of the changing online landscape. Again, there are a number of driving forces behind voice search; how people search, when people search and what people search for.

 

How people search

The emergence of voice search has changed the way in which people search for information in 2 ways. Firstly, searches are now longer and secondly, searches are more conversational.

Traditionally, when we use a keyboard to search for information, we tend to use short phrases to find what we need because it saves physical effort. Using voice search on mobile phones and voice assistants such as the Google Home or Amazon Echo, allows searches to become more conversational, however, as these devices are powered by artificial intelligence, making them smarter the more we use and interact with them. Therefore, there is less need to use shorter, ‘computer language’ searches with a now greater emphasis on natural, human-like dialogue.

When searching for the best way to clean a composite deck on your computer or phone, you may type ‘composite decking cleaning’ into the search bar. This is what we would consider, ‘short, computer language.’ When using voice search, however, you’re more likely to say ‘how do I clean composite decking?’ The first search is shorter, only containing 3 words, whereas the second is longer with 6 words. Purna Virji of Moz found that speech searches tend to be longer through the tail.

It’s important to remember to not make the mistake of likening voice search optimisation to using long-tail keywords within your content. Voice search is much more likely to contain question phrases, which has a big impact on how we conduct keyword research and on-page SEO.

Content needs to give users direct answers to the questions they’re asking, otherwise, it’s going to be very difficult to get your content to the people who need it. A great way to find commonly asked queries around a particular subject is to use a tool called Answer the Public. Simply enter a keyword to receive a bunch of related questions around that keyword. Here’s what we get when we search for ‘composite decking’.

 

Each one of these natural language phrases is an insight into the mindset of your target audience that allows you to tailor your content to match their queries.

 

When people search

As a result of voice search being much more convenient, people are using it in more places and on a more regular basis than ever before. According to Google, ‘near me now’ searches have increased by 150% over the last two years, with these searches happening in places that you may not expect.

A survey conducted by Stone Temple found that users were significantly more likely to use voice search in public places last year in comparison to the previous year. Places such as gyms, cinemas and even public toilets! Proving that searchers have a lot more local intent when they’re searching on their mobile phones.

As a result of this, SEO’s can gain increased traffic by carefully incorporating a number of distinct keywords into their content. Such as

  • Landmarks around businesses
  • Including ‘near me’ in title tags, meta descriptions, anchor texts and internal links
  • Including phrases that people use to describe the area around your locations
  • The titles of local organisations that are relevant to your business

This is further emphasised by the fact that in 2016, 22% of people used voice search to find local information (Internet Trends Report) and that 50% of local mobile searches by a consumer lead to a store visit in a day. There’s no greater incentive to optimise for voice.

 

 

What people search for

Voice changes how users get their search results. Slowly but surely, Google is moving away from a search engine where people go to gain masses of information, to a place where people go to gain instant answers. This trend is emphasised by the introduction of SERP features such as Knowledge Panels and Featured Snippets, which has resulted in the number of organic clicks dropping as the information and answers that users are searching for are appearing right there in the results.

Google is implementing the same answer-focused algorithms to provide voice searchers with results as the intent of their searches change. So, enabling your content to answer the common questions that searchers are asking by targeting SERP features such as Featured Snippets is the best way to be shown for voice searches.

 

Optimising for Voice Search

Now that we’ve looked at the main characteristics that voice search has changed about traditional search and briefly on how you can manipulate your content to satisfy these changes, we can now delve a little deeper into the technical aspects of how to optimise your website and business for the best voice search results.

 

Utilise structured data

Schema markup, also known as structured data, is a great way to optimise the content on your website for search engines to pull it and offer it to voice searches.

If you do not know what schema markup is, visit our previously written blog here to learn more. Essentially, schema markup is metadata. Data about the information on your website, which is found within your site’s source code. Searchers cannot see this data, but it helps search engines to organise and classify your content such as opening hours, contact information and address.

As previously stated, voice searchers usually want instant answers. By enabling search engines to classify essential business information as such will give you a greater chance of being ranked over competitors. Google has recently announced support for new FAQ structured data. Making it easier for your answers to commonly asked questions to be classified by Google and presented to users in both normal and voice search.

Submitting a detailed sitemap to Google and ensuring your structured data pages aren’t blocked by robots.txt and other control methods are greats ways of getting your content classified also.

 

Claiming your Google My Business listing

As we touched on above, voice search experiences a high number of local queries by searchers. Therefore, it is essential to claim your Google My Business listing, where you can input your business’ name, address, contact number and description.

Another important feature is choosing relevant categories that your business falls under. Selecting the correct category can be the difference between your business appearing at the top of voice search results or not.

 

Become mobile-friendly

As mobile phones are one of the main devices in which voice searches are performed, you need to ensure that your website is mobile friendly. Google recommends a responsive website that loads fast, which again you can learn more about in our blog here. With voice searchers wanting instant answers to their questions, your website will need to load information as quickly as possible.

Once your website design and speed are up to scratch, you can now focus on your content. In order to rank for voice searches, ensure your content is optimised for it to be scanned quickly. Leave a lot of white spaces, use short sentences, small paragraphs with simple words and engaging sub-headings.

 

Answer customer questions in blog posts

We identified above that voice search has changed how people search. With robotic keywords being replaced with longer, more conversational keywords as users look to receive direct answers for commonly asked questions around a particular topic and even provided a tool to help understand the common queries around a particular search term. This is a great starting point to understand what information searchers in your industry are looking for.

Once you understand the questions commonly asked by searchers, you are then able to create content to cater to them. One way to do this is to create a FAQ page which provides short and concise answers to all of the frequently asked questions from your customers. Another is to create dedicated blog posts that focus on single questions. Here you have more freedom to answer a question in more detail, giving search engines more content to choose from and give back to voice searches.

Creating content around your customer’s common queries dramatically increases your chances of appearing higher in voice search results.

Voice search and its impact on users and businesses over the last decade has changed dramatically. Its future is unpredictable, but recent years have shown us that it is not slowing down anytime soon. Therefore, it is important that marketers and business owners do not ignore this trend and instead understand how to best optimise their website and content for voice. It is not easy, but by optimising for voice search your content will become more ‘human’ and will accommodate will ever-changing dynamic of online search.

With clinics located in Barry, Canton and Whitchurch, and physiotherapists boasting BSc (Hons) degrees, postgraduate training and Chartered Society of Physiotherapists / Health Professional Council accreditation, David Bolwell Physiotherapy Services is one of the top physio clinics in South Wales. They possess extensive experience and provide treatments dealing with muscle, soft tissue and joint conditions, as well as post-surgery rehabilitation and sports injuries.

Here are some of the conditions that David Bolwell Physiotherapy Services treat:

  • Neck & Back Pain
  • Overuse Injuries
  • Muscle & Ligament Injuries
  • Osteoarthritis

These conditions are treated in various ways, including:

  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Mobilisation & Manipulation

DB Physio Services asked us to give their old brochure website an enhanced look and feel, paying particular attention to the website’s usability on a number of devices and the ability to send enquiries with ease. We’re proud to announce that DB Physio’s new and updated website is now live – visit https://www.dbphysio.co.uk/ to see the new design.

What Have We Done?

In order to improve on the company’s existing site, we focused on a number of improvements:

  • Responsive Design – A key aim of the new website was to allow users on varying devices with different screen sizes to experience the same great design. The new DB Physio website now possesses a fully responsive design that works well and looks great on any device.

  • SEO – The need for high-quality content is imperative for any brochure website. We optimised each page of the new website and helped DB Physio to create information, high-quality content in order to rank highly on search engines like Google.

  • Enhanced User Interface – The new DB Physio website allows the user to make a swift and detailed treatment enquiry. The updated enquiry form contains that ability to select the user’s preferred clinic and appointment date/time.

If you are in need of a professional-looking website for your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at Designer Websites. Request a FREE, no-obligation quote for your project here.

Ultrasound Plus Website

We’ve just developed a new website for a leading UK ultrasound business with a range of clinics in London, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Kent. Ultrasound Plus provide professional scanning for a range of needs and clients, including:

  • Baby Scans – 3D/4D, Early Pregnancy, Dating, Gender, Reassurance, Anomaly, Growth, and Presentation scans
  • Gynaecology Scans
  • General Scans – Upper Abdomen Ultrasound, Kidneys, Ureters and Bladder Scans and;
  • Musculoskeletal Scans

Why did Ultrasound Plus come to us?

Ultrasound Plus came to us because they needed a new website with a significantly improved customer experience, and an optimised website to improve their online visibility.

We designed a brand-new website with a clear target of maximising customer engagement and improving rankings on the major search engines. Click here to view the new and improved website.

The new and improved website has:

  • A bespoke and responsive design
  • A blog where the company can share news and updates
  • Improved Search Engine Optimisation

If you require a professional-looking website for your business, that is easy to navigate on any device, then get in touch with our team here at Designer Websites on 01446 339050 or request a free, no-obligation quote.

Quick SEO Tips

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a pretty complex subject. Gone are the days when all you had to do was pick a keyword and stuff it into your page copy as many times as possible - if you want to conquer the Google results in 2018, there are all sorts of different factors you need to think about. And of course, since the algorithms are always changing, you'll need to keep your eyes open and stay abreast of all the latest updates if you don't want to be left behind.

Still, perhaps you're not looking to become an all-powerful SEO guru. Maybe you're just looking for a few quick tips that will help you boost your traffic without paying for ads. If that's the case, we hope that these 10 tips (brought to you by the Designer Websites SEO team) will serve you well:

1. Check your site's health on Google Search Console.

Google Search Console (google.com/webmasters/tools/home) is an indispensable tool that all website owners should use. Once you've added and verified your website, check out our beginner's guide to make sure you know what to look out for.

Oh, and while you're logged in...

2. Submit your sitemap to Google.

Go to the Crawl section in Google Search Console and select Sitemaps. This is where you can submit your website's XML sitemap file to Google - this makes it easier for the big G to index your content, and the Sitemaps tool will also inform you of any problems that are affecting pages you submit.

3. Take a good look at your title tags.

There are many different factors that decide whether a web page makes it into the top 10 Google results, but the page's title tag may be the most important of all. A page's title tag should ideally be no more than 60 characters in length, and it should be a clear, concise, and keyword-rich description of what that page is for.

Use Moz's title tag preview tool to see what your title tag will look like on Google (this is a good way to identify whether your title tag is too long).

4. Make sure your meta descriptions are snappy and engaging.

Unlike the title tag (see above), your page's meta description probably won't have a huge impact on rankings. However, it can make the difference between a Google user clicking on your result and scrolling straight past it.

You know the short paragraph of text that appears under most Google results? Very often, that blurb is pulled directly from the page's meta description.

So be sure to make all of your meta descriptions concise, engaging and punchy. Sell your product/service and explain why people should choose you over your competitors...but try to do it in as few words as possible! (Google recently extended the maximum length for meta descriptions, but we still recommend keeping them short and snappy where possible.)

5. Check for keyword cannibalisation.

Keyword cannibalisation occurs when a website has two (or more) pages competing against each other for a specific keyphrase. It should be avoided, since Google may not be able to discern which page you actually want to rank for the keyphrase in question.

For more information on keyword cannibalisation and how it can scupper your SEO efforts, read our blog on the subject here.

6. Claim your Google My Business listing.

Google My Business listings are crucial for local businesses with bricks-and-mortar locations that are open to the public, but even if your business is online-only, you should still think about claiming your listing. Go to google.co.uk/business and enter your company details so that Google can show more information about your business - don't worry, you can keep your address hidden if you don't want people turning up on your doorstep.

7. Link to high-authority websites.

Some people will tell you that you should never link out to other websites, but the evidence seems to suggest that outgoing links can have a positive effect on your rankings when done carefully. Just make sure that you're linking to authoritative sites that are relevant to the topic you're focusing on.

8. Share your knowledge in blog posts.

If your company's website doesn't have a blog, you're missing out on a huge opportunity to share your expertise and get your brand seen by a wider audience. Google loves in-depth, well-written articles from people who know what they're talking about, and nobody knows your business better than you do, so what are you waiting for? Get writing!

To make sure you're writing blog posts that will actually drive traffic to your website, we recommend using tools like Google Keyword Planner and AnswerThePublic.com to find out what people search for when they're looking for information on your specialist subject.

9. Add alt tags to your images.

Google's bots are very clever when it comes to understanding and indexing text-based content, but they're not so good with images. In order to help them index your images properly (and potentially show them as results on Google Images), you should make sure that every image on your website has an alt tag that gives an accurate description of what the image depicts.

Not only will this help you to capture traffic from image searches, it may also boost the perceived relevance of your pages if the alt tag is relevant to the keywords you're targeting. For example, if you're trying to rank for the term 'how to fix a dripping tap', your page may rank better if it features some pictures of taps, pipes, plumbers, and other related things/concepts.

10. Above all, focus on search intent and user experience.

Search engine optimisation shouldn't be an attempt to game the system or 'trick' Google into ranking your website. Ultimately, your goal should be the same as Google's goal: to give each user the best possible answer to their query.

So, when targeting a specific search term, make sure your page meets the needs expressed by that term and gives people the perfect online experience. This can mean any number of different things, such as:

  • Making key information stand out more
  • Improving your website design
  • Reducing your prices
  • Giving more details about your products
  • Being more transparent about who you are and what you do with the information you collect from users

These are just a few examples. Put yourself in the shoes of an average website user and go through your website from their point of view - is there anything that could be improved, or any parts of the buying journey that are needlessly complicated or fiddly?

For more help with this, read our blog about search intent.

Do you need someone to take a proper look at your website's SEO? Get in touch with the Designer Websites team today - we're great at boosting organic traffic and creating smooth user journeys!

Why Won't My Website Show Up on Google?

It's frustrating when your website can't break onto the first page of Google results for that high-volume keyword you've been trying to target, but it's even more frustrating when your website isn't showing up on Google at all.

Why does this happen?

In order for a page to appear as a Google result, it has to be included in Google's index.

When Google notices a new website for the first time, its bots 'crawl' the site and report back so that the site's pages can be added to the index. However, Google don't index all pages indiscriminately – even they don't have the luxury of unlimited server space.

For this reason, if a page doesn't meet certain requirements, Google won't bother to index it. Their algorithm might even decide that none of your pages add any value to the Internet, in which case your whole website may be excluded from the index. And if you're not in the index, you can't show up in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

Check to see if you're indexed

If you think Google isn't showing your website in the search results – even for terms that you really ought to be ranking for – the first thing to do is find out whether or not you're even indexed.

Here's how to do that:

1. Open Google Chrome (or go to google.com).

2. Type your website's URL into the search bar, preceded by 'site:'. For instance:

Google site: search

3. Hit search. Google should now show you a list of your web pages - if none of them are indexed, you'll see a message like this:

No Results Found

If you use Google Search Console to manage your website, you can instead log in and take a look at the Index Status report. This tells you how many of your pages Google currently has indexed, if any.

If none of your pages are indexed...

Here are some of the most common reasons for Google to exclude an entire website from the index:

  • Google hasn't noticed your website yet. If your website only recently went live, it may just be that Google's bots need a little longer to get around to crawling it. You can hurry them along by adding your site in Google Search Console and submitting your sitemap file in the Sitemaps report (or using the Fetch as Google tool – be sure to click 'Submit to index').

  • Google's bots can't access your pages. If your web developer has mistakenly a) blocked your website in the robots.txt file, or b) placed a 'noindex' tag on pages that are supposed to be indexed, this will prevent Google from accessing and indexing your content. If neither of these apply, there are several other reasons why Google may be unable to view your site – perhaps your site was down when Google attempted to crawl it, or maybe your pages take too long to load or cannot be viewed without logging in.

  • Google has penalised your website by de-indexing it. Sometimes, Google will exclude websites from the index as a punishment for breaching the search engine's guidelines. If you have been engaging in unnatural link building practices, filling your site with low-quality or duplicated content, or otherwise doing something you shouldn't have been, your absence from the Google SERPs may be a direct result of your bad behaviour.

If your pages are indexed...

So you've checked, and your website is indexed – you're just not ranking for the keywords you care about. Here are some possible explanations for that:

  • All of your pages are indexed...except the one that matters. Just because most of your site is indexed doesn't necessarily mean that the bots haven't missed something. It may be that a crucial page has been excluded, probably because its content is too similar to that of another page on your site. Google won't waste server space indexing two pages that are near-identical, so make sure your key landing pages aren't being edged out by other, lower-priority pages.

  • Your content needs to be improved. It may be that you're not ranking for that high-volume keyword because Google doesn't think your content meets the needs that the query expresses. Look at the sites that do rank for your chosen keyword, then compare them to your site – what do they do that yours doesn't? Do they provide a better answer to the searcher's question? Does their user interface provide a better, smoother journey? Do they offer a better product range, or more information on the products they sell? Ask yourself these questions and make sure your pages are as good as they can be.

  • You need to boost your website's ranking signals. If all of your pages are indexed and your content is utterly perfect...and you're still not showing up in the SERPs...it may simply be that your website doesn't carry as much weight as other sites do. Google's algorithm takes dozens of different factors into account when deciding which websites should rank the highest, but links are among the most important ranking factors of all. If your competitors have links from lots of high-authority websites (e.g. trusted news outlets, authoritative academic resources, popular content platforms like Buzzfeed), then you'll probably need to get some similarly high-powered links – AND make sure that your content is better than everyone else's – in order to outrank them.

If you need help getting your website ranked, please get in touch with the website optimisation experts at Designer Websites. Contact us now to discuss your requirements.