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.

Each year, Google hosts its I/O keynote event where they share their upcoming innovative hardware and software updates with the world. This year, the keynote was held at the Shoreline Amphitheatre of Mountain View, California and yet again, Google unveiled a whole host of changes and updates across their product line and operating systems.

Introduction  

The event kicked off with speaker Sundar Pichai reiterating Google’s mission to ‘organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’ and how this translates into what Google does and what they’re trying to do. He mentions that Google has transformed from a company that helps with finances to a company that ‘helps you get things done’, and how they are achieving this new rhetoric with the help of their new products and services. Sundar moves on to say that building a more helpful Google starts with search, the core aspect of Google, and demonstrates some of the changes coming to search, starting with more detailed news and podcast results. Sundar claims that what’s most helpful and understanding in the world is ‘visual information’, which leads onto the first major highlight of the event!

Visual information – AR in search

The first innovative feature shown off was the inclusion of augmented reality right into search results. Now, you can get 3D models within search results that can be brought into the real world with the help of your device’s camera. Google’s AR and Google Lens VP Aparna Chennapragada demonstrated the new feature to watching crowd where she brought to life a human muscle, a pair of shoes and a terrifying great white shark! These 3D models aren’t just to play with however, they can be used to help with shopping (seeing how a pair of shoes look with a particular outfit), or with education (seeing how a certain muscle flexes and extends). Google has partnered up with many organisations such as NASA and New Balance to integrate these AR images into your results.

A smarter Google Lens

Google Lens is the AI assistant that works with your smartphone camera provide users with ‘visual answers to visual questions.’ Google has made improvements to the Google Lens so that it can now leverage Google’s extensive amount of data to help you choose what to eat at a restaurant for example, simply by pointing your smartphone’s camera at the menu. Here, Google Lens will display the most popular dishes, images of what they look like and customer reviews. It can even help with splitting the bill! Further demonstrations are shown in the integration of Google Lens with Translate. Here, Aparna demonstrates how Google Lens can help with translations of unfamiliar text with providing not just text translations but with audio, highlighting each word as it’s read out to give you more context on what the text means.

Assistant becomes more helpful

Thanks to developments within recurrent neural networks, Google has been able to create new speech recognition and language understanding models to make Assistant perform locally on your smartphone. This has resulted in speech procession at near zero latency and transcription in real time, even completely offline. The new and improved Assistant will now understand your questions and queries and provide you with answers up to 10-times faster. Multitasking across several apps is now possible with Continued Conversation, where you can make a number of requests in a row without the need to say “Hey Google” every time. The Assistant will now use what it learns about you to better understand the context of what you say and offer more personalised suggestions as it learns your daily routine and preferences in entertainment, style and food. A new ‘Driving Mode’ will also provide hands-free assistance when you’re navigating the roads with Maps or Waze.

Duplex can now use the Internet

Google introduced Duplex to the world last year in extraordinary fashion, in which Google Assistant was able to make phone calls for you to perform services like book a table at a restaurant or a hair appointment. This year, Google announced that Duplex has learned to use the Internet! Demonstrated on stage where we see Assistant book a rental car, Duplex will filter through the booking site, entering all of your details as it navigates – there goes the ‘I am not a robot’ defence!

Auto-delete Google’s data collection

With the recent hysteria and spotlight over privacy and data, Google has made an attempt to curb the user’s worries by allowing them to micro-manage what data Google holds. Coming in the not so distant future to Location History and Web & App Activity is the new ability to select a time limit for how long you want your activity data to be saved (3-18 months) and any data older than the selected time will be automatically deleted from your account.

New low-budget Pixels

Despite the popularity of the Google Pixel range, Google realised that the pure Android smartphones ended up being priced above the affordable levels that made so many customers fall in love with the Nexus phones many years ago. As a result, Google is going back to its Nexus roots with new low budget Pixel devices. In addition to the new devices, Pixel owners will also benefit from the new features such as the anticipated AR directions in Google Maps, robocall screening and enhanced battery life.

Google Home and Nest combine

One of the final announcements of the event saw the introduction of the new Google Nest device, which sees the power of the Google Home and Nest combine. Here, your Google and Nest accounts will combine to give you greater control and security over your smart home devices. As part of this merger, the Google Home Hub has now become Google Nest Hub.

And there it is! All of the major announcements from this year’s Google I/O event! For more information and details, visit the official site dedicated to the event here - https://events.google.com/io/schedule/events/

Hyper Recruitment Solutions is the science-based recruitment business set up by 2012’s The Apprentice winner Ricky Martin after receiving an investment of £250,000 from co-owner Lord Alan Sugar. Specialising in the scientific and technological industries, HRS help to match some of the biggest employers in the country with the most talented and vibrant job seekers to fill crucial roles and positions within sectors such as engineering, biotechnology and pharmacy.

We’ve been working with Ricky and the HRS team ever since they launched way back 2012, assisting with their original website design and development, and a number of redesigns since. Sometime last year, Ricky contacted us as he was hoping we would once again be able to provide our professional services to bring his website up to date with another redesign, providing it with the contemporary look and feel it now craved, as well as some additional technical features which enhance the user experience even more. 

How did we help this time?

Firstly, we updated the design to a more modern look! We also enhanced the code using the very latest coding technologies, standards and optimisation techniques. We have made the new HRS website much easier to navigate, highlighting the essential information needed by both employers and job seekers, as well as the vital advice and support aimed at successful candidates who have acquired important roles within organisations. Along with this totally new redesign, we also fully integrated their chosen in-house software solution, namely RDP Pro, into the website using the latest RDP API. The integration means that the HRS staff can focus on using RDP Pro, whilst the website automatically pulls information on positions offered through the company, without any need to manage the website. The integration with RDP Pro also allows job boards to be automatically populated, thereby simplifying the internal management of job advertising. This seamless integration means jobs instantly appear on the website, perfect for eager jobseekers! 

As well as this bespoke integration with RDB Pro, we have also introduced new features to the job search such as job alerts and the ability to save individual jobs to a wish list. Increasing the level of interaction and functionality that potential recruits have with HRS. 

With simplified menus, sleek new page layouts and a host of new features, we're sure that both Ricky and Lord Sugar are as proud of the new look as we are. Despite the new design, we haven't compromised any of the things that made the previous site great such as incredibly fast loading times and responsive pages, allowing users to have the same great experience no matter what device they are using! 

You can visit the new, fresh-looking HRS website here at www.hyperec.com 

If you’re looking for a bespoke, professional-looking website for your business, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the team here at Designer Websites for a free, no-obligation web design quote.

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JMS Infotech Ltd is a company based in Milton Keynes, England, that produces the JMS One, a fully-automated end-to-end staff management system. 

This system is built to offer both workers and employers a reliable, easy-to-use system which allows a number of job functions to be completed with ease and in an extremely effective manner. Some of the areas of business that the JMS One operating system assists in are:

  • Bookings
  • Timesheets
  • Recruitment 
  • Rota management 
  • Management reporting 

One of our current clients NOA Healthcare, that we recently helped to create and launch a brand new website for, have implemented the JMS One system as part of their recruitment operations. Making them the first healthcare recruitment company in the UK to use a fully-automated online booking system, resulting in an average weekly fill rate of over 95% on their jobs listings. 

How we helped...

JMS contacted us here at Designer Websites as a result of an organic internet search, which resulted in an online enquiry being submitted through our website. After a brief discussion, we were tasked with updating the website that JMS already had, to be fully optimised for search as well as being responsive in order for users to browse and navigate seamlessly, request demos of their system or utilise their client login across a multitude of devices. 

We are proud to announce that the sleek, newly optimised and responsive JMS website is now live with additional pages consisting of company and product information as well as an integrated enquiry form. You can now visit the new website here - https://www.jmsinfotech.co.uk/

If you’d like to enquire about having a great, responsive website created for your business then get in touch and tell us more about your project, we’d love to hear from you! 

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Our latest website project sees local dentistry practice Porthkerry Dental Centre, combine a number of their dental centre websites into one amalgamated site – Vale Dental Centres!

A popular dentist located in Barry, Porthkerry Dental branched out to a number of practices in and around the local area over the years with a total of 3 centres now under their ownership. Unfortunately for Porthkerry Dental, their online presence was a little confusing with a combination of websites for their different centres available and no clear indication about what services were available at each practice. That’s where we stepped in!

How did we help?

Porthkerry Dental approached us here at Designer Websites to help make the information on their dental centres and services easier to find and understand. In order to make their online presence clearer to their past and potential patients, we proposed creating a brand-new website that combined the scattered information under one new domain. To do this, we needed to collate the information that was already available on their centres and services and streamline it into one property that patients can visit.

After gathering this information, we were able to dissect it and create new, optimised pages that targeted a number of popular search terms related to the industry such as teeth whitening, orthodontics and emergency dental treatment, as well as establishing which practice each service is available at. In addition to each web page being optimised for search with new high-quality copy, the new site is also fully responsive, enabling patients to have the same fantastic user experience no matter which device they’re using – perfect for when a desktop isn’t handy!

The brand-new Vale Dental Centres website can be viewed right here - https://www.valedentalcentres.co.uk/ 

If you’re looking for a bespoke, professional-looking website for your business, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the team here at Designer Websites for a free, no-obligation web design quote.

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Established in 1990, South Wales Windows and Doors is the longest-serving family-run double glazing business in South Wales! Since then, they have built a profound reputation for excellence in both the products they offer and the service they provide. With nearly 30 years’ experience, they help homeowners in and around Cardiff, South Wales and the South West by supplying and installing double glazed windows, doors and conservatories of the highest quality, all designed to the customers’ specifications in an efficient and cost-competitive way.

How did we help?

Having helped with their last website redesign in 2016, South Wales Windows and Doors approached us again, as they were looking for another freshen up which reflects their current vision for the business. They tasked us with creating an updated website design that not only looked the part but was easier to use and navigate for their past and potential customers.

As a result, we were able to produce a fantastic looking, easy-to-navigate, responsive website that performs great no matter which device it’s being viewed on. We not only improved the aesthetics of the website, but we also created new copy for the whole site to ensure each page was fully optimised to rank highly in search engine results for industry-specific keywords. We amalgamated a number of website pages in order for the information on products and services to be streamlined and easier for customers to find, as well as creating new pages for services that have launched since their last redesign!

You can visit the new and updated website right here - https://www.southwaleswindowsanddoors.co.uk/

If you’re interested in a bespoke, professional-looking website for your business, please contact the team here at Designer Websites below for a free, no-obligation web design quote.

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Published - September 4th 2017 / Updated - March 18th 2019

Unless you own a website or you have a keen interest in online marketing, you may not have heard about Google Ads before. This platform plays a huge part in the world of online advertising, but many Google users may not know what exactly it is or what it does.

To help you better understand, we have put together the following simple guide to understanding Google Ads.

Google Ads Show First on Search Engine Results Pages

First things first, a brief introduction. Google Ads is an online advertising platform developed by Google, which allows businesses to advertise on the search engines' results pages.

For example, as you'll see from the image below we have searched for ‘women’s clothes’. Now, the first 4 text results (marked with a green 'Ad' label) are Google Ads Text Ads; which are followed by normal non-paid 'organic' results, which in turn is followed by 3 more Text Ads (bottom of the page). On the right-hand side, you can also see Google 'Shopping Ads', which are a different style of paid-for adverts within Google Ads.

All of these businesses are employing Google Ads to show their adverts whenever someone searches for the phrase ‘women’s clothes’.

Every Click Costs with Google Ads

Unlike offline advertising methods, you only have to pay for your Google Ad if it gets clicked, making Google Ads one of the best advertising platforms on the planet in terms of ROI. However, managed poorly it will simply bring you lots of irrelevant traffic that will not convert into sales or bookings. 

Managing Google Ads can be complex, however, the Google Ads tool allows you to organise your adverts into campaigns and groups, which then give you greater control and organisation of your adverts. 

In simple terms, you choose the keywords that work for your business and allocate a maximum click cost, which is essentially how much you are willing to pay Google for a person to click your advert. You organise your keywords into appropriate groups and campaigns and then set a budget on what is the maximum you want to spend on each campaign. When your budget runs out, the adverts stop showing. So, the higher the budget you set, the longer your adverts will be displayed, and therefore the more clicks you can achieve.  

There are many complexities to running successful Google Ads campaigns and the depth of this complexity will depend upon your business, i.e. how many products and services you offer, whether your competitors also run Google Ads campaigns, how popular your keywords are, etc.

Google Ads Uses a Complex Bidding System

Though this may seem simple (pay for an ad = get shown on Google), it's really not that easy! As you can imagine, there are millions of clothing shops across the world. All of these clothing companies, if they’re marketing savvy, will be aiming to have a Google Ad on top of the SERPs. So, with so much competition, Google employs a bidding system to decide who gets those top spots, for how much time, and at what cost.

You can envisage the Google Ads bidding structure as a straight-up auction; whoever is willing to pay the most per click, wins! Google is the auctioneer, the product is the top spot on Google for say "women’s clothes", and the auction hall is full of eager clothing businesses across the nation, or even the world.. how much are you willing to pay for a click?

As I alluded to, this auction is not that straight forward. You can also win by providing high quality and highly relevant adverts, which land on highly relevant pages within a highly user-friendly website, all scoring points with Google and meaning that you may pay less than your competitors for those top spots. Google wants advertisers to see a relevant advert to what the user searched. For example, I search "women's dresses" so I want to see an advert that suggests something relevant, and then I want to land on a page showing dresses i.e. not the home page of a clothing store website... unless it only sells dresses of course. Google rates the relevance of your advertising and they call this their quality score. You need a very high-quality score to keep your click costs competitive. The complexity runs deeper, but for now, we'll leave it there.

Google Adverts & Landing Pages

While this may seem a bit strange,  more often than not Google Ads will not take you straight to the homepage of the website. Instead, they take you to something which is known as a 'landing page'. Landing pages are often dedicated pages, but usually, are the product (or service) specific page, that is most relevant to the term you searched e.g. "Women's Clothing".

For example, this is H&M’s homepage:

And this is a H&M landing page for ‘women’s dresses’:

As you can see, there is a distinct difference between the two. H&M’s homepage includes everything the website stocks, whereas the women's dresses section on the site is used as the "landing page" for the adverts for this search term; directing searchers who hit their adverts to the exact products that they were searching for.

Google Ads does not impact your websites organic ranking

Though Google Ads can indeed play a big part in increasing traffic to your website and conversions, it has no direct link to the organic (non-paid listings in Google) search results pages. Even if you are running hundreds of Ads and spending millions of pounds, it will not increase your organic ranking.

Conclusion

Google Ads can be a fantastic tool for driving instant traffic to your website but consider the difference between extra traffic and extra customers/buyers. There is a significant difference between the two. Making Google Ads work for your business requires intimate knowledge of the advertising platform itself, along with knowledge of your business and its competitors. 

You can run Google Ads yourself, however, if you want to maximise the ROI our experts are here to help. Click below to learn about our PPC services! 

Our PPC Advertising >

Published - 26th February 2018 / Updated - 12th March 2019

New Google Search Console

Over a year ago, Google announced via their Webmaster Central Blog that the new version of Search Console (originally made available to a limited set of users in August 2017) was going to be released to all site owners who use the tool. The big roll-out took a few weeks, but the majority of users are now able to access the redesigned Search Console interface.

Search Console (previously known as Google Webmaster Tools) in an indispensable tool for website owners, and so we'd like to take a moment to walk you through the updated version and explain how it can be used. The new Search Console is still being built, and certain reports have not yet been migrated into the new version, but what is there is well worth exploring if you're serious about looking after your website's health.

How do I view the new Search Console?

To access the new version of Google Search Console, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to www.google.com/webmasters and click the big green 'SEARCH CONSOLE' button.

  2. Sign into your Google account to continue.

  3. Once you're on the Search Console home screen, select the property (website) you'd like to manage.

  4. Go to your Messages (under 'Dashboard' in the menu).

  5. Look for a message with the title 'Introducing the new Search Console for [website URL]' and open it up. (If you haven't received this message then you probably don't have access to the new Search Console yet - it is still being rolled out, so be patient and you should be granted access soon.)

  6. Click the 'Open the new Search Console' button in the body of the message.

I'm in! So what's new?

The first thing you'll notice upon accessing your new and improved Search Console is the sleek new design.

As we've already mentioned, the new Search Console doesn't yet offer as many different reports as its predecessor, many reports are still to be migrated over in the coming weeks but a number have been included in the new design. The main features of the current version are as follows:

  • Performance
  • URL inspection
  • Index coverage
  • Sitemaps
  • Mobile Usability 
  • AMP
  • Products
  • Manual Actions 
  • Security Issues
  • Links

Let's familiarise ourselves with these reports one at a time...

Search Console Performance Report

Performance

The 'Performance' report is more or less identical to the 'Search Traffic' report in Search Console Classic. The interface is a little different, and interestingly, there appears to be some disparity between the data in the 'Performance' and 'Search Traffic' reports, but it's still essentially the same tool. Use it to see which queries drive clicks/impressions for your website.

 

URL Inspection

The 'URL Inspection' tool offers website owners detailed crawl, index and serving information about web pages, directly from the Google index. Here you can view the last crawl date, the status of the last crawl, any indexing or crawling errors and the canonical URL for a page. It will provide information on successfully indexed pages, any AMP and structured data errors as well as any indexing issues. The URL Inspection tool also allows users to run live tests against a live URL. Details are not provided on the last time Google indexed that URL but on what Google sees on that URL in real time.

 

Search Console Index Coverage Report

Index coverage

Of all the features that the new Search Console brings to the table, its 'Index coverage' report is unquestionably the most exciting. One of the most frustrating things about using the old Search Console was spotting that Google hadn't indexed some of your pages...but having no way to find out which pages the algorithm had passed over.

The 'Index coverage' report aims to give site owners a clearer idea of which pages have and haven't been indexed (and, more importantly, why). Blind Five Year Old wrote an in-depth blog post about this report back in October, but here's a quick summary of what 'Index coverage' shows you:

  • Error - Pages that HAVEN'T been indexed because of some kind of error (e.g. server error).

  • Valid with warnings - Pages that HAVE been indexed, but with some issues that you may want to inspect.

  • Valid - Pages that HAVE been indexed successfully.

  • Excluded - Pages that HAVEN'T been indexed, usually (though not always) intentionally. For instance, a page with the 'noindex' tag or a canonical tag that points to an alternate URL will show up in this section of the report.

This report makes it easier than ever before to see which of your pages aren't getting indexed, and to establish what you need to do about it. This report now uses mobile-first indexing data when available, instead of using desktop indexing data for sites that have already switched to mobile-first. This only impacts the data related to the 'error counts' and 'new issues' in the report.

 

Search Console Sitemaps Report

Sitemaps

Again, this is just a nicer-looking version of a tool that we've been using for years (find it in the old Search Console under Crawl > Sitemaps). You can submit sitemaps and check the status of all submitted sitemaps here; handily, you can also click through to an 'Index coverage' report for each sitemap you've submitted.

 

Mobile Usability 

The Mobile Usability report is an important tool for all site owners as it provides critical information to help fix mobile usability issues. With Google using mobile usability as a factor in their ranking algorithms, it is important for site owners to keep a close eye on this report to ensure that issues are fixed when they appear. Issue names are the same as in the old report, but users are now able to submit a validation and reindexing request when an issue is fixed.

 

Search Console AMP Report

AMP

If your website includes any AMP content, this report is worth keeping an eye on as it will inform you of any errors on your accelerated mobile pages. This isn't anything new, though - the old version of Search Console includes a very similar report under Search Appearance > Accelerated Mobile Pages.

 

Products 

The Products section of the new Google Search Console helps users to see how well their product markup is performing in Google's search results. This is an important feature, especially for e-commerce sites in managing their product markup. This report allows e-commerce site owners to quickly see what issues they have with markup and fix them. In order to be able to see this report, site owners will need to add product markup to their products to show up in GSC. This can be used on a product page to describe a single product or on a shopping aggregator page that displays a single product.

 

Manual Actions

The Manual Actions section of the new Search Console is the same reporting tool that you've been using in the old console with a fresh, new look. Manual actions are issued by Google against a site when a reviewer from Google has determined that pages on the site are not compliant with Google's webmaster quality guidelines. Therefore, it is an important section that needs to be regularly checked. 

 

Security Issues

The Security Issues section of GSC will let site owners know if Google finds any security issues with the site, pretty self-explanatory. The types of issues can include hacked URL's, deceptive pages, malware, harmful downloads and more. This feature was available in the old the Search Console so users should be familiar with it and the information provided. For a full breakdown on the details on the security issues monitored, click here

 

Links 

The Links section of the new Search Console consolidates the functionality of the 'Links to your site' and 'Internal Links' reports found in the old Search Console. This updated link report, according to Google, is "more accurate" than the old Links to your site report. For a more detailed analysis of the data, you can get in the links report, click here.

And that's just about it - for now, anyway. Google is still building the new Search Console, so keep your eyes peeled for additional reports as 2019 progresses.

Do you need an expert to look after your website and make sure it's running at peak performance? Contact Designer Websites today by clicking below - our website optimisation specialists will help you to achieve online success!

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Sidan Property Group, founded in 2015, are a privately-owned family property fund with a fantastic track record for evaluating, reviewing and finalising property transactions in a seamless and competent manner. Since they were established, they have quickly built a portfolio of corporate real estate across the UK including retail units, listed buildings, public houses and multi-storey properties that have been used for a variety of purposes.

What did we do?

Sidan required a website that both reflected their image and could be easily navigated by their potential property buyers. The company got in touch with Designer Websites and asked us to design and build an easy-to-use brochure website that represented the professionalism that they as a company wanted to showcase.

One of the key elements of the website that we created for Sidan was the ability to download relevant information such as a property’s location, brochure and floor plan. We created a fully functional content management system that allows company members to easily add, remove and change properties within their property portfolio. The website is also fully responsive, with potential buyers able to browse and navigate through the website on all desktops, tablets and mobile phones.

We are proud to announce that the brand new Sidan website is now live and can be visited here - https://www.sidangroup.co.uk/.

If you’re interested in for a bespoke, professional-looking website for your business, please get in touch with the team here at Designer Websites below for a free, no-obligation web design quote.

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Access Training Academies is a training course provider offering a wide variety of courses, across a number of disciplines and industry sectors. They have several specialist training centres in numerous locations across the UK, including Cardiff, Bristol and Kent. Using state-of-the-art facilities, they offer intense, fast-track training courses such as Plumbing, Carpentry and IT to beginners and experienced people alike, usually those looking for a change in career, or want to add further qualifications to an already established skill set.

We’ve worked with Access Training for almost a decade now, delivering a couple of redesigns to their website over the years. Historically they’ve always been a ‘trades’ training provider, offering a wide range of courses to the building and trade sectors, but more recently they have branched out in terms of the training courses they offer. So, the new challenge for us was to bring the site in line with the new broader offering from the company, allowing scope for further growth and changes.

As well as a fresh new design and a more scalable solution, we wanted to deliver a website with improved usability and search engine performance, so we started from scratch and re-wrote the entire site, including all of the latest coding structures and integrations to improve both usability and optimisation. We integrated the solution with their bespoke CRM (also developed by us) and their sales tool Infusionsoft. We also included a bespoke enquiry and customer tracking solution, a custom landing pages solution, management reports and much more.

What did we do?

All-in-all, this is a very comprehensive and highly functional website solution, which not only helps the company to promote their services online but also provides incredibly granular tracking in order to see precisely where enquiries come from and how well advertising campaigns are performing. Oh, and it’s also pretty great in terms of customer usability too, with much-improved responsive user experience and design – which you can view for yourself right here.

If your current website is looking a little dated and requires a fresh new look, why not get in touch with us here at Designer Websites? Click below to get started!

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With only a matter of weeks until Christmas - 'tis the season to start preparing for Christmas campaigns. 

You didn't read that wrong. With December being the most lucrative time of the year for most retail businesses, you really can't start planning your Christmas marketing campaign too early. With online shopping continuing to grow in popularity year after year, it's a great time to take advantage of the increase in sales during the holiday period. One way to do this is by utilising your brand's social media accounts.

Social media is a great way to communicate with your customers on a personal level, and there's no better time to do this than the Christmas period. With more people home from work and enjoying their downtime, inevitably, there is also an increase in social media traffic. So with that in mind, we have some tips on how to make your social media more festive this season.

Make it Festive

If you want to take advantage of the Christmas holiday period you have to be willing to get involved. This is where starting early can pay off as you can prepare your Christmas campaign and the content to go with it. You'll see most brands make their social media particularly festive, with many changing to Christmas profile and cover pictures which show off their offers and holiday spirit. Some will also use hashtags to get their customers ready for the season such as Coca Cola's iconic #HolidaysAreComing. This reminds customers that the holiday is approaching and to keep shopping in mind. 

It's not uncommon for non-retail brands to get into the spirit too and this is a good thing because in an online sea of holiday joy your business can look like a bit like a social Scrooge if you choose to ignore Christmas. Keep it fun and consistent so people can recognise your posts and engage with them. 

Cross Promote

With the high saturation of Christmas posts over social media, it can be easy to get lost amongst them. Whatever your marketing strategy is this Christmas, it's important to share it across your social platforms. This isn't exclusive to online offers either, whether it's a TV advert or an in-store exclusive social media is a fantastic way to get noticed.

(John Lewis 2016 Christmas Advert)

John Lewis is an expert for this, their highly anticipated advert doesn't just end on the TV screen, they know exactly how to use their other platforms to get extra exposure. Their 2016 campaign #BusterTheBoxer was seen all over their social media, with the playful pooch even getting his own Snapchat filter. Even if you didn't see the advert on TV or Youtube (although we find that hard to believe), you undoubtedly saw it across social media.

Promoting your Christmas campaign across social media platforms is a great way to extend your reach to as many people as possible. 

Get Personal 

For most, Christmas is a time to think about others and businesses should keep this in mind throughout their marketing campaigns. Social media is a great way to communicate with consumers on a more personal level, and it's a great way to remind them how much you appreciate their custom. A good way to do this on social media is to promote special offers to customers, such as free shipping days or discount codes. Using social media to do this allows people to recognise how following your online activity is a great way to gain benefits and hear about your offers first.

DW Christmas Jumper Day

It's also the perfect time to put the face behind the brand on show. If you want to connect with people via social media it is a good idea to show that you are people too. This personal touch doesn't have to be too invasive - sharing a "Christmas Jumper Day" or a picture of festive decorations is a nice way to remind customers that you aren't all serious business all of the time. 

Try to schedule posts on your social media wishing your customers a Merry Christmas too - many use social media as a way to wish their friends and family love over the holidays, so it's always nice to add that personal message from your brand too.

If you want any help with your online Christmas campaign this year our expert team is here to help. Visit our contact us page below to see how we can help you make your brand more festive this year.  

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Jobs in the IT sector have grown at almost twice the rate of jobs in other industries in the UK. Access Training Academies, a long-time client of ours, is passionate about helping people to retrain and pursue exciting new careers, and they recently asked us to create a website dedicated to promoting a new selection of IT training courses.

Access IT Careers aims to give each student a comprehensive introduction to their chosen profession and set them up for a long, successful career. They offer courses in the following disciplines:

  • Network Engineering
  • Cyber Security Engineering
  • Infrastructure Engineering

Why did Access Training Academies come to us?

We have worked with Access Training Academies before – their main website, which was also created by Designer Websites, offers training courses in trades such as plumbing and plastering. We were thrilled when they asked us to work with them again on their latest exciting venture.

We made Access Training Academies’ IT site mobile friendly so that users can check out these exciting IT courses with ease even when they’re on the go. In addition to the design and development of the site, we also optimised the website to rank well on search engines like Google and Bing.

If you need a professional website for your business, please get in touch with the Designer Websites Team. Request a free, no-obligation quote for your project here.

Amsvest Ltd (owned by Lord Alan Sugar) are looking to invest in promising start-ups and other businesses who sell/manufacture a product or offer a specific service. The experts at Amsvest provide funding and support while also taking care of finances, HR and IT for their partner businesses, allowing successful applicants to focus on what really matters: taking their business to the next level

Several companies have already benefited greatly from Amsvest’s investment, including:

How Did We Help?

Amsvest needed a website that not only looked the part but was also easy for all visitors to use. The company contacted Designer Websites and asked us to create a brochure website befitting Lord Sugar's high standards - it would need to be both professional-looking and extremely simple for potential business partners to navigate.

One of the key parts of this brief was ensuring that all users would be able to access and experience the same professional design and complete the investment application form on any device, including smartphones and tablets. As a result, the new Amsvest website possesses a fully responsive design that looks great on screens of all sizes.

We’re pleased to announce that the new Amsvest website is now live - visit www.amsvest.co.uk to take a look!

If you’re looking for a bespoke, professional-looking website for your business, please don't hesitate to get in touch with the team here at Designer Websites for a free, no-obligation web design quote.

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.