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SEO Is Changing: How Your SME Can Stay On Top

SEO is one of the many aspects of digital marketing that is forever changing. Technology giants like Google are always updating their algorithms to provide search users with the best possible experience. However, whilst these changes can help deliver an excellent user experience, they can also dramatically impact the traffic to your website. Fail to adhere to the new SEO rules and you could see your website drop in organic rankings. Once you’ve slipped down past the top five results, you’ll see less traffic, less conversions and even less business. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. There are a few simple ways that you can ensure you’re never behind the SEO algorithms again. 

Get the basics right

First of all – the basics of SEO haven’t changed in a while. So if you spend the time getting all of your keywords, meta-data and content sorted out now you should stand a fighting chance against the algorithms. 

Stay notified

You can set up alerts with search engine providers like Google, Bing and Yahoo to let you know when a change has been made to their algorithms. They are usually pretty open about their updates. After all they still want to show your website in their search results – they just want to ensure that it is for the right search terms. 

Get reading

As well as getting notifications from the search providers themselves, you can also subscribe to some digital marketing blogs. There are quite a few out there that not only write about the algorithm updates, they can also tell you how to comply with the new rules or even give you the heads up before an update has come into play. If you don’t know where to start, check out some of our personal favourites

Act quickly

Updates happen as soon as they’re announced so it is always best to act quickly. As soon as you understand what you need to do to appease a new SEO update – do it. This will then stop search engines from penalising you if you haven’t complied. 

Hire a professional

We understand that all of this can be time consuming, particularly if you’re an SME with little resources to spare. However, there is always an alternative to doing it yourself – hire an SEO professional. Whilst this can be more expensive, it does ensure that your website is always up to date with the latest SEO practices and is in the best possible shape it can be for search engines. 

That pretty much sums up our easy-peasy ways your SME can stay on top of SEO changes. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any website or online marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us right here on our website. Until then, happy marketing!

The Beginners Digital Marketing Checklist For SMEs

Getting into digital marketing is not easy feat, especially if you are a small business that doesn’t have enough resources to dedicate to it. However, digital marketing doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact there are a few simple tasks that you can complete to give your business that online boost it needs. That’s why we’ve put together the beginners digital marketing checklist for SMEs.

Keywords

Keywords should be the first item on top of any aspiring digital marketeers checklist. There are many different ways you can implement keywords into your digital marketing strategy. However because this is a beginner’s checklist, we’re just going to run through the basics. First of all, you need to think like a potential customer. What are the sorts of words and phrases potential customers would type into search engines to find your business? If you’re not sure ask a friend or family member who isn’t directly involved in your business to help. You’ll find that people who are not working within your industry will often use words you wouldn’t. Once you have a list of words go to Google’s keyword planner. Here you’ll be able to type in your keywords and see how often they are searched for monthly as well as how hard they are to rank highly for. The aim of the game here is to get your website to rank high in search engine results. So make sure you pick and use keywords that have a decent search volume but aren’t swamped with competition.

Content

This is where you can put that long list of keywords you got from above to work. To rank high in search engines for your chosen keywords, search engines must be able to see that your page is helpful and relevant when it comes to said keywords and the topics they imply. To do this you need to sprinkle your keywords throughout your page content in visible copy. However, you cannot just spam one or two pages with all the keywords. The keyword must fit in with your content organically, make sense and be laid out in a user friendly way with the use of paragraphs, headings and subheadings. Make sure every page of your website contains some valuable content that contains the keywords you want to rank for.

Another good way for you to use your keywords through content is by adding a blog section to your website. Writing blog articles will allow you to focus on one keyword at a time whilst continuously updating your website. This is extra helpful as search engines not only like to see keywords scattered throughout your website, they also like it when the website is frequently updated. The more frequently you update your blog, the more time-relevant your website will be to search engine, which in turn will help boost your search rankings.

Social media

Whilst social media isn’t really a direct lead generating tool, it is ideal for brand awareness. If you’re a complete beginner to the digital marketing game then social media is a great place to start to improve this amongst your potential customers. It’s more than likely that you already have your own personal social media accounts. So without even realising it, you’re already doing your own social media marketing for yourself.  The only difference is you now have to do it for your business.

Creating a social presence for your SME is a little more complicated then running your own social media accounts. First of all you have to think about which social platform is best for your business. After all, it’s always better to focus and be successful on one social platform than to spread yourself too thin and do all of them badly. Once you’ve decided on that you need to come up with some creative content that your audience will love and engage with.

Links

Links can get complicated, however we’re going to break it down into easy and informative chunks. So, the goal here is to get as many reputable and relevant websites to link back to your website as possible. But why? Well, when search engines can see your website being linked to by other trustworthy businesses online it makes your business seem trustworthy too. Think of links as the digital equivalent of somebody recommending your business to their friends and family. The more links you get, the more trustworthy, helpful and legitimate your business seems.

However, don’t just try and get links on any old website and never pay for links. The whole point of links is that they string together relevant websites that are within the same niche, or are at least talking about one another for some reason. Posting your link everywhere and anywhere will only result in search engines recognising your link and website as spam. Think of spam as somebody really shady bugging you about a kind of dodgy service they are offering. Not cool.

So that’s our beginners digital marketing checklist specifically for SMEs. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any social media marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

Why You Need A New Website This Year

With the “new year, new you” finally off everyone’s radar, we think it’s time to discuss “new year, new website”. While it doesn’t need to be the new year for you to start thinking about a new website, it’s a pretty good reason to explore more possibilities for your business. When we say “new website” it doesn’t necessarily have to be completely new – it could just be re-designed. There are many different reasons as to why you should re-design your website but below, we’re just going to list a few of the most beneficial ones.

To keep up with fast and responsive design

First of all, you need a responsive website if you want to rank in search engines. Also, even if you do have a responsive website at the moment, it may not be tailored to the latest responsive design technology. Not only does responsive design allow your website to fit perfectly onto different screen sizes and types, it also can help improve page speed. Both functionalities of which, Google has made major ranking factors. Therefore if your website it responsive but still rather slow, or fast and not responsive, Google is going to rank you well below the first page.

To boost your SEO

This links into the above point. Re-designing your website can help boost your SEO efforts in a multitude of ways. For starters, if your website is currently not built on a CMS that caters for easy SEO implementation then you could use this as an opportunity to move to a CMS that does. For example, WordPress is a great CMS for those who want to improve their SEO, as many plug-ins and tutorials are available to help you execute basic SEO tasks. Furthermore, re-designing your website in terms of layout could also boost your website’s rankings. By focusing on adding in H1 tags, paragraphs with your chosen keywords and relevant images with alt tags, you could see your business appear higher up in search engines.

To use it as an opportunity to re-brand

If you’ve had the same brand colours and logos for a while they can become quite uninspiring. So why not use 2019 to re-design your entire brand image. This is a great way to put your business back in the spotlight but also a great chance to re-evaluate your business’ messaging and goals. For example, you may have started your freelance business many years ago with the intention of just selling one service – however now you sell many services. Therefore you probably want to re-brand as more of a consultancy service who can cater to different clients’ needs. So you need to change your branding to communicate this more effectively to prospective customers.

To improve user experience

We all know that user experience is paramount when designing any website. How a user clicks through your website and how they get to their final goal is important if you are measuring your online stats and leads. But as time goes on a website that was ideal for users may no longer be so. This is due to changes in trends, user behaviour and ultimately user expectations. Unfortunately for businesses, user’s expectations are changing all the time therefore we must make sure our website’s always change to fulfil their expectations.

So those are the most beneficial reasons why you need a new website this year. However, of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should utilise and market your business is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any social media marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

 

The Algorithm Reading List: The Best Places To Learn About Algorithms

We’ve been talking alot about algorithms lately and why they change so much and how you can follow these changes. One piece of advise that we have found ourselves saying time and time again is to read. Reading and keeping on top of SEO and algorithm updates is the only way you can truly beat the inevitable changes. That’s why we decided to create a reading list for all of our readers who want to learn more but don’t know where to start. Bring on the 3mil approved algorithm reading list.

Google / Other Search Engine Blogs

Good for: SEO

Even better for: Live search engine algorithm updates

The best place to hear about algorithm updates is from the mouth of the monster itself – Google. By keeping tabs on Google’s frequently updated blog you can ensure that you’re constantly in the know about any upcoming changes. Also, if you read into the technical articles a little bit more you will find some solid SEO strategy tips. However, Google doesn’t generally write “advice” articles on their blog so you do have to do some digging. Out of all of the resources on our list, this is the one you definitely want to set up alerts for.

Search Engine Land

Good for: AdWords and paid social news

Even better for: SEO

A pretty obvious one if you want to learn a little bit more about SEO and how to execute a successful SEO strategy. However, you’d never know from the blog title that posts about social ads and Google AdWords are frequently published too. Search Engine Land can show you how you can combine all sorts of SEO strategies in order to beat various algorithms across the web. One of the best options on this list if you want to gain both organic and paid search traffic.

Social Media Examiner

Good for: Content marketing

Even better for: Social media marketing

Social media examiner is a good blog to bookmark if you’re looking for more exposure on social platforms. The blog always lets its readers know about any upcoming and even rumoured changes to social media algorithms. Additionally there are also articles about how to craft content in order to be more successful on social once your posts are seen. So if you want your business to rival even the biggest influencers in your industry on social this is the one to read.

Moz Blog

Good for: Pretty much everything online marketing related

Even better for: SEO

Even though the Moz Blog is pretty much a haven for all things online marketing related, SEO is really the website’s bread and butter. Whatever you need to conquer the latest SEO algorithm change is there from the announcement of the update itself to the best ways to tackle it. The best thing about this blog is that it is suitable for a range of digital marketers, with an array of articles ideal for beginners and advanced readers.

Yoast

Good for: Content marketing

Even better for: SEO

If you haven’t heard of Yoast then you obviously haven’t been in digital marketing for long. Or what’s more likely is that you don’t use WordPress. Yoast is a handy SEO plugin for WordPress that’s used by millions around the world. Therefore it makes sense that the plugin has it’s own blog. On this blog you’ll find the best and easiest ways to implement the latest SEO practices while crafting engaging content and marketing it to the fullest.

Content Marketing Institute

Good for: SEO

Even better for: Content marketing

It’s pretty much all in the name. The Content Marketing Institute write about how to create and market content in an engaging and strategic way. After all there is no point in making amazing content if it doesn’t get seen, and there is no point in marketing content that’s of poor quality. That’s why this website shows you how to do both, helping you gain readers along the way.

So those are our top resources for learning more about SEO and algorithms. Of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should use marketing strategies is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any of your digital marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

Why Algorithms Change And How They Could Affect The Future Of Digital

Do you remember our last few posts about algorithms? Well we’re back this week with another. However this time we’re going to be talking not only about how algorithms affect your SME but also the future of digital marketing as a whole. After all, it’s algorithms that decide who’s on top.

But what are algorithms anyway?

You must be new around here! Go back a few steps and check out our first post on algorithms where we break down the meaning for you and put it into regular everyday terms.

Why do algorithms keep changing?

Well the role of algorithms is to order things whether it be on social media feeds, search engines or even the search bar on your own website. Algorithms just want to show you either what you’re searching for, or what they think you’ll like to see. In short, it’s all about providing the best user experience. If algorithms didn’t change then you wouldn’t be getting back as many relevant search results, or continue looking at various pictures of funny cats that you keep liking on Instagram. So basically, techy experts who build this algorithms are always changing them to make sure you receive the best personalised service you can.

But how do I keep up with all of these changes?

For starters you need to read our latest post on algorithms. In there you’ll find a few great tips on how to keep up with the pesky forever-changing habits that algorithms have these days.

How will algorithm changes affect the future of digital marketing?

It already has! Many digital marketers jobs are to keep up with these changes so that they can amend their own sites to stay in that number one spot in search results and social feeds. Although algorithms dictate how we approach our SEO strategies now, we don’t know what it’ll be like for certain in the future. However, with the way things are going at the moment, we think search will be less about what the algorithms dictates is relevant on a mechanical level and more about what actual humans want to see on a human level. Personalisation is the way forward!

So that is how we think changing algorithms are shaping the future of digital marketing. Of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should use marketing strategies is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any of your digital marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!

The SMEs Guide To Beating Forever-Changing Algorithms

A few weeks ago we decided to talk about algorithms and what they mean to SMEs. While this post explained to SMEs what algorithms are and why they are so important, it also raised alot of concerns. How do SMEs tackle these algorithms and use them to their advantage in the world of online marketing? Is there any way to predict search engines’ next moves? And how do you keep up to date with the forever-changing social media algorithms? Well, we’re going to break it down for you in this mini SME guide to beating forever-changing algorithms.

Step 1:

You need to learn what algorithms are and get a basic grounding for them. We may be a little bias, but we suggest you take a look at our most recent post about algorithms here.

Step 2:

Use the knowledge from the above post to ensure that all of your social media accounts and website comply with what you’ve just learnt.

Step 3:

Now that your current online platforms are all adhering to what you understand as pleasing the algorithms, you need to ensure you continue on pleasing them. This actually sounds alot easier than it seems, algorithm updates are not as widely publicised as you think. While many great digital marketing blogs are quick to get the scoop – the best place to find out about algorithm updates are the search engines or social platforms themselves. So wedw recommend setting yourself up with a Google alert for each of the platforms you’re interested in or at least sign up to their newsletters (if they have any).

Step 4:

Basically now what you have to do is just rinse and repeat step two and three to keep up with the algorithm changes. We know it’s a lot of hard work and reading to get through but you’ll come away with a much better understanding of algorithms and how to use them to your SME’s advantage.

Now you have a better understanding of algorithms are you motivated to use them to your SME’s advantage for some serious business results? Of course, remember that these are just general tips and that how you should use marketing strategies is very dependent on what industry you are in as well as your target audience.

As always, if you need any further assistance with any of your digital marketing projects then please don’t hesitate to contact us either here or on LinkedIn or Twitter. Until then, happy marketing!