Category Archives: Optimisation

HTTPS Websites Now Make Up a Third of Google Search Results

https Google Search Results

When Google proclaimed HTTPS a ranking factor in August 2014, some website owners—those that are SEO conscious—didn’t hesitate to eschew HTTP while some others believed the development had little or no benefit to warrant making a switch.

It was always a matter of time before the impact of the announcement revealed itself.

How the Update Has Played Out So Far.

Data provided by Dr. Pete Meyers of Moz showed that,before the announcement, about 7% of websites listed on the first page of Google search results used HTTPS. The number moved up by only 1% after a week of the announcement and didn’t show much improvement even after two weeks. This was possibly why many website owners didn’t assign much importance to the update and thus didn’t bother switching to HTTPS.

But then by June 2016, data from Moz showed that Google means business—32.5% of websites listed on Google results’ first pages now use HTTPS. This number was confirmed by Google’s webmaster trends analyst, Gary Illyes, in a tweet to @rustybrick, saying, “…Didn’t I say ‘about 30%’ and referenced @dr_pete?”

This Could Mean One of Three Things

  • Google has, since the announcement, made updates to its algorithm, rewarding the use of HTTPS. If so, then the percentage of sites using HTTPS that feature on Google search results will progress gradually over the coming months.
  • Website owners are adopting the ‘https:’ protocol for reasons best known to them.
  • Or it could be that Google has simply manipulated people into believing that their websites will be rewarded with higher rankings if they switched to HTTPS.

What The Data Means for Google

  • Google needs to find an even ground. Rewarding the use of HTTPS now that sites that have adopted it are the minority could mean devaluing great websites that haven’t made the switch. Alternatively, waiting for sites using HTTPS to become the majority would only render the reward obsolete.
  • Google also can’t afford to set the reward for the use of HTTPS too high. Otherwise, it might become an invitation to sites looking to manipulate the system. On the other hand, the reward can’t be too low—or people will ignore the prompt to switch.
  • Thebest time for Google to instruct its algorithm to start rewarding sites using HTTPS is when at least a half of all websites have adopted HTTPS. Also, for its HTTPS campaign to be successful, Google may need most major trusted websites to make the adoption. Once the top players are on board, smaller sites will be more compelled to switch.

Risks

Big changes to URLs don’t only threaten your site’s SEO and daily hits, but can consume time and money too. This is especially true for heavy websites. You have to weigh the risks against the unverified boost Google’s algorithm will give your website if you switched to HTTPS.

Google ssl https secure

Take a look at the problems Wired.com encountered while switch to HTTPS. It will give you a broader view of what to expect as you plan your move.

If you haven’t switched to HTTPS yet, you might want to keep an eye on the number of sites in your niche that are adopting it. Also, watch out for another update, pertaining to HTTPS, to Google’s algorithm within the next one year.

That way, you will be ready to make your switch as soon as the need arises.

Google’s New Simple Tool for Mobile Friendliness & Page Speed

mobile-friendly

Announced earlier this month, Google’s new tool allows you to test how fast and fluidly your website works across different platforms. The tool is very straightforward to use, and enables you to quickly assess, through various basic percentile scores, how successful and useable your website is on mobile versus desktop, and the different associated speeds. It may prove to be an invaluable new tactic for small businesses, as many consumers find slow and clunky mobile websites to be very off-putting, causing a definite loss of sales and therefore revenue.

What is it?

Essentially this is a very simple, well-designed tool, in keeping with Google’s style,that allows you to enter the URL of any given website, and test the performance across desktop and mobile, and the differing speeds. It does this through data collected from users, and various other methods of testing. The data is delivered back to you in a straightforward percentile manner, which allows for quick repeat testing with no real need for any kind of data analysis.

mobile friendliness and speed tool

How does it help you?

                So many businesses online today have poorly-performing, slow mobile websites. I’d suggest this is a move from Google to start making mobile browsing a lot more viable. The fact is, mobile browsing nowadays takes a lot of fairly constant attention and maintenance from the user. Things like having to flip the phone landscape and resizing text constantly, highlight a need for a more streamlined, enjoyable browsing experience. Once this is completely achieved, if it can be, desktops might have something to worry about.

As a small business, the ability to check how your websites are performing is such a useful resource. Undeniable figures and data that allow you to know where and what needs updating, and what potentially needs a bigger chunk of the budget allocating, for better optimisation. This could help you potentially beef up your online, mobile-based sales, through discovering, where you’ve been going wrong and losing potential customers.

Should you use it?

                The fact is, right now, it’s free, and will be for the foreseeable future. There’s no reason not to be profligate with it, and use it to optimise your sites to your hearts content. So get testing your site, because in a lot of cases, improving loading speed will just be a case of optimising images and making other small changes, tweaks and improvements, and boosting mobile performance could have a positive impact on user experience, organic rankings and possibly sales/acquisitions too.

How to Add Keywords in Bulk for via an AdWords Search Term Report (Search Query Report)

google-adwords-optimization

This is relevant for Google AdWords only. Bing Ads kindly sets the appropriate match type for each search term you want to add. This guide assumes that you are familiar with the basics of using Microsoft Excel.

You’re a PPC Specialist and you’ve just taken over a neglected PPC account and the first thing you do is go to the account level, choose the last 60 days and run an AdWords search term report. Only to find out that there are hundreds of terms that have converted but have not been added to the account!

If you’re in AdWords, when you select a keyword to be added (as a positive kw), it automatically selects the match type as broad, which of course you do not want.

Search-Term-Report

Example of how a Search Term Report Looks in the Adwords Interface.

Depending on the account structure, you would probably want to add the terms in either exact or phrase match (or possibly in modified broad match). Doing this manually via the interface would be a very tedious task. So we’ve come up with quick solution with the help of our friend Microsoft Excel:

  1. Select the relevant keywords and run the AdWords search term report for your desired date range
  1. Click on the download button and choose ‘.csv’ format.
  1. Open the sheet then filter based on your chosen criteria (conversions, clicks, CTR, etc).
  1. Copy and paste all the keywords that you wish to add to the account into a new sheet (preserving the column titles).
  1. Do a find and replace to change ‘phrase (close variant)’ and ‘exact (close variant)’ to ‘phrase’ and ‘exact’ respectively.
  1. Change the column titled ‘search term’ to ‘keyword’. Save the file in the csv format.
  1. Open AdWords Editor and click on Account>Import>From File and select the chosen csv file.
  1. Review imports before confirming acceptance, then upload the changes via AdWords Editor and you’re done!

This simple 8-stage process can save you hours of fiddling around in the interface when it comes to adding new keywords to your account via an AdWords search term report.

The Prevalent Role Played By The Internet In The Lives of People

The effectiveness of internet in the lives of the people: The coming of internet has changed the total scenario in the lives of the people. It has made the life of the people easy & simple. The use of internet has simplified the work of the people as everything is done with the help of internet. The gaining importance of internet in every field has made the people to come up with new & innovative ideas to use the internet in a better way. People are taking the help of the internet as it provides the correct information. Internet today is playing a decisive role in the lives of the people as everything is taking place with a few clicks.

The importance of SEO services in today’s world: Technology has got intertwined with the lives of the people & that is the reason people are finding it difficult to stay away from technology which has wide spread dominance in the lives of the people. SEO service is the result of the few genius minds who thought of integrating both internet & technology together to invent the services like SEO & PPC. The over use of internet by the people has convinced the business companies to take the help of internet in promoting & advertising about themselves to the internet surfers who are the prospective consumers. The full form of SEO is search engine optimization which includes attaining the highest rank in the search engine pages which a result is returned by the search engine. SEO company UK is doing successful business in this field & has countless no. of clients who avail their services.

The role of PPC Company: PPC Company is providing PPC services to the clients which is a popular internet advertising model provided to the clients who use the pay per click advertisement procedure in involves paying the publisher who is publishing the advertisement of the client when a viewer of the advertisement clicks on the advertisement of the advertisee. The payment is done with per click used by the users to view the advertisement. In this type of service the keyword plays the main role as it decides how many times the click will take place.

SEO Company UK are quiet popular in the world as they has the most experienced group of internet experts & techs whose specialize in this type of services.

Why should you choose an PPC Agency in UK

Showcasing your items and services is fragmented in the event that you don’t have web advertising. A significant advanced parameter to expand your turnover online is to lead a PPC crusade. For this you the best PPC agency in UK can help you cost-successfully.

Of late, internet promoting has been developing by a wide margin. Different promoting instruments are utilized online to be obvious among the huge number of online clients. Among the numerous devices, one that is extremely famous is the PPC Agency in UK. This is the selective method for advertising utilizing web indexes. Sites make basic and in addition compelling commercials known as supported postings. The advertisements are seen by individuals who scan the web for particular items. At the point when a program taps the promotion, a little sum must be paid by the publicist to the site proprietor. Then again, they don’t need to pay if the commercial is not clicked. This kind of promoting is turning out to be exceptionally well known on the grounds that it achieves an expansive crowd. It is moderate and pulls in clients at fitting times. There is much adaptability as you can control the substance, target group of onlookers and time.

A standout amongst the savviest methods for showcasing is SEO. Different advantages of SEO are better convenience, cross-program similarity and openness. These favorable circumstances will bring about the advantages of UK SEO services, for example, increment in deals and expanding your rehash business, referral business, and validity. A superior SEO services can likewise build your certainty and your power. It will likewise help in building customer unwaveringness.

Most web search tools rundown destinations free of charge yet some charge additional for top postings. SEO services suppliers help you in getting top postings. On the off chance that the UK SEO services are done adequately, it can make an enormous increment in the activity and in addition the rankings for a considerable length of time.

You may be pondering with respect to the way that how an organization can function for you in boosting your online business. Getting known with the focal points which you can get from an organization, you will then have no questions in regards to their respectability. A SEO company in UK can furnish your business site with the greatly required push in expanding its perceivability among more extensive crowds.

Local SEO Tips: How to increase your Rankings locally

Local SEO Tips

For all businesses search engine rankings are vital for good exposure on the Internet. But as search engines continue to push results for locally specific websites it is becoming increasingly important for websites to optimise their local SEO techniques. Here are a few local SEO tips you can use to enhance your website’s visibility in local search engine results.

Local SEO Tips

1. Google Local verification

Make sure you have your business listed on Google Local and that your website is verified. Add photos of your business, products or services and ensure you fill in all the contacts details plus a 300-word description of your business. Google favours business pages that are detailed and specific.

2. Google+ Page

We have already discussed the usefulness of having a Google+ account to link to your webpages and blog posts for good SEO. But having a specific Google+ page for your business is an ideal way to interact with customers. It will also establish your business as an authority on your industry within your local area. Maintain regular updates and connect with other groups/pages in your local area.

3. Start a niche blog

It is incredibly useful to include a blog on your website. Use this opportunity to talk about your local area or mention the town, city or regions you cover in individual blog posts. Make sure you update your blog on a regular basis to improve your search engine rankings.

4. List location on website

It might sounds obvious, but many businesses don’t specify their location or the areas they cover. Make it explicitly clear on your website and try to repeat the location on at least 3 different pages and include it in your website header or footer.

5. Encourage ratings and reviews

If you take pride in your business and the service you provide, encourage your customers to rate and review you on some of the review websites out there. For example, all restaurants should have a profile on Tripadvisor, Google Local, Yelp or Qype. There are plenty of directories covering niche industries, so get your business listed on a few of these and encourage reviews to help boost the visibility of your business in local search engine results.

These are just five simple local SEO tips that can help your website rank well in search engine results. Remember to keep your output regular, make sure it’s specific and encourage positive feedback.

FirstClick Digital is a London based digital marketing agency with a wealth of search marketing experience backed up with the technology and valuable knowledge needed to deliver a healthy ROI for any campaign. Feel free to give us a call on 0207 289 3218 or fill out the contact form and see how we can help your business grow!

Mobile SEO: What you need to know

mobile seo

As web usage via smartphones increases the importance of mobile SEO is more relevant than ever. Websites need to be fully optimised for mobile viewing to enable a great viewing experience for the user and to help rankings with Google and other search engines. With around 40% of the UK adult population using a smartphone it is vital for businesses to take their mobile SEO seriously.

Last month Google announced that their rankings would be taking more account of how sites deal with mobile access. It is their aim that websites will improve how users are able to have the best mobile user experience possible. This includes faster loading times and easier navigation. Any sites with smartphone issues will not rank as well.

Tips for Mobile SEO

Separate mobile urls 

Traditionally this has been the most common method for delivery mobile-optimised websites. A mobile site is on a different sub-domain, usually with prefix – m. So all mobile content is viewed on separate URLs.

Responsive design

Basically the website serves the same content on both desktop and mobile device but the page detects when it is being viewed via a mobile device and adjusts the screen size and layout accordingly, hence being responsive. For example, when viewed via a mobile device the page may display fewer images, less text or more simplified navigation.

Page load times

It is vital that understanding and optimising for mobile performance is a priority. Using the Google Developers Page Speed Insights tool will help to analyse your website’s mobile performance. Search engines rank favourably on faster page load times.

Fix irrelevant redirects

If using separate mobile urls be careful not to redirect pages to irrelevant mobile optimised pages. For example, if not all pages on your site are optimised for mobile and you redirect all mobile users to the homepage it can harm your bounce rate along with the user experience. If there is no mobile version of that page then redirect to the corresponding the web version instead.

Avoid using flash

If your website requires Adobe Flash then users on iphones or Androids won’t be able to view the content so do avoid if possible. If sharing videos, try embedding in non-flash supported formats, offer links to video hosting sites such as youtube or vimeo, or provide a transcript of the video.

As Google is now taking a stance on mobile SEO saying that it will demote sites that are not mobile-friendly or misconfigured, it is vital that websites are fully optimised for mobile usage. The key issues are page load time, error pages and irrelevant redirects. Google is hoping to return the most relevant mobile search results and is pushing for web developers to get up to speed on mobile-optimisation.

FirstClick Digital is a London based digital marketing agency with a wealth of search marketing experience backed up with the technology and valuable knowledge needed to deliver a healthy ROI for any campaign. Feel free to give us a call on 0207 289 3218 or fill out the contact form and see how we can help your business grow!

 

 

12 SEO Tips for 2013/2014

SEO tips

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO can seem a bit daunting but with these simple to implement SEO tips you can vastly improve how search engines rank your website. In just 12 steps this SEO tips will have your website working up the search engine results in no time.

12 SEO Tips

1. Both off-site and on-site SEO are equally important

Your SEO strategy needs to aim for diversity which includes both SEO within your website (such as using relevant keywords, indexing and effective design) and SEO outside of your website (such as authentic link-building, social network marketing and submitting articles to directories).

2. Check out the competition

Ensure you know what your competition are ranking well for on keywords as well as understanding who your competitors are for your chosen keywords. Analyse what they are doing well and make sure you do better.

3. Play the long game

SEO built up slowly over time generates better results. This includes encourage an activity community around your website with authentic backlinks and social media shares.

4. Keep up with algorithm changes

Make sure you are aware of any changes to the algorithm used by Google, BIng or Yahoo. You don’t want to be caught out any penalties from the big search engines.

5. Use Google Webmaster tools

Google Webmaster tools are an excellent free resource that help you track the health of your website including any broken links, site load time, keywords used to find your site and more.

6. Link your website to a Google+ profile

Set up a Google+ page for your business and share your website pages, blog posts and news. Google ranks favourably to content shared on its own social network.

7. Use social media to direct traffic to your site and promote your work 

Make good use of you various social media streams to share relevant content from your site and encourage others to share and visit your site.

8. Create good quality content

Search engines recognise websites that continue stay relevant and updated on a regular basis. Good quality content will encourage visitors to spend longer on your site, this lowers your bounce rate which search engines rank favourably.

9. Add a blog to your site

A great way to keep you website updated on a regular basis is to add a blog to your site. Add consistent good quality posts to your site will encourage visitors to return and will enhance the range of keywords your site is ranked for.

10. Name your images correctly

Ensure all of you images on your website are have descriptive names and alt tags. This help with image searches and rankings.

11. Make use of meta description and meta keywords

Make use of tags, categories, meta description and meta keywords. This is especially helpful on your regular blog posts as it will help them rank quickly.

12. Link to relevant useful good quality websites

Share the link love by linking to useful and relevant websites. A good place for this is either on a resources page or in your blog posts. It helps search engines see you site as an authority on a subject with genuine content.

These simple SEO tips will certainly get you on your way to improving your website rankings on search engines.

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FirstClick Digital is a London based digital marketing agency with a wealth of search marketing experience backed up with the technology and valuable knowledge needed to deliver a healthy ROI for any campaign. Feel free to give us a call on 0207 289 3218 or fill out the contact form and see how we can help your business grow!

Split Testing Ads – The Best Way of Split Testing Your PPC Adverts

Split testing ads -Arsenal vs Chelsea

This post covers the topic of split testing ads, and how PPC text ads testing can be related to the beautiful game of football.

Competition

For all the passionate football fans out there we all know that the champion’s league is a competition, a competition of all the elite clubs in Europe fighting for that number one spot. Now 32 teams are split into 8 groups, with each team fighting to top each group.  Competition is extremely important when split testing ads. Comparing and setting up a type of elimination system, between your ads similar to the champions’ league group stage with all adverts fighting for that number one spot (ie: better conversion rate or other KPI). Okay here’s how you go about split testing ads. Write two similar ads but change something small, like a call to action or even as little as an exclamation mark, or change something in the headline. Proceed with split testing ads against each other, and once you have collected enough data based on your key performance indicators. You can decide which text ad is your winner. The winner of this ‘split testing ads’ match then moves onto the next round to face a new opponent, perhaps the same ad but with a slight variation, a price or something of that nature. Over the season you will eventually find out your split testing ads champions league winner is.

Barcelona Team (dream team)

Split testing ads - Barcelona 11

At Firstclick digital, we work very close together, I mean literally lol but jokes aside, we all pitch in when it comes to coming up with new landing page ideas, ad ideas, split testing ads and writing text ad variations. Even as a fairly experienced PPCer myself, it sometimes become repetitive with some text ads, sometimes using the same calls to action and phrases. When this happens I simply call on my team to assist me in finishing the race. They lend me a fresh set of eyes. This is a good way get some ideas for split testing ads, in order to find out what might convert best. We often pair up to look at each other’s campaigns and see if we can come up with ideas to beat the current top performing ad text. This is a good way also to improve ad text and the cohesion of the team. Remember teamwork makes the dream work, does the Barcelona team of 2010 – 2011 come to mind?

Premier league

As we all know and I’m not being biased, even though I am English wink! wink!, that the English premier league is the best league in the world, with the best football players from around the world coming to England to play there trade to help enhance the premier league. Here at FirstClick Digital, we are responsible for writing ads targeted to different countries around the world and in an increasing number of languages, which makes the process of split testing ads just that little bit harder. Relying on Google translator or another form of direct translation of your English text ads can be risky, a quick example would be something like, ‘’because’’ and “because of’’ are translated differently into Spanish, and the English word ‘’since’’ often means the same as ‘’because’’ but doesn’t always, if you get my drift. This is where you get that special player from another country to assist your striker, in older to enhance your team. In other words a translator or native speaker, to go through your text ads and write their own edition, in order to right any wrongs, for example spellings, idiosyncrasies and calls to action that might be unique to that particular language that can make all the difference to the Click through rate when split testing ads. And we all know that in Google, a better CTR contributes towards a better quality score.

 

Tactical Decisions

Split testing ads

This screen from one of our accounts, shows two text ads competing against each-other. Text ad 'A' is the clear winner, with a better conversion rate.

In the football game you want your best players to perform but sometimes due to bad management, some managers fail to give their young prospects a chance to perform. The same goes for split testing ads, having been in this text ad writing game for quite some time, I have made many mistakes and one of these mistakes was letting a poor performing ad be shown the same amount of times as a top performing text ad. Which can lead to us missing out of a chunk of clicks and conversions for our campaign. In Google Adwords, I used to use the ad setting ‘Optimise for clicks’ and just left my ads to ‘optimise’ on this setting. I have noticed a lot of people do the same, but the only thing is, they don’t set it up to ‘optimise for conversions’, which I now do. And let’s face it, we want conversions not just clicks. Providing you have a good number of ads variations, you will soon have the top performing text ad, scoring the most goals in your split testing ads competition!

 

FirstClick Digital is a London based digital marketing agency with a wealth of search marketing experience backed up with the technology and valuable knowledge needed to deliver a healthy ROI for any campaign. Feel free to give us a call on 0207 289 3218 or fill out the contact form and see how we can help your business grow!

Visit the author of this post here: John Ezeino

Website Optimisation – A/B (Split) Testing – The Best Way to Reduce Costs and Increase Conversion Rates

apple vs orange. A B testing internet marketing campaigns

Which one will convert better?

As a serious online advertiser it is essential that you keep your costs low and your profits high, in fact this is a core principle of any business. A more direct way to look at this from an internet marketing point of view is to increase your conversions while reducing the cost per conversion (sale, acquisition, subscription, sign up etc).

If you are using paid advertising such as pay per click (Google AdWords, MSN AdCenter, etc) your aim is to increase the click through rate (CTR) and in turn conversions, while reducing your cost per click (CPC). This therefore yields a higher return on investment, and so you make more money.

One of the most effective ways of optimising your website, ad copy or marketing campaign is to do split testing. Split (A/B) testing is a form of continuous optimisation and monetisation which involves creating two or more variations of your ad copy or website/landing page.

Here is a good example; if we were running an AdWords campaign, and we decided to split test using two versions of the same ad copy. However, there would be a slight difference between the two, it may just be the headline that is different (or they could both be very different). AdWords gives you the option to rotate your ads evenly so that they all get roughly the same exposure to impressions. Using this method we can then let the two variations run for a week or so (or a certain amount of impressions each). Once the preset goal has been reached (time or impressions), we then check the results. You will more often than not, see that one ad variation has outperformed the other. This is obvious when you compare which one has a higher click through rate (CTR). Based on this solid evidence we can now scrap the lower performing ad and replace it with a different version that has not yet been tested. This can be done frequently to improve CTR, reduce CPCs, improve conversion rates and in turn reduce costs.

The same can also be done for a website/landing page by using Google’s Website Optimizer software. This tool allows you to display different variations of your home/landing page to users. You can then customise what text, images, lay out, colours they see and much more. After creating two variations you can then simply refer to your analytical software to see which one has a lower bounce rate and higher conversion rate (the one that increases conversions or keeps visitors there longer). Google Analytics works well for this part of the analysis/optimisation process. Some of you may be thinking, ‘well most of my traffic is free natural traffic’. It’s not really free is it? You are paying for backlinks, content, your domain costs, your hosting costs, your server costs and maybe a lot more. Even if it’s not directly you are still paying for the time invested. Time is money and the better your conversion rates are, the more money you save (and make).

The task of optimisation is a continuous one and a very necessary one at that too, so make sure you optimise everything you do with your online marketing campaign. And split (A/B) testing is the first step towards lower costs and increased profits.