SEO in 2019 means every single business trying to reach the top of Google search results, but how important is it to rank on the first-page of Google

SEO 2019, Design For Online - SEO Agency, Bury St Edmunds Suffolk

Search Engine Optimisation in 2019

Companies have been doing search engine marketing for a long time now, but companies and marketing agencies all get excited when they hear tips and trick on how to get higher in search rankings (SEO) or improve the overall performance of their search ads (PPC).

The primary reason for this is the ongoing change to the larger search engines algorithms. Google is the largest search engine in most areas of the world, and it keeps its search engine algorithms a secret since spamming keywords was all you once needed to do to reach the first page of Google (please don’t do this).  This means most marketing agencies find out about current SEO and PPC techniques is to look at what works for other companies and follow suit.

So what works for SEO and PPC campaigns going into 2019?  Well it is clear that SEO is a still very important for brands, the main reason for investing in SEO remains increasing website traffic, but this ends up being more for top level or top funnel acquisition.

The challenge comes a lot of the time with getting IT to be as motivated as marketing agencies to optimise and update their company websites for SEO.

On page SEO

The three main things marketing agencies should focus on for ensuring that web pages are SEO ready.  Relevance of content, accessibility of all sections of the website and keeping the website up to date.

Marketing agencies should make an effort to use simple words to explain products and services within content. Businesses marketing departments felt that avoiding technical words is difficult for specific companies but reducing jargon and not using too much “marketing speak” was worthwhile.

Off page SEO

Off page SEO is becoming more relied upon as other on page SEO techniques are used up, backlinks for instance are still essential for keeping and maintaining high rankings on search engines, albeit backlinks are now more difficult to get (higher ranked backlinks), so companies and agencies need to come up with new strategies to boost them.

A simple way discussed before is to have multiple sites each linking to each other.  Brands should also publish sponsored content on public media and high quality / highly followed blogs.  Wikipedia has also been known to help, despite them having nofollow tags on the links, they have proven to be successful.

Smarter ways to boost backlinks include collaboration, working with clients and partners on mutual backlinks, linking back to each other to form a relationship has been seen to be beneficial on search engines lately.

Managing SEO

Most companies outsource their SEO and is managed by external agencies, with few exceptions. Primarily because agencies are better at keeping up to date with the changes in search engine algorithms, agencies are relied upon more because their knowledge of what works at the moment along with what is ethical and white-hat is key to make long term SEO growth.

Speak to Design for Online today to see if we can work with you on your SEO needs.

Web design & SEO offers this spring, affordable pricing

 

Stand out this spring with Design For Online Ltd. We are offering everyone the chance to refresh their website, or have a new website built this spring and get 30% off whilst doing so.  We are also extending this offer to all of our SEO services, local SEO & full SEO packages also, further to this, well we may as well just say all out our services are now 30% off until the end of May 2018.

If you are looking to get a new website built, or improve your SEO on an existing website or would like to migrate your hosting over to us to get the top speeds.  If you are interested in any of our services for your restaurant or business, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

Design For Online Ltd comments on Cambridge Analytica and the growing need for more transparency from Facebook and also more ethical advertising standards.

Everyone is now more than aware of Cambridge Analytica which is currently making the rounds on every news platform imaginable. Channel 4 recently released video and exposed Cambridge Analytica as “The undercover secrets of Trumps data firm”.

How did this all start?

Aleksandr Koga, a Moldovan researcher from Cambridge University, admitted to harvesting personal details of 30 million users via personality app.  He then passed the data on to firms such as Cambridge Analytica who assured him this was legal, albeit at the time, Facebook reportedly told companies in possession of this data to delete it.

Whistleblower Christopher Wylie, told the Observer data was used to influence the outcome of the US election. Whilst Cambridge Analytica denies this claim, he goes on to say that “we spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles”

Facebook suspended Cambridge Analytica and Koga, however Koga is being treated much like a scapegoat.  Koga thought they were doing something that was normal and acting perfectly appropriately.

See below for the interview from whistleblower Christopher Wylie.

Christopher goes on to say that Cambridge Analytica is a full service propaganda machine. I would watch this video, it is very interesting to watch.

What is our opinion & how do we use social media advertising?

Lots of people don’t know the level of targeting when it comes to social-media advertising.  Facebook gives you a tool that allows you to focus your ad to reach your target customer, such as location, the age, male or female, their interests, job title & also relationship status.

We use adverts take advantage of these tools to target specific audiences such as reaching a specific age range and within a location who are more likely to purchase one of their products. Although we never come into contact with the data itself, nor get to see who specifically views the add.  You get a sense of the amount of data Facebook has and when in the wrong hands can be given to manipulate large amounts of people.

We use non intrusive Facebook approved ad targeting campaigns to ensure we reach only the intended audience for your advert, not spamming other users and also ensuring that we do not spam the intended consumer of the advert.  We also do not harvest nor come into contact with any of the data that Facebook obtains from its users.  Whistleblower Christopher also explains that they were able to harvest things such as status updates, likes and scarily private messages.

Summary

I think there is a need within these organisations to be more transparent, but also to impose further restrictions on these huge data analytics firms.  They need to say how they get their data, what data they have and how they are using this. The data they have should not have been able to be harvested in the first place.

Here is a sample of the channel 4 expose, full article here

Website Speed, SEO, UK

Why is website speed so important?

1. First Impressions

Website speed, why?  We are all living in a world where first impressions are just a part of life, if you meet someone in today’s world, chances are you have made a first impression almost immediately, and that is ok!  Websites are no different, in fact, it can be the difference between you getting a customer to trust you enough with their money and them clicking straight off your page and opting for another website that is quick and shows them what they want, right now.

2. We all expect things now!

Do you have Amazon Prime and hate when an item isn’t available for delivery today or tomorrow? Opting for something more expensive that is ready to be at your doorstep yesterday?  It is exactly the same with your website.

Some interesting statistics:

  • 48% of visitors expect your website to load in just 2 seconds.
  • 40% of visitors will leave the website altogether if it takes just 3 seconds!

This is the same on Mobile where you need your 3g or 4g to load something fast, you are used to how fast facebook loads, or how long to get to Google, so when you visit a website that takes 5x longer to load are they really going to hang around?

3. Complexity

There used to be a time where complicated, bloated websites that will have apps, links, images all on one page and try to show you everything at once.  That is not today, today is much cleaner, almost too clean, with some websites just opting for a couple of words, it’s how Google succeeded over websites such as Yahoo and Excite.  The same can be said today, everything has grown to be much simpler, clean and easily read, they want to see things load quickly because they also want to see the stuff they need to see, leaving irrelevance behind.

4. Website Speed affects your overall Google rank

That’s right, one of Google’s mottos is to “Make the whole web fast”.

Although right now it is a small percentage of websites that are affected by the speed check, any websites that are just way too slow, chances are your website may not suffer from this problem.  Google does, however, reduce the amount of crawlers it sends to your site if it takes longer than 2 Seconds to load!  So any regularly updated content, blog posts, articles, new store items you list, if your website is slow, it will take longer to show up on Google.

That being said, the primary reason for speed right now is keeping customers and not allowing speed to make the visitors decision before they even see what you have to offer.

We love making websites fast, our website scores at least a 99% rating on GTMetrix, we can do the same for you.  Check out our pricing, or contact us now and lets have a conversation.

SEO – Our top 5 tips to rank higher in 2017

We want to focus this SEO article on how to increase your websites overall speed and what impacts your search results. so here we go, the top 5 things we recommend to help increase your website speed, and in turn, allow you to rank higher in search engine results.

1. Minify

Minification of your web pages can remove the unused and irrelevant code from your website, removing the need for these to be parsed by your browser, increasing website loading speeds.  Google states that “Minification refers to the process of removing unnecessary or redundant data without affecting how the resource is processed by the browser – e.g. code comments and formatting, removing unused code, using shorter variable and function names, and so on.”

If you use WordPress you can do this with multiple plugins, although some may actually alter the way your site looks and can have worse effects.  It is important to use a plugin that works with your website and that can be customised to ensure your website displays correctly.

2. Above the fold

Above the fold content is put simply, the first parts of the website that loads on your screen.  Having scripts, CSS or other files load prior to this that are not required slow down the loading of the initial part of the website and can significantly reduce website load speed.  Using plugins such as “Above the fold optimisation” to defer loading of these scripts can ensure that your website loads significantly faster.  Please be aware that deferring loading of some scripts can result in your website not displaying correctly.  Make sure you know what you are doing prior to using these types of plugins.

3. Caching

Probably one of the most, if not the most important things to do with your website.  Using a premium caching plugin ensures your website loads extremely fast.  Caching basically means that people who load your website stores part of your website on their computer for a period of time, if they visit it again within that period, then they will use those file.  Also the caching process can create more streamlined versions of your files to be accessed by visitors.

We use WP-Rocket, which is the most recommended WP Caching plugin on the market, unfortunately not free.

WP-Rocket is not expensive and is, in our opinion, much better than the competition with much more customisable options.

4. Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Content delivery networks are nothing new and have been becoming more and more prominent in recent years, especially with free options such as CloudFlare.  It uses servers from around the world to deliver content to the person accessing your website, using the closest server to do so, in turn, increasing your overall website load time for the person accessing your website.  It has been shown to highly impact a user’s decision on whether to stay on your website if it takes too much time to load, which can impact your business significantly.

The downside to this is that the majority of CDNs you have to pay for, although there are free options, these are often overused and in some cases can even slow down your website.  It is worthwhile to analyse your business based on its key demographic and where you want to focus your area of business, if it is a global business with high traffic, a CDN is definitely for you!

5. Images

Image size seems to be one of the biggest reasons your websites speed can be questionable at best and in turn reduces your overall SEO.  Using an image compressor that also doesn’t distort, stretch or reduce image quality is a must when ensuring your high-quality images remain just that, but at a more manageable size. Among others, we use Imagify to optimise our images immediately on upload and revert changes if necessary.  When you sign up, you do receive a free size limit to reduce images and further space can be purchased either on an ad hoc or regular basis, it is quick and we would highly recommend using this.  Alternatively, there are many desktop applications which you can use to reduce file size.

We offer full SEO services including a full speed review.