It’s September, which means one thing: the nights will soon be drawing in. And what that means for you – since Prosecco in a beer garden might not be an option here in Blighty in autumn – is plenty of time to dedicate to your website.
Here at The Evergreen Agency, we want to help you become experts in search engine optimisation – and to complement our side project, The Evergreen Academy, we’ve created a Facebook page you can join to pick up hints and tips you can action today.
If you’re a small business and you’re looking for some support updating your site and ensuring it ranks online, you’ll want to head straight over there.
Anyway, we digress. Well, a little.
We’re here to share with you our usual monthly roundup post. As ever, it’s divided into the same three sections you’ll see on the services page of our website: ‘Increase Visibility’, ‘Engage & Excite’, and ‘Let’s Get Technical’. Read on to discover what’s been happening in the digital arena in the past month or so…
We often start with Moz.com in our regular roundups and it’s because it always delivers on the informative content front. The site’s blog is a mixture of articles and video tutorials and it’s presented in an easily digestible format.
If, like a lot of people, you find yourself constantly hopping from one task to the next, with little time to sit down and read an article, you’ll love the weekly videos from Rand Fishkin over at Moz. Here’s one of his latest offerings – and it’s a good ‘un!
‘How to Determine if a Site is “Low Quality” in Google’s Eyes’ is just one of many in Rand’s Whiteboard Friday series, and it focuses on the factors Goole considers when weighing up whether a page is authoritative.
Rand says there’s “a laundry list of things to examine to determine which pages make the grade and which don’t, from searcher behavior to page load times to spelling mistakes.”
Without a clean-looking, easy-to-navigate site, you won’t be leaving the impression you’re hoping to. So, start with the Moz article we mentioned above, before working your way around the site for more SEO-focused hints and tips, if you’d like to increase visibility for your brand.
You may have dabbled in podcasts, but have you thought about video marketing to get your brand out there? One of the best ways you can give your company a boost, online videos offer some real clout these days. It’s all thanks to our shorter attention spans; with the advent of the Internet, we’re getting more and more reliant on receiving our news quicker and more easily. And what’s simpler than listening to a video while you’re ticking off the items on your daily to-do list?
The folks at SEO.com explain the merits of marketing to millennials via video, in this post over on the site. Looking at the reasons companies hesitate to include video-based content in their marketing campaigns, the team looks at why you could well be neglecting a healthy source of traffic.
“We understand that it’s really easy to find reasons not to include video in your strategy,” they say, “but it really is time to embrace that fact that video marketing is absolutely crucial in today’s millennial-dominated customer base.
Want to increase your visibility on YouTube? Perhaps you’ve kicked off your very own channel but nothing is happening? What you need is this guide, available to view now on Search Engine Land.
Having been posted live at the back end of August, the article will no doubt be gaining a lot of traction already. ‘How to rank #1 on YouTube search in 30 days’ is a case study which details just that. No smoke, no mirrors – just good, clear practices you can put in place today. And in just 30 days, your channel could be hitting that top spot, or at the very least, it could make its way onto page one of the platform for its relevant, searched-for keywords.
Moving on to the Engage & Excite section of our roundup….
Engage & Excite
What is a website without great content? A space to feature your business address and telephone number?
The fact is, you need to make your site work as hard as possible for you – but it won’t happen without well-thought-out content. And to help you create some, simply click on this link. It’ll take you to a piece via the Search Engine Land site and it contains some invaluable information about keyword research.
The fact is, without thorough keyword research, you’ll likely have no idea what to write about on your site and its blog. But with the right phrases and keywords in front of you, you can begin shaping content that makes people want to sit up and take notice.
Helping you gain insight into the potential needs of your customers, keyword research will also ensure you engage and excite anyone who lands on your site.
“With a little digging into keyword tools and some analysis of the results, you can learn a great deal about the audience using a particular phrase.” so says the blog’s author.
“…keyword research will help you create content that reaches the widest possible audience, generates more traffic and converts better.” he continues “All it takes is looking at your keywords, not merely as search words but as information about the searcher.”
Will you be taking this advice into account?
Before we head into our Let’s Get Technical portion of this roundup post, we wanted to put another question to you: why do so many sites have an ecommerce blog? You can find out the answer in this article, which you can see in full on the Yoast site.
An ecommerce site, while primarily there to shift physical products, or services – works in much the same way as a non-retail site. When it comes to engaging with your audience, the methods are very much the same. Sure, you can connect your site with social media pages like Instagram (tagging your shop directly in an image) but you can also do plenty of marketing via your website itself.
If you haven’t yet got a blog set up, make it one of your very next jobs. Allowing you to inform your customers about your products, a blog on an ecommerce site gives you the opportunity to tell your brand story and build some loyalty.
Take some time out of your day to click on the link above – you may just find exactly what you’re looking for.
Let’s Get Technical
The third and final section in our roundup is this one: Let’s Get Technical. We realise understanding the back end of your site might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it could be vital to your business.
Are you a WordPress whizz? Then feel free to skip over this next paragraph or two, since it won’t apply to you. But if your website’s blog runs off WordPress and you’re not sure how to make the most of it, this piece via SearchEngineWatch could prove useful.
‘The 10 most common WordPress SEO challenges and how to solve them’ will turn you into a guru in no time, as well as ensuring your site ranks that little bit higher on Google.
Click the link above and swot up; there’s some handy bits of info, such as this about link stuffing:
“Nothing overdone is attractive, and adding links is no exception. Adding too many links can distract your user and also turn them off your site. A good rule of thumb to go by is using up to 20 links. This way you’re well within your bounds.”
Less is more, as they say. Don’t overpopulate your site with too many links, and you’ll hold the trust of your site’s visitors. Don’t underestimate alt text for pictures, too. One of the most overlooked areas on blogs, images can help in your quest for effective SEO – so make sure you tag them correctly so they’re always working hard for your site.
And finally, we’ve talked about duplicate content a lot in our roundups but it’s because it really is a sin. The SearchEngineWatch piece touches on the subject, too, so head over there and find out more about why doubling up on text could be doing your site more harm than good.
Before we go…
How do you explain SEO to people who don’t know the first thing about it? Yoast tackles this subject fairly well, with its recent ‘How to Explain SEO to Your Grandparents’ post. In this simplified article, the author answers many an SEO newbie’s questions – and it’s well worth a look if you’re finding your feet a little online.
Without the knowhow, you see, how can you begin to implement technical changes – or, therefore, understand the implication of them – to your site?
Let us know if you’ve taken any of this advice on board. And if you have some SEO news you’d like us to feature, please do not hesitate to get in touch with The Evergreen Agency team.
Until next time…