17 May

What does Voice Search mean for you Local Business

Local Business Voice Search 2017

Virtual assistants like Alexa, Cortana and of course Siri together with advancements in technology, has led to an uptick in people using  voice search while looking for local services in 2017.

For businesses that rely on local search traffic to generate leads and sales, this has important ramifications for their digital marketing strategy.

OK Alexa, Can you tell me some stats on Voice Search in 2017?

Without stats and data it can often be difficult to allocate time and budget to a particular form of digital marketing. So to give you he lowdown on voice search, predictions and stats from current usage. Some of which are worth noting if you have local business.

The Voice Search Stat You Should be Paying Attention too right now!

First off the voice search statistic that is worth paying most attention too. When someone is out and about on their mobile, voice search is 3x more likely to feature local intent, great news! Customer are on your doorstep trying to find services or products locally.

“Mobile voice-related searches are 3X more likely to be local-based than text” via Search Engine Watch

Voice Search  Future Predictions

Much has been made about what the future hold for voice search, there are of course skeptics and ambassadors for moving to voice search over text.

“50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020” according to comscore

“About 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020.” via Mediapos

“By 2019, the voice recognition market will be a $601 million industry”, according to a report from Technavio via Skyword.

Current Voice Search Usage

Nothing matters more than what current voice search usage looks like. You may be wondering if there is any current demand or if being an early pioneer of vice search means you will be biding your time to see the return on your marketing investment.

Google voice search queries in 2016 are up 35x over 2008” according to Google trends via Search Engine Watch

“40% of adults now use voice search once per day” according to comscore

“60% of people using voice search have started  in the last year” according to MindMeld

Why is Voice Search Becoming more Popular?

It’s not hard to see why. Voice searches are fast (we can speak at 150 words per minute, whereas our type rate is only 40 wpm), convenient (instant, hands-free) and becoming reliable… well maybe!

“Humans can speak 150 words per minute vs type 40 words per minute” via Katherine Watier

“42% say that use while driving is  a reason for using voice search” Katherine Watier

Voice Search is convenient, hands-free, and an on-the-go alternative to typed mobile and desktop searches. What’s not quite as obvious is how this latest evolution of search will impact local businesses and local SEO.

So how can businesses ensure they aren’t left behind when it comes to local Voice Search?

Voice search is a growing trend that has been on the radars of SEO Agencies for the last few years.

A recent trends report from Mary Meeker’s found that Google voice search queries in 2016 are up 35x from 2008, something to a local business should take not of for sure!

Wondering what you need to know about voice search as a local businesses? Here are a few of the most important ways voice search is changing traditional local search engine optimisation strategies.

The way People are Searching is Changing

Longer Search Queries

The way people type compared to the way the speak is very different. When people search online through type the search query is normally kept quite short. However when someone uses voice search to conduct a search, we tend to use longer more sentence like commands and phrases. Local businesses can take advantage of this shift by optimising their websites for long-tail local search terms that aren’t yet being heavily targeted by any of the competition.

Conversational Style Search Terms

As well as using longer search queries when we talk to a digital assistant instead of typing we also use a more natural language and tone. .

When you come to write content a key way to optimise this should be by writing in a conversational tone of voice and select the kinds of phrases that are most likely to be used when speaking to a personal assistant.

It’s a good idea to look back at the business’ recent analytics to see which natural-sounding keywords are bringing traffic to the website.

Because of Google limiting what you can see in analytics, you’ll also want to look in Google Search Console and consider using other third party tools like SEMrush (A tool we love and use every day at Digital Ethos). This will allow you to figure out what customers are saying when they use voice search and provides a great starting point for developing a strategy to target voice search as it gains popularity in the coming months and years.

People Want Answers Now

One of the most common current uses for voice search is asking informational type questions. Personal Assistants look to replicate search engines by providing the best and most relevant answer to your question.

This is more convenient than making users wade their way through a list of possible answers (unless the search results don’t match the user’s intent, which is another important issue to consider). However, this also makes it harder for businesses to rank in voice search results.

The solution for local businesses to preform well in voice search? Include the question and more specific information that answers questions unique to the business, niche and industry.

Figure out what your customers want to know and build a content strategy around answering those exact questions. Remember the key ingredient,  focus long-tail keywords and write in a natural tone of voice.

How to rank your Local Business Website for Voice Search

When Google is deciding to rank your website for voice search there are 3 main ranking factors;

Relevance: Does your website answer the user’s question at great depth and knowledge?
Distance: Mainly used for locality, how close is your businesses location from where the potential customer is?
Prominence: How well does your page rank in organic search? Have you amassed good reviews?

If you consider each of these when optimising your website for voice search in 2017, you will have a higher chance of being presented as a result.

Understanding How Customers use Voice Search to find Local Services

Understand how potential customers are using voice search to find what they are looking for is pivotal.

Before you begin anything, you should completely understand the way in which voice search can be used and how your target audience is using it. This will give you a better insight into how you can optimise your website for their needs and rank in the voice search results.

Be Mobile Friendly First

This has been the case for a couple of years now but your website must be mobile responsive. Having a mobile friendly website is one of the key signals that Google will look out for when ranking your website for local voice searches, as most of these local voice searches will be carried out on a mobile device.

Local On Site Optimisation is a Must

As well as being mobile friendly, your website must also be local search friendly. This means that it is optimised for its location. This can be implemented rather easily by including your location, phine number, opening hours and local directions on the key pages within your website, ready for Google to understand and index.

Consider Key Search Queries, Think like the Best

Think about the queries to add to your page titles. These are the things that you know consumers will be saying into their devices when using voice search. For example “What is the best pizza place in Leicester”. Adding phrases like “The best” will be picked up on by Google and give your website a better chance of being included in voice search results.

Customer Engagement

It has been reported that websites get 4.8 times more engagement from intelligent searches (including voice search) compared to standard searches so it is well worth considering optimising your website for voice search as more and more people begin to look for local services through voice search.

What’s to come for Local Voice Search?

Local voice search and the strategies for local businesses to rank in these results will continue to evolve as Personal Assistants get smarter and as consumers’ usage and comfort level increases.

In the meantime, let us know what you think will be the biggest adjustment for your local business will be when it comes to targeting voice search in 2017 and the future.

 

01 Dec

4 Reasons to Invest in SEO

Why you should invest in Search Engine Optimisation

Are you looking for SEO in Leicester? Step this way! We’ve compiled the top reasons to invest in professional SEO services for your business.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has been an important marketing tool since search engines first popped up on the digital horizon.

What is SEO?

SEO is all about making your website easy to find online. It’s about implementing various strategies and techniques in order to increase the amount of visitors to your site by obtaining higher ranking in popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

SEO Leicester

Here at Digital Ethos, we offer SEO services in Leicester. Our team of SEO specialists will help you to embrace SEO to grow your business and increase your website’s online exposure.

We can help you with a wide range of core SEO services, including everything from content strategy, local SEO, and organic SEO, to SEO consulting, link earning, and in-depth reporting. Taking a results-driven approach, in just a matter of months, our Leicester SEO experts will produce real, tangible results.

Why should I invest in SEO services?

If you haven’t invested in an SEO campaign yet, now’s the time to get on board! Whether you aren’t convinced that SEO is effective or you don’t think you’ve got the budget, our team will help you to implement an effective, cost-effective SEO strategy that works for you.

Here are just some of the reasons why your Leicester business should invest in SEO services…

It works!

You’ve probably heard that SEO is dead. But as the saying goes, you shouldn’t believe everything you hear! SEO is far from dead – it’s just constantly changing, meaning that you need to stay on top of the relevant tools and techniques if you want to make the biggest impact.

The fact is, SEO works and there is plenty of evidence to prove it! From search traffic and referral traffic, to increased brand visibility and reputation, SEO is proven to bring a whole host of benefits. The key is employing qualified SEO professionals who understand the tools and techniques that work. Our SEO experts in Leicester will be more than happy to go over some statistics and case studies with you…just ask!

It’s here to stay

Again, despite what you might have heard, Search Engine Optimisation isn’t going away any time soon. No matter how the internet and, specifically, search engines change, SEO looks set to continue to play a key role in digital marketing. It will simply adapt as the algorithms and technology behind search engines evolve. Even as visual and video content becomes more and more prevalent, these types of searches still rely on keywords, just as traditional text-based content does. 

Internet Marketing is cost effective

In comparison to other marketing and digital marketing tactics such as pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, and lead purchasing, SEO is relatively cost effective and typically provides a good return on investment and campaigns can be adapted to meet your budget requirements.

Over time, the ROI of SEO increases. This is because, every piece of content you create, every link you build, and every strategy you implement is permanent and will help to increase your authority and visibility over time.

Increasing importance of Search Engines

For many of us, the first thing we do before investing in a product or service is to search it online, right? In fact, studies have shown that 80 – 90% of consumers now search for reviews online before committing to making a purchase. And, with smart phones, tablets, and other connected devices becoming increasingly central in our day to day lives, this number is expected to rise. It won’t be long before almost everyone searches for products and services on the web so it’s important that you give your business the best possible chance of being found. SEO will help ensure that potential customers find your business.

Digital Ethos provides SEO services in Leicester. For further information or to discuss your requirements further, please do not hesitate to contact us.

05 Oct

How to get the best out of your web design agency

web

When it comes to bringing an external agency in to handle an aspect of your business such as your website, it can go one of two ways. You’ll either have an incredible experience and be thrilled with the work, or you’ll find yourself wishing you’d never agreed to work with them in the first place – you’ve probably heard plenty of horror stories, right?

But it doesn’t have to be that way! If you approach the project in the right way, there’s no reason why you can’t build a positive relationship with your agency and have a stress-free, even enjoyable experience.

As web designers in Leicester, we have plenty of experience when it comes to working alongside clients, and we’d like to think that building strong, positive relationships with them is what we do best!

So, here’s our guide to how to get the best out of your web designers in Leicester and beyond…

 

Know what you want

Having an idea of what you’re looking for will save you (and your web designer) time, money, and frustration. Do some research – what sort of colours do you think work well together? Have you seen any other sites that you really like? The more information you can give your web designer the better.

After all, the options in web design are endless, so if you don’t really know what you want, it could result of weeks, months, even years of tweaks and changes until you are happy. And that’s not productive for anyone!

 

Define your target audience

From the moment you begin your project, make sure the web designers really understand your target audience.

Remember that, if your designers don’t truly understand the target audience, they could quite easily present the site in the wrong way. Just because you are incredibly familiar with who your audience is, doesn’t mean that your web designer will be after you’ve thrown a few key words at them – it’s your job to make sure they understand.

 

Communication

 In any relationship, communication is key. And this is certainly applies to working with your web designers in Leicester!

Being clear and concise with your ideas is absolutely vital. If your web designer is going to stand any chance of interpreting the brief properly, you’ll need to ensure that you articulate your goals and objectives effectively.

Make sure that you check in with them on a regular basis (without seeming like you’re checking up on them, of course!) and make sure that you always respond to their communications. Let’s face it, if they’re asking you for information, it’s probably crucial to the progress of the project and failing to respond will simply hold everything up.

 If you have any concerns or queries, just speak up and raise them, rather than waiting until the end and being disappointed with the end result. If you don’t like something, think about why you don’t like it, and make sure you communicate that clearly. Constant, clear, two-way communication will make the process smooth and stress-free for everyone.

 

 Deadlines

 Deadlines are essential in any web design project and it’s vital that they are adhered to by both sides. So, before you start, agree on a timeline that both parties will stick to.

Whilst many clients think that it’s just the designer that needs to stick to deadlines (they’re the paying customer after all!), if you aren’t able to provide approvals, information, or content by an agreed deadline, you risk holding the project up considerably.

And if something feels like it’s taking too long, ask your web designer why – something that seems simple to you might actually take a lot of time and work!

 

Don’t Rush 

Whilst it’s important that your web designers meet your deadlines, it’s also important, as the client, to remember not to rush them. After all, this can impact on the quality of the finished product.

So, whenever possible, give your web designer as much time to complete your project as possible (within reason, of course!).

 

Build an on-going relationship

 Many business owners hire a web design agency to design or redesign their website, then sign off the job, pay the bill, and walk away.

But to get the best possible results from your site, it’s important that you invest in an on-going programme of development. So stay in touch with your web designer and implement a programme of long term refinement and development that will not only ensure that your site is constantly optimised, but will also mean that you avoid the substantial cost of a complete redesign.

30 Sep

How to improve your Google search engine rankings

rankingoogle

It doesn’t matter how visually impressive your website is or how many great testimonials you’ve got, if your website doesn’t rank well with Google, you might find that you struggle to attract traffic to your site, never mind convert that traffic into sales.

But why does it matter where you rank on Google? Well, for a start, higher rankings mean more traffic. As a general rule, the higher your ranking is, the more organic traffic your site will get from Google – the top 5 ranked sites usually get over 60% of the search traffic.

What’s more, because Google is the world’s most popular search engine, it is trusted by users around the globe. People known that, if they are searching for something on Google, they will usually find what they are looking for – so ranking highly is a sign of trust and authenticity.

So, here are our top tips for helping you to improve your Google ranking…

 

Content is King

 Contrary to popular belief, ranking on Google isn’t about stuffing your content full to the brim with keywords. At least it isn’t anymore.

Although, at one time, it was possible to secure a search engine ranking with dull, uninteresting content providing it contained plenty of keywords, this is no longer the case. Today, Google puts a lot more emphasis on having quality, relevant, and contextual content that will be of genuine value to readers.

Oh, and it’s worth remembering that copying and republishing content from other websites won’t work because the originality of the content is really important for Google rankings!

So, if you’re wondering how to rank highly on Google, first and foremost, it’s all about creating engaging, interesting, and unique content that your audience actually wants to read and share.

 

Stay Relevant

 And, whilst we’re talking about content, you also need to update your content regularly and ensure that it remains relevant. Regularly updated content is seen as one of the best indicators of a site’s relevancy, so make sure you keep it up to date and fresh!

 

 Link, Link, Link

If your content is linked to and by other sites that Google considers to be ‘good’, your rankings should automatically improve.

As well as linking to external sites, you should also add internal links to other pages on your website. These internal links will help Google to understand what your content is all about and they’ll also help your readers to find new pages on your site.

However, just as unnatural keyword cramming is no longer effective, Google is also cracking down on unnatural link-building. So ensure that you keep everything natural if you want to make maximum impact.

 

Speed it Up

Speed is a known ranking factor for Google – a website page that loads quickly can get better Google rankings than one that loads slowly. The website’s loading speed is also important for usability.

 

Mobile Friendly

 In today’s fast paced, always-on-the-move society, the vast majority of us spend a large proportion of our online time accessing the internet on mobiles, tablets, and other smaller-screen devices. In fact, over 40 % of organic traffic comes from mobile devices.

With this in mind, it’s more important than ever before that, if you want your content to rank highly on Google, you need to ensure that your website is fully responsive and mobile-friendly.

In fact, Google not only tends to rank mobile friendly sites higher, but it actually penalises websites that return errors when accessed via mobile!

So, to keep Google and your audience happy, it’s well worth investing the time and money to ensure that your site, and the content on it, is mobile friendly.

 

 Sharing is Caring

 In today’s social media-focussed world, it’s vital the sharability of your content is hugely important. After all, the more your content is shared and distributed, the more visibility and traffic you should generate. This, in turn, will lead to more natural links being developed from genuine websites and sources.

So, if you want to boost your Google rankings, make sure that your content caters to the needs and expectations of social media users.

 

 Call in the experts

 If you want help ranking your website on Google, it might be time to call in the experts! Here at Digital Ethos, we can help you to ensure that your website is fully optimised for Google’s search rankings and implement a programme to ensure that it continues to rank as highly as possible.

25 Mar

Website designers in Leicester

apple-iphone-smartphone-desk

If you’re looking for a web designer in Leicester, it can be difficult to know where to begin. With so many companies and individuals to choose from, it’s important that you find a web design service that meets your individual requirements, whilst providing a high quality, customer-focused, and cost-effective service. After all, this is the person or agency that will create the online face of your company.

Here are our top tips for finding website designers in Leicester…

 

Skills, knowledge, and experience

 

If you’re looking to appoint a web designer in Leicester it’s important that they have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to complete your project to the highest possible standard.

Think about the services you require and ensure that you find an agency that offers these services. So, for example, if you need web design, digital marketing, and copywriting, make sure you find an agency that offers all of these services. This will save you time, energy, and money as it will mean that you can get all your services in one place, and ensure that they work together seamlessly.

 

Size and structure

It’s important that you find an agency that fits with your business, so think about whether you would prefer to work with a large, corporate type of company or a smaller, more intimate agency. Then find a web designer in Leicester that fits the brief!

 

Portfolio and case studies

When you require web design in Leicester, it’s important that you check the portfolio and/or case studies of any agency you’re thinking of hiring. This will give you an insight into the quality of work they provide, their general style, and other factors such as their attention to detail and how user friendly their designs tend to be.

When looking at their work, consider whether you like what they do. If you don’t like any of their examples of work, it’s unlikely that they will be a good fit for you.

 

Testimonials 

As well as looking at examples of their work, you should also ask for testimonials from other clients. This will give you an understanding of factors such as their approach to customer service, how well they met the brief, and whether they delivered on time and on budget. It’s also important to check out the testimonials to ensure that they are genuine.

 

The extra mile

Do you get the impression that the agency will go above and beyond to deliver 100% satisfaction? If you’ve had any contact with them so far, how have you found them? Helpful, accommodating, and patient? Or blunt, to the point, and incredibly slow at getting back to you?

When you work alongside any web design agency, it’s important that you can build a strong and positive working relationship. So, if you don’t get a good feeling from the start, it’s probably worth looking elsewhere.

Digital Ethos is a forward-thinking website design agency in Leicester – get in touch to discuss your project today!

17 Apr

The Importance of Anchor Text in Back-links

We all know the important role link building plays in SEO, the more links with anchor text the better right? Well, yes and no. There is a lot of confusion currently regarding the importance Google places on anchor text within back links and if you aren’t an expert it can make pretty difficult reading. It makes sense to start at the beginning and see what Google themselves derive as the relevance of a link and the text it contains.

As Google view links as votes of approval specific, rather than generic, keywords which are relevant to the area of your site to which the links are pointing is essential. The web page the link arrives at should have been optimised in terms of the keyword phrase included in the link. An SEO expert can do this quickly and easily, to an amateur it can all seem a bit confusing.

Logic plays a big part in ensuring your back links contain the anchor text to reap the maximum benefit. As Google have decided that a large portion of their search algorithm will focus on inbound links they are counting each one as a vote of confidence from the source of the link. By analysing all the constituents of a link and where it comes from enables them to determine the specifics. This is turn allows them to gather much more detailed information about the ‘vote’ being cast.

There are really only two common elements in this process; the web page the link is going to and the anchor text within it. It is due to this process that is it so important to get that anchor text spot on. If such a thing as link popularity didn’t exist every anchor text used to create a link would be representative of the content of the website,but as we know this is simply not the case.

In short, Google uses the link to assume a vote is being cast for a website, or rather a specific web page, and the anchor text tells them why the vote is being made. That’s not the end of the story however. Due to link exchanging and artificial inflation of popularity Google no longer stops at anchor text when it comes to validation. It now examines both websites in order to qualify the link, thus emphasising the importance of relevant anchor text and effectively bringing down the curtain on spam links.

Digital agencies who this type of work on a daily basis are the best people to check over all links and anchor text attached to your site. Keeping up with Google’s habit of constantly changing the goal posts is best left to the experts. You can easily find yourself getting bogged down trying to bring both your links and anchor text up to scratch. Valuable time which could be better spent elsewhere.

17 Apr

Absolute Links vs. Relative Links – SEO Value

The debate between absolute links and relative links continues to live on in the SEO world. The individual significance of each has been contested, but it is widely regarded that absolute links provide better SEO value on the whole than relative links.

Many believe that absolute links have less potential for getting messed up when search engines index your page. It shouldn’t really make a difference, but many conclude that this is reason enough.

Furthermore, content scrapers and RSS services may ‘repurpose’ your content legitimately (or not). In either case, shouldn’t a proper back-link be attributed to your site? This situation favours absolute links. Although this is a minor argument, it’s still worth considering.

17 Apr

Incorporation of Company Branding and SEO

SEO is not an exact science. This becomes apparent when trying to incorporate both SEO and branding into a strategy. This process is finicky to say the least. On the one side, SEO deals with the placement of keywords and phrases. On the other side, branding deals with company loyalty and culture. Incorporating both sides dilutes the prominence of both. But eliminating one or the other may not meet all strategic and marketing goals.

Once again, it should be emphasized that SEO is a series of guidelines rather than an exact science. Having said that, the following recommendation can be used to satisfy both sides of the equation. In general, keywords and phrases (i.e. SEO) should remain the focus of any early-stage company, while the incorporation of company branding should appear later in the evolution. This is simply a general statement and should not be taken word for word.

The reasoning is pretty straightforward. At first, no-one knows the name of your company, but perhaps they are searching for your products or services. In other words, you want to target keywords and phrases that focus around your offering rather than your company. As you build loyalty and credibility, branding becomes more important. It’s at this point that you may want to incorporate corporate messaging to strengthen the relationship with customers and instill trust in your brand.

One final thought about branding: if a searcher types in the name of your company, they are likely to find your website anyways. This is due mostly to anchor text and back-links. Therefore, optimizing for the company name is rather insignificant in most cases.

17 Apr

Strategic Use of Images in SEO

When assessing page structure and layout, there is a subtle, yet strategic way to use images in an SEO-friendly manner (beyond ALT tags) that improves your search rank while allowing you to integrate the necessary marketing message(s). Confused? Let’s look at an example:

Suppose you operate a travel site and you want to optimize a given page for the term “Las Vegas hotel”. Suppose that you also want to include an enticing marketing message such as “Book now and save 20%!”. The aforementioned tagline lacks descriptive text, but possesses persuasive characteristics. That being said, you may want to place the tagline in an image and the key phrase (i.e. Las Vegas hotel) in a header tag. This places emphasis on the desired term, yet still provides a marketing opportunity without compromising keyword consistency.

In other words, images are a great place to insert marketing messages that lack the necessary keywords and phrases. Leveraging this technique will ensure that descriptive text is indexed, while less marketing jargon is overlooked. The combination of keyword-rich content and enticing messaging will satisfy both sides of the strategic equation.

17 Apr

Google now discounts all reciprocal links

For a long time, reciprocal links have remained at the forefront of most inbound linking strategies. This is going to have to change. Google now discounts all reciprocal links. The algorithm has been altered to identify the exchange of links by two parties for the purpose of increasing their number of inbound links.

The concept of reciprocal linking defies Google’s original intention with the algorithm. Quality content should attract links. The exchange of links is nothing more than a mutual agreement to unjustifiably promote others’ content with the end goal of promoting your own. Google doesn’t particularly like this (see Link Schemes).

Some even claim that Google is now able to identify three-way linking schemes (i.e. website A links to website B, who links to website C, who links back to A). Whether this is true or not is hard to say. One thing is for certain though: inbound linking strategies should NOT be centered around reciprocal linking. This manufactured form of link creation is not well-received and is ultimately a waste of time. Instead, focus on creating unique, high-quality content in a given niche. The links will ensue.

Call us now on 0333 772 0189 or request a call back from one of our consultants.