13 Jul

Google to face $1.17 billion antitrust fine in the coming weeks

Google Logo

 

According to EU sources, search engine giant Google will potentially face a record fine of $1.17billion in the next few weeks for ‘abuse of market position’ in shopping search. According to the EU, the company has been abusing its market dominance in search, using its near monopoly in online search to unfairly steer customers to its own Google Shopping Service.

The fine has been expected for some time due to Google’s inability to settle the case with EU regulators. The case was raised in April 2015 when the EU Competition Authority accused the company of distorting internet search results in favour of its shopping service, harming both rivals and consumers.

Although the company made several unsuccessful attempts to settle the case with the former European Commission Competition Czar Joaquin Almunia, his successor Margrethe Vestager has taken a tougher line against the company.

Whilst the EU could potentially fine Google up to 10% of its annual revenue, which in 2016 was over $90 billion, recent reports have suggested that the figure will be closer to $1.17 billion. This will still break the abuse penalty record set in 2009 when EU officials fined Intel $1.12 billion for anti-competitive practices.

And it doesn’t stop there, this is just the first of three potential fines the company faces. The other two anti-trust cases focus on exclusivity provisions in AdWords agreements and Anroid-OEM contracts.

 

What is Google Shopping and how does it work?

 

Google Shopping is a service that allows users to compare products between online stores. Formerly known as Google Product Search, Google Products, and Froogle, the service originally listed products that online retailers submitted free of charge, making its money from the AdwWords based ads that appeared on the side of the page. However, when the service rebranded as Google Shopping in 2012, this changed and payment must now be made.

Google shopping is powered by Google AdWords and Google Merchant Centre. It is managed using product and category level bidding, rather than keyword bidding. Product bidding is done through an AdWords login, whilst data feeds are sent through the Google Merchant Centre login.

Google Shopping operates on a Cost per Click model, but unlike other platforms working in this way, there is no minimum Cost per Click rate in place. Instead, the platform determines its rankings based on bids. So, if you place higher bids, you will potentially rank higher than your competitors. Like other Google search services, rankings are also determined by product relevancy and the Google Shopping algorithm.

 

Why are Google being fined?

The fine is being imposed in response to Google’s alleged abuses in shopping search. According to the official EU Statement of Objections, the fine relates specifically to the following points:

  • Google systematically positions and prominently displays its comparison shopping service in its general search results page, irrespective of its merits.

 

  • Google does not apply to its own comparison shopping service the system of penalties which it applies to other comparison shopping services on the basis of defined parameters, and which can lead to the lowering of the rank in which they appear in Google’s general search results page.

 

  • As a result of Google’s systematic favouring of its subsequent comparison shopping services, Google Product Search and Google Shopping, both experienced higher rates of growth, to the detriment of rival comparison shopping services.

 

What does Google have to say about the claims?

Google has hit back at the claims, stating that regulators have ignored competition from online retailers Amazon and eBay. They have also recently issued a statement stating that the evolution of its search pages has always been about improving the user experience and the quality of results.

The company stated: “Google has always worked to improve its services, creating new ways to provide better answers and show more useful ads. We’ve taken seriously the concerns in the European Commission’s Statement of Objections that our innovations are anti-competitive. The response we filed today shows why we believe those allegations are incorrect, and why we believe that Google increases choice for European consumers and offers invaluable opportunities for businesses of all sizes.”

What happens next?

According to reports, the fine is likely to be imposed in August.

Of course, assuming that the fine is imposed, it’s likely that Google will appeal to the European Court of Justice against the ruling.

In addition to the fine, the EU Commission will also instruct Google to stop any practises that are deemed to be anti-competitive, although it is not currently clear what measures it might order the company to adopt in order to ensure that rivals get equal treatment in internet shopping results. It is thought that they will either set out some general principles or lay down specific instructions for Google to follow.

 

Here at Digital Ethos, we specialise in creating effective digital marketing campaigns that not only inspire action, but also achieve optimum results. If you have any questions about how we can help you to drive your start up business forward in the digital world, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Our friendly and helpful team is on hand to answer any of your questions and we always go that extra mile to deliver digital marketing solutions that meet your objectives and requirements. We are a growing SEO Agency in Leicester and proud of it!

09 Jun

Why digital?

Why is digital marketing so important?

This is the question I get asked in a round about way almost every time I pick up the phone and prospect for a potential client. Because it is not only a rapidly growing force in the current marketing playing field, it is the future of marketing, and digital media is beginning to replace more traditional forms altogether.

Why?

Well quite simply because you can actually refine how you target, get instant feedback from data received as soon as someone interacts with your business or brand on a digital platform which then enables you to create evolving campaigns which deliver tangible relatable results which convert into paying customers, this is very difficult to achieve with the more traditional types of print media advertising.

With digital we can tell who is looking at your advert, what time of the day, where on the globe they viewed it, how long they viewed it, how they came to your website, at what point did they decide to make a purchase, enquiry or navigate away from your site.

While older generations will no doubt lament the demise of paper-based media such as newspapers, books, communication methods and traditional TV and radio broadcasts, those who have grown up with the internet and mobile phones as a God-given right are already embracing the brave new world of digital consumption.

The facts are that digital methods of communication and marketing are faster, more accurate, versatile, practical and streamlined, so it is perhaps unsurprising that those companies who have adopted it as the main focus for their marketing spend just so happen to be the most successful businesses.

The good news is that digital offers just as much potential to marketers as it does to consumers in that consumers are presented with what they are actually searching to purchase at the click of a button or the tap of a finger. And businesses/marketers get to instantly interact with these clicks and taps to be able to better understand a brands equity position, understand the direct actions of their competition and how it affects their customer visitation and we are just merely scratching the surface here.

Digital marketing provides the window into the behaviour of customers globally and instantly as tools such as Google Analytics allow us to analyse data in real time, this availability of information is incredibly valuable as it helps a business to refine its route to market and maximise its profit margins.

It is safe to say that if you are in business today and certainly a new business, if you are not in digital then you are not in business.

Where does Digital Marketing Start?

First and foremost you will need a website whether it be to sell products online as an e-commerce store, or to provide information, provide subscriptions for services or to showcase your service. However the internet is like an ocean filled with ships trying to find land and your business is that land and the lighthouse that guides them safely to that land is your digital marketing. Point being that if you do not have a great digital marketing campaign running then your customers will not make it to you.

Let’s take a quick look of some of the key forms of Digital Marketing being used today

Websites and SEO content
Blogs
Internet banner ads
Online video content
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
Email marketing
Social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.)
Mobile marketing (SMS, MMS, etc.)

So, why digital marketing?

First of all, digital marketing is infinitely more affordable than traditional offline marketing methods. An email or social media campaign, for example, can transmit a marketing message to consumers for a fraction of the cost of a TV ad or print campaign, and will reach a wider audience which you can also obtain data from.

As mentioned earlier on one of the key benefits of marketing digitally is the ease with which results can be tracked and monitored. Rather than contracting and expensive customer research company to analyse and report back on their findings which by the time the findings are reported the information is now old, you can quickly view customer response rates and measure the success of your marketing campaign in real-time, enabling you to plan more effectively for the future.

Perhaps the strongest case for incorporating a digital element into your marketing is that digital media forms are quickly overtaking traditional forms of information consumption. According to the Office for National Statistics, over 82% of UK adults went online in the first three months of this year: that’s over 40 million individuals.

The bottom line is, the digital age is here, and those businesses that fail to adapt to this marketing climate are at great risk of falling by the wayside sooner rather than later.

08 Jun

How to Develop your Content Marketing Strategy

Today, it’s simply not enough to have an online presence in the digital world. After all, with millions of brands in all corners of the globe recognising the significant role digital marketing can play when it comes to generating leads, maximising awareness, and boosting engagement, it’s crucial that your digital marketing strategy is on point if you stand any chance of standing out from the crowd.

With fierce competition and an already over-populated digital environment, every business should pay close attention to creating a solid content marketing plan that will allow you to achieve your business goals.

A well-developed strategy will not only help you to define your goals but it will also allow you to optimise traffic, generate leads, and boost conversion rates.

And, there are a whole host of ways that you can you can develop your marketing strategy…

But why is content marketing important?

In today’s technically advanced world, if you don’t have an online presence, you’ll almost certainly be left behind.

From SEO website content through to creating relevant blog posts, content marketing not only helps brands to inspire action, generate traffic, and boost awareness on a global scale, but is also allows businesses to expand their reach, maximise engagement and achieve their business objectives… so it’s definitely worth tuning in!

One of the most reliable sources of traffic, high impact content also allows you to generate revenue and experiment with a wide range of other marketing tactics.

Here’s how you should develop your content marketing plan…

What’s your goal?

First and foremost, it’s important that you are able to determine your goals before you even think about creating your content marketing strategy.

As part of this process, you should ask yourself why you need a content marketing strategy and the reasons why you want to produce the content. Remember your goals should be S.M.A.R.T – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.

Research

Before beginning any marketing strategy, it’s important that you conduct buyer persona research as this will give you an insight into your target market’s desires and needs. This means, you will then be able to maximise engagement by catering the content to your audience’s requirements.

Although, it can be tempting to jump straight in and start creating your content, taking the time to conduct thorough research is a crucial stage of any planning process.

A content audit

In recent years, blogging has continued to increase in popularity, and as a result, creating engaging blog posts in one of the most frequent types of content that businesses start with.

Impactful, effective, and cost effective, creating your own blog as a stand alone platform or part of your website is a great way of creating purposeful, interesting and relevant content that your customers will be able to engage and interact with.

But, if you’re considering creating a series of blog posts, it’s crucial that you analyse what type of content your target market are engaging with the most. This will allow you to determine what type of content should be within your strategy.

Do you have a content management system in place?

It’s super important that you have a content management system in place that will allow you to manage your content in accordance with your business goals and objectives.

When choosing a content management system, you should ensure that it incorporates vital components such as content publication, content creation, as well as content analytics.

This will allow you to plan, create, publish and most importantly, publish your results in one place quickly and easily.

Brainstorm

Whether you prefer to brainstorm alone or as part of a group, the key to a successful content marketing strategy is to create high impact content that will not only boost engagement but will also inspire action. With this in mind, it’s certainly worthwhile putting some thought into the type of content that you want to share.

From choosing suitable topic through to creating eye-catching headlines and embracing recent trends, the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to creating highly engaging content that will resonate with your target market.

It’s crucial that your content is highly targeted and has the ability to capture the attention of your target demographic. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, it always helps to analyse your competitor’s content! Of course, you should make sure that the content you share is original.

Many people also find it useful to prepare a content calendar, this way you can date advantage of key dates and events.

Now, let’s take a look at the type of content available…

The power or content should certainly not be underestimated or ignored! Perfect for connecting and engaging with your target audience, getting your content right will ultimately determine the success of your content marketing campaign.

There are whole host of different types of content that you can integrate into your marketing strategy including…

• Blog Posts
• Templates
• E-books
• Videos
• Infographics
• External Content
• Charts/graphs
• Q & A sessions
• Interviews
• Vlogs
• Mind maps
• Memes
• Online Games
• Quizzes
• Polls
• Photos
• Predictions
• Podcases
• Slideshares

Remember, it’s all about creating highly engaging content that not only reflects your brand identity but also resonates with your target market. So, think outside the box, establish a consistent tone of voice and most importantly, create content that will get people talking about you!

The content that is most suitable for your business will depend on the needs and desires of your target market. And of course, when it comes to distributing your content, it’s equally important that this is done in the right way as this can also have a huge impact on the success of your online content marketing content.

Organisation and smart scheduling is of the upmost important and it is at this point that your content calendar will prove to be extremely useful, especially when it comes to distributing your content in an effective and timely manner.

Manage and publish your content!

Now for the fun part… it’s now time to put your editorial calendar into action and publish your content! At this point, you should pay close attention to how your target market is engaging with the content you share! And remember, a successful content marketing plan has the ability to set your brand apart from your competitors, providing you do it right.

And, if you’re struggling to come up with ideas, there are plenty of professional digital marketing teams that are equipped with the knowledge, skills and expertise to accelerate your online content marketing plan in line with your businesses’ goals and objectives.

Here at Digital Ethos, we specialise in creating effective digital marketing campaigns that not only inspire action, but also achieve optimum results. If you have any questions about how we can help you to drive your start up business forward in the digital world, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Our friendly and helpful team is always on hand to answer any of your questions and we always go that extra mile to deliver digital marketing solutions that meet your objectives and requirements.

08 Jun

Why digital marketing is essential for new businesses

Thanks to advances in technology, more people than ever before are connecting, engaging, and communicating online. This only the tip of the iceberg as to why digital marketing is essential for new businesses.

As a result, digital is now recognised as one of the most powerful communication tools, allowing businesses to connecting with new, existing, and potential customers, in all corners of the world.

And, if you’re a start up business, it’s vital that you recognise the importance of investing in digital marketing if you’re looking to optimise exposure, boost conversion rates, and raise awareness.

After all, launching your own business can be daunting and challenging, especially if you don’t have any financial backing.  Oh, and with approximately 80 new businesses born in the UK, every single hour, it’s crucial that you take the time to position your brand at the forefront of your customers’ minds, especially in the digital world.

Today, one of the best ways of growing your brand is to invest in highly targeted digital marketing solutions that will allow you to connect, engage, and inspire your target market.

Let’s face it, digital marketing is faster, more versatile, and more streamlined than any traditional marketing tactic, which is one of the reasons why this form of communication has continued to increase in popularity.

If you’re a start up business and you’re looking to make your mark in the online world, we’ve created a helpful guide outlining why digital marketing is essential for new businesses – we hope you find it helpful!

What is digital marketing?

So what exactly is digital marketing? Although many small businesses recognise that they need digital marketing, many do not know what methods of communication are employed as part of an effective digital media strategy.

From blogs, online advertising, and SEO website content, thorough to social media, email marketing, and PPC (Pay-per-click) there are a whole host of innovative forms of digital communication that can be used to engage with your target market.

You can engage with your target market in real time

As an aspiring entrepreneur or new business owner, you will quickly realise that networking is everything when it comes to raising awareness of your product or service.

From connecting with customers and investors, through to engaging with potential partners and other businesses, there are a whole host of digital marketing solutions that will allow you to connect with the right people, at the right time.

Embracing a number of platforms that have the ability to help you to maximise exposure, digital marketing will allow you to reap the many benefits that come hand in hand a number of digital channels.

Embrace social media channels

Today, the majority of us are permanently attached to our smart phones ad tablets. And, with more people than ever before communicating, shopping, and connecting using social media, it would be foolhardy not to utilise these platforms and channels of communication as part of your digital marketing strategy.

The power of social media certainly should not be underestimated or ignored. Allowing you to connect with people that are genuinely interested in your brand, ensuring that you have a credible presence on all social media platforms is a great starting point when it comes to building relationships, managing your reputation, and of course, spreading the word about your products or services!

Some of the most popular social media platforms include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Just remember, as a general rule of thumb, it’s definitely a case of quality over quantity when it comes to sharing content on social media. So, if you haven’t got anything good to say or share, simply don’t post it!

Whether you use social media to acquire new clients or to gain a credible online presence, digital media will allow you to directly target your audience based on the country they live in, their age, and their interests.
Embrace social media channels

Today, the majority of us are permanently attached to our smart phones ad tablets. And, with more people than ever before communicating, shopping, and connecting using social media, it would be foolhardy not to utilise these platforms and channels of communication as part of your digital marketing strategy.

The power of social media certainly should not be underestimated or ignored. Allowing you to connect with people that are genuinely interested in your brand, ensuring that you have a credible presence on all social media platforms is a great starting point when it comes to building relationships, managing your reputation, and of course, spreading the word about your products or services!

Some of the most popular social media platforms include Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Just remember, as a general rule of thumb, it’s definitely a case of quality over quantity when it comes to sharing content on social media. So, if you haven’t got anything good to say or share, simply don’t post it!

Whether you use social media to acquire new clients or to gain a credible online presence, digital media will allow you to directly target your audience based on the country they live in, their age, and their interests.

You can identify and understand your audience

The key to a successful digital marketing campaign is understanding your target audience. And, unlike conventional forms of marketing such as sponsorship and print advertising, digital marketing is a great way of collecting a broad range of data about your target market.

For example, by setting up analytics on your website, you will be able to access data that highlights how long your customers spend on your page, as well as the sites they visit after spending time on yours.

There are an extensive range of sophisticated analysis tools that will give you an insight into the needs and requirements of your target market, allowing you to market your product or service effectively.

But that’s not all… there are also a number of digital marketing solutions that can be used to predict the future actions of your target demographic too! This will allow you to boost retention rates, whilst ensuring that all of the components are in place to capture your audience when the time comes.

Cost effective

Due to its versatility and power to connect and engage with a worldwide audience, digital marketing is far more cost effective than traditional marketing – great news if you’re a new business on a limited budget!

Optimise conversion rates

Digital marketing will not only allow you to increase engagement rates, but it will also allow you to optimise conversion rates too!

There are a number of tools that will allow you to measure the success of the incoming traffic to your site. This means you will be able to determine the traffic that is converted into subscribers, sales or leads, as well as look at areas of improvement.

Earn people’s trust

Millions of people, in all corners of the world engage with social media platforms and other digital channels.

And, an increasing number of people are now connecting and engaging with their favourite brands online! So, as a new business, this offers the perfect opportunity to collect as many testimonials and reviews as possible about your product or service.

People trust people and when it comes to considering whether or not to purchase a particular product or service. In fact, it’s often the case that many people will base their decision about your brand based on what others have said.

Above all, building your brand through effective digital marketing will not only allow you to maximise exposure, but it will also allow you to inspire action and expand your reach to new markets, in all corners of the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

After all, digital marketing is an important step for any business, regardless of their size or status. Oh, and if you stand any chance of staying one step ahead of your competitors, it’s certainly worthwhile recognising the significant role digital marketing can play when it comes to growing your new start-up!

Embrace Digital for your Startup!

Here at Digital Ethos, we specialise in creating effective digital marketing campaigns that not only inspire action, but also achieve optimum results. If you have any questions about how we can help you to drive your start up business forward in the digital world, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Our friendly and helpful team is always on hand to answer any of your questions and we always go that extra mile to deliver digital marketing solutions that meet your objectives and requirements.

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.

30 Sep

Why you should hire a professional website design agency

header

It’s more important than ever before that businesses recognise the importance of investing in an online presence.

Over the past decade, the digital world has continued to expand at a rapid pace, paving the way for a whole host of opportunities when it comes to connecting and engaging with new, potential and existing audiences around the world.

After all, the digital world never sleeps. Instead, it allows businesses to connect and engage with their target market 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

With this in mind, it’s important that any business that wants to grow their business online, invests in a professional website that will become a leading source of information and engagement.

If a business doesn’t invest in a presence online, they risk losing potential customers, especially as more customers than ever before are shopping, communicating and interacting online.

And when it comes to designing your website, it’s important that it is engaging, interactive, responsive and of course able to drive traffic. A professional website design agency can help you to do just that.

We’ve created a helpful guide outlining why you should hire a professional website design agency…

  

Search Engine Optimisation

It’s not only important that your website looks good, it’s also important that it is able to be seen. After all, there’s no point in populating your site with high impact visuals if no one is going top see them, right?

A professional website design agency will be able to ensure that your website is SEO enriched, ensuring that it ranks highly on search engines such as Google! This is important, as if your customers are not able to find your site easily, you will not achieve the results you are looking for when it comes to engagement.

 

Bespoke Design

A professional website design agency will ensure that the design of your website reflects your brand’s identity, philosophy, values and ethos.

This is because a professional website designer will be able to design your new website based your individual requirements, after carefully evaluating the products and services you provide.

Unlike many DIY site builders, a professional web designer is not limited to certain templates and designs, allowing them to map out and design your site based on your bespoke requirements.

 

High Impact Visuals

In a competitive online community, it’s important that your website looks the part visually.

A professional website designer is highly skilled when it comes to maximising the visual impact of your website by ensuring that your website’s colours, graphics and navigational components are use-friendly.

It’s important that visitors to your site enjoy using it, and that they are able to find what they are looking for quickly and easily! A poorly constructed website that fails to inspire action or engage with your customers is never going to win you clients.

 

Embrace the latest technology

Technology changes on a daily basis, as new and exciting technologies are constantly populating the web.

Professional website designers are constantly in tune with the latest ways to attract visitors to your site. This is because they always embrace the latest trends in order to ensure the optimal success of your site.

A professional website designer will also use the very latest software applications, and will be able to help out with hosting, email, domain as well as general IT services.

 

Maintenance service  

Once you are happy with the design of your new website, it’s important that you keep it updated on a regular basis. This means it will require continual maintenance to ensure that it is always performing to the highest standard.

A professional website design provider will also offer maintenance service that will ensure that your website is kept up-to-date with fresh content. This level of on going support will allow you to make sure that your website is compatible with all devices, and performing the highest possible standard.

Remember your website is the face and voice of your company so it’s important that it reflects who you are, what you do and how you want to be seen.

 

This is vital if you stand any chance of giving your business a competitive edge in the digital world

After all, a smart, intuitive and high impact website will allow you to connect and engage with the right audience, in all corners of the world, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

16 May

A “go to” gardening resource prepares to launch their brand new website with a little help from Digital Ethos

A “go to” gardening resource prepares to launch their brand new website with a little help from Digital Ethos

Having joined forces with digital marketing company Digital Ethos, a new gardening resource, GoTo4Gardening, is preparing to launch its brand new website – a unique platform that provides a whole host of gardening related hints, tips, and advice.

The brainchild of Jack Haffner, GoTo4Gardening is an online gardening resource that provides access to the very latest advice, information, and gardening news, allowing users to reap the benefits of a reliable resource aimed at garden enthusiasts of all ages and abilities.

Designed to break down social barriers and bring people together through shared interests and hobbies, the launch of GoTo4Gardening will aim to unite gardeners from all social backgrounds who have one thing in common – a passion for gardening.

 

Jack Haffner, Founder of GoToGardening.co.uk said: “We decided to launch GoTo4Gardening as a gardening website that will make a difference and bring people together. We have therefore created a website that is not only a mine of gardening information, but it also has sections such as “Our Community”, where people can get together to start and manage projects such as cleaning up their local park, or helping elderly or disabled members of the community with their heavier gardening chores.

“We have a free Classified section where gardeners can buy and sell both new and used garden equipment, and of course we have a members forum where members can discuss gardening issues, and post comments.”

From seeking advice about the black spots on your roses to selling your lawnmower, GoTo4Gardening is a user-friendly platform that allows users to learn invaluable skills, expand their gardening knowledge, and even access insider inputs from a host of outdoor experts.

Jack added: “I found Digital Ethos whilst surfing the web looking for a comprehensive online web build and marketing solution for my employer. I was so impressed with their attitude, experience, and geniality, that I decided to use them to launch my own project GoTo4Gardening.”

With offices in Barnsley, Leicester and London, Digital Ethos is a digital marketing company that has vast experience in providing engaging and fully responsive website and marketing solutions to a wide-ranging client base, across a whole host of specialist industries.

 

Chris Ward, Technical Director at DigitalEthos.net said: “We have worked with Jack and his company for quite some time now and have enjoyed watching the concept behind GoTo4Gardening come to life. As part of this project, we were asked to deliver a website build and marketing plan for GoTo4Gardening. We loved the idea behind GoTo4Gardening right from the start, and our aim was to translate the concept of the business into an easy-to-navigate website that reflected the brands identity and ethos.

“Above all, we pride ourselves on delivering an efficient, effective and high quality service that focuses on establishing strong relationships with each and every client we work with. This is important to us and an area of our business that we will not compromise on.”

GoTo4Gardening.co.uk has just launched and with a clear sense of direction and endless enthusiasm, the online resource looks set to connect with and resonate with a diverse range of garden enthusiasts.

17 Apr

Is Search Engine Submission Necessary?

A simple question which can be answered quickly; no it isn’t. We could leave it there as we have answered the question but that’s taking the easy way out. The fact remains that there are many who still consider submitting to search engines as somewhat of a holy grail and think their businesses cannot survive without it. These poor, naïve souls would be better off spending their time on what really does matter as far as search engines today are concerned; ensuring their websites contain the best possible content and internal links.

Search engine optimisation is unrecognisable from what it was a decade ago when keywords were used to move you up the rankings. Page one now is all paid submissions, everyone knows that and a huge chunk of these companies marketing budget goes on this. SEO is not dead by any means, it has merely shifted direction in the way the web crawlers do their searching.

In the search of publicly available web pages the crawlers scan through these pages and follow the links within them. They go from one link to another and send all this data back to the servers. This process highlights the important of links as they will travel throughout your website via the links indexing as they go and the more data they collect from a site the higher its ranking will be.

In theory, the owner of a website shouldn’t have to hunt around for where links can be made, this is where content comes into play. If your web copy is interesting, useful and important the placement of links should present themselves naturally to you. As this is the basis of the Google algorithm regarding page ranking content and links rule OK.

In all honesty you aren’t doing your site any harm by submitting your website to a search engine. It doesn’t take long if you only submit to the big guns but one submission is enough. Despite their claims to the contrary it won’t mean your site gets crawled more frequently, or any quicker. There is no cost involved with submitting your site to Google, MSN, Yahoo et al as we stated earlier those at the top of the rankings have paid to be there as a form of advertising.

Think of the Internet as a form of sat nav. You wouldn’t travel to an unknown area without getting directions yet this is what people do every day online. They try to build their online presence without having any real idea in which direction they are going. With their website wallowing somewhere in the bowels of the search engines and people coming across their site more by chance than anything else they invariably blame the Internet for letting them down.

Due to their lack of SEO savvy, or being stuck back in the 90’s and still thinking keywords are king, or both, they have been lost in the shuffle and without taking the latest rules onboard their site will forever remain that needle in a haystack.

17 Apr

Can Any Inbound Linking Hurt My Ranking?

In light of the current information available online it is easy to presume that inbound links are the holy grail when it comes to your search engine ranking. Oh if it was only that simple. While inbound links are undoubtedly a great help when it comes to the searching and indexing of data there are also bad links which can now prove detrimental to your ranking and should be avoided at all costs.
If you have had the same links in places for a couple of years then it’s time to get them checked. The search engine algorithms are almost unrecognisable from the way they worked only 5 years ago and those old, out date links could now be doing you more harm than good. It is well worth your while getting an expert to look over these as with the landscape changing so much you may change them yourself to find they are still past their sell by date.
Google have long cottoned onto the fact that website owners were pushing in as many links as possible to raise their rankings. They classed this as ‘false popularity’ in that nobody had actually found the site useful and created genuine links to it. The updates they have employed over the last couple of years have aimed at bringing up better and altogether less ‘spammy’ results and if you have found yourself slipping down the rankings due to these changes those links need addressing. The last thing you want is spam driven links leading to your website.
It isn’t difficult to spot a dodgy link, even for a complete amateur. Have a look at the sites where the links are coming from and see if they are of poor design in that their purpose is not instantly clear. Also check that the links aren’t coming from unsavoury sites. For example if you have a floristry website you don’t want a link coming from a porn site!
Links should never come from non-relevant sites as in the world of SEO a link is effectively a yes vote so relevancy is vital. If you have ever paid for a link at any time in the past get rid of it now! If Google hasn’t picked up on it already you can bet they soon well so instant removal will protect your site from plummeting down the rankings faster than skis on ice.
If you thought keywords were dead and buried as far as SEO were concerned think again. They have merely shifted position and should now be found within the links. Keyword rich links are best left to the experts rather than trying to think of the terms you would personally search for.
The latest Google guidelines regarding good links are pretty self explanatory;
• Links you don’t control
• Editorial links
• Links you don’t know you have
All of the above get the thumbs up from Google, now its up to you to ensure your site is ticking all these boxes.

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.