If you’re the owner of a Google My Business account – or many listings, as we are here at Zinc – you might have noticed an email in your inbox that says that your business profile has been updated. This isn’t an unusual thing to see with an active customer base. Questions, reviews and suggestions often come through for you to respond to or approve, but once your listing information is correct, these are infrequent.
Our Google My Business Management team noticed a higher volume than normal of automatically generated suggestions in our inbox, and quickly began to investigate.
This month, Google announced that they will now be removing the distance-based service area setting on the Google My Business listing. Previously, it was possible to set a radius around your location to encompass everywhere within this area. Now that these are no longer functional, any listing using a radius to show their service area has been automatically updated to the areas closest to them.
The change is designed to give service area businesses a better chance on Google My Business, removing the need to base your service area around a specific location. In the long run, it will prove a better system that helps Google My Business users reach their audience more effectively. Unfortunately for unmanaged listings, this will inevitably result in a smaller service area, less reach and worse results from your Google My Business through automated updates.
Any automatic update to your Google My Business listing is something that you should review and approve or reject when managing the listing. The reason for this is simple: the automatic update will only encompass a certain area that’s chosen by an algorithm. If your service area needs to include certain areas, it’s important that you have gone into your Google My Business listing to check on these.
To do this, open your Google My Business listing and go to the ‘info’ tab. If there has been an automatic update on the account, you’ll see the old information crossed out and the replacement information in orange. For many listings, the automated information isn’t as accurate or inclusive as the previous radius input.
Edit by selecting the ‘pen’ icon and inputting every location you want to target. This can be wider selections (‘Northamptonshire’) or very specific locations such as a postcode area. There’s no limit to the number of service areas that you can put here, so don’t be afraid to cover every base.
Although Google has said that this change will not affect your local rankings, it’s likely that now the change is fully in place, listings will only show for the locations they’re set to serve. Therefore, if your automatic update is inaccurate or missing an important location, you will lose rankings.
If you have any questions about Google My Business management, speak to the Zinc Marketing Team. We’re experienced at managing listings at both a large and small scale.
In marketing, we hear it constantly: get ready for Voice Search. It’s something that’s been in the peripherals of a good SEO strategy for a few years, but as it isn’t yet a ranking factor, it isn’t ever the full focus. Unfortunately, because of this, research that analysed around 75,000 businesses has showed that only 4% of them were ready for voice search.
Voice search is everywhere. It’s how we use our AI assistants, search whilst we’re driving, or just From Siri & Alexa to Google, every major player is making their bid to become the name in voice search. It has developed far from the early days of Siri, where the standard response was simply ‘sorry, I didn’t quite get that’. Now accuracy is up 92% and the capabilities just keep growing. Google tells us that about 20% of their searches are from voice. As the technology grows and learns, that number is set to skyrocket. That’s why we think it’s already overdue to include voice search into the world of a good SEO campaign.
When it comes to business owners, it’s hard to ignore the potential that voice search brings. Typed and voice search queries tend to bring up different results, so an SEO strategy that doesn’t include any voice is missing out on traffic. The consumers who are adapting to using a voice search will no longer be able to find your business, losing your visibility and credibility.
As SEO experts who watch and analyse the market constantly, we think that it’s only a matter of time before Voice Search becomes a ranking factor, high on the list of what Google considers vital to gain placement online. For business who act proactively, the 20% of searchers who are using voice search are all yours. Then, when Voice Search becomes a ranking factor, you have a headstart on the competition when everybody else starts scrambling to get their websites in order.
Ranking for voice search starts with what we’d consider a ‘standard’ approach. There are on-site basics that would need to be covered, which would also contribute to your national and local SEO campaigns. It’s important to make sure your site is well optimised as a foundation before any specialisations are added.
We’d then incorporate long-tail keywords into the content onsite to capture the search terms that tend to be used with a voice search; questions that need answers and long phrases instead of a quick typed query. We’ll add structured data and snippet-worthy content that the Google crawlers are looking for to lift relevant data from a site. It’s important to prepare the site for both Bing and Yahoo crawlers as well – voice search doesn’t have the same monopoly as a desktop search.
The next steps are off-site. We’ll make sure that the data sources for local voice search queries (Google My Business, Yelp, and Bing) are all filled with the correct, consistent information.
Inside and out, a site optimised for voice search needs to use a tailored plan. It’s not just a case of hoping that Alexa will be able to find your site – you need to deliver exactly what they’re looking for.
If you’re interested in working with a forward-thinking, strategy based SEO team, talk to Zinc Digital.
You’ll see it splashed across agency sites and adverts all over the internet: We Guarantee Page One Positions. Everybody knows that in the world of SEO, page one positions are gold dust. They’re the first thing customers ask about when they come in to talk about digital marketing, and every agency knows it.
Digital marketing is big business, so it’s no wonder that there are agencies out there trying to set themselves apart with big promises. After all, best guesses aren’t what most clients want to hear. We know that what you’re looking for is reassurance that your investment will work out.
The unfortunate truth in SEO is that if there are guarantees, you’re dealing with a company that’s either inexperienced or dishonest. Here’s why:
If on the first conversation they’re promising a number one position, they haven’t got anything to base it on. The likelihood of a number one position depends on the competitiveness of your industry, the SEO strategies of your competitors and the ins and outs of your site. Without a bit of digging, there’s no way to know. You want an SEO provider that can offer you answers based on knowledge, not hot air.
You want to be number one for the keywords that bring you conversions. If you’re a pizza restaurant, there’s no benefit to you gaining a number one position for a bakery, but a sneaky agency might take advantage of a keyword with low search volume or low activity to gain you a first place position, even though it wouldn’t make any impact on traffic or conversions. We’ve seen plenty of people who have no idea why they’re not getting improvements when they have lots of number one positions; it’s because those number one positions weren’t chosen for performance. They were chosen for appearances.
The primary reason that everything in SEO is an experts best guess is because Google keeps their cards very close to its chest when it comes to ranking factors. Nobody outside of a very small team within Google knows what that algorithm is looking for and when it is updated, therefore nobody can guarantee that they are giving the algorithm exactly what it wants. If you’re looking for confirmation straight from the source, Google’s own help pages say it loud and clear: ‘No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google’.
No SEO specialist worth their salt will say anything about a guarantee. They will show you improvements on your own site and weaknesses in competitors that make us sure we can gain a strong position, but a guarantee will only come back to bite them if something derails that’s out of their control. A salesman doesn’t have this same understanding of SEO, and may say things that they think you want to hear to get the sale over the line. That’s why at Zinc, our sales team work closely with the departments to ensure they understand exactly what they’re selling and how it will benefit our customers.
At Zinc, we want to get you the best results, and our experienced, qualified SEO team will do everything they can to achieve them. You need a team on your side that’s going to be honest and transparent about the highs and lows of SEO. We supply our clients with a monthly report that shows you exactly what’s been achieved and what has dropped in the rankings, and what we’re going to do about it.
If you’re interested in working with an SEO team who will be clear about what you’re going to achieve and how we’ll be achieving it, speak to us today. We can’t wait to hear from you.
Sometimes, it seems like the world of marketing is one that has its own language. It’s an industry that moves quickly, with lots of sectors that all look at things differently. There are platforms, acronyms, data and more to get your head around.
Luckily, you’ve got a team of Marketing experts on your side. The Zinc Marketing Team have got together to create a list of useful terms that can help you make sense of how marketing is working for your site. When you’re a client of ours, you’ll hear these terms on our monthly reporting calls and our catch ups with you. Here’s what they all mean:
An integral part of CRO (see below), A/B testing compares two versions of the site, with a minor change, to see which your user base responds to better. You might change the colour of a button, the call to action you use or the location of a form, and then measure the way your users interact with it. It’s an excellent way to refine and improve the conversion of a website once it’s launched.
Google Analytics is one of the most important tools in a Marketer’s arsenal. It’s a way to measure the activity on a site. Implemented using a piece of code on your site, it tracks how many people have visited you, where they went on your site and how much time they spent there. Here, we can see where they came from and whether they completed a goal when they arrived.
Available to us using the Google Analytics platform, Bounce Rate describes the number of people who visited your site and then left immediately, without performing any other actions. It is calculated as a percentage, using the number of users who only viewed one page and spent no time on the page they viewed. In general, we would prefer for your bounce rate to remain low. Benchmarks vary from industry to industry, but we would usually aim for a bounce rate of less than 70%. If you have a one-page website, then it is natural for your bounce rate to be higher, as there is nowhere further for your visitors to go.
You see Calls to Action on every successful website and in each advertising campaign in the world. It’s the ‘Read More’ or ‘Buy Now’ on the buttons your see, or the ‘Get In Touch’ at the end of this blog. A Call to Action is used to catch the eye of a user and to guide them towards taking the action you’re hoping for from your campaign.
CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimisation. This is a form of marketing that analyses the effect of small changes on user experience. CRO implements heat/click maps to track the mouse movement of a user and A/B Testing to test and measure different site features. This helps us to gain the best results from a site for our clients.
A conversion is essentially any action that you’re hoping for your customers to take on your site. It can be anything from a form fill or case study download to a phone call. Your Conversion Rate is the percentage of visitors to your site that take an action. Once again, this can vary hugely from industry to industry, depending on how big the action is. Far more people are willing to fill out a form than spend money on a large item, so each company’s objective conversion rate is different.
The Marketing industry uses funnels to break down the customer journey and evaluate what stage a customer is in. This enables us to tailor the best strategy for each kind of customer based on their point in their journey. A traditional funnel would have somebody who is simply aware of your company at the top of the funnel, and somebody who is making a purchase at the bottom. Each stage refines the customer further and guides them towards the final stage.
A goal is used in Google Analytics to track conversions. We will talk about goals with you when you first start working with Zinc, so that we can measure the right actions on your website. When you see ‘Goal Completions’ on your monthly report, this is how many people have completed one of these actions.
This stands for Key Performance Indicator. KPIs are one of the most important things we work with as a marketing department; a way to measure how we are working in relation to the way your business defines success. KPIs can vary depending on your business type. In SEO, it’s often keyword placement and in PPC it is often ROI (see below). In addition to this, we’ll often include purchases, conversions, clicks and more to measure how we’re getting on.
This is Return On Investment, arguably one of the most important things from the point of view of a customer. As your marketing team, the primary objective is to make your business profitable. When you spend money on SEO or PPC services, we want you to make that money back, and more. This is a ROI.
Although Algorithms have a place in many areas of maths and computer science, in SEO, we’re interested in just one kind – the Google Algorithm. This is the set of rules that Google has put in place to evaluate and place each site on a Google search. At times, the algorithm changes and most people experience significant changes in ranking. For some more information on Google’s most impactful algorithm changes, take a look at our blog here.
Google Search Console is another Google tool designed to help Marketers manage their site. Here we can check on the keywords you’re ranking for, the way Google sees your site on both desktop and mobile, and whether there are any Google penalties on the site.
One of the biggest changes in SEO was the introduction of the Mobile First index. This was announced in 2018, and alerted the world that Google was turning the tide. It now looks at sites as if it is on a mobile phone first, which has huge implications for sites that aren’t optimised for mobile. You’ll probably hear us discussing this when you’re getting a new site with us, to make sure it has the best chance of ranking well.
CPL, or Cost Per Lead, is a way to keep track of how much you are spending per lead to your business. This is used across marketing, but is most commonly used in PPC. This is because when you’re paying money to push leads towards your business, it’s vital to monitor the profitability of the strategy you’re using. A good PPC professional will be working hard to keep your CPL as low as possible.
Previously known as Google AdWords, Google Ads is the main platform that we use to promote your business using paid search.
This stands for Return On Ad Spend. Similar to Cost Per Lead, we want to make sure that you’re getting enough revenue in from the sales we help you make.
We know marketing is a minefield of insider knowledge and acronyms! That’s why it’s vital to have the support of a qualified team of Marketers, such as the Zinc team, on your side. We’ll be able to answer any of your questions and make sure that you know exactly how your site is performing. Get in touch with us today to discuss your marketing needs with our expert team.
In almost every country in the world, when you hear the phrase ‘search engine’, you think Google. As of May 2019, Google holds 93% of the worldwide market share, so it’s natural to consider it the only option.
Here at Zinc, we have what is sometimes considered a controversial opinion: Never Forget About Bing. The way we see it, is that we want to reach the most relevant customers for our clients – and if 10% of those people are using Bing, then we’ll make sure that we’re there too.
The most important thing to know about Bing is that their audience may be small, but it is powerful. Bing users tend to be in the older generations, and therefore carry higher positions in business and have more buying power. More than a third of the Bing network audience has a household income of over $100,000. From a marketing perspective, its far better to have one qualified lead than ten that are simply caught in a wide net. Research has found that Bing users spend 8% more online than their Google counterparts.
Both disciplines in Digital Marketing have a place for Bing in their strategies. Here’s why you shouldn’t be forgetting Bing
In the world of SEO, it’s an accepted reality that you’re playing a game that you don’t know all the rules to. Google is notoriously quiet about the algorithms it uses and the rules that are in place. For Bing, however, it is a different story. There is far more transparency about the algorithms that are in place and the
Bing is the default search engine on Windows machines and Internet Explorer browsers. Many people, especially those in higher age demographics or in workplaces, don’t bother to amend their defaults to a different browser, and will use Bing on a daily basis due to the ease of use it offers.
Bing and Yahoo use the same algorithms, and therefore an SEO strategy for one will be just as effective as the other. A strategy that considers Bing as well as Google will ensure that you are performing well on not only one of the leading search engines, but three of them.
Bing Ads Network
Although Bing’s market share alone doesn’t always compete, the Ads Network definitely can. This combines the Bing and Yahoo networks into one advertising platform which together reaches 29% of search users, which makes up around half of Google’s market share. No well-considered marketing strategy would suggest eliminating 30% of your potential audience before you’ve even started.
Lower Competition and Costs
At the moment, a lot of people are missing out on Bing. This comes with a number of benefits – not only are fewer people competing for the limited space available, but there’s less cost to the advertiser to appear there. Costs per click on Google average at $20.08, whereas Bing averages at $7.99. Although your costs will always depend on the industry, market landscape and keywords you choose, adding Bing to your strategy can be incredibly cost-effective. In our own work with a client on Bing, our Paid Search team found that conversions increased incrementally by 26% at a cost per acquisition that was 54% lower than Google Ads.
From a marketing perspective, including Bing is a simple process that can reap incredible rewards. Although Google should be the first port of call, a well-rounded Bing strategy is an effective, cost effective way to boost your reach and conversions.
If you’d like to talk to a marketing expert about what Bing can do for you, get in touch with the Zinc Marketing team. We’d love to talk!
If you’re getting ready to launch a new site or even a brand new venture, you might think that a website is step one. You build the site, launch it into the world and wait…
The problem is, with no pre-launch marketing, nobody knows your site is there. This goes for everybody who matters, from your target market to the Google robots that are looking for new content to crawl. Instead of hitting the ground running, your new venture now has to play catchup.
Without a pre-launch marketing strategy, it’s hard for a website launch to fulfil its potential. If you’re hoping to launch your site with a bang, make sure you consider some of these important pre-launch actions:
Get your basics in order
There are some things that need to be considered as a first port of call, and one of these is tracking. At Zinc, we won’t launch a site without Analytics installed. For marketers, the more data we have access to, the better. Make sure that as soon as the domain is accessible, you’re tracking how many people are using it so that you can see the effects that your efforts are having. On top of this, it’s a good idea to get your Search Console set up, and consider if you need any remarketing tags ready for launch.
Start with SEO
If the site isn’t ready for Google to crawl, it’s not ready – it’s as simple as that. What you should be doing is making sure that you’ve got everything in place for when it is ready. Make sure that you’ve got plenty of content, set up your metadata, sitemap and robots file so that the second you’ve launched, Google can read all the valuable information you’re providing. Then when it’s launched, manually submit the homepage to Google to make sure it’s crawled as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to have a catalogue of blogs and other content to be ready on day one, so your site looks well managed from the start.
Get a landing page in place
If your new site isn’t ready, it could be ready for a landing page. A simple one page site that teases what’s to come can be enough to generate some buzz. It can be the perfect place for an explainer video that’s shareable and informative, or an email signup to start building a list up ahead of time.
It’s never too early for Social
Social media should be your home whilst you’re trying to build a conversation about your brand. Here you can start conversations with others in your industry, begin to build relationships with potential influencers and direct people to your landing page. Post teasers, development milestones, crowdfunding if you’re trying to raise capital. Here you could even invest in some paid media and start spreading the word ahead of time. Then, when it’s time to launch you’ve got a crowd of people waiting to see what’s going to happen.
Consider a press release
If what you’re doing is ready to change the world, the world needs to hear about it. A press release is a great idea for new products, innovative ideas and newsworthy names. It’s not for everybody, but can be a great option if you’ve got something that people will want to hear about.
Zinc Digital can help you with everything from your website design to your launch, in both creative and marketing. We’re here to be your team – why not call us and see how we can help today.
Google Algorithms are a mythical, mysterious thing to many people – including many digital marketers. If you were to hear about Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Fred or Pigeon, would you know what you were hearing? And if you did, would you know the impact that they have on the search results we see every day?
Google has one goal: to provide their users with the most relevant, high-quality results available on the internet. There is constant development to ensure that poor quality results or deliberate attempts to fool the algorithms in place don’t rise to the top. In fact, Google sends out around 600 algorithm updates each year – that’s more than one per day.
Some algorithm updates are more impactful than others. The majority are minor, and will barely affect the majority of website owners. Others changed the face of SEO overnight. If you’re working with an SEO company or hoping to make some positive changes to your own site, you need to know about the most famous and influential algorithms in recent years. If an update indicates a big change, Google will issue a name and an announcement for them.
Of the many algorithm updates that have been rolled out recently, here are the ones that you’ll need to know about:
Back in the day, it was easy to fool your way to the search rankings. With one keyword-heavy page, you could rank in first place and then re-use that same page for every keyword you need moving forward. Then, in came Panda. The update sought to combat poor quality pages and encourage content that was well written and relevant to searches. They did this by targeting:
Low quality or low-word count – pages that had a small amount of content that wasn’t really relevant or substantial. These two traits tend to appear hand in hand, with poorly written, top level content.
Duplicated content – an old-fashioned SEO tactic was to write an identical service page for every location, switching out only the name of the city. This led to the web being flooded with duplicated content.
Misleading content – if the title indicated the page was about a subject, but the content failed to deliver any real information.
High ad/content ratio – sites that have prioritised advertising space over content space. This includes a high volute of affiliate links.
Content farming – dovetailing with the duplicate content penalty, some sites would be filled with poor quality content that was often collected from other sites or written by low-paid content creators for the express purpose of ranking. These were often too short, full of mistakes and stuffed with keywords.
It’s not difficult to stay on the right side of Panda – simply write well-written, unique content. Don’t copy from others or try to rank for something you can’t provide some good information on. Make sure that you write enough words (an absolute minimum of 400 is best). If you need content writing support, Zinc can provide bespoke content writing services to help.
Links are an incredibly powerful part of SEO. They indicate to Google that the page is of value to others. The more links, the more trustworthy a site seems and the higher value they are. This is well-known, and often abused by low-quality SEO practitioners who are looking for a quick fix. Penguin has had many iterations, with additions to the update keeping it as effective as possible. The update attempts to combat poor link practice by targeting:
Bought or sold links – Google wants to know that the links to your site have been earned. It’s possible to buy links online, but these tend to be from low-quality sites with irrelevant content. They’re easy to spot, and will be penalised by Google.
Reciprocal linking – this used to be a well-used tactic for link building; offering a link for one in return. It’s considered poor practice now, and offers little SEO benefit.
Automated link builders – Some automated programmes can build links to your site. These will be built without any evaluation of relevancy or quality.
PBN links – Some black hat SEOs try to take link building into their own hands by building networks of fake sites to build links from. Once these are found, the entire network of links will be taken down.
To avoid a link-based penalty, it’s necessary to be constantly aware of your site’s link profile. You’re not in full control of who links to you, so if you notice a link that’s spammy or bad quality, make a note of it and investigate. You can contact the site owner to take it down, but if this doesn’t work then truly bad links should be disavowed using Search Console.
Hummingbird was a big change in the world of SEO. Unlike Panda and Penguin, which focused on solving one primary issue, Hummingbird was a reworking of the core algorithm and is rumoured to have affected many areas of the algorithm. Hummingbird is less about penalties and more about accuracy. You won’t necessarily lose rankings if you don’t follow its guidelines, but you will easily be beaten by other more effective SEO practitioners who do consider it. Hummingbird is looking to help deliver better results through targeting:
Keyword-stuffing – a tactic that’s come up before, keyword stuffing is often linked to irrelevant content. Hummingbird was a more intelligent algorithm that understood search intent. Therefore, if somebody was searching for ‘best pad thai in Northampton’, the search knows that you’re looking for restaurants, not recipes.
Local search results – As a result of the fight against keyword stuffing, local pages were hit hard. Knowledge graph (the box that brings up a snippet of information) was launched the previous year, and Hummingbird caused a lot of local results to appear in these with automatically collected data.
Answers to questions – it’s thought that the release of Hummingbird was a preparation for the future of voice search. The sites that rank well now are the ones that answer a question, instead of targeting a single exact-match keyword.
As outlined before, it’s not common for Hummingbird to lead to a penalty. However, in order to compete in a world where the search results are built on this foundation, it’s best to know what it’s looking for. Answer questions, don’t worry too much about an exact keyword, and focus on delivering a complete solution to a search.
Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird were game-changers in the world of SEO. Others have been named and announced – in late 2018, the Medic update affected healthcare websites across the internet.
The Zinc SEO Team are always on the lookout for an algorithm update. They’re not hard to spot – a consistent and severe fluctuation in rankings across all our clients sets the alarm bells ringing, and then it’s an investigation to find what we can do to cater to the new requirements and maintain results. If you’re hoping for an SEO Team who are always prepared to protect your site from Google’s changes, talk to us today.
We’re in the mood for love here at Zinc Digital. Building relationships in business is just like building relationships in every other part of life – it takes work, resilience and strategy, but can reap infinite reward. With happy customers comes repeat business, referrals and retention.
So how do you create a lead generation and sales strategy that makes your customers fall head over heels for you?
Start with yourself
Just like in relationships, the best partnerships come to those who are comfortable in what they want. Before you even start looking you need to know exactly who you’re trying to attract so that you can be sure you’ll be able to deliver the best service. Look at the data you’ve got available to you – who’s buying, who’s enquiring, and who isn’t. You can then create personas based on these demographics, so you’ll know that when you create everything from your website to your paid campaigns, this is who you’re talking to.
The value of personas continues through to customer experience. By knowing who you’re targeting and what they want, you’ll be able to carry this knowledge through to the way that you deliver the service so that it feels tailored, fostering loyalty and bringing your customers back every time.
Gone are the days of the fast talking salesman. Today’s buyer is well researched, skeptical, and can tell when they’re being sold to. Just like in relationships, success comes when you show the real you. If you’re in sales and you’ve not heard of the ‘know-like-trust’ principle, it’s something that needs to become integral to your process.
Brand awareness campaigns can be looked down on by greedy business owners who want to see immediate conversions. Though the end goal should always be conversions and profit, the road to fostering these is know-like-trust. If they don’t know your name, like what you do and trust that you can do it well then your sale will never take off. By putting yourself out there, sharing value that your client wants to see (and not just talking about yourself) and showing that you’re consistent and considerate, you’ll be able to build an ongoing relationship that’s more valuable than a hundred short-term, low value clients.
It starts with expectation management. Just like a good relationship will communicate about where you both want things to go and what you’ll want in life, a business relationship needs to have a clear understanding of what you’ll be providing and the way it will all work. If a problem arises, tell your customers what’s going on and how it’s going to affect the product delivery as soon as you can. Most people are happy to allow for extenuating circumstances as long as it doesn’t come to light following a failure to deliver.
Show them some love
Relationships need nurturing. The worst mistake any business can do is let the relationships that were built during the sales process drop because they’re ‘no longer with sales’. Simply reaching out with a holiday greeting, an existing customer offer, or just checking in to make sure that they’re happy will make all the difference. Treating your customers like they’re on a production line will only ever mean that they don’t come back.
SEO is an incredibly important step in your digital marketing journey. It’s the reason your future customers will be able to find you online, so it’s important to find the right agency that can get you the results you need.
Once you’ve researched an agency and made a few calls, how do you know that you’re dealing with a good quality agency? Make sure to ask them some telling questions before you start anything.
Any industry experience?
It’s natural to look for an SEO agency that’s got experience in your industry. They’ll already know the online landscape, the keywords that are valuable and have contacts that can help you build links. Nevertheless, it’s far more important for your agency to be an SEO expert than an industry expert. As long as they’ve got the case studies to show they’re great at what they do, any industry experience is simply and added bonus.
What other services do you offer?
Digital Marketing is a world that has a lot of options. It’s unusual to find an agency that is purely SEO, but an agency with other services can be incredibly helpful. For startups, a boost of PPC can really help gain traffic. Having a creative design resource can ensure your landing pages are optimised for conversion and having a content department will support your SEO strategy. If you’re aware and open to these options, a good agency will be able to show you a well rounded strategy.
What are the KPIs?
In Digital Marketing, success isn’t one thing. When it comes to SEO, we’re hoping to rank your website highly for relevant keywords, but that’s not the be all and end all. We also want to make sure that your traffic is going up, and that as a result of that you’re getting more conversions. If your agency is just telling you that you’re looking at rankings, they’re not looking at the big picture.
How long will it take to get results?
This is a quick way to weed out an SEO agency that’s just saying what they think you want to hear. A poorly run SEO agency will usually make promises and tell you that you’ll be on the first page of Google within a month. As much as we’d love for this to be true, it’s not always how it works. It’s far better to hear the truthful answer: it’s impossible to predict, but we’ve got a strategy that’s built around your business and your website as it stands.
How do you go about link building?
Link building is a contentious issue in the world of SEO. Having links to your site is incredibly important, but low-quality SEO practitioners often cut corners here. As a result, you’re far more likely to see penalties from low quality links than a high ranking. Saying they don’t practice this at all is either a mistake or a lie. The best answer is to find industry relevant websites and to find links through trusted sources or outreach.
How much input do you need from us?
This questions doesn’t have so much of a right or wrong answer – it’s simply whether they’re going to be working in a way that suits you. At Zinc, we will sometimes ask for input to gain access to your site and make changes, request sign-off on content, and suggest a monthly meeting so you’re in the loop. Some agencies will ask you to write your own content, some will prefer to be left to it and you’ll only hear from them every now and then. If you know what to expect, you’ll know if the agency is a good fit for you.
In a world filled with SEO experts, it can be difficult to know if you’ve found a good one. If you’ve been able to find them through an online search, you can already be confident that they know what they’re doing, but it can take some industry insight to sort the wheat from the chaff. Luckily, you’ve got Zinc Digital to help.
If you’re looking for an SEO agency, we’re one you can trust. Zinc has been in business for more than 14 years, learning and adapting the way we work to get great results from tried and tested techniques.
We offer a free SEO health check that can tell you just what your current agency may be missing. Talk to us today to learn more.
2018 has been a year of great change for Google Ads. It’s been re-christened from AdWords, and has undergone a full rebrand in the way it looks and operates. The next step in this year of reinvention is a step that means great things for advertisers and our clients alike: Responsive Search Ads.
Responsive Search Ads are the biggest change in the way Google Ads works since 2016, when Expanded Search Ads were launched. They changed the way that traditional search ads work for us behind the scenes, providing hundreds of new options for our customers on the front end.
With a traditional search ad, a static text ad is created with a single headline and text. Each variation is manually created, making testing a long process. With the new responsive ads, you’re able to write up to 15 headlines and 4 different descriptions that will dynamically combine to test over 43,000 ad options. As your ad runs, Google intelligently collects data on how they perform, collecting data signals on browsing habits, devices and engagement. With this data, the responsive ad will begin to show the highest performing variations more, optimising the adverts until they’re performing at their best.
Furthermore, Responsive Search Ads are bigger than their predecessors, allowing your ad to take up more space and push competitors down the page. When writing, we suggest getting truly creative. 15 variations of the same theme won’t make a good test – try things that are out of your comfort zone and your usual messaging. They just might work, and if they don’t, they won’t be shown as frequently.
As an agency running successful PPC campaigns for many clients, we’re always happy to see a development that offers more chances for our clients to gain sales and revenue. We can’t wait to see the positive effects that larger ads with a greater capacity for testing will have on our campaigns.
To get an expert take on Responsive Text Ads and to begin your journey into successful paid advertising, get in touch with the PPC team at Zinc Digital today. We’ll be able to guide you through best practices to help you create a dynamic, high-converting text ad.
Healthcare is one of the most competitive industries on the web, for very good reason. A Healthcare company that can be found easily online is benefitting from being the first thing that millions of searchers are seeing. According to Google, one in every 20 searches online are health related. If your business appears in any of those searches you’re reaching an incredible audience, building a relationship based on authority and brand awareness that will benefit you immeasurably going forward.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the practice of refining a website to give it the best chance of appearing high up in a Google search. The value of a high search engine ranking cannot be undersold; without it, you won’t be found. It’s as simple as that.
Unfortunately for most Healthcare providers, the competitive nature of the industry makes SEO a difficult task. It takes a professional knowledge of both the healthcare industry and the ever-changing world of SEO to be in with a chance of succeeding.
A successful Healthcare SEO campaign needs to include the following things:
You might think that SEO all happens with keywords, but it’s been a long time since that was all it took. Now, search engines look at your website very closely from the code they’re built with to the content on the site. Everything has to have SEO in mind, so if your site isn’t up-to-date, or you didn’t build it to SEO best practice, you’re far less likely to rank. Even things you may not have noticed, like the green padlock that indicates a site is secure, might not be present if you don’t have an up-to-date SSL Certificate.
Depending on your CMS, it might not be as hard as you may think to solve this. WordPress offers plugins that can help bring your site up-to-date. For the best results, get the advice of somebody who will be able to audit your site and highlight any problems you might miss.
Smartphones are used for 62% of health information searches, so you need to make sure that you’re accommodating for your audience not only from an SEO perspective, but a user experience perspective. Consider mobile appointment bookings, a responsive site and a way to find directions quickly to make sure that your mobile customers have everything they need at their fingertips.
When it comes to Mobile SEO, there are slightly different rules to a standard strategy. You need to be aware of your mobile page loading speed and the responsivity of your site, as well as the keywords you use. Mobile searchers tend to type differently to desktop searchers, so it’s vital that these types of keywords are accounted for in addition to the traditional keywords you may already be using.
For the majority of healthcare providers, local business is the only business you want. A nationwide page one ranking is incredible, but the majority of your new patients will be arriving from your local area. Patients want treatment and products from a location that’s near to them. Identify the locations near you that you want to target and begin a local SEO campaign that addresses these places specifically. Local SEO combines citations, off-page links and your on-page content to distinguish which locations your business is serving.
Trust is vital in the healthcare business, and it’s no different in healthcare SEO. Just as your patients know that you’re a qualified medical professional with the skills they need, Google needs to know that your site is relevant and trusted by others. It does this by creating a ‘Trust Score’, evaluating the links to your site from other websites. If these links are from high-profile, trustworthy sites, you will see a benefit. Conversely, if they’re from low-quality sites, your site will lose ranking.
Trust Flow is often the decider between two sites that are well optimised on-site. If you have a great trust flow, you’ll rank more highly than your competitors who may not. To achieve this, create citations on online directories and reach out to other sites to gain a link.
In an online world with lots of competitors, it’s in your best interests to know what they’re doing. Not only can you see what others are doing right, but you’re able to see the things they haven’t got quite right. With this information, a good SEO professional will be able to create a strategy that can take advantage of any missed opportunities, pushing your rankings above your competitor.
Competitor research requires some insider knowledge and some specialist software that’s hard to come by if you’re trying to optimise your site alone. For this part, an SEO professional will be able to audit your competitors and discover the things you should be making the most of.
For a competitor audit, an expert opinion or a full strategy that will help shoot your healthcare business to the top, speak to the expert SEO team at Zinc today. We’ll be happy to help.
Google AdWords is full of underused accounts that are lying dormant. This could be for many reasons – you’ve focused your efforts on another kind of digital marketing, your past agency wasn’t working out, or even a forgotten password! These unused accounts are taking up valuable resources, and therefore slowing down AdWords for the users who are logging in and spending money regularly.
In a recent tweet, Google announced that it would be cleaning up these dormant accounts. From May, any AdWords accounts that haven’t spent in the last 15 months would begin to be cancelled. If your account hasn’t been used for a while, it’s likely that it’s up for cancellation.
The only way to avoid a cancellation is to begin spending money on your AdWords account. That’s where we can help. It shouldn’t be a case of spending a little and then letting your AdWords account fall into disuse again. AdWords is an incredibly effective way to boost sales and drive traffic to your account, so talk to our PPC team to revitalise your AdWords for good.
When your account is cancelled, you’ll not only lose access, but you’ll lose all the valuable historical data from any campaigns you’ve run in the past. You won’t be able to set up any campaigns and use adwords at all, but if you have any unspent prepaid budget, it will be returned to you. It’s possible to reactivate a cancelled account, but after reactivation, you’re up for cancellation again after three months of inactivity.
If you’re thinking of reactivating, it’s a good idea to get some professional advice. A lot has changed on AdWords over the months, so there might be new strategies that would work for you and better ways to organise your campaigns. Reviving an old, unsuccessful campaign isn’t the best way to find new success on AdWords.
For some, it might even be a better option to start from scratch and set up a new adwords account with the most efficient groundwork for you. This way, you won’t have any outdated information and you’re sure to be starting with your best foot forward.
If you’ve used AdWords before but have let it lapse, let the team at Zinc prevent a cancellation whilst improving your leads, conversion and traffic. Talk to us today to learn more.
E commerce has been an important part of the online landscape since it began. In the space of 20 years, the way that we research and buy products has changed beyond recognition. In the age of technology, progress is happening faster than ever before. That’s why it’s even more important to remain well versed with the trends and forecasts in the industry.
Statista predicts that global e commerce sales will increase to 4.5 trillion by 2021; we’re in the middle of a boom that’s showing no signs of stopping. Only the stores that can reach their customers online will be making the most of the potential for sales that they have.
The first step in achieving this is understanding the environment you’re about to go into. That’s why you should know the changes we’re expecting to see in the world of e commerce this year.
Users today are increasingly mobile. 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using a device, and this will only grow. That’s why you need to make sure that mobile purchases are not only a possibility, but a priority when it comes to e commerce. It needs to be easy to navigate and make a purchase without a long load time or unresponsive pages. Without this, you’re missing out on hundreds of users who are researching and purchasing online.
As the world of e commerce becomes increasingly competitive, intelligence is the advantage that will separate the successful businesses from the rest. AI is already becoming a part of daily life – when it comes to e commerce, it will be used to make the buying experience more customer aware. Recommendations will be personalised towards each individual, and you’ll even be able to identify future customers based on their browsing habits and interests.
E commerce automation used to be the exclusive luxury of giants like Amazon and Google. Automated processes would follow a person’s behaviour on your site, and send a prompt email or suggestions when a user left a purchase uncompleted – and the technology behind it was a closely guarded secret. This potential is now available to businesses of all sizes, enabling a top level service no matter what resources you have.
As a digital agency, we see the trends developing in tandem across all of our service. Voice search is already gaining huge potential in SEO, and will grow with e commerce to match. It’s already possible to ask your phone or virtual assistant (such as Alexa) to search for something for you. Soon, you’ll be able to ask it to purchase a product without needing to even click a button.
E commerce is a business that will never slow down. Its growth in recent years has been exponential, and will only continue to bring success to those who are doing it right. In 2018, ‘doing it right’ means catering to an audience who need their e commerce experience to be quick, easy and tailored to them.
For help implementing a solution that will help your e commerce business adapt and grow, whether it’s marketing, technological or creative, speak to the team at Zinc Digital today.
At Zinc, we’ve worked with many charities. We love working with a diverse range of businesses, but charities might possibly be our favourite. Not only can we be a small part of something truly admirable, but we’re able to help these nonprofits grow by providing them with the guidance to really make a difference.
Many charities have been operating for years, but haven’t modernised their digital approach. To help, we’ve put together a checklist for nonprofits that can help you build a strategy for digital success. Some of this might seem basic, and some we might be able to help you with. All of it is key to growing your charity.
Before you start!
Zinc is here to help you as we’ve helped many others. Whether it’s a Google Grant or a full website overhaul, you’re in safe hands with us.
Contact us today to get started!
‘I’ve used Google AdWords before and it was a waste of money’. This is something we hear almost every time a new client comes in. We’ve heard all the horror stories, and we’ve cleaned up the messes that have been left by people who aren’t sure how to run a profitable PPC campaign.
And the truth is: yes. Google Adwords will waste your money – if you aren’t working to an informed, strategised plan of action.
It’s far too common for individuals, or even inexperienced digital marketers, to misuse Google Adwords. Unfortunately, this will lead to you wasting money on clicks that aren’t ever going to result in a conversion because they’re incorrectly targeted and poorly implemented.
All too often, we see accounts that are delivering ads to nationwide, or even worldwide locations. They are targeting the wrong range of keywords, and have opted for a broad match on the ones they’ve chosen. These basic mistakes show that even the most fundamental level of research hasn’t been completed, and therefore your advert is being set up to fail. If you’re not sure about your audience, there’s no way that you can deliver them an advert that they’re likely to click on. It’s as simple as that.
Adwords has a whole host of options for you to use that can help you build a set of higher converting ads. Ad Groups are a vastly underused feature, as are extensions. Advanced location targeted is hidden by default, and it’s even possible to set up your adwords account with ‘Standard’ features, which removes many of the options before you’ve even begun. When you’re using none of these features, you’re automatically at a disadvantage.
Your ads are getting clicks because your audience are interested in the information in the ad copy. Simply sending them to a homepage doesn’t retain this interest – it gives them an overwhelming amount of information, none of which is directly related to what they were looking for. A dedicated landing page which is tailored to your ad, and the offer you’re using, will help you keep that interest and direct it towards a conversion.
With Google Adwords, you get an incredible insight into the way your ad is performing. Another far too common mistake is simply setting an ad to run and leaving it. You should be monitoring the data you’re getting and applying that knowledge to make improvements to each ad individually. This data is the closest thing you have to direct audience feedback, so you should be paying close attention to it.
Managing an Adwords account is a full time job. It requires regular check-ins to make sure that you’re not spending on a keyword you shouldn’t be or targeting an audience you hadn’t thought to exclude yet. Most people already have a full time job to be doing, so that’s where we come in. It’s not just about the expert knowledge that we’re applying – it’s also about the regular time that we dedicate to making sure that your account is doing as well as it can.
The best advice we can give to those who believe that Adwords is a waste of money is to let us have a professional look at your account. We offer a free PPC health check that can flag up the areas that you might be neglecting. It’s obligation free, but we welcome the opportunity to take an underperforming PPC account and show doubters just how successful it can be with the right management.
Join the list of Zinc clients who are happy to be proven wrong about Adwords – talk to our team today.
It’s often the worst nightmare for a webmaster: the dreaded email from Google via search console that informs of a manual action being taken against the website, which is likely to mean that your Google rankings are about to decrease.
At BrightonSEO, I attended a talk about Google penalties by Kaspar Szymanski, who used to work within the web spam team at Google. Kaspar spoke at length about the different types of manual actions that are applied against websites and the reasons behind them.
This type of manual action tends to relate to thin (which is generally considered by Google to be spammy) or low quality content such as doorway pages. Historically this was part of Google’s Panda algorithm, which was introduced by Google back in 2011. In 2016, Google announced that Panda was being incorporated into it’s core algorithm, rather than one off updates.
Usually, the penalty that comes with this action doesn’t mean your site will be completely removed from the search results, it just means that your site is less likely to be visible.
Removing this action will require a thorough review of your website and your content. Once this has been completed, a reconsideration request can be submitted to Google for your site to be reviewed by a member of their web spam team.
This type of action tends to relate to large community websites, such as blogs or forums, where the comments function is being exploited to add links en masse to other websites or other black hat tactics.
There are a number of ways that you can resolve this before submitting a reconsideration request to Google. This includes making sure your software is running the latest version and you’ve downloaded any recent security patch updates, keeping your forum or blog well moderated and limiting your users ability to link off to other websites.
You’d expect to see this manual action if your website has been compromised by hackers, where malicious code has been injected into the site. It is usually something that is associated with open source software, especially if themes / software / plugins haven’t been kept up to date.
This can not only be a time consuming exercise to fix, including having to possibly re-install your website from a backup, but it also has additional complications. This could be that your website being shown in the search results as being hacked, which in turn is likely lower your click through rate as visitors are unlikely to click on a result that has been hacked.
Once the malicious code has been cleared from your website, the site must be submitted to Google via search console for a reconsideration request.
Many webmasters are huge fans of structured data. It is an increasingly popular way to jazz up your organic search results and make yourself stand out from the crowd. Whilst having this is an amazing way to increase your SERP click through rates, if not implemented correctly it can result in Google giving the site a manual action. This will need to be cleaned up and submitted to Google for a reconsideration request. A good tool to use to check your structured data markup is https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool/u/0/
This is by far, one of the most common manual actions given out by Google. This is where Google has deemed the links coming back to your site as unnatural. Often seen as one of the most severe penalties Google gives out, this particular penalty requires a lot of work to resolve, especially if the inbound links are being automatically generated and are continually growing. Often, even changing your domain name won’t help as Google may then apply the same penalty to your new website.
The best way of managing this kind of action, is to run a backlink audit, using tools such as HREFS, SEO SpyGlass or Majestic, which will then give you a list of all the links coming to your site. In the first instance, it is advisable (if possible) to get in touch with the webmasters directly to request for the link to be removed. If this isn’t possible, then a disavow file would need to be submitted to Google in your reconsideration request.
Historically part of the Penguin algorithm, which was first released by Google in 2012, in 2016, Google announced that there would be no further updates to the Penguin algorithm (after 4.0) and that this would become part of the core algorithm.
If you’ve got a technical understanding of Google algorithms and understand the reason why you’ve had the manual action applied to your site, then you’d be able to self manage, however, these manual actions are often incredibly complex and require an experienced SEO specialist to thoroughly investigate and diagnose the exact cause of the action.If you’ve had one of these emails from Google, which has resulted in a drop off in rankings and organic traffic, please get in touch and we can work with you to get your site back to where it should be.
On April 27th, the Zinc Digital marketing team took to the road and visited Brighton to experience the biggest digital marketing event of the year: brightonSEO. It’s a place to learn about the newest developments in SEO, which is an industry that’s all about adapting and learning.
Fili Wiese from Search Brothers led a conference providing help to those webmasters and site owners who struggle to optimise your website for search robots.
So, if you have ever wanted to know more about why Google does or does not index or crawl your content, then this is a technical blog post just for you.
Below are the top headlines and considerations for what you need to focus on in 2018 to achieve better website indexing.
1. Google bot needs to access your website; consider the importance of and issues of canonicalisation.
2. Be aware of error 5xx’s; how much time Google takes to download your pages.
Why invest in page speed?
Google bot is very conservative in the sense that it does not want to crash your website. If it feels it may crash your site, the bot will slow down and impact how much of the crawl will be completed.
4. Consider your web content and how available it is for users across multiple devices.
What is your crawl budget (prioritisation)?
You should know which pages of your website Google crawls.The first crawl may be the top down, then moving to a random crawl with a crawl scheduler as not all URLs are crawled equally.
5. Google may try to crawl URLS which dont exist in its search for new contents. It’s therefore important to manage 404 URLs correctly.
6. Links help discovery and prioritisation towards crawl, it’s important to have contextual internal links as well as a well planned menu architecture.
7. Google still loves new content, planning content around your crawl schedule is often overlooked.
8. External linking (new links coming to website) are still an important factor for assisting with indexing. Building links to new pages is consideration to drive bot and user traffic to your new content.
9. Do not link to internal redirects is still recognised as a major faux paux, it’s worth auditing your incoming links to ensure that they are correctly assigned you could be losing SEO authority from simply having your audience and publishers incorrectly link to your webpages.
10. Using breadcrumbs in your site navigation is a well recognised strategy for helping Google discover and crawl your website, even in 2018.
11. Avoid duplicate content, this is unlikely to be crawled as a priority by Google Bot.
12. Canonical URLs can be ignored by Google, but Google cannot ignore a 301 redirect, it is well worth reviewing your URL redirect strategies.
Sitemaps – How do you get the best results?
13. It may sound obvious but do not include necessary URLs. Only those which should be priority or will return conversions and value for your business or organisation are required.
If you care about SEO we recommend to audit your website regularly, every 12 months; if you have questions about indexation and your website then give Zinc Digital a call on 01604 59 89 99 we’d love to hear from you.
When the Zinc Digital Team went to BrightonSEO on April 27th, we each had a different mission. For Chris, our Head of SEO, it was to meet as many fellow SEO geeks as possible. For Phil, our Digital Account Manager, it was to get the answers to some hotly debated questions in the Zinc office. So, as the rest of us took notes, Phil took to the streets and asked some of the biggest names in SEO a few very important things.
Zinc pride themselves on always being at the forefront of the newest developments in everything digital marketing. Thats why weve attended BrightonSEO for three years running, and we plan on being a staple of the conference for years to come! To find out how what we learned can help your business get onto the first page of Google, get your free SEO Audit today.
Zinc Digital sent our marketing team to the biggest digital marketing event in the UK – BrightonSEO. It’s the place where some of the best marketing minds in the country get together to talk about the latest developments in our field.
Khaleel, our Head of PPC, went to a talk by Arianne Donoghue where he learned about the Magnificent 6 – a toolkit of Paid Media resources that can help maximise the performance of Paid Media Advertising Accounts.
1. Identify Client Business Objectives
In order to successfully improve the performance of Paid Media Advertising activity, it’s vital we understand our client’s Business Objectives. This enables us to implement an extensive Paid Media Marketing Plan on how we meet our client’s Business Objectives from paid media advertising goals & targets to relevant paid media advertising channels.
2. Channel Strategy
All Digital Marketing channels play a key role in the customer journey, however some businesses rely heavily on Google Paid Search. You may want to implement a video marketing campaign on YouTube if you want to raise the awareness of a brand or product & a Prospecting Display marketing strategy to acquire new users to your website. It’s really important to understand your channel strategy because a Digital Marketing channel strategy is unique to your business.
One of the many buzzwords in Paid Media Advertising right now is Attribution. Many businesses only rely on “last click” attribution. However in 2018 & beyond businesses need to understand the many other attribution models for their business based on their channel strategy. This will enhance your Paid Media Advertising to understand what role each of your Digital Marketing Channels are playing in the customer journey.
Another important buzzwords at the moment is Audiences. Audiences are playing a bigger role in Paid Media Advertising than ever before. Therefore it is important to tailor your creative based on the audience you are targeting. Just like your channel strategy, your creative needs to be tailored based on your audience. This will enhance your Click Through Rate & therefore improve your ROI.
On average users only spend a split second viewing online adverts – therefore it’s important to ensure your creatives are highly relevant to your users & also eye-catching. Your creatives will play an important role in the channel strategy depending on the Digital Marketing channels chosen in your strategy – You may have Text Ads, Display & Remarketing Responsive Ads & also Social Media Video Ads. Ensuring all of these Ads are tailored to your audience is essential for success.
6. Landing Pages
CRO can have the best ROI across all channels. Why? Because all Digital Marketing channels are driving new & returning visitors to your website – therefore making tweaks to your landing pages will improving the conversion rate of all users to your website & improve your ROI.
Zinc Digital are never afraid to try new things, especially if it means that our clients could be getting even better results from our Paid Search services. To see what a difference a professionally managed PPC page could do for your business, get in touch today.
On Friday 27th April, the Zinc Digital Marketing Team attended the biggest digital marketing event in the country – BrightonSEO. We like to be at the forefront of the newest developments in everything we do, so we sent our team armed with notepads and plenty of Zinc business cards. There were talks on everything from advanced SEO to the most experimental techniques around.
Our in-house Content Writer, Caitlin, attended a talk by Eleni Cashell where she explained the pitfalls, consequences and solution for duplicate content. This is an issue that Zinc’s SEO team can encounter quite regularly, and that we’d love our clients to know about as well.
The internet is full of duplicated content – 29% of it, and rising every day. In a situation when your site has the exact same content as another site, the Google crawlers don’t know who is the most relevant, or who the content originally belonged to. As a result, everybody’s ranking suffers.
Eleni works for a site that offers information for prospective students, to help them choose a university. Part of this involved content being supplied from universities to describe and sell themselves to the site visitors. However, the majority of the content supplied by their users was lifted directly from their own websites and marketing material, essentially filling Eleni’s site with hundreds of pages of duplicate content.
This duplicate content was having a significant negative effect on the site rankings. Clients were asking why the site wasn’t getting the traffic and attention it should, when in fact the target market were simply finding the information in the other places it appeared on the web.
Eleni then embarked on a mammoth mission: removing and rewriting every piece of duplicate content on the site.
As a Digital Agency, Zinc often requires our clients to send us the content that they want in their site. More often than not, this is content that is copied directly from a previous site or even from a competitor – and this can spell real trouble for your search engine rankings. If your site uses press releases or features product descriptions, you need to be aware of the amount of duplicated content on your site.
Once you know exactly what you’re dealing with, make the plan of action:
Find and list every piece of duplicate content – you can use Copyscape or Google to pinpoint it all.
Internally and externally communicate with everybody who will be affected by your content audit. Will you be rewriting it or removing it? Make sure that your clients and team are aware of the change, and those who will need to be doing the work are aware of what is happening and why.
Formulate and stick to guidelines. You need to make sure that the new content is high quality, not still duplicated and delivered to you on time.
Have a single point of contact for your clients to speak with, and have this person maintain a spreadsheet to keep track of the project progress. Allow feedback and listen to them.
Maintain your content quality once you are finished.
As always, Google can take a while to show the benefits of SEO. Patience will pay off. After two years, Eleni’s site is now reaping the rewards of their unique content strategy. They’ve seen a 51% increase on entrances, and over 100% increase on postgraduate search as a direct result. That’s an incredible result, from a change that every one of us can make.
At the end, you’ll have a site full of exclusive content. That’s a USP that most can’t claim, so make sure that your hard work is not only appreciated, but celebrated. This is something that can appear on marketing collateral and social media, but only if you maintain that standard going forward.
Zinc Digital are here to help with your SEO strategy. We don’t accept duplicate content on our site, or for any of the clients we work with and write for. That’s why we get the best SEO results in Northamptonshire. Get in touch with us today to see what we can do for you.
The home and garden business is built around the seasons. With spring comes the planting of new bulbs and a spring clean, and with winter comes frost protection and holiday decoration. Just as you stock your shelves to account for this seasonality, you should be considering your digital marketing in the same way.
Anything from the TV listings to the weather can affect your online sales, so always stay aware and ready to respond. Sudden heat wave? You should be thinking about lawnmowers, hose attachments, and outdoor furniture. In a cold snap, it’s time to push frost protection and bird feeds.
Remarketing is a form of paid advertising in which you are able to advertise to your customers who have already visited your site as they browse the internet. Ads are shown over the Google Display Network, which is a collection of websites that allow advertising on their page. This includes YouTube, as well as some of the most frequently visited sites on the internet. The Display Network reaches over 90% of internet users, so you can be sure that your previous customers won’t forget about you!
Remarketing can be used to deliver your customers the product they need, before they realise they need it. By utilising your own industry knowledge, you’ll be able to predict the products that people will be searching for.
Vegetables are the perfect example for this kind of marketing. Many people have a vegetable garden, which will require different planting dates for many of the crops. Therefore, if a customer has already bought a product from your vegetable range, it’s a prime marketing opportunity to advertise other vegetables at the perfect time to plant them.
Gardening is all about working with the seasons. We think your digital marketing should be the same. We’ll help you plan a digital marketing strategy that fits your home and garden business perfectly. Get in touch today for a free consultation.
An increasing number of Healthcare companies are creating an online presence for themselves. This is a great way to grow your practice or spread important messages; the vast majority of people begin their search for a new service online.
When a user arrives at your website, you want to convert them to a lead. A conversion is simply when a user takes the action you hope they will – whether this is to fill in a form, book an appointment. You’ll know if your website is working for you if you get patients approaching you online.
If you’re not getting the conversions you want, make sure that you’ve considered some of the following tips.
In the health industry, almost 60% of the traffic is on a mobile device. A site that’s not prepared to accommodate users who are on a device is a site that will be losing customers. There are a few ways to optimise your site for mobile, but the best way is to ensure that it is fully responsive.
It’s important to know where you’re starting if you’re hoping to improve. If you don’t already have Google Analytics set up, this should be your first port of call. From this, you’ll be able to see how your site is performing, so you can then see the results! You’ll also know what a normal conversion rate is for you – for some, a conversion rate of 3% is great, and for others it’s very low.
There are many things that could be putting off a potential client. We usually recommend CRO – Conversion Rate Optimisation – to identify what is working for or against your site. This tracks how users behave when they arrive at your site, so that you can clearly see where they might be getting turned away. At the very least, ask somebody who has never used your site to try a conversion. They might be able to tell you what is putting off your site visitors.
Once you’ve identified the issue, it’s time to make changes and see the results. As Digital Marketers, we’re advocates of testing a variety of solutions. If the buttons on the site aren’t being used, try a few different Calls to Action, or another colour. By using A/B testing, you can try out two solutions and choose the one that performs best. Don’t be afraid to try something that you might not be sure about – you might be surprised.
Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to improving a conversion rate, there’s one general rule to keep in mind: Keep It Simple. Don’t make it difficult for your customers to find out the information they need or to get in touch with you. Make sure that your location is clear, your phone number is on every page, and that you don’t use too much complex terminology. Forms should be on the front page, or at the very least be signposted. If your customer has to search too hard, they will go somewhere that’s easier to interact with.
As Digital Marketers, our advice is to be constantly monitoring your site and making improvements. This should be through CRO, customer feedback, and your own knowledge of your industry. There’s rarely such thing as an 100% conversion rate, so there will always be at least some room for improvement.
To find out more about Conversion Rates and how Digital Marketing can help you, get in touch with Zinc Digital today.
A Content Management System (CMS) is the building blocks of almost every website on the internet. They’re used to build and manage sites, so the CMS that you choose will become an integral part of the way your business operates.
At Zinc, we use both WordPress and our bespoke CMS to build our sites. We’ve been in business for as long as WordPress has been available, so we’re well versed in helping our clients understand the risks and rewards of each system.
Best described, WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) which uses PHP and MySQL. WordPress is the most popular website management or blogging system in use on the World Wide Web, supporting more than 20% of all websites used today.
At Zinc, we have created our own proprietary CMS. It is created in a similar way to WordPress, using PHP and MySQL to create an easily manageable, modular system, but with one major difference: it is built and supported in house. This means that we have the capability to create bespoke functionality, build your site entirely around your requirements, and offer expert support on your system.
1. The great thing about WordPress is you can choose to use an existing theme design or have a theme designed just for you!
2. There are thousands of Plugins which integrate with WordPress, from galleries and forms to SEO and back ups. You name it, there is likely to be a pre developed Plugin which will suit you
3. WordPress is so easy to update.
Yes! As a blogging platform WordPress provide rich content and pages which can be easily crawled by search engines. Couple this with easy access to Open Graph data and easy population of metadata, you have access to professional level of SEO capability and a wide array of plugins to help optimise content and images further.
WordPress launched as a blogging system platform but has since become an option for everything from e-commerce to forums. Imagination truly is the limit with WordPress, so no matter how unusual your site is, get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.
Many think that WordPress comes with an integral SEO advantage, but this isn’t the case. WordPress has easily incorporated SEO plugins such as Yoast or All in One SEO, but these still need to be configured correctly and use properly aligned keywords to have any SEO benefit.
The fact that WordPress is Open Source leaves it vulnerable to online attacks. There have been many instances where WordPress sites across the internet have been taken down en masse through the discovery of one weakness. It’s key to consistently keep your WordPress updated to the most recent version to protect it from all known vulnerabilities.
WordPress is a collaborative effort – developers across the world have created plugins and themes for the platform. Not all of these are regularly updated, or even offer any kind of support. When choosing a plugin or theme, it’s best to search for one with support available.
By default, WordPress allows registered users to comment on blog posts. This creates an easy way for others to post links to their own websites, making your website a magnet for spam, link-requests and trackbacks. Comment systems must be manually removed, or constantly moderated to keep them clean and secure.
As WordPress sites often begin without any special functionality, it’s not uncommon to have ten or twenty plugins attached to a site in order to have forms, live chats, ecommerce capabilities, and more. Unless carefully planned, this amount of code can slow a website to detrimental levels. Search Engines can penalise sites that take too long to load resulting in low rankings.
Yes, Search engine love WordPress, that much we know is true. But we also know that WordPress easily creates duplicate content issues which Search Engines loathe. The tagging and category system in WordPress which creates so much SEO value can also create some major indexing problems, a confusing site map and pages which have almost no content which will pull down your Search Engine rankings.
WordPress is a great platform for launching high-quality websites, but like any website software the platform has both advantages and disadvantages.if you are looking for answers around WordPress, Bespoke CMS and scalable enterprise Content Management Systems, call us on 01604 59 89 99 – wed be happy to help.
Google Grants is a resource used by over 35,000 non-profits who depend on the grants offered to raise money, bring in volunteers, and spread the message across the internet.
As of the beginning of 2018, the way that Google Grants works has changed. Previously, there were no limitations to charities using this resource, and the only way that an account would be removed was if it breached the Adwords ToS. Now, Google is adding restrictions to Google Grants accounts that may result in many accounts being closed down.
These changes create goals for accounts to ensure they are performing well. If an account doesn’t achieve a CTR of over 5% on their keywords and phrases for two months, the account will be closed. This isn’t an unreasonable goal, but may results in many closures as charities without experience try to raise their CTR by the end of February.
There are also limitations on the kinds of keywords available to nonprofits. Broad or single-term keywords are no longer allowed, with a small list of exceptions. Keywords must now have a quality score of 3 or more, and use geotargeting to ensure a more qualified audience.
What’s more, campaigns must have a minimum of two ad groups, with at least two ads running at a time. It’s also mandatory to have sitelink extensions active. It seems that Google is trying to make sure that all Adwords accounts are run in a way that brings successful results, and will remove ones that don’t return these.
It’s not all bad news, however. To counteract the effects of these changes, Google has lifted the $2 bid cap, which used to make it difficult to spend the full $10,000 of grant each month. This will enable charities to have access to some keywords that were entirely out of reach before.
As these changes were made on January 1st, with only 17 days of notice, many charities are beginning the year at a disadvantage. They’re now working with keywords that are no longer profitable and a decreasing CTR as a result, with the new consequences of this on the horizon.
With knowledge of Google AdWords, these changes should be nothing to worry about. However, it’s important to understand and adapt to these changes to avoid an account closure.
For help with your Google Grants account, contact us today. We’ll perform a full healthcheck free of charge, to make sure that your account will stay profitable and effective in the months to come.
Were ending our 12 Days of Zincmas with the best one yet – a champagne balloon ride for two! Our lucky winner will be entitled to a champagne balloon flight for two, redeemable until the end of Dec 2018. Youll be taken on a flight just for you, over the Northamptonshire countryside. Make sure youre not afraid of heights!
Our flight will leave from a Northamptonshire location, so make sure to only apply if youre local to our area!
Competition open to businesses only. Terms and Conditions apply – for full T&Cs, please see here
Social Media is your secret weapon – you could reach hundreds of people with minimal investment, establish yourself as an industry expert, and develop a unique brand identity. We’re offering a full month of free social media management to show you just what we can do!
Terms and Conditions apply – for full T&Cs, please see here
Spread the word about your business to news outlets across your industry and location with a free press release. Just give us your most exciting new development and we’ll make sure that everybody hears about it.
Terms and Conditions apply – for full T&Cs, please see here
If your customers aren’t finding you online, you’re missing out on hundreds of sales. To be on the first page of Google, you need expert SEO. With a month’s free SEO from us here at Zinc, you’ll see exactly what a difference we can make.
Terms and Conditions apply – for full T&Cs, please see here
We think you deserve a treat this Christmas time! Weve got a hamper full of the little luxuries that will make your Christmas extra special.
At Zinc, we like to keep our friends happy, so were offering a hamper filled with goodies to you! Theres only one to win, so make sure you enter quickly!
Terms and Conditions apply – for full T&Cs, please see here
Do you already spend on your PPC advertising but see little to no return? There are many mistakes we see on a daily basis that are simple to make, but cost businesses dearly. Without well planned bids and a carefully targeted market, success in this area is hard to find.
Luckily, our PPC specialist, Carly, knows exactly what to look for with an underperforming PPC account. She’ll analyse your current keyword choices, targeting, bids and placement to see where your strategy is failing, and propose solutions that will help bring your paid search into a profitable lead generation machine.
We know that Digital Marketing can be a minefield. It’s a constantly changing environment that can get confusing if you’re not staying up-to-date. There can be a lot of questions that only a professional can really help you with.
We’re here to help – join us for a coffee and a chat. We’ll bring the mince pies, you bring all your questions for our SEO, PPC, Content and CRO specialists to answer. Whether you’d like an overview of it all, or a real insight into one specialism, we’re looking forward to sharing our expertise to help your business flourish.
Terms and Conditions apply – for full T&Cs, please see here
SEO depends on links, and we’re offering some of the best as a Christmas treat! We’ll give you 5 gold links with a domain authority of at least 10, worth up to £300, to improve your search engine rankings a holiday boost!
SEO is what will get you to the first page of Google – but it takes more than a few keywords to do it. Your site’s Domain Authority plays a huge part, and this is determined by how your site is discussed online – namely, backlinks.
To get domain authority, you need to have reputable sites linking to you. This can take a long time, especially if you’re unsure which sites will bring you a ranking improvement.
If you were to buy these, they would be worth up to £300. Luckily, we’re offering them free of charge, as a Christmas gift! Sign up here!
It’s often repeated in marketing – Content is King! Your site is your online business card, so you need to make sure that your content is representing you well.
With the right content, you can increase conversions, site traffic, and therefore sales. You need to ensure that your content is working for you – by selling every page of your site and spreading the word across the internet.
We’ll look over your site, not only for important basics like spelling, grammar and tone, but to create a content marketing strategy that will work hand in hand with your current digital marketing strategy. PPC, SEO and CRO all depend on copy – is yours working to your advantage?
Terms and Conditions apply – for full T&Cs, please see here
PPC (or pay per click advertising) is the perfect way to boost your site traffic, promote an offer, or increase your reach without waiting for the benefits of organic efforts to pay off.
Unfortunately, many clients come to us with a PPC horror story – they tried and wasted their time and money on an expensive campaign with no return. There are some common mistakes that can cost your business a lot.
It’s our mission to prove that PPC is one of the most effective ways of giving your business a boost. With our expert knowledge, you’ll see a return on your current campaigns, and see what a well managed campaign can do for you!
To be eligible to win, you must have an existing adwords account and have a monthly spend budget of £2000.
If you’ve not yet tried paid advertising, now is the time. It can help you reach hundreds of new customers who are looking for products and services just like yours. With a small amount of spend and a little professional know-how, you can find success online.
We’re offering a great value package deal today – a free £120 of ad spend and half price management for two months!
We’re a Google Partner agency, which means we have access to offers and vouchers that many others don’t. We’re passing this on to you, along with a 50% discount on your first two month’s management, so that you can see for yourself the difference a well managed campaign can make.
This offer is for those without a Google Adwords account – if you’ve already used adwords, check out tomorrow’s offer!
Here at Zinc, we love Christmas! So much so that we’re celebrating by giving away 12 wonderful prizes – one for each day of the 12 Days of Zincmas!
On every weekday from the 4th-19th of December we’ll be bringing you a different prize. We’ve got services from all of our marketing departments, as well as Christmas goodies and one incredible experience that you won’t want to miss.
You can enter by visiting our blog page and filling out the form you find there. Your submission only enters you to win that day’s prize, so don’t forget to come back for a chance to win each day.
You could win
A free SEO healthcheck
An £120 Google Voucher
1 month of free PPC management
A free Content healthcheck
5x DA10+ links worth up to £300
A free specialist consultation at our office
A free PPC healthcheck
A Zinc Christmas hamper
1 month free SEO services
A free press release
1 month free Social Media
A champagne Hot Air Balloon ride for two
Whatever your here’s a prize to suit everybody! Make sure you follow our social media pages, or just head straight to our blogs, to enter every day. We can’t wait to hear from you.
Terms and Conditions apply – for full T&Cs, please see here
SEO is the first step to online success. Without it, leads simply won’t be able to find your business amongst the many competitors out there. However, it can be difficult to get right. Methods change every few months, and common mistakes can see your site drop in rankings very quickly. Luckily, Zinc is here to help!
Our SEO expert will take a look at the way that search engines are seeing your site. There are hundreds of factors that are taken into account to determine your ranking – from keywords and what’s coded into the site, to how other people are talking about you online. We’ll assess it all to show you just what could be improved to get you to that top spot. What’s more, we’ll have a look at what your competitors are doing, so you can take advantage of any chance to outrank them in searches.
All of this information is up for grabs, completely free of charge! Sign up below to be in with a chance of winning.
Here at Zinc Digital, we’re big fans of website traffic of all kinds. We’ll help you plan your PPC campaign, which will bring a fast increase in traffic to your site, and we’ll help you use CRO to effectively convert them when they arrive.
But it’s undeniable that the most in-demand kind of traffic is organic traffic. Organic traffic is site visitors that have found your site independently. There are many ways to increase this, but they are rarely a quick solution. Consistently high levels of organic traffic takes a lot of effort, in the form of a continuous improvement plan.
SEO is vital to organic site traffic. The way that most potential visitors find your site will be through search engines, so ensure that your site is optimised well. In addition to this, you should be considering the following tips to grow your organic site traffic.
Often considered ‘Position 0’, getting your site on a Featured Snippet will do wonders for your traffic. It is the box at the top of Google that offers a quick, direct answer to a searched question. You don’t have to have top ranking to be featured – use long tail keywords to answer a specific question. Consider the question that will be asked, and offer a clear answer.
Give visitors a reason to visit your site that isn’t purely an interest in purchase. By investing in well-written, relevant and interesting content, you’ll bring many more to your site. Not only does a high number of visitors improve your search engine rankings, but you’ll gain a reputation as a company that knows what they are talking about. By sharing your name like this, you’ll get repeat visitors that may one day become customers.
Never underestimate the audience you could get from social media platforms. Depending on what kind of business you have, different channels could work for you. Nevertheless, by consistently promoting your business, blog posts and successes whilst also engaging with others, you’ll build relationships that will bring visitors to your site. Done well, you’ll have others linking to your content, which will improve your trust flow.
Keyword research is the first step you should take when beginning any SEO strategy. Many people only choose high-performing keywords, but the competition is often so fierce that all but the largest companies will be wasting their time. Instead, long-tail keywords that narrow down these search terms will get you much better results. They’ll have lower search volumes, but those that do search will be far more likely to convert.
It can be a timely process to increase your traffic, but it’s worth it. By understanding complex SEO techniques and building an online community, you can keep organic visitors coming to your site
For more information on how you can get organic traffic, or a free SEO Health Check, contact Zinc Digital today.
Digital Marketing is a fast moving business. As a Digital Marketing Agency, it’s our responsibility to remain at the forefront of every trend, so that our clients have every advantage in the online marketplace.
2018 is going to be an exciting year for SEO. It’s set to bring about some big changes, so make sure that you and your business are ready for them!
Mobile search already makes up 57% of all search traffic. This comes from devices such as tablets and smartphones. Google is constantly adapting their ranking factors to provide the most relevant, helpful content to their users, therefore they are going to be taking mobile into account. Google are creating two indexes – a mobile and a desktop. Most importantly, the mobile index is the primary one.
Mobile responsive design, page load speed and mobile-friendly media will all be factored into your search engine ranking. In order to maintain a high ranking, it’s important not to underestimate the impact that mobile indexing will have on your business. Tailor your website and SEO efforts to mobile search.
Accelerated Mobile Pages are Google’s answer to making their searches mobile friendly. The AMP icon appears on pages that have used the AMP software, which allows pages to load 4 times faster with far less data. These pages are stored on the Google AMP Cache, and therefore appear instantly in a variety of load optimisations.
AMP pages often appear on a carousel, encouraging mobile users to click. Although AMP is not a ranking factor, mobile users are far more likely to click on a carousel result, not bounce from a fast loading page, and spend time on a site that is easy to use. All of these will affect your SERPs.
Siri has been around for a long time, but it’s only in the past year that Voice Search has really taken off. With the launch of Alexa, Google Home and a constantly progressing market, marketers need to pay attention to Voice Search.
To optimise your site for voice search, you need to be considering long-tail keywords. As well as short, time-saving searches, consider the questions users might be asking their virtual assistants. Instead of ‘hairdresser northampton’, they might say ‘where’s the best hairdresser in Northampton’, and your landing pages need to reflect this.
Google’s constantly developing algorithms have one primary goal: to provide the most relevant content to users. High results can be achieved with your on and off-page SEO techniques, but the best thing to do to future-proof your strategies is to ensure that your content is consistently relevant.
High quality blogs will always have a high click-through-rate and be in consistent demand by searchers. This will only ever improve your trust flow and bring you traffic.
Searchers today are often looking for a quick answer. Google’s Answer Box provides these, lifting snippets of text, bullets, and tables to give the information as efficiently as possible. This information isn’t necessarily taken from the first search result – if you provide accurate, reliable information and ensure that your language is consistent with the search terms, you can still appear above all of the listed results.
The best SEO strategy is to maintain an ongoing improvement plan, remaining informed of every update and consistently adapting to it. What worked for you last year may not work in the new year, so make sure you contact us for a free SEO Health Check to see where you can improve your site.
Ad Blockers are quickly becoming a part of the everyday browsing experience. In the UK, 16% of devices use an Ad Blocker, with many of those devices belonging to Millennials. Furthermore, in 2018, Google Chrome will release an update with an integrated Ad Blocker. This will block ads from sites that don’t comply with their standards, preventing the billions of Chrome users from seeing certain online advertising.
Marketers might think that the rise of Ad Blockers signals the decline of paid advertising, but this is not the case.
In a Google survey, it was found that 69% of people were motivated to install ad blockers by annoying or intrusive advertising. The majority of those who use ad blockers don’t necessarily mind being advertised to, but rather dislike the interruption. A loud pop-up ad might get their attention, but it probably won’t get a sale.
The internet is going mobile, and this goes double for advertising. Although it is possible to install adblocking software on a mobile, the percentage of people in the UK who do so is very low. Therefore, to maximise your reach online, make sure to create mobile-friendly campaigns.
In order to reach those who are avoiding paid advertising, it’s important to keep your organic advertising high quality. Invest in some SEO to keep yourself in a high ranking position on search engines, and spend some time creating some high-quality content. Content Marketing is the best way to advertise to those who use ad blockers, as it’s interesting, relevant, and subtle.
The most important thing to remember about Ad Blockers is that, while the number of Ad Block users is growing, it is not yet the majority. The traditional methods of digital marketing are still effective in reaching a targeted audience. By adapting your marketing strategy to accommodate those who have installed an ad blocker, you can have just as much, if not more, advertising success.
For more expert advice on digital marketing, and a free Digital Health Check, contact Zinc Digital today.
Private healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries in the country, but it’s still catching up when it comes to digital marketing. Many providers are using outdated sites and neglecting online advertising without realising the damage it is having on their business.
At Zinc, we meet a lot of healthcare providers who are making the same mistakes. Is your healthcare website guilty of some of the most common sins?
Most clinics don’t have the resources, time, or skills required to do digital marketing properly. The job is left to people who are setting themselves up to fail. It’s very easy to make mistakes with SEO or PPC that can break rules, resulting in a ban, and at the very least spend money that won’t get the return that it could.
Your users are coming to your site seeking help, but it’s all too common that sites aren’t user friendly. Your site is a reflection of how you operate as a business, so it should be well-designed, clearly written and mobile responsive. Ensure that your SSL certificate is up-to-date, to assuage any security concerns. Consider your average visitor – would they prefer larger text? Subtitles on videos? By showing potential patients that you have their needs in mind, you’ll earn their trust.
Patients use the internet to find the healthcare providers that they need. Many businesses don’t realise that Google is constantly changing the way businesses appear online. Without a Google My Business listing, it’s much harder to be found by search engines. What’s more, many maps listings have been left without an update for years. It’s important to make sure that all the information about you online is accurate.
When researching a healthcare provider, potential clients are looking for reassurance. They want to know that you’re a professional who can be trusted with their problem. A great way to do this is to use client testimonials. Ask current patients for feedback, Google Reviews or social media review, and then add these to your site. Be selective, and do bear confidentiality issues in mind when using names.
As most healthcare providers serve a certain area, it’s incredibly important to use local SEO. Without this you’re needlessly competing in a national arena, wasting time and resources on attracting visitors that will never become clients. Optimising your site to certain areas will ensure that your organic traffic is relevant to you and the area you operate in.
Some small, simple improvements could save your business a lot of time and money. Zinc have been working with healthcare providers for years, helping them bring their business to the forefront of consumer minds.
Everybody has experienced an annoying ad online. Whether it’s a persistent pop-up or an ad that plays audio, many advertisers have no problem with interrupting a browsing experience to get their message across.
In fact, intrusive ads are the reason that 64% of Adblocker users installed the extension. The number of people who block adverts online is rising as more people grow impatient with advertising. For the businesses that rely on online advertising, and the companies that sell it, this is bad news.
It is for this reason, in an effort to encourage fewer people to block all ads, Google is releasing an update that will hold adverts across the internet to a higher standard. These ‘Better Ad Standards’ will change the way publishers advertise.
Google Chrome makes up over 50% of the market share, both on desktop and mobile. For any business using ads on their site, it’s important to know exactly what changes will be made.
With the new update for Google Chrome, the browser will block all adverts that don’t conform to their standards. This includes:
Repeated pop-up ads
Auto-playing video ads with sound
Prestitial ads (appear before content is loaded) with countdown
Large sticky ads (ads that stick to the edge of a page)
Repeated pop-up ads
Ad density higher than 30%
Flashing animated ads
Auto-playing video ads with sound
Prestitial ads with countdown
Full-screen scrollover ads
Large sticky ads
Not every advert will be removed – even some pop-ups are allowed, as long as they aren’t intrusive. The standards are designed to make the experience better for everybody – for Google, for users, and for businesses who will see more engagement from user-friendly advertising.
If you’re unsure whether or not your advert complies with these new standards, use the Google Ad Experience tool.
As a Digital Agency, we’ve always ensured that our clients comply with Google regulations for SEO and PPC. With the Better Ad Standards, we hope to guide our clients through creating adverts that have both the business and the consumer in mind.
It’s been on the horizon for years as smartphones use increased, WiFi became more accessible, and responsive web design became the norm. More and more people are using the internet on the go, and as a result, mobile searches have officially overtaken desktop search.
Research from Brightedge shows that mobile searches are now the majority, with 57% of all searches now on a device. For some industries this has been the case for a while, but this research marks the first time that all searches have had a mobile majority like this.
Google will already be aware of the enormous shift happening in search. If you are a marketer, you should be considering the effect that mobile search will have on SEO and making necessary adjustments.
At its most basic, web design needs to be taking mobile devices into account – ensuring that devices aren’t overloaded with images and that information is still displayed clearly. This is already becoming a ranking factor – in fact, 80% of search results already show differently on mobile devices. Google is already taking into account speed and responsiveness when showing results on different screen sizes.
If you are a marketer, you need to be considering the effect that mobile search will have on SEO. If you haven’t already, make sure to use Google Analytics to analyse the traffic coming to your site. If you’re not monitoring and optimising, you’re likely to be losing out on valuable business. You can learn a lot about your users, and how you should be optimising your site to the best advantage. With this information, you can design separate mobile and desktop content, and understand the differing intents across different devices.
It’s our job as a Digital Agency to stay aware of the constantly changing trends and predictions of the search engine world.
For a free Digital Health Check, contact us today or visit our Northamptonshire office!
Earlier this year, Google announced changes that would be affecting both Adwords and the Google Display Network. These changes are will go into effect in the coming months, so marketers need to be prepared to keep their campaigns running successfully.
ECPC is the Enhanced Cost per Click that caps spend on audience and location dimensions. Google is removing this cap, stating that it will prevent you losing quality conversions that could have been lost due to capped bids.
If you use ECPC, you should keep an eye on your campaigns to avoid an unexpected increase in your spend. It’s also important to know that this doesn’t extend to device dimensions, so you should still account for mobile bid adjustments.
Ad Rank is what determines where your text ad is placed. It is calculated through your landing page experience, CPC bid, projected CTR and the relevance of your ad.
From this summer, relevance is going to become a far more influential factor. Context will now be taken into account – your ad may not show if there is more relevant organic content. As a result of this, bids may have more effect on your position, depending on the category or query meaning. On competitive keywords with the potential for relevant queries, you should increase bids to ensure that you are above the competition.
PPC is going to continue to go through many changes in the coming months. With Google Shopping Ads and mobile ads being constantly adapted, it’s important to remain on the pulse of this form of marketing.
To see if your PPC is up-to-date and performing at its best, contact us for a free PPC Health Check.
Everybody has heard the age-old saying in Marketing: Content is King. It’s true – content marketing is a consistent driver of traffic and an organic way to market to a wide audience.
SEO and Content should always go hand in hand, but it goes further than simply integrating keywords into your website. Content Marketing consists of blogs, white papers, emails, and so much more.
When it comes to SEO, your content could be your secret weapon. Here’s why:
The building blocks of SEO is keywords. Done well, your content should be helping you rank for the keywords that your customers are searching for. Extensive Keyword Research is the first step to understanding the content that you need to create, improve or remove to do well in SERPs.
Keyword tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner can not only show you the best keywords to use, but offer inspiration for keywords that you may not have thought of yet. There could be relevant topics that get great results that you don’t yet rank for.
Relevancy is key to Google, and the way that your relevancy is determined is by seeing the way others interact with you. By creating high-quality, shareable content, your site will gain backlinks that will push your site to a higher ranking.
‘Good’ content is a subjective term – of course, you should ensure that content is well written, factually correct, and relevant to your business, but there’s more to it. You should also be considering the shareability of your content, and try to write things that others may want to share.
If you’re a marketer, you’ll know that SEO is never a completed task. You should be always checking your site to check whether there are improvements to me made or adaptations required for new algorithms. These Health Checks can not only help keep your site well optimised, but you’ll be able to see where your content needs freshening up or your internal links could be updated.
Good content creates good SEO, and vice versa. By making the effort with both, you’ll be able to see incredible results that constantly benefit your business.
If you’re based in the UK, visit us in our Northampton office for a no-obligation Digital Consultation. Otherwise, why not send us message and we’ll perform a free SEO Health Check.
If you think that you’re ready to relax after Black Friday, think again. There are still plenty of opportunities to boost your sales before Christmas..
At this time, your PPC strategy needs to be at its strongest. It’s a competitive time, but almost everybody in the country is going to be buying something. By planning your campaigns well, you can have incredible success with your digital marketing.
Know your customer, and know what they’ll need in time for the festive season. Those looking for inspiration might be searching for a gift related to a specific interest or a type of person. Ensure that your keywords are tailored to fit these searches, so that your ads will be shown to the best audience.
In the Christmas rush, your customers are doing their research. They’re out there searching for the perfect gift at the best price, so you need to make sure that you are never far from their minds. Remarketing to those who have visited your site or abandoned their basket enables you to remind potential customers of your product, show them offers to entice them back, and regain the sale.
Christmas is one of the most competitive seasons for anybody selling anything. Even if you have been doing well throughout the year, now is not the time to relax. Your competitors will be stepping up their game, so you’ll need to stay ahead of them by allocating more funds to your account and adjusting bids as you see what is doing well.
Today’s buyer is always on mobile. By neglecting this side of your digital marketing, you’re missing out on an enormous market. Not only should you ensure that your PPC Campaign is mobile-friendly, but also that your site is responsive. Often, users will abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, so its in your businesss interests to keep things quick.
The Christmas Shopping period is busy for everybody. Your advertising can run all the way from late October to Christmas Eve, but once you’re in mid-December you’re able to target a certain kind of shopper. Those who are yet to buy by this time value fast delivery, gift-wrapping options, and anything else that you can offer to make this time less stressful for them.
For more tips and tricks on how you can improve your PPC strategy, contact us for a free Digital Health Check today.
Zinc Digital are very proud to have achieved Google Partner status as an agency. This allows us exclusive access to promotions, new features and direct agency support that you could benefit from!
Zinc has received a limited number of Google Adwords vouchers to share with our clients. This voucher entitles any new accounts to up to £120 free spend in Adwords.
It’s simple – spend up to £120 on Google Adwords, and you’ll receive the same amount in free money next month.
Whatever you’re hoping to achieve, Google Adwords enables you to reach customers all over the web. Advertising can appear on search results, on web pages, or on mobile phones, allowing you to spread your message wherever you need. The best thing is that whatever you spend, up to £120, Google will match it.
With a professional Digital Agency, you will have a PPC campaign that is fully optimised, and gets you the best value for money from your voucher. We’ll plan, implement and manage your campaigns, so you just have to worry about your new leads.
Zinc offer a free PPC Health Check to help you find out where you could be improving your online advertising.
Contact us today to find out how to spend your free £120!
Black Friday is one of the biggest sales events of the year. Hundreds of thousands of potential customers are online, hoping to find the perfect deal. This presents business owners with a unique opportunity to dramatically increase sales and find new customers.
With PPC, you can boost your Black Friday sales even more, and make the most of a day dedicated to commerce!
For an effective Black Friday campaign, you need a strong foundation. Ensure that you plan your offer thoroughly, choose a precise target market and have established a viable budget before you do anything else. Don’t forget to include new promotional ad copy and keywords, and to make full use of Ad Extensions.
Depending on your business, it’s not always cost-effective to post campaigns on every available platform. Consider where you have the best chance of reaching your target market, and focus the majority of your efforts in those places. Bear in mind that today’s consumer is always on mobile, so choose a channel that facilitates that.
Your website statistics and existing customers hold a goldmine of information that you might not be using to its full advantage. Use this to guide you when you’re choosing your channels, message and target market.
The best PPC campaigns are consistently monitored and adapted, depending on their performance. Just setting it and leaving it won’t get you the best ROI – ensure that you’re updating bids, monitoring keywords and staying profitable. Don’t be afraid to move budget to where it can be used more effectively.
Although Black Friday is only one day, your PPC campaign can be active for much longer than that. Consider using a two week promotion or simply “while stocks last”. Advertise your exclusive Black Friday deals in the days before, and then continue your campaign past Black Friday for as long as the ROI is positive and you can fulfill the orders.
In our experience, one well-planned Black Friday campaign can return rewards for months afterwards. Customers love a great deal, and you’ll love having a steady stream of business. Capturing visitors this year will provide a great remarketing campaign for next year
To find out if you’re getting the most out of your PPC campaign, contact us today for a free PPC Health Check
As a Digital Agency in Northamptonshire, we love to keep track of everything that’s going on in Northampton’s business world.
We’re always happy to hear good news, and we’ve certainly heard some today: research from UHY Hacker Young and the Northamptonshire Growth Hub has found that Northampton has more new businesses in the past year than anywhere else in the country.
In the UK, the average number of new businesses per 10,000 population is 12. Northampton has exceeded this exponentially, with 43 new businesses per 10,000. This number even beats London, making Northampton the number one town in the UK for new business creation!
UHY Hacker Young believe that Northampton’s growing Automotive industry, combined with our central location and the recent economic boost from local authorities, is why Northampton is doing so well.
Northampton Cabinet member for Regeneration, Enterprise and Planning, Cllr Tim Hadland said: “This new report is yet more evidence that Northampton is a great place for people to come to start or grow a business.” We couldn’t agree more!
Zinc has worked with the Northamptonshire LEP, SEMLEP and Growth Hubs on over 50 projects, including game development for their Home of Motorsport campaign and launching the Love Northampton campaign, promoting Northamptonshire as a good place to live and work. We love everything they do to help keep Northamptonshire a thriving business community. We’re very happy to see that Northamptonshire is fast becoming a hub for new business, and hope to be a part of these businesses journey to success!
We’re happy to welcome Phil Harding to the Zinc Team as our newest Digital Account Strategist. Phil has joined our Digital Marketing team based in Northampton as an ecommerce specialist.
Phil has over six years of experience in online retailing as an SME Marketing Consultant. With Zinc, he will continue to share this knowledge to help other companies grow their business online, maintaining his successful track record in sales, marketing and team building. His wealth of experience with clients across a wide range of industries is an incredible asset to our team at Zinc.
Within a month of joining the company, Phil has already engaged with six key accounts, and provided them with measurable growth strategies. We can’t wait to see what else he can do!
In his spare time, Phil enjoys snowboarding, and has a keen interest in graffiti. He lives in Northamptonshire with his partner, daughter, and a cat named Jeff.
“”My goal at Zinc is to be an invaluable resource for our clients. I hope to be a part of taking this company to the next level by advancing our clients into their chosen marketplace”
Zinc are in an exciting time of growth. Over the past few months, we’ve welcomed eight people to our team to help us as the company develops. We’re looking forward to seeing everything Phil can do for our clients, and for Zinc.
There’s no shortage of good causes, but there’s certainly competition for the resources every charity needs to support their cause. Charities in the UK are constantly in need of donations, volunteers and increased awareness. Finding these things costs money and time that is limited.
That’s why we’re surprised that so few charities are making use of an incredible resource. Google Grants offers qualifying charities a free monthly spend of $10,000USD, to be used on their AdWords account. This enables charities to spread their message to a larger audience, encourages volunteers, and raises money at virtually no cost.
Google AdWords drives relevant, valuable traffic to your site. It targets those who are already searching and interested, so they’re more likely to be engaged when they reach your site.
Not only are you entitled to free Ad spend, but you’re able to monitor your ads to keep track of what works, what doesn’t, and how many people you’re able to reach. No other form of advertising can give you the same insight as PPC.
To qualify, your charity needs to:
We know Google AdWords. We’ll help you create your AdWords account and guide you through registering for Google Grants. Once you’ve qualified, you’ll need to maintain your account to remain so. Google requires charities to follow their guidelines, use the account regularly, and keep a high Quality Score to remain eligible for the grant.
We’ll plan your campaigns, target your audiences and choose you keywords so that your money is spent in a way that will get you the best return.
Contact us today to find out how to make the most of your free $10,000 spend!
We’re happy to welcome Chris Freeman to the Zinc Team as our Head of SEO. Chris has joined our Digital Marketing team in Northampton, bringing his considerable SEO consultancy expertise to Zinc and our clients.
Chris joins us with over nine years of experience in Search Engine Optimisation. Over the years, he’s worked with hundreds of companies across countless industries. He’s especially experienced in the Home and Garden industry, as well as recruitment and eCommerce.
In the years Chris has been managing SEO campaigns, he has achieved thousands of number 1 positioned phrases, including 2500 number 1’s in Google for a client specialising in direct mailing, which resulted in their conversions going from 2 a week to 5 – 6 per day. We can’t wait to see him work his magic with our current clients.
In his spare time, Chris is a commercial hot air balloon pilot, and can often be found in the skies of Northamptonshire! Look out for a Zinc Balloon, hopefully coming soon!
“Our goal is to make Zinc Digital the most sought after digital marketing agency to work with in the region and then ultimately the rest of the UK. All the signs so far are positive and we are well on our way to achieving this”
Zinc are in an exciting time of growth. Over the past few months, we’ve welcomed eight people to our team to help us as the company develops. We’re looking forward to seeing everything Chris can do for our clients, and for Zinc.
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