Blog – Baldwin Digital https://www.baldwindigital.ie Wed, 03 May 2017 19:48:54 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 4 On-Page SEO Ranking Factors You Need To Know About https://www.baldwindigital.ie/4-on-page-seo-rankings-factors Tue, 02 May 2017 10:40:57 +0000 https://www.baldwindigital.ie/?p=11330 4 On-Page SEO Ranking Factors You Need To Know About Changes are being made to Google’s SEO best practices on an almost daily basis, which makes getting your site to the top of their rankings a constant challenge. This makes it hugely important to ensure that you’re up to date with the latest SEO trends, [...]

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4 On-Page SEO Ranking Factors You Need To Know About

Google SEO Ranking Factors

Changes are being made to Google’s SEO best practices on an almost daily basis, which makes getting your site to the top of their rankings a constant challenge.

This makes it hugely important to ensure that you’re up to date with the latest SEO trends, patterns and have good knowledge of Google’s ranking factors.

Here are four key ways in which Google is influencing the sector and how you can potentially take advantage of them.

1. The importance of adopting HTTPS

HTTPS Secure URL SEO Ranking Signal

HTTPS is the secure version of standard HTTP functionality which encrypts your data and is often implemented for sites that deal with financial transactions, such as Stripe, Realex and PayPal.

Google has pushed for the addition of HTTPS across its range of Chromium products, highlighting them as a ranking signal. This means that early adoption can prove useful in pushing your website up Google’s search priority and providing security and reassurance to site visitors.

2. Interstitial Pop-up ads are penalised on mobile devices

Interstitial Popup Ads

At the start of the year, Google enforced its decision not to rank sites that deployed interstitial ads due to their habit of disrupting the experience of mobile and tablet users.

To avoid falling foul of this, you can make mobile users exempt from your notifications or deploy WordPress plugins that can help you to circumvent the process.

3. Being ‘Mobile Friendly’ is more important than ever

Mobile Friendly Websites Google Snippet in SERPS

Most of the population has access to a smart device and searches by phones and tablets have ballooned as result. Google publicly announced the importance of mobile friendliness as a ranking signal in 2015 and has firmly committed to it since.

You review the status of your site through their free online test https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly. Responsive web design is vital in order to allow for an uninterrupted browsing experience as we do here.

4. Adding AMP is a huge client and SEO draw

Google Accelerated Mobile Pages AMP

The addition of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) also proves to be a key draw, optimising content that loads quickly everywhere.

Google’s March AMP Conference highlighted the degree of focus they are placing on it. This means early adoption can pay dividends when it comes to attracting mobile users, as we discuss further here https://www.baldwindigital.ie/accelerated-mobile-pages-amp.

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How to use Google Alerts to Monitor your Brand and Track Interests https://www.baldwindigital.ie/google-alerts-monitor-brand-track-interests Thu, 27 Apr 2017 12:26:24 +0000 https://www.baldwindigital.ie/?p=11313 How to use Google Alerts to Monitor your Brand and Track Interests Staying up-to-date with news within your niche can be a lot of hassle. Thankfully, though, Google Alerts can be utilised to automate this process, keeping you updated without needing to monitor what's going on constantly. So, what needs to be done to implement [...]

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How to use Google Alerts to Monitor your Brand and Track Interests

Google Alerts to Monitor your Brand and Track Interests

Staying up-to-date with news within your niche can be a lot of hassle. Thankfully, though, Google Alerts can be utilised to automate this process, keeping you updated without needing to monitor what’s going on constantly. So, what needs to be done to implement Google Alerts?

This is why it’s important

  • Monitor your brand: whether a customer or client, know what’s being said about you for that essential reputation monitoring.

  • Track competitors: watch for whether they’ve got positive or negative press, any new releases, and link building for SEO purposes.

  • Keep an eye on the industry: industry trends matter, so look out for events, shifts in attitude and new entrants.

Tracking mentions with Google Alerts: step-by-step

1. Head to the Google Alerts website.

2. Enter your preferred term for monitoring. Unsure? Consider elements such as your industry’s key terms, your competitors and what searches your customers may be doing. Or even better, head to Google AdWords Keyword Planner or Google Trends.

3. Look at your alert options. Enter your alert, but don’t create it (yet). There are some points to configure from the drop-down options menu that should appear:

• Language – which language do you want your monitored content to be in?
• Sources – any particular sources to take into account? For an eclectic monitoring overview, keep it automatic.
• Region – any specific countries in mind for targeted monitoring?
• How many? – do you want alerts for everything or just the best?
• How often? – when do you need to be alerted? Daily? Weekly?

4. Get previewing – if you’re happy with your selected options, you can go ahead and click “create alert”. Of course, just repeat the process for any new alerts you want to create, and edit and delete as needed via the trashcan and pencil icons.

Any downsides to Google Alerts?

Just one: it doesn’t monitor social media, which obviously has a lot of brand/industry buzz daily. However, there are other tools for this available online such as Mention.

The best tool for basic monitoring

Google Alerts is easy, quick, and free, making it ideal for the basic levels of brand monitoring. As long as you don’t overwhelm yourself with alerts, it’s a great way to keep an eye on your niche with minimal effort.

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Google Fred Update: Bad News for Revenue-generating Affiliate Link Sites? https://www.baldwindigital.ie/google-fred-update-bad-news-for-revenue-generating-affiliate-link-sites Fri, 31 Mar 2017 22:13:43 +0000 https://www.baldwindigital.ie/?p=11292 Google Fred Update: Bad News for Revenue-generating Affiliate Link Sites? Last month, chatter abounded among SEO experts regarding an unconfirmed update to Google’s ranking algorithm, which has been tentatively titled “Fred”. As is par for the course, Google has refused to confirm or deny Fred’s existence when pressed for comment – those who remember the [...]

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Google Fred Update: Bad News for Revenue-generating Affiliate Link Sites?

Google Fred Algorithm Update

Last month, chatter abounded among SEO experts regarding an unconfirmed update to Google’s ranking algorithm, which has been tentatively titled “Fred”.

As is par for the course, Google has refused to confirm or deny Fred’s existence when pressed for comment – those who remember the rollout of a number of unnamed major updates towards the end of 2016 will be familiar with this sort of radio silence from the search engine giant.

Improving the user experience

A cursory review of over 100 different websites helps us to outline what Fred is here to do: demote low-quality blog-style sites which offer content on a variety of different topics; much of which have been published for ranking purposes and more often than not interspersed with adverts or affiliate links.

Such sites don’t particularly offer industry expertise on a given subject and as such don’t provide much worth in comparison to more authoritative resources on the web.

A sharp decline for clickbaiters

Out of the sites surveyed, low-value content hives had been hit the hardest, with most suffering declines in organic search traffic of between 50 and 90%.

In many cases, inferior quality content was wrapped around ads in an ambiguous manner. Some of the worst-affected sites featured a model where the actual content was indistinguishable from the advertisements.

Google Fred: in conclusion

Of course, Google will have implemented several other factors into their algorithm at about the same time as Fred was rolled out – therefore, not all sites hit by a dip in search engine ranking over the past couple of weeks will have been penalised for the reasons outlined above.

However, those suffering the most severe penalties almost certainly will have been identified by Fred as having little to offer users in terms of meaningful content.

Want to know more about previous Google algorithm updates, see our post on the recent real time update, Google Penguin 4.0.

If you wish to learn more about link building and various techniques you can use, why not also check out our link building for SEO ultimate guide.

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How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy https://www.baldwindigital.ie/create-content-marketing-strategy Mon, 06 Feb 2017 12:44:52 +0000 https://www.baldwindigital.ie/?p=11269 How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy Content marketing is highly influential in attracting audiences, but getting it right is important to achieve success. What is content marketing? Content marketing is the process of creating and publishing content that's of use and relevance to target audiences, so they'll visit your site, fulfil a call to [...]

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How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is highly influential in attracting audiences, but getting it right is important to achieve success.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is the process of creating and publishing content that’s of use and relevance to target audiences, so they’ll visit your site, fulfil a call to action, and become a loyal customer. A successful content marketing strategy can improve your bottom line.

Content marketing takes various forms including blogging, social media posts, videos, how-to-use guides, newsletters and eBooks.

Why your business needs a content marketing strategy

By establishing a content marketing strategy, you have a cohesive, methodical and documented approach to creating and distributing your content, so that it reaches the right people and has the desired effect.

With a strategy in place, you can organise what content goes where and to whom, you can ensure a consistent approach and optimise the efficiency of everything you produce. A content marketing strategy also lets you establish your brand identity.

As an example, if you’re creating content for social media, this may differ from website blogging, so your strategy will outline various elements you need to consider, to ensure the right yet consistent approach.

How to create a content marketing strategy

Before you develop a content marketing strategy, you need to do some research.

Goals

Define your goals and decide what you want your content marketing to achieve.

Target audience

Decide who you want to target. Think about the problems or dilemmas this group might face, and how you could use your expertise to help them. What areas might interest your target group?

Think of content ideas that would be useful to these people, without directly promoting your products or services. Consider different stages of the purchase process that your audience might go through.

Use tools

Make use of tools to organise and schedule your content, such as WordPress plugins, which we mentioned two below to get you started.

CoSchedule

CoSchedule WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin

CoSchedule Integrates directly with your WordPress dashboard, this tool helps you plan and arrange your content on a calendar. The plugin helps you to promote your content with scheduled social media sharing with plans starting at $30 per month.

A 14 day trial is also available for testing before having to commit to purchasing.

Editorial calendar

Editorial Calendar WordPress Plugin

Editorial Calendar for WordPress is available to download for free on the wordpress.org plugin directory website. Although it doesn’t have as many features as CoSchedule, it’s a good editorial calendar option for you.

Unfortunately, it lacks social media promotion tools, saying that, it lets you schedule all of your content months in advance for smooth implementation of your content marketing strategy.

Wrapping things up

Don’t forget to promote your content once it’s published. If you want to win audiences over, creating a content marketing strategy is something every business can’t afford to ignore.

Check out our info-graphic: 10 Stats Businesses Can’t Ignore About Digital Marketing

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7 Tips for Google AdWords Optimisation https://www.baldwindigital.ie/7-tips-google-adwords-optimisation Mon, 23 Jan 2017 10:41:40 +0000 https://www.baldwindigital.ie/?p=11250 7 Google AdWords Tips to Further Optimise Your Campaign Google AdWords is a powerful advertising tool, but many AdWords users could get more value for the money they pay to Google. Here are seven Google AdWords tips to help you optimise your campaign. 1. Putting Search and Display in the same campaign Too many AdWords [...]

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7 Google AdWords Tips to Further Optimise Your Campaign

Google AdWords Tips and Optimisation

Google AdWords is a powerful advertising tool, but many AdWords users could get more value for the money they pay to Google. Here are seven Google AdWords tips to help you optimise your campaign.

1. Putting Search and Display in the same campaign

Too many AdWords newcomers combine Search and Display networks in the same campaign. This is a big mistake. Search and Display are completely different entities, with different methods of selecting keywords, setting bids and writing ads. Make sure that you keep Search and Display apart, with separate campaigns for each.

Google AdWords Search and Display Network

2. Just relying on Broad Match

Match types are an important part of Google Search campaigns. There are four types of match, and Google have produced a handy guide for those unfamiliar with the terms, see video below.

Broad Match, in which Google determines which search results are relevant to your keyword, is the most popular, but relying solely on Broad Match is a bad idea.

With Broad Match, you will never know exactly which search terms will match your keywords, which makes it tricky to write precisely focused adverts, which in turn, will reduce the Quality Score of your adverts, and Quality Score is crucial, as this video shows:

The best approach is to avoid Broad Match altogether and rely on a mixture of Exact Match and Broad Match Modifier.

3. Failing to weed out the bad placements

AdWords users who run Display Network campaigns aren’t always sufficiently vigilant about what sites their ads are placed on. The solution is to use a Placement Report, which will show which web pages your ads have been running on and enable you to weed out those that are not relevant, to make sure that your ads are laser-focused.

4. Poor structure

Taking care over the structure of your campaign is always worth it. Instead of simply having one campaign featuring all your keywords, collect them into tightly-related groups, breaking them down into as many different targeted ad groups as you can. By structuring your campaign in this way, it will have much more impact.

Poor AdGroup Structure

5. Not split testing adequately

Split testing enables you to compare two or more aspects of a campaign to see which is performing strongest, but make sure you get the most out of split testing. Always pause underperforming ads, don’t over-focus on Clickthrough Rates (CTRs) to the exclusion of Conversion Rate and Return on Ad Spend, and try out a wide variety of ad concepts.

6. Not paying attention to Impression Share

Don’t overlook Impression Share. It’s a good measure of how strongly your campaign is performing against your competitors, and by maximising your Impression Share, you can be sure you are getting more value for your advertising spend than all of your competitors.

AdWords Impression Share

7. Only using Google

AdWords is the best advertising platform out there, but putting all of your eggs in one basket never makes good business sense. Lean on AdWords by all means, but make sure you also diversify into a range of other paid and unpaid, online and offline sources of traffic.

Google AdWords updates and performance Summit 2016

While you’re here, why not check out our other blog post on 3 Google AdWords updates you should know about which also includes the Google performance summit 2016 video.

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Site Speed: Tools for Better Rankings and User Experience https://www.baldwindigital.ie/site-speed-tools-better-rankings-user-experience Thu, 15 Dec 2016 20:27:23 +0000 https://www.baldwindigital.ie/?p=10899 Site Speed: Tools for Better Rankings and User Experience There are many tweaks you can make to your website to improve your search engine optimisation, from adding alt text and images or by making the most of your meta descriptions. But one thing that is increasingly becoming more important to Google (and therefore to you!) [...]

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Site Speed: Tools for Better Rankings and User Experience

Site Speed for Better Rankings and User Experience

There are many tweaks you can make to your website to improve your search engine optimisation, from adding alt text and images or by making the most of your meta descriptions. But one thing that is increasingly becoming more important to Google (and therefore to you!) is your site speed. The slower your site, the slower Google will index your pages, causing new posts to appear less quickly in the SERPS.

Speeding up your website can bring in organic traffic sooner and, of course, improve the user experience for your visitors. This experience could lead them to staying longer on your site and potentially bringing in more sales for you. Take a look at our article on on-page ranking factors to find out more about improving your SEO.

Site speed tools

To get started, you’ll need to check your site speed, so you have something to measure against when you make your improvements. Use several different tools as they all do different things, and allow for the fact that site speed is different when you check it from different locations.

  • GTmetrix

  • Pingdom Tools

  • WebPageTest

  • Yslow

  • Google PageSpeed Insights

GTmetrix is an excellent tool, with multiple locations, checks on a real Android device, performance tracking and a whole lot more. Pingdom will also do multiple locations, with some handy tips on how to improve your results. Alternatively, WebPageTest uses real browsers to check speed and offers simple or advanced testing. If you require suggestions to improve your statistics, Yslow would be the perfect fit for you.

And finally, Google PageSpeed Insights is overall a great one to use as it gives results for both mobile and desktop in separate reports.

Add a caching plugin for site speed

WP Super Cache is a free and simple plugin for caching your site, or you could try WP Rocket, which we highly recommend, a paid plugin which has many more features, such as lazy load, where images below the fold aren’t loaded until the user scrolls down, Content Delivery Network (CDN) integration, minification of HTML, CSS, Java Script, Google fonts, database optimisation, caching for mobile devices, caching for feeds and SSL along with sitemap preloading.

Alternatively, W3 Total Cache is a good option, however if it is wrongly configured then it can slow your site down even more.

To read more about different plugins to speed up your site, check out our 5 best WordPress plugins to speed up your website article here https://www.baldwindigital.ie/5-wordpress-plugins-speed-up-your-website.

Conclusion

In addition to using a caching plugin, there are other things you can do to improve the speed of your website. You could research different hosts, as some are better than others. Equally, using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) could significantly speed up your site, as could reducing the size of your images by using a plugin such as SmushIt.

It’s extremely important that your website works quickly on mobile devices and tablets, too, with more people than ever using mobiles to search, browse and buy. Therefore, using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is the ideal solution to make sure your site is fast-loading on mobile.

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