Blog – Baldwin Digital https://www.baldwindigital.ie Thu, 27 Apr 2017 12:32:12 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 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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How to Protect Your SEO Rankings When Migrating to a New Domain https://www.baldwindigital.ie/protect-seo-rankings-when-migrating-domain Wed, 30 Nov 2016 12:27:26 +0000 https://www.baldwindigital.ie/?p=10860 How to Protect Your SEO Rankings When Migrating to a New Domain We put so much effort into building our websites and enhancing our SEO rankings that changing domain name and migrating a WordPress website can be quite daunting. Thankfully, Google has made provisions for domain name switches, and in this blog we will show [...]

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How to Protect Your SEO Rankings When Migrating to a New Domain

How To Protect Your SEO Rankings When Moving Domains

We put so much effort into building our websites and enhancing our SEO rankings that changing domain name and migrating a WordPress website can be quite daunting. Thankfully, Google has made provisions for domain name switches, and in this blog we will show you the steps to take in order to hang on to your Google ranking while making the transition.

Why move?

It should be pointed out that sticking with an existing domain name is definitely preferable, so if you don’t have to make the switch, you really shouldn’t. But there are reasons, such as a change of brand name for instance, that moving to new domain names and migrating content becomes necessary.

Other factors may include the discovery of a domain name that you believe is better, or that your old domain name was penalised for some reason. So how do we go about moving domain name in the first place? Let’s start at the beginning.

Before we begin

We should note that most of the advice you will read is aimed at long term SEO stability, and that your site might, and is likely to, see a dip of sorts while the process takes place. These tips are also provided in the assumption that you have a back up for your WordPress site, and if you’ve not done so already, here is how you can do it.

It is also important to point out that you are required to retain ownership of your previous domain name, even if you will not be using it any more; this is essential to redirection.

Migrating to a new domain? Here’s how not to lose your Google ranking

Step 1: Copying all current site content to the new domain

Don’t redirect anything until you have copied your site to your new domain. This can be done using the Duplicator plugin, which allows you to transfer all your URLs to the new domain, this means it will include all the internal links across your pages.

Step 2: Redirection of old to new site

You need to perform a 301 redirect which will allow both search engine robots and human users to find the correct page on your new site. This requires finding your .htaccess file, which you can do with an FTP program such as Filezilla which gives you access to the server of your WordPress site. You can find the .htaccess file in your site’s root folder.

After you’ve downloaded it, make a copy of it, and this will act as your back up. Then open the .htaccess file with a text editors such as Notepad. The code should appear as something similar to “htaccess”.

First, you need to redirect at domain level by adding the following code to the top of the .htaccess file,

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^oldurl.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.oldurl.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ http://newurl.com/$1 [L,R=301,NC]

You then need to add your individual pages and posts by adding the 301 redirect code line by line, and the 301 redirect code if you are planning on retaining an identical URL structure should be:

Redirect 301 /original-post newdomain.com/new-post

For those that are structurally changing their URL structure, there is the need to redirect every link manually, which can take a lot of time.

After saving the new .htaccess file, traffic should be redirected to the URLs on your new site from your old domain. Undergo a period of manual testing to check they are working properly using the Fetch as Google tool in the Google Search Console to make sure Google is being properly redirected to your new site.

Use Fetch As Google In Search Console

Step 3: Notify Google that your domain name has changed

Google needs to be told about your changes, and you can make sure the transition is smooth by filling out their official form. This can be done by navigating to the Google Search Console which used to be called Webmaster Tools. Verify your old domain name if you haven’t already, and then use the same process to confirm your new site – both of them must be registered correctly within the Google Search Console.

You click on the gear icon in the old domain name’s dashboard and find the Change of Address form which needs to be filled out.

Using Change Of Address In Google Search Console

After you have followed the instructions and completed the form, click submit.

Search Console Change of Address Instructions

Step 4: New sitemap submission

You can submit a sitemap for your new domain to Google, and this is done by creating your new site’s XML sitemap, before submitting to the Search Console. We recommend using the Yoast SEO plugin for all your website sitemap.xml requirements.

Submit A New Sitemap Using Search Console

Step 5: Monitoring of the Google Search Console

If Google encounters indexing problems, you can see them in the Google Search Console, so make sure you are constantly monitoring it in the wake of the changes. Among the important reports are search queries and index count, and for a full list of what to check, take a look at this Google support document.

Step 6: Inbound link updating

It is a useful exercise to contact any sites that have linked to you and request that they change the URL used to the new domain – maybe getting all of them changed is unrealistic, but even achieving some is a plus. And don’t forget about updating the URL on all your social media profiles and pages.

Step 7: User notification

As a matter of course, you should let your readers know that you have switched domain, in order to avoid any uncertainty about your current address, and encourage them to use the right URL. You might do this by including a page on your new site which explains the changes, or alternatively creating a custom 404 error page to tell people they have clicked on a link which has been improperly directed – you can, in fact, do both.

Step 8: Wait for the rankings jump

If you have taken all the above steps you have fulfilled your side of the bargain when it comes to minimising the effect of a domain change in terms of SEO. You just need to patiently wait for Google to index your new site fully, before you hopefully witness a rankings jump. Don’t forget, an initial rankings slump if perfectly normal and should not represent a worry.

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