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SEO Archives - Nova Digital Media

Mobilegeddon – 1 Month Later

By | General, Online marketing, SEO, Social Media | No Comments

It’s been almost two years since we posted about responsive sites and the importance of making sure your online presence is mobile ready. We remember because the publication of such a post resulted in a rather healthy debate on Twitter with some advocating that it’s really not that important.

Well we hate to say we told you so but . . . we told you so.

A month ago Google put in place a new algorithm that focuses on the mobility of your website. That is, if your website does not have the capacity to adapt to mobile or tablet screens you will find you Google ranking (SEO) affected.

Some sources are saying that this could be as bad as your search ranking being cut in half in one fail swoop. We’re only a month in and businesses are watching their SEO rankings closely and so far they’ve seen a drop but nothing that has people panicking. . . Yet.

The good news is that it will be over the coming year that we will begin to see it’s true impact so there is still time to make sure your website is ready for what is being dubbed ‘mobilegeddon.’

How To Check If Your Website Is Ready

This is quite a simple step but one that many haven’t yet completed. Take a mobile phone, open up your browser and enter your websites address.

If:

• You have to zoom in to navigate
• The images are tiny and undefined
• You find it difficult to select categories or fill in forms

Then your website is not ready for Mobilegeddon and you will find your SEO severely affected, dropping page ranking radically.

What To Do If Your Website Isn’t Ready

If your website isn’t ready for the oncoming SEO apocalypse it may be time to have a look at your website in a new way and maybe even giving it a little spring cleaning.

To make your online presence mobile friendly your website will have to be looked at from the back end. We can help advise you on all elements of making your website fit for any mobile or tablet screen.

Once you have a streamlined adaptable website you have to make sure that it is present on social media. The current Google algorithm focuses on your social presence. On how many ‘likes’ your FB page is and how many +1s you have on Google+ so you have to make sure you have a presence on both of these platforms and that you are driving traffic back to your website.

If you want to speak to someone about getting started on Social Media ask our resident Social Media Guru Helena

So are you ready for Mobilegeddon?! If not don’t let your website suffer! Talk to us today and we’ll be happy to help!

Google Algorithm Penalises Doorway Pages

By | Advanced SEO Techniques, Online marketing, SEO, Web Design | No Comments

Is the age of doorway or signpost pages finally over?!

Years ago when the Internet was just fields (of HTML websites), Flash was one of the more dynamic ways to have a “cool” website. BUT the big problem back then was some browsers out of the bag didn’t support Flash, in fact many still don’t.

So what could you do to prevent losing your visitors that didn’t have Flash?! You created a Doorway Page of course!!

Webmasters back then had the same goals as they do now, maximise viewers and try not alienate any of your potential visitors / customers.

Should they not be able to view the business website because of not wanting or trusting Flash!? No, you had to put a doorway page up.

Google today announced that doorway pages are now the way of the Dodo (maybe due to the annihilation of Flash?) once deprecated it’s only a matter of time before the world turns against a once revolutionary way to animate your website.

Google today announced the following alterations to their page ranking algorithm.

Over time, we’ve seen sites try to maximize their “search footprint” without adding clear, unique value. These doorway campaigns manifest themselves as pages on a site, as a number of domains, or a combination thereof. To improve the quality of search results for our users, we’ll soon launch a ranking adjustment to better address these types of pages. Sites with large and well-established doorway campaigns might see a broad impact from this change.

So why has Google decided to penalise doorway pages and what could this mean for the Web design industry?

Not all doorway pages are created equal Google! Are they for example accounting for the genuine uses of single page redirects as well as the not so legitimate uses?!

Doorway Page Example

Years ago a doorway page was as simple as this picture of a famously cool Flash website (www.2advanced.com). This image shows a simple HTML only page that contained the website / business name logo and a couple of options for traffic management. There may also be some tracking software or adverts, but mainly it was to inform people that if you hit “enter” without the Flash Plugin, the site won’t work!

I can understand why Google wants to remove these pages from their search results (Serps) I would too. The technology is deprecated and more often than not in todays internet these pages are fast and a bit of a cheeky way to enhance shared traffic quickly, cheaply and without any benefit to the end user who is just bounced from doorway page to more often than not an irrelevant page.

Google have defined a doorway page as:

Doorways are sites or pages created to rank highly for specific search queries. They are bad for users because they can lead to multiple similar pages in user search results, where each result ends up taking the user to essentially the same destination. They can also lead users to intermediate pages that are not as useful as the final destination.

Here are some examples of doorways:

  • Having multiple domain names or pages targeted at specific regions or cities that funnel users to one page
  • Pages generated to funnel visitors into the actual usable or relevant portion of your site(s)
  • Substantially similar pages that are closer to search results than a clearly defined, browseable hierarchy

Now, personally I don’t recall using the term “doorway page” but it meant the same thing as some of the other buzz words we used for this kind of HTML page. Other terms like Gateway pages, Sign-post pages, Landing Pages or Diversion Pages were used to describe what this type of page did.

So exactly who or what are you penalising here Google and more importantly why?!

Most of us still use and rely on this kind of page. Landing pages and under construction pages, although not great for SEO or traffic management, still some of us have specific marketing plans that use these kind of pages!!

We need them to manage our email lists or social media traffic and I for one am slightly concerned that this alteration to the algorithm might affect other pages that aren’t “doorway pages” but might seem like one.

Simple “doorway pages” used in a complex or large networks of websites or marketing funnels might be affected by this Google Algorithm change, so what can we do to safeguard our genuine pages?

Well I guess, moving the page from the index.html (first page of the domain) might work, normally doorway pages are set to index.html or .php. Because they are used as the entry point to a domain (in other words you’ll see a doorway page when you type or website address or click a result from a search engine) it might be a good idea if you have a genuine single page to move these to a sub domain or another place in the website.

If you are using these pages to ensure the traffic quality or qualification on your site or to deter traffic that might add unnecessary bandwidth overheads, then other methods might be more appealing now there is a genuine risk of negative domain ranking. Lead management may now need to be more cleverly filtered and qualified at the source . With the right strategy in place that’s not too hard given the host of tools Social Media is now offering to do just this very thing!

So if your home page or landing page contains more than a few words, words such as; “Enter or Leave”, maybe also “Flash or HTML” and an image. If your page is the only page hosted on your domain and leads nowhere but other pages that contain the content that was being sought out by the user, think again. Re-strategise as Google is a coming for ya page rankings!!

But also it’s possible that armed with the knowledge about doorway pages and how they are now going to penalise your SEO efforts (with Google) having a rethink of the flow of your web traffic / marketing funnel might be a good idea. We can certainly help you there. There are many alternatives to “doorway pages” and HTML files that direct your traffic better than ever before. More importantly they won’t penalise your SEO efforts at all.

We hope that you don’t get affected by this change. But if you do and you would like to talk about it reach out to me, I’d be glad to help, if I can.

@_novajohn

5 SEO Tricks You Didn’t Know

By | Business, Essex, General, SEO, Social Media | No Comments

SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a term that I am sure you are hearing more and more these days.  To put it simply SEO means ‘how to get Google (as the main Search Engine we will be using Google throughout) to notice my website.’  Think about a shop in a shopping centre and all the methods store managers use to make sure people visit them.  Leafleting and standard advertisement works but nothing is more effective than having the shopping centre promote them and push their offerings to visitors.  The exact same applies to your online store.  To drive more traffic to your website you have to be found on the 1st page of Google search, 2nd page at a push.

There are  2 main ways of doing this:

1)         Pay Google to put you at the top of the 1st page.

2)         Use a few of our simple SEO tips to appeal to the Google algorithms and push you to the top organically. Where are these Tips I’m talking about? Keep reading.

1.Social Media

Nova touched upon the relationship between SEO and Social Media in our blog post ‘Social Media & SEO A Match Made in Heaven’ where we emphasized that your page ranking can be directly impacted by your Social Media presence.  There are numerous reasons why Social Media is so great for your page ranking.  Firstly, it is a great platform to promote Specifically the more ‘shares’ you have the higher Google will rank you, and the best way so make it easy to share is the key point here.

Google’s newest algorithm update ‘Hummingbird’ specifically looks at the standing of your Social Media presence. Rather than backlinks it would seem Google is actively more interested in the amount of ‘Shares’ your FB page generates as well as the popularity of your Google + page.

2.Interesting Content

This follows on well from Social Media I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, genuine interesting content is vital to a successful SEO campaign. Remember one of Nova’s key rules:

If Content Is King Then Conversion Is Queen

The two go hand in hand. If you generate good content and put it out there conversations will start to happen. Google bots will pick up on the new interesting additions to your website as well as the ‘Shares’ ‘Likes’ and ‘Retweets’ that come with it, all of which ticks Google’s SEO boxes pushing your website up in their page rankings.

One of the best ways to do both is by regularly updating a Blog page on your website. Now we’re not talking once a week every week, but just once a month a 500 word post offering a genuine insight into your industry and what you do as a company can significantly help your SEO ranking.

3.Webmaster Tools

If you are serious about increasing your Search Engine ranking and I mean serious then you have to get to grips with Webmaster Tools. I use Google Webmaster Tools as it works well with Google Analytics. Where Webmaster Tools aid help you is in pointing out problems on your site that cause Google Bots to send negative SEO readings back to Google. Once rectified it will give you a positive SEO boost. So where Analytics tells you about the visitors you’re already attracting, Webmaster Tools helps you attract a whole new group of visitors.

4.Get more mobile friendly

Google have just reported changes to be initiated in the USA which will hit the UK soon.  Now Google will highlight when their algorithms find a website that is not mobile responsive, this will have the negative effect of encouraging people to avoid your site.  This then has a knock on effect on your page ranking and so should be a serious consideration when creating or re-developing your website.

The fact is Google prefers responsive web design not just for you, but for them also.  It’s more efficient for Google bots to trawl through the site, additionally if your site is repsponsive therefore combining your desktop and mobile site onto one URL it makes the site easier to share and for people to engage with.  If a visitor is unhappy when trying to view a mobile site on a desktop it creates a higher bounce rate causing problems for Google’s external link algorithm which will then harm your SEO.

5.Change the way you think about keywords

Previously Google focused on the words used in a particular search to evaluate the keywords you use in your site.  Now Google will also be looking at the intent of the searcher and will look to predict the answer of their next searches dependent on a previous search.  For example if you were to search “Who is Jennifer Lawrence?” then it will come up with her Wikipedia and IMDB pages.  If you were to then search “What films has she been in?”  then Google will presume that you mean Jennifer Lawrence and provide you to links about The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle.  To get to grips with this new SEO style start thinking about the subject of your website, what information it provides and where your service is located.

Do you have any great tips for increasing your Page Ranking?

What do you think of Google’s developments?

As always we would love to hear from you! Either in the comments section below or Tweet us @TheNovaAgency

 

Social Media & SEO A Match Made In Heaven

By | Business, SEO, Social Media | One Comment

When I first began my foray into the Social Media & SEO world the major benefit that I noticed was not in fact the reach that a company could gain through re-tweets, shares, and +1s.  No, instead it was the potential it had in regards to SEO that kept staring back at me and now it seems that the facts are saying the same thing: Social Media & SEO is a match made in Heaven.

Whenever I pitched to a potential new client I felt a bit like Cassandra from Greek mythology forever predicting the future but cursed so that no one ever believed her.  I would tell them not only that Social Media is the future but also that it will become more and more entangled with SEO.

 To put it simply if you want better results from your SEO campaign then you have to have Facebook shares and Google +1s.

A report from SearchMetrics clearly shows that Search Engines are now using Social Media signals in order to determine page ranking over the more traditional markers such as backlinks and keyword.  That is not to say that these factors are not important but there has been a huge shift and this HAS to be acknowledged by companies looking to get the most out of their SEO.

To put it simply if you want better results from your SEO campaign then you have to have Facebook shares and Google +1s.

So what can you do to help your SEO?

Here are three simple steps you can take today that can make a difference:

1)   Start being active on Google +, add people to your circles, +1 other posts and share content. If you haven’t gotten yourself a Google+ business page then get one today.  It acts a lot like a Facebook page, simply create a Gmail account and follow Google’s simple instructions (link).  And do not forget the code that Google provides to imbed into your website so that is more easily recognised by Google.

2)   Determine your Social Media keywords.  Social Media & SEO keywords differ slightly as it takes into account keywords most often used in tweets and comments.  Use a free tool such as SocialMention and gather a glossary of Social keywords to use in your posts.

Pinterest is a SEO goldmine.

3)   Pinterest.  Pinterest is slowly but surely becoming a serious contender in the Social Media turf wars.  Even if your company isn’t quite right for Pinterest, create an account today, have a look at some ‘boards’ and then simply ‘pin’ any photos that you do have directly from your company website.  There are numerous other ways that you can boost your SEO just from Pinterest and this article from Timothy Carter offers 7 different ways, confirming that Pinterest is a SEO goldmine.

Remember that Social Media is just that, it’s social.

The above tips do not work unless you ENGAGE with your audience.  Think about if you have someone shouting the same message in your face everyday in the middle of the street would you really remember their message or would you remember what a nuisance they are?  Be successful in Social Media and your SEO will benefit enormously, start viewing the two as vital ingredients in a beautiful meal rather than separate commodities and watch as both grow substantially.

When it comes to Social Media & SEO don’t forget to SOAR:

  • Social
  • Original
  • Active
  • Real
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And if you do not have the time give Nova Digital Media a ring today on 08459007770 and ask to speak to Helena, for a free 1-hour consult on your Social Media & SEO.

@TheNovaAgency

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