Category Archives: SEO

3 SEO Terms that you will need to master in 2021…

3 SEO terms that you should become closely familiar with over the course of the next few months are:

1. LCP or Largest Contentful Paint

LCP is the amount of time taken to display your largest content element from when a user first requests your URL.

The content element is most likely to be an image, video or perhaps even a large block of text.

2. FID or First Input Delay

FID, is the amount of time measured from when a user first interacts with your page by clicking on a link or button – to the time taken for the browser to respond.

In order to provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.

3. CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift

CLS is a measurement based upon the amount that a page layout shifts while it is loading in the browser.

This is most likely to be caused when using images, iframes or video embeds without specifying their dimensions.

In order to provide a good user experience, sites should strive to have a CLS score of less than 0.1.

3-important-SEO-terms

So, why are these 3 SEO terms important?

Because these 3 terms are essentially what ‘Core Web Vitals’ are all about.

And ‘core web vitals’ are a real-time measure of loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability of your web pages.

Which are the fundamental building blocks that Google will use to determine the search ranking worthiness of your web pages in the near future.

Latest Developments…

Importantly, Google have just announced that page experience signals will be added to their search ranking algorithm from May 2021.

These signals measure how a site visitor interacts with your pages to ascertain whether the experience is helpful and enjoyable.

The new page experience signals are said to combine Core Web Vitals with existing search ranking signals such as mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security, and intrusive interstitial guidelines too.

Image: courtesy of Google Webmasters blog

Google also intend to highlight pages that have great page experience in search results with a visual indicator.

Crucially, this is bound to influence the choice of users in clicking the search result that they want to visit.

The knock on effect is likely to impact clickthrough rates, bounce rates and inevitably search rankings too!

What to do next…

Start by conducting a thorough website audit to determine where there is room for improvement.

Google’s search console tool provides an overview of how your site is performing, detailing any issues that may need addressing.

Page Speed Insights and Lighthouse are 2 of the tools that are commonly used to iterate any necessary page improvements.

Additionally, these core web vital tools provide further help on improving user page experience.

Incidentally, AMP continues to be touted as the easiest and most cost-effective way to deliver a great page experience.

It is understood that, Google will link to a cache-optimized AMP version if you publish an AMP content version.

In Conclusion…

Google’s primary aim is to rank pages with the best information overall.

And even though great page experience does not override great page content.

The two combined, present an extremely powerful ranking signal that Google will find hard to ignore.

The overall message is loud and clear!

Get to grips with this impending algorithm update and begin the process of improving your user page experience.

Make sure that your web pages are mobile friendly and offer safe browsing.

Employ the HTTPS safety protocol and avoid the use of intrusive popups whenever possible.

Or else…risk being shunted down the search rankings pecking order indefinitely.

The good news however, is that we have ample time to address these issues.

As the new changes will only come into effect in May 2021.

So, it’s time to get really comfy with these 3 SEO terms and begin your process of iteration soon.

Do let us know how you get on in the comments section below. Contact our London SEO agency team for further help and advice.

Image Search Rankings – How to rank images in Google…

Image Search Rankings or image SEO what is that all about and why on earth would I want to do that anyway?

Ever heard the saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words”?

Now, enter the commercial world…

Where the latest consumer research tells us that images are 1 of the Top 3 most engaging forms of content online!

Therefore, it does make sense to have those images on your website ranking well on Google – Agreed?

So, how to rank your images?

The image search rankings tips listed below should help you to significantly improve your image search rankings.

So, let’s get started with these 6 essential ingredients…

IMAGE SEARCH RANKINGS – HOW TO RANK IMAGES IN GOOGLE

Image search rankings - Google seo
This is the image description

Let’s breakdown each of these elements individually.

1. QUALITY

Using high quality images will naturally produce:

Higher engagement – The better the quality, users will be more likely to save, share with friends and family and return for more.

Better user experience – Research also shows that site visitors tend to stick around for longer.

Higher quality traffic – With site visitors less likely to bounce off your site, length of stay usually means better conversion ratios.

TIP: Make sure to optimise your images so that they load faster as ‘page speed’ is an important ranking factor.

Here are a couple of free tools that you can use to compress your images so that they load faster.

Compressjpg.com & Compressor.io

2. IMAGE PLACEMENT

Relevancy – Images should be relevant for the pages that they are placed on.

Above the fold – Placing your images where users can see them without scrolling does affect bounce rates and ultimately rankings.

Visibility – Images should be placed near relevant text to improve search indexation and visibility.

Image text – Although Google does have optical character recognition (OCR) from a crawl budget standpoint, it is advisable to avoid embedding text in images.

3. IMAGE DESCRIPTION

Titles – When adding images to your pages make sure that the page titles are relevant and include meta tags.

Image alt text – Include your primary keywords here but avoid repeating them over & over again. Instead use LSI driven or contextual keywords.

Context around images – Images should be placed where there is appropriate context surrounding them.

Add structured data – Adding image mark-up data is an important step that will help with better indexation and higher rankings.

4. CAPTIONS

Descriptive – Captions that are well described are better ranked while also being helpful to those that are visually impaired.

Around images – Place your captions above and/or directly below images for better search context.

Use semantic mark-up – Using the (<figcaption>) element to provide more information about the image.
Example =

lions Johannesburg safari
lions Johannesburg safari

5. IMAGE FILE NAMES

Relevancy – Change non-descriptive file names to more relevant descriptive names.

Keywords – Select and use your primary keyword as the file name.

Example = Instead of naming your image [001.jpg] – use something more accurate [NintendoWii.jpg]

Learn more about image search rankings from Google’s very own, John Mueller below:

6. SITEMAPS & HOSTING

Ranking Potency – Boost the ranking potency of your website images by including:

Image sitemap – higher crawlability, higher indexability & higher rankings.

Faster hosting – Install mod_page speed to perform many speed optimizations automatically.

Too many images – Split up large sitemaps with smaller more search engine friendly numbers.

IMAGE SEARCH RANKINGS – RECAP

To rank your images on Google image search follow these guidelines:

  • Use quality images
  • Place them on relevant pages
  • Use appropriate titles, meta tags & mark-up
  • Place descriptive captions around images
  • Select keyword rich file names
  • Create image sitemaps
  • Install Google’s mod_pagespeed

And there you have it…

image seo - how to rank  on image search

All the essential steps and best practices to get your images ranking well on Google, to enjoy higher engagement, better user experience & higher conversions.

Let us know how you get on in the comments below and don’t forget to like & share this post if you found it useful.

And if you get stuck or need any further help with your SEO, please contact our London SEO Agency for help and advice.

A London SEO Agency Marketing Campaign Overview…

Let’s take a closer look behind the scenes at how a London SEO agency maps out a typically successful client marketing campaign.

OVERVIEW:

Google determines search rankings largely on the relevancy of your site content and authority of the external sites that link back to you.

There are also many other additional ranking signals that determine top search rankings such as:

Domain and page-level metrics – mobile friendliness – bounce rates – user journeys – visitor engagement – social media presence etc .

The goal of the SEO expert is therefore to:

a). Optimize your websites focusing on 2 major elements – On PAGE & OFF PAGE.

b). Rank high through quality, in-depth content and to build your authority through quality backlinks and usability.

Listed below is a breakdown covering each aspect of a standard recommended SEO campaign structure.

1. RESEARCH

Site Audit – Each month an expert team member will spend time in analysing:

  • Web page layout
  • Site content
  • User behaviour patterns
  • Page speed
  • Visitor acquisition
  • Traffic
  • Goal conversions
  • Bounce rates
  • Landing page performance hot spots
  • Calls to action
  • Content shortfalls

Competitor Audit – Study your closest competitors to determine website metrics, market presence, content quality and keywords ranking performance.

Link Profiling – Looking at the number of referring domains – quality of referring domains, link relevancy – link co-citations – number of outbound links – own + competitor.

Keyword Audit – Analyse the keywords being targeted for relevancy, traffic volumes, competitiveness and long term growth.

London SEO agency

2. SEO CAMPAIGN

A monthly campaign will feature each of the following key elements:

Blueprint – Plan detailing keywords, content and links to be targeted for localised search ranking gains.

Content – Topical ideas grouped around both broad and local target keywords.

Creation – A minimum of 2 x 1000-2000 words fully researched high quality,  unique articles.

Marketing – National & localised outreach to selected popular city blogs & media platforms.

PR x 1 – Syndication across a diverse range of media platforms to generate both national and local brand awareness and quality backlinks.

 Blog posts x 4 – Targeting product keywords, news, community events etc.

 Local citations – Reviews, business directory listings, sponsorship, local classifieds.

Structured Data Markup – Highlight reviews, events, people, products, services.

New to SEO? Learn more about it here

3. BUILDING RELEVANCY – Content Planning, Editing and Writing (Content Marketing).

Relevancy is all about your content. In search marketing, you need high quality website content to support your campaign, rank well in the search engines and drive business.

Unique, valuable information and educational content drives traffic because people want to read it, respond to it, and share it!

Using the highly important E.A.T. SEO guidelines, a team of copywriters will craft content that is authoritative, thoroughly researched and customised to meet your specific goals.

The team will then ensure that your pages are written to attract traffic to your site while promoting your brand and delivering your message.

The process includes:

Structuring pages for the web and establishing an ongoing content plan.

Researching and writing pages to support your SEO campaign.

Editing and proofing pages to incorporate feedback.

Adding content on a regular basis is also important. Companies that blog regularly attract 75% more traffic to their websites.

Almost all SEO campaign plans include turnkey monthly blogging services from topic conception through writing and posting with each post being optimised and relevantly customised to suit your industry sector and geographic market.

4. BLOG POSTS

Monthly blogging service with content brainstorming, writing and distribution includes:

Research and topic development

Writing and editing of monthly posts

On-page optimisation of each post

Distribution to target audience platforms

 

Digitalhound - a London SEO Agency

5. BUILDING AUTHORITY

Building a proper backlink profile is now multi-faceted and more intensive than simple link building and requires thorough research, outreach, time to complete, and time to mature.

Authority is based on the quality of backlinks to your site.

Developing a linking profile capable of ranking well in 2020 & beyond means that any links leading back to your website must be of relevance and quality.

A quality backlink requires that it is natural (not forced) and makes sense for your particular website or industry sector.

A diverse link profile is also more valued and a multitude of backlinks from separate sources or domains, are more valued than ones originating from the same location.

6. ANALYSIS

Each month you receive a detailed report on ranking improvements, key performance metrics and consultation on best practices.

Monthly Reports of Rankings & Traffic

Re-Optimisation, as needed

Monthly Consultation & SEO Web Site Audit

7. PARTNERSHIP, CONSULTATION & REPORTING

Internet marketing is a partnership.

Clients who regularly meet with their agency partners and act on their suggestions and ideas do tend to rank higher more quickly.

While an agency might handle 95% of the work themselves, they will also need your input on content and in obtaining some backlinks.

Feedback, assistance where necessary and an ongoing monthly budget are prerequisites to sustaining growth.

Although the client will receive a detailed report each month, it is always recommended to schedule a consultation to review best practices, to discuss and pitch new ideas.

8. FEES

Campaign fees should list in detail every item of work that the agency will be carrying out and should therefore NOT have any other surprise extras!

Fees are usually charged on a fixed hourly rate basis unless otherwise negotiated and are almost always subject to VAT at the prevailing rate.

Expert SEO Solutions

SUMMARY – MUST HAVES

A London SEO agency should have a minimum of 5-7 years experience.

A verifiable track record in helping brand growth.

Competent at audience development and retention strategies.

In-depth SEO knowledge, multi-channel expertise and a varied industry exposure.  

Supply proof of client satisfaction.

Based locally to facilitate monthly meetups.

Need more? Visit this top London SEO Agency now for further help, guidance and a FREE initial consultation.