social-media-5187243_1280 (1)

Marketers Are Focusing On Brand Building Again.

Google says brands are moving back to brand building on its platforms as brands look to “keep their brands in front of people to stay top of minds”.

Google has seen a rise in marketers pumping ad dollars into rand building as brand try and recover form the pandemic.

In the wake of the pandemic many business began to cut budgets and focus on short-term wins.

 Chief business officer Philipp Schindler of Alphabet, acknowledged there had been “substantial pullback at the outset of the pandemic” in brands spending on Google services but this began to recover in the third quarter.

Alphabet have revealed ad revenue increased from $27.4bn in 2019 to £33.8bn ) at the end of its fourth quarter of 2020.

“Marketers realised that even if there was a pullback in consumer demand in the short-term, they needed to keep their brands in front of people to stay top of minds when spending picks back up”, adds Schindler.

Google has highlighted brand such as L’Oréal as examples of brands who adapted to the change in consumer behaviour.

However, SME’s we have worked with have also benefitted from keeping their brands in front of customers. Businesses that were forced to close have adapted to include e-commerce into their arsenal and offer digital alternatives to their services.

As the country begins to further loosen restrictions businesses more than ever need to start ramping up their marketing. We have helped businesses build their business strategy, view our marketing services here.

Get In Touch

    Mobile first indexing

    How to Get Your Website Ready for Google Mobile Indexing?

    What is mobile-only indexing?

    Mobile-only indexing means that Google will now only use the mobile version of your site to evaluate the relevance of your page to the user’s search query.

    Now, Google used to crawl your desktop site for ranking signals. However, since 2019, it moved to mobile indexing which put more relevance on your mobile site. But there was still a backup to index using your desktop site. In 2021 Google is now moving to only crawl and index your mobile site.

    Is mobile-only indexing something you need to worry about?

    In a short answer yes! If you currently have a site that is showing different content on desktop and mobile, this content is now effectively invisible to Google crawlers. If you do not want to see your organic SEO take a cliff dive this needs to be resolved.

    Why is Google prioritising mobile-indexing?

    If we go by the stats, we can reasonably predict you are probably reading this article on a mobile device. Are we correct? According to statistics, 80% of internet users own a smartphone and people consume 69% of the media on mobile. So it is a no-brainer for Google to make this change to mobile indexing.

    Houston we have an indexing problem…

    If you are not yet prepped for the switch to mobile indexing, don’t panic just yet. You will need to divert some resource improving your site to be ready for the change.

    What we recommend you focus on:

    1. Ensure you don’t have desktop content missing on your mobile site.

    Your developer may have hidden some content on your mobile site to make it more responsive, however, if this content helps with your organic SEO on desktop. If it is not present on your mobile site your organic traffic may drop.

    2. Build mobile-first

    Yes, you may have already made your site mobile responsive but now you need to ensure that you serve one consistent version of your site to ensure parity between mobile and desktop content.

    3. Use Google’s free mobile testing tool

    One of the great things about Google is that they do not hide the secrets to ranking well on their platform. If you need a quick place to start optimising your site, use the Google responsiveness tool. It is imperative in 2021 that your site passes those tests.

    4. Optimise your mobile site for conversions.

    Now more than ever when reviewing your funnel is to consider the user journey on mobile. You have to be ruthless, mobile offers less real estate so you may have many images slowing down the site or an overload of text this can impact conversion on mobile.

    5. Don’t forget about desktop.

    Despite the move to mile indexing, your desktop site should not become the forgotten child. B2B companies still get most acquisitions from desktop. Most staff in businesses spent their days on desktop and as result look for new suppliers on desktop as well. According to Content Square, mobile traffic accounts for just 17% of traffic for B2B brands according to their 2021 Digital Experience Benchmark Report.

    Third-Party Data

    The Difference Between 1st Party Data and 3rd Party Data.

    Due to new restriction, Third-party cookies are being phased out (on chrome browsers) or made optional (on apple phones). This is going to make it difficult for digital marketers to track customer activity online.

    Because of these new changes, there is now an emphasis on first -party data over third party. With that in mind , let’s take a look at how the difference types of data differ.

    What is first-party data?

    First party data is the information you collect directly from your audience or customers. Key data includes::

    Data from behaviors, actions or interests demonstrated across your website(s) or app(s)
    Data you have in your CRM
    Subscription data
    Social data

    What is third-party?

    THird-party data is purchased from data providers. You can find these providers through DSPs, DMPs and public data exchanges like the Lotame Data Exchange (LDX).

    When purchasing third-party data, markertes have to be aware of some common variations.

    • Declared data: Information that a user provides on a platfrom through avenues such as an online form
    • Inferred data: Insights about non-demographic data, such as interests and preferences gleaned from a user’s online activity
    • Observed data: Accurate data gathered by tracking a user’s online activity, such as the pages they visit.


    There are also various kinds of audiences:

    • Observed audience: These users took a specific action, such as purchasing a particular product or visiting a certain website.
    • Modeled audience: Data providers create the audience by finding users with similar characteristics to an observed audience. You can use these similarities to predict future behaviors.
    space-shuttle-launch-during-nighttime-796206-compressor

    Optimising Google Ads For Better ROI To Combat Digital Service Tax.

    Google has recently announced they will be passing on 2% digital service tax to advertisers beginning 1st November.

    This is not an isolated incident, Amazon has announced it will also be passing on a 2% tax to users on their platform. 

    Facebook which makes an estimated £4.2bn in ad revenue in the UK, is expected to follow suit.

    Regardless of your spending, running ads on Google platforms is about to become 2% more expensive and if you also sell your products on Amazon your profits are going to be impacted.

    So what’s next?

    If running Google ads is going to become 2% more expensive then you need to make your ads convert for less to prevent your spending spiralling out of control.

    How to increase ROI On Your Ads

    Search ads in super-competitive industries can cost several pounds or more per click – and that’s just the average. One way to lower your cost is with Google remarketing, this involves showing ads to people who have already been on your website. 

    Google remarketing ads are some of the most cost-effective ad campaigns available to online advertisers. According to Wordstream the average cpc for Google search is $1.23 compared to $0.66 for the display network.

    Advertising on the display network will get you a lot more impressions, but the way to succeed is with good, eye-catching graphics that are on brand. 

    Reducing CPC

    Lower your bids

    This one is pretty straight-forward if your bids are high you will spend more. But we are not advocating you just start lowering your bids like Black Friday prices. 

    You are probably asking wouldn’t lower bids imply a lower average CPC? In theory yes, but in practice your ad position will drop but you could still afford more clicks with the same budget. 

    Try Long-tail keywords

    If you are in a hyper-competitive industry, solicitors, accountants, estate agents etc.  One way you can still get clicks without blowing your budget is by targeting long-tail keywords. 

    The downside to this is that long-tail  keywords usually have low volumes but the user intent is usually higher. 

    A good way to come up with long-tail keywords is to see what people are searching in your industry using tools such as Answer the Public.

    Improving organic traffic 

    This one is pretty self explanatory, if you want to get rid of your ad costs completely improve your ranking in SERPs organically. 

    Whilst this is easier than done, we are not talking about trying to outrank a regional competitor for a keyword with high competition. 

    Do some keyword research and pick out the keyword with the least competition and optimise your site for these keywords. Whether it’s through cornerstone articles, getting more backlinks to your site and improving internal linking.

    That we should not be named

    Bing ads are the forgotten child of digital marketing, despite Bing on average having users with high-income. Bing ads are rarely looked at as a leading source for traffic but now may be the time to start looking at running some ads.

    Microsoft has not yet released any press releases stating whether they will also be passing on the digital service tax to advertisers. 

    So now maybe the time to start advertising on Bing. Yes, Microsoft’s system isn’t as polished as Google ads but with some good strategies you can make Bing ads work. Even better now you can transfer campaign from your Google ad account.


      space-shuttle-launch-during-nighttime-796206-compressor

      Yell, Wix & Squarespace Sites Are Hurting Your Bottom Line. (2021)

      If you are currently using Yell, Wix, Squarespace or any other drag and drop website builder you maybe hurting your bottom line.

      These website builders offer less technically-gifted business owners the opportunity to create a website in a matter of minutes. However, whilst you can create a site for your business in an afternoon, there is a price to pay.

      You may not own your site

      A lot of pay monthly website builders can hold your site hostage. Although, sometimes I think the word website is thrown around freely.

      These website builders essentially rent you templates that you can make minor cosmetic adjustments to. This isn’t necessarily building a site rather making updates to a site that already exists.

      With some providers you can not move your website away if you decide you would like to revamp your site or to add new features.

      In the long term, when you do have to move your site, it will cost to get another site created.

      Limited functionalities

      Website builders offer the very basic features a website needs: a homepage, about us, services and contact.

      Although, there is nothing wrong with this, depending on your industry you may need other functionalities. For example, a mortgage advice business may need a mortgage calculator or estate agents may want a portal for their tenants.

      On a bespoke site these features can be gradually added, so what your site can accomplish is limitless.

      Your website already exists

      As stated before, when you use website builders you are effectively just editing a template, so you are limited in features and design.

      We recently came across two businesses that used a website builder and had the same website but different color schemes.

      Your website should be an extension of your brand, you wouldn’t decorate your office the same as your competitor, so why would you have the same website as them?

      SEO Will Suffer

      Website builder sites are notoriously bad foroptimise for SEO because of how rigid they are. Most of these platform will also offer SEO services, however you should be cautious.

      A source working inside Yell told me that the company do not actually employ any SEO experts. All of their digital marketing is outsourced to agencies who then outsource the work again to low-cost operators in South East Asia. Several Yell clients told me they are routed to the Philippines when contacting Yell with questions about their SEO service.

      Richman SEO said this about Yell’s SEO service:

      Because of the rise in social media many business owners no longer see SEO as an important factor, however, just because you can advertise your site on Facebook does not mean you should disregard trying to appear high on organic search on Google.

      The internet is now too competitive

      Everyday 1000s of sites go live and all are vying for attention, therefore your site has to be good. So many times we run audits on website builder sites and often they have been badly optimised.

      The learning curve for these platform is very easy, it can fool you into complacency. Once you see you site is live and working you pat yourself on the shoulder and call it a day.

      However, you should understand how and why your website functions, the way it does. When you edit templates you do not get this knowledge.

      In conclusion, website builders can be useful to students, artists and anyone who just needs a placeholder site on the internet.

      But if you are serious about creating a great website that can drive traffic and get you leads, you need to go bespoke.

      Get a free audit of your site below or get in contact to see how we can help you.


        space-shuttle-launch-during-nighttime-796206-compressor

        The Time Google Became Estate Agents.

        In recent years, the search engine giant has progressively increased its market share in various heavily feed-based verticals, including hotel bookings, flights, and more recently recruitment.

        “We are leaving Rightmove” this is a phrase that has been uttered by many estate agents in the country. In light of all that is going Rightmove has failed to understand the needs of their customers.

        Why would Google disrupt this industry

        For me the question of whether Google will enter the property market is a question when not if. With other offerings such as Google Flights, Hotels and Jobs. Estate agents should prepare themselves for Google Properties. 

        Last year, Google quietly became the biggest job board. Google has the power to do this they have the power to put their content over others even if it means making some businesses redundant. 

        It is no surprise that Google’s first real estate offering failed. In fact, Google so much as admitted this in a statement they released saying:

        We recognize that there might be better, more effective ways to help people find local real estate information than the current feature makes possible. We’ll continue to explore this area, but in the meantime, Google offers other options to home-seekers – Brian McClendon, VP, Google Earth and Maps

        This statement was made all the way back in 2011, so the question is has Google Maps improved since then and could a Google real estate feature be reintroduced again?

        This is tricky, it would be quite simple for Google to implement, for example Google my business pages have without a doubt killed directories. So a Google real estate platform could just as easily kill property portals.

        Property industry has got lazy

        Many in the property industry have focused all their marketing time and money to the property portals. Which leaves many estate agent website that are not optimised and have bad user experience. Many agents all use the same website builders so identical estate agent site with different color schemes and logos are not a regular occurrence.  

        A new property offering would force agent to focus on improving their sites and also allow Google to make money from PPC ads. 

        How it would affect you?

        Imagine starting tomorrow, you can easily look on Google maps on your phone to see houses for sale or rent in your area and through Google maps you can send an enquiry. With such an easy user experience you probably won’t bother to look on Rightmove.

        This is a feature that could shake up the whole property industry, it would push the sector to focus more on SEO and web presence.

        Property portals would lose their value, if data from these platforms can be fed into Google listings like the above. It would make going on a specific platform redundant.

        Local Search

        Real estate revolves entirely around locations, and Google will serve users with the results it deems most relevant to either their geolocation or to geo-targeting keywords such as ‘flats to rent London’. 

         

        Free Website Audit

        Regardless of whether Google does enter the real estate sector again, I think it is always imperative to focus on your own web presence, and keep your website on step ahead of your competitors.

        If you want a free website audit, provide your details below and we will send you a tailored report for your site.


          space-shuttle-launch-during-nighttime-796206-compressor

          Biggest Estate Agent SEO Mistakes.

          In the past two weeks, I have analysed over 52 estate agent websites, this first started when I asked a few estate agent owners in a poplar Facebook group to post their websites for me to critique.

          I ended up receiving over 52 replies with people asking me to look at their websites. After reviewing every single website I noticed a recurring number of errors the websites all had. Other industries make some of these mistakes in their SEO strategy, but the ones I will list below are more prevalent when it comes to estate agents.

          Template Websites

          A lot of estate agents do not get bespoke sites and use companies that offer them template websites. The issue here is many do not know that they have template website. These template websites make it difficult for owners who are not SEO specialists to optimise their site. Speed optimisation and A/B testing is difficult due to the rigid nature of template sites.

          But the worst thing is that your business which has its own brand ends up with a website that looks like everyone else’s.

          Hosting lead gen tools on different URL’S.

          A lot of estate agent websites have valuation tools. mortgage calculators, and other lead generation tools. These  are usually hosted off their site and sometimes take users to pages with no SSL certificates. Having too many of these tools that take users away from your website can actually prop up the domain authority of the url’s these tools are hosted on, not your own website!

          Also, because these tools are not hosted on your site, this makes tracking data difficult as once users leave your site, you can’t track their interactions to optimise the page for conversions.

          Broad Keywords

          Most sites I looked at did not have a SEO strategy to target people searching in the area where the agency is based.

          For example, an estate agent in Essex not having Essex in their title tags and meta descriptions (these are the results you see on Google.) Broad keywords put you in competition with national competitors and it is harder to rank especially for site with  low domain authority. Of all the sites I reviewed, not one had a domain authority over 50 ( domain authority of a website describes its relevance for a specific subject area or industry it is score 1-100.)

          Using broad keyword also lead to unqualified leads, you don’t want people on your site who are based in London but your agency is a based Lancashire.

          Missing Sitemaps

          When I first started reviewing some of the 52 websites, I noticed a few did not have a sitemaps, as I reviewed more this was an issue on over 50% of the sites I looked at. And most of the time it was the sites that were hosted by companies who create template sites.

          Sitemaps are essentially a road map for the Google crawler bots that deciphers what your site is about for ranking purposes. Missing sitemaps coupled with broad keywords for most sites was usually reflected in the low monthly traffic going to the sites. If Google can’t decipher what your site is about, you will suffer in search rankings.

          Slow Loading Speeds

          A lot of sites I reviewed were not optimised for speed, this was the result of many mistakes.  Again the template websites were the biggest culprits. Too many tools cause a lot of estate agent websites to load slowly because there is too many requests. Loading properties on the homepage also caused many sites to be slow. A remedy for this is showing properties on separate “For Sale or Rent pages”.

          Missing SSL Certificate

          An SSL certificate on your site is one of the fundamentals for good SEO practices, without one Google will not rank your site high. Or even worse, if you do somehow manage to rank high and receive visitors they will be greeted with a notification informing them that you site is not safe for them to enter their personal information. If you site exist to get leads this is a sure fire way to have an empty leads inbox.

          Conclusion

          These are just some of the most reoccurring errors I found on many sites I reviewed. There were many othe errors I uncovered such as websites with all pages missing meta titles and descriptions, 404 erros, missing robot.txt files and many others. I recommend any estate agent looking for a new website opts for a bespoke crafted site that is built with SEO in mind. Cheaper template site will cost more in the long-term as they impact SEO which needs to be fixed.

          If you would like to know the current state of your website please provide your details below and we will send you a FREE Website SEO Report.